ResearchPad - cartography https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Road lighting density and brightness linked with increased cycling rates after-dark]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14738 Cycling has a range of benefits as is recognised by national and international policies aiming to increase cycling rates. Darkness acts as a barrier to people cycling, with fewer people cycling after-dark when seasonal and time-of-day factors are accounted for. This paper explores whether road lighting can reduce the negative impact of darkness on cycling rates. Changes in cycling rates between daylight and after-dark were quantified for 48 locations in Birmingham, United Kingdom, by calculating an odds ratio. These odds ratios were compared against two measures of road lighting at each location: 1) Density of road lighting lanterns; 2) Relative brightness as estimated from night-time aerial images. Locations with no road lighting showed a significantly greater reduction in cycling after-dark compared with locations that had some lighting. A nonlinear relationship was found between relative brightness at a location at night and the reduction in cyclists after-dark. Small initial increases in brightness resulted in large reductions in the difference between cyclist numbers in daylight and after-dark, but this effect reached a plateau as brightness increased. These results suggest only a minimal amount of lighting can promote cycling after-dark, making it an attractive mode of transport year-round.

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<![CDATA[Jellyfish distribution in space and time predicts leatherback sea turtle hot spots in the Northwest Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14580 Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) migrate to temperate Canadian Atlantic waters to feed on gelatinous zooplankton (‘jellyfish’) every summer. However, the spatio-temporal connection between predator foraging and prey-field dynamics has not been studied at the large scales over which these migratory animals occur. We use 8903 tows of groundfish survey jellyfish bycatch data between 2006–2017 to reveal spatial jellyfish hot spots, and matched these data to satellite-telemetry leatherback data over time and space. We found highly significant overlap of jellyfish and leatherback distribution on the Scotian Shelf (r = 0.89), moderately strong correlations of jellyfish and leatherback spatial hot spots in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (r = 0.59), and strong correlations in the Bay of Fundy (r = 0.74), which supports much lower jellyfish density. Over time, jellyfish bycatch data revealed a slight northward range shift in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, consistent with gradual warming of these waters. Two-stage generalized linear modelling corroborated that sea surface temperature, year, and region were significant predictors of jellyfish biomass, suggesting a climate signal on jellyfish distribution, which may shift leatherback critical feeding habitat over time. These findings are useful in predicting dynamic habitat use for endangered leatherback turtles, and can help to anticipate large-scale changes in their distribution in response to climate-related changes in prey availability.

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<![CDATA[Large-scale metabarcoding analysis of epipelagic and mesopelagic copepods in the Pacific]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14565 A clear insight into the large-scale community structure of planktonic copepods is critical to understanding the mechanisms controlling diversity and biogeography of marine taxa in terms of their high abundance, ubiquity, and sensitivity to environmental changes. Here, we applied a 28S metabarcoding approach to large-scale communities of epipelagic and mesopelagic copepods at 70 stations across the Pacific Ocean and three stations in the Arctic Ocean. Major patterns of community structure and diversity, influenced by water mass structures, agreed with results from previous morphology-based studies. However, a large-scale metabarcoding approach could detect community changes even under stable environmental conditions, including changes in the north/south subtropical gyres and east/west areas within each subtropical gyre. There were strong effects of the epipelagic environment on mesopelagic communities, and community subdivisions were observed in the environmentally stable mesopelagic layer. In each sampling station, higher operational taxonomic unit (OTU) numbers and lower phylogenetic diversity were observed in the mesopelagic layer than in the epipelagic layer, indicating a recent rapid increase in species numbers in the mesopelagic layer. The phylogenetic analysis utilizing representative sequences of OTUs revealed trends of recent emergence of cold-water OTUs, which are mainly distributed at high latitudes with low water temperatures. Conversely, the high diversity of copepods at low latitudes was suggested to have been formed through long evolution under high water temperature conditions. The metabarcoding results suggest that evolutionary processes have strong impacts on current patterns of copepod diversity, and support the “out of the tropics” theory explaining latitudinal diversity gradients of copepods. Diversity patterns in both epipelagic and mesopelagic copepods was highly correlated to sea surface temperature; thus, predicted global warming may have a significant impact on copepod diversity in both layers.

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<![CDATA[Potency and breadth of human primary ZIKV immune sera shows that Zika viruses cluster antigenically as a single serotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7747 The recent emergence of Zika virus as an important human pathogen has raised questions about the durability and breadth of Zika virus immunity following natural infection in humans. While global epidemic patterns suggest that Zika infection elicits a protective immune response that is likely to offer long-term protection against repeat infection by other Zika viruses, only one study to date has formally examined the ability of human Zika immune sera to neutralize different Zika viruses. That study was limited because it evaluated human immune sera no more than 13 weeks after Zika virus infection and tested a relatively small number of Zika viruses. In this study, we examine twelve human Zika immune sera as far as 3 years after infection and test the sera against a total of eleven Zika virus isolates. Our results confirm the earlier study and epidemic patterns that suggest Zika virus exists in nature as a single serotype, and infection with one Zika virus can be expected to elicit protective immunity against repeat infection by any Zika virus for years to decades after the first infection.

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<![CDATA[The southern Gulf of Mexico: A baseline radiocarbon isoscape of surface sediments and isotopic excursions at depth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne8afb4d0-568f-42aa-84a3-644a9625edfc

The southern Gulf of Mexico (sGoM) is home to an extensive oil recovery and development infrastructure. In addition, the basin harbors sites of submarine hydrocarbon seepage and receives terrestrial inputs from bordering rivers. We used stable carbon, nitrogen, and radiocarbon analyses of bulk sediment organic matter to define the current baseline isoscapes of surface sediments in the sGoM and determined which factors might influence them. These baseline surface isoscapes will be useful for accessing future environmental impacts. We also examined the region for influence of hydrocarbon deposition in the sedimentary record that might be associated with hydrocarbon recovery, spillage and seepage, as was found in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM) following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in 2010. In 1979, the sGoM experienced a major oil spill, Ixtoc 1. Surface sediment δ13C values ranged from -22.4‰ to -19.9‰, while Δ14C values ranged from -337.1‰ to -69.2‰. Sediment δ15N values ranged from 2.8‰ to 7.2‰, while the %C on a carbonate-free basis ranged in value of 0.65% to 3.89% and %N ranged in value of 0.09% to 0.49%. Spatial trends for δ13C and Δ14C were driven by water depth and distance from the coastline, while spatial trends for δ15N were driