Science.gov

Sample records for protected terrestrial vertebrates

  1. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation 1995 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Vail, E.R.; Mitchell, J.M.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1995-11-01

    This progress report discusses surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) from October 1994 through September 1995. These surveys are important to help avoid or minimize potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed as threatened, endangered, or in need of management by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Currently, there are 69 species of federally or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates that may occur in Tennessee. Not all of these are expected to occur on the ORR, nor do resources permit comprehensive sampling for all of them over the entire ORR. To effectively organize sampling efforts, listed animal species that might be present were targeted using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, species distributions, literature reviews, and personal communications. Sampling was conducted during the time of the year when each targeted species would most likely be encountered. Several trapping and surveying methods were used, including pitfall traps, Sherman traps, seining, artificial covers, and cave and avian surveys.

  2. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; Evans, J.W.

    1996-07-01

    This document is the final report on surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to gain information that could help prevent or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need of management; federal species of concern were also included. The results of the survey will assist in the effective management of the natural resources of the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal or state listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring of artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The surveys confirmed the presence of 20 threatened and endangered species on the ORR. This report also includes some ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. Finally, this report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  3. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  4. On how much biodiversity is covered in Europe by national protected areas and by the Natura 2000 network: insights from terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, L; Amori, G; Montemaggiori, A; Rondinini, C; Santini, L; Saura, S; Boitani, L

    2015-08-01

    The European Union has made extensive biodiversity conservation efforts with the Habitats and Birds Directives and with the establishment of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, one of the largest networks of conservation areas worldwide. We performed a gap analysis of the entire Natura 2000 system plus national protected areas and all terrestrial vertebrates (freshwater fish excluded). We also evaluated the level of connectivity of both systems, providing therefore a first estimate of the functionality of the Natura 2000 system as an effective network of protected areas. Together national protected areas and the Natura 2000 network covered more than one-third of the European Union. National protected areas did not offer protection to 13 total gap species (i.e., species not covered by any protected area) or to almost 300 partial gap species (i.e., species whose representation target is not met). Together the Natura 2000 network and national protected areas left 1 total gap species and 121 partial gap species unprotected. The terrestrial vertebrates listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives were relatively well covered (especially birds), and overall connectivity was improved considerably by Natura 2000 sites that act as stepping stones between national protected areas. Overall, we found that the Natura 2000 network represents at continental level an important network of protected areas that acts as a good complement to existing national protected areas. However, a number of problems remain that are mainly linked to the criteria used to list the species in the Habitats and Birds Directives. The European Commission initiated in 2014 a process aimed at assessing the importance of the Birds and Habitats Directives for biodiversity conservation. Our results contribute to this assessment and suggest the system is largely effective for terrestrial vertebrates but would benefit from further updating of the species lists and field management.

  5. Contaminant Exposure in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Manuscript is a critical review of the state of the science for quantifying exposures of terrestrial wildlife species to chemical contamination. It describes the unique aspects of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and threatened and endangered species. Fate and transport of ...

  6. [Construction of an indicator system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China: A case study on terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds)].

    PubMed

    Yan, Yu-ying; Yang, Dao-de; Deng, Jiao; Zhang, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Xian-yan; Wang, Wei; Li, Jun-sheng

    2015-05-01

    The protection efficacy of nature reserves is a key element in achieving targets of biodiversity conservation. It is therefore very important to develop a scientific, systematic, and accurate index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China. Using methods of frequency statistics, expert consultation, analytic hierarchy process, and demonstration survey, we present a novel index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of Chinese national nature reserves for terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds) over a 10-year period. The indicator system included one target layer, two system layers, nine factor layers, and forty index layers. The system layer included ecological effectiveness evaluation (with a score of 60%) and management effectiveness evaluation (score of 40%). The ecological effectiveness evaluation was a comprehensive, dynamic evaluation of the target species, population, habitat, and ecological system. The management effectiveness evaluation was focused on the effectiveness of patrol and monitoring. The additional part aimed to analyze the impact of humans on the target species, population and nature resources of the nature reserve. This study combined the ecological effectiveness evaluation and the management effectiveness evaluation for the first time, highlighted the importance of time and space changes, distinguished the influence of natural factors from human factors, and integrated them into the evaluation results. By emphasizing quantifiable indicators, this evaluation index system could vastly assist the protection of nature reserves by improving management effectiveness, biodiversity conservation, and macroscopic decision-making.

  7. [Construction of an indicator system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China: A case study on terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds)].

    PubMed

    Yan, Yu-ying; Yang, Dao-de; Deng, Jiao; Zhang, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Xian-yan; Wang, Wei; Li, Jun-sheng

    2015-05-01

    The protection efficacy of nature reserves is a key element in achieving targets of biodiversity conservation. It is therefore very important to develop a scientific, systematic, and accurate index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China. Using methods of frequency statistics, expert consultation, analytic hierarchy process, and demonstration survey, we present a novel index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of Chinese national nature reserves for terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds) over a 10-year period. The indicator system included one target layer, two system layers, nine factor layers, and forty index layers. The system layer included ecological effectiveness evaluation (with a score of 60%) and management effectiveness evaluation (score of 40%). The ecological effectiveness evaluation was a comprehensive, dynamic evaluation of the target species, population, habitat, and ecological system. The management effectiveness evaluation was focused on the effectiveness of patrol and monitoring. The additional part aimed to analyze the impact of humans on the target species, population and nature resources of the nature reserve. This study combined the ecological effectiveness evaluation and the management effectiveness evaluation for the first time, highlighted the importance of time and space changes, distinguished the influence of natural factors from human factors, and integrated them into the evaluation results. By emphasizing quantifiable indicators, this evaluation index system could vastly assist the protection of nature reserves by improving management effectiveness, biodiversity conservation, and macroscopic decision-making. PMID:26571679

  8. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity. PMID:27651536

  9. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity.

  10. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate fauna, North Slope, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Clemens, W.A.; Allison, C.W.

    1985-01-01

    Closely related terrestrial vertebrates in Cretaceous mid-latitude (30/sup 0/ to 50/sup 0/) faunas of North America and Asia as well as scattered occurrences of footprints and skin impressions suggested that in the Late Mesozoic the Alaskan North Slope supported a diverse fauna. In 1961 abundant skeletal elements of Cretaceous, Alaskan dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) were discovered by the late R.L. Liscomb. This material is being described by K.L. Davies. Additional fossils collected by E.M. Brouwers and her associates include skeletal elements of hadrosaurid and carnosaurian (.tyrannosaurid) dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The fossil locality on the North Slope is not at about 70/sup 0/N. In the Late Cretaceous the members of this fauna were subject to the daylight regime and environment at a paleolatitude closer to 80/sup 0/N. Current hypotheses attributing extinctions of dinosaurs and some other terrestrial vertebrates to impact of an extraterrestrial object cite periods of darkness, decreased temperature (possibly followed by extreme warming) and acid rain as the direct causes of their demise. Unless members of this North Slope fauna undertook long-distance migrations, their high latitude occurrence indicates groups of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates regularly tolerated months of darkness.

  11. Threats from climate change to terrestrial vertebrate hotspots in Europe.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Boitani, Luigi; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation.

  12. Threats from Climate Change to Terrestrial Vertebrate Hotspots in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21st century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran’s I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:24066162

  13. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Pimm, Stuart L; Joppa, Lucas N

    2013-07-01

    Identifying priority areas for biodiversity is essential for directing conservation resources. Fundamentally, we must know where individual species live, which ones are vulnerable, where human actions threaten them, and their levels of protection. As conservation knowledge and threats change, we must reevaluate priorities. We mapped priority areas for vertebrates using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon, we identified centers of richness for all species, small-ranged species, and threatened species listed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Importantly, all analyses were at a spatial grain of 10 × 10 km, 100 times finer than previous assessments. This fine scale is a significant methodological improvement, because it brings mapping to scales comparable with regional decisions on where to place protected areas. We also mapped recent species discoveries, because they suggest where as-yet-unknown species might be living. To assess the protection of the priority areas, we calculated the percentage of priority areas within protected areas using the latest data from the World Database of Protected Areas, providing a snapshot of how well the planet's protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity. Although the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, the level of protection still is insufficient given the importance of these areas for preventing vertebrate extinctions. We also found substantial differences between our identified vertebrate priorities and the leading map of global conservation priorities, the biodiversity hotspots. Our findings suggest a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect today's improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation.

  14. Climate change, extinction risks, and reproduction of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Carey, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    This review includes a broad, but superficial, summary of our understanding about current and future climate changes, the predictions about how these changes will likely affect the risks of extinction of organisms, and how current climate changes are already affecting reproduction in terrestrial vertebrates. Many organisms have become extinct in the last century, but habitat destruction, disease and man-made factors other than climate change have been implicated as the causal factor in almost all of these. Reproduction is certain to be negatively impacted in all vertebrate groups for a variety of reasons, such as direct thermal and hydric effects on mortality of embryos, mismatches between optimal availability of food supplies, frequently determined by temperature, and reproductive capacities, sometimes determined by rigid factors such as photoperiod, and disappearance of appropriate foraging opportunities, such as melting sea ice. The numbers of studies documenting correlations between climate changes and biological phenomena are rapidly increasing, but more direct information about the consequences of these changes for species survival and ecosystem health is needed than is currently available.

  15. Contaminant effect endpoints in terrestrial vertebrates at and above the individual level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Cohen, J.B.; Golden, N.H.; Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    2000-01-01

    Use of biochemical, physiological, anatomical, reproductive and behavioral characteristics of wild terrestrial vertebrates to assess contaminant exposure and effects has become commonplace over the past 3 decades. At the level of the individual organism, response patterns have been associated with and sometimes causally linked to contaminant exposure. However, such responses at the organismal level are rarely associated with or causally linked to effects at the population level. Although the ultimate goal of ecotoxicology is the protection of populations, communities, and ecosystems, most of the existing science and regulatory legislation focus on the level of the individual. Consequently, much of this overview concentrates on contaminant effects at the organismal level, with some extrapolation to higher-level effects. In this chapter, we review the state of the science for the evaluation of biotic end-points used to assess contaminant exposure and effects at or above the level of the individual. In addition, we describe extant contaminant concentration thresholds, guidelines, or standards (toxicant criteria) in environmental matrices (e.g., water, soil, sediment, foods) that have been developed to protect wild terrestrial vertebrates. Suggestions are provided to develop and embellish the use and value of such endpoints and criteria for extrapolation of effects to higher levels of biological organization. Increasing focus on populations, communities, and ecosystems is needed to develop biologically meaningful regulatory guidelines that will protect natural resources.

  16. Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Jamie R.; Wilmshurst, Janet M.

    2014-08-01

    Over the past decade, concerted efforts to find and study Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites in New Zealand have revealed new insights into the diets and ecologies of New Zealand's prehistoric birds. Here, we provide a broader review of the coprolites found in natural (non-archaeological) Late Quaternary deposits from New Zealand. We summarise the morphological diversity of the coprolites, and discuss the taphonomy of the sites in which they are found. Since the 1870s more than 2000 coprolites have been discovered from 30 localities, all restricted to the South Island. The distribution of coprolite localities appears to reflect the presence of geological and climatic factors that enhance the potential for coprolite preservation; coprolites require dry conditions for preservation, and have been found on the ground surface within drafting cave entrances and at shallow (<300 mm) depths beneath rock overhangs with a northerly aspect. We classify the coprolites into eleven morphotypes, each of which may represent a range of different bird and/or reptile species. A review of genetically identified specimens shows that coprolites of different bird species overlap in size and morphology, reinforcing the need for identifications to be based on ancient DNA analysis.

  17. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  18. Climate and topography explain range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yiming; Li, Xianping; Sandel, Brody; Blank, David; Liu, Zetian; Liu, Xuan; Yan, Shaofei

    2016-05-01

    Identifying the factors that influence range sizes of species provides important insight into the distribution of biodiversity, and is crucial for predicting shifts in species ranges in response to climate change. Current climate (for example, climate variability and climate extremes), long-term climate change, evolutionary age, topographic heterogeneity, land area and species traits such as physiological thermal limits, dispersal ability, annual fecundity and body size have been shown to influence range size. Yet, few studies have examined the generality of each of these factors among different taxa, or have simultaneously evaluated the strength of relationships between range size and these factors at a global scale. We quantify contributions of these factors to range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds and reptiles) at a global scale. We found that large-ranged species experience greater monthly extremes of maximum or minimum temperature within their ranges, or occur in areas with higher long-term climate velocity and lower topographic heterogeneity or lower precipitation seasonality. Flight ability, body mass and continent width are important only for particular taxa. Our results highlight the importance of climate and topographic context in driving range size variation. The results suggest that small-range species may be vulnerable to climate change and should be the focus of conservation efforts.

  19. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

  20. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  1. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  2. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  3. Use of retrospective data to assess ecotoxicological monitoring needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in Atlantic coast estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.; Rattner, B.A.; Golden, N.H.

    2003-01-01

    The 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' (CEE-TV) database contains 4,336 records of ecotoxicological information for free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in Atlantic and Florida Gulf coast estuaries and their drainages. To identify spatial data gaps, those CEE-TV records for which the specific study location were known (n=2,740) were combined with watershed and wildlife management unit boundaries using Geographic Information Systems software. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Index of Watershed Indicators (IWI), which classifies watersheds based on water quality and their vulnerability to pollution, was used to prioritize these data gaps. Of 136 watersheds in the study area, 15 that are classified by the IWI as having water quality problems or high vulnerability to pollution lacked terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological monitoring or research in the past decade. Older studies within some of these watersheds documented high levels of contaminants in wildlife tissues. Of 90 National Wildlife Refuge units, 42 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Of 40 National Park units larger than 1 km2, 17 without current data fall within watersheds of concern. Issues encountered in this analysis highlighted the need for spatially and temporally replicated field monitoring programs that utilize random sampling. Without data from such studies, it will be difficult to perform unbiased assessments of regional trends in contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates.

  4. Reproductive costs in terrestrial male vertebrates: insights from bird studies

    PubMed Central

    Gamelon, Marlène; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction requires resources that cannot be allocated to other functions resulting in direct reproductive costs (i.e. trade-offs between current reproduction and subsequent survival/reproduction). In wild vertebrates, direct reproductive costs have been widely described in females, but their occurrence in males remains to be explored. To fill this gap, we gathered 53 studies on 48 species testing direct reproductive costs in male vertebrates. We found a trade-off between current reproduction and subsequent performances in 29% of the species and in every clade. As 73% of the studied species are birds, we focused on that clade to investigate whether such trade-offs are associated with (i) levels of paternal care, (ii) polygyny or (iii) pace of life. More precisely for this third question, it is expected that fast species (i.e. short lifespan, early maturity, high fecundity) pay a cost in terms of survival, whereas slow species (with opposite characteristics) do so in terms of fecundity. Our findings tend to support this hypothesis. Finally, we pointed out the potential confounding effects that should be accounted for when investigating reproductive costs in males and strongly encourage the investigation of such costs in more clades to understand to what extent our results are relevant for other vertebrates. PMID:26791619

  5. Stability of Mitochondrial Membrane Proteins in Terrestrial Vertebrates Predicts Aerobic Capacity and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Kitazoe, Yasuhiro; Kishino, Hirohisa; Hasegawa, Masami; Matsui, Atsushi; Lane, Nick; Tanaka, Masashi

    2011-01-01

    The cellular energy produced by mitochondria is a fundamental currency of life. However, the extent to which mitochondrial (mt) performance (power and endurance) is adapted to habitats and life strategies of vertebrates is not well understood. A global analysis of mt genomes revealed that hydrophobicity (HYD) of mt membrane proteins (MMPs) is much lower in terrestrial vertebrates than in fishes and shows a strong negative correlation with serine/threonine composition (STC). Here, we present evidence that this systematic feature of MMPs was crucial for the evolution of large terrestrial vertebrates with high aerobic capacity. An Arrhenius-type equation gave positive correlations between STC and maximum life span (MLS) in terrestrial vertebrates (with a few exceptions relating to the lifestyle of small animals with a high resting metabolic rate [RMR]) and negative correlations in secondary marine vertebrates, such as cetaceans and alligators (which returned from land to water, utilizing buoyancy with increased body size). In particular, marked STC increases in primates (especially hominoids) among placentals were associated with very high MLS values. We connected these STC increases in MMPs with greater stability of respiratory complexes by estimating the degradation of the Arrhenius plot given by accelerating mtRMR up to mt maximum metabolic rate. Both mtRMR and HYD in terrestrial vertebrates decreased with increasing body mass. Decreases in mtRMR raise MMP stability when high mobility is not required, whereas decreased HYD may weaken this stability under the hydrophobic environment of lipid bilayer. High maximal metabolic rates (5–10 RMR), which we postulate require high MMP mobility, presumably render MMPs more unstable. A marked rise in STC may therefore be essential to stabilize MMPs, perhaps as dynamic supercomplexes, via hydrogen bonds associated with serine/threonine motifs. PMID:21824868

  6. Confirmation of Romer's Gap as a low oxygen interval constraining the timing of initial arthropod and vertebrate terrestrialization.

    PubMed

    Ward, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad; Laurin, Michel; Berner, Robert A

    2006-11-01

    The first terrestrialization of species that evolved from previously aquatic taxa was a seminal event in evolutionary history. For vertebrates, one of the most important terrestrialized groups, this event was interrupted by a time interval known as Romer's Gap, for which, until recently, few fossils were known. Here, we argue that geochronologic range data of terrestrial arthropods show a pattern similar to that of vertebrates. Thus, Romer's Gap is real, occupied an interval from 360 million years before present (MYBP) to 345 MYBP, and occurred when environmental conditions were unfavorable for air-breathing, terrestrial animals. These model results suggest that atmospheric oxygen levels were the major driver of successful terrestrialization, and a low-oxygen interval accounts for Romer's Gap. Results also show that terrestrialization among members of arthropod and vertebrate clades occurred in two distinct phases. The first phase was a 65-million-year (My) interval from 425 to 360 MYBP, representing an earlier, prolonged event of complete arthropod terrestrialization of smaller-sized forms (425-385 MYBP) and a subsequent, modest, and briefer event of incipient terrestrialization of larger-sized, aquatic vertebrates (385-360 MYBP). The second phase began at 345 MYBP, characterized by numerous new terrestrial species emerging in both major clades. The first and second terrestrialization phases bracket Romer's Gap, which represents a depauperate spectrum of major arthropod and vertebrate taxa before a major Late Paleozoic colonization of terrestrial habitats.

  7. Global associations between terrestrial producer and vertebrate consumer diversity.

    PubMed

    Jetz, Walter; Kreft, Holger; Ceballos, Gerardo; Mutke, Jens

    2009-01-22

    In both ecology and conservation, often a strong positive association is assumed between the diversity of plants as primary producers and that of animals, specifically primary consumers. Such a relationship has been observed at small spatial scales, and a begetting of diversity by diversity is expected under various scenarios of co-evolution and co-adaptation. But positive producer-consumer richness relationships may also arise from similar associations with past opportunities for diversification or contemporary environmental conditions, or from emerging properties of plant diversity such as vegetation complexity or productivity. Here we assess whether the producer-consumer richness relationship generalizes from plot to regional scale and provide a first global test of its strength for vascular plants and endothermic vertebrates. We find strong positive richness associations, but only limited congruence of the most diverse regions. The richness of both primary and higher-level consumers increases with plant richness at similar strength and rate. Environmental conditions emerge as much stronger predictors of consumer richness, and after accounting for environmental differences little variation is explained by plant diversity. We conclude that biotic interactions and strong local associations between plants and consumers only relatively weakly scale up to broad geographical scales and to functionally diverse taxa, for which environmental constraints on richness dominate. PMID:18832059

  8. Global associations between terrestrial producer and vertebrate consumer diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jetz, Walter; Kreft, Holger; Ceballos, Gerardo; Mutke, Jens

    2008-01-01

    In both ecology and conservation, often a strong positive association is assumed between the diversity of plants as primary producers and that of animals, specifically primary consumers. Such a relationship has been observed at small spatial scales, and a begetting of diversity by diversity is expected under various scenarios of co-evolution and co-adaptation. But positive producer–consumer richness relationships may also arise from similar associations with past opportunities for diversification or contemporary environmental conditions, or from emerging properties of plant diversity such as vegetation complexity or productivity. Here we assess whether the producer–consumer richness relationship generalizes from plot to regional scale and provide a first global test of its strength for vascular plants and endothermic vertebrates. We find strong positive richness associations, but only limited congruence of the most diverse regions. The richness of both primary and higher-level consumers increases with plant richness at similar strength and rate. Environmental conditions emerge as much stronger predictors of consumer richness, and after accounting for environmental differences little variation is explained by plant diversity. We conclude that biotic interactions and strong local associations between plants and consumers only relatively weakly scale up to broad geographical scales and to functionally diverse taxa, for which environmental constraints on richness dominate. PMID:18832059

  9. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Peter J.; Walmsley, Christopher W.; Phillips, Matthew J.; Quayle, Michelle R.

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  10. Movement in a gravitational field: The question of limb interarticular coordination in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Legreneur, Pierre; Bels, Vincent; Monteil, Karine; Laurin, Michel

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we demonstrated that interarticular coordination of terrestrial tetrapods emerges from an environment highly constrained by friction and the gravitational field. We briefly review recent works on the jumping behavior in squamates, lemurs and amphibians. We then explore previously published work as well as some unpublished experimental data on human jumping. Finally, we end by inferring locomotion in some of the first limbed vertebrates using a simulation procedure. All these data show that despite changes in shape, structure, and motor controls of taxa, the same spatio-temporal sequence of joint displacements always occurs when the movement is executed in a terrestrial environment. Comparison with aquatic locomotion argues for the hypothesis that this pattern emerged in early terrestrial tetrapods as a response to the gravitational constraint and the terrestrial frictional environment.

  11. The chemical and evolutionary ecology of tetrodotoxin (TTX) toxicity in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  12. Ranking terrestrial vertebrate species for utility in biomonitoring and vulnerability to environmental contaminants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Golden, N.H.; Rattner, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    The measurement of contaminant tissue concentrations or exposure-related effects in biota has been used extensively to monitor pollution and environmental health. Terrestrial vertebrates have historically been an important group of species in such evaluations, not only because many are excellent sentinels of environmental contamination, but also because they are valued natural resources in their own right that may be adversely affected by toxicant exposure. Selection of appropriate vertebrates for biomonitoring studies frequently relies on expert opinion, although a few rigorous schemes are in use for predicting vulnerability of birds to the adverse effects of petroleum crude oil. A Utility Index that ranks terrestrial vertebrate species as potential sentinels of contaminants in a region, and a Vulnerability Index that assesses the threat of specific groups of contaminants to these species, have been developed to assist decision makers in risk assessments of persistent organic pollutants, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, petroleum crude oil, mercury, and lead shot. Twenty-five terrestrial vertebrate species commonly found in Atlantic Coast estuarine habitat were ranked for their utility as biomonitors of contamination and their vulnerability to pollutants in this region. No single species, taxa or class of vertebrates was found to be an ideal sentinel for all groups of contaminants. Although birds have overwhelmingly been used to monitor contaminants compared to other terrestrial vertebrate classes, the non-migratory nature and dietary habits of the snapping turtle and mink consistently resulted in ranking these species excellent sentinels as well. Vulnerability of Atlantic Coast populations of these species varied considerably among groups of contaminants. Usually a particular species was found to be at high risk to only one or two groups of contaminants, although a noteworthy exception is the bald eagle that is highly vulnerable to all five of the

  13. A new lineage of trypanosomes from Australian vertebrates and terrestrial bloodsucking leeches (Haemadipsidae).

    PubMed

    Hamilton, P B; Stevens, J R; Gidley, J; Holz, P; Gibson, W C

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the trypanosomes of indigenous Australian vertebrates and their vectors. We surveyed a range of vertebrates and blood-feeding invertebrates for trypanosomes by parasitological and PCR-based methods using primers specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of genus Trypanosoma. Trypanosome isolates were obtained in culture from two common wombats, one swamp wallaby and an Australian bird (Strepera sp.). By PCR, blood samples from three wombats, one brush-tailed wallaby, three platypuses and a frog were positive for trypanosome DNA. All the blood-sucking invertebrates screened were negative for trypanosomes both by microscopy and PCR, except for specimens of terrestrial leeches (Haemadipsidae). Of the latter, two Micobdella sp. specimens from Victoria and 18 Philaemon sp. specimens from Queensland were positive by PCR. Four Haemadipsa zeylanica specimens from Sri Lanka and three Leiobdella jawarerensis specimens from Papua New Guinea were also PCR positive for trypanosome DNA. We sequenced the SSU rRNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes in order to determine the phylogenetic positions of the new vertebrate and terrestrial leech trypanosomes. In trees based on these genes, Australian vertebrate trypanosomes fell in several distinct clades, for the most part being more closely related to trypanosomes outside Australia than to each other. Two previously undescribed wallaby trypanosomes fell in a clade with Trypanosoma theileri, the cosmopolitan bovid trypanosome, and Trypanosoma cyclops from a Malaysian primate. The terrestrial leech trypanosomes were closely related to the wallaby trypanosomes, T. cyclops and a trypanosome from an Australian frog. We suggest that haemadipsid leeches may be significant and widespread vectors of trypanosomes in Australia and Asia. PMID:15777919

  14. A new lineage of trypanosomes from Australian vertebrates and terrestrial bloodsucking leeches (Haemadipsidae).

    PubMed

    Hamilton, P B; Stevens, J R; Gidley, J; Holz, P; Gibson, W C

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the trypanosomes of indigenous Australian vertebrates and their vectors. We surveyed a range of vertebrates and blood-feeding invertebrates for trypanosomes by parasitological and PCR-based methods using primers specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of genus Trypanosoma. Trypanosome isolates were obtained in culture from two common wombats, one swamp wallaby and an Australian bird (Strepera sp.). By PCR, blood samples from three wombats, one brush-tailed wallaby, three platypuses and a frog were positive for trypanosome DNA. All the blood-sucking invertebrates screened were negative for trypanosomes both by microscopy and PCR, except for specimens of terrestrial leeches (Haemadipsidae). Of the latter, two Micobdella sp. specimens from Victoria and 18 Philaemon sp. specimens from Queensland were positive by PCR. Four Haemadipsa zeylanica specimens from Sri Lanka and three Leiobdella jawarerensis specimens from Papua New Guinea were also PCR positive for trypanosome DNA. We sequenced the SSU rRNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes in order to determine the phylogenetic positions of the new vertebrate and terrestrial leech trypanosomes. In trees based on these genes, Australian vertebrate trypanosomes fell in several distinct clades, for the most part being more closely related to trypanosomes outside Australia than to each other. Two previously undescribed wallaby trypanosomes fell in a clade with Trypanosoma theileri, the cosmopolitan bovid trypanosome, and Trypanosoma cyclops from a Malaysian primate. The terrestrial leech trypanosomes were closely related to the wallaby trypanosomes, T. cyclops and a trypanosome from an Australian frog. We suggest that haemadipsid leeches may be significant and widespread vectors of trypanosomes in Australia and Asia.

  15. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  16. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-05-26

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study.

  17. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  18. Environmental Contaminants and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Effects on Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    The desire of resource managers, risk assessors, and the general public to better understand the consequences of environmental contamination has produced a strong and growing need for information on the effects of contaminants on populations and groups of species, and over moderate to large areas of land or water. However, the problems associated with research involving populations and groups of species or large and complex geographic areas, especially in terrestrial environments, are well known within the scientific community. With the previous thoughts in mind, an interactive symposium was held at the University of Maryland in October 1998. The purpose of the symposium was to review and critically evaluate our understanding of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at levels of organization above that of the individual. Invited background and technical presentations provided a common baseline of information for symposium participants. Discussion groups were then asked to critically evaluate the topics of two technical sessions. Several presentations of recent or ongoing research provided participants with examples of current approaches to assessments of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at the population or higher level of organization. The book consists of 10 chapters written by presenters at the symposium and three chapters conveying the reports of discussion group.

  19. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W. H.; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals—the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic—have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism—based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups—that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) boundary, and how post-K–T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories. PMID:22513279

  20. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W H; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-08-23

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals--the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic--have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism--based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups--that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, and how post-K-T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories.

  1. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

  2. A new database on contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates for natural resource managers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Garrett, L.J.; Erwin, R.M.; Walz, A.; Ottinger, M.A.; Barrett, H.R.

    1997-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. Despite the desire of many to continuously monitor the environmental health of our estuaries, much can be learned by summarizing existing temporal, geographic, and phylogenetic contaminant information. To this end, retrospective contaminant exposure and effects data for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing within 30 km of Atlantic coast estuaries are being assembled through searches of published literature (e.g., Fisheries Review, Wildlife Review, BIOSIS Previews) and databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System; USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and compilation of summary data from unpublished reports of government natural resource agencies, private conservation groups, and universities. These contaminant exposure and effect data for terrestrial vertebrates (CEE-TV) are being summarized using Borland dBASE in a 96- field format, including species, collection time and site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentration, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and source of information (N>1500 records). This CEE-TV database has been imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS), for purposes of examining geographic coverage and trends, and to identify critical data gaps. A preliminary risk assessment will be conducted to identify and characterize contaminants and other stressors potentially affecting terrestrial vertebrates that reside, migrate through or reproduce in these estuaries. Evaluations are underway, using specific measurement and assessment endpoints, to rank and prioritize estuarine ecosystems in which terrestrial vertebrates are potentially at risk for purposes of prediction and focusing future biomonitoring efforts.

  3. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon; Enquist, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator–prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator–prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey–predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator–prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator–prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  4. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E.; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project “Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo”. Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area. PMID:27500934

  5. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana; Moreno, Claudia E

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area.

  6. Contaminant exposure and effects--terrestrial vertebrates database: Trends and data gaps for Atlantic Coast estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Golden, N.H.; Cohen, J.B.; Erwin, R.M.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    In order to examine the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries, a ?Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates? database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized search of published literature, review of existing databases, and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, estuary name, hydrologic unit catalogue code, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 98-field character and numeric format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3699 georeferenced records representing 190 vertebrate species and >145,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into a Geographic Information System to examine spatial patterns, identify data gaps and areas of concern, generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological field assessments. Information on birds made up the vast majority (83%) of the database, with only a modicum of data on amphibians (75,000 chemical compounds in commerce, only 118 commonly measured environmental contaminants were quantified in tissues of terrestrial vertebrates. There were no CEE-TV data records in 15 of the 67 estuaries located along the Atlantic coast and Florida Gulf coast. The CEE-TV database has a number of potential applications including focusing biomonitoring efforts to generate critically needed ecotoxicological data in the numerous ?gaps? along the coast, reducing uncertainty about contaminant risk, identifying areas for mitigation, restoration or special management, and ranking ecological conditions of estuaries.

  7. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana; Moreno, Claudia E

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area. PMID:27500934

  8. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.; Harmon, David

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  9. Global patterns of the beta diversity-energy relationship in terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Hong; Xiao, Ming

    2012-02-01

    Patterns in beta diversity or species turnover, describing the change in species composition between places, have their wide implication for ecological and evolutionary issues. It is thought that beta diversity increases with increasing energy availability, but very few studies have directly tested this hypothesis. We examined the beta diversity-energy relationship for four classes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) in ecoregions across the world. The relationship was examined for each class in each of six biogeographic realms. We show that beta diversity is generally higher in areas with higher energy availability, measured as annual potential evapotranspiration. A higher level of beta diversity in areas with higher energy availability may have contributed to the well-known latitudinal diversity gradient (i.e., species richness increases towards the equator).

  10. [The origin and evolution of parasitism on terrestrial vertebrates in insects, mites, and ticks].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S

    2006-01-01

    Coexistence of terrestrial vertebrates and arthropods has been continuing over 200 million years; various forms of parasitism originated independently in various groups of arthropods during this period. The association of Acari and insects with nests and shelters of their hosts (nidicoly) played the main role in the origin of parasitism in these major groups of arthropods. The primary step in the evolution of parasitism was the permanent habitation in nests and borrows of mammals and birds in Mesozoic era. The second step was a substitution of various forms of schizophagy by the regular feeding on products of vital activity and dead parts of host body. The next step was the feeding on various body parts of vertebrate hosts, namely skin, hair, feathers, external excreta, and drops of blood. The final step was the development of the ability to damage skin and suck out the blood of vertebrates. In some taxa of astigmatid mites the parasitism on birds originated from phoresy: hypopi (heteromorphous deutonymphs) obtained the ability to absorb the liquid nutrients from hair follicles and subcutaneous tissues through the cuticle. The development of haematophagous feeding on mammals in several families of Diptera was the second way of the origin of parasitism. Highly mobile dipterans with the piercing-sucking or licking mouthparts were able to change easily from the accidental puncturing of the host skin or licking of the blood, pus, and mucus to the obligatory haematophagy. The evolution of some arthropod taxa did not went beyond a primary domination of spatial relations, as in many astigmatid mites, or trophic relations in the form of micropredatory, as in the haematophagous Diptera.

  11. Terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys for the preparation of environmental impact assessments; how can we do it better? A Western Australian example

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Graham G. . E-mail: g.thompson@ecu.edu.au

    2007-01-15

    The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in 2002 released Position Statement, No. 3, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection outlining how terrestrial fauna survey data are to be used and interpreted in the preparation of environmental impact assessments (EIA). In 2004, the EPA released its Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors, Terrestrial Fauna Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia, No. 56. This paper briefly assesses the adequacy of recent terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support publicly released EIAs and indicates that the EPA is not always adhering to its own position and guidance statements. This paper argues that the current fauna survey guidelines are in need of improvement. The approach and requirements of some other Australian states are briefly assessed to identify similarities and where improvements can be made to the Western Australian (WA) guidelines. This paper concludes with suggestions on how the process and the guidelines in WA can be revised to more adequately assess the impact of developments on terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity and ecosystem function. These suggestions may have relevance for other areas where fauna surveys are undertaken to support EIAs.

  12. Spatial mismatch of phylogenetic diversity across three vertebrate groups and protected areas in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Zupan, Laure; Cabeza, Mar; Maiorano, Luigi; Roquet, Cristina; Devictor, Vincent; Lavergne, Sébastien; Mouillot, David; Mouquet, Nicolas; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Aim We investigate patterns of phylogenetic diversity in relation to species diversity for European birds, mammals and amphibians, to evaluate their congruence and highlight areas of particular evolutionary history. We estimate the extent to which the European network of protected areas (PAs) network retains interesting evolutionary history areas for the three groups separately and simultaneously. Location Europe Methods Phylogenetic (QEPD) and species diversity (SD) were estimated using the Rao’s quadratic entropy at 10′ resolution. We determined the regional relationship between QEPD and SD for each taxa with a spatial regression model and used the tails of the residuals (QERES) distribution to identify areas of higher and lower QEPD than predicted. Spatial congruence of biodiversity between groups was assessed with Pearson’s correlation. A simple classification scheme allowed building a convergence map where a convergent pixel equalled to a QERES value of the same sign for the 3 groups. This convergence map was overlaid to the current PAs network to estimate the level of protection in convergent pixels and compared it to a null expectation built on 1000 randomization of PAs over the landscape. Results QERES patterns across vertebrates show a strong spatial mismatch highlighting different evolutionary histories. Convergent areas represent only 2.7% of the Western Palearctic, with only 8.4% of these areas being covered by the current PAs network while a random distribution would retain 10.4% of them. QERES are unequally represented within PAs: areas with higher QEPD than predicted are better covered than expected, while low QEPD areas are undersampled. Main conclusions Patterns of diversity strongly diverge between groups of vertebrates in Europe. Although Europe has the world’s most extensive PAs network, evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates is unequally protected. The challenge is now to reconcile effective conservation planning with a

  13. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins. PMID:25853054

  14. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins.

  15. Diversity of limb-bone safety factors for locomotion in terrestrial vertebrates: evolution and mixed chains.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Espinoza, Nora R; Butcher, Michael T; Lee, Andrew H; D'Amico, Angela R; Baig, Faraz; Sheffield, K Megan

    2014-12-01

    During locomotion over land, vertebrates' limb bones are exposed to loads. Like most biological structures, limb bones have a capacity to withstand greater loads than they usually experience, termed a safety factor (SF). How diverse are limb-bone SFs, and what factors correlate with such variation? We have examined these questions from two perspectives. First, we evaluated locomotor SF for the femur in diverse lineages, including salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, and marsupials (opossums). Comparisons with values for hind-limb elements in running birds and eutherian mammals indicate phylogenetic diversity in limb-bone SF. A high SF (∼7) is primitive for tetrapods, but low magnitudes of load and elevated strength of bones contribute to different degrees across lineages; moreover, birds and eutherians appear to have evolved lower SFs independently. Second, we tested the hypothesis that SFs would be similar across limb bones within a taxon by comparing data from the humerus and femur of alligators. Both in bending and in torsion, we found a higher SF for the humerus than for the femur. Such a "mixed chain" of different SFs across elements has been predicted if bones have differing variabilities in load, different costs to maintain, or high SF values in general. Although variability in load is similar for the humerus and femur, a high SF may be less costly for the humerus because it is smaller than the femur. The high SFs of alligators also might facilitate differences in SF among their limb bones. Beyond these specific findings, however, a more general implication of our results is that evaluations of the diversity of limb-bone SFs can provide important perspective to direct future research. In particular, more complete understanding of variation in SF could provide insight into factors that promoted the evolutionary radiation of terrestrial locomotor function in vertebrates.

  16. Inter-specific interactions linking predation and scavenging in terrestrial vertebrate assemblages.

    PubMed

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Selva, Nuria; Donázar, José A; Owen-Smith, Norman

    2014-11-01

    Predation and scavenging have been classically understood as independent processes, with predator-prey interactions and scavenger-carrion relationships occurring separately. However, the mere recognition that most predators also scavenge at variable rates, which has been traditionally ignored in food-web and community ecology, leads to a number of emergent interaction routes linking predation and scavenging. The general goal of this review is to draw attention to the main inter-specific interactions connecting predators (particularly, large mammalian carnivores), their live prey (mainly ungulates), vultures and carrion production in terrestrial assemblages of vertebrates. Overall, we report an intricate network of both direct (competition, facilitation) and indirect (hyperpredation, hypopredation) processes, and provide a conceptual framework for the future development of this promising topic in ecological, evolutionary and biodiversity conservation research. The classic view that scavenging does not affect the population dynamics of consumed organisms is questioned, as multiple indirect top-down effects emerge when considering carrion and its facultative consumption by predators as fundamental and dynamic components of food webs. Stimulating although challenging research opportunities arise from the study of the interactions among living and detrital or non-living resource pools in food webs. PMID:24602047

  17. Geographic range did not confer resilience to extinction in terrestrial vertebrates at the end-Triassic crisis.

    PubMed

    Dunhill, Alexander M; Wills, Matthew A

    2015-01-01

    Rates of extinction vary greatly through geological time, with losses particularly concentrated in mass extinctions. Species duration at other times varies greatly, but the reasons for this are unclear. Geographical range correlates with lineage duration amongst marine invertebrates, but it is less clear how far this generality extends to other groups in other habitats. It is also unclear whether a wide geographical distribution makes groups more likely to survive mass extinctions. Here we test for extinction selectivity amongst terrestrial vertebrates across the end-Triassic event. We demonstrate that terrestrial vertebrate clades with larger geographical ranges were more resilient to extinction than those with smaller ranges throughout the Triassic and Jurassic. However, this relationship weakened with increasing proximity to the end-Triassic mass extinction, breaking down altogether across the event itself. We demonstrate that these findings are not a function of sampling biases; a perennial issue in studies of this kind. PMID:26261053

  18. Planetary Protection: Two Relevant Terrestrial Examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C.

    2002-09-01

    Concerns about potential pathogens in returned samples from Mars ("Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations", National Research Council, 1997) or planetary satellites ("Evaluating the Biological Potential in Samples Returned from Planetary Satellites and Small Solar System Bodies", National Research Council, 1998) focus on two potential types of pathogenesis, toxic and infectious. The National Research Council reports cited above state that the chances of extraterrestrial organisms proving either toxic or infectious to humans are extremely low, but cannot be entirely ruled out. Here I discuss recently discovered terrestrial examples relevant to each possibility, in order to make these concerns concrete. The first example concerns the production of hepatotoxins (toxins affecting the liver) and neurotoxins by cyanobacteria in glacial lakes on alpine pastures in Switzerland. In this example, mat-forming benthic cyanobacteria are implicated in a hundred cattle poisonings that have been reported from alpine pasteurs in southeastern Switzerland over the past twenty-five years (e.g. K. Mez et al, Hydrobiologia 368, 1-15 (1998)). It is unlikely that these cyanobacteria evolved the toxins in response to dairy cows; rather the susceptibility of cattle to these toxins seems simply to be an unfortunate coincidence of a toxin working across a large evolutionary distance. The second example concerns the recent demonstration that the decimation of shallow-water Caribbean elkhorn coral is due to infection by a common fecal enterobacterium associated with the human gut (K. L. Patterson et al., PNAS 99, 8725-8730 (2002)). The bacterium, Serratia marcenscens, is also a free-living microbe in water and soil, as well as an opportunistic pathogen in a variety of animal species. The distance between humans and corals emphasizes the possibility that certain organisms may prove pathogenic across a wide evolutionary divide. Of course, in neither of these cases are the evolutionary

  19. Terrestrial EVA Suit = Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foley, Tico; Brown, Robert G.; Burrell, Eddie; DelRosso, Dominic; Krishen, Kumar; Moffitt, Harold; Orndoff, Evelyne; Santos, Beatrice; Butzer, Melissa; Dasgupta, Rajib

    1999-01-01

    Firefighters want to go to work, do their job well, and go home alive and uninjured. For their most important job, saving lives, firefighters want protective equipment that will allow more extended and effective time at fire scenes in order to perform victim search and rescue. A team, including engineers at NASA JSC and firefighters from Houston, has developed a list of problem areas for which NASA technology and know-how can recommend improvements for firefighter suits and gear. Prototypes for solutions have been developed and are being evaluated. This effort will spin back to NASA as improvements for lunar and planetary suits.

  20. Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Treilibs, Claire E; Pavey, Chris R; Hutchinson, Mark N; Bull, C Michael

    2016-02-01

    Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as a less-invasive alternative, but limitations in both manual and computer-automated recognition of individuals are particularly problematic for smaller taxa (<500 g). In this study, we explored the use of photographic identification for individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial reptile using (a) independent observers, and (b) automated matching with the Interactive Individual Identification System (I(3)S Pattern) computer algorithm. We tested the technique on individuals of an Australian skink in the Egernia group, Slater's skink Liopholis slateri, whose natural history and varied scale markings make it a potentially suitable candidate for photo-identification. From 'photographic captures' of skink head profiles, we designed a multi-choice key based on alternate character states and tested the abilities of observers - with or without experience in wildlife survey - to identify individuals using categorized test photos. We also used the I(3)S Pattern algorithm to match the same set of test photos against a database of 30 individuals. Experienced observers identified a significantly higher proportion of photos correctly (74%) than those with no experience (63%) while the I(3)S software correctly matched 67% as the first ranked match and 83% of images in the top five ranks. This study is one of the first to investigate photo identification with a free-ranging small vertebrate. The method demonstrated here has the potential to be applied to the developing field of camera-traps for wildlife survey and thus a wide range of survey and monitoring applications. PMID:26865967

  1. Vulnerability of terrestrial island vertebrates to projected sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Florian T; Beissmann, Helmut; Penn, Dustin J; Jetz, Walter

    2013-07-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for biodiversity; however, a baseline, broad-scale assessment of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity is lacking. Here, we quantify area loss for over 12 900 islands and over 3000 terrestrial vertebrates in the Pacific and Southeast Asia under three different SLR scenarios (1 m, 3 m and 6 m). We used very fine-grained elevation information, which offered >100 times greater spatial detail than previous analyses and allowed us to evaluate thousands of hitherto not assessed small islands. Depending on the SLR scenario, we estimate that 15-62% of islands in our study region will be completely inundated and 19-24% will lose 50-99% of their area. Overall, we project that between 1% and 9% of the total island area in our study region may be lost. We find that Pacific species are 2-3 times more vulnerable than those in the Indomalayan or Australasian region and risk losing 4-22% of range area (1-6 m SLR). Species already listed as threatened by IUCN are particularly vulnerable compared with non-threatened species. Under a simple area loss-species loss proportionality assumption, we estimate that 37 island group endemic species in this region risk complete inundation of their current global distribution in the 1 m SLR scenario that is widely anticipated for this century (and 118 species under 3 m SLR). Our analysis provides a first, broad-scale estimate of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity and our findings confirm that islands are extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise even within this century.

  2. Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Treilibs, Claire E; Pavey, Chris R; Hutchinson, Mark N; Bull, C Michael

    2016-02-01

    Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as a less-invasive alternative, but limitations in both manual and computer-automated recognition of individuals are particularly problematic for smaller taxa (<500 g). In this study, we explored the use of photographic identification for individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial reptile using (a) independent observers, and (b) automated matching with the Interactive Individual Identification System (I(3)S Pattern) computer algorithm. We tested the technique on individuals of an Australian skink in the Egernia group, Slater's skink Liopholis slateri, whose natural history and varied scale markings make it a potentially suitable candidate for photo-identification. From 'photographic captures' of skink head profiles, we designed a multi-choice key based on alternate character states and tested the abilities of observers - with or without experience in wildlife survey - to identify individuals using categorized test photos. We also used the I(3)S Pattern algorithm to match the same set of test photos against a database of 30 individuals. Experienced observers identified a significantly higher proportion of photos correctly (74%) than those with no experience (63%) while the I(3)S software correctly matched 67% as the first ranked match and 83% of images in the top five ranks. This study is one of the first to investigate photo identification with a free-ranging small vertebrate. The method demonstrated here has the potential to be applied to the developing field of camera-traps for wildlife survey and thus a wide range of survey and monitoring applications.

  3. Identification of contaminant trends and data gaps for terrestrial vertebrates residing in northeastern estuaries of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Golden, N.H.; Erwin, R.M.; Ottinger, M.A.

    1998-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. One BEST program activity involves evaluation of retrospective data to assess and predict the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries. A 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized literature searches of Fish and Wildlife Reviews, BIOSIS, AGRICOLA, and TOXLINE, review of existing databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System, USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the CEE-TV database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 96-field dBase format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3500 georeferenced records representing >200 vertebrate species and > 100,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS) to examine spatial tendencies, and used to identify 'hot-spots', generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological assessments. An overview of temporal, phylogenetic, and geographic contaminant exposure and effects information, trends, and data gaps will be presented for terrestrial vertebrates residing in estuaries in the northeast United States.

  4. Retrospective ecotoxicological data and current information needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in coastal habitat of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Eisenreich, K.M.; Golden, N.H.; McKernan, M.A.; Hothem, R.L.; Custer, T.W.

    2005-01-01

    The Contaminant Exposure and Effects?Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database was developed to conduct simple searches for ecotoxicological information, examine exposure trends, and identify significant data gaps. The CEE-TV database contains 16,696 data records on free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in estuarine and coastal habitats of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. Information in the database was derived from over 1800 source documents, representing 483 unique species (about 252,000 individuals), with sample collection dates spanning from 1884 to 2003. The majority of the records contain exposure data (generally contaminant concentrations) on a limited number (n=209) of chlorinated and brominated compounds, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, economic poisons, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons, whereas only 9.3% of the records contain biomarker or bioindicator effects data. Temporal examination of exposure data provides evidence of declining concentrations of certain organochlorine pesticides in some avian species (e.g., ospreys, Pandion haliaetus), and an apparent increase in the detection and possibly the incidence of avian die-offs related to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. To identify spatial data gaps, 11,360 database records with specific sampling locations were combined with the boundaries of coastal watersheds, and National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units. Terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data were lacking in 41.9% of 464 coastal watersheds in the continental United States. Recent (1990?2003) terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure or effects data were available for only about half of the National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units in the geographic area encompassed by the database. When these data gaps were overlaid on watersheds exhibiting serious water quality problems and/or high vulnerability to pollution, 72 coastal watersheds, and 76 National

  5. Approaches for assessment of terrestrial vertebrate responses to contaminants: moving beyond individual organisms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Hall, R.J.; Albers, Peter H.; Heinz, Gary H.; Ohlendorf, Harry M.

    2000-01-01

    Conclusions: A need for a broader range ofinformation on effects of contaminants on individuals exists among the 4 classes of terrestrial vertebrates, especially mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Separation of contaminant effects from other effects and reduction of speculative extrapolation within and among species requires information that can be produced only by combined field and laboratory investigations that incorporate seasonal or annual cycles and important spatial and interaction conditions. Assessments of contaminant effects at the population level and higher are frequently dependent on extrapolations from a lower organizational level. Actual measurements of the effects of contaminants on populations or communities, possibly in conjunction with case studies that establish relations between effects on individuals and effects on populations, are needed to reduce the uncertainty associated with these extrapolations. Associated with these assessment levels is the need for acceptable definitions of what we mean when we refer to a 'meaningful population change' or an 'effect on communities or ecosystems.' At these higher levels of organization we are also confronted with the need for procedures useful for separating contaminant effects from effects caused by other environmental conditions. Although the bulk of literature surveyed was of the focused cause-and-effect type that is necessary for proving relations between contaminants and wildlife, community or ecosystem field assessments, as sometimes performed with reptiles and amphibians, might be a useful alternative for estimating the potential of a contaminant to cause environmental harm. Assumptions about the special usefulness of reptiles and amphibians as environmental indicators ought to be tested with comparisons to mammals and birds. Information on the effects of contaminants above the individual level is needed to generate accurate estimates of the potential consequences of anthropogenic pollution (e

  6. Modeling the influence of environmental heterogeneity on heavy metal exposure concentrations for terrestrial vertebrates in river floodplains.

    PubMed

    Schipper, Aafke M; Loos, Mark; Ragas, Ad M J; Lopes, João P C; Nolte, Boris T; Wijnhoven, Sander; Leuven, Rob S E W

    2008-04-01

    To analyze the influence of environmental heterogeneity on heavy metal exposure concentrations for terrestrial vertebrates in river floodplains, a spatially explicit exposure model has been constructed (SpaCE-model: Spatially explicit cumulative exposure model). This model simulates the environmental use of individual organisms by selecting model cells to be foraged in within a multicelled, heterogeneous landscape. Exposure durations and exposure concentrations are calculated for the selected cells, whereby exposure concentrations are dependent on the availability and contaminant concentrations of different diet items in each cell. The model was applied to a selection of 10 terrestrial vertebrate species, including six small mammalian and four top predator species. It was parameterized for cadmium contamination in a 285-ha, embanked floodplain area along the Rhine River in The Netherlands. Simulations of 1,000 individuals for each species resulted in intraspecies variation in exposure concentrations of between 11 and 39%, with the smallest values generally corresponding to the species with the largest home ranges. Comparison of the model results with cadmium concentrations measured in four of the species from the study area showed that the predicted variation accounted for 12 to 16% of the variation in the measurements. This indicates that environmental heterogeneity governs a minor part of the variation in metal exposure concentrations that can actually be observed in river floodplains.

  7. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control

  8. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control, and use of non-toxic fishing tackle by visitors. 

  9. Jumping sans legs: does elastic energy storage by the vertebral column power terrestrial jumps in bony fishes?

    PubMed

    Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Perlman, Benjamin M; Gibb, Alice C; Long, John H

    2014-02-01

    Despite having no obvious anatomical modifications to facilitate movement over land, numerous small fishes from divergent teleost lineages make brief, voluntary terrestrial forays to escape poor aquatic conditions or to pursue terrestrial prey. Once stranded, these fishes produce a coordinated and effective "tail-flip" jumping behavior, wherein lateral flexion of the axial body into a C-shape, followed by contralateral flexion of the body axis, propels the fish into a ballistic flight-path that covers a distance of multiple body lengths. We ask: how do anatomical structures that evolved in one habitat generate effective movement in a novel habitat? Within this context, we hypothesized that the mechanical properties of the axial skeleton play a critical role in producing effective overland movement, and that tail-flip jumping species demonstrate enhanced elastic energy storage through increased body flexural stiffness or increased body curvature, relative to non-jumping species. To test this hypothesis, we derived a model to predict elastic recoil work from the morphology of the vertebral (neural and hemal) spines. From ground reaction force (GRF) measurements and high-speed video, we calculated elastic recoil work, flexural stiffness, and apparent material stiffness of the body for Micropterus salmoides (a non-jumper) and Kryptolebias marmoratus (adept tail-flip jumper). The model predicted no difference between the two species in work stored by the vertebral spines, and GRF data showed that they produce the same magnitude of mass-specific elastic recoil work. Surprisingly, non-jumper M. salmoides has a stiffer body than tail-flip jumper K. marmoratus. Many tail-flip jumping species possess enlarged, fused hypural bones that support the caudal peduncle, which suggests that the localized structures, rather than the entire axial skeleton, may explain differences in terrestrial performance. PMID:24388492

  10. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  11. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  12. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

  13. An assessment of non-volant terrestrial vertebrates response to wind farms--a study of small mammals.

    PubMed

    Łopucki, Rafał; Mróz, Iwona

    2016-02-01

    The majority of studies on the effects of wind energy development on wildlife have been focused on birds and bats, whereas knowledge of the response of terrestrial, non-flying vertebrates is very scarce. In this paper, the impact of three functioning wind farms on terrestrial small mammal communities (rodents and shrews) and the population parameters of the most abundant species were studied. The study was carried out in southeastern Poland within the foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians. Small mammals were captured at 12 sites around wind turbines and at 12 control sites. In total, from 1200 trap-days, 885 individuals of 14 studied mammal species were captured. There was no difference in the characteristics of communities of small mammals near wind turbines and within control sites; i.e. these types of sites were inhabited by a similar number of species of similar abundance, similar species composition, species diversity (H' index) and species evenness (J') (Pielou's index). For the two species with the highest proportion in the communities (Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis), the parameters of their populations (mean body mass, sex ratio, the proportion of adult individuals and the proportion of reproductive female) were analysed. In both species, none of the analysed parameters differed significantly between sites in the vicinity of turbines and control sites. For future studies on the impact of wind turbines on small terrestrial mammals in different geographical areas and different species communities, we recommend the method of paired 'turbine-control sites' as appropriate for animal species with pronounced fluctuations in population numbers.

  14. An assessment of non-volant terrestrial vertebrates response to wind farms--a study of small mammals.

    PubMed

    Łopucki, Rafał; Mróz, Iwona

    2016-02-01

    The majority of studies on the effects of wind energy development on wildlife have been focused on birds and bats, whereas knowledge of the response of terrestrial, non-flying vertebrates is very scarce. In this paper, the impact of three functioning wind farms on terrestrial small mammal communities (rodents and shrews) and the population parameters of the most abundant species were studied. The study was carried out in southeastern Poland within the foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians. Small mammals were captured at 12 sites around wind turbines and at 12 control sites. In total, from 1200 trap-days, 885 individuals of 14 studied mammal species were captured. There was no difference in the characteristics of communities of small mammals near wind turbines and within control sites; i.e. these types of sites were inhabited by a similar number of species of similar abundance, similar species composition, species diversity (H' index) and species evenness (J') (Pielou's index). For the two species with the highest proportion in the communities (Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis), the parameters of their populations (mean body mass, sex ratio, the proportion of adult individuals and the proportion of reproductive female) were analysed. In both species, none of the analysed parameters differed significantly between sites in the vicinity of turbines and control sites. For future studies on the impact of wind turbines on small terrestrial mammals in different geographical areas and different species communities, we recommend the method of paired 'turbine-control sites' as appropriate for animal species with pronounced fluctuations in population numbers. PMID:26818016

  15. Tidal marshes: A global perspective on the evolution and conservation of their terrestrial vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, Russell; Maldonado, Jesus; Droege, Sam; McDonald, M.V.

    2006-01-01

    Globally, tidal marshes are found in small pockets or narrow bands totaling only approximately 45,000 square kilometers. The combination of salinity, low floristic and structural complexity, and regular tidal inundation, as well as unpredictable catastrophic flooding, provides a unique selective environment that shapes local adaptations, including those that are morphological, physiological, demographic, and behavioral. Although tidal marshes support a low diversity of nonaquatic vertebrate species, a high proportion of these inhabitants, at least along North American coastlines, are restricted to or have subspecies restricted to tidal marshes. Tidal marshes and their endemic fauna face broad threats from a variety of human-caused environmental changes. Future research should focus on global inventories, intercontinental comparative work, and investigation to determine why almost all presently described endemic taxa appear to be found in North America.

  16. Crucial advantages of tail use in the evolution of vertebrate terrestrial locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astley, Henry; McInroe, Benjamin; Kawano, Sandy; Blob, Rick; Goldman, Daniel

    In the invasion of terrestrial environment, the first tetrapods faced the challenge of locomotion on flowable substrates (e.g. sand and mud), sometimes oriented at inclines. Although the morphology of many early tetrapods is known, robotic studies have revealed that effective locomotion on these substrates also depends strongly upon kinematics; slight differences in movements of the same appendage can lead to success or failure. Using a model organism (the mudskipper) and a robotic physical model, we demonstrate how muscular tails provided critical locomotor advantages on granular substrates that the first invaders of land likely encountered. Mudskippers use their tails for additional propulsion with increasing frequency as the slope of the granular material increases, and the decline in locomotor performance with slope is shallower when the tail is used. Experiments with a robotic model of the mudskipper showed that, while the tail did not always provide a benefit to locomotion, use of the tail made the robot's performance more robust, achieving effective locomotion on a wider range of slopes, limb postures and foot placements. These results suggest that, rather than simply being an inert appendage, the tails of early tetrapods were vital to their first forays into terrestrial habitats.

  17. Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection

    PubMed Central

    Lees, John; Gardiner, James; Usherwood, James; Nudds, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species. PMID:27381514

  18. Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection.

    PubMed

    Lees, John; Gardiner, James; Usherwood, James; Nudds, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species. PMID:27381514

  19. Rift Valley fever virus: a seroepidemiologic study of small terrestrial vertebrates in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Pretorius, A; Oelofsen, M J; Smith, M S; van der Ryst, E

    1997-12-01

    Epizootics of Rift Valley fever (RVF) are often associated with periods of heavy rainfall, which are favorable for mosquito vectors. However, in seasons with normal or low rainfall, enzootic circulation occurs, suggesting the existence of a natural host that can act as a cryptic carrier during interepizootic periods. To confirm the role of heavy rainfall in epizootic circulation, and to identify a possible natural host of RVF virus, serum samples from small terrestrial mammals in the Free State and Northern Cape regions of South Africa were collected before and after the 1988 floods. These areas are known to support epizootic circulation of RVF virus. The samples were tested for the presence of RVF virus-specific IgG using an ELISA and positive sera were confirmed by a neutralization test. Forty-seven (15%) of 312 Aethomys namaquensis (Namaqua rock rat) had antibodies to RVF virus. Of these positive sera, nine (6%) of 141 were collected before the floods of 1988 and 38 (22%) of 171 were collected afterwards (P = 0.001). Naive A. namaquensis were inoculated with RVF virus and developed a viremia, but no clinical symptoms, suggesting that they can act as temporary asymptomatic carriers of the virus. These results suggest a role for A. namaquensis as a cryptic carrier for RVF virus during interepizootic periods and support the results of other studies suggesting an amplifying role for heavy rainfall in the circulation of RVF virus. PMID:9430529

  20. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Xenopus tropicalis Frog Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Reveal Its Functional Evolution for Heat, Acid, and Capsaicin Sensitivities in Terrestrial Vertebrates*

    PubMed Central

    Ohkita, Masashi; Saito, Shigeru; Imagawa, Toshiaki; Takahashi, Kenji; Tominaga, Makoto; Ohta, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The functional difference of thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the evolutionary context has attracted attention, but thus far little information is available on the TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) function of amphibians, which diverged earliest from terrestrial vertebrate lineages. In this study we cloned Xenopus tropicalis frog TRPV1 (xtTRPV1), and functional characterization was performed using HeLa cells heterologously expressing xtTRPV1 (xtTRPV1-HeLa) and dorsal root ganglion neurons isolated from X. tropicalis (xtDRG neurons) by measuring changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). The channel activity was also observed in xtTRPV1-expressing Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, we tested capsaicin- and heat-induced nocifensive behaviors of the frog X. tropicalis in vivo. At the amino acid level, xtTRPV1 displays ∼60% sequence identity to other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV1 orthologues. Capsaicin induced [Ca2+]i increases in xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons and evoked nocifensive behavior in X. tropicalis. However, its sensitivity was extremely low compared with mammalian orthologues. Low extracellular pH and heat activated xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons. Heat also evoked nocifensive behavior. In oocytes expressing xtTRPV1, inward currents were elicited by heat and low extracellular pH. Mutagenesis analysis revealed that two amino acids (tyrosine 523 and alanine 561) were responsible for the low sensitivity to capsaicin. Taken together, our results indicate that xtTRPV1 functions as a polymodal receptor similar to its mammalian orthologues. The present study demonstrates that TRPV1 functions as a heat- and acid-sensitive channel in the ancestor of terrestrial vertebrates. Because it is possible to examine vanilloid and heat sensitivities in vitro and in vivo, X. tropicalis could be the ideal experimental lower vertebrate animal for the study of TRPV1 function. PMID:22130664

  1. Comparison of marine and terrestrial protected areas under federal jurisdiction in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindholm, J.; Barr, B.

    2001-01-01

    There is a significant disparity in the protection of terrestrial and marine environments in the United States. Despite the considerable literature dedicated to the subject of protected areas, both terrestrial and marine, in the United States, we are not aware of work explicitly describing this dichotomy. We compared marine and terrestrial areas under federal jurisdiction to provide a quantitative assessment of the differences between the conservation of land and sea in the United States. Specifically, we compared national marine sanctuaries (including sanctuary preservation areas and ecological reserves) with national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges (including national wilderness preservation areas). Our results suggest that marine sanctuaries are fewer in number, smaller in total area, and smaller in percentage of area covered than are terrestrial protected areas.

  2. Phylogeography of a widespread terrestrial vertebrate in a barely-studied Palearctic region: green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) indicate glacial refugia in Eastern Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Jun; Stöck, Matthias; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Zhou, Hui; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2008-11-01

    The phylogeography of western Palearctic species is relatively well studied, but data on Eastern Central Asia are scarce. We present one of the first data sets from a widespread terrestrial vertebrate (Bufo pewzowi) inhabiting Eastern Central Asian mountains and deserts to gain knowledge on its phylogeography in this region. We applied combined phylogenetic and demographic analyses to understand the evolutionary history using mitochondrial DNA D-loop variation of toads from 37 locations. Genetic structure of Bufo pewzowi is strongly affected by landscape: we found three haplotype groups in eastern Kazakhstan, Dzungaria and Tarim Basin, divided by the Tian Shan and Dzungarian Alatau ranges. A vicariant hypothesis may explain divergence among groups. The divergence time of the three major clades was estimated about 0.9 million years ago (confidence interval 0.5-1.4), and is discussed with respect to Quaternary uplifting and glaciation in the Tian Shan. Demographic analyses provided evidence for both historical bottlenecks and population expansions and suggested Pleistocene signatures. Glacial refugia were inferred in the Tarim Basin (around the Turpan depression), in southern Dzungaria (Urumqui region), at the northern foot of the Tian Shan (Gongnaisi) and perhaps at the Altai range (Terekti). Regional Post-Last Glacial Maximum dispersal patterns are proposed. A taxonomic hypothesis is presented. This study provides a detailed history of how a widespread terrestrial vertebrate responded to geological change and Quaternary glacial events in Eastern Central Asia and may have significance for future phylogeographic research in this understudied region.

  3. Eimeria that infect fish are diverse and are related to, but distinct from, those that infect terrestrial vertebrates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Eimeria are ubiquitous Apicoplexan parasites (family: coccidia) of the gut epithelium of vertebrates which complete their development in a single host species and whose sporocysts may be recognized by the presence of a Stieda body through which their sporozoites excyst. Their diversity and rel...

  4. Global status of and prospects for protection of terrestrial geophysical diversity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Eric W; Segan, Daniel B; Watson, James E M

    2015-06-01

    Conservation of representative facets of geophysical diversity may help conserve biological diversity as the climate changes. We conducted a global classification of terrestrial geophysical diversity and analyzed how land protection varies across geophysical diversity types. Geophysical diversity was classified in terms of soil type, elevation, and biogeographic realm and then compared to the global distribution of protected areas in 2012. We found that 300 (45%) of 672 broad geophysical diversity types currently meet the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11 of 17% terrestrial areal protection, which suggested that efforts to implement geophysical diversity conservation have a substantive basis on which to build. However, current protected areas were heavily biased toward high elevation and low fertility soils. We assessed 3 scenarios of protected area expansion and found that protection focused on threatened species, if fully implemented, would also protect an additional 29% of geophysical diversity types, ecoregional-focused protection would protect an additional 24%, and a combined scenario would protect an additional 42%. Future efforts need to specifically target low-elevation sites with productive soils for protection and manage for connectivity among geophysical diversity types. These efforts may be hampered by the sheer number of geophysical diversity facets that the world contains, which makes clear target setting and prioritization an important next step.

  5. Global status of and prospects for protection of terrestrial geophysical diversity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Eric W; Segan, Daniel B; Watson, James E M

    2015-06-01

    Conservation of representative facets of geophysical diversity may help conserve biological diversity as the climate changes. We conducted a global classification of terrestrial geophysical diversity and analyzed how land protection varies across geophysical diversity types. Geophysical diversity was classified in terms of soil type, elevation, and biogeographic realm and then compared to the global distribution of protected areas in 2012. We found that 300 (45%) of 672 broad geophysical diversity types currently meet the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11 of 17% terrestrial areal protection, which suggested that efforts to implement geophysical diversity conservation have a substantive basis on which to build. However, current protected areas were heavily biased toward high elevation and low fertility soils. We assessed 3 scenarios of protected area expansion and found that protection focused on threatened species, if fully implemented, would also protect an additional 29% of geophysical diversity types, ecoregional-focused protection would protect an additional 24%, and a combined scenario would protect an additional 42%. Future efforts need to specifically target low-elevation sites with productive soils for protection and manage for connectivity among geophysical diversity types. These efforts may be hampered by the sheer number of geophysical diversity facets that the world contains, which makes clear target setting and prioritization an important next step. PMID:25923989

  6. China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin V; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-04-01

    The giant panda attracts disproportionate conservation resources. How well does this emphasis protect other endemic species? Detailed data on geographical ranges are not available for plants or invertebrates, so we restrict our analyses to 3 vertebrate taxa: birds, mammals, and amphibians. There are gaps in their protection, and we recommend practical actions to fill them. We identified patterns of species richness, then identified which species are endemic to China, and then which, like the panda, live in forests. After refining each species' range by its known elevational range and remaining forest habitats as determined from remote sensing, we identified the top 5% richest areas as the centers of endemism. Southern mountains, especially the eastern Hengduan Mountains, were centers for all 3 taxa. Over 96% of the panda habitat overlapped the endemic centers. Thus, investing in almost any panda habitat will benefit many other endemics. Existing panda national nature reserves cover all but one of the endemic species that overlap with the panda's distribution. Of particular interest are 14 mammal, 20 bird, and 82 amphibian species that are inadequately protected. Most of these species the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently deems threatened. But 7 mammal, 3 bird, and 20 amphibian species are currently nonthreatened, yet their geographical ranges are <20,000 km(2) after accounting for elevational restriction and remaining habitats. These species concentrate mainly in Sichuan, Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. There is a high concentration in the east Daxiang and Xiaoxiang Mountains of Sichuan, where pandas are absent and where there are no national nature reserves. The others concentrate in Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. Here, 10 prefectures might establish new protected areas or upgrade local nature reserves to national status.

  7. China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin V; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-04-01

    The giant panda attracts disproportionate conservation resources. How well does this emphasis protect other endemic species? Detailed data on geographical ranges are not available for plants or invertebrates, so we restrict our analyses to 3 vertebrate taxa: birds, mammals, and amphibians. There are gaps in their protection, and we recommend practical actions to fill them. We identified patterns of species richness, then identified which species are endemic to China, and then which, like the panda, live in forests. After refining each species' range by its known elevational range and remaining forest habitats as determined from remote sensing, we identified the top 5% richest areas as the centers of endemism. Southern mountains, especially the eastern Hengduan Mountains, were centers for all 3 taxa. Over 96% of the panda habitat overlapped the endemic centers. Thus, investing in almost any panda habitat will benefit many other endemics. Existing panda national nature reserves cover all but one of the endemic species that overlap with the panda's distribution. Of particular interest are 14 mammal, 20 bird, and 82 amphibian species that are inadequately protected. Most of these species the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently deems threatened. But 7 mammal, 3 bird, and 20 amphibian species are currently nonthreatened, yet their geographical ranges are <20,000 km(2) after accounting for elevational restriction and remaining habitats. These species concentrate mainly in Sichuan, Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. There is a high concentration in the east Daxiang and Xiaoxiang Mountains of Sichuan, where pandas are absent and where there are no national nature reserves. The others concentrate in Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. Here, 10 prefectures might establish new protected areas or upgrade local nature reserves to national status. PMID:26332026

  8. Using Artificial Life to Assess the Typicality of Terrestrial Life: Implications for Human Mission Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupisella, Mark; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The extent to which extraterrestrial life questions can be addressed, in the absence of an actual example, rests in some measure on the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of life in general since we will likely have to draw heavily, if not completely, from terrestrial life research. One example of a practical question involving extraterrestrial life that arises in preparing for a human mission to another planet such as Mars, is trying to assess and minimize the possible adverse effects of the presence of humans on possible indigenous extraterrestrial life-forms. This paper will present some key planetary protection challenges for a human Mars mission and then focus on one possible approach for assessing the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of biological phenomena in general, informing perhaps, the level of confidence we might have in applying terrestrial research - to extraterrestrial life issues. The approach involves appealing to the relatively new field of Artificial Life (A-Life) to: (1) use what might be the most basic minimal set of life-defining characteristics in (2) a large number of open-ended Artificial Life simulations to generate a "life possibility space" (3) the products of which can be examined for their plausibility within the context of relevant constraining knowledge, so that (4) the remaining possibility space can be examined for its variability relative to terrestrial life, where low variability might suggest that terrestrial life is representative of life in general, and high variability would indicate otherwise.

  9. Proliferative events experimentally induced by transient cold shock in the brain of adult terrestrial heterothermic vertebrates: preliminary analysis of PCNA expression in Triturus carnifex.

    PubMed

    Chimenti, Claudio; Margotta, Vito

    2013-01-01

    Experimental procedures used to investigate the persistence, location and abundance of scattered ("matrix cells") and/or clustered ("matrix areas") stem cells in the brain, responsible for proliferation in adult terrestrial heterothermic vertebrates have included an induced transient drop in body temperature in specimens subsequently deprived of encephalic areas. In a set of coordinated investigations focused on the influence of an exposure to a drastic thermally environment on these activities, we gave priority to Triturus carnifex, since there is a much larger amount of detailed, unequivocal experimental evidence available for this species than for other vertebrates of the same evolutionary level. In the present study, cold-shocked newts were examined after a stay at external temperature (the most suitable one based on previous experience) to allow the maximal expression of cerebral proliferation. In a qualitative evaluation, the brain of experimental specimens compared with that of normal individuals seemed not to show, contrary to expectations, more pronounced cell proliferation as assessed by Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen immunolabelling of neural-like cells in the S phase of cell cycle. This discrepancy with previous reports from other authors may depend on having used cold stress alone, while other traumatic stimuli (operatory shock, encephalic injury) administered by the previous authors might have induced a greater number of cells to move from a stand-by condition to proliferation, allowing for reparative and/or regenerative phenomena.

  10. Effectiveness of protected areas for representing species and populations of terrestrial mammals in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    González-Maya, José F; Víquez-R, Luis R; Belant, Jerrold L; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species' geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection. PMID:25970293

  11. Effectiveness of Protected Areas for Representing Species and Populations of Terrestrial Mammals in Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    González-Maya, José F.; Víquez-R, Luis R.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species’ geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection. PMID:25970293

  12. Insecticidal and vertebrate toxicity associated with ethnobotanicals used as post-harvest protectants in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Belmain, S R; Neal, G E; Ray, D E; Golob, P

    2001-03-01

    Six plant species (Cassia sophera, Chamaecrista nigricans, Mitragyna inermis, Ocimum americanum, Securidaca longepedunculata and Synedrella nodiflora) traditionally used in Ghana to control insect pests of stored grain and legumes were screened in the laboratory at three concentrations (0.5, 1 and 5%, w/w) against four common storage pests (Rhyzopertha dominica, Callosobruchus maculatus, Sitophilus zeamais and Prostephanus truncatus). All the plants showed some ability to control all or some of the test insect species. Levels of efficacy varied according to test concentration with the highest concentration tested providing the best control. The S. longepedunculata plant induced the highest percent mortality and was the best at reducing emergence of the F(1) generation. The six plants were also incorporated into standard rat diet at two concentrations (1 and 5%, w/w) and fed to rats over a 6-week period to assess potential deleterious effects against vertebrates. None of the plants demonstrated any neurotoxicological or neurobehavioural effects to the rats over the course of the trial. However, S. longepedunculata and C. nigricans caused a significant reduction in rat growth rate when incorporated at 5% in the diet, induced cell hyperplasia in the liver, and reduced the mean weight of the liver and kidneys, compared to the control group of rats. Kidney pathology was affected only by the 5% concentration of S. longepedunculata which caused a reduced accumulation of alpha2mu-globulin. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of farmer usage of insecticidal plants for stored product protection. PMID:11278061

  13. Why are some mitochondria more powerful than others: insights from comparisons of muscle mitochondria from three terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Turner, Nigel; Else, Paul L; Hulbert, A J

    2005-10-01

    We studied the molecular composition of muscle mitochondria to evaluate whether the contents of cytochromes or adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) or phospholipid acyl compositions reflect differences in mitochondrial oxidative capacities. We isolated mitochondria from three vertebrates of similar size and preferred temperature, the rat (Rattus norvegicus), the cane toad (Bufo marinus) and the bearded dragon lizard (Pogona vitticeps). Mitochondrial oxidative capacities were higher in rats and cane toads than in bearded dragon, whether rates were expressed relative to protein, cytochromes or ANT. Inter-specific differences were least pronounced when rates were expressed relative to cytochrome A, a component of cytochrome C oxidase (CCO), or ANT. In mitochondria from rat and cane toad, cytochrome A was more abundant than C followed by B and then C(1), while in bearded dragon mitochondria, the cytochromes were present in roughly equal levels. Analysis of correlations between mitochondrial oxidative capacities and macromolecular components revealed that cytochrome A explained at least half of the intra- and inter-specific variability in substrate oxidation rates. ANT levels were an excellent correlate of state 3 rates while phospholipid contents were correlated with state 4 rates. As the % poly-unsaturation and the % 20:4n-6 in mitochondrial phospholipids were equivalent in toads and rats, and exceeded the levels in lizards, they may contribute to the inter-specific differences in oxidative capacities. We suggest that the numbers of CCO and ANT together with the poly-unsaturation of phospholipids explain the higher oxidative capacities in muscle mitochondria from rats and cane toads. PMID:16085440

  14. Good governance for terrestrial protected areas: A framework, principles and performance outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lockwood, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Governing norms by which to steer traditional government functions are well established and understood; however, this is not the case for the new multi-level and collaborative approaches that characterize protected area governance. This is largely new territory that makes novel demands on governance institutions and policy. In this context, establishing and maintaining good governance across the diversity of ownership and responsibility arrangements is critical for the future effectiveness and acceptability of protected areas. Fulfilling the promise and avoiding the pitfalls inherent in contemporary protected area governance will require an understanding of what is meant by 'good governance' and development of associated mechanisms to assess performance and provide a basis for improvement. This paper's contribution lies in the guidance it provides for the hitherto under-developed area of governance quality assessment. I first present a framework that positions governance quality in relation to governance and management effectiveness. I then characterize good protected area governance according to a set of seven principles - legitimacy, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, fairness, connectivity and resilience. Together, the framework, governance principles and related performance outcomes provide a platform for assessment of governance quality for an individual terrestrial protected area, a network of several protected areas, or a national protected area system. PMID:19896262

  15. Turbines and terrestrial vertebrates: variation in tortoise survivorship between a wind energy facility and an adjacent undisturbed wildland area in the desert southwest (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Augustine, Benjamin J.; Arundel, Terry; Murphy, Mason O.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David F.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18 year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  16. Interferences of an environmental pollutant with estrogen-like action in the male reproductive system of the terrestrial vertebrate Podarcis sicula.

    PubMed

    Verderame, Mariailaria; Limatola, Ermelinda

    2015-03-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is classified among the endocrine disruptor chemicals with estrogen-like properties. It is widely used in many industries and to dilute pesticides in agriculture, and is known to affect the reproductive system of many aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms. This study aimed to verify how NP, administered via food and water, may interfere with the reproductive cycle of a terrestrial vertebrate. Our model was the male Italian wall lizard Podarcis sicula, a seasonal breeding species that may be naturally exposed to environmental pollution. From our findings it emerges that an NP-polluted diet administered during the mating period causes in this lizard a slowdown of spermatogenesis and affects the testicular and epididymal structure, making it similar to that of the non-reproductive period. The distribution in the testis and epididymis of mRNA for steroid hormone receptors, i.e., estrogen α and β and androgen receptors, was also investigated. NP treatment inhibits the expression of AR, ERα, and ERβ-mRNA in spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes and causes a switch-off of the secretory activity of the epididymal corpus by inducing the expression of ERα.

  17. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA).

    PubMed

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E; Ennen, Joshua R; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R; Murphy, Mason O; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V; Price, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates. PMID:25894273

  18. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R.; Murphy, Mason O.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises ( Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  19. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA).

    PubMed

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E; Ennen, Joshua R; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R; Murphy, Mason O; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V; Price, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  20. Use of survey data to develop sediment criteria for protecting aquatic vertebrates in mountain streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the relationship of aquatic vertebrate taxa abundances and an index of biotic integrity (IBI) to reachwide measures of areal percent streambed surficial fines (≤ 0.06 mm) and sand and fines (≤ 2 mm), based on data collected from 557 wadeable streams in the Western Mou...

  1. The applicability of terrestrial visitor impact management strategies to the protection of coral reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marion, J.L.; Rogers, C.S.

    1994-01-01

    A dramatic expansion in nature-based tourism to tropical coastal destinations has occurred in the past 20 years. Tourism development, combined with intense recreational pressures, has irreversibly transformed and degraded many popular scenic natural environments. This paper examines the management of recreational impacts to coral reefs using Virgin Islands National Park as a case study. A review of terrestrial recreational ecology research explores the implications and potential applicability of some principal findings to the protection of coral reefs. Visitor impact management recommendations for the protection of coral reefs are offered. Managers can minimize coral reef recreational impacts by (1) restricting high-impact uses, (2) containing rather than dispersing recreational use, (3) encouraging the use of resistant environments, (4) teaching low-impact recreational practices, and (5) enforcing park rules and regulations.

  2. Protecting terrestrial ecosystems and the climate through a global carbon market.

    PubMed

    Bonnie, Robert; Carey, Melissa; Petsonk, Annie

    2002-08-15

    Protecting terrestrial ecosystems through international environmental laws requires the development of economic mechanisms that value the Earth's natural systems. The major international treaties to address ecosystem protection lack meaningful binding obligations and the requisite financial instruments to affect large-scale conservation. The Kyoto Protocol's emissions-trading framework creates economic incentives for nations to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions cost effectively. Incorporating GHG impacts from land-use activities into this system would create a market for an important ecosystem service provided by forests and agricultural lands: sequestration of atmospheric carbon. This would spur conservation efforts while reducing the 20% of anthropogenic CO(2) emissions produced by land-use change, particularly tropical deforestation. The Kyoto negotiations surrounding land-use activities have been hampered by a lack of robust carbon inventory data. Moreover, the Protocol's provisions agreed to in Kyoto made it difficult to incorporate carbon-sequestering land-use activities into the emissions-trading framework without undermining the atmospheric GHG reductions contemplated in the treaty. Subsequent negotiations since 1997 failed to produce a crediting system that provides meaningful incentives for enhanced carbon sequestration. Notably, credit for reducing rates of tropical deforestation was explicitly excluded from the Protocol. Ultimately, an effective GHG emissions-trading framework will require full carbon accounting for all emissions and sequestration from terrestrial ecosystems. Improved inventory systems and capacity building for developing nations will, therefore, be necessary.

  3. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A.; Hoyos, Jaime H. E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  4. Protective effect of an aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris Linn on cadmium-induced testicular damage

    PubMed Central

    Rajendar, B.; Bharavi, K.; Rao, G. S.; Kishore, P.V.S; Kumar, P. Ravi; Kumar, C.S.V Satish; Patel, T. Pankaj

    2011-01-01

    Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether Tribulus terrestris Linn (TT) could protect the cadmium (Cd)-induced testicular tissue peroxidation in rats and to explore the underlying mechanism of the same. Materials and Methods: In vitro and in vivo studies were conducted to know the protective effect of ethanolic extract of TT (eTT) in Cd toxicity. In in vitro studies, total antioxidant and ferrous metal ion chelating activity of TT was studied. In vivo studies were conducted in rats. A total of 40 Wistar strain adult male rats were divided into four groups. Group 1 served as control, while group 2 to 4 received CdCl2 (3 mg/kg b. wt. s/c once a week). In addition to Cd, group 3 and 4 rats also received eTT (5 mg/kg b.wt. daily as oral gavage) and α-tocopherol (75 mg/kg daily by oral gavage), respectively. At the end of 6th week, all the rats were sacrificed and the separated testes were weighted and processed for estimation of tissue peroxidation markers, antioxidant markers, functional markers, and Cd concentration. The testes were also subjected to histopathological screening. Results: In in vitro studies, the percentage of metal ion chelating activity of 50 μg/ml of eTT and α-tocopherol were 2.76 and 9.39, respectively, and the antioxidant capacity of eTT was equivalent to 0.063 μg of α-tocopherol/μg of eTT. In in vivo studies, administration of Cd significantly reduced the absolute and relative testicular weight, antioxidant markers such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione, and functional markers such as LDH and ALP, along with significant increase in peroxidation markers such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls in testicular tissue. Testes of Cd only-treated group showed histological insults like necrotic changes in seminiferous tubules and interstitium, shrunken tubules with desquamated basal lamina, vacuolization and destruction of sertoli cells, and degenerating Leydig cells. This group also had higher Cd levels in testicular

  5. Coccidian parasites of fish encompass profound phylogenetic diversity and gave rise to each of the major parasitic groups in terrestrial vertebrates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coccidian paraasites are ubiquitous single-celled protists that cause enteric disease in all manner of vertebrate hosts. These include infections of wildlife, livestock, and people, resulting in a variety of disease outcomes. The diversity and relationships among these diverse parasites is best kn...

  6. Assessment of protective and anti-oxidant properties of Tribulus terrestris fruits against testicular toxicity in rats

    PubMed Central

    Shalaby, Mostafa Abbas; Hammouda, Ashraf Abd El-Khalik

    2014-01-01

    Aims: This study was carried out to assess the protective and anti-oxidant activities of the methanolic extract of Tribulus terrestris fruits (METT) against sodium valproate (SVP)-induced testicular toxicity in rats. Materials and Methods: Fifty mature male rats were randomly divided into five equal groups (n = 10). Group 1 was used normal (negative) control, and the other four groups were intoxicated with SVP (500 mg/kg–1, orally) during the last week of the experiment. Group 2 was kept intoxicated (positive) control, and Groups 3, 4 and 5 were orally pre-treated with METT in daily doses 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg/kg–1 for 60 days, respectively. Weights of sexual organs, serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, semen picture, testicular anti-oxidant capacity and histopathology of testes were the parameters used in this study. Results: Oral pre-treatment with METT significantly increased weights of testes and seminal vesicles; serum testosterone, FSH and LH levels and sperm motility, count and viability in SVP-intoxicated rats. METT enhanced the activity of testicular anti-oxidant enzymes and partially alleviated degenerative changes induced by SVP in testes. Conclusion: The pre-treatment with METT has protective and anti-oxidant effects in SVP-intoxicated rats. Mechanisms of this protective effect against testicular toxicity may be due to the increased release of testosterone, FSH and LH and the enhanced tissue anti-oxidant capacity. These results affirm the traditional use of T. terrestris fruits as an aphrodisiac for treating male sexual impotency and erectile dysfunction in patients. The study recommends that T. terrestris fruits may be beneficial for male patients suffering from infertility. PMID:26401358

  7. Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide.

    PubMed

    Gray, Claudia L; Hill, Samantha L L; Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Börger, Luca; Contu, Sara; Hoskins, Andrew J; Ferrier, Simon; Purvis, Andy; Scharlemann, Jörn P W

    2016-01-01

    Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches. PMID:27465407

  8. Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Claudia L.; Hill, Samantha L. L.; Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N.; Börger, Luca; Contu, Sara; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Ferrier, Simon; Purvis, Andy; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.

    2016-01-01

    Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches. PMID:27465407

  9. Cypermethrin induced reproductive toxicity in male Wistar rats: protective role of Tribulus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Poonam; Huq, Amir Ul; Singh, Rambir

    2013-09-01

    The present study was designed to investigate role of ethanolic extract of Tribulus terrestris (EETT) against alpha-cypermethrin induced reproductive toxicity in male Wistar rats. 24 male Wistar rats weighing about 250-300g were divided in four groups. Group-I was control. alpha-cypermethrin (3.38 mg kg-1b.wt.) was given to group-IlI for 28 days. In Group-Ill, alpha-cypermethrin and EETT (100 mg kg -1b.wt.) were administered in combination for 28 days. Rats in group-IV were given EETT for 28 days. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed, testes and epididymis were removed and sperm characteristics, sex hormones and various biochemical parameters were studied. Decrease in weight of testes and epididymis, testicular sperm head count, sperm motility, live sperm count, serum testosterone (T), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), leutinizing hormone (LH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total protein content and increase in sperm abnormalities and lipid peroxidation (LPO) level was observed in rats exposed to cypermethrin. In combination group-Ill, EETT treatment ameliorated alpha-cypermethrin induced damage. EETT treatment in group-IV increased testes and epididymis weight, sperm head counts, sperm motility, live sperm counts, testosterone, FSH, LH, GSH, CAT, SOD, GST, GR, GPx and total protein content. The study suggested that Tribulus terrestris plant possess reproductive system enhancement and antioxidant activity.

  10. Representation of Ecosystem Services by Terrestrial Protected Areas: Chile as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Durán, América P.; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species’ distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system. PMID:24376559

  11. Protective effect of Tribulus terrestris linn on liver and kidney in cadmium intoxicated rats.

    PubMed

    Lakshmi, G Dhana; Kumar, P Ravi; Bharavi, K; Annapurna, P; Rajendar, B; Patel, Pankaj T; Kumar, C S V Satish; Rao, G S

    2012-02-01

    Administration of cadmium (Cd) significantly increased the peroxidation markers such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls along with significant decrease in antioxidant markers such as super oxide dismutase and reduced glutathione in liver and kidney tissues. Cadmium also caused a significant alteration in hepatic and renal functional markers in serum viz. total protein, albumin, alanine transaminase, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Prominent pathological changes observed in liver were severe vascular and sinusoidal congestion with diffuse degenerative changes and mononuclear infiltration into peripheral areas, while the kidney showed vascular and glomerular congestion, cloudy swelling of tubular epithelium. Coadministration of ethonolic extract of T. terrestris or vitamin E along with Cd significantly reversed the Cd induced changes along with significant reduction in Cd load.

  12. Saponins from Tribulus terrestris L. protect human keratinocytes from UVB-induced damage.

    PubMed

    Sisto, Margherita; Lisi, Sabrina; D'Amore, Massimo; De Lucro, Raffaella; Carati, Davide; Castellana, Donatello; La Pesa, Velia; Zuccarello, Vincenzo; Lofrumento, Dario D

    2012-12-01

    Chronic exposure to solar UVB radiation damages skin, increasing the risk to develop cancer. Hence the identification of compounds with a photoprotective efficacy is essential. This study examined the role of saponins derived from Tribulus terrestris L. (TT) on the modulation of apoptosis in normal human keratinocytes (NHEK) exposed to physiological doses of UVB and to evaluate their antitumoral properties. In NHEK, TT saponins attenuate UVB-induced programmed cell death through inhibition of intrinsic apoptotic pathway. In squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) TT saponins do not make the malignant keratinocytes more resistant to UVB and determine an enhanced apoptotic response. The photoprotective effect of TT saponins is tightly correlated to the enhancement of NER genes expression and the block of UVB-mediated NF-κB activation. Collectively, our study shows experimental evidence that TT has a preventive efficacy against UVB-induced carcinogenesis and the molecular knowledge on the mechanisms through which TT saponins regulate cell death suggests great potential for TT to be developed into a new medicine for cancer patients.

  13. Considerations of an air-quality standard to protect terrestrial vegetation from acidic precipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, L.S.

    1981-01-01

    Studies on the effects of acidic precipitation which is here defined as wet or frozen deposition with a hydrogen ion concentration greater than 2.5 ..mu..eq 1/sup -1/, are reviewed. At the present time there is an inadequate amount of information that shows decreases in crop growth except for one field study. Most studies with plants (crops and forests) are inadequate for standard setting because they are not conducted in the field with adequate randomization of plots coupled with rigorous statistical analyses. Although visible injury to foliage has been documented in a variety of greenhouse studies, no experimental evidence demonstrates loss of field crop value or reduction in plant productivity due to visible foliar injury. Acidic precipitation can contribute nutrients to vegetation and could also influence leaching rates of nutrients from vegetation. Although these processes occur, there are no data that show changes in nutrient levels in foliage that relate to crop or natural ecosystem productivity. Experimental results show that fertilization of ferns is inhibited by current levels of acidic precipitation in the northeastern United States. However, the overall impacts of inhibited fertilization on perpetuation of the species or ecosystem productivity have not been evaluated. Simulated acidic precipitation has been shown to effect plant pathogens in greenhouse and field experiments. Simulated acidic precipitation inhibited pathogen activities under some circumstances and promoted pathogen activities under other circumstances. No conclusion can be drawn about the effects of current levels of precipitation acidity on plant pathogen-host interactions. From these data it must be concluded that research on the effects of acidic precipitation on terrestrial vegetation is too meager to draw any conclusions with regard to an air quality standard.

  14. Heat shock during early somitogenesis induces caudal vertebral column defects in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Wargelius, Anna; Fjelldal, Per Gunnar; Hansen, Tom

    2005-07-01

    In several terrestrial vertebrates, heat shock (HS) during somitogenesis causes vertebral deformities. To determine if vertebral deformities can occur due to sudden temperature changes during early development in fish, Atlantic salmon embryos were HS treated during somitogenesis. Ten months later these individuals displayed a high prevalence of caudal vertebral column condensations (27-34%). The defects were located caudally of the abdominal cavity, displaying an even distribution in this region independent of time of HS. To determine if HS disturbed vertebral development during somitogenesis, two genes coding for markers of skeletal development were identified, namely, the secreted protein Shh (Sashh) and the transcription factor Twist (Satwist). These proteins are involved in the proliferation and specification of presumptive skeletal cells (sclerotome) in vertebrates. The spatial expression pattern of sashh and satwist in salmon indicated a functional conservation of these proteins. Furthermore, HS embryos displayed expressional disturbance in both sashh and satwist, indicating an effect of HS on sclerotomal cell patterning. However, the HS-protecting ability in embryos seems to be individually regulated because reduction in gene expression was not detected at all stages; in addition, HS did not induce somitic disturbance and vertebral deformity in all embryos.

  15. Conservation on International Boundaries: The Impact of Security Barriers on Selected Terrestrial Mammals in Four Protected Areas in Arizona, USA

    PubMed Central

    McCallum, Jamie W.; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C.

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species. PMID:24717982

  16. Protective Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Tribulus Terrestris on Cisplatin Induced Renal Tissue Damage in Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Raoofi, Amir; Khazaei, Mozafar; Ghanbari, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: According beneficial effects of Tribulus terrestris (TT) extract on tissue damage, the present study investigated the influence of hydroalcoholic extract of TT plant on cisplatin (CIS) (EBEWE Pharma, Unterach, Austria) induced renal tissue damage in male mice. Methods: Thirty mice were divided into five groups (n = 6). The first group (control) was treated with normal saline (0.9% NaCl) and experimental groups with CIS (E1), CIS + 100 mg/kg extract of TT (E2), CIS + 300 mg/kg extract of TT (E3), CIS + 500 mg/kg extract of TT (E4) intraperitoneally. The kidneys were removed after 4 days of injections, and histological evaluations were performed. Results: The data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's post-hoc test, paired-sample t-test, Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests. In the CIS treated group, the whole kidney tissue showed an increased dilatation of Bowman's capsule, medullar congestion, and dilatation of collecting tubules and a decreased in the body weight and kidney weight. These parameters reached to the normal range after administration of fruit extracts of TT for 4 days. Conclusions: The results suggested that the oral administration of TT fruit extract at dose 100, 300 and 500 mg/kg body weight provided protection against the CIS induced toxicity in the mice. PMID:25789143

  17. Conservation on international boundaries: the impact of security barriers on selected terrestrial mammals in four protected areas in Arizona, USA.

    PubMed

    McCallum, Jamie W; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species. PMID:24717982

  18. Conservation on international boundaries: the impact of security barriers on selected terrestrial mammals in four protected areas in Arizona, USA.

    PubMed

    McCallum, Jamie W; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species.

  19. Matrix protected organic matter in a river dominated margin: A possible mechanism to sequester terrestrial organic matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mead, Ralph N.; Goñi, Miguel A.

    2008-06-01

    The provenance of organic matter in surface sediments from the northern Gulf of Mexico was investigated by analyzing the compositions of lipid biomarkers ( n-alkanes, fatty acids, sterols) liberated after a series of chemical treatments designed to remove different organo-mineral matrix associations (i.e. freely extractable, base-hydrolyzable, unhydrolyzable). Bulk analyses of the organic matter (carbon content, carbon:nitrogen ratios, stable and radiocarbon isotopic analyses) were also performed on the intact sediments and their non-hydrolyzable, demineralized residue. We found recognizable lipids from distinct sources, including terrestrial vascular plants, bacteria and marine algae and zooplankton, within each of the isolated fractions. Based on the lipid signatures and bulk compositions, the organic matter within the unhydrolyzable fractions appeared to be the most diagenetically altered, was the oldest in age, and had the highest abundance of terrigenous lipids. In contrast, the base-hydrolyzable fraction was the most diagentically unaltered, had the youngest ages and was most enriched in N and marine lipids. Our results indicate that fresh, autochthonous organic matter is the most important contributor to base-hydrolyzable lipids, whereas highly altered allochthonous sources appear to be predominant source of unhydrolyzable lipids in the surface sediments from the Atchafalaya River shelf. Overall, the lipid biomarker signatures of intact sediments were biased towards the autochthonous source because many of the organic compounds indicative of degraded, terrigenous sources were protected from extraction and saponification by organo-mineral matrices. It is only after these protective matrices were removed by treatment with HCl and HF that these compounds became evident.

  20. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures.

  1. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures. PMID:26412139

  2. Proximal Analysis of Regolith Habitats and Protective Biomolecules in Situ by Laser Raman Spectroscopy: Overview of Terrestrial Antarctic Habitats and Mars Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wynn-Williams, D. D.; Edwards, H. G. M.

    2000-04-01

    Fourier-transform laser Raman spectroscopy in the near infrared (1064 nm) has been used to characterize a variety of key pigments and biomolecules produced by cyanobacteria and other stresstolerant microbes in material from extreme Antarctic cold deserts analogous to martian habitats. These compounds include photosynthetic pigments and sunscreens to protect against harmful UV radiation in the light zone (chlorophyll, scytonemin, β-carotene) and photoprotective minerals, such as silica containing iron (III) oxide. Calcium oxalate mono- and dihydrate produced as a result of the biological weathering processes and stress-protective compounds, necessary to protect organisms against desiccation, freezing temperatures, and hypersalinity, such as water-replacement molecules (trehalose), are also monitored. From the results obtained using Antarctic samples, it is shown that a laser-based system can be used to characterize biomolecules in their natural state within their mineral microhabitats. Because of the similarities between the Antarctic cold desert ecosystems, which represent some of the most extreme terrestrial environmental habitats, and putative martian analogs, the laser-Raman spectrosocopic approach is proposed for the detection of former life on Mars analogs to terrestrial cyanobacteria under stress, such as stromatolites, evaporites, and endolithic communities. To this end, the spectral database that is being accumulated from laser-Raman studies of these Antarctic communities will provide a resource of potential biomarkers for future remote laser-Raman analysis on future Mars missions.

  3. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  4. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities

    PubMed Central

    Pimm, Stuart L.; Sexton, Joseph O.

    2015-01-01

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation’s unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  5. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pimm, Stuart L; Sexton, Joseph O

    2015-04-21

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation's unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment.

  6. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline?

    PubMed Central

    Brühl, Carsten A.; Schmidt, Thomas; Pieper, Silvia; Alscher, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group. PMID:23350038

  7. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: an underestimated cause of global decline?

    PubMed

    Brühl, Carsten A; Schmidt, Thomas; Pieper, Silvia; Alscher, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group.

  8. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  9. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2016-07-12

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  10. Earliest evidence for efficient oral processing in a terrestrial herbivore.

    PubMed

    Rybczynski, N; Reisz, R R

    2001-06-01

    Herbivores can increase their digestion rate by mechanically reducing particle size through oral trituration. Groups of terrestrial vertebrates with the greatest capacity to reduce tough plant foods orally are also the most abundant and diverse, as exemplified by ornithopod dinosaurs during the Mesozoic and extant artiodactyl and perissodactyl mammals. Thus, the effective oral processing of high-fibre plant material seems to represent an evolutionary innovation of both functional and macroevolutionary significance. However, evidence for oral processing is poorly documented in the fossil record, especially during the initial stages of terrestrial vertebrate diversification. Here we report on the basal anomodont Suminia getmanovi, the only known Palaeozoic vertebrate in which unequivocal specializations in its cranium and teeth for high-fibre herbivory are well preserved. We propose that the capacity to comminute tough plant foods was critical to the diversification of anomodonts, the most diverse, widely dispersed and abundant group of Palaeozoic terrestrial vertebrates, and to the onset of modern terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:11395768

  11. [Complex forms of behavior in a series of vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Maliukova, I V

    1978-01-01

    Within evolutionary line of vertebrates, correlation between the degree of differentiation of the brain and peculiarities of the formation of complex behavioural acts may be observed. Gradual evolution in the organization of complex motor food-searching conditioned reflexes and the capacity to visual discrimination was revealed in phylogenetic line of vertebrates: elasmobranchs (rays and sharks), marine teleosts, reptiles (terrestrial tortoises), insectivores (hedgehogs), rodents (rats) and primates (lower monkeys).

  12. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W. Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor.

  13. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor.

  14. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor. PMID:24310366

  15. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A; Segan, Daniel B; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H M; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E M

    2014-06-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case. PMID:24960185

  16. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A; Segan, Daniel B; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H M; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E M

    2014-06-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case.

  17. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  18. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations.

  19. REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF CONTAMINANTS IN OVIPAROUS VERTEBRATES: WORKSHOP SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Oviparous vertebrates generally occupy important niches in aquatic as well as terrestrial systems, and reproductive and developmental effects on these species can be of relatively great ecological significance. Because these organisms have critical windows of development, they ma...

  20. Identification of evolutionary hotspots based on genetic data from multiple terrestrial and aquatic taxa and gap analysis of hotspots in protected lands encompassed by the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, J.; Snider, M.; Duke, J.; Moyer, G.R.

    2014-01-01

     The southeastern United States is a recognized hotspot of biodiversity for a variety of aquatic taxa, including fish, amphibians, and mollusks. Unfortunately, the great diversity of the area is accompanied by a large proportion of species at risk of extinction . Gap analysis was employed to assess the representation of evolutionary hotspots in protected lands w h ere an evolutionary hotspot was defined as an area with high evolutionary potential and measured by atypical patterns of genetic divergence, genetic diversity, and to a lesser extent genetic similarity across multiple terrestrial or aquatic taxa. A survey of the primary literature produced 16 terrestrial and 14 aquatic genetic datasets for estimation of genetic divergence and diversity. Relative genetic diversity and divergence values for each terrestrial and aquatic dataset were used for interpolation of multispecies genetic surfaces and subsequent visualization using ArcGIS. The multispecies surfaces interpolated from relative divergences and diversity data identified numerous evolutionary hotspots for both terrestrial and aquatic taxa , many of which were afforded some current protection. For instance, 14% of the cells identified as hotspots of aquatic diversity were encompassed by currently protected areas. Additionally, 25% of the highest 1% of terrestrial diversity cells were afforded some level of protection. In contrast, areas of high and low divergence among species, and areas of high variance in diversity were poorly represented in the protected lands. Of particular interest were two areas that were consistently identified by several different measures as important from a conservation perspective. These included an area encompassing the panhandle of Florida and southern Georgia near the Apalachicola National Forest (displaying varying levels of genetic divergence and greater than average levels of genetic diversity) and a large portion of the coastal regions of North and South Carolina

  1. Atypical vertebral Paget's disease.

    PubMed

    Beaudouin, Constance; Dohan, Anthony; Nasrallah, Toufic; Parlier, Caroline; Touraine, Sébastien; Ea, Korng; Kaci, Rachid; Laredo, Jean-Denis

    2014-07-01

    A 40-year-old Mauritanian man consulted for back pain. A computed tomography of the spine showed patchy sclerosis of the fifth and seventh thoracic vertebral bodies with normal neural arch of T5 and sclerosis and hypertrophy of the neural arch of T7, as well as diffuse sclerosis of the T11 vertebral body with a normal neural arch. At MRI, low signal-intensity on T1-weighted images and high signal-intensity on T2-weighted images involved the whole T5 and T7 vertebrae and the vertebral body of T11. Working diagnoses included metastatic disease and lymphoma, and a biopsy of T7 and then T11 was carried out. Both showed pathological findings very suggestive of Paget's disease. Since CT is usually the more specific radiological examination in vertebral Paget's disease, we thought it could be useful to report this atypical CT presentation (patchy sclerosis of the vertebral body without diffuse bone texture changes and isolated involvement of the vertebral body) of vertebral Paget's disease. PMID:24445956

  2. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  3. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  4. [Vertebral vacuum phenomena].

    PubMed

    Hamzé, B; Leaute, F; Wybier, M; Laredo, J D

    1995-01-01

    The spinal vacuum phenomenon is a collection of gas within the disk space, the vertebral body, the apophyseal joint or the spinal canal. The intradiscal vacuum phenomenon is frequently observed in degenerative disk disease and crystal-induced diskopathy. This has obvious significance to the radiologist, who, on observing a narrowed disk space or collapsed vertebral body, might otherwise consider infectious or neoplastic spondylitis, a likely possibility. The presence of vacuum phenomenon militates against the diagnosis of infection or tumor.

  5. Miocene vertebrates and North Florida shorelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, S.J.

    1968-01-01

    Vertebrate fossils from ten localities, spread across northern Florida, give evidence of shorelines and deltas that have previously been established on geologic evidence or invertebrates alone. Terrestrial mammal remains, in association with shallow-water forms, indicate a deltaic assemblage and in several instances specific animals suggest restricted water depths at the time of sediment deposition. Fortunately diagnostic fragments of Miocene horses, Merychippus and Parahippus, are present in these beds, allowing for a rather close age evaluation of these sediments. Adequate fossil material has been collected from these localities to suggest the past environment and ecological conditions for the forms represented. By utilizing a suggested course of experiments with stream table apparatus it is possible to use the orientation of the fossil vertebrate remains as aids in determining past conditions of sediment accumulation. ?? 1968.

  6. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J

    2015-07-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32,000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  7. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  8. Biochemistry below 0 degrees C: nature's frozen vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Storey, K B; Mosser, D D; Douglas, D N; Grundy, J E; Storey, J M

    1996-03-01

    Although alien to man, the ability to endure the freezing of extracellular body fluids during the winter has developed in several species of terrestrially hibernating frogs and turtles as well as in many species of insects and other invertebrates. Wood frogs, for example, can endure freezing for at least 2 weeks with no breathing, no heart beat or blood circulation, and with up to 65% of their total body water as ice. Our studies are providing a comprehensive view of the requirements for natural freezing survival and of the physical and metabolic protection that must be offered for effective cryopreservation of vertebrate organs. Molecular mechanisms of natural freeze tolerance in lower vertebrates include: 1) control over ice crystal growth in plasma by ice nucleating proteins, 2) the accumulation of low molecular weight cryoprotectants to minimize intracellular dehydration and stabilize macromolecular components, and 3) good ischemia tolerance by all organs that may include metabolic arrest mechanisms to reduce organ energy requirements while frozen. Cryomicroscopy of tissue slices and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of whole animals is revealing the natural mode of ice propagation through an organism. MRI has also revealed that thawing is non-uniform; core organs (with high cryoprotectant levels) melt first, facilitating the early resumption of heart beat and blood circulation. Studies of the production and actions of the natural cryoprotectant, glucose, in frogs have shown its importance in maintaining a critical minimum cell volume in frozen organs and new work on the metabolic effects of whole body dehydration in 3 species of frogs has indicated that adaptations supporting freeze tolerance grew out of mechanisms that deal with desiccation resistance in amphibians. Studies of the regulation of cryoprotectant glucose synthesis by wood frog liver have shown the role of protein kinases and of alpha and beta adrenergic receptors in regulating the glycemic

  9. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures redux.

    PubMed

    Lentle, B C; Gordon, P; Ward, L

    2008-02-01

    Osteoporosis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality especially in the elderly. This fact is largely due to fractures of the proximal femur and spine. As recently recognized, vertebral fractures are as much a threat to health and longevity as fractures of the proximal femur. In recent decades, the development of tools to evaluate fracture risk as well as medications to treat osteoporosis has altered the management of people who are at fracture risk. At the same time identification and management procedures concerning spinal fracturing are not very clear. Besides there is not even clear consensus about what exactly constitutes a vertebral fracture, particularly those of minor degree. While height loss is a simple and valuable tool to detect vertebral fractures, it is neither sensitive nor specific enough to replace radiographs. Some 65% of fractures cause no symptoms. Often vertebral fractures are misdiagnosed, especially if they have occurred silently and if the opportunity for diagnosis arises fortuitously. It is to the patient's benefit that radiologists report and physicians identify vertebral fractures evident on a chest or other radiograph, no matter how incidental to the immediate clinical indication for the examination. Technological evolution now allows dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry machines to be used to take spine images while doing a densitometry. The images are adequate, even if not of high radiographic quality, and, more important, the patient undergoes a smaller radiation dose than with conventional spinal radiographs. Such technology may promote fracture recognition. The recognition of vertebral fractures, as well as the prevention and treatment of further fractures, will likely do much to reduce both the burden of osteoporosis-related morbidity and mortality, as well as fracture-related costs to healthcare systems.

  10. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions.

  11. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions. PMID:23678097

  12. Management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Dionyssiotis, Yannis

    2010-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with considerable reduction of quality of life, morbidity, and mortality. The management of patients with vertebral fractures should include treatment for osteoporosis and measures to reduce pain and improve mobility. This article provides information for management and rehabilitation of vertebral fractures based on clinical experience and literature. PMID:20689689

  13. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  14. [Vertebral hydatidosis: case report].

    PubMed

    Varela, R; Santelices, J P; Cuzmar, D; Aldunate, J T; Plaza-Guzmán, N; Lizama-Calvo, P

    2015-01-01

    Hydatidosis caused by echinococcus granulosus may affect any organ in the body, with the lungs and the liver as the most commonly affected organs. Vertebral compromise resulting from echinococcus granulosus has a low prevalence and accounts for less than 1% of bone compromise. We report the case of a 50 year-old female who presented at the Trauma Service with progressive low back pain with 5 months of duration that irradiated to the right lower limb, and led to neurologic compromise of the limb. Imaging studies showed spondylodiscitis at T12-L1, confirmed by a biopsy. Treatment of this condition is both orthopedic and surgical. The recurrence rate is high, between 30 and 40%. The objective of describing this case is to propose the differential diagnosis of a vertebral mass of unknown origin and provide details as to how to manage this condition. PMID:27012085

  15. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review. PMID:11550762

  16. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  17. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    The vertebrate body can be subdivided along the antero-posterior (AP) axis into repeated structures called segments. This periodic pattern is established during embryogenesis by the somitogenesis process. Somites are generated in a rhythmic fashion from the paraxial mesoderm and subsequently differentiate to give rise to the vertebrae and skeletal muscles of the body. Somite formation involves an oscillator-the segmentation clock-whose periodic signal is converted into the periodic array of somite boundaries. This clock drives the dynamic expression of cyclic genes in the presomitic mesoderm and requires Notch and Wnt signaling. Microarray studies of the mouse presomitic mesoderm transcriptome reveal that the segmentation clock drives the periodic expression of a large network of cyclic genes involved in cell signaling. Mutually exclusive activation of the Notch/FGF and Wnt pathways during each cycle suggests that coordinated regulation of these three pathways underlies the clock oscillator. In humans, mutations in the genes associated to the function of this oscillator such as Dll3 or Lunatic Fringe result in abnormal segmentation of the vertebral column such as those seen in congenital scoliosis. Whereas the segmentation clock is thought to set the pace of vertebrate segmentation, the translation of this pulsation into the reiterated arrangement of segment boundaries along the AP axis involves dynamic gradients of FGF and Wnt signaling. The FGF signaling gradient is established based on an unusual mechanism involving mRNA decay which provides an efficient means to couple the spatio-temporal activation of segmentation to the posterior elongation of the embryo. Another striking aspect of somite production is the strict bilateral symmetry of the process. Retinoic acid was shown to control aspects of this coordination by buffering destabilizing effects from the embryonic left-right machinery. Defects in this embryonic program controlling vertebral symmetry might lead

  18. Vertebral function during tadpole locomotion.

    PubMed

    Azizi, Emanuel; Landberg, Tobias; Wassersug, Richard J

    2007-01-01

    Most anuran larvae show large lateral oscillations at both the tip of the tail and the snout while swimming in a straight line. Although the lateral deflections at the snout have long been considered an inefficient aspect of tadpole locomotion, a recent hydrodynamic model suggests that they may in fact help generate thrust. It is not clear though exactly where this bending takes place. The vertebral column is extremely short and seemingly inflexible in anurans, and any axial flexion that might occur there is hidden within the globose body of the tadpole. Here we test the hypothesis that lateral deflections of the snout correlate with bending of the vertebral column within the torso of tadpoles. To quantify vertebral curvature, three sonomicrometry crystals were surgically implanted along the dorsal midline in locations corresponding to the anterior, middle, and posterior region of the presacral vertebral column. Swimming trials were conducted in a flume where synchronized video recordings were collected in dorsal view. Our results confirm that cyclic lateral bending occurs along the vertebral column during swimming and indicate that vertebral curvature is temporally in phase with lateral oscillation of the snout. Lateral oscillation of the snout increased significantly with increasing vertebral curvature. Similarly, tail beat amplitude also increases significantly with increasing vertebral curvature. Our results suggest that cyclic lateral flexion of the vertebral column, activated by the axial muscle within the torso of tadpoles contributes to snout oscillations and the generation of thrust during undulatory swimming in anuran larvae.

  19. Use of Terrestrial Hermit Crabs in the Study of Habituation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolan, Laurence J.

    2004-01-01

    For small colleges, the use of invertebrates in undergraduate learning laboratory experiments may be a valuable alternative to the use of vertebrate species. This article describes a habituation experiment using terrestrial hermit crabs. All of the materials required are inexpensive and readily available. What makes this experiment unique is that…

  20. Vertebral fracture classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijne, Marleen; Pettersen, Paola C.; Tankó, László B.; Nielsen, Mads

    2007-03-01

    A novel method for classification and quantification of vertebral fractures from X-ray images is presented. Using pairwise conditional shape models trained on a set of healthy spines, the most likely unfractured shape is estimated for each of the vertebrae in the image. The difference between the true shape and the reconstructed normal shape is an indicator for the shape abnormality. A statistical classification scheme with the two shapes as features is applied to detect, classify, and grade various types of deformities. In contrast with the current (semi-)quantitative grading strategies this method takes the full shape into account, it uses a patient-specific reference by combining population-based information on biological variation in vertebra shape and vertebra interrelations, and it provides a continuous measure of deformity. Good agreement with manual classification and grading is demonstrated on 204 lateral spine radiographs with in total 89 fractures.

  1. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  2. Reproductive mode plasticity: aquatic and terrestrial oviposition in a treefrog.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin Charles; Warkentin, Karen Michelle

    2008-05-27

    Diversification of reproductive mode is a major theme in animal evolution. Vertebrate reproduction began in water, and terrestrial eggs evolved multiple times in fishes and amphibians and in the amniote ancestor. Because oxygen uptake from water conflicts with water retention in air, egg adaptations to one environment typically preclude development in the other. Few animals have variable reproductive modes, and no vertebrates are known to lay eggs both in water and on land. We report phenotypic plasticity of reproduction with aquatic and terrestrial egg deposition by a frog. The treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus, known to lay eggs terrestrially, also lays eggs in water, both at the surface and fully submerged, and chooses its reproductive mode based on the shade above a pond. Under unshaded conditions, in a disturbed habitat and in experimental mesocosms, these frogs lay most of their egg masses aquatically. The same pairs also can lay eggs terrestrially, on vegetation over water, even during a single night. Eggs can survive in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and variable mortality risks in each may make oviposition plasticity adaptive. Phylogenetically, D. ebraccatus branches from the basal node in a clade of terrestrially breeding species, nested within a larger lineage of aquatic-breeding frogs. Reproductive plasticity in D. ebraccatus may represent a retained ancestral state intermediate in the evolution of terrestrial reproduction. PMID:18495921

  3. Reproductive mode plasticity: Aquatic and terrestrial oviposition in a treefrog

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin Charles; Warkentin, Karen Michelle

    2008-01-01

    Diversification of reproductive mode is a major theme in animal evolution. Vertebrate reproduction began in water, and terrestrial eggs evolved multiple times in fishes and amphibians and in the amniote ancestor. Because oxygen uptake from water conflicts with water retention in air, egg adaptations to one environment typically preclude development in the other. Few animals have variable reproductive modes, and no vertebrates are known to lay eggs both in water and on land. We report phenotypic plasticity of reproduction with aquatic and terrestrial egg deposition by a frog. The treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus, known to lay eggs terrestrially, also lays eggs in water, both at the surface and fully submerged, and chooses its reproductive mode based on the shade above a pond. Under unshaded conditions, in a disturbed habitat and in experimental mesocosms, these frogs lay most of their egg masses aquatically. The same pairs also can lay eggs terrestrially, on vegetation over water, even during a single night. Eggs can survive in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and variable mortality risks in each may make oviposition plasticity adaptive. Phylogenetically, D. ebraccatus branches from the basal node in a clade of terrestrially breeding species, nested within a larger lineage of aquatic-breeding frogs. Reproductive plasticity in D. ebraccatus may represent a retained ancestral state intermediate in the evolution of terrestrial reproduction. PMID:18495921

  4. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  5. Rare, threatened, and endangered vertebrates of southwest Florida and potential OCS (outer continental shelf) activity impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Woolfender, G.E.

    1983-02-01

    The eight southwestern Florida counties include populations of 68 vertebrates considered in this report as rare, threatened, or endangered. The terrestrial and near-shore habitats of the study area and the habitat preferences of each of the 68 vertebrates are described. Each vertebrate is listed in the habitats it occupies, and information about reproduction, feeding, and where available, population estimates, is given under the habitat considered most important for each species. The distributions of the rare, threatened and endangered vertebrates by county and habitat demonstrate the relative importance of the southernmost counties (Monroe and Collier) and wetland and coastal habitats. Activities contributing to the decline of these 68 vertebrates are assessed and habitat loss is overwhelmingly more important for all.

  6. Comparative anatomy: all vertebrates do have vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2011-09-13

    In contrast to lampreys and jawed vertebrates, hagfishes were thought to lack vertebrae. Now, long overlooked vertebral rudiments have been analysed in hagfish, suggesting that vertebrae existed in the last common ancestor of all vertebrates.

  7. BK Channels in the Vertebrate Inner Ear.

    PubMed

    Pyott, S J; Duncan, R K

    2016-01-01

    The perception of complex acoustic stimuli begins with the deconstruction of sound into its frequency components. This spectral processing occurs first and foremost in the inner ear. In vertebrates, two very different strategies of frequency analysis have evolved. In nonmammalian vertebrates, the sensory hair cells of the inner ear are intrinsically electrically tuned to a narrow band of acoustic frequencies. This electrical tuning relies on the interplay between BK channels and voltage-gated calcium channels. Systematic variations in BK channel density and kinetics establish a gradient in electrical resonance that enables the coding of a broad range of acoustic frequencies. In contrast, mammalian hair cells are extrinsically tuned by mechanical properties of the cochlear duct. Even so, mammalian hair cells also express BK channels. These BK channels play critical roles in various aspects of mammalian auditory signaling, from developmental maturation to protection against acoustic trauma. This review summarizes the anatomical localization, biophysical properties, and functional contributions of BK channels in vertebrate inner ears. Areas of future research, based on an updated understanding of the biology of both BK channels and the inner ear, are also highlighted. Investigation of BK channels in the inner ear continues to provide fertile research grounds for examining both BK channel biophysics and the molecular mechanisms underlying signal processing in the auditory periphery. PMID:27238269

  8. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  9. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  10. Charcot Arthropathy of the Lumbosacral Spine Mimicking a Vertebral Tumor after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Son, Soo-Bum; Kim, Eun-Sang; Eoh, Whan

    2013-01-01

    Charcot spinal arthropathy is a rare, progressive type of vertebral joint degeneration that occurs in the setting of any preexisting condition characterized by decreased afferent innervation to the extent that normal protective joint sensation in the vertebral column is impaired. The authors report on a case of Charcot arthropathy of the lower lumbar spine mimicking a spinal tumor following cervical cord injury. PMID:24527202

  11. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression.

  12. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression. PMID:23640588

  13. Evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Dreborg, Susanne; Sundström, Görel; Larsson, Tomas A.; Larhammar, Dan

    2008-01-01

    The opioid peptides and receptors have prominent roles in pain transmission and reward mechanisms in mammals. The evolution of the opioid receptors has so far been little studied, with only a few reports on species other than tetrapods. We have investigated species representing a broader range of vertebrates and found that the four opioid receptor types (delta, kappa, mu, and NOP) are present in most of the species. The gene relationships were deduced by using both phylogenetic analyses and chromosomal location relative to 20 neighboring gene families in databases of assembled genomes. The combined results show that the vertebrate opioid receptor gene family arose by quadruplication of a large chromosomal block containing at least 14 other gene families. The quadruplication seems to coincide with, and, therefore, probably resulted from, the two proposed genome duplications in early vertebrate evolution. We conclude that the quartet of opioid receptors was already present at the origin of jawed vertebrates ≈450 million years ago. A few additional opioid receptor gene duplications have occurred in bony fishes. Interestingly, the ancestral receptor gene duplications coincide with the origin of the four opioid peptide precursor genes. Thus, the complete vertebrate opioid system was already established in the first jawed vertebrates. PMID:18832151

  14. Lungfish axial muscle function and the vertebrate water to land transition.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures.

  15. Clinical consequences of vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Ross, P D

    1997-08-18

    People with vertebral fractures have greater pain, disability, and healthcare utilization, on average, than those without fractures. Most studies of acute pain and disability have been limited to patients with clinically diagnosed fractures (a subset of all symptomatic patients), representing about one third of all patients with fractures identified radiographically. Acute symptoms vary widely. Some patients experience intolerable pain that can be completely debilitating for several weeks or months, whereas about half of all patients with radiographically identified fractures report having had no symptoms. The reasons for this variability are unknown. Chronic pain and disability among patients with vertebral fractures are significantly greater on average than among people without fractures, even after adjusting for comorbid conditions that are common among the elderly. Similar to acute symptoms, chronic symptoms vary widely and often persist for at least several years. The risk of pain and disability increases progressively with the number and severity of vertebral deformities: the risk is multiplied several times with each additional fracture. On average, physical function is impaired among people with vertebral fractures, whether or not they currently report back pain. Declines in physical function and changes in appearance contribute to social isolation and loss of self-esteem, impairing quality of life. The cumulative impact of vertebral fractures on quality of life may rival that of hip fractures because hip fractures are less frequent and occur later in life. As many as 40% of symptomatic vertebral fractures are initially misdiagnosed, signaling a need for greater awareness among physicians and patients. Prevention of initial vertebral fractures should be actively encouraged; even if the initial fracture is asymptomatic, it indicates a greatly increased risk of subsequent fractures, pain, and physical impairment. PMID:9302895

  16. Trackways Produced by Lungfish During Terrestrial Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Falkingham, Peter L.; Horner, Angela M.

    2016-01-01

    Some primarily aquatic vertebrates make brief forays onto land, creating traces as they do. A lack of studies on aquatic trackmakers raises the possibility that such traces may be ignored or misidentified in the fossil record. Several terrestrial Actinopterygian and Sarcopterygian species have previously been proposed as possible models for ancestral tetrapod locomotion, despite extant fishes being quite distinct from Devonian fishes, both morphologically and phylogenetically. Although locomotion has been well-studied in some of these taxa, trackway production has not. We recorded terrestrial locomotion of a 35 cm African lungfish (Protopterus annectens; Dipnoi: Sarcopterygii) on compliant sediment. Terrestrial movement in the lungfish is accomplished by planting the head and then pivoting the trunk. Impressions are formed where the head impacts the substrate, while the body and fins produce few traces. The head leaves a series of alternating left-right impressions, where each impact can appear as two separate semi-circular impressions created by the upper and lower jaws, bearing some similarity to fossil traces interpreted as footprints. Further studies of trackways of extant terrestrial fishes are necessary to understand the behavioural repertoire that may be represented in the fossil track record. PMID:27670758

  17. Axial dynamics during locomotion in vertebrates lesson from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke; Lamarque, Stéphanie; Ryczko, Dimitri

    2010-01-01

    Much of what we know about the flexibility of the locomotor networks in vertebrates is derived from studies examining the adaptation of limb movements during stepping in various conditions. However, the body movements play important roles during locomotion: they produce the thrust during undulatory locomotion and they help to increase the stride length during legged locomotion. In this chapter, we review our current knowledge about the flexibility in the neuronal circuits controlling the body musculature during locomotion. We focus especially on salamander because, as an amphibian, this animal is able to display a rich repertoire of aquatic and terrestrial locomotor modes.

  18. Development of a framework based on an ecosystem services approach for deriving specific protection goals for environmental risk assessment of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Nienstedt, Karin M; Brock, Theo C M; van Wensem, Joke; Montforts, Mark; Hart, Andy; Aagaard, Alf; Alix, Anne; Boesten, Jos; Bopp, Stephanie K; Brown, Colin; Capri, Ettore; Forbes, Valery; Köpp, Herbert; Liess, Matthias; Luttik, Robert; Maltby, Lorraine; Sousa, José P; Streissl, Franz; Hardy, Anthony R

    2012-01-15

    General protection goals for the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of plant protection products are stated in European legislation but specific protection goals (SPGs) are often not precisely defined. These are however crucial for designing appropriate risk assessment schemes. The process followed by the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as well as examples of resulting SPGs obtained so far for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is presented. The ecosystem services approach was used as an overarching concept for the development of SPGs, which will likely facilitate communication with stakeholders in general and risk managers in particular. It is proposed to develop SPG options for 7 key drivers for ecosystem services (microbes, algae, non target plants (aquatic and terrestrial), aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial non target arthropods including honeybees, terrestrial non-arthropod invertebrates, and vertebrates), covering the ecosystem services that could potentially be affected by the use of pesticides. These SPGs need to be defined in 6 dimensions: biological entity, attribute, magnitude, temporal and geographical scale of the effect, and the degree of certainty that the specified level of effect will not be exceeded. In general, to ensure ecosystem services, taxa representative for the key drivers identified need to be protected at the population level. However, for some vertebrates and species that have a protection status in legislation, protection may be at the individual level. To protect the provisioning and supporting services provided by microbes it may be sufficient to protect them at the functional group level. To protect biodiversity impacts need to be assessed at least at the scale of the watershed/landscape. PMID:21733564

  19. Development of a framework based on an ecosystem services approach for deriving specific protection goals for environmental risk assessment of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Nienstedt, Karin M; Brock, Theo C M; van Wensem, Joke; Montforts, Mark; Hart, Andy; Aagaard, Alf; Alix, Anne; Boesten, Jos; Bopp, Stephanie K; Brown, Colin; Capri, Ettore; Forbes, Valery; Köpp, Herbert; Liess, Matthias; Luttik, Robert; Maltby, Lorraine; Sousa, José P; Streissl, Franz; Hardy, Anthony R

    2012-01-15

    General protection goals for the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of plant protection products are stated in European legislation but specific protection goals (SPGs) are often not precisely defined. These are however crucial for designing appropriate risk assessment schemes. The process followed by the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as well as examples of resulting SPGs obtained so far for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is presented. The ecosystem services approach was used as an overarching concept for the development of SPGs, which will likely facilitate communication with stakeholders in general and risk managers in particular. It is proposed to develop SPG options for 7 key drivers for ecosystem services (microbes, algae, non target plants (aquatic and terrestrial), aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial non target arthropods including honeybees, terrestrial non-arthropod invertebrates, and vertebrates), covering the ecosystem services that could potentially be affected by the use of pesticides. These SPGs need to be defined in 6 dimensions: biological entity, attribute, magnitude, temporal and geographical scale of the effect, and the degree of certainty that the specified level of effect will not be exceeded. In general, to ensure ecosystem services, taxa representative for the key drivers identified need to be protected at the population level. However, for some vertebrates and species that have a protection status in legislation, protection may be at the individual level. To protect the provisioning and supporting services provided by microbes it may be sufficient to protect them at the functional group level. To protect biodiversity impacts need to be assessed at least at the scale of the watershed/landscape.

  20. Medical treatment of vertebral osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Lippuner, K

    2003-10-01

    Although osteoporosis is a systemic disease, vertebral fractures due to spinal bone loss are a frequent, sometimes early and often neglected complication of the disease, generally associated with considerable disability and pain. As osteoporotic vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fracture risk, including at the hip, medical management is targeted at reducing fracture risk. A literature search for randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled clinical studies addressing medical treatment possibilities of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Caucasian women was performed on the leading medical databases. For each publication, the number of patients with at least one new vertebral fracture and the number of randomized patients by treatment arm was retrieved. The relative risk (RR) and the number needed to treat (NNT, i.e. the number of patients to be treated to avoid one radiological vertebral fracture over the duration of the study), together with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each study. Treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men were reviewed separately, based on the low number of publications available. Forty-five publications matched with the search criteria, allowing for analysis of 15 different substances tested regarding their anti-fracture efficacy at the vertebral level. Bisphosphonates, mainly alendronate and risedronate, were reported to have consistently reduced the risk of a vertebral fracture over up to 50 months of treatment in four (alendronate) and two (risedronate) publications. Raloxifene reduced vertebral fracture risk in one study over 36 months, which was confirmed by 48 months' follow-up data. Parathormone (PTH) showed a drastic reduction in vertebral fracture risk in early studies, while calcitonin may also be a treatment option to reduce fracture risk. For other substances published data are conflicting (calcitriol, fluoride) or insufficient

  1. Home-range allometry in coral reef fishes: comparison to other vertebrates, methodological issues and management implications.

    PubMed

    Nash, Kirsty L; Welsh, Justin Q; Graham, Nicholas A J; Bellwood, David R

    2015-01-01

    Body size has been identified as a key driver of home-range area. Despite considerable research into home-range allometry, the relatively high variability in this relationship among taxa means that the mechanisms driving this relationship are still under debate. To date, studies have predominantly focused on terrestrial taxa, and coral reef fishes in particular have received little attention. We quantitatively reviewed studies examining home range in reef fishes, and assessed the interspecific relationship between body mass and home-range area. Body mass and home range are positively related in reef fishes (slopes of 1.15-1.72), with predators having larger home ranges than herbivorous species. This may be attributed to the mobility and lower abundance of predators' food items. Coral reef fishes, and fishes in general, appear to occupy a smaller area per unit mass than terrestrial vertebrates (intercepts of -0.92 to 0.07 versus ≥1.14). This is likely linked to the relative metabolic costs of moving through water compared to air. The small home ranges of reef fishes and their apparent reluctance to cross open areas suggest that reserves aimed at protecting fish species may be more effective if located across whole reefs, even if those reefs are comparatively small, rather than if they cover subsections of contiguous reef, as home ranges in the former are less likely to cross reserve boundaries.

  2. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  3. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  4. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  5. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  6. Myoglobin oxygen affinity in aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Wright, Traver J; Davis, Randall W

    2015-07-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is an oxygen binding protein found in vertebrate skeletal muscle, where it facilitates intracellular transport and storage of oxygen. This protein has evolved to suit unique physiological needs in the muscle of diving vertebrates that express Mb at much greater concentrations than their terrestrial counterparts. In this study, we characterized Mb oxygen affinity (P50) from 25 species of aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals. Among diving species, we tested for correlations between Mb P50 and routine dive duration. Across all species examined, Mb P50 ranged from 2.40 to 4.85 mmHg. The mean P50 of Mb from terrestrial ungulates was 3.72±0.15 mmHg (range 3.70-3.74 mmHg). The P50 of cetaceans was similar to terrestrial ungulates ranging from 3.54 to 3.82 mmHg, with the exception of the melon-headed whale, which had a significantly higher P50 of 4.85 mmHg. Among pinnipeds, the P50 ranged from 3.23 to 3.81 mmHg and showed a trend for higher oxygen affinity in species with longer dive durations. Among diving birds, the P50 ranged from 2.40 to 3.36 mmHg and also showed a trend of higher affinities in species with longer dive durations. In pinnipeds and birds, low Mb P50 was associated with species whose muscles are metabolically active under hypoxic conditions associated with aerobic dives. Given the broad range of potential globin oxygen affinities, Mb P50 from diverse vertebrate species appears constrained within a relatively narrow range. High Mb oxygen affinity within this range may be adaptive for some vertebrates that make prolonged dives.

  7. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  8. Late Permian vertebrate community of the Pranhita Godavari valley, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Sanghamitra; Bandyopadhyay, Saswati

    2003-03-01

    The Kundaram Formation of the Pranhita-Godavari valley yields the only Late Permian multispecies terrestrial vertebrate assemblage from India. This includes various medium and small dicynodonts such as Endothiodon, Oudenodon, Kingoria, Emydops, Cistecephalus and Pristerodon. At present two species of Endothiodon ( E. mahalanobisi and E. uniseries) are known. Apart from these dicynodonts, the Kundaram vertebrate fauna also contains a medium-sized gorgonopsian and a small captorhinid. The material, from the red mudstone dominated Kundaram Formation, includes numerous isolated, disarticulated skulls and lower jaws. Postcranial elements are relatively rare except for a few broken limb ends and vertebrae. The bones are encrusted by iron rich matrix and most of them had suffered deformation. This skull dominant accumulation is attributed to prolonged aerial exposure prior to burial resulting in disarticulation of the skeletons and subsequent inundation by floodwater. The limb bones and other postcranial elements of the already disarticulated skeletons were winnowed out by shallow competent flow while the relatively heavier skulls and lower jaws resisting transportation were buried near the site of death. The Late Permian scenario of the Pranhita-Godavari valley was characterised by the dominance of herbivores. This abundance of herbivores at the base and the presence of relatively few carnivores and omnivores at the top of the Kundaram food pyramid indicate a trophic structure similar to that of the modern-day terrestrial ecosystem.

  9. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art

    PubMed Central

    Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  10. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  11. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  12. Ecological Relationships of Meso-Scale Distribution in 25 Neotropical Vertebrate Species

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  13. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  14. Morphological castes in a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    O'Riain, M J; Jarvis, J U; Alexander, R; Buffenstein, R; Peeters, C

    2000-11-21

    Morphological specialization for a specific role has, until now, been assumed to be restricted to social invertebrates. Herein we show that complete physical dimorphism has evolved between reproductives and helpers in the eusocial naked mole-rat. Dimorphism is a consequence of the lumbar vertebrae lengthening after the onset of reproduction in females. This is the only known example of morphological castes in a vertebrate and is distinct from continuous size variation between breeders and helpers in other species of cooperatively breeding vertebrates. The evolution of castes in a mammal and insects represents a striking example of convergent evolution for enhanced fecundity in societies characterized by high reproductive skew. Similarities in the selective environment between naked mole-rats and eusocial insect species highlight the selective conditions under which queen/worker castes are predicted to evolve in animal societies.

  15. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  16. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species.

  17. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord.

  18. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, C. Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D.; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  19. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  20. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, C Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M

    2016-05-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  1. Rapid progress on the vertebrate tree of life

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Among the greatest challenges for biology in the 21st century is inference of the tree of life. Interest in, and progress toward, this goal has increased dramatically with the growing availability of molecular sequence data. However, we have very little sense, for any major clade, of how much progress has been made in resolving a full tree of life and the scope of work that remains. A series of challenges stand in the way of completing this task but, at the most basic level, progress is limited by data: a limited fraction of the world's biodiversity has been incorporated into a phylogenetic analysis. More troubling is our poor understanding of what fraction of the tree of life is understood and how quickly research is adding to this knowledge. Here we measure the rate of progress on the tree of life for one clade of particular research interest, the vertebrates. Results Using an automated phylogenetic approach, we analyse all available molecular data for a large sample of vertebrate diversity, comprising nearly 12,000 species and 210,000 sequences. Our results indicate that progress has been rapid, increasing polynomially during the age of molecular systematics. It is also skewed, with birds and mammals receiving the most attention and marine organisms accumulating far fewer data and a slower rate of increase in phylogenetic resolution than terrestrial taxa. We analyse the contributors to this phylogenetic progress and make recommendations for future work. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that a large majority of the vertebrate tree of life will: (1) be resolved within the next few decades; (2) identify specific data collection strategies that may help to spur future progress; and (3) identify branches of the vertebrate tree of life in need of increased research effort. PMID:20211001

  2. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Aim: To explore biogeographic patterns of terrestrial vertebrates in Maine, USA using techniques that would describe local and spatial correlations with the environment. Location: Maine, USA. Methods: We delineated the ranges within Maine (86,156 km2) of 275 species using literature and expert review. Ranges were combined into species richness maps, and compared to geomorphology, climate, and woody plant distributions. Methods were adapted that compared richness of all vertebrate classes to each environmental correlate, rather than assessing a single explanatory theory. We partitioned variation in species richness into components using tree and multiple linear regression. Methods were used that allowed for useful comparisons between tree and linear regression results. For both methods we partitioned variation into broad-scale (spatially autocorrelated) and fine-scale (spatially uncorrelated) explained and unexplained components. By partitioning variance, and using both tree and linear regression in analyses, we explored the degree of variation in species richness for each vertebrate group that Could be explained by the relative contribution of each environmental variable. Results: In tree regression, climate variation explained richness better (92% of mean deviance explained for all species) than woody plant variation (87%) and geomorphology (86%). Reptiles were highly correlated with environmental variation (93%), followed by mammals, amphibians, and birds (each with 84-82% deviance explained). In multiple linear regression, climate was most closely associated with total vertebrate richness (78%), followed by woody plants (67%) and geomorphology (56%). Again, reptiles were closely correlated with the environment (95%), followed by mammals (73%), amphibians (63%) and birds (57%). Main conclusions: Comparing variation explained using tree and multiple linear regression quantified the importance of nonlinear relationships and local interactions between species

  3. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Levi, Taal; Wheat, Rachel E; Allen, Jennifer M; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability. PMID:26339539

  4. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Wheat, Rachel E.; Allen, Jennifer M.; Wilmers, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability. PMID:26339539

  5. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Levi, Taal; Wheat, Rachel E; Allen, Jennifer M; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability.

  6. Rare, threatened, and endangered vertebrates of southwest Florida and potential OCS activity impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Woolfenden, G.E.

    1983-02-01

    The eight southwestern Florida counties include populations of 68 vertebrates considered in this report as rare, threatened, or endangered. The terrestrial and near-shore habitats of the study area and the habitat preferences of each of the 68 vertebrates are described. Each vertebrate is listed in the habitats it occupies, and information about reproduction, feeding, and where available, population estimates, is given under the habitat considered most important for each species. The distributions of the rare, threatened and endangered vertebrates by county and habitat demonstrate the relative importance of the southernmost counties (Monroe and Collier) and wetland and coastal habitats (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries). Activities contributing to the decline of these 68 vertebrates are assessed and habitat loss is overwhelmingly more important for all. Potential impacts of OCS development are assessed by estimating the effects OCS activities might have on various habitats. Direct impact of OCS development is estimated to be small. Oil spills are considered the most dangerous result of development and the habitats continguous with marine waters (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries) are the most susceptible to damage. These are also the habitats identified as harboring the largest, number of rare and endangered vertebrates in southwest Florida.

  7. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  8. Bilateral mechanical rotational vertebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Dargon, Phong T; Liang, Conrad W; Kohal, Anmol; Dogan, Aclan; Barnwell, Stanley L; Landry, Gregory J

    2013-10-01

    Rotational vertebral artery occlusion, or bow hunter's stroke, is reversible, positional symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia. The typical mechanism of action is obstruction of a dominant vertebral artery with contralateral head rotation in the setting of baseline ipsilateral vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion. Here we present a rare case of mechanical occlusion of bilateral patent vertebral arteries manifesting as near syncope with rightward head rotation. Diagnostic cerebral angiography showed dynamic right C5 vertebral occlusion and left C2 vertebral occlusion. The patient underwent right C4/5 transverse process decompression. Postoperative angiogram showed patent flow through the right vertebral artery in neutral position and with head turn with resultant resolution of symptoms. PMID:23465174

  9. Evolution of the new vertebrate head by co-option of an ancient chordate skeletal tissue.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Garnett, Aaron T; Square, Tyler A; Cattell, Maria V; Yu, Jr-Kai; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2015-02-26

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head that is supported and protected by a robust cellular endoskeleton. In the first vertebrates, this skeleton probably consisted of collagenous cellular cartilage, which forms the embryonic skeleton of all vertebrates and the adult skeleton of modern jawless and cartilaginous fish. In the head, most cellular cartilage is derived from a migratory cell population called the neural crest, which arises from the edges of the central nervous system. Because collagenous cellular cartilage and neural crest cells have not been described in invertebrates, the appearance of cellular cartilage derived from neural crest cells is considered a turning point in vertebrate evolution. Here we show that a tissue with many of the defining features of vertebrate cellular cartilage transiently forms in the larvae of the invertebrate chordate Branchiostoma floridae (Florida amphioxus). We also present evidence that during evolution, a key regulator of vertebrate cartilage development, SoxE, gained new cis-regulatory sequences that subsequently directed its novel expression in neural crest cells. Together, these results suggest that the origin of the vertebrate head skeleton did not depend on the evolution of a new skeletal tissue, as is commonly thought, but on the spread of this tissue throughout the head. We further propose that the evolution of cis-regulatory elements near an ancient regulator of cartilage differentiation was a major factor in the evolution of the vertebrate head skeleton.

  10. Evolution of the new vertebrate head by co-option of an ancient chordate skeletal tissue.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Garnett, Aaron T; Square, Tyler A; Cattell, Maria V; Yu, Jr-Kai; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2015-02-26

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head that is supported and protected by a robust cellular endoskeleton. In the first vertebrates, this skeleton probably consisted of collagenous cellular cartilage, which forms the embryonic skeleton of all vertebrates and the adult skeleton of modern jawless and cartilaginous fish. In the head, most cellular cartilage is derived from a migratory cell population called the neural crest, which arises from the edges of the central nervous system. Because collagenous cellular cartilage and neural crest cells have not been described in invertebrates, the appearance of cellular cartilage derived from neural crest cells is considered a turning point in vertebrate evolution. Here we show that a tissue with many of the defining features of vertebrate cellular cartilage transiently forms in the larvae of the invertebrate chordate Branchiostoma floridae (Florida amphioxus). We also present evidence that during evolution, a key regulator of vertebrate cartilage development, SoxE, gained new cis-regulatory sequences that subsequently directed its novel expression in neural crest cells. Together, these results suggest that the origin of the vertebrate head skeleton did not depend on the evolution of a new skeletal tissue, as is commonly thought, but on the spread of this tissue throughout the head. We further propose that the evolution of cis-regulatory elements near an ancient regulator of cartilage differentiation was a major factor in the evolution of the vertebrate head skeleton. PMID:25487155

  11. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation and reconstruction with an intravertebral mesh and morcelized bone graft.

    PubMed

    Chiu, John C; Stechison, Michael T

    2005-01-01

    Percutaneous vertebral augmentation (VA) and reconstruction with intravertebral polyethylene mesh sac (OptiMesh) and morcelized bone graft provided a minimally invasive efficacious and controlled delivery mechanism to stabilize and treat painful osteoporotic, traumatic and neoplastic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), as well as avoided serious complications from Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. Osteoconductive and osteoinductive and can be used to create biologic vertebral reconstruction. The adjacent vertebra integrity should be more protected by the construct with a similar elasticity and physical characteristics of the morcelized bone, more matched to that of adjacent bone than PMMA. The indications and surgical techniques are described herein.

  12. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10‑23 Hz‑1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  13. Rapid vertebrate recuperation in the Karoo Basin of South Africa following the End-Permian extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botha, J.; Smith, R. M. H.

    2006-08-01

    The mass extinction that occurred at the end of the Permian Period approximately 251 Mya is widely accepted as the most devastating extinction event in Earth's history. An estimated 75-90% of global diversity from both marine and terrestrial realms disappeared synchronously within at most one million and perhaps as little as 100,000 years. To date, most research has focused on the marine record and it is only recently that a few fully preserved terrestrial Permo-Triassic boundary sequences have been discovered. The main Karoo Basin of South Africa hosts several well-preserved non-marine Permo-Triassic boundary sequences that have been the focus of intensive research into the nature of the extinction and its possible causes. This study uses sedimentological and biostratigraphic data from boundary sequences near Bethulie in the southern Karoo Basin to make assumptions about the rates and timing of recovery of the terrestrial fauna in this portion of southern Gondwana after the extinction event. The biostratigraphic data gathered from 277 in situ vertebrate fossils allows us to define more accurately the temporal ranges of several taxa. These data also confirm a more precise extinction rate in this part of the basin of 54% of latest Permian vertebrate taxa, followed by the onset of a relatively rapid recovery, within an estimated 40-50 thousand years (based on the calculation of floodplain aggradation rates and compaction ratios) that included the origination of at least 12 new vertebrate taxa from amongst the survivors.

  14. Major extinctions of land-dwelling vertebrates at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, eastern Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Sheehan, P.M. ); Fastovsky, D.E. )

    1992-06-01

    A large database recording species of terrestrial vertebrates present in formations above and below the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary in eastern Montana was assembled by J.D. Archibald and L.J. Bryant. Division of the species in this database into freshwater and land-dwelling vertebrate assemblages reveals that the K-T vertebrate extinction was concentrated in land-dwelling forms. In data corrected for the effects of rare taxa, 90% of the species in the freshwater assemblage survived into the Tertiary, but only 12% of the land-dwelling forms survived. The pattern of differential extinction of terrestrial vertebrates in eastern Montana may be in large part the result of the dependence of land-based communities on primary productivity. This is in contrast to the riverine communities, which may derive much of their organic carbon from detritus. The pattern of extinction and survival is compatible with the hypothesis of an asteroid impact after which there was a temporary cessation of primary, photosynthetic productivity.

  15. Evolution of vertebrate colour vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Rowe, Mickey P

    2004-07-01

    Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in learning how colour vision has evolved. This trend has been fuelled by an enhanced understanding of the nature and extent of colour vision among contemporary species, by a deeper understanding of the paleontological record and by the application of new tools from molecular biology. This review provides an assessment of the progress in understanding the evolution of vertebrate colour vision. In so doing, we offer accounts of the evolution of three classes of mechanism important for colour vision--photopigment opsins, oil droplets and retinal organisation--and then examine details of how colour vision has evolved among mammals and, more specifically, among primates.

  16. Endocrine disruption in aquatic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Urbatzka, Ralph; Opitz, Robert; Würtz, Sven; Behrends, Thomas; Hermelink, Björn; Hofmann, Frauke; Jagnytsch, Oana; Kroupova, Hana; Lorenz, Claudia; Neumann, Nadja; Pietsch, Constanze; Trubiroha, Achim; Van Ballegooy, Christoph; Wiedemann, Caterina; Lutz, Ilka

    2009-04-01

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. The main sink of such substances, called endocrine disrupters (ED), are surface waters. Thus, aquatic vertebrates, such as fish and amphibians, are most endangered. ED can adversely affect reproductive biology and the thyroid system. ED act by (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic modes of action, resulting in abnormal sexual differentiation and impaired reproduction. These effects are mainly driven by direct interferences of ED with sex steroid receptors rather than indirectly by impacting synthesis and bioavailability of sex steroids, which in turn might affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Recent findings reveal that, in addition to the human-produced waste of ED, natural sources, such as parasites and decomposition of leaves, also might act as ED, markedly affecting sexual differentiation and reproduction in fish and amphibians. Although the thyroid system has essential functions in both fish and amphibians, amphibian metamorphosis has been introduced as the most sensitive model to detect thyroidal ED; no suitable fish model exists. Whereas ED may act primarily on only one specific endocrine target, all endocrine systems will eventually be deregulated as they are intimately connected to each other. The recent ecotoxicological issue of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) present in the aquatic environment indicates a high potential for further endocrine modes of action on aquatic vertebrates by ED derived from PhACs, such as glucocorticoids, progestins, and beta-agonists.

  17. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). PMID:25784036

  18. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc).

  19. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  20. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  1. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  2. The terrestrial silica pump.

    PubMed

    Carey, Joanna C; Fulweiler, Robinson W

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO(2) concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1), accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1)) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2) levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump.

  3. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurement procedures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Procedures for obtaining cell and array current-voltage measurements both outdoors in natural sunlight and indoors in simulated sunlight are presented. A description of the necessary apparatus and equipment is given for the calibration and use of reference solar cells. Some comments relating to concentration cell measurements, and a revised terrestrial solar spectrum for use in theoretical calculations, are included.

  4. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  5. Estrogenic modulation of auditory processing: a vertebrate comparison

    PubMed Central

    Caras, Melissa L.

    2013-01-01

    Sex-steroid hormones are well-known regulators of vocal motor behavior in several organisms. A large body of evidence now indicates that these same hormones modulate processing at multiple levels of the ascending auditory pathway. The goal of this review is to provide a comparative analysis of the role of estrogens in vertebrate auditory function. Four major conclusions can be drawn from the literature: First, estrogens may influence the development of the mammalian auditory system. Second, estrogenic signaling protects the mammalian auditory system from noise- and age-related damage. Third, estrogens optimize auditory processing during periods of reproductive readiness in multiple vertebrate lineages. Finally, brain-derived estrogens can act locally to enhance auditory response properties in at least one avian species. This comparative examination may lead to a better appreciation of the role of estrogens in the processing of natural vocalizations and may provide useful insights toward alleviating auditory dysfunctions emanating from hormonal imbalances. PMID:23911849

  6. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems.

    PubMed

    Vanni, Daniele; Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-03-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting(®) (VBS), OsseoFix(®) and Spine Jack(®). VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix(®) and Spine Jack(®) are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix(®) has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting(®) and Spine Jack(®), the OsseoFix(®) has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack(®) is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors. PMID:27683690

  7. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems

    PubMed Central

    Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting® (VBS), OsseoFix® and Spine Jack®. VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix® and Spine Jack® are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix® has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting® and Spine Jack®, the OsseoFix® has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack® is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors.

  8. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems

    PubMed Central

    Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting® (VBS), OsseoFix® and Spine Jack®. VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix® and Spine Jack® are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix® has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting® and Spine Jack®, the OsseoFix® has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack® is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors. PMID:27683690

  9. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning.

  10. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning. PMID:25968309

  11. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  12. Vertebral fracture assessment in acromegaly.

    PubMed

    Madeira, Miguel; Neto, Leonardo Vieira; Torres, Carolina Hammes; de Mendonça, Laura Maria Carvalho; Gadelha, Mônica Roberto; de Farias, Maria Lúcia Fleiuss

    2013-01-01

    Most vertebral fractures (VFs) are asymptomatic and incidentally found on X-rays. The effects of acromegaly on bone mineral density (BMD) are still controversial, and the prevalence of VFs in this specific population remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to assess VFs in acromegaly through vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Seventy-five acromegalic patients from the same center (53 female; age: 48.9±14.5yr) were enrolled in this study. None of them referred previous fragility fracture. They were divided according to the presence or absence of moderate or severe VFs on VFA, a densitometric spine imaging. Age, gender, estimated duration of disease, insulin-like growth factor I levels, disease control and gonadal status, as well as BMD and body composition (analyzed by DXA) were compared between these 2 groups. A prevalence of 10.6% of clinically unapparent VFs was observed. Eight patients had 13 moderate or severe VFs, and only one of them had osteoporosis at densitometry. There was a trend to longer duration of acromegaly before diagnosis, higher prevalence of hypogonadism, and higher BMD Z-score at lumbar spine and femoral neck in fractured patients, without reaching statistical significance. There is a significant prevalence of moderate and severe VFs in acromegalic patients, independently of BMD. More longitudinal and controlled studies are needed to recommend the use of VFA in all acromegalic patients submitted to DXA scan. VFA is simple, practical, uses low radiation, and may provide important information in the management of acromegaly.

  13. Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Else K; Lambert, Ian H; Pedersen, Stine F

    2009-01-01

    The ability to control cell volume is pivotal for cell function. Cell volume perturbation elicits a wide array of signaling events, leading to protective (e.g., cytoskeletal rearrangement) and adaptive (e.g., altered expression of osmolyte transporters and heat shock proteins) measures and, in most cases, activation of volume regulatory osmolyte transport. After acute swelling, cell volume is regulated by the process of regulatory volume decrease (RVD), which involves the activation of KCl cotransport and of channels mediating K(+), Cl(-), and taurine efflux. Conversely, after acute shrinkage, cell volume is regulated by the process of regulatory volume increase (RVI), which is mediated primarily by Na(+)/H(+) exchange, Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransport, and Na(+) channels. Here, we review in detail the current knowledge regarding the molecular identity of these transport pathways and their regulation by, e.g., membrane deformation, ionic strength, Ca(2+), protein kinases and phosphatases, cytoskeletal elements, GTP binding proteins, lipid mediators, and reactive oxygen species, upon changes in cell volume. We also discuss the nature of the upstream elements in volume sensing in vertebrate organisms. Importantly, cell volume impacts on a wide array of physiological processes, including transepithelial transport; cell migration, proliferation, and death; and changes in cell volume function as specific signals regulating these processes. A discussion of this issue concludes the review. PMID:19126758

  14. Idiopathic segmental sclerosis of vertebral bodies

    SciTech Connect

    McCarthy, E.F.; Dorfman, H.D.

    1982-12-01

    Five cases of idiopathic vetebral sclerosis are presented. The features of this condition are segmental vertebral sclerosis of a single lumbar vertebra in a young adult without disc space narrowing or alteration of vertebral contour. The differential diagnosis is discussed. Lumbar vertebra biopsies of three patients showed reactive nonspecific osteosclerosis.

  15. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  16. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Zhu, Si-Wei; Li, Qing-Wei

    2016-09-18

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  17. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research

    PubMed Central

    XU, Yang; ZHU, Si-Wei; LI, Qing-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  18. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  19. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Zhu, Si-Wei; Li, Qing-Wei

    2016-09-18

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research.

  20. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  1. Hypoxia, global warming, and terrestrial late Permian extinctions.

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Ward, Peter D

    2005-04-15

    A catastrophic extinction occurred at the end of the Permian Period. However, baseline extinction rates appear to have been elevated even before the final catastrophe, suggesting sustained environmental degradation. For terrestrial vertebrates during the Late Permian, the combination of a drop in atmospheric oxygen plus climate warming would have induced hypoxic stress and consequently compressed altitudinal ranges to near sea level. Our simulations suggest that the magnitude of altitudinal compression would have forced extinctions by reducing habitat diversity, fragmenting and isolating populations, and inducing a species-area effect. It also might have delayed ecosystem recovery after the mass extinction.

  2. Hypoxia, global warming, and terrestrial late Permian extinctions.

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Ward, Peter D

    2005-04-15

    A catastrophic extinction occurred at the end of the Permian Period. However, baseline extinction rates appear to have been elevated even before the final catastrophe, suggesting sustained environmental degradation. For terrestrial vertebrates during the Late Permian, the combination of a drop in atmospheric oxygen plus climate warming would have induced hypoxic stress and consequently compressed altitudinal ranges to near sea level. Our simulations suggest that the magnitude of altitudinal compression would have forced extinctions by reducing habitat diversity, fragmenting and isolating populations, and inducing a species-area effect. It also might have delayed ecosystem recovery after the mass extinction. PMID:15831755

  3. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  4. Vertebral numbers and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Middleton, Emily R; Villamil, Catalina I; Shattuck, Milena R

    2016-01-01

    Ever since Tyson (1699), anatomists have noted and compared differences in the regional numbers of vertebrae among humans and other hominoids. Subsequent workers interpreted these differences in phylogenetic, functional, and behavioral frameworks and speculated on the history of vertebral numbers during human evolution. Even in a modern phylogenetic framework and with greatly expanded sample sizes of hominoid species, researchers' conclusions vary drastically, positing that hominins evolved from either a "long-backed" (numerically long lumbar column) or a "short-backed" (numerically short lumbar column) ancestor. We show that these disparate interpretations are due in part to the use of different criteria for what defines a lumbar vertebra, but argue that, regardless of which lumbar definition is used, hominins are similar to their great ape relatives in possessing a short trunk, a rare occurrence in mammals and one that defines the clade Hominoidea. Furthermore, we address the recent claim that the early hominin thoracolumbar configuration is not distinct from that of modern humans and conclude that early hominins show evidence of "cranial shifting," which might explain the anomalous morphology of several early hominin fossils. Finally, we evaluate the competing hypotheses on numbers of vertebrae and argue that the current data support a hominin ancestor with an African ape-like short trunk and lower back.

  5. Melatonin Receptor Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Li, Di Yan; Smith, David Glenn; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Yang, Ming Yao; Xu, Huai Liang; Zhang, Long; Yin, Hua Dong; Zhu, Qing

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin receptors are members of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Three genes for melatonin receptors have been cloned. The MT1 (or Mel1a or MTNR1A) and MT2 (or Mel1b or MTNR1B) receptor subtypes are present in humans and other mammals, while an additional melatonin receptor subtype, Mel1c (or MTNR1C), has been identified in fish, amphibians and birds. Another melatonin related orphan receptor, GPR50, which does not bind melatonin, is found exclusively in mammals. The hormone melatonin is secreted primarily by the pineal gland, with highest levels occurring during the dark period of a circadian cycle. This hormone acts systemically in numerous organs. In the brain, it is involved in the regulation of various neural and endocrine processes, and it readjusts the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This article reviews recent studies of gene organization, expression, evolution and mutations of melatonin receptor genes of vertebrates. Gene polymorphisms reveal that numerous mutations are associated with diseases and disorders. The phylogenetic analysis of receptor genes indicates that GPR50 is an outgroup to all other melatonin receptor sequences. GPR50 may have separated from a melatonin receptor ancestor before the split between MTNR1C and the MTNR1A/B ancestor. PMID:23712359

  6. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  7. Aging and regeneration in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sousounis, Konstantinos; Baddour, Joelle A; Tsonis, Panagiotis A

    2014-01-01

    Aging is marked by changes that affect organs and resident stem cell function. Shorting of telomeres, DNA damage, oxidative stress, deregulation of genes and proteins, impaired cell-cell communication, and an altered systemic environment cause the eventual demise of cells. At the same time, reparative activities also decline. It is intriguing to correlate aging with the decline of regenerative abilities. Animal models with strong regenerative capabilities imply that aging processes might not be affecting regeneration. In this review, we selectively present age-dependent changes in stem/progenitor cells that are vital for tissue homeostasis and repair. In addition, the aging effect on regeneration following injury in organs such as lung, skeletal muscle, heart, nervous system, cochlear hair, lens, and liver are discussed. These tissues are also known for diseases such as heart attack, stroke, cognitive impairment, cataract, and hearing loss that occur mostly during aging in humans. Conclusively, vertebrate regeneration declines with age with the loss of stem/progenitor cell function. Future studies on improving the function of stem cells, along with studies in fish and amphibians where regeneration does not decline with age, will undoubtedly provide insights into both processes. PMID:24512711

  8. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  9. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  10. Heinrich Event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-02-01

    Heinrich Event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 000 and 40 000 yr BP. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3) have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  11. Heinrich event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-05-01

    Heinrich event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 and 40 Ka. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3) have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  12. The olfactory receptor gene repertoires in secondary-adapted marine vertebrates: evidence for reduction of the functional proportions in cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Takushi; Kubota, Shin; Shirayama, Yoshihisa; Fukami, Hironobu

    2007-08-22

    An olfactory receptor (OR) multigene family is responsible for the well-developed sense of smell possessed by terrestrial tetrapods. Mammalian OR genes had diverged greatly in the terrestrial environment after the fish-tetrapod split, indicating their importance to land habitation. In this study, we analysed OR genes of marine tetrapods (minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, dwarf sperm whale Kogia sima, Dall's porpoise Phocoenoides dalli, Steller's sea lion Eumetopias jubatus and loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta) and revealed that the pseudogene proportions of OR gene repertoires in whales were significantly higher than those in their terrestrial relative cattle and also in sea lion and sea turtle. On the other hand, the pseudogene proportion of OR sequences in sea lion was not significantly higher compared with that in their terrestrial relative (dog). It indicates that secondary perfectly adapted marine vertebrates (cetaceans) have lost large amount of their OR genes, whereas secondary-semi-adapted marine vertebrates (sea lions and sea turtles) still have maintained their OR genes, reflecting the importance of terrestrial environment for these animals. PMID:17535789

  13. Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, L. G.; Emslie, S. D.; Huang, T.; Blais, J. M.; Xie, Z. Q.; Liu, X. D.; Yin, X. B.; Wang, Y. H.; Huang, W.; Hodgson, D. A.; Smol, J. P.

    2013-11-01

    Biological responses to climate and environmental changes in remote polar regions are of increasing interest in global change research. Terrestrial and marine polar ecosystems have suffered from impacts of both rapid climate change and intense human activities, and large fluctuations in the population sizes of seabirds, seals, and Antarctic krill have been observed in the past decades. To understand the mechanisms driving these regime shifts in polar ecosystems, it is important to first distinguish the influences of natural forcing from anthropogenic activities. Therefore, investigations of past changes of polar ecosystems prior to human contact are relevant for placing recent human-induced changes within a long-term historical context. Here we focus our review on the fossil, sub-fossil, archaeological, and biogeochemical remains of marine vertebrates in polar sediments. These remains include well-preserved tissues such as bones, hairs and feathers, and biogeochemical markers and other proxy indicators, including deposits of guano and excrement, which can accumulate in lake and terrestrial sediments over thousands of years. Analyses of these remains have provided insight into both natural and anthropogenic impacts on marine vertebrates over millennia and have helped identify the causal agents for these impacts. Furthermore, land-based seabirds and marine mammals have been shown to play an important role as bio-vectors in polar environments as they transport significant amounts of nutrients and anthropogenic contaminants between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. Late Miocene/Early Pliocene vertebrate fauna from Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): an update.

    PubMed

    Bover, Pere; Rofes, Juan; Bailon, Salvador; Agustí, Jordi; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Torres, Enric; Alcover, Josep Antoni

    2014-03-01

    The vertebrate fossil record from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) has improved considerably over the past decade, especially in Mallorca and Menorca. In Menorca, the Pliocene terrestrial fauna was updated by the discovery and description of the large-sized leporid Nuralagus, several reptiles and an amphibian. In Mallorca, paleontological exploration yielded 2 deposits with a Late Miocene/Early Pliocene chronology, Caló den Rafelino (CdR) and Na Burguesa-1 (NB-1). So far, 4 new mammalian taxa and 2 new reptiles have been identified for the CdR deposit, whereas the faunal assemblage from the recently discovered deposit (Apr 2012) of NB-1 is currently composed of, at least, 6 terrestrial mammals, 8 reptiles and an amphibian. Its faunal composition and some primitive characteristics of the obtained taxa suggest that the chronology of this deposit is slightly earlier than the CdR. The terrestrial vertebrates recorded in these 2 Mallorcan deposits are changing the view of the paleofaunal assemblage previously known for the Plio-Pleistocene of the island. Morphological characteristics displayed by some of the taxa suggest that these faunas would be at the beginning of an isolated evolution. In this paper we present a preliminary report on the fossils recovered from the NB-1 deposit, as well as some unpublished data from CdR, and we analyze the whole fauna from both Mallorcan deposits, focusing on taxonomical and paleobiogeographical aspects. PMID:24673762

  15. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  16. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  17. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states. PMID:22640621

  18. Terrestrial ecology of semi-aquatic giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, Brian J.; Skalos, Shannon M.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are a vital component of habitat for semiaquatic herpetofauna, but for most species adjacent terrestrial habitats are also essential. We examined the use of terrestrial environments by Giant Gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas) to provide behavioral information relevant to conservation of this state and federally listed threatened species. We used radio telemetry data collected 1995–2011 from adults at several sites throughout the Sacramento Valley, California, USA, to examine Giant Gartersnake use of the terrestrial environment. We found Giant Gartersnakes in terrestrial environments more than half the time during the summer, with the use of terrestrial habitats increasing to nearly 100% during brumation. While in terrestrial habitats, we found Giant Gartersnakes underground more than half the time in the early afternoon during summer, and the probability of being underground increased to nearly 100% of the time at all hours during brumation. Extreme temperatures also increased the probability that we would find Giant Gartersnakes underground. Under most conditions, we found Giant Gartersnakes to be within 10 m of water at 95% of observations. For females during brumation and individuals that we found underground, however, the average individual had a 10% probability of being located > 20 m from water. Individual variation in each of the response variables was extensive; therefore, predicting the behavior of an individual was fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, our estimates provide resource managers with valuable information about the importance of protecting and carefully managing terrestrial habitats for conserving a rare semiaquatic snake.

  19. Solar structure and terrestrial weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, J. M.

    1976-01-01

    The possibility that solar activity has discernible effects on terrestrial weather is considered. Research involving correlation of weather conditions with solar and geomagnetic activity is discussed.

  20. Radiotherapy in the treatment of vertebral hemangiomas

    SciTech Connect

    Faria, S.L.; Schlupp, W.R.; Chiminazzo, H. Jr.

    1985-02-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas are not common. Although radiotherapy has been used as treatment, the data are sparse concerning total dose, fractionation and results. The authors report nine patients with vertebral hemangioma treated with 3000-4000 rad, 200 rad/day, 5 fractions per week, followed from 6 to 62 months. Seventy-seven percent had complete or almost complete disappearance of the symptoms. Radiotherapy schedules are discussed.

  1. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  2. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  3. Role of Transpedicular Percutaneous Vertebral Biopsy for Diagnosis of Pathology in Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Sunil; Hardikar, Sharad Moreshwar; Hardikar, Madan Sharad

    2016-01-01

    Study Design Retrospective observational study. Purpose To identify the role of percutaneous vertebral biopsy in histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures and to identify the frequency of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fractures. Overview of Literature Vertebral compression fractures are common in the Indian population. Magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging have some limitations in the diagnosis of definitive pathology of vertebral compression fractures. Therefore, histological confirmation is necessary for definitive diagnosis and to plan appropriate management for patient. Methods A retrospective observational study was conducted involving 84 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral biopsy between 2010 and 2014. We performed C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular core vertebral biopsy of vertebral compression fractures under combination of local anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation. Results Sufficient biopsy material was obtained in 79 of the 84 cases. In the other five cases, biopsy material was not sufficient for reporting. Out of the 79 cases, osteoporotic pathology was detected in 69 patients, malignancy was detected in 8 patients and no pathology was found in 2 patients. Two patients with distant metastases to vertebra were identified. Primary spinal malignancy was detected in 6 patients (1 unsuspected plasmacytoma, 5 diagnosed malignancy preoperatively). So, the frequency of unsuspected malignancy of this study was 1.19% (1/84). None of the patients had any complications. Conclusions C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular vertebral biopsy is useful in obtaining definitive histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures, especially in differentiating malignant and non-malignant vertebral compression fractures and helping plan appropriate management of patients. The rate of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fracture was 1.19%. PMID:27790322

  4. Retroviral Diversity and Distribution in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Herniou, Elisabeth; Martin, Joanne; Miller, Karen; Cook, James; Wilkinson, Mark; Tristem, Michael

    1998-01-01

    We used the PCR to screen for the presence of endogenous retroviruses within the genomes of 18 vertebrate orders across eight classes, concentrating on reptilian, amphibian, and piscine hosts. Thirty novel retroviral sequences were isolated and characterized by sequencing approximately 1 kb of their encoded protease and reverse transcriptase genes. Isolation of novel viruses from so many disparate hosts suggests that retroviruses are likely to be ubiquitous within all but the most basal vertebrate classes and, furthermore, gives a good indication of the overall retroviral diversity within vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that viruses clustering with (but not necessarily closely related to) the spumaviruses and murine leukemia viruses are widespread and abundant in vertebrate genomes. In contrast, we were unable to identify any viruses from hosts outside of mammals and birds which grouped with the other five currently recognized retroviral genera: the lentiviruses, human T-cell leukemia-related viruses, avian leukemia virus-related retroviruses, type D retroviruses, and mammalian type B retroviruses. There was also some indication that viruses isolated from individual vertebrate classes tended to cluster together in phylogenetic reconstructions. This implies that the horizontal transmission of at least some retroviruses, between some vertebrate classes, occurs relatively infrequently. It is likely that many of the retroviral sequences described here are distinct enough from those of previously characterized viruses to represent novel retroviral genera. PMID:9621058

  5. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  6. The origins of colour vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Trezise, Ann E O

    2004-07-01

    The capacity for colour vision is mediated by the comparison of the signal intensities from photoreceptors of two or more types that differ in spectral sensitivity. Morphological, physiological and molecular analyses of the retina in an agnathan (jawless) fish, the lamprey Geotria australis, may hold important clues to the origins of colour vision in vertebrates. Lampreys are extant representatives of an ancient group of vertebrates, the origins of which are thought to date back to at least the early Cambrian, approximately 540 million years ago. G. australis possesses five photoreceptor types, each with cone-like ultrastructural features and different spectral sensitivities. Recent molecular genetic studies have also revealed that five visual pigment (opsin) genes are expressed in the retina, each of which is orthologous to the major classes of vertebrate opsin genes. These findings reveal that multiple opsin genes originated very early in vertebrate evolution, prior to the separation of the jawed and jawless vertebrate lineages, thereby providing the genetic basis for colour vision in all vertebrates.

  7. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability

    PubMed Central

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1), and

  8. Actin filament organization of foot processes in vertebrate glomerular podocytes.

    PubMed

    Ichimura, Koichiro; Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2007-09-01

    We investigated the actin filament organization and immunolocalization of actin-binding proteins (alpha-actinin and cortactin) in the podocyte foot processes of eight vertebrate species (lamprey, carp, newt, frog, gecko, turtle, quail, and rat). Three types of actin cytoskeleton were found in these foot processes. (1) A cortical actin network with cortactin filling the space between the plasma membrane and the other actin cytoskeletons described below was found in all of the species examined here. The data indicated that the cortical actin network was the minimal essential actin cytoskeleton for the formation and maintenance of the foot processes in vertebrate podocytes. (2) An actin bundle with alpha-actinin existing along the longitudinal axis of foot process above the level of slit diaphragms was only observed in quail and rat. (3) An actin fascicle consisting of much fewer numbers of actin filaments than that of the actin bundle was observed in the species other than quail and rat, but at various frequencies. These findings suggest that the actin bundle is an additional actin cytoskeleton reflecting a functional state peculiar to quail and rat glomeruli. Considering the higher intraglomerular pressure and the extremely thin filtration barrier in birds and mammals, the foot processes probably mainly protect the thinner filtration barrier from the higher internal pressure occurring in quail and rat glomeruli. Therefore, we consider that the actin bundle plays a crucial role in the mechanical protection of the filtration barrier. Moreover, the actin fascicle may be a potential precursor of the actin bundle.

  9. Ecological Guild Evolution and the Discovery of the World's Smallest Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Rittmeyer, Eric N.; Allison, Allen; Gründler, Michael C.; Thompson, Derrick K.; Austin, Christopher C.

    2012-01-01

    Living vertebrates vary drastically in body size, yet few taxa reach the extremely minute size of some frogs and teleost fish. Here we describe two new species of diminutive terrestrial frogs from the megadiverse hotspot island of New Guinea, one of which represents the smallest known vertebrate species, attaining an average body size of only 7.7 mm. Both new species are members of the recently described genus Paedophryne, the four species of which are all among the ten smallest known frog species, making Paedophryne the most diminutive genus of anurans. This discovery highlights intriguing ecological similarities among the numerous independent origins of diminutive anurans, suggesting that minute frogs are not mere oddities, but represent a previously unrecognized ecological guild. PMID:22253785

  10. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  11. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts.

    PubMed

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W; Ivanović, Ana

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire's and Darwin's rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  12. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts

    PubMed Central

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W.

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire’s and Darwin’s rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  13. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  14. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts.

    PubMed

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W; Ivanović, Ana

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire's and Darwin's rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  15. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  16. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  17. Recent spatial and temporal changes in body size of terrestrial vertebrates: probable causes and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Yom-Tov, Yoram; Geffen, Eli

    2011-05-01

    Geographical and temporal variations in body size are common phenomena among organisms and may evolve within a few years. We argue that body size acts much like a barometer, fluctuating in parallel with changes in the relevant key predictor(s), and that geographical and temporal changes in body size are actually manifestations of the same drivers. Frequently, the principal predictors of body size are food availability during the period of growth and ambient temperature, which often affects food availability. Food availability depends on net primary productivity that, in turn, is determined by climate and weather (mainly temperature and precipitation), and these depend mainly on solar radiation and other solar activities. When the above predictors are related to latitude the changes have often been interpreted as conforming to Bergmann's rule, but in many cases such interpretations should be viewed with caution due to the interrelationships among various environmental predictors. Recent temporal changes in body size have often been related to global warming. However, in many cases the above key predictors are not related to either latitude and/or year, and it is the task of the researcher to determine which particular environmental predictor is the one that determines food availability and, in turn, body size. The chance of discerning a significant change in body size depends to a large extent on sample size (specimens/year). The most recent changes in body size are probably phenotypic, but there are some cases in which they are partly genetic.

  18. Measuring Selection on Physiology in the Wild and Manipulating Phenotypes (in Terrestrial Nonhuman Vertebrates).

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F

    2015-12-15

    To understand why organisms function the way that they do, we must understand how evolution shapes physiology. This requires knowledge of how selection acts on physiological traits in nature. Selection studies in the wild allow us to determine how variation in physiology causes variation in fitness, revealing how evolution molds physiology over evolutionary time. Manipulating phenotypes experimentally in a selection study shifts the distribution of trait variation in a population to better explore potential constraints and the adaptive value of physiological traits. There is a large database of selection studies in the wild on a variety of traits, but very few of those are physiological traits. Nevertheless, data available so far suggest that physiological traits, including metabolic rate, thermal physiology, whole-organism performance, and hormone levels, are commonly subjected to directional selection in nature, with stabilizing and disruptive selection less common than predicted if physiological traits are optimized to an environment. Selection studies on manipulated phenotypes, including circulating testosterone and glucocorticoid levels, reinforce this notion, but reveal that trade-offs between survival and reproduction or correlational selection can constrain the evolution of physiology. More studies of selection on physiological traits in nature that quantify multiple traits are necessary to better determine the manner in which physiological traits evolve and whether different types of traits (dynamic performance vs. regulatory) evolve differently.

  19. SELECTING BIOLOGICAL RESERVES COST-EFFECTIVELY: AN APPLICATION TO TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATE CONSERVATION IN OREGON. (R825311)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  20. Industrial effluents as a source of mercury contamination in terrestrial riparian vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, G.V.N.

    1983-01-01

    Eight species of piscivorous and insectivorous birds and one species of bat collected along Virginia's North Fork of the Holston River contained elevated mercury residues. The ubiquitous occurrence of mercury in riparian insectivores implicates aquatic insects as a vehicle for spreading mercury contamination from one ecosystem to another and expands the ecological ramifications of mercury-contaminated industrial effluents.

  1. Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty for treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.

    PubMed

    Li, Dapeng; Huang, Yonghui; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Qi; Sun, Taicun; Wu, Yan; Li, Xuefeng

    2014-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) are common in the elderly population and often involve the thoracolumbar vertebrae. Clinical symptoms of OVCFs include severe pain, loss of vertebral height, progressive kyphosis and increased mortality. Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty is a recently developed OVCFs treatment modality, with few systematic studies present in the literature. This retrospective study was designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty for treating thoracolumbar OVCFs. Sixteen elderly patients (55-85 years) with solitary thoracolumbar OVCFs were treated with this procedure and followed-up (10-27 months). The amount of injected bone cement and operative time, preoperative and postoperative visual analogue scores, anterior and middle vertebral body heights, local kyphosis angle, and complications was analysed. The results showed that the method provided long-term pain relief and restoration of the vertebral body height and spinal alignment. No serious complications occurred, but two patients experienced recompression of the vertebral body, and one patient experienced cement leakage into a disc. In conclusion, Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty is a safe and effective minimally invasive procedure for treatment of OVCFs.

  2. Terrestrial forest management plan for Palmyra Atoll

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hathaway, Stacie A.; McEachern, Kathryn; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    This 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Palmyra Program to refine and expand goals and objectives developed through the Conservation Action Plan process. It is one in a series of adaptive management plans designed to achieve TNC's mission toward the protection and enhancement of native wildlife and habitat. The 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' focuses on ecosystem integrity and specifically identifies and addresses issues related to assessing the status and distribution of resources, as well as the pressures acting upon them, most specifically nonnative and potentially invasive species. The plan, which presents strategies for increasing ecosystem integrity, provides a framework to implement and track the progress of conservation and restoration goals related to terrestrial resources on Palmyra Atoll. The report in its present form is intended to be an overview of what is known about historical and current forest resources; it is not an exhaustive review of all available literature relevant to forest management but an attempt to assemble as much information specific to Palmyra Atoll as possible. Palmyra Atoll is one of the Northern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean southwest of the Hawai`ian Islands. It consists of many heavily vegetated islets arranged in a horseshoe pattern around four lagoons and surrounded by a coral reef. The terrestrial ecosystem consists of three primary native vegetation types: Pisonia grandis forest, coastal strand forest, and grassland. Among these vegetation types, the health and extent of Pisonia grandis forest is of particular concern. Overall, the three vegetation types support 25 native plant species (two of which may be extirpated), 14 species of sea birds, six shore birds, at least one native reptile, at least seven native insects, and six native land crabs. Green and hawksbill turtles forage at Palmyra Atoll

  3. Tail use improves performance on soft substrates in models of early vertebrate land locomotors.

    PubMed

    McInroe, Benjamin; Astley, Henry C; Gong, Chaohui; Kawano, Sandy M; Schiebel, Perrin E; Rieser, Jennifer M; Choset, Howie; Blob, Richard W; Goldman, Daniel I

    2016-07-01

    In the evolutionary transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, early tetrapods faced the challenges of terrestrial locomotion on flowable substrates, such as sand and mud of variable stiffness and incline. The morphology and range of motion of appendages can be revealed in fossils; however, biological and robophysical studies of modern taxa have shown that movement on such substrates can be sensitive to small changes in appendage use. Using a biological model (the mudskipper), a physical robot model, granular drag measurements, and theoretical tools from geometric mechanics, we demonstrate how tail use can improve robustness to variable limb use and substrate conditions. We hypothesize that properly coordinated tail movements could have provided a substantial benefit for the earliest vertebrates to move on land. PMID:27387947

  4. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals.

  5. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals. PMID:11277086

  6. Primitive Terrestrial Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, Kevin John

    1985-12-01

    A 23.3 year periodicity preserved in a 2500 million year old banded iron-formation is interpreted as reflecting the climatic influence of the lunar nodal tide, the signature of which has been detected in the modern climate. The lunar distance is deduced to have been 52 Earth radii. The influence of the lunar nodal tide is also detected in varves dating to 680 million years B.P. The implied history of Precambrian tidal friction is in excellent agreement with both more recent paleontological evidence and the long -term stability of the lunar orbit. The solar semidiurnal thermal tide was resonant with the natural period of the atmosphere when the day was (TURN)21.3 hours. This took place at the end of the Precambrian. The resonant atmospheric tide would have been large enough (.01 bar at the surface) to have influenced the weather. In contrast to lunar oceanic tides, the gravitational torque on the thermal tide accelerates the Earth's rotation rate; near resonance the opposing torques were comparable, so that the day may have been stabilized near 21.3 hours for much of the Precambrian. A sustained resonance does not conflict with the available evidence. Methane photochemistry in the primitive terrestrial atmosphere is studied using a detailed numerical model. Methane is oxidized cleanly and efficiently provided CO(,2) is more abundant than CH(,4). If CH(,4) and CO(,2) abundances are comparable, a large fraction of the methane present is polymerized, forming alkanes in the troposphere and polyacetylenes and nitriles in the upper atmosphere. Production of HCN from CH(,4) and N(,2) in the anaerobic atmosphere and its subsequent removal in rainwater could have been efficient; net production varying from .01% to 10% of the methane consumed. In the absence of a magnetic field, high ancient solar EUV and X-ray fluxes would have permitted an ocean of hydrogen to escape as a transsonic wind from a primordial accretionary greenhouse atmosphere in as little as 25 million years

  7. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  8. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton.

  9. Hedgehog Secretion and Signal Transduction in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Kaitlyn E.; Chiang, Chin

    2012-01-01

    Signaling by the Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins is essential for proper embryonic patterning and development. Dysregulation of Hh signaling is associated with a variety of human diseases ranging from developmental disorders such as holoprosencephaly to certain forms of cancer, including medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma. Genetic studies in flies and mice have shaped our understanding of Hh signaling and revealed that nearly all core components of the pathway are highly conserved. Although many aspects of the Drosophila Hh pathway are conserved in vertebrates, mechanistic differences between the two species have begun to emerge. Perhaps the most striking divergence in vertebrate Hh signaling is its dependence on the primary cilium, a vestigial organelle that is largely absent in flies. This minireview will provide an overview of Hh signaling and present recent insights into vertebrate Hh secretion, receptor binding, and signal transduction. PMID:22474285

  10. [Amphioxus: how to become a vertebrate].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Stéphanie; Camasses, Alain; Escriva, Hector

    2007-01-01

    Evo-devo is a young disciplin, which aims to explain the morphological evolution of organisms through developmental mechanisms and genes networks. A major question within this discipline is the origin of vertebrates. It seems now admitted that vertebrates derive from an invertebrate chordate ancestor. Several models among living chordate representatives are used today to answer this question. The small world of evo-evo interested in the emergence of vertebrates is ebullient about the advent of several totally sequenced genomes allowing comparative analyses to become evermore reliable. Furthermore "non classical" models are developed which can be submitted to refined developmental analysis. One of these is amphioxus (genus Branchyostoma), "a peaceful anchory fillet to illuminate chordate evolution" (Garcia-Fernandez, 2006a, b). The features of this model are described in this review.

  11. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. PMID:23580532

  12. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  13. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  14. The efficacy of radiotherapy for vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Miszczyk, L; Ficek, K; Trela, K; Spindel, J

    2001-01-01

    Vertebral hemangiomas are benign, slowly growing tumors sometimes causing local pain in the spine and/or neurologic disorders. The present paper includes 14 cases of painful vertebral hemangiomas treated by radiotherapy. All patients were irradiated using standard fractionation scheme with a total dose 20-30 Gy. One month after the treatment complete pain relief was noted in 36% of cases, five months later in 67% of cases, but in the remaining cases partial pain relief was noted. No correlation between treatment outcome and different biological and technical factors was found. No dose-response relationship was noted. The results suggest that anti-inflamatory effect of radiation plays the major role in this kind of treatment and that radiotherapy for vertebral hemangiomas is easy, short and highly effective analgetic treatment modality.

  15. Cervical Vertebral Body Chordoma in a Cat.

    PubMed

    Hampel, R; Taylor-Brown, F; Priestnall, S L

    2016-05-01

    A 9-year-old, neutered female Maine Coon cat with a 6-week history of progressive ataxia was diagnosed with a cervical vertebral body mass using magnetic resonance imaging. The mass displaced and compressed the cervical spinal cord. The cat was humanely destroyed and necropsy examination confirmed a mass within the second cervical vertebral body. Microscopically, the mass was composed of large, clear, vacuolated ('physaliferous') cells. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells expressed both cytokeratin and vimentin and the final diagnosis was a cervical, vertebral body chordoma. This is only the third report of a chordoma in this species and the first in this location. Chordoma should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis for tumours arising from the cervical vertebrae in the cat.

  16. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  17. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Davies, Wayne L; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M

    2009-10-12

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these 'living fossils', we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land.

  18. Vertebral fractures in males with prolactinoma.

    PubMed

    Mazziotti, Gherardo; Porcelli, Teresa; Mormando, Marilda; De Menis, Ernesto; Bianchi, Antonio; Mejia, Carola; Mancini, Tatiana; De Marinis, Laura; Giustina, Andrea

    2011-06-01

    Data on osteoporotic fractures in hyperprolactinemia are limited. An increased prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures was recently observed in women with prolactin (PRL)-secreting adenoma, whereas it is unknown whether this observation may reflect a more general increased risk of fractures in this disease and whether the prevalence of fractures in males is affected by gonadal status. Thirty-two males (median age 47 years, range: 22-79) with PRL-secreting pituitary adenoma (10 with microadenoma and 22 with macroadenoma) and 64 control males, with normal PRL values and with comparable age to patients with hyperprolactinemia, were evaluated for vertebral fractures by a morphometric approach and for bone mineral density (BMD) by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at lumbar spine. Vertebral fractures were shown in 12 patients with PRL-secreting adenoma (37.5%) and in 5 controls (7.8%, P < 0.001). Fractured patients had lower BMD T-score (P = 0.007) and longer duration of disease (P < 0.001) as compared to patients who did not fracture. Fractures occurred more frequently (P = 0.03) in patients with untreated hyperprolactinemia versus patients treated with cabergoline whose frequency of vertebral fractures was still higher than control subjects. The prevalence of vertebral fractures was not significantly different between eugonadal and hypogonadal patients (33.3% vs. 38.5%; P = 0.8). Moreover, no significant (P = 0.4) difference in serum testosterone values was found between fractured and not fractured males. Hyperprolactinemia is associated with high prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures in men with PRL-secreting adenoma. These findings would also suggest that PRL excess may produce negative skeletal effects independently of hypogonadism.

  19. The evolution of vertebrate color vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H

    2012-01-01

    Color vision is conventionally defined as the ability of animals to reliably discriminate among objects and lights based solely on differences in their spectral properties. Although the nature of color vision varies widely in different animals, a large majority of all vertebrate species possess some color vision and that fact attests to the adaptive importance this capacity holds as a tool for analyzing the environment. In recent years dramatic advances have been made in our understanding of the nature of vertebrate color vision and of the evolution of the biological mechanisms underlying this capacity. In this chapter I review and comment on these advances.

  20. Impacts of climate warming on terrestrial ectotherms across latitude.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Curtis A; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Huey, Raymond B; Sheldon, Kimberly S; Ghalambor, Cameron K; Haak, David C; Martin, Paul R

    2008-05-01

    The impact of anthropogenic climate change on terrestrial organisms is often predicted to increase with latitude, in parallel with the rate of warming. Yet the biological impact of rising temperatures also depends on the physiological sensitivity of organisms to temperature change. We integrate empirical fitness curves describing the thermal tolerance of terrestrial insects from around the world with the projected geographic distribution of climate change for the next century to estimate the direct impact of warming on insect fitness across latitude. The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optimal temperature. In contrast, species at higher latitudes have broader thermal tolerance and are living in climates that are currently cooler than their physiological optima, so that warming may even enhance their fitness. Available thermal tolerance data for several vertebrate taxa exhibit similar patterns, suggesting that these results are general for terrestrial ectotherms. Our analyses imply that, in the absence of ameliorating factors such as migration and adaptation, the greatest extinction risks from global warming may be in the tropics, where biological diversity is also greatest.

  1. Dispersal and the transition to sympatry in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pigot, Alex L.; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    Under allopatric speciation models, a key step in the build-up of species richness is population dispersal leading to the co-occurrence of previously geographically isolated forms. Despite its central importance for community assembly, the extent to which the transition from spatial segregation (allopatry or parapatry) to coexistence (sympatry) is a predictable process, or alternatively one governed by chance and the vagaries of biogeographic history, remains poorly understood. Here, we use estimated divergence times and current patterns of geographical range overlap among sister species to explore the evolution of sympatry in vertebrates. We show that rates of transition to sympatry vary predictably according to ecology, being faster in marine or strongly dispersive terrestrial clades. This association with organism vagility is robust to the relative frequency of geographical speciation modes and consistent across taxonomic scales and metrics of dispersal ability. These findings reject neutral models of dispersal assembly based simply on evolutionary age and are not predicted by the main alternative view that range overlap is primarily constrained by biotic interactions. We conclude that species differences in dispersal limitation are fundamental in organizing the assembly of ecological communities and shaping broad-scale patterns of biodiversity over space and time. PMID:25621326

  2. The polar lipids from keratinized tissues of some vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Birkby, C S; Wertz, P W; Downing, D T

    1982-01-01

    1. The lipids from a variety of keratinized tissues from terrestrial vertebrates were extracted with chloroform:methanol and the nonpolar and saponifiable lipids were removed. The composition of the remaining polar lipids was examined by thin layer chromatography and color reactions. 2. The tissues studied included: hair from a monkey (Macacca fascicularis), dog (Canis familiaris), raccoon (Procyon lotor) and cow (Bos taurus); full-thickness epidermis from a pig (Sus scrofa) and pilot whale (Globicephala melaena); epidermal scales and feathers from a fowl (Gallus gallus); scales, feathers, beaks and claws from a turkey (Meleagris gallopavo); hoof and horn from cattle (Bos taurus); and cast skins from a Columbian boa (Boa constrictor) and a Ball python (Python regius). 3. All of the tissues contained both simple ceramides and highly polar glycolipids (presumably gangliosides). 4. Glycolipids of intermediate polarity were present in all of the tissues from birds and snakes and in the mammalian tissues which contained unkeratinized epidermal cells, but were absent from fully keratinized mammalian tissues such as hair, hoof and horn. 5. The presence of the highly polar gangliosides provides for the formation of the multiple intercellular lipid lamellae which have been observed in the epidermal horny layer of mammals, birds and reptiles and which are believed to constitute the epidermal barrier to water diffusion.

  3. Roles for FGF in lamprey pharyngeal pouch formation and skeletogenesis highlight ancestral functions in the vertebrate head.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Hawkins, M Brent; Cattell, Maria V; Cerny, Robert; Square, Tyler A; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2014-02-01

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head supported and protected by a cellularized endoskeleton. In jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes), the head skeleton is made of rigid three-dimensional elements connected by joints. By contrast, the head skeleton of modern jawless vertebrates (agnathans) consists of thin rods of flexible cellular cartilage, a condition thought to reflect the ancestral vertebrate state. To better understand the origin and evolution of the gnathostome head skeleton, we have been analyzing head skeleton development in the agnathan, lamprey. The fibroblast growth factors FGF3 and FGF8 have various roles during head development in jawed vertebrates, including pharyngeal pouch morphogenesis, patterning of the oral skeleton and chondrogenesis. We isolated lamprey homologs of FGF3, FGF8 and FGF receptors and asked whether these functions are ancestral features of vertebrate development or gnathostome novelties. Using gene expression and pharmacological agents, we found that proper formation of the lamprey head skeleton requires two phases of FGF signaling: an early phase during which FGFs drive pharyngeal pouch formation, and a later phase when they directly regulate skeletal differentiation and patterning. In the context of gene expression and functional studies in gnathostomes, our results suggest that these roles for FGFs arose in the first vertebrates and that the evolution of the jaw and gnathostome cellular cartilage was driven by changes developmentally downstream from pharyngeal FGF signaling.

  4. The Cosmochemistry of Terrestrial Xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmour, J. D.; Parai, R.

    2016-08-01

    As an alternative to seeking specific meteoritic xenon signatures in the Earth, we investigate how the processes that relate meteoritic xenon to the solar composition can account for the variation observed among terrestrial xenon signatures.

  5. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial carbonates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Rink, W. Jack; Thompson, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial carbonates encompass a wide range of materials that potentially could be used for radiocarbon (14C) dating. Biogenic carbonates, including shells and tests of terrestrial and aquatic gastropods, bivalves, ostracodes, and foraminifera, are preserved in a variety of late Quaternary deposits and may be suitable for 14C dating. Primary calcareous deposits (marls, tufa, speleothems) and secondary carbonates (rhizoliths, fracture fill, soil carbonate) may also be targeted for dating when conditions are favorable. This chapter discusses issues that are commonly encountered in 14C dating of terrestrial carbonates, including isotopic disequilibrium and open-system behavior, as well as methods used to determine the reliability of ages derived from these materials. Recent methodological advancements that may improve the accuracy and precision of 14C ages of terrestrial carbonates are also highlighted.

  6. Response of thoracolumbar vertebral bodies to high rate compressive loading - biomed 2013.

    PubMed

    Dooley, C J; Wester, B A; Wing, I D; Voo, L M; Armiger, R S; Merkle, A C

    2013-01-01

    Underbody blast (UBB) events created by improvised explosive devices are threats to warfighter survivability. High intensity blast waves emitted from these devices transfer large forces through vehicle structures to occupants, often resulting in injuries including debilitating spinal fractures. The vertical loading vector through the spine generates significant compressive forces at high strain rates. To better understand injury mechanisms and ultimately better protect vehicle occupants against UBB attacks, high-fidelity computational models are being developed to predict the human response to dynamic loading characteristic of these events. This effort details the results from a series of 23 high-rate compression tests on vertebral body specimen. A high-rate servo-hydraulic test system applied a range of compressive loading rates (.01 mm/s to 1238 mm/s) to vertebral bodies in the thoracolumbar region (T7-L5). The force-deflection curves generated indicate rate dependent sensitivity of vertebral stiffness, ultimate load and ultimate deflection. Specimen subjected to high-rate dynamic loading to failure experienced critical structural damage at 5.5% ± 2.1% deflection. Compared to quasi-static loading, vertebral bodies had greater stiffness, greater force to failure, and lower ultimate failure deflection at high rates. Post-failure, an average loss in height of 15% was observed, along with a mean reduction in strength of 48%. The resulting data from these tests will allow for enhanced biofidelity of computational models by characterizing the vertebral stiffness response and ultimate deflection at rates representative of UBB events.

  7. Transposon-mediated Genome Manipulations in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ivics, Zoltán; Li, Meng Amy; Mátés, Lajos; Boeke, Jef D.; Bradley, Allan; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna

    2010-01-01

    Transposable elements are segments of DNA with the unique ability to move about in the genome. This inherent feature can be exploited to harness these elements as gene vectors for diverse genome manipulations. Transposon-based genetic strategies have been established in vertebrate species over the last decade, and current progress in this field indicates that transposable elements will serve as indispensable tools in the genetic toolkit of vertebrate models. In particular, transposons can be applied as vectors for somatic and germline transgenesis, and as insertional mutagens in both loss-of-function and gain-of-function forward mutagenesis screens. The major advantage of using transposons as genetic tools is that they facilitate analysis of gene function in an easy, controlled and scalable manner. Transposon-based technologies are beginning to be exploited to link sequence information to gene functions in vertebrate models. In this article, we provide an overview of transposon-based methods used in vertebrate model organisms, and highlight the most important considerations concerning genetic applications of the transposon systems. PMID:19478801

  8. Vertebral choristoma in lipomyelomeningocele: a case report.

    PubMed

    Joshua, S P; Singh, Pankaj Kumar; Mahapatra, A K

    2012-01-01

    Lipomeningocele is a type of occult spinal dysraphism characterized by a subcutaneous lipomatous mass that protrudes through a midline bony defect. We report a rare presentation of this condition--a vertebral choristoma wherein the lipomatous mass displaced the normally formed posterior elements--lamina and spinous process of L4 vertebra dorsally to an abnormal location in the absence of a bony defect.

  9. Vertebral osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus lugdunensis.

    PubMed Central

    Murdoch, D R; Everts, R J; Chambers, S T; Cowan, I A

    1996-01-01

    We present the first reported case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus lugdunensis. The infection occurred in an 80-year-old woman who had been taking glucocorticosteroids. S. lugdunensis is a coagulase-negative staphylococcus with considerable potential as a human pathogen. Isolation of this organism should be regarded as significant unless evidence suggests otherwise. PMID:8815128

  10. [Sex inversion and epigenetic regulation in Vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Trukhina, A V; Lukina, N A; Nekrasova, A A; Smirnov, A F

    2015-03-01

    This review discusses issues related to the regulation of sex determination and differentiation in various groups of Vertebrates. Special attention was paid to factors of external and internal control for various genetic systems of sex determination, as well as to the epigenetic control of this process. Opportunities for sex inversion in various animals were also discussed.

  11. Diagnosis and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Jason; Davis, Amy

    2016-07-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common complication of osteoporosis, affecting more than 700,000 Americans annually. Fracture risk increases with age, with four in 10 white women older than 50 years experiencing a hip, spine, or vertebral fracture in their lifetime. VCFs can lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, height loss, impaired activities of daily living, increased risk of pressure sores, pneumonia, and psychological distress. Patients with an acute VCF may report abrupt onset of back pain with position changes, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. Physical examination findings are often normal, but can demonstrate kyphosis and midline spine tenderness. More than two-thirds of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally on plain radiography. Acute VCFs may be treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, and calcitonin. Physicians must be mindful of medication adverse effects in older patients. Other conservative therapeutic options include limited bed rest, bracing, physical therapy, nerve root blocks, and epidural injections. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, is controversial, but can be considered in patients with inadequate pain relief with nonsurgical care or when persistent pain substantially affects quality of life. Family physicians can help prevent vertebral fractures through management of risk factors and the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:27386723

  12. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  13. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  14. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  15. A comparative analysis of vertebrate sex determination.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Andrew; Smith, Craig; Western, Patrick; McClive, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Sex determination in vertebrates is controlled by a variety of mechanisms. We compared the expression of SF1, DAX1, DMRT1, SOX9 and AMH during gonadogenesis in the mouse, chicken and alligator embryo. In contrast to the expression profile of Sf1 in mouse embryos, chicken and alligator embryos show higher levels of Sf1 expression in the developing ovaries compared to testes. This may reflect the higher level of sex hormone synthesis in the ovary compared to the testis in chickens and alligators. The DAX1 gene has a similar expression profile in all three vertebrate species but appears to have different gene structure. As in mouse, DMRT1 was expressed at very high levels in the chicken and alligator male gonad. The male-specific up-regulation of SOX9 expression appears to be a common feature in all three vertebrates. In the chicken and alligator AMH is expressed prior to SOX9, suggesting that in these species SOX9 cannot initiate AMH expression as it does in mammals. SOX9 acts at multiple points in the vertebrate testis pathway but it appears that only some of these functions have been conserved through evolution. PMID:11990786

  16. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  17. Global Patterns in Post-Dispersal Seed Removal by Invertebrates and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W.; Moles, Angela T.

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  18. Global patterns in post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W; Moles, Angela T

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  19. Prioritizing islands for the eradication of invasive vertebrates in the United Kingdom overseas territories.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Jeffrey; Oppel, Steffen; Cuthbert, Richard J; Holmes, Nick; Bird, Jeremy P; Butchart, Stuart H M; Spatz, Dena R; Tershy, Bernie

    2015-02-01

    Invasive alien species are one of the primary threats to native biodiversity on islands worldwide. Consequently, eradicating invasive species from islands has become a mainstream conservation practice. Deciding which islands have the highest priority for eradication is of strategic importance to allocate limited resources to achieve maximum conservation benefit. Previous island prioritizations focused either on a narrow set of native species or on a small geographic area. We devised a prioritization approach that incorporates all threatened native terrestrial vertebrates and all invasive terrestrial vertebrates occurring on 11 U.K. overseas territories, which comprise over 2000 islands ranging from the sub-Antarctic to the tropics. Our approach includes eradication feasibility and distinguishes between the potential and realistic conservation value of an eradication, which reflects the benefit that would accrue following eradication of either all invasive species or only those species for which eradication techniques currently exist. We identified the top 25 priority islands for invasive species eradication that together would benefit extant populations of 155 native species including 45 globally threatened species. The 5 most valuable islands included the 2 World Heritage islands Gough (South Atlantic) and Henderson (South Pacific) that feature unique seabird colonies, and Anegada, Little Cayman, and Guana Island in the Caribbean that feature a unique reptile fauna. This prioritization can be rapidly repeated if new information or techniques become available, and the approach could be replicated elsewhere in the world.

  20. De novo synthesis of a sunscreen compound in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Osborn, Andrew R; Almabruk, Khaled H; Holzwarth, Garrett; Asamizu, Shumpei; LaDu, Jane; Kean, Kelsey M; Karplus, P Andrew; Tanguay, Robert L; Bakalinsky, Alan T; Mahmud, Taifo

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet-protective compounds, such as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) and related gadusols produced by some bacteria, fungi, algae, and marine invertebrates, are critical for the survival of reef-building corals and other marine organisms exposed to high-solar irradiance. These compounds have also been found in marine fish, where their accumulation is thought to be of dietary or symbiont origin. In this study, we report the unexpected discovery that fish can synthesize gadusol de novo and that the analogous pathways are also present in amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Furthermore, we demonstrate that engineered yeast containing the fish genes can produce and secrete gadusol. The discovery of the gadusol pathway in vertebrates provides a platform for understanding its role in these animals, and the possibility of engineering yeast to efficiently produce a natural sunscreen and antioxidant presents an avenue for its large-scale production for possible use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. PMID:25965179

  1. [Gas dissection of the vertebral body or the vertebral intrasomatic space phenomenon. Physiopathological arguments].

    PubMed

    Michel, J L; Bouzat, J; Rivoal, A; de Pradel de Lamaze, P; Viallet, J F; Belin, J; Merle, P

    1982-01-01

    Some features concerning the ischemic origin of the gaseous dissection of the vertebral body and the physiopathology of the necrose, are considered in the adult: --in the way, the anterior topography of vaccum phenomenon is on the model of the arterial distribution in the vertebral body, implying ischemic origin of gaseous dissection; --further, two cases of intravertebral vaccum cleft, noticed after minor trauma, suggest the major role of fractures at the origin of ischemia.

  2. Vertebral body stenting: a new method for vertebral augmentation versus kyphoplasty

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Heiner; Fuerderer, Sebastian; Gabl, Michael; Roeder, Christoph; Heini, Paul; Mittlmeier, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are well-established minimally invasive treatment options for compression fractures of osteoporotic vertebral bodies. Possible procedural disadvantages, however, include incomplete fracture reduction or a significant loss of reduction after balloon tamp deflation, prior to cement injection. A new procedure called “vertebral body stenting” (VBS) was tested in vitro and compared to kyphoplasty. VBS uses a specially designed catheter-mounted stent which can be implanted and expanded inside the vertebral body. As much as 24 fresh frozen human cadaveric vertebral bodies (T11-L5) were utilized. After creating typical compression fractures, the vertebral bodies were reduced by kyphoplasty (n = 12) or by VBS (n = 12) and then stabilized with PMMA bone cement. Each step of the procedure was performed under fluoroscopic control and analysed quantitatively. Finally, static and dynamic biomechanical tests were performed. A complete initial reduction of the fractured vertebral body height was achieved by both systems. There was a significant loss of reduction after balloon deflation in kyphoplasty compared to VBS, and a significant total height gain by VBS (mean ± SD in %, p < 0.05, demonstrated by: anterior height loss after deflation in relation to preoperative height [kyphoplasty: 11.7 ± 6.2; VBS: 3.7 ± 3.8], and total anterior height gain [kyphoplasty: 8.0 ± 9.4; VBS: 13.3 ± 7.6]). Biomechanical tests showed no significant stiffness and failure load differences between systems. VBS is an innovative technique which allows for the possibly complete reduction of vertebral compression fractures and helps maintain the restored height by means of a stent. The height loss after balloon deflation is significantly decreased by using VBS compared to kyphoplasty, thus offering a new promising option for vertebral augmentation. PMID:20191393

  3. Determination of vertebral pose in 3D by minimization of vertebral asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrtovec, Tomaž; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2011-03-01

    The vertebral pose in three dimensions (3D) may provide valuable information for quantitative clinical measurements or aid the initialization of image analysis techniques. We propose a method for automated determination of the vertebral pose in 3D that, in an iterative registration scheme, estimates the position and rotation of the vertebral coordinate system in 3D images. By searching for the hypothetical points, which are located where the boundaries of anatomical structures would have maximal symmetrical correspondences when mirrored over the vertebral planes, the asymmetry of vertebral anatomical structures is minimized. The method was evaluated on 14 normal and 14 scoliotic vertebrae in images acquired by computed tomography (CT). For each vertebra, 1000 randomly initialized experiments were performed. The results show that the vertebral pose can be successfully determined in 3D with mean accuracy of 0.5mm and 0.6° and mean precision of 0.17mm and 0.17. according to the 3D position and 3D rotation, respectively.

  4. Gratkorn - A new late Middle Miocene vertebrate fauna from Styria (Late Sarmatian, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, M.; Böhme, M.; Prieto, J.

    2009-04-01

    Integrated stratigraphic approaches provide precise correlations of global standard stages with regional Paratethys stages. Nevertheless, higher resolution stratigraphic matching of terrestrial deposits remains challenging due to the lack of a practical continental biostratigraphy. The mostly used tool for biostratigraphic correlation of non-marine deposits in the Old World is still the concept of Neogene Mammal-zones (MN-zones). However, at higher biostratigraphic resolution (<1 million years) this concept looses its practicability and has to be replaced by a taxon-range-zonation. To solve this problem a higher number of independently dated small-mammal localities are needed. This is especially crucial for the late Middle to earliest Late Miocene, for which vertebrate faunas in the (Central-)Paratethyan area rare. Recently, a new vertebrate fauna was discovered at the locality Gratkorn (clay pit St. Stefan) just beyond the northwestern margin of the Styrian Basin (Gratkorn Basin; 10 km NW Graz; 15°20'55"E/47°08'15"N). The fauna originates from a c. 0.5 m thick hydromorphic paleosol, underlain by fluvial sands and gravels and topped by c. 15 m thick limnic pelites (Gross, 2008). Sedimentological data as well as the gastropod (Harzhauser et al., 2008) and vertebrate faunas point to a highly structured, more or less vegetated alluvial fan/braided river landscape. Active and abandoned fluvial channels, moist floodplain-soils and ephemeral ponds but also nearby dryer open areas and limestone screes of the up-lifting Palaeozoic basement offered a wide range of habitats. The occurrence of xero- and thermophile terrestrial gastropods and ectothermic vertebrates correspond well with the late Middle/early Late Miocene dry-spell in Central Europe (Böhme et al., 2008). Furthermore, an overall semiarid climate is supported by the development of a calcrete horizon c. 0.6 m below the fossiliferous horizon. The vertebrate remains are irregularly distributed throughout the

  5. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin; Banks, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter discusses mercury cycling in the terrestrial landscape, including inputs from the atmosphere, accumulation in soils and vegetation, outputs in streamflow and volatilization, and effects of land disturbance. Mercury mobility in the terrestrial landscape is strongly controlled by organic matter. About 90% of the atmospheric mercury input is retained in vegetation and organic matter in soils, causing a buildup of legacy mercury. Some mercury is volatilized back to the atmosphere, but most export of mercury from watersheds occurs by streamflow. Stream mercury export is episodic, in association with dissolved and particulate organic carbon, as stormflow and snowmelt flush organic-rich shallow soil horizons. The terrestrial landscape is thus a major source of mercury to downstream aquatic environments, where mercury is methylated and enters the aquatic food web. With ample organic matter and sulfur, methylmercury forms in uplands as well—in wetlands, riparian zones, and other anoxic sites. Watershed features (topography, land cover type, and soil drainage class) are often more important than atmospheric mercury deposition in controlling the amount of stream mercury and methylmercury export. While reductions in atmospheric mercury deposition may rapidly benefit lakes, the terrestrial landscape will respond only over decades, because of the large stock and slow turnover of legacy mercury. We conclude with a discussion of future scenarios and the challenge of managing terrestrial mercury.

  6. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  7. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  8. The variety of vertebrate mechanisms of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Trukhina, Antonina V; Lukina, Natalia A; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D; Smirnov, Alexander F

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24369014

  9. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: An Economic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Untreated vertebral compression fractures can have serious clinical consequences and impose a considerable impact on patients' quality of life and on caregivers. Since non-surgical management of these fractures has limited effectiveness, vertebral augmentation procedures are gaining acceptance in clinical practice for pain control and fracture stabilization. The objective of this analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in patients with cancer. Methods We performed a systematic review of health economic studies to identify relevant studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in adults with cancer. We also performed a primary cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the clinical benefits and costs of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management in the same population. We developed a Markov model to forecast benefits and harms of treatments, and corresponding quality-adjusted life years and costs. Clinical data and utility data were derived from published sources, while costing data were derived using Ontario administrative sources. We performed sensitivity analyses to examine the robustness of the results. In addition, a 1-year budget impact analysis was performed using data from Ontario administrative sources. Two scenarios were explored: (a) an increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario, maintaining the current proportion of kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty; and (b) no increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario but an increase in the proportion of kyphoplasties versus vertebroplasties. Results The base case considered each of

  10. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  11. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle

    PubMed Central

    Schimel, David; Fisher, Joshua B.

    2015-01-01

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation. PMID:25548156

  12. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Schimel, David; Stephens, Britton B; Fisher, Joshua B

    2015-01-13

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation.

  13. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Schimel, David; Stephens, Britton B; Fisher, Joshua B

    2015-01-13

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation. PMID:25548156

  14. Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimel, David; Stephens, Britton B.; Fisher, Joshua B.

    2015-01-01

    Feedbacks from the terrestrial carbon cycle significantly affect future climate change. The CO2 concentration dependence of global terrestrial carbon storage is one of the largest and most uncertain feedbacks. Theory predicts the CO2 effect should have a tropical maximum, but a large terrestrial sink has been contradicted by analyses of atmospheric CO2 that do not show large tropical uptake. Our results, however, show significant tropical uptake and, combining tropical and extratropical fluxes, suggest that up to 60% of the present-day terrestrial sink is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. This conclusion is consistent with a validated subset of atmospheric analyses, but uncertainty remains. Improved model diagnostics and new space-based observations can reduce the uncertainty of tropical and temperate zone carbon flux estimates. This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This feedback will have substantial tropical contributions, but the magnitude of future carbon uptake by tropical forests also depends on how they respond to climate change and requires their protection from deforestation.

  15. Soil inoculation steers restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wubs, E R Jasper; van der Putten, Wim H; Bosch, Machiel; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Many natural ecosystems have been degraded because of human activities(1,2) and need to be restored so that biodiversity is protected. However, restoration can take decades and restoration activities are often unsuccessful(3) because of abiotic constraints (for example, eutrophication, acidification) and unfavourable biotic conditions (for example, competition or adverse soil community composition). A key question is what manageable factors prevent transition from degraded to restored ecosystems and what interventions are required for successful restoration(2,4). Experiments have shown that the soil community is an important driver of plant community development(5-8), suggesting that manipulation of the soil community is key to successful restoration of terrestrial ecosystems(3,9). Here we examine a large-scale, six-year-old field experiment on ex-arable land and show that application of soil inocula not only promotes ecosystem restoration, but that different origins of soil inocula can steer the plant community development towards different target communities, varying from grassland to heathland vegetation. The impact of soil inoculation on plant and soil community composition was most pronounced when the topsoil layer was removed, whereas effects were less strong, but still significant, when the soil inocula were introduced into intact topsoil. Therefore, soil inoculation is a powerful tool to both restore disturbed terrestrial ecosystems and steer plant community development. PMID:27398907

  16. Soil inoculation steers restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wubs, E R Jasper; van der Putten, Wim H; Bosch, Machiel; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2016-07-11

    Many natural ecosystems have been degraded because of human activities(1,2) and need to be restored so that biodiversity is protected. However, restoration can take decades and restoration activities are often unsuccessful(3) because of abiotic constraints (for example, eutrophication, acidification) and unfavourable biotic conditions (for example, competition or adverse soil community composition). A key question is what manageable factors prevent transition from degraded to restored ecosystems and what interventions are required for successful restoration(2,4). Experiments have shown that the soil community is an important driver of plant community development(5-8), suggesting that manipulation of the soil community is key to successful restoration of terrestrial ecosystems(3,9). Here we examine a large-scale, six-year-old field experiment on ex-arable land and show that application of soil inocula not only promotes ecosystem restoration, but that different origins of soil inocula can steer the plant community development towards different target communities, varying from grassland to heathland vegetation. The impact of soil inoculation on plant and soil community composition was most pronounced when the topsoil layer was removed, whereas effects were less strong, but still significant, when the soil inocula were introduced into intact topsoil. Therefore, soil inoculation is a powerful tool to both restore disturbed terrestrial ecosystems and steer plant community development.

  17. Box jellyfish use terrestrial visual cues for navigation.

    PubMed

    Garm, Anders; Oskarsson, Magnus; Nilsson, Dan-Eric

    2011-05-10

    Box jellyfish have an impressive set of 24 eyes of four different types, including eyes structurally similar to those of vertebrates and cephalopods [1, 2]. However, the known visual responses are restricted to simple phototaxis, shadow responses, and object avoidance responses [3-8], and it has been a puzzle why they need such a complex set of eyes. Here we report that medusae of the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora are capable of visually guided navigation in mangrove swamps using terrestrial structures seen through the water surface. They detect the mangrove canopy by an eye type that is specialized to peer up through the water surface and that is suspended such that it is constantly looking straight up, irrespective of the orientation of the jellyfish. The visual information is used to navigate to the preferred habitat at the edge of mangrove lagoons. PMID:21530262

  18. The Terrestrial Eocene-Oligocene Transition in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prothero, Donald R.; Emry, Robert J.

    1996-06-01

    The transition from the Eocene to the Oligocene epoch, occurring approximately 47 to 30 million years ago, was the most dramatic episode of climatic and biotic change since the demise of the dinosaurs. The mild tropical climates of the Paleocene and early Eocene were replaced by modern climatic conditions and extremes, including glacial ice in Antarctica. The first part of this book summarizes the latest information in the dating and correlation of the strata of late middle Eocene through early Oligocene age in North America. The second part reviews almost all the important terrestrial reptiles and mammals found near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, in the White River Chronofauna--from the turtles, snakes and lizards to the common rodents, carnivores, oreodonts and deer of the Badlands. This is the first comprehensive treatment of these topics in over sixty years, and will be invaluable to vertebrate paleontologists, geologists, mammalogists and evolutionary biologists.

  19. Terrestrial ecosystems and climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Emanuel, W.R. ); Schimel, D.S. . Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    1990-01-01

    The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems depend on climate, and in turn, ecosystems influence atmospheric composition and climate. A comprehensive, global model of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics is needed. A hierarchical approach appears advisable given currently available concepts, data, and formalisms. The organization of models can be based on the temporal scales involved. A rapidly responding model describes the processes associated with photosynthesis, including carbon, moisture, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. An intermediate model handles subannual variations that are closely associated with allocation and seasonal changes in productivity and decomposition. A slow response model describes plant growth and succession with associated element cycling over decades and centuries. These three levels of terrestrial models are linked through common specifications of environmental conditions and constrain each other. 58 refs.

  20. Utilization of the terrestrial cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Furukawa, Jun; Kimura, Shunta; Yokoshima, Mika; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    The terrestrial, N _{2}-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune has expected to utilize for agriculture, food and terraforming cause of its extracellular polysaccharide, desiccation tolerance and nitrogen fixation. Previously, the first author indicated that desiccation related genes were analyzed and the suggested that the genes were related to nitrogen fixation and metabolisms. In this report, we suggest possibility of agriculture, using the cyanobacterium. Further, we also found radioactive compounds accumulated N. commune (cyanobacterium) in Fukushima, Japan after nuclear accident. Thus, it is investigated to decontaminate radioactive compounds from the surface soil by the cyanobacterium and showed to accumulate radioactive compounds using the cyanobacterium. We will discuss utilization of terrestrial cyanobacteria under closed environment. Keyword: Desiccation, terrestrial cyanobacteria, bioremediation, agriculture

  1. Vertebral destruction due to abdominal aortic aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez Viseu Pinheiro, J.F.; Blanco Blanco, J.F.; Pescador Hernández, D.; García García, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Low back pain is a common cause of medical consultation, and usually supposes a non-malignant prognostic. Presentation of case We report an atypical appearance of low back pain associated to shock and pulsatile abdominal mass that made us diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm as reason of vertebral lysis and pain. Discusion Surgical repair of contained AAA should be directed to secondary re-rupture prevention, with an approximate survival near to 100% at selected patients for elective surgery. Consequently, orthopedic surgery for back spine stabilization has to be elective in those cases when vertebral destruction is above 30% and clinic is directly related to spine instability. Conclusion We should consider AAA as other cause of low back pain and routinely examine the abdomen and seek complementary imaging proves when risk factors for AAA are present. PMID:25569196

  2. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  3. Acute compressive myelopathy due to vertebral haemangioma.

    PubMed

    Macki, Mohamed; Bydon, Mohamad; Kaloostian, Paul; Bydon, Ali

    2014-04-28

    A 47-year-old woman with a history of anaemia presented to the emergency room with an acute onset of leg weakness. Physical examination of the bilateral lower extremities was significant for 0/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups with decreased pinprick and temperature sensation. A sensory level at the umbilicus was appreciated. Fine touch and proprioception were preserved. Bowel and bladder function were intact. CT revealed several thoracic, vertebral haemangiomatas. An MRI was suggestive of an epidural clot at the T8-T10-weighted posterior epidural space. At the level of the lesion, the cerebrospinal fluid space was completely effaced, and the flattened spinal cord exhibited signs of oedema and compressive myelopathy. The patient immediately underwent surgical decompression of the spinal cord. An epidural clot and vessel conglomeration were identified. A postoperative spinal angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of vertebral haemangioma. At 1-month follow-up, the patient regained strength and sensation.

  4. Brain size varies with temperature in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gillooly, James F; McCoy, Michael W

    2014-01-01

    The tremendous variation in brain size among vertebrates has long been thought to be related to differences in species' metabolic rates. It is thought that species with higher metabolic rates can supply more energy to support the relatively high cost of brain tissue. And yet, while body temperature is known to be a major determinant of metabolic rate, the possible effects of temperature on brain size have scarcely been explored. Thus, here we explore the effects of temperature on brain size among diverse vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals). We find that, after controlling for body size, brain size increases exponentially with temperature in much the same way as metabolic rate. These results suggest that temperature-dependent changes in aerobic capacity, which have long been known to affect physical performance, similarly affect brain size. The observed temperature-dependence of brain size may explain observed gradients in brain size among both ectotherms and endotherms across broad spatial and temporal scales.

  5. Population momentum across vertebrate life histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koons, D.N.; Grand, J.B.; Arnold, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Population abundance is critically important in conservation, management, and demographic theory. Thus, to better understand how perturbations to the life history affect long-term population size, we examined population momentum for four vertebrate classes with different life history strategies. In a series of demographic experiments we show that population momentum generally has a larger effect on long-term population size for organisms with long generation times than for organisms with short generation times. However, patterns between population momentum and generation time varied across taxonomic groups and according to the life history parameter that was changed. Our findings indicate that momentum may be an especially important aspect of population dynamics for long-lived vertebrates, and deserves greater attention in life history studies. Further, we discuss the importance of population momentum in natural resource management, pest control, and conservation arenas. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Turning Heads: Development of Vertebrate Branchiomotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2007-01-01

    The cranial motor neurons innervate muscles that control eye, jaw, and facial movements of the vertebrate head and parasympathetic neurons that innervate certain glands and organs. These efferent neurons develop at characteristic locations in the brainstem, and their axons exit the neural tube in well-defined trajectories to innervate target tissues. This review is focused on a subset of cranial motor neurons called the branchiomotor neurons, which innervate muscles derived from the branchial (pharyngeal) arches. First, the organization of the branchiomotor pathways in zebrafish, chick, and mouse embryos will be compared, and the underlying axon guidance mechanisms will be addressed. Next, the molecular mechanisms that generate branchiomotor neurons and specify their identities will be discussed. Finally, the caudally directed or tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons will be examined. Given the advances in the characterization and analysis of vertebrate genomes, we can expect rapid progress in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these vital neuronal networks. PMID:14699587

  7. Photoreceptor cell fate specification in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brzezinski, Joseph A.; Reh, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptors – the light-sensitive cells in the vertebrate retina – have been extremely well-characterized with regards to their biochemistry, cell biology and physiology. They therefore provide an excellent model for exploring the factors and mechanisms that drive neural progenitors into a differentiated cell fate in the nervous system. As a result, great progress in understanding the transcriptional network that controls photoreceptor specification and differentiation has been made over the last 20 years. This progress has also enabled the production of photoreceptors from pluripotent stem cells, thereby aiding the development of regenerative medical approaches to eye disease. In this Review, we outline the signaling and transcription factors that drive vertebrate photoreceptor development and discuss how these function together in gene regulatory networks to control photoreceptor cell fate specification. PMID:26443631

  8. Dynamic epithelia of the developing vertebrate face

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Chong Pyo; Crump, J. Gage

    2015-01-01

    A segmental series of endoderm-derived pouch and ectoderm-derived cleft epithelia act as signaling centers in the developing face. Their precise morphogenesis is therefore essential for proper patterning of the vertebrate head. Intercellular adhesion and polarity are highly dynamic within developing facial epithelial cells, with signaling from the adjacent mesenchyme controlling both epithelial character and directional migration. Endodermal and ectodermal epithelia fuse to form the primary mouth and gill slits, which involves basement membrane dissolution, cell intercalations, and apoptosis, as well as undergo further morphogenesis to generate the middle ear cavity and glands of the neck. Recent studies of facial epithelia are revealing both core programs of epithelial morphogenesis and insights into the coordinated assembly of the vertebrate head. PMID:25748249

  9. Vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene eolianites on Antiparos (Cyclades, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickel, L.; Draganits, E.; Gier, S.; Zuschin, M.

    2010-05-01

    Yellowish calcarenites have been mapped at many localities along the NW coast of Antiparos. These sandstones, which form dm to 5 m thick layers unconformably resting on greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic rocks of the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides, have been traced from below sea-level up to an elevation of approximately 80 m. Generally, the bedding and internal laminae are oriented parallel to the slope of the underlying crystalline rocks without forming any morphological terraces. Cross-bedding, with dip-angles >35°, has only rarely been recorded. Petrographically, the rocks are dominated by marine bioclasts including mainly corallinacean red algae, benthic foraminifers and fragments of gastropods and bivalves with siliciclastic components forming less than 20% of the rock, cemented by calcite. Grains are well-rounded and well-sorted, with grain sizes ranging from medium sand to granule sizes. Based on the areal distribution of the sedimentary structures (e.g. pin-stripe lamination, high-angle cross-bedding), the occurrence of terrestrial gastropod shells and the correlation with almost identical sandstones elsewhere in the Mediterranean, they most likely have both an eolian origin and a Pleistocene age. At several localities, vertebrate tracks and trackways have been found in the sandstones; this is the first report of vertebrate trackways in Pleistocene sandstones of the Aegean. However, comparable trackways, both in age and size, have been reported on Mallorca and Sardinia. Tracks have been found on both exposed bedding surfaces and in cross-section, where tracks are concentrated along certain horizons; the tracks are about 11 cm wide and 4 cm deep. On bedding surfaces, at least two distinguishable trackways have been observed but, due to their overlapping and weathering, the differentiation between manus and pes impressions is challenging. This, and the relatively short length of individual trackways - the longest traceable

  10. Transmission of ranavirus between ectothermic vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wilkes, Rebecca P; Miller, Debra L

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen's persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance.

  11. Light sensitivity in a vertebrate mechanoreceptor?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Gary E.; de Grip, Willem J.; Turton, Michael; Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Foster, Russell G.; Douglas, Ron H.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis, we demonstrate that melanopsin is localised in cells around the central pore of lateral line neuromasts in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Since melanopsin is a known photoreceptor pigment with diverse functions in vertebrates, we suggest that the lateral line of Xenopus laevis, which is primarily a mechanoreceptor, might also be light sensitive. Potential functions of such photosensitivity are discussed, including its role in mediating locomotor responses following dermal illumination. PMID:26206352

  12. The Timing of Timezyme Diversification in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2′paralogs, the 2′ isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  13. The timing of Timezyme diversification in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2'paralogs, the 2' isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  14. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater is a vital resource and also a dynamic component of the water cycle. Unconfined aquifer storage is less responsive to short term weather conditions than the near surface terrestrial water storage (TWS) components (soil moisture, surface water, and snow). However, save for the permanently frozen regions, it typically exhibits a larger range of variability over multi-annual periods than the other components. Groundwater is poorly monitored at the global scale, but terrestrial water storage (TWS) change data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission are a reasonable proxy for unconfined groundwater at climatic scales.

  15. Priapism caused by 'Tribulus terrestris'.

    PubMed

    Campanelli, M; De Thomasis, R; Tenaglia, R L

    2016-01-01

    A 36-year-old Caucasian man was diagnosed with a 72-h-lasting priapism that occurred after the assumption of a Herbal supplement based on Tribulus terrestris, which is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. The patient underwent a cavernoglandular shunt (Ebbehoj shunt) in order to obtain complete detumescence, from which derived negative post-episode outcomes on sexual function. All patients consuming non-FDA-approved alternative supplements such as Tribulus terrestris should be warned about the possible serious side effects.

  16. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-11-24

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species.

  17. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors. PMID:25312375

  18. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight. PMID:27030773

  19. Effects of hypoxia on vertebrate blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Russell, Michael J; Dombkowski, Ryan A; Olson, Kenneth R

    2008-03-01

    Hypoxia contracts mammalian respiratory vessels and increases vascular resistance in respiratory tissues of many vertebrates. In systemic vessels these responses vary, hypoxia relaxes mammalian vessels and contracts systemic arteries from cyclostomes. It has been proposed that hypoxic vasoconstriction in cyclostome systemic arteries is the antecedent to mammalian hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, however, phylogenetic characterization of hypoxic responses is lacking. In this study, we characterized the hypoxic response of isolated systemic and respiratory vessels from a variety of vertebrates using standard myography. Pre-gill/respiratory (ventral aorta, afferent branchial artery, pulmonary artery) and post-gill/systemic (dorsal and thoracic aortas, efferent branchial artery) from lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), chicken (Gallus domesticus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) were exposed to hypoxia at rest or during pre-stimulation (elevated extracellular potassium, epinephrine or norepinephrine). Hypoxia produced a relaxation or transient contraction followed by relaxation in all pre-gill vessels, except for contraction in lamprey, and vasoconstriction or tri-phasic constriction-dilation-constriction in all pulmonary vessels. Hypoxia contracted systemic vessels from all animals except shark and rat and in pre-contracted rat aortas it produced a transient contraction followed by relaxation. These results show that while the classic "systemic hypoxic vasodilation and pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction" may occur in the microcirculation, the hypoxic response of the vertebrate macrocirculation is quite variable. These findings also suggest that hypoxic vasoconstriction is a phylogenetically ancient response. PMID:18214862

  20. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  1. T-cell receptors in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S; De Guerra, A; Kerfourn, F; Partula, S

    1998-12-01

    The structure and expression of genes encoding molecules homologous to mammalian T-cell receptors (TCR) have been recently studied in ectothermic vertebrate species representative of chondrychthians, teleosts, and amphibians. The overall TCR chain structure is well conserved in phylogeny: TCR beta- and TCR alpha-like chains were detected in all the species analyzed; TCR gamma- and TCR delta-like chains were also present in a chondrychthian species. The diversity potential of the variable (V) and joining (J) segments is rather large and, as in mammals, conserved diversity (D) segments are associated to the TCR beta and TCR delta chains. An important level of junctional diversity occurred at the V-(D)-J junctions, with the potential addition of N- and P-nucleotides. Thus, the conservation of the structure and of the potential of diversity of TCR molecules have been under a permanent selective pressure during vertebrate evolution. The structure of MHC class I and class II molecules was also well conserved in jawed vertebrates. TCR and MHC molecules are strongly functionally linked and play a determinant role in the initiation and the regulation of the specific immune responses; thus, it is not surprising that their structures have been reciprocally frozen during evolution. PMID:9914905

  2. Nestedness of Ectoparasite-Vertebrate Host Networks

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Sean P.; Hassan, Hassan K.; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D.; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    Determining the structure of ectoparasite-host networks will enable disease ecologists to better understand and predict the spread of vector-borne diseases. If these networks have consistent properties, then studying the structure of well-understood networks could lead to extrapolation of these properties to others, including those that support emerging pathogens. Borrowing a quantitative measure of network structure from studies of mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators, we analyzed 29 ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks—including three derived from molecular bloodmeal analysis of mosquito feeding patterns—using measures of nestedness to identify non-random interactions among species. We found significant nestedness in ectoparasite-vertebrate host lists for habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to polar environments. These networks showed non-random patterns of nesting, and did not differ significantly from published estimates of nestedness from mutualistic networks. Mutualistic and antagonistic networks appear to be organized similarly, with generalized ectoparasites interacting with hosts that attract many ectoparasites and more specialized ectoparasites usually interacting with these same “generalized” hosts. This finding has implications for understanding the network dynamics of vector-born pathogens. We suggest that nestedness (rather than random ectoparasite-host associations) can allow rapid transfer of pathogens throughout a network, and expand upon such concepts as the dilution effect, bridge vectors, and host switching in the context of nested ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks. PMID:19924299

  3. Fungal osteomyelitis with vertebral re-ossification

    PubMed Central

    O′Guinn, Devon J.; Serletis, Demitre; Kazemi, Noojan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We present a rare case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to pulmonary Blastomyces dermatitides. Presentation of case A 27-year-old male presented with three months of chest pains and non-productive cough. Examination revealed diminished breath sounds on the right. CT/MR imaging confirmed a right-sided pre-/paravertebral soft tissue mass and destructive lytic lesions from T2 to T6. CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed granulomatous pulmonary Blastomycosis. Conservative management with antifungal therapy was initiated. Neurosurgical review confirmed no clinical or profound radiographic instability, and the patient was stabilized with TLSO bracing. Serial imaging 3 months later revealed near-resolution of the thoracic soft tissue mass, with vertebral re-ossification from T2 to T6. Discussion Fungal osteomyelitis presents a rare entity in the spectrum of spinal infections. In such cases, lytic spinal lesions are classically seen in association with a large paraspinous mass. Fungal infections of the spinal column may be treated conservatively, with surgical intervention reserved for progressive cases manifesting with neurological compromise and/or spinal column instability. Here, we found unexpected evidence for vertebral re-ossification across the affected thoracic levels (T2-6) in response to IV antibiotic therapy and conservative bracing, nearly 3 months later. PMID:26692163

  4. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight.

  5. The Immunoglobulins of Cold-Blooded Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  6. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors.

  7. Terrestrial ecosystem biomonitoring at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, R.; Matiatos, D.; Seery, D.; Hetrick, M.; Griess, J.; Henry, C.; Vaughn, S.; Miesner, J.

    1994-12-31

    In 1987 the Fish and Wildlife Service became actively involved in wildlife population monitoring at the Arsenal because of the discovery of a bald eagle roost on the site. Since that time the Service has conducted or funded a variety of investigations to inventory the wildlife species present at the Arsenal and determine their population status. As time progressed and as a result of the passage of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge legislation in 1992, the Service developed a biomonitoring strategy to determine the current effects of contaminants on terrestrial wildlife resources at the Arsenal and evaluate the efficacy of remediation to ensure the protection and restoration of wildlife resources at the future refuge. This poster will present an overview of the species being studied, measurement and assessment endpoints, strategies, and methods being used by the Service to assess wildlife health as it relates to contaminant exposure.

  8. Radiation protection in space.

    PubMed

    Reitz, G; Facius, R; Sandler, H

    1995-01-01

    Radiation environment, basic concepts of radiation protection, and specific aspects of the space radiation field are reviewed. The discussion of physico-chemical and subcellular radiation effects includes mechanisms of radiation action and cellular consequences. The discussion of radiobiological effects includes unique aspects of HZE particle effects, space flight findings, terrestrial findings, analysis of somatic radiation effects and effects on critical organs, and early and delayed effects. Other topics include the impact of the space flight environment, measurement of radiation exposure, establishing radiation protection limits, limitations in establishing space-based radiation exposure limits, radiation protection measures, and recommendations. PMID:11541474

  9. Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes

    PubMed Central

    Zouache, Moussa A.; Eames, Ian; Samsudin, Amir

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as Vac0.67, where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma. PMID:26990431

  10. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs.

  11. FRAX and the effect of teriparatide on vertebral and non-vertebral fracture

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Nicholas C; Kanis, John A; Odén, Anders; Burge, Russel T; Mitlak, Bruce H; Johansson, Helena; McCloskey, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Summary Daily teriparatide injections have been shown to reduce vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Here we demonstrate that the magnitude of fracture risk reduction is independent of baseline fracture probability assessed by FRAX. Background Daily administration of 20μg or 40μg teriparatide has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture compared with placebo. The aim of the present study was to evaluate fracture risk assessed at baseline using the FRAX® tool and to determine the efficacy of teriparatide as a function of baseline fracture risk. Methods 1637 postmenopausal women in the pivotal phase 3 trial, randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=544), teriparatide 20 μg per day (n=541) or teriparatide 40 μg per day (n=552), were studied. Baseline clinical risk factors were entered into country-specific FRAX models to compute the 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures with or without input of femoral neck BMD. Because there was no difference in effect of 20 and 40μg teriparatide daily on fracture occurrence, the two active groups were merged. The interaction between probability of a major fracture and treatment efficacy was examined by Poisson regression. Results The 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures (with BMD) ranged from 2.2-67.2%. Treatment with teriparatide was associated with a 37% decrease in all non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:10-56 %) and a 56% decrease in low energy non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:24-75%) compared with placebo. The risk of morphometric vertebral fractures decreased significantly by 66% (95% CI:50-77%). Hazard ratios for the effect of teriparatide on the fracture outcome did not change significantly with increasing fracture probability (p>0.30). Similar findings were noted for the interaction when BMD was excluded from the FRAX model, or when probability of hip fracture was used as the marker of baseline risk. Conclusion We conclude that teriparatide

  12. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  13. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  14. A Classification System for the Spread of Polymethyl Methacrylate in Vertebral Bodies Treated with Vertebral Augmentation

    PubMed Central

    Frankl, Joseph; Sakata, Michael P.; Choudhary, Gagandeep; Hur, Seung; Peterson, Andrew; Hennemeyer, Charles T.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we develop a classification system for describing polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) spread in vertebral bodies after kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) and for assessing whether PMMA spread varies between operators, VCF etiology, or vertebral level. Intraoperative fluoroscopic images of 198 vertebral levels were reviewed in 137 patients (women, 84; men, 53; mean age, 75.8 ± 12.5; and those with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, 63%) treated with kyphoplasty between January 01, 2015 and May 31, 2015 at a single center to create a 5-class descriptive system. PMMA spread patterns in the same images were then classified by 2 board-certified radiologists, and a third board-certified radiologist resolved conflicts. A total of 2 primary PMMA spread patterns were identified, namely, acinar and globular, with subtypes of localized acinar, diffuse globular, and mixed, to describe an equal combination of patterns. Interrater reliability using the system was moderate (κ = 0.47). After resolving conflicts, the most common spread class was globular (n = 63), followed by mixed (n = 58), diffuse globular (n = 30), acinar (n = 27), and localized acinar (n = 20). The spread class after treatment by the 2 most frequent operators differed significantly (n1 = 63, n2 = 70; P < .0001). There was no difference in the spread class between VCF etiologies or vertebral levels. PMMA spread may, therefore, be a modifiable parameter that affects kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty efficacy and adverse events. PMID:27795998

  15. Provenance of the terrestrial planets.

    PubMed

    Wetherill, G W

    1994-01-01

    Earlier work on the simultaneous accumulation of the asteroid belt and the terrestrial planets is extended to investigate the relative contribution to the final planets made by material from different heliocentric distances. As before, stochastic variations intrinsic to the accumulation processes lead to a variety of final planetary configurations, but include systems having a number of features similar to our solar system. Fifty-nine new simulations are presented, from which thirteen are selected as more similar to our solar system than the others. It is found that the concept of "local feeding zones" for each final terrestrial planet has no validity for this model. Instead, the final terrestrial planets receive major contributions from bodies ranging from 0.5 to at least 2.5 AU, and often to greater distances. Nevertheless, there is a correlation between the final heliocentric distance of a planet and its average provenance. Together with the effect of stochastic fluctuations, this permits variation in the composition of the terrestrial planets, such as the difference in the decompressed density of Earth and Mars. Biologically important light elements, derived from the asteroidal region, are likely to have been significant constituents of the Earth during its formation.

  16. Wolbachia in Neotropical terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Bianca L; Bouchon, Didier; Almerão, Maurício P; Araujo, Paula B

    2015-04-01

    Despite Wolbachia being widespread among terrestrial isopods, studies on this symbiotic relationship are still incipient in the Neotropical region. The aims of the present study were to investigate the presence and prevalence of Wolbachia in natural populations of terrestrial isopod species in South America, and to analyze the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Wolbachia strains. A total of 1172 individuals representing 11 families and 35 species were analyzed. We observed distinct evolutionary scenarios according to the geographical origins of the species: strains harbored by most of the introduced species belong to the Oniclade in supergroup B and are identical to those found in their original ecozone (i.e. Palearctic). On the other hand, the strains found in native Neotropical terrestrial isopods showed low prevalence, high diversity and none of them belonged to the Oniclade, although most belonged to supergroup B. The dynamics of infection in Neotropical species seems to be the result of several events of loss and acquisition of the bacteria, which refutes the hypothesis of an ancestral acquisition of Wolbachia in Oniscidea. The presence of strains from supergroups A and F was also detected for the first time in terrestrial isopods, revealing a Wolbachia diversity previously unknown for this group of host.

  17. Vertebrate MitBASE: a specialised database on vertebrate mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Carone, A; Malladi, S B; Attimonelli, M; Saccone, C

    1999-01-01

    Vertebrate MitBASE is a specialized database where all the vertebrate mitochondrial DNA entries from primary databases are collected, revised and integrated with new information emerging from the literature. Variant sequences are also analyzed, aligned and linked to reference sequences. Data related to the same species and fragment can be viewed over the WWW. The database has a flexible interface and a retrieval system to help non-expert users and contains information not currently available in the primary databases. Vertebrate MitBASE is now available through the MitBASE home page at URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/htbin/Mitbase/mitb ase.pl. This work is part of a larger project, MitBASE which is a network of databases covering the full panorama of knowledge on mitochondrial DNA from protists to human sequences.

  18. Predicting broad-scale occurrences of vertebrates in patchy landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Spatially explicit landscape-scale models that predict species distributions, where patches of habitat are shown as having potential to be occupied or unoccupied, are increasingly common. To successfully use such data, one should understand how these predicted distributions are created and how their relative accuracies are assessed. Geographic ranges, defined upon observations (e.g., atlases), literature review, and expert review, are a primary data layer. A map of land cover is created, often from interpretation of satellite imagery or other remotely-sensed data. Species/habitat associations are defined based upon a literature review and expert review, describing associations for habitats derived from the cover map. Included as ancillary associations are how species relate to physical features, where appropriate, such as elevation and hydrography. The three layers of information (range, land cover, and associations) are merged, often using raster-based algebraic statements that exclude unused habitats or patches outside the range of a species. The accuracy of predictions for a suite of species is typically assessed with surveys by comparing the species predicted to occur in an area to the species observed. Omission (i.e., present in species lists but not predicted) and commission (i.e., predicted but not present in lists) errors are reported. Errors may be due to many sources. For example, ranges of species change, cover types may be misidentified, species/habitat associations may be incorrect or change, or species may be rare and unlikely to be seen in surveys and judged in-error even though the species may be present. An example is given of an appropriate use of broad-scale species predicted distributions, in which patterns and threats to Maine terrestrial vertebrate diversity are summarized.

  19. Phylogeny of the vomeronasal system and of receptor cell types in the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Eisthen, H L

    1992-10-01

    In this paper, the evolutionary origin of the vomeronasal system as a discrete sensory system separate from olfaction is examined. The presence of a discrete vomeronasal system appears to be a derived character in tetrapods, and its presence in larval amphibians indicates that the system did not arise as a terrestrial adaptation. The vomeronasal system has been lost independently in several taxa, including crocodilians, some bats, cetaceans, and some primates. The presence of microvillar receptor cells in the vomeronasal epithelium appears to be the ancestral condition for tetrapods, and alternative hypotheses concerning the ancestral condition for receptor cell types in the vertebrate olfactory epithelium are discussed. Finally, the possibility that the vomeronasal system is present in some fishes in a form that has not been recognized is discussed in relation to the phylogenetic distribution of receptor cell types in vertebrates. PMID:1392068

  20. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  1. Hypoxia and anoxia tolerance of vertebrate hearts: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Tota, Bruno; Angelone, Tommaso; Mancardi, Daniele; Cerra, Maria Carmela

    2011-03-01

    Extreme changes in environmental oxygen (O(2)) is a constant issue that ectotherm vertebrates have to deal with, whereas for endotherms severe hypoxia and reoxygenation are usually related to a pathological state. The physiological mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance in ectotherms are based on biochemical evolutionary adaptations and may serve in understanding endogenous phenomena of protection against diminished O(2) availability in the heart. In this review, we will, therefore, describe different species of fish, amphibian, and reptile that are well-known examples of cardiac tolerance to O(2) deficiency. We will then focus on a subset of Antarctic fishes which have lost physiological transporters of O(2) such as hemoglobin and myoglobin (Mb) and that have reached a surprising adaptation to this extreme environment. Moreover, we will concentrate on the cardio-protective effects of the interaction between Mb and nitric oxide with particular emphasis on the nitrite-reductase function of Mb. Finally, the role of a recently described gasotransmitter, the free diffusible hydrogen sulfide, will be briefly discussed in relation to hypoxia. This evolutionary and comparative perspective may provide a useful and heuristic stimulus for medically oriented research aimed at elucidating the environmental and genetic risk factors underlying the vulnerability of the human heart.

  2. Early Bone Marrow Edema Pattern of the Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture : Can Be Predictor of Vertebral Deformity Types and Prognosis?

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sung Eun; Park, Ji Seon; Jin, Wook; Park, So Young; Kim, Sung Bum

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate whether an early bone marrow edema pattern predicts vertebral deformity types and prognosis in osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). Methods This retrospective study enrolled 64 patients with 75 acute OVCFs who underwent early MRI and followed up MRI. On early MRI, the low SI pattern of OVCF on T1WI were assessed and classified into 3 types (diffuse, globular or patchy, band-like). On followed up MRI, the vertebral deformity types (anterior wedge, biconcave, crush), degree of vertebral body height loss, incidence of vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis were assessed for each vertebral fracture types. Results According to the early bone marrow edema pattern on T1WI, 26 vertebrae were type 1, 14 vertebrae were type 2 and 35 vertebrae were type 3. On followed up MRI, the crush-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 1 OVCFs, the biconcave-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 2 OVCFs and the anterior wedge-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 3 OVCFs (p<0.001). In addition, type 1 early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI were associated with higher incidence of severe degree vertebral body height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis on the follow up MRI. Conclusion Early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI, significant correlated with vertebral deformity types on the follow up MRI. The severe degree of vertebral height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis, and spinal stenosis were more frequent in patients with diffuse low SI pattern. PMID:26962419

  3. Long-term solar-terrestrial observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The results of an 18-month study of the requirements for long-term monitoring and archiving of solar-terrestrial data is presented. The value of long-term solar-terrestrial observations is discussed together with parameters, associated measurements, and observational problem areas in each of the solar-terrestrial links (the sun, the interplanetary medium, the magnetosphere, and the thermosphere-ionosphere). Some recommendations are offered for coordinated planning for long-term solar-terrestrial observations.

  4. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  5. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Trevor D; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C; Davies, Wayne I L; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-08-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  6. DEVELOPMENTAL PALEOBIOLOGY OF THE VERTEBRATE SKELETON

    PubMed Central

    RÜCKLIN, MARTIN; DONOGHUE, PHILIP C. J.; CUNNINGHAM, JOHN A.; MARONE, FEDERICA; STAMPANONI, MARCO

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the development of organisms can reveal crucial information on homology of structures. Developmental data are not peculiar to living organisms, and they are routinely preserved in the mineralized tissues that comprise the vertebrate skeleton, allowing us to obtain direct insight into the developmental evolution of this most formative of vertebrate innovations. The pattern of developmental processes is recorded in fossils as successive stages inferred from the gross morphology of multiple specimens and, more reliably and routinely, through the ontogenetic stages of development seen in the skeletal histology of individuals. Traditional techniques are destructive and restricted to a 2-D plane with the third dimension inferred. Effective non-invasive methods of visualizing paleohistology to reconstruct developmental stages of the skeleton are necessary. In a brief survey of paleohistological techniques we discuss the pros and cons of these methods. The use of tomographic methods to reconstruct development of organs is exemplified by the study of the placoderm dentition. Testing evidence for the presence of teeth in placoderms, the first jawed vertebrates, we compare the methods that have been used. These include inferring the development from morphology, and using serial sectioning, microCT or synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reconstruct growth stages and directions of growth. The ensuing developmental interpretations are biased by the methods and degree of inference. The most direct and reliable method is using SRXTM data to trace sclerochronology. The resulting developmental data can be used to resolve homology and test hypotheses on the origin of evolutionary novelties. PMID:26306050

  7. Vertebral Body Growth After Craniospinal Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, Katherine A.; Li Chenghong; Laningham, Fred H.; Krasin, Matthew J.; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: To estimate the effects of radiotherapy and clinical factors on vertebral growth in patients with medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The height of eight individual or grouped vertebral bodies (C3, C3-C4, T4, T4-T5, C6-T3, T4-T7, L3, L1-L5) was measured before and after CSI (23.4 or 36-39.6 Gy) in 61 patients. Of the 61 patients, 40 were boys and 21 were girls (median age, 7 years; range, 3-13 years), treated between October 1996 and October 2003. Sagittal T{sub 1}-weighted magnetic resonance images were used for the craniocaudal measurements. The measurements numbered 275 (median, 5/patient; range, 3-7). The median follow-up after CSI was 44.1 months (range, 13.8-74.9 months). Results: Significant growth was observed in all measured vertebrae. Excluding C3-C4, the growth rate of the grouped vertebrae was affected by age, gender, and CSI dose (risk classification). The risk classification alone affected the growth rates of C3 (p = 0.002) and L3 (p = 0.02). Before CSI, the length of all vertebral bodies was an increasing function of age (p <0.0001). The C3 length before CSI was affected by gender and risk classification: C3 was longer for female (p = 0.07) and high-risk (p = 0.07) patients. Conclusion: All vertebrae grew significantly after CSI, with the vertebrae of the boys and younger patients growing at a rate greater than that of their counterparts. The effect of age was similar across all vertebrae, and gender had the greatest effect on the growth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. The effect of the risk classification was greatest in the lumbar spine by a factor of {<=}10.

  8. Continental fossil vertebrates from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Brazil, and their relationship with contemporaneous faunas from North Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Candeiro, Carlos Roberto A.; Fanti, Federico; Therrien, François; Lamanna, Matthew C.

    2011-05-01

    The Albian-Cenomanian Alcântara Formation of northeastern Brazil preserves the most diverse continental vertebrate fauna of this age yet known from northern South America. The Alcântara vertebrate assemblage, consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs, displays close similarities to contemporaneous faunas from North Africa. The co-occurrence of as many as eight freshwater or estuarine fish taxa ( Onchopristis, Bartschichthys, Lepidotes, Stephanodus, Mawsonia, Arganodus, Ceratodus africanus, and possibly Ceratodus humei) and up to seven terrestrial archosaur taxa ( Sigilmassasaurus, Rebbachisauridae, Baryonychinae, Spinosaurinae, Carcharodontosauridae, possibly Pholidosauridae, and doubtfully Bahariasaurus) suggests that a land route connecting northeastern Brazil and North Africa existed at least until the Albian. Interestingly, most components of this mid-Cretaceous northern South American/North African assemblage are not shared with coeval southern South American faunas, which are themselves characterized by a number of distinct freshwater and terrestrial vertebrate taxa (e.g., chelid turtles, megaraptoran and unenlagiine theropods). These results suggest that, although mid-Cretaceous faunal interchange was probably possible between northern South America and North Africa, paleogeographic, paleoclimatic, and/or paleoenvironmental barriers may have hindered continental vertebrate dispersal between northern and southern South America during this time.

  9. Evaluation and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Alexandru, Daniela; So, William

    2012-01-01

    Compression fractures affect many individuals worldwide. An estimated 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures occur every year in the US. They are common in elderly populations, and 25% of postmenopausal women are affected by a compression fracture during their lifetime. Although these fractures rarely require hospital admission, they have the potential to cause significant disability and morbidity, often causing incapacitating back pain for many months. This review provides information on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of compression fractures, as well as clinical manifestations and treatment options. Among the available treatment options, kyphoplasty and percutaneous vertebroplasty are two minimally invasive techniques to alleviate pain and correct the sagittal imbalance of the spine. PMID:23251117

  10. Quaternary vertebrates from Greenland: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    Remains of fishes, birds and mammals are rarely reported from Quaternary deposits in Greenland. The oldest remains come from Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene deposits and comprise Atlantic cod, hare, rabbit and ringed seal. Interglacial and interstadial deposits have yielded remains of cod, little auk, collared lemming, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. Early and Mid-Holocene finds include capelin, polar cod, red fish, sculpin, three-spined stickleback, Lapland longspur, Arctic hare, collared lemming, wolf, walrus, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. It is considered unlikely that vertebrates could survive in Greenland during the peak of the last glaciation, but many species had probably already immigrated in the Early Holocene.

  11. Intracranial Vertebral Artery Dissections: Evolving Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Ali, M.S.; Amenta, P.S.; Starke, R.M.; Jabbour, P.M.; Gonzalez, L.F.; Tjoumakaris, S.I.; Flanders, A.E.; Rosenwasser, R.H.; Dumont, A.S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Intracranial vertebral artery dissection (VAD) represents the underlying etiology in a significant percentage of posterior circulation ischemic strokes and subarachnoid hemorrhages. These lesions are particularly challenging in their diagnosis, management, and in the prediction of long-term outcome. Advances in the understanding of underlying processes leading to dissection, as well as the evolution of modern imaging techniques are discussed. The data pertaining to medical management of intracranial VADs, with emphasis on anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, is reviewed. Surgical intervention is discussed, including, the selection of operative candidates, open and endovascular procedures, and potential complications. The evolution of endovascular technology and techniques is highlighted. PMID:23217643

  12. Molecular evolution of color vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Shozo

    2002-10-30

    Visual systems of vertebrates exhibit a striking level of diversity, reflecting their adaptive responses to various color environments. The photosensitive molecules, visual pigments, can be synthesized in vitro and their absorption spectra can be determined. Comparing the amino acid sequences and absorption spectra of various visual pigments, we can identify amino acid changes that have modified the absorption spectra of visual pigments. These hypotheses can then be tested using the in vitro assay. This approach has been a powerful tool in elucidating not only the molecular bases of color vision, but the processes of adaptive evolution at the molecular level.

  13. Vertebral pathology in the afar australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Cook, D C; Buikstra, J E; DeRousseau, C J; Johanson, D C

    1983-01-01

    Ten vertebral elements from the AL-288 partial hominid skeleton and 11 elements from the AL-333 collection are described. The AL-288 column presents a marked kyphosis at the level of thoracic vertebrae 6 through 10, with pronounced new bone formation on the ventral surfaces of these vertebrae. These features, associated with narrowed disc space and minor osteophytosis, resemble Scheuermann disease in the human. Even though this diagnosis is consistent with a basically human, bipedal locomotor repertoire, the presence of Scheuermann disease suggests that lifting, climbing, or acrobatic activities may have been important in early hominids.

  14. Mammalian mesopredators on islands directly impact both terrestrial and marine communities.

    PubMed

    Suraci, Justin P; Clinchy, Michael; Zanette, Liana Y; Currie, Christopher M A; Dill, Lawrence M

    2014-12-01

    Medium-sized mammalian predators (i.e. mesopredators) on islands are known to have devastating effects on the abundance and diversity of terrestrial vertebrates. Mesopredators are often highly omnivorous, and on islands, may have access not only to terrestrial prey, but to marine prey as well, though impacts of mammalian mesopredators on marine communities have rarely been considered. Large apex predators are likely to be extirpated or absent on islands, implying a lack of top-down control of mesopredators that, in combination with high food availability from terrestrial and marine sources, likely exacerbates their impacts on island prey. We exploited a natural experiment--the presence or absence of raccoons (Procyon lotor) on islands in the Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada--to investigate the impacts that this key mesopredator has on both terrestrial and marine prey in an island system from which all native apex predators have been extirpated. Long-term monitoring of song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) nests showed raccoons to be the predominant nest predator in the Gulf Islands. To identify their community-level impacts, we surveyed the distribution of raccoons across 44 Gulf Islands, and then compared terrestrial and marine prey abundances on six raccoon-present and six raccoon-absent islands. Our results demonstrate significant negative effects of raccoons on terrestrial, intertidal, and shallow subtidal prey abundance, and point to additional community-level effects through indirect interactions. Our findings show that mammalian mesopredators not only affect terrestrial prey, but that, on islands, their direct impacts extend to the surrounding marine community.

  15. Terrestrial photovoltaic collector technology trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shimada, K.; Costogue, E.

    1984-01-01

    Following the path of space PV collector development in its early stages, terrestrial PV technologies based upon single-crystal silicon have matured rapidly. Currently, terrestrial PV cells with efficiencies approaching space cell efficiencies are being fabricated into modules at a fraction of the space PV module cost. New materials, including CuInSe2 and amorphous silicon, are being developed for lowering the cost, and multijunction materials for achieving higher efficiency. Large grid-interactive, tracking flat-plate power systems and concentrator PV systems totaling about 10 MW, are already in operation. Collector technology development both flat-plate and concentrator, will continue under an extensive government and private industry partnership.

  16. Photochemistry of Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, S.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres require photochemistry for their study. This is because the steady state composition depends critically on the component gas sources (surface emission) and sinks (chemical reactions initiated by UV photolysis). For my Ph.D. research I have developed a comprehensive photochemistry model for terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres from the ground up, which includes 111 molecules and aerosols made of C, H, O, N, S elements, and more than 800 chemical reactions linking them. With updated numerical algorithms, the photochemistry model has desirable features for exoplanet exploration, notably the capacity of treating both reduced and oxidized atmospheres, the elimination of the need of fine-tuned initial conditions, and the flexibility of choosing a subset of chemical species and chemical reactions for the computation. Using the photochemistry model, I provided benchmark atmospheric composition models for reducing, weakly oxidizing, and highly oxidizing atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets; I systemized the short-lived nature of sulfur gases on virtually all types of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres; I revisited O2 as the remote-sensing probe of biotic photosynthesis and found a potential false positive in high CO2 atmospheres without surface emission of reducing gases (e.g., H2 and CH4); and I provided atmosphere models to propose NH3 as a new biosignature gas in hydrogen-rich atmospheres. I have also extended the photochemistry model to the regime of thick atmospheres (at depths of which thermochemical equilibrium can be effectively achieved), and summarized a “zoo of super-Earths” including water planets, hydrocarbon planets, and even oxygen planets depending on the C-H-O elemental abundances of their atmospheres.

  17. Identifying Synonymous Regulatory Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Nobrega, M A

    2005-02-07

    Synonymous gene regulation, defined as driving shared temporal and/or spatial expression of groups of genes, is likely predicated on genomic elements that contain similar modules of certain transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). We have developed a method to scan vertebrate genomes for evolutionary conserved modules of TFBS in a predefined configuration, and created a tool, named SynoR that identify synonymous regulatory elements (SREs) in vertebrate genomes. SynoR performs de novo identification of SREs utilizing known patterns of TFBS in active regulatory elements (REs) as seeds for genome scans. Layers of multiple-species conservation allow the use of differential phylogenetic sequence conservation filters in the search of SREs and the results are displayed as to provide an extensive annotation of genes containing detected REs. Gene Ontology categories are utilized to further functionally classify the identified genes, and integrated GNF Expression Atlas 2 data allow the cataloging of tissue-specificities of the predicted SREs. We illustrate how this new tool can be used to establish a linkage between human diseases and noncoding genomic content. SynoR is publicly available at http://synor.dcode.org.

  18. HOVERGEN: a database of homologous vertebrate genes.

    PubMed Central

    Duret, L; Mouchiroud, D; Gouy, M

    1994-01-01

    Comparison of homologous genes is a major step for many studies related to genome structure, function or evolution. Similarity search programs easily find genes homologous to a given sequence. However, only very tedious manual procedures allow the retrieval of all sets of homologous genes sequenced for a given set of species. Moreover, this search often generates errors due to the complexity of data to be managed simultaneously: phylogenetic trees, alignments, taxonomy, sequences and related information. HOVERGEN helps to solve these problems by integrating all this information. HOVERGEN corresponds to GenBank sequences from all vertebrate species, with some data corrected, clarified, or completed, notably to address the problem of redundancy. Coding sequences have been classified in gene families. Protein multiple alignments and phylogenetic trees have been calculated for each family. Sequences and related information have been structured in an ACNUC database which permits complex selections. A graphical interface has been developed to visualize and edit trees. Genes are displayed in color, according to their taxonomy. Users have directly access to all information attached to sequences and to multiple alignments simply by clicking on genes. This graphical tool gives thus a rapid and simple access to all data necessary to interpret homology relationships between genes. HOVERGEN allows the user to easily select sets of homologous vertebrate genes, and thus is particularly useful for comparative sequence analysis, or molecular evolution studies. Images PMID:8036164

  19. What can vertebrates tell us about segmentation?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Segmentation is a feature of the body plans of a number of diverse animal groupings, including the annelids, arthropods and chordates. However, it has been unclear whether or not these different manifestations of segmentation are independently derived or have a common origin. Central to this issue is whether or not there are common developmental mechanisms that establish segmentation and the evolutionary origins of these processes. A fruitful way to address this issue is to consider how segmentation in vertebrates is directed. During vertebrate development three different segmental systems are established: the somites, the rhombomeres and the pharyngeal arches. In each an iteration of parts along the long axis is established. However, it is clear that the formation of the somites, rhombomeres or pharyngeal arches have little in common, and as such there is no single segmentation process. These different segmental systems also have distinct evolutionary histories, thus highlighting the fact that segmentation can and does evolve independently at multiple points. We conclude that the term segmentation indicates nothing more than a morphological description and that it implies no mechanistic similarity. Thus it is probable that segmentation has arisen repeatedly during animal evolution. PMID:25009737

  20. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Marjorie; Reynaert, Nicole; Chávez, Myra N; Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L; Egaña, José T

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  1. Flexible device for vertebral body replacement.

    PubMed

    Main, J A; Wells, M E; Spengler, D M; Strauss, A M; Keller, T S

    1989-03-01

    A novel vertebral prosthesis is presented. The prosthesis was developed for surgical procedures requiring the resection of a complete vertebral body and the adjacent intervertebral discs, the design objective being to develop a flexible implant that would be robust enough to withstand the in vivo stress environment of the human spine. In theory, a flexible implant should preserve a more normal range of motion and apply less stress to surrounding tissue than a rigid implant. A prototype implant was constructed so as to combine a rigid stainless steel structure with flexible silicon rubber elements in order to form an implant with static and dynamic mechanical characteristics similar to those of the anterior spinal column. Implant flexibility characteristics were determined from ex vivo stress-strain behaviour during bending and compressive creep testing. Results from the bending tests indicated good agreement for the lateral and sagittal bending characteristics in comparison with in vitro bending tests of human lumbar motion segments. Comparison of the implant compressive creep response with similar in vitro tests on human lumbar intervertebral discs also demonstrated similarities in the time-dependent mechanical parameters. PMID:2704210

  2. Sensing and surviving hypoxia in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jonz, Michael G; Buck, Leslie T; Perry, Steve F; Schwerte, Thorsten; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2016-02-01

    Surviving hypoxia is one of the most critical challenges faced by vertebrates. Most species have adapted to changing levels of oxygen in their environment with specialized organs that sense hypoxia, while only few have been uniquely adapted to survive prolonged periods of anoxia. The goal of this review is to present the most recent research on oxygen sensing, adaptation to hypoxia, and mechanisms of anoxia tolerance in nonmammalian vertebrates. We discuss the respiratory structures in fish, including the skin, gills, and air-breathing organs, and recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in these tissues that initiate reflex responses to hypoxia. The use of the zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model has allowed observation of the ontogenesis of respiratory and chemosensory systems, demonstration of a putative intracellular O2 sensor in chemoreceptors that may initiate transduction of the hypoxia signal, and investigation into the effects of extreme hypoxia on cardiorespiratory development. Other organisms, such as goldfish and freshwater turtles, display a high degree of anoxia tolerance, and these models are revealing important adaptations at the cellular level, such as the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in defense of homeostasis in central neurons.

  3. "Ostrich sign" indicates bilateral vertebral artery dissection.

    PubMed

    Rose, David Z; Husain, M Rizwan

    2012-11-01

    Vertebral artery dissections (VADs) comprise about 2% of ischemic strokes and can be associated with trauma, chiropractic manipulation, motor vehicle collisions, whiplash, amusement park rides, golfing, and other motion-induced injuries to the neck. We present a case of bilateral extracranial VAD as a complication of conducting an orchestra. To our knowledge, this has not been documented in the literature. Conceivably, vigorous neck twisting in an inexperienced, amateur conductor may place excessive rotational forces upon mobile portions of the verterbral arteries, tear the intima, deposit subintimal blood that extends longitudinally, and cause neck pain and/or posterior fossa ischemic symptoms. Magnetic resonance angiography examinations of axially oriented slices of bilateral VADs resemble the face of an ostrich. This observation is similar to the "puppy sign," in which bilateral internal carotid artery dissections resemble the face of a dog. Craniocervical dissections of either the carotid or vertebral arteries have the potential to form an aneurysm, cause artery-to-artery embolism, or completely occlude the parent artery, resulting in an ischemic stroke. Because bilateral VADs in axial magnetic resonance angiographic sections stand out like the eyes of an ostrich, and because the fast identification of VADs is so critical, we eponymize this image the "ostrich sign."

  4. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L.; Egaña, José T.

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  5. The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brazeau, Martin D; Friedman, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils from the Silurian and Devonian periods are beginning to challenge embedded perceptions about the origin and early diversification of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Nevertheless, an explicit cladistic framework for the relationships of these fossils relative to the principal crown lineages of the jawed vertebrates (osteichthyans: bony fishes and tetrapods; chondrichthyans: sharks, batoids, and chimaeras) remains elusive. We critically review the systematics and character distributions of early gnathostomes and provide a clearly stated hierarchy of synapomorphies covering the jaw-bearing stem gnathostomes and osteichthyan and chondrichthyan stem groups. We show that character lists, designed to support the monophyly of putative groups, tend to overstate their strength and lack cladistic corroboration. By contrast, synapomorphic hierarchies are more open to refutation and must explicitly confront conflicting evidence. Our proposed synapomorphy scheme is used to evaluate the status of the problematic fossil groups Acanthodii and Placodermi, and suggest profitable avenues for future research. We interpret placoderms as a paraphyletic array of stem-group gnathostomes, and suggest what we regard as two equally plausible placements of acanthodians: exclusively on the chondrichthyan stem, or distributed on both the chondrichthyan and osteichthyan stems. PMID:25750460

  6. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  7. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg(-1) of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg(-1) and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg(-1). PMID:26912998

  8. Natural organobromine in terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leri, Alessandra C.; Myneni, Satish C. B.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that bromine undergoes biogeochemical cycling involving natural formation and degradation of organobromine compounds in marine systems. In the terrestrial environment, where background bromine levels tend to be low, the biogeochemistry of this element remains largely unexamined. We traced the path of bromine through plant growth, senescence, and decay of leaf litter on the forest floor. Using sensitive X-ray spectroscopic techniques, we show that all bromine in humified plant material, organic-rich surface soils, and isolated humic substances is bonded to carbon. Analysis of bromide-enriched plants suggests that bromide absorbed by the growing plants ultimately converts to organobromine when the plant litter decays. Application of isolated chloroperoxidase, a halogenating enzyme, to healthy plant material results in extensive bromination, with organobromine formed preferentially over organochlorine. The relative ease of bromide oxidation appears to promote biogeochemical transformations of Br from inorganic to organic forms, leading to its incorporation into soil organic matter through enzymatic processes related to plant litter decomposition. In combination with low concentration and susceptibility to leaching and plant uptake, natural bromination processes lead to the exhaustion of inorganic bromide in surface soils, making organic matter a reservoir of bromine in the terrestrial environment. This study provides the first detailed look into the terrestrial bromine cycle and lays the foundation for future studies of natural organobromine degradation, which may shed light on the fate of anthropogenic organobromine pollutants in the soil environment.

  9. Arsenic Speciation of Terrestrial Invertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, M.M.; Koch, I.; Gordon, R.A.; Reimer, K.J. ); )

    2009-07-01

    The distribution and chemical form (speciation) of arsenic in terrestrial food chains determines both the amount of arsenic available to higher organisms, and the toxicity of this metalloid in affected ecosystems. Invertebrates are part of complex terrestrial food webs. This paper provides arsenic concentrations and arsenic speciation profiles for eight orders of terrestrial invertebrates collected at three historical gold mine sites and one background site in Nova Scotia, Canada. Total arsenic concentrations, determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), were dependent upon the classification of invertebrate. Arsenic species were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) ICP-MS and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Invertebrates were found by HPLC ICP-MS to contain predominantly arsenite and arsenate in methanol/water extracts, while XAS revealed that most arsenic is bound to sulfur in vivo. Examination of the spatial distribution of arsenic within an ant tissue highlighted the differences between exogenous and endogenous arsenic, as well as the extent to which arsenic is transformed upon ingestion. Similar arsenic speciation patterns for invertebrate groups were observed across sites. Trace amounts of arsenobetaine and arsenocholine were identified in slugs, ants, and spiders.

  10. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg−1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg−1 and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg−1. PMID:26912998

  11. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg(-1) of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg(-1) and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg(-1).

  12. Aberrant Origin of Vertebral Artery and its Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shi-Min

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant origin of vertebral artery is rare. The anatomical features and clinical significance of this lesion remain to be clarified. A comprehensive collection of the pertinent literature resulted in a cohort of 1286 cases involving 955 patients and 331 cadavers. There were more left than right and more unilateral than bilateral aberrant vertebral arteries. Patients with aberrant origin of vertebral artery were often asymptomatic and in only 5.5% of the patients their symptoms were probably related to the aberrant origin of vertebral artery. The acquired cardiovascular lesions were present in 9.5% of the patients, 20.9% of which were vertebral artery-associated lesions. Eight (0.8%) patients had a vertebral artery dissection. Logistic regression analysis showed significant regressions between bovine trunk and left vertebral artery (P=0.000), between the dual origins of vertebral artery and cerebral infarct/thrombus (P=0.041), between associated alternative congenital vascular variants and cervical/aortic dissection/atherosclerosis (P=0.008). Multiple logistic regression demonstrated that side of the aberrant origin of vertebral artery (left vertebral artery) (P=0.014), arch branch pattern (direct arch origin) (P=0.019), presence of the common trunk (P=0.019), associated acquired vascular disorder (P=0.034) and the patients who warranted management (P=0.000) were significant risk predictors for neurological sequelea. The patients with neurological symptoms and those for neck and chest operations/ interventions should be carefully screened for the possibility of an aberrant origin of vertebral artery. The results from the cadaver metrology study are very helpful in the design of the aortic stent. The arch branch pattern has to be taken into consideration before any maneuver in the local region so as to avoid unexpected events in relation to aberrant vertebral artery. PMID:27074275

  13. Vertebral artery stenting by using coronary intervention techniques and devices.

    PubMed

    Kilic, Harun; Balci, Mustafa; Akdemir, Ramazan

    2009-04-01

    Atherosclerotic disease of the vertebro/basilar vessels is an important cause of posterior circulation infarction. Commonly, the primary atheroma forms at the origin of the vertebral arteries. Although initial treatment is medical, arch and four-vessel studies (CTA, MRA, or DSA) are warranted if symptoms continue. Endovascular management of vertebral artery stenosis might be highlighted as a good option in selected patients. This is a case of endoluminal stenting of vertebral artery with a durable result. PMID:19476126

  14. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H.; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P.; Tabin, Clifford J.; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-01-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3′ UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae. PMID:26283362

  15. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs.

    PubMed

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G; Prosser, Haydn M; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P; Tabin, Clifford J; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-09-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3' UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae.

  16. Response of thoracolumbar vertebral bodies to high rate compressive loading - biomed 2013.

    PubMed

    Dooley, C J; Wester, B A; Wing, I D; Voo, L M; Armiger, R S; Merkle, A C

    2013-01-01

    Underbody blast (UBB) events created by improvised explosive devices are threats to warfighter survivability. High intensity blast waves emitted from these devices transfer large forces through vehicle structures to occupants, often resulting in injuries including debilitating spinal fractures. The vertical loading vector through the spine generates significant compressive forces at high strain rates. To better understand injury mechanisms and ultimately better protect vehicle occupants against UBB attacks, high-fidelity computational models are being developed to predict the human response to dynamic loading characteristic of these events. This effort details the results from a series of 23 high-rate compression tests on vertebral body specimen. A high-rate servo-hydraulic test system applied a range of compressive loading rates (.01 mm/s to 1238 mm/s) to vertebral bodies in the thoracolumbar region (T7-L5). The force-deflection curves generated indicate rate dependent sensitivity of vertebral stiffness, ultimate load and ultimate deflection. Specimen subjected to high-rate dynamic loading to failure experienced critical structural damage at 5.5% ± 2.1% deflection. Compared to quasi-static loading, vertebral bodies had greater stiffness, greater force to failure, and lower ultimate failure deflection at high rates. Post-failure, an average loss in height of 15% was observed, along with a mean reduction in strength of 48%. The resulting data from these tests will allow for enhanced biofidelity of computational models by characterizing the vertebral stiffness response and ultimate deflection at rates representative of UBB events. PMID:23686197

  17. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-09-27

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world.

  18. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L.; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world. PMID:21844048

  19. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-09-27

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world. PMID:21844048

  20. Facts and fancies about early fossil chordates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2015-04-23

    The interrelationships between major living vertebrate, and even chordate, groups are now reasonably well resolved thanks to a large amount of generally congruent data derived from molecular sequences, anatomy and physiology. But fossils provide unexpected combinations of characters that help us to understand how the anatomy of modern groups was progressively shaped over millions of years. The dawn of vertebrates is documented by fossils that are preserved as either soft-tissue imprints, or minute skeletal fragments, and it is sometimes difficult for palaeontologists to tell which of them are reliable vertebrate remains and which merely reflect our idea of an ancestral vertebrate.

  1. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns.

  2. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  3. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. PMID:25943906

  4. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  5. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  6. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs

    PubMed Central

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-01-01

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians. PMID:27466206

  7. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  8. Hyperfractionation decreases the deleterious effects of conventional radiation fractionation on vertebral growth in animals

    SciTech Connect

    Hartsell, W.F.; Hanson, W.R.; Conterato, D.J.; Hendrickson, F.R.

    1989-06-15

    Craniospinal axis irradiation in the treatment of pediatric tumors is associated with serious long-term sequelae including decreased bone growth (short sitting stature). In this study, an animal model was used to determine the effects of smaller incremental doses of radiation on bone growth. Sprague-Dawley weanling rats were given 25 Gy to the spine in 8 to 9 days, with fraction sizes ranging from 1.0 to 1.8 Gy. The animals receiving smaller doses per fraction (1.0 or 1.25 Gy) showed significantly more growth of the vertebral bodies in the treated fields than animals given larger incremental doses (1.5 or 1.8 Gy). These findings indicate a protective effect on bone growth for hyperfractionated irradiation of vertebral bodies.

  9. Effects of desert wildfires on desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other small vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esque, T.C.; Schwalbe, C.R.; DeFalco, L.A.; Duncan, R.B.; Hughes, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We report the results of standardized surveys to determine the effects of wildfires on desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their habitats in the northeastern Mojave Desert and northeastern Sonoran Desert. Portions of 6 burned areas (118 to 1,750 ha) were examined for signs of mortality of vertebrates. Direct effects of fire in desert habitats included animal mortality and loss of vegetation cover. A range of 0 to 7 tortoises was encountered during surveys, and live tortoises were found on all transects. In addition to desert tortoises, only small (<1 kg) mammals and reptiles (11 taxa) were found dead on the study areas. We hypothesize that indirect effects of fire on desert habitats might result in changes in the composition of diets and loss of vegetation cover, resulting in an increase in predation and loss of protection from temperature extremes. These changes in habitat also might cause changes in vertebrate communities in burned areas.

  10. Squash(ed): Craniofacial and vertebral injury from collision on squash court.

    PubMed

    Atik, Alp; Krilis, Matthew; Parker, Geoffrey

    2012-10-01

    Squash is a popular racquet sport not usually associated with severe head or spinal injury. The incidence of squash-related injury ranges from 35.5 to 80.9 per 100,000 players, with the most common sites being the lower-limbs and eyes. We present a case of extensive traumatic craniomaxillofacial and vertebral injury resulting from collision on a squash court, without use of protective gear. The patient sustained fractures of the frontal bone, orbits, maxillae, zygomas, the first and second cervical vertebrae and the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertrebra. This is the first case of squash-related injury with such extensive craniofacial and vertebral involvement. This unique case required multiple surgical procedures as well as an extensive admission to the intensive care unit and highlights the risk of significant craniomaxillofacial trauma in sports not usually associated with such injuries.

  11. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  12. Control of Vertebrate Skeletal Mineralization by Polyphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Omelon, Sidney; Georgiou, John; Henneman, Zachary J.; Wise, Lisa M.; Sukhu, Balram; Hunt, Tanya; Wynnyckyj, Chrystia; Holmyard, Douglas; Bielecki, Ryszard; Grynpas, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Skeletons are formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and compositions of organic and mineral components. Many invertebrate skeletons are constructed from carbonate or silicate minerals, whereas vertebrate skeletons are instead composed of a calcium phosphate mineral known as apatite. No one yet knows why the dynamic vertebrate skeleton, which is continually rebuilt, repaired, and resorbed during growth and normal remodeling, is composed of apatite. Nor is the control of bone and calcifying cartilage mineralization well understood, though it is thought to be associated with phosphate-cleaving proteins. Researchers have assumed that skeletal mineralization is also associated with non-crystalline, calcium- and phosphate-containing electron-dense granules that have been detected in vertebrate skeletal tissue prepared under non-aqueous conditions. Again, however, the role of these granules remains poorly understood. Here, we review bone and growth plate mineralization before showing that polymers of phosphate ions (polyphosphates: (PO3−)n) are co-located with mineralizing cartilage and resorbing bone. We propose that the electron-dense granules contain polyphosphates, and explain how these polyphosphates may play an important role in apatite biomineralization. Principal Findings/Methodology The enzymatic formation (condensation) and destruction (hydrolytic degradation) of polyphosphates offers a simple mechanism for enzymatic control of phosphate accumulation and the relative saturation of apatite. Under circumstances in which apatite mineral formation is undesirable, such as within cartilage tissue or during bone resorption, the production of polyphosphates reduces the free orthophosphate (PO43−) concentration while permitting the accumulation of a high total PO43− concentration. Sequestering calcium into amorphous calcium polyphosphate complexes can reduce the concentration of free calcium. The resulting reduction of both free PO43− and free

  13. Detection and drivers of exposure and effects of pharmaceuticals in higher vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Shore, Richard F; Taggart, Mark A; Smits, Judit; Mateo, Rafael; Richards, Ngaio L; Fryday, Steve

    2014-11-19

    Pharmaceuticals are highly bioactive compounds now known to be widespread environmental contaminants. However, research regarding exposure and possible effects in non-target higher vertebrate wildlife remains scarce. The fate and behaviour of most pharmaceuticals entering our environment via numerous pathways remain poorly characterized, and hence our conception and understanding of the risks posed to wild animals is equally constrained. The recent decimation of Asian vulture populations owing to a pharmaceutical (diclofenac) offers a notable example, because the exposure route (livestock carcasses) and the acute toxicity observed were completely unexpected. This case not only highlights the need for further research, but also the wider requirement for more considered and comprehensive 'ecopharmacovigilance'. We discuss known and potential high risk sources and pathways in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems where pharmaceutical exposure in higher vertebrate wildlife, principally birds and mammals, may occur. We examine whether approaches taken within existing surveillance schemes (that commonly target established classes of persistent or bioaccumulative contaminants) and the risk assessment approaches currently used for pesticides are relevant to pharmaceuticals, and we highlight where new approaches may be required to assess pharmaceutical-related risk. PMID:25405960

  14. Detection and drivers of exposure and effects of pharmaceuticals in higher vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Shore, Richard F.; Taggart, Mark A.; Smits, Judit; Mateo, Rafael; Richards, Ngaio L.; Fryday, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals are highly bioactive compounds now known to be widespread environmental contaminants. However, research regarding exposure and possible effects in non-target higher vertebrate wildlife remains scarce. The fate and behaviour of most pharmaceuticals entering our environment via numerous pathways remain poorly characterized, and hence our conception and understanding of the risks posed to wild animals is equally constrained. The recent decimation of Asian vulture populations owing to a pharmaceutical (diclofenac) offers a notable example, because the exposure route (livestock carcasses) and the acute toxicity observed were completely unexpected. This case not only highlights the need for further research, but also the wider requirement for more considered and comprehensive ‘ecopharmacovigilance’. We discuss known and potential high risk sources and pathways in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems where pharmaceutical exposure in higher vertebrate wildlife, principally birds and mammals, may occur. We examine whether approaches taken within existing surveillance schemes (that commonly target established classes of persistent or bioaccumulative contaminants) and the risk assessment approaches currently used for pesticides are relevant to pharmaceuticals, and we highlight where new approaches may be required to assess pharmaceutical-related risk. PMID:25405960

  15. Caudal vertebral body articular surface morphology correlates with functional tail use in anthropoid primates.

    PubMed

    Deane, Andrew S; Russo, Gabrielle A; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Organ, Jason M

    2014-11-01

    Prehensile tails, capable of suspending the entire body weight of an animal, have evolved in parallel in New World monkeys (Platyrrhini): once in the Atelinae (Alouatta, Ateles, Brachyteles, Lagothrix), and once in the Cebinae (Cebus, Sapajus). Structurally, the prehensile tails of atelines and cebines share morphological features that distinguish them from nonprehensile tails, including longer proximal tail regions, well-developed hemal processes, robust caudal vertebrae resistant to higher torsional and bending stresses, and caudal musculature capable of producing higher contractile forces. The functional significance of shape variation in the articular surfaces of caudal vertebral bodies, however, is relatively less well understood. Given that tail use differs considerably among prehensile and nonprehensile anthropoids, it is reasonable to predict that caudal vertebral body articular surface area and shape will respond to use-specific patterns of mechanical loading. We examine the potential for intervertebral articular surface contour curvature and relative surface area to discriminate between prehensile-tailed and nonprehensile-tailed platyrrhines and cercopithecoids. The proximal and distal intervertebral articular surfaces of the first (Ca1), transitional and longest caudal vertebrae were examined for individuals representing 10 anthropoid taxa with differential patterns of tail-use. Study results reveal significant morphological differences consistent with the functional demands of unique patterns of tail use for all vertebral elements sampled. Prehensile-tailed platyrrhines that more frequently use their tails in suspension (atelines) had significantly larger and more convex intervertebral articular surfaces than all nonprehensile-tailed anthropoids examined here, although the intervertebral articular surface contour curvatures of large, terrestrial cercopithecoids (i.e., Papio sp.) converge on the ateline condition. Prehensile-tailed platyrrhines that more

  16. Carotid and vertebral artery dissection syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Thanvi, B; Munshi, S; Dawson, S; Robinson, T

    2005-01-01

    Cervicocerebral arterial dissections (CAD) are an important cause of strokes in younger patients accounting for nearly 20% of strokes in patients under the age of 45 years. Extracranial internal carotid artery dissections comprise 70%–80% and extracranial vertebral dissections account for about 15% of all CAD. Aetiopathogenesis of CAD is incompletely understood, though trauma, respiratory infections, and underlying arteriopathy are considered important. A typical picture of local pain, headache, and ipsilateral Horner's syndrome followed after several hours by cerebral or retinal ischaemia is rare. Doppler ultrasound, MRI/MRA, and CT angiography are useful non-invasive diagnostic tests. The treatment of extracranial CAD is mainly medical using anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents although controlled studies to show their effectiveness are lacking. The prognosis of extracranial CAD is generally much better than that of the intracranial CAD. Recurrences are rare in CAD. PMID:15937204

  17. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  18. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

    PubMed

    Haines, L; Currie, P D

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  19. Magnetic Susceptibility in the Vertebral Column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, F.; Nagele, T.; Lutz, O.; Pfeffer, K.; Giehl, J.

    1994-01-01

    A magnetic resonance method is described which provides good-quality field-mapping images of the spine, although the in vivo signals from red bone marrow of the vertebral bodies exhibit similar fractions of lipid and water protons with their chemical-shift difference of 3.4 ppm. The susceptibilities of bone marrow and intervertebral disks were examined in 20 cadaveric human spines, 9 healthy volunteers, and 9 patients with degenerative disk alterations. The influence of geometrical properties was studied in cylindrical spine phantoms of different size and contents with different susceptibility. The measurements reveal interindividual differences of the susceptibility of the intervertebral disks in healthy subjects. Three out of nine degenerated disks with low signal in T2-weighted spin-echo images showed irregularities of the field distribution within the nucleus pulposus.

  20. Ewing's sarcoma of the vertebral column

    SciTech Connect

    Pilepich, M.V.; Vietti, T.J.; Nesbit, M.E.; Tefft, M.; Kissane, J.; Burgert, O.; Pritchard, D.; Gehan, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    Twenty-two patients with vertebral primaries were registered in the Intergroup Ewing's Sarcoma Study between 1973 and 1977. The radiation doses to the primary tumors ranged between 3800 and 6200 rad. All patients received intensive combination chemotherapy. After a followup ranging between 14 and 62 months, 14 patients remained disease-free. All patients with primary tumor of the cervical and dorsal spine remained disease-free. Of eight patients with lesions in the distal spine, (sacrococcygeal region) six developed recurrence, in three a local recurrence was observed despite doses of 6000 rad or higher. Doses of 5000 rad or less (in addition to combination chemotherapy as used in the Intergroup Ewing's Study) appear adequate in controlling the primary tumors of the proximal segments of the spinal column.

  1. Cement augmentation in vertebral burst fractures.

    PubMed

    Zaryanov, Anton V; Park, Daniel K; Khalil, Jad G; Baker, Kevin C; Fischgrund, Jeffrey S

    2014-01-01

    As a result of axial compression, traumatic vertebral burst fractures disrupt the anterior column, leading to segmental instability and cord compression. In situations with diminished anterior column support, pedicle screw fixation alone may lead to delayed kyphosis, nonunion, and hardware failure. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty (balloon-assisted vertebroplasty) have been used in an effort to provide anterior column support in traumatic burst fractures. Cited advantages are providing immediate stability, improving pain, and reducing hardware malfunction. When used in isolation or in combination with posterior instrumentation, these techniques theoretically allow for improved fracture reduction and maintenance of spinal alignment while avoiding the complications and morbidity of anterior approaches. Complications associated with cement use (leakage, systemic effects) are similar to those seen in the treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures; however, extreme caution must be used in fractures with a disrupted posterior wall.

  2. Cell fate determination in the vertebrate retina.

    PubMed Central

    Cepko, C L; Austin, C P; Yang, X; Alexiades, M; Ezzeddine, D

    1996-01-01

    In the vertebrate central nervous system, the retina has been a useful model for studies of cell fate determination. Recent results from studies conducted in vitro and in vivo suggest a model of retinal development in which both the progenitor cells and the environment change over time. The model is based upon the notion that the mitotic cells within the retina change in their response properties, or "competence", during development. These changes presage the ordered appearance of distinct cell types during development and appear to be necessary for the production of the distinct cell types. As the response properties of the cells change, so too do the environmental signals that the cells encounter. Together, intrinsic properties and extrinsic cues direct the choice of cell fate. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 5 PMID:8570600

  3. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications.

  4. Salmonella Typhi Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Epidural Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Ying Ying; Chen, John L. T.

    2016-01-01

    Salmonella vertebral osteomyelitis is an uncommon complication of Salmonella infection. We report a case of a 57-year-old transgender male who presented with lower back pain for a period of one month following a fall. Physical examination only revealed tenderness over the lower back with no neurological deficits. MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a spondylodiscitis at T10-T11 and T12-L1 and right posterior epidural collection at the T9-T10 level. He underwent decompression laminectomy with segmental instrumentation and fusion of T8 to L3 vertebrae. Intraoperatively, he was found to have acute-on-chronic osteomyelitis in T10 and T11, epidural abscess, and discitis in T12-L1. Tissue and wound culture grew Salmonella Typhi and with antibiotics susceptibility guidance he was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for a period of six weeks. He recovered well with no neurological deficits. PMID:27034871

  5. Planar Cell Polarity in vertebrate limb morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Bo; Yang, Yingzi

    2013-01-01

    Studies of the vertebrate limb development have contributed significantly to understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying growth, patterning and morphogenesis of a complex multicellular organism. In the limb, well-defined signaling centers interact to coordinate limb growth and patterning along the three axes. Recent analyses of live imaging and mathematical modeling have provided evidence that polarized cell behaviors governed by morphogen gradients play an important role in shaping the limb bud. Furthermore, the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway that controls uniformly polarized cellular behaviors in a field of cells has emerged to be critical for directional morphogenesis in the developing limb. Directional information coded in the morphogen gradient may be interpreted by responding cells through regulating the activities of PCP components in a Wnt morphogen dose-dependent manner. PMID:23747034

  6. Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) Signaling in Vertebrate Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xiaoqin; Chun, Jerold

    2009-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a cell membrane phospholipid metabolite that can act as an extracellular signal. Its effects are mediated through at least five G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), LPA1-5, and likely others as well. Studies in multiple species including LPA receptor-deficient mice and humans have identified or implicated important roles for receptor-mediated LPA signaling in multiple aspects of vertebrate reproduction. These include ovarian function, spermatogenesis, fertilization, early embryo development, embryo implantation, embryo spacing, decidualization, pregnancy maintenance, and parturition. LPA signaling may also have pathological consequences, influencing aspects of endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Here we review recent progress in LPA signaling research relevant to female and male reproduction. PMID:19836970

  7. Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Bondesson, Maria; Hao, Ruixin; Lin, Chin-Yo; Williams, Cecilia; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. PMID:24954179

  8. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications. PMID:12629209

  9. Vertebral surface registration using ridgelines/crestlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Sovira; Yao, Jianhua; Yao, Lawrence; Summers, Ronald M.; Ward, Michael M.

    2008-03-01

    The Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm is an efficient and popular technique for surface registration. It however suffers from the well-known problem of local minima that make the algorithm stop before it reaches the desired global solution. ICP can be improved by the use of landmarks or features. We recently developed a level set capable of evolving on the surface of an object represented by a triangular mesh. This level set permits the segmentation of portions of a surface based on curvature features. The boundary of a segmented portion forms a ridgeline/crestline. We show that the ridgelines/crestlines and corresponding enclosed surfaces extracted by the algorithm can substantially improve ICP registration. We compared the performance of an ICP algorithm in three setups: 1) ICP without landmarks. 2) ICP using ridgelines. 3) ICP using ridgelines and corresponding enclosed surfaces. Our material consists of vertebral body surfaces extracted for a study about the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Same vertebrae scanned at intervals of one or two years were rigidly registered. Vertebral body rims and the end plate surfaces they enclose were used as landmarks. The performance measure was the mean error distance between the registered surfaces. From the one hundred registrations that we performed the average mean error was respectively 0.503mm, 0.335mm and 0.254mm for the three setups. Setup 3 almost halved the average error of setup 1. Moreover the error range is dramatically reduced from [0.0985, 2.19]mm to just [0.0865, 0.532]mm, making the algorithm very robust.

  10. Somitomeres: mesodermal segments of vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, A G

    1988-01-01

    Well before the somites form, the paraxial mesoderm of vertebrate embryos is segmented into somitomeres. When newly formed, somitomeres are patterned arrays of mesenchymal cells, arranged into squat, bilaminar discs. The dorsal and ventral faces of these discs are composed of concentric rings of cells. Somitomeres are formed along the length of the embryo during gastrulation, and in the segmental plate and tail bud at later stages. They form in strict cranial to caudal order. They appear in bilateral pairs, just lateral to Hensen's node in the chick embryo. When the nervous system begins to form, the brain parts and neuromeres are in a consistent relationship to the somitomeres. Somitomeres first appear in the head, and the cranial somitomeres do not become somites, but disperse to contribute to the head the same cell types contributed by somites in the trunk region. In the trunk and tail, somitomeres gradually condense and epithelialize to become somites. Models of vertebrate segmentation must now take into account the early presence of these new morphological units, the somitomeres. Somitomeres were discovered in the head of the chick embryo (Meier, 1979), with the use of stereo scanning electron microscopy. The old question of whether the heads of the craniates are segmented is now settled, at least for the paraxial mesoderm. Somitomeres have now been identified in the embryos of a chick, quail, mouse, snapping turtle, newt, anuran (Xenopus) and a teleost (the medaka). In all forms studied, the first pair of somitomeres abut the prosencephalon, but caudal to that, for each tandem pair of somitomeres in the amniote and teleost, there is but one somitomere in the amphibia. The mesodermal segments of the shark embryo are arranged like those of the amphibia.

  11. Klebsormidium flaccidum genome reveals primary factors for plant terrestrial adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Hori, Koichi; Maruyama, Fumito; Fujisawa, Takatomo; Togashi, Tomoaki; Yamamoto, Nozomi; Seo, Mitsunori; Sato, Syusei; Yamada, Takuji; Mori, Hiroshi; Tajima, Naoyuki; Moriyama, Takashi; Ikeuchi, Masahiko; Watanabe, Mai; Wada, Hajime; Kobayashi, Koichi; Saito, Masakazu; Masuda, Tatsuru; Sasaki-Sekimoto, Yuko; Mashiguchi, Kiyoshi; Awai, Koichiro; Shimojima, Mie; Masuda, Shinji; Iwai, Masako; Nobusawa, Takashi; Narise, Takafumi; Kondo, Satoshi; Saito, Hikaru; Sato, Ryoichi; Murakawa, Masato; Ihara, Yuta; Oshima-Yamada, Yui; Ohtaka, Kinuka; Satoh, Masanori; Sonobe, Kohei; Ishii, Midori; Ohtani, Ryosuke; Kanamori-Sato, Miyu; Honoki, Rina; Miyazaki, Daichi; Mochizuki, Hitoshi; Umetsu, Jumpei; Higashi, Kouichi; Shibata, Daisuke; Kamiya, Yuji; Sato, Naoki; Nakamura, Yasukazu; Tabata, Satoshi; Ida, Shigeru; Kurokawa, Ken; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    The colonization of land by plants was a key event in the evolution of life. Here we report the draft genome sequence of the filamentous terrestrial alga Klebsormidium flaccidum (Division Charophyta, Order Klebsormidiales) to elucidate the early transition step from aquatic algae to land plants. Comparison of the genome sequence with that of other algae and land plants demonstrate that K. flaccidum acquired many genes specific to land plants. We demonstrate that K. flaccidum indeed produces several plant hormones and homologues of some of the signalling intermediates required for hormone actions in higher plants. The K. flaccidum genome also encodes a primitive system to protect against the harmful effects of high-intensity light. The presence of these plant-related systems in K. flaccidum suggests that, during evolution, this alga acquired the fundamental machinery required for adaptation to terrestrial environments. PMID:24865297

  12. Klebsormidium flaccidum genome reveals primary factors for plant terrestrial adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hori, Koichi; Maruyama, Fumito; Fujisawa, Takatomo; Togashi, Tomoaki; Yamamoto, Nozomi; Seo, Mitsunori; Sato, Syusei; Yamada, Takuji; Mori, Hiroshi; Tajima, Naoyuki; Moriyama, Takashi; Ikeuchi, Masahiko; Watanabe, Mai; Wada, Hajime; Kobayashi, Koichi; Saito, Masakazu; Masuda, Tatsuru; Sasaki-Sekimoto, Yuko; Mashiguchi, Kiyoshi; Awai, Koichiro; Shimojima, Mie; Masuda, Shinji; Iwai, Masako; Nobusawa, Takashi; Narise, Takafumi; Kondo, Satoshi; Saito, Hikaru; Sato, Ryoichi; Murakawa, Masato; Ihara, Yuta; Oshima-Yamada, Yui; Ohtaka, Kinuka; Satoh, Masanori; Sonobe, Kohei; Ishii, Midori; Ohtani, Ryosuke; Kanamori-Sato, Miyu; Honoki, Rina; Miyazaki, Daichi; Mochizuki, Hitoshi; Umetsu, Jumpei; Higashi, Kouichi; Shibata, Daisuke; Kamiya, Yuji; Sato, Naoki; Nakamura, Yasukazu; Tabata, Satoshi; Ida, Shigeru; Kurokawa, Ken; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    The colonization of land by plants was a key event in the evolution of life. Here we report the draft genome sequence of the filamentous terrestrial alga Klebsormidium flaccidum (Division Charophyta, Order Klebsormidiales) to elucidate the early transition step from aquatic algae to land plants. Comparison of the genome sequence with that of other algae and land plants demonstrate that K. flaccidum acquired many genes specific to land plants. We demonstrate that K. flaccidum indeed produces several plant hormones and homologues of some of the signalling intermediates required for hormone actions in higher plants. The K. flaccidum genome also encodes a primitive system to protect against the harmful effects of high-intensity light. The presence of these plant-related systems in K. flaccidum suggests that, during evolution, this alga acquired the fundamental machinery required for adaptation to terrestrial environments. PMID:24865297

  13. Klebsormidium flaccidum genome reveals primary factors for plant terrestrial adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hori, Koichi; Maruyama, Fumito; Fujisawa, Takatomo; Togashi, Tomoaki; Yamamoto, Nozomi; Seo, Mitsunori; Sato, Syusei; Yamada, Takuji; Mori, Hiroshi; Tajima, Naoyuki; Moriyama, Takashi; Ikeuchi, Masahiko; Watanabe, Mai; Wada, Hajime; Kobayashi, Koichi; Saito, Masakazu; Masuda, Tatsuru; Sasaki-Sekimoto, Yuko; Mashiguchi, Kiyoshi; Awai, Koichiro; Shimojima, Mie; Masuda, Shinji; Iwai, Masako; Nobusawa, Takashi; Narise, Takafumi; Kondo, Satoshi; Saito, Hikaru; Sato, Ryoichi; Murakawa, Masato; Ihara, Yuta; Oshima-Yamada, Yui; Ohtaka, Kinuka; Satoh, Masanori; Sonobe, Kohei; Ishii, Midori; Ohtani, Ryosuke; Kanamori-Sato, Miyu; Honoki, Rina; Miyazaki, Daichi; Mochizuki, Hitoshi; Umetsu, Jumpei; Higashi, Kouichi; Shibata, Daisuke; Kamiya, Yuji; Sato, Naoki; Nakamura, Yasukazu; Tabata, Satoshi; Ida, Shigeru; Kurokawa, Ken; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2014-05-28

    The colonization of land by plants was a key event in the evolution of life. Here we report the draft genome sequence of the filamentous terrestrial alga Klebsormidium flaccidum (Division Charophyta, Order Klebsormidiales) to elucidate the early transition step from aquatic algae to land plants. Comparison of the genome sequence with that of other algae and land plants demonstrate that K. flaccidum acquired many genes specific to land plants. We demonstrate that K. flaccidum indeed produces several plant hormones and homologues of some of the signalling intermediates required for hormone actions in higher plants. The K. flaccidum genome also encodes a primitive system to protect against the harmful effects of high-intensity light. The presence of these plant-related systems in K. flaccidum suggests that, during evolution, this alga acquired the fundamental machinery required for adaptation to terrestrial environments.

  14. De novo synthesis of a sunscreen compound in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Osborn, Andrew R; Almabruk, Khaled H; Holzwarth, Garrett; Asamizu, Shumpei; LaDu, Jane; Kean, Kelsey M; Karplus, P Andrew; Tanguay, Robert L; Bakalinsky, Alan T; Mahmud, Taifo

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet-protective compounds, such as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) and related gadusols produced by some bacteria, fungi, algae, and marine invertebrates, are critical for the survival of reef-building corals and other marine organisms exposed to high-solar irradiance. These compounds have also been found in marine fish, where their accumulation is thought to be of dietary or symbiont origin. In this study, we report the unexpected discovery that fish can synthesize gadusol de novo and that the analogous pathways are also present in amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Furthermore, we demonstrate that engineered yeast containing the fish genes can produce and secrete gadusol. The discovery of the gadusol pathway in vertebrates provides a platform for understanding its role in these animals, and the possibility of engineering yeast to efficiently produce a natural sunscreen and antioxidant presents an avenue for its large-scale production for possible use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05919.001 PMID:25965179

  15. Consumer Control of Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, D.

    2012-12-01

    More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface is grazed by large herbivores and their effects on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen processes are large and widespread. Yet the large effects of these animals on terrestrial processes have largely been ignored in global change models. This presentation will explore the many pathways that consumers affect short and long time-scale terrestrial nitrogen and carbon processes. Large herbivores influence the quality of soil organic matter and the size of the active (i.e., labile) pool of soil carbon and nitrogen in several ways. Herbivory leads to greater abundance of species producing low quality material in forest and dry grassland, via feeding preferentially on high quality forage, and high quality material in mesic grassland habitat, via the high quality of material that regrows after a plant is grazed. Defoliation stimulates the rate of root exudation that enhances rhizospheric processes and the availability of nitrogen in the plant rhizosphere. Herbivores also change the species composition of mycorrhizae fungal associates that influence plant growth and affect soil structure and the turnover rate of soil carbon. Recent radiocarbon measurements have revealed that herbivores also markedly affect the turnover dynamics of the large pool of old soil carbon. In Yellowstone Park, ungulates slow the mean turnover of the relatively old (i.e., slow and passive) 0 - 20 cm deep soil organic carbon by 350 years in upland, dry grassland and speed up that rate in slope-bottom, mesic grassland by 300 years. This represents a 650 year swing in the turnover period of old soil carbon across the Yellowstone landscape. By comparison, mean turnover time for the old pool of 0 - 10 cm deep soil organic carbon shifts by about 300 years across the steep climatic gradient that includes tropical, temperate, and northern hardwood forest, and tallgrass, shortgrass and desert grassland. This large body of evidence suggests consumers play a

  16. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial water storage (TWS) comprises groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow,and ice. Groundwater typically varies more slowly than the other TWS components because itis not in direct contact with the atmosphere, but often it has a larger range of variability onmultiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti, 2001; Alley et al., 2002). In situ groundwaterdata are only archived and made available by a few countries. However, monthly TWSvariations observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE; Tapley et al.,2004) satellite mission, which launched in 2002, are a reasonable proxy for unconfinedgroundwater at climatic scales.

  17. Collection & Processing of Vertebrate Specimens for Arbovirus Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudia, W. Daniel; And Others

    Described are techniques used by the National Communicable Disease Center in obtaining blood and tissues from man and other vertebrates for arbovirus isolation and antibody studies. Also included are techniques for capturing and handling vertebrates; banding and marking; restraining and bleeding; storing of specimens to preserve antibody and…

  18. L1 burst fracture with associated vertebral angioma.

    PubMed

    Armaganian, G; Adetchessi, T; Pech-Gourg, G; Blondel, B; Dufour, H; Fuentes, S

    2013-04-01

    Vertebral angioma is a common bone tumor. We report a case of L1 vertebral angioma revealed by type A3.2 traumatic pathological fracture of the same vertebra. Management comprised emergency percutaneous osteosynthesis and, after stabilization of the multiple trauma, arterial embolization and percutaneous kyphoplasty.

  19. Thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis: an unusual complication of Crohn's disease.

    PubMed

    Ajayi, Olushola; Mayooran, Nithiananthan; Iqbal, Nasir

    2014-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis complicating Crohn's disease is a rare occurrence and mostly occurred in patients with Crohn's disease complicated by an abscess or fistulising disease. We report a case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis, occurring in a refractory Crohn's disease without contiguous abscess or fistula with the bowel. PMID:24916975

  20. Vertebrate Osmoregulation: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Teleost Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boily P.; Rees, B. B.; Williamson, L. A. C.

    2007-01-01

    Here, we describe a laboratory experiment as part of an upper-level vertebrate physiology course for biology majors to investigate the physiological response of vertebrates to osmoregulatory challenges. The experiment involves measuring plasma osmolality and Na[superscript +] -K[superscript +] -ATPase activity in gill tissue of teleost fish…

  1. Cooperative Learning as a Tool To Teach Vertebrate Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koprowski, John L.; Perigo, Nan

    2000-01-01

    Describes a method for teaching biology that includes more investigative exercises that foster an environment for cooperative learning in introductory laboratories that focus on vertebrates. Fosters collaborative learning by facilitating interaction between students as they become experts on their representative vertebrate structures. (SAH)

  2. Fossil jawless fish from China foreshadows early jawed vertebrate anatomy.

    PubMed

    Gai, Zhikun; Donoghue, Philip C J; Zhu, Min; Janvier, Philippe; Stampanoni, Marco

    2011-08-17

    Most living vertebrates are jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes), and the living jawless vertebrates (cyclostomes), hagfishes and lampreys, provide scarce information about the profound reorganization of the vertebrate skull during the evolutionary origin of jaws. The extinct bony jawless vertebrates, or 'ostracoderms', are regarded as precursors of jawed vertebrates and provide insight into this formative episode in vertebrate evolution. Here, using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography, we describe the cranial anatomy of galeaspids, a 435-370-million-year-old 'ostracoderm' group from China and Vietnam. The paired nasal sacs of galeaspids are located anterolaterally in the braincase, and the hypophyseal duct opens anteriorly towards the oral cavity. These three structures (the paired nasal sacs and the hypophyseal duct) were thus already independent of each other, like in gnathostomes and unlike in cyclostomes and osteostracans (another 'ostracoderm' group), and therefore have the condition that current developmental models regard as prerequisites for the development of jaws. This indicates that the reorganization of vertebrate cranial anatomy was not driven deterministically by the evolutionary origin of jaws but occurred stepwise, ultimately allowing the rostral growth of ectomesenchyme that now characterizes gnathostome head development.

  3. Midterm Follow-Up of Vertebral Geometry and Remodeling of the Vertebral Bidisk Unit (VDU) After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Pitton, Michael Bernhard Koch, Ulrike; Drees, Philip; Dueber, Christoph

    2009-09-15

    The purpose of this study was to investigate geometrical stability and preservation of height gain of vertebral bodies after percutaneous vertebroplasty during 2 years' follow-up and to elucidate the geometric remodeling process of the vertebral bidisk unit (VDU) of the affected segment. Patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with pain resistant to analgetic drugs were treated with polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty. Mean {+-} standard error cement volume was 5.1 {+-} 2.0 ml. Vertebral geometry was documented by sagittal and coronal reformations from multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and lateral vertebral heights, end plate angles, and compression index (CI = anterior/posterior height). Additionally, the VDU (vertebral bodies plus both adjacent disk spaces) was calculated from the multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and both lateral aspects. Patients were assigned to two groups: moderate compression with CI of >0.75 (group 1) and severe compression with CI of <0.75 (group 2). A total of 83 vertebral bodies of 30 patients (7 men, 23 women, age 70.7 {+-} 9.7 years, range 40-82 years) were treated with vertebroplasty and prospectively followed for 24 months. In the moderate compression group (group 1), the vertebral heights were stabilized over time at the preinterventional levels. Compared with group 1, group 2 showed a greater anterior height gain (+2.8 {+-} 2.2 mm vs. +0.8 {+-} 2.0 mm, P < 0.001), better reduction of end plate angle (-4.9 {+-} 4.8{sup o} vs. -1.0 {+-} 2.7{sup o}, P < 0.01), and improved CI (+0.12 {+-} 0.13 vs. +0.02 {+-} 0.07, P < 0.01) and demonstrated preserved anterior height gain at 2 years (+1.2 {+-} 3.2 mm, P < 0.01) as well as improved end plate angles (-5.2 {+-} 5.0{sup o}, P < 0.01) and compression indices (+0.11 {+-} 0.15, P < 0.01). Thus, posterior height loss of vertebrae and adjacent intervertebral disk spaces contributed to a remodeling of the VDU

  4. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  5. Nuisance arthropods, nonhost odors, and vertebrate chemical aposematism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldon, Paul J.

    2010-05-01

    Mosquitoes, ticks, and other ectoparasitic arthropods use chemoreception to avoid vertebrates that are known or presumed to be dangerous or otherwise unprofitable hosts. Nonhosts may belong to a species that is regularly unaccepted or one that includes both accepted and unaccepted individuals. A diverse array of qualities including immunocompetence, vigilant grooming behavior, mechanical inaccessibility, and toxicity have been proposed as the features that render vertebrate chemical emitters unsuitable as hosts for arthropods. In addition to advantages accrued by ectoparasitic arthropods that avoid nonhosts, vertebrates that are not accepted as hosts benefit by evading injurious ectoparasites and the infectious agents they transmit. The conferral of advantages to both chemical receivers (ectoparasitic arthropods) and emitters (unpreferred vertebrates) in these interactions renders nonhost odors aposematic. Chemical aposematism involving ectoparasites selects for vertebrates that emit distinctive odors. In addition, chemical mimicry, where vulnerable organisms benefit when misidentified as nonhosts, may be accommodated by duped ectoparasites.

  6. The generation of vertebral segmental patterning in the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Senthinathan, Biruntha; Sousa, Cátia; Tannahill, David; Keynes, Roger

    2012-06-01

    We have carried out a series of experimental manipulations in the chick embryo to assess whether the notochord, neural tube and spinal nerves influence segmental patterning of the vertebral column. Using Pax1 expression in the somite-derived sclerotomes as a marker for segmentation of the developing intervertebral disc, our results exclude such an influence. In contrast to certain teleost species, where the notochord has been shown to generate segmentation of the vertebral bodies (chordacentra), these experiments indicate that segmental patterning of the avian vertebral column arises autonomously in the somite mesoderm. We suggest that in amniotes, the subdivision of each sclerotome into non-miscible anterior and posterior halves plays a critical role in establishing vertebral segmentation, and in maintaining left/right alignment of the developing vertebral elements at the body midline.

  7. Evolution of the Vertebrate Cranium: Viewed from Hagfish Developmental Studies.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Ota, Kinya G

    2016-06-01

    Our knowledge of vertebrate cranium evolution has relied largely on the study of gnathostomes. Recent evolutionary and developmental studies of cyclostomes have shed new light on the history of the vertebrate skull. The recent ability to obtain embryos of the hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri, has enabled new studies which have suggested an embryonic morphological pattern (the "cyclostome pattern") of craniofacial development. This pattern is shared by cyclostomes, but not by modern jawed vertebrates. Because this pattern of embryonic head development is thought to be present in some stem gnathostomes (ostracoderms), it is possible that the cyclostome pattern represents the vertebrate ancestral pattern. The study of cyclostomes may thus lead to an understanding of the most ancestral basis of craniofacial development. In this review, we summarize the development of the hagfish chondrocranium in light of the cyclostome pattern, present an updated comparison of the cyclostome chondrocranium, and discuss several aspects of the evolution and development of the vertebrate skull. PMID:27268976

  8. Non-contiguous multifocal vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jen Xin; Li, Jordan Yuanzhi; Yong, Tuck Yean

    2015-03-01

    Serratia marcescens is a common nosocomial infection but a rare cause of osteomyelitis and more so of vertebral osteomyelitis. Vertebral osteomyelitis caused by this organism has been reported in few studies. We report a case of S. marcescens vertebral discitis and osteomyelitis affecting multiple non-contiguous vertebras. Although Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of vertebral osteomyelitis, rare causes, such as S. marcescens, need to be considered, especially when risk factors such as intravenous heroin use, post-spinal surgery and immunosuppression are present. Therefore, blood culture and where necessary biopsy of the infected region should be undertaken to establish the causative organism and determine appropriate antibiotic susceptibility. Prompt diagnosis of S. marcescens vertebral osteomyelitis followed by the appropriate treatment can achieve successful outcomes.

  9. Relating ranging ecology, limb length, and locomotor economy in terrestrial animals.

    PubMed

    Pontzer, Herman

    2012-03-01

    Ecomorphological analyses have identified a number of important evolutionary trends in vertebrate limb design, but the relationships between daily travel distance, locomotor ecology, and limb length in terrestrial animals remain poorly understood. In this paper I model the net rate of energy intake as a function of foraging efficiency, and thus of locomotor economy; improved economy leads to greater net energy intake. However, the relationship between locomotor economy and net intake is highly dependent on foraging efficiency; only species with low foraging efficiencies experience strong selection pressure for improved locomotor economy and increased limb length. Examining 237 terrestrial species, I find that nearly all taxa obtain sufficiently high foraging efficiencies that selection for further increases in economy is weak. Thus selection pressures for increased economy and limb length among living terrestrial animals may be relatively weak and similar in magnitude across ecologically diverse species. The Economy Selection Pressure model for locomotor economy may be useful in investigating the evolution of limb design in early terrestrial taxa and the coevolution of foraging ecology and locomotor anatomy in lineages with low foraging efficiencies.

  10. Evaluation of five different suture materials in the skin of the earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Salgado, Melissa A; Lewbart, Gregory A; Christian, Larry S; Griffith, Emily H; Law, Jerry McHugh

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine which suture material is the most appropriate for dermal closure of terrestrial annelids. This paper describes the tissue reactions of the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, to five different types of suture materials in order to determine which suture material is the most appropriate for dermal closure. Silk, monofilament nylon, polydiaxonone, polyglactin 910, and chromic gut were studied. There was mild to moderate tissue reaction to all five suture materials. In all of the biopsies wound-healing reaction consisted of aggregates of blastemal cells which appeared in various stages of dedifferentiation from the body wall. Inflammatory cells infiltrated the wound sites, reminiscent of the typical foreign body reaction in vertebrates. The results indicate polyglactin 910 would be the best suture material with regards to tissue security and reaction scores. Chromic gut occupies the next position but there were problems with suture security over time. This appears to be the first suture material performance study on a terrestrial invertebrate. The earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, was chosen for its wide availability, size, and the extensive species knowledge base. The earthworm may prove to be a good surgical/suture model for economically important invertebrates such as mollusks, tunicates, and insect larval stages. PMID:25143875

  11. Advanced Planetary Protection Technologies for the Proposed Future Mission Set

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spry, J. Andy; Conley, Catharine A

    2013-01-01

    Planetary protection is the discipline of protecting solar system objects from harmful contamination resulting from the activities of interplanetary spacecraft, and of similarly protecting the Earth from uncontrolled release of a putative extra-terrestrial organism from returned extra-terrestrial samples. Planetary protection requirements for Mars are becoming further refined as more is understood about the nature of the Martian environment as a potential habitat. Likewise, increased understanding of the limits of life on Earth is informing planetary protection policy. This presentation will discuss recent technology developments, ongoing work and future challenges of implementing planetary protection for the proposed future mission set.

  12. Cadaver decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, David O.; Yellowlees, David; Tibbett, Mark

    2007-01-01

    A dead mammal (i.e. cadaver) is a high quality resource (narrow carbon:nitrogen ratio, high water content) that releases an intense, localised pulse of carbon and nutrients into the soil upon decomposition. Despite the fact that as much as 5,000 kg of cadaver can be introduced to a square kilometre of terrestrial ecosystem each year, cadaver decomposition remains a neglected microsere. Here we review the processes associated with the introduction of cadaver-derived carbon and nutrients into soil from forensic and ecological settings to show that cadaver decomposition can have a greater, albeit localised, effect on belowground ecology than plant and faecal resources. Cadaveric materials are rapidly introduced to belowground floral and faunal communities, which results in the formation of a highly concentrated island of fertility, or cadaver decomposition island (CDI). CDIs are associated with increased soil microbial biomass, microbial activity (C mineralisation) and nematode abundance. Each CDI is an ephemeral natural disturbance that, in addition to releasing energy and nutrients to the wider ecosystem, acts as a hub by receiving these materials in the form of dead insects, exuvia and puparia, faecal matter (from scavengers, grazers and predators) and feathers (from avian scavengers and predators). As such, CDIs contribute to landscape heterogeneity. Furthermore, CDIs are a specialised habitat for a number of flies, beetles and pioneer vegetation, which enhances biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems.

  13. The Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    The Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in Earth and planetary science, by conducting innovative research using space technology. The Laboratory's mission and activities support the work and new initiatives at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The Laboratory's success contributes to the Earth Science Directorate as a national resource for studies of Earth from Space. The Laboratory is part of the Earth Science Directorate based at the GSFC in Greenbelt, MD. The Directorate itself is comprised of the Global Change Data Center (GCDC), the Space Data and Computing Division (SDCD), and four science Laboratories, including Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics, Laboratory for Atmospheres, and Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes all in Greenbelt, MD. The fourth research organization, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is in New York, NY. Relevant to NASA's Strategic Plan, the Laboratory ensures that all work undertaken and completed is within the vision of GSFC. The philosophy of the Laboratory is to balance the completion of near term goals, while building on the Laboratory's achievements as a foundation for the scientific challenges in the future.

  14. Dietary characterization of terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Pineda-Munoz, Silvia; Alroy, John

    2014-08-22

    Understanding the feeding behaviour of the species that make up any ecosystem is essential for designing further research. Mammals have been studied intensively, but the criteria used for classifying their diets are far from being standardized. We built a database summarizing the dietary preferences of terrestrial mammals using published data regarding their stomach contents. We performed multivariate analyses in order to set up a standardized classification scheme. Ideally, food consumption percentages should be used instead of qualitative classifications. However, when highly detailed information is not available we propose classifying animals based on their main feeding resources. They should be classified as generalists when none of the feeding resources constitute over 50% of the diet. The term 'omnivore' should be avoided because it does not communicate all the complexity inherent to food choice. Moreover, the so-called omnivore diets actually involve several distinctive adaptations. Our dataset shows that terrestrial mammals are generally highly specialized and that some degree of food mixing may even be required for most species.

  15. Morphological and functional changes in the vertebral column with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Molnar, Julia L.; Pierce, Stephanie E.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Turner, Alan H.; Hutchinson, John R.

    2015-01-01

    The lineage leading to modern Crocodylia has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes in morphology, ecology and locomotion over the past 200+ Myr. These functional innovations may be explained in part by morphological changes in the axial skeleton, which is an integral part of the vertebrate locomotor system. Our objective was to estimate changes in osteological range of motion (RoM) and intervertebral joint stiffness of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs. Using three-dimensional virtual models and morphometrics, we compared the modern crocodile Crocodylus to five extinct crocodylomorphs: Terrestrisuchus, Protosuchus, Pelagosaurus, Steneosaurus and Metriorhynchus, which span the spectrum from terrestrial to fully aquatic. In Crocodylus, we also experimentally measured changes in trunk flexibility with sequential removal of osteoderms and soft tissues. Our results for the more aquatic species matched our predictions fairly well, but those for the more terrestrial early crocodylomorphs did not. A likely explanation for this lack of correspondence is the influence of other axial structures, particularly the rigid series of dorsal osteoderms in early crocodylomorphs. The most important structures for determining RoM and stiffness of the trunk in Crocodylus were different in dorsoventral versus mediolateral bending, suggesting that changes in osteoderm and rib morphology over crocodylomorph evolution would have affected movements in some directions more than others. PMID:26716001

  16. Morphological and functional changes in the vertebral column with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs.

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Turner, Alan H; Hutchinson, John R

    2015-11-01

    The lineage leading to modern Crocodylia has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes in morphology, ecology and locomotion over the past 200+ Myr. These functional innovations may be explained in part by morphological changes in the axial skeleton, which is an integral part of the vertebrate locomotor system. Our objective was to estimate changes in osteological range of motion (RoM) and intervertebral joint stiffness of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs. Using three-dimensional virtual models and morphometrics, we compared the modern crocodile Crocodylus to five extinct crocodylomorphs: Terrestrisuchus, Protosuchus, Pelagosaurus, Steneosaurus and Metriorhynchus, which span the spectrum from terrestrial to fully aquatic. In Crocodylus, we also experimentally measured changes in trunk flexibility with sequential removal of osteoderms and soft tissues. Our results for the more aquatic species matched our predictions fairly well, but those for the more terrestrial early crocodylomorphs did not. A likely explanation for this lack of correspondence is the influence of other axial structures, particularly the rigid series of dorsal osteoderms in early crocodylomorphs. The most important structures for determining RoM and stiffness of the trunk in Crocodylus were different in dorsoventral versus mediolateral bending, suggesting that changes in osteoderm and rib morphology over crocodylomorph evolution would have affected movements in some directions more than others. PMID:26716001

  17. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  18. Evolution of vertebrate forebrain development: how many different mechanisms?

    PubMed

    Foley, A C; Stern, C D

    2001-01-01

    hypoblast plays a role in directing cell movements in the adjacent epiblast. These movements distance the future forebrain territory from the developing organiser (Hensen's node), and we suggest that this is a mechanism to protect the forebrain from caudalising signals from the node. These mechanisms are consistent with all the findings obtained from the mouse to date. We conclude that the mechanisms responsible for setting up the forebrain and more caudal regions of the nervous system are probably similar among different classes of higher vertebrates. Moreover, while reconciling the two main models, our findings provide stronger support for Nieuwkoop's ideas than for the concept of multiple organisers, each inducing a distinct region of the CNS.

  19. The Lamprey: A jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits

    PubMed Central

    Green, Stephen A.; Bronner, Marianne E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates. PMID:24560767

  20. The lamprey: a jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephen A; Bronner, Marianne E

    2014-01-01

    Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates.

  1. The terrestrial ecosystem program for the Yucca Mountain Project

    SciTech Connect

    Ostler, W.K.; O`Farrell, T.P.

    1994-06-01

    DOE has implemented a program to monitor and mitigate impacts associated with site Characterization Activities at Yucca Mountain on the environment. This program has a sound experimental and statistical base. Monitoring data has been collected for parts of the program since 1989. There have been numerous changes in the Terrestrial Ecosystems Program since 1989 that reflect changes in the design and locations of Site Characterization Activities. There have also been changes made in the mitigation techniques implemented to protect important environmental resources based on results from the research efforts at Yucca Mountain. These changes have strengthened DOE efforts to ensure protection of the environmental during Site Characterization. DOE,has developed and implemented an integrated environmental program that protects the biotic environment and will restore environmental quality at Yucca Mountain.

  2. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.

    2010-07-01

    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  3. Thrash, flip, or jump: the behavioral and functional continuum of terrestrial locomotion in teleost fishes.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Alice C; Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Hsieh, S Tonia

    2013-08-01

    Moving on land versus in water imposes dramatically different requirements on the musculoskeletal system. Although many limbed vertebrates, such as salamanders and prehistoric tetrapodomorphs, have an axial system specialized for aquatic locomotion and an appendicular system adapted for terrestrial locomotion, diverse extant teleosts use the axial musculoskeletal system (body plus caudal fin) to move in these two physically disparate environments. In fact, teleost fishes living at the water's edge demonstrate diversity in natural history that is reflected in a variety of terrestrial behaviors: (1) species that have only incidental contact with land (such as largemouth bass, Micropterus) will repeatedly thrash, which can roll an individual downhill, but cannot produce effective overland movements, (2) species that have occasional contact with land (like Gambusia, the mosquitofish, which evade predators by stranding themselves) will produce directed terrestrial movement via a tail-flip jump, and (3) species that spend more than half of their lives on land (like the mudskipper, Periopthalmus) will produce a prone-jump, a behavior that allows the fish to anticipate where it will land at the end of the flight phase. Both tail-flip and prone jumps are characterized by a two-phase movement consisting of body flexion followed by extension-a movement pattern that is markedly similar to the aquatic fast-start. Convergence in kinematic pattern between effective terrestrial behaviors and aquatic fast starts suggests that jumps are an exaptation of a neuromuscular system that powers unsteady escape behaviors in the water. Despite such evidence that terrestrial behaviors evolved from an ancestral behavior that is ubiquitous among teleosts, some teleosts are unable to move effectively on land-possibly due to morphological trade-offs, wherein specialization for one environment comes at a cost to performance in the other. Indeed, upon emergence onto land, gravity places an

  4. Thrash, flip, or jump: the behavioral and functional continuum of terrestrial locomotion in teleost fishes.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Alice C; Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Hsieh, S Tonia

    2013-08-01

    Moving on land versus in water imposes dramatically different requirements on the musculoskeletal system. Although many limbed vertebrates, such as salamanders and prehistoric tetrapodomorphs, have an axial system specialized for aquatic locomotion and an appendicular system adapted for terrestrial locomotion, diverse extant teleosts use the axial musculoskeletal system (body plus caudal fin) to move in these two physically disparate environments. In fact, teleost fishes living at the water's edge demonstrate diversity in natural history that is reflected in a variety of terrestrial behaviors: (1) species that have only incidental contact with land (such as largemouth bass, Micropterus) will repeatedly thrash, which can roll an individual downhill, but cannot produce effective overland movements, (2) species that have occasional contact with land (like Gambusia, the mosquitofish, which evade predators by stranding themselves) will produce directed terrestrial movement via a tail-flip jump, and (3) species that spend more than half of their lives on land (like the mudskipper, Periopthalmus) will produce a prone-jump, a behavior that allows the fish to anticipate where it will land at the end of the flight phase. Both tail-flip and prone jumps are characterized by a two-phase movement consisting of body flexion followed by extension-a movement pattern that is markedly similar to the aquatic fast-start. Convergence in kinematic pattern between effective terrestrial behaviors and aquatic fast starts suggests that jumps are an exaptation of a neuromuscular system that powers unsteady escape behaviors in the water. Despite such evidence that terrestrial behaviors evolved from an ancestral behavior that is ubiquitous among teleosts, some teleosts are unable to move effectively on land-possibly due to morphological trade-offs, wherein specialization for one environment comes at a cost to performance in the other. Indeed, upon emergence onto land, gravity places an

  5. The vertebrates from the Lower Ladinian (Middle Triassic) bonebed of Lamerden (Germany) as palaeoenvironment indicators in the Germanic Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2015-11-01

    A marine/limnic vertebrate fauna is described from the enodis/posseckeri Bonebed mixed in a bivalve shell-rich bioclastic carbonate rudstone at the eastern coastal margin of the Rhenish Massif mainland at Lamerden (Germany) within the western Germanic Basin (Central Europe). The condensation layer is of Fassanian (Ladinian, Middle Triassic) in age. The vertebrate biodiversity includes five different shark, and several actinopterygian fish species represented by teeth and scales. Abundant isolated bones from a small- and a large-sized pachypleurosaur Neusticosaurus species, which can be composed as incomplete skeletons, originate from dense populations of different individual age stages. Important facies indicator reptiles are from the thalattosaur Blezingeria ichthyospondyla which postcranial skeleton is reconstructed hypothetically using additional postcranial bones from similar aged various German localities. The vertebrate biodiversity of the enodis/posseckeri bonebed of Lamerden reflect a limnic/fluvial freshwater influenced fauna (amphibians/terrestrial and marine reptiles) with dominance of normal saline marine influences. Macroalgae meadow adapted placodont reptiles are absent in Lamerden, as well as open marine-adapted ichthyosaurs, supporting a lagoon with fresh water influence position at the Rhenish Massif mainland coast. In those contemporanous brackish lagoons, which seem to be isochronous to northern Tethys lagoons of the Kalschieferzone at the Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland/Italy), small pachypleurosaurs were abundant prey in both regions for reptile predators, especially large paraxial swimming alligator habitus-like Paranothosaurus, which even contain stomach contents of pachypleurosaurs.

  6. Latitudinal temperature gradient during the Cretaceous Upper Campanian-Middle Maastrichtian: δ 18O record of continental vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amiot, Romain; Lécuyer, Christophe; Buffetaut, Eric; Fluteau, Frédéric; Legendre, Serge; Martineau, François

    2004-09-01

    Latitudinal variations in model biogenic apatite δ18O values were calculated using fractionation equations of vertebrates and weighted rainfall δ18O values along with mean annual air temperatures provided by IAEA-WMO meteorological stations. The reference equation obtained was used to compute a continental temperature gradient for the Late Campanian-Middle Maastrichtian interval by using published and new δ18O values of phosphate from vertebrates. Samples are mainly tooth enamel from crocodilians and dinosaurs that lived at paleolatitudes ranging from 83-9+4°N (Alaska) to 32±3°S (Madagascar). The temperature gradient was less steep (0.4±0.1 °C/°latitude) than the present-day one (0.6 °C/°latitude) with temperatures that decreased from about 30 °C near the equator to about -5 °C at the poles. Above 30° of paleolatitude, air temperatures were higher than at present. The validity of these results is discussed by comparison with climatic criteria inferred from paleontological, paleobotanical and sedimentological data. The latitudinal distribution of oxygen isotope compositions of continental vertebrates is potentially a powerful tool for quantifying Mesozoic terrestrial climates.

  7. Gratkorn - A new late Middle Miocene vertebrate fauna from Styria (Late Sarmatian, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, M.; Böhme, M.; Prieto, J.

    2009-04-01

    Integrated stratigraphic approaches provide precise correlations of global standard stages with regional Paratethys stages. Nevertheless, higher resolution stratigraphic matching of terrestrial deposits remains challenging due to the lack of a practical continental biostratigraphy. The mostly used tool for biostratigraphic correlation of non-marine deposits in the Old World is still the concept of Neogene Mammal-zones (MN-zones). However, at higher biostratigraphic resolution (<1 million years) this concept looses its practicability and has to be replaced by a taxon-range-zonation. To solve this problem a higher number of independently dated small-mammal localities are needed. This is especially crucial for the late Middle to earliest Late Miocene, for which vertebrate faunas in the (Central-)Paratethyan area rare. Recently, a new vertebrate fauna was discovered at the locality Gratkorn (clay pit St. Stefan) just beyond the northwestern margin of the Styrian Basin (Gratkorn Basin; 10 km NW Graz; 15°20'55"E/47°08'15"N). The fauna originates from a c. 0.5 m thick hydromorphic paleosol, underlain by fluvial sands and gravels and topped by c. 15 m thick limnic pelites (Gross, 2008). Sedimentological data as well as the gastropod (Harzhauser et al., 2008) and vertebrate faunas point to a highly structured, more or less vegetated alluvial fan/braided river landscape. Active and abandoned fluvial channels, moist floodplain-soils and ephemeral ponds but also nearby dryer open areas and limestone screes of the up-lifting Palaeozoic basement offered a wide range of habitats. The occurrence of xero- and thermophile terrestrial gastropods and ectothermic vertebrates correspond well with the late Middle/early Late Miocene dry-spell in Central Europe (Böhme et al., 2008). Furthermore, an overall semiarid climate is supported by the development of a calcrete horizon c. 0.6 m below the fossiliferous horizon. The vertebrate remains are irregularly distributed throughout the

  8. Propulsive forces of mudskipper fins and salamander limbs during terrestrial locomotion: implications for the invasion of land.

    PubMed

    Kawano, Sandy M; Blob, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    The invasion of land was a pivotal event in vertebrate evolution that was associated with major appendicular modifications. Although fossils indicate that the evolution of fundamentally limb-like appendages likely occurred in aquatic environments, the functional consequences of using early digited limbs, rather than fins, for terrestrial propulsion have had little empirical investigation. Paleontological and experimental analyses both have led to the proposal of an early origin of "hind limb-driven" locomotion among tetrapods or their ancestors. However, the retention of a pectoral appendage that had already developed terrestrial adaptations has been proposed for some taxa, and few data are available from extant functional models that can provide a foundation for evaluating the relative contributions of pectoral and pelvic appendages to terrestrial support among early stem tetrapods. To examine these aspects of vertebrate locomotor evolution during the invasion of land, we measured three-dimensional ground reaction forces (GRFs) produced by isolated pectoral fins of mudskipper fishes (Periophthalmus barbarus) during terrestrial crutching, and compared these to isolated walking footfalls by the forelimbs and hind limbs of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), a species with subequally-sized limbs that facilitate comparisons to early tetrapods. Pectoral appendages of salamanders and mudskippers exhibited numerous differences in GRFs. Compared with salamander forelimbs, isolated fins of mudskippers bear lower vertical magnitudes of GRFs (as a proportion of body weight), and had GRFs that were oriented more medially. Comparing the salamanders' forelimbs and hind limbs, although the peak net GRF occurs later in stance for the forelimb, both limbs experience nearly identical mediolateral and vertical components of GRF, suggesting comparable contributions to support. Thus, forelimbs could also have played a significant locomotor role among basal tetrapods that had limbs

  9. Review of existing terrestrial bioaccumulation models and terrestrial bioaccumulation modeling needs for organic chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Protocols for terrestrial bioaccumulation assessments are far less-developed than for aquatic systems. This manuscript reviews modeling approaches that can be used to assess the terrestrial bioaccumulation potential of commercial organic chemicals. Models exist for plant, inver...

  10. Do lower vertebrates suffer from motion sickness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lychakov, Dmitri

    The poster presents literature data and results of the author’s studies with the goal to find out whether the lower animals are susceptible to motion sickness (Lychakov, 2012). In our studies, fish and amphibians were tested for 2 h and more by using a rotating device (f = 0.24 Hz, a _{centrifugal} = 0.144 g) and a parallel swing (f = 0.2 Hz, a _{horizontal} = 0.059 g). The performed studies did not revealed in 4 fish species and in toads any characteristic reactions of the motion sickness (sopite syndrome, prodromal preparatory behavior, vomiting). At the same time, in toads there appeared characteristic stress reactions (escape response, an increase of the number of urinations, inhibition of appetite), as well as some other reactions not associated with motion sickness (regular head movements, eye retractions). In trout fry the used stimulation promoted division of the individuals into the groups differing by locomotor reaction to stress, as well as the individuals with the well-expressed compensatory reaction that we called the otolithotropic reaction. Analysis of results obtained by other authors confirms our conclusions. Thus, the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals, are immune to motion sickness either under the land conditions or under conditions of weightlessness. On the basis of available experimental data and theoretical concepts of mechanisms of development the motion sickness, formulated in several hypotheses (mismatch hypothesis, Traisman‘ s hypothesis, resonance hypothesis), there presented the synthetic hypothesis of motion sickness that has the conceptual significance. According to the hypothesis, the unusual stimulation producing sensor-motor or sensor-sensor conflict or an action of vestibular and visual stimuli of frequency of about 0.2 Hz is perceived by CNS as poisoning and causes the corresponding reactions. The motion sickness actually is a byproduct of technical evolution. It is suggested that in the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals

  11. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea leve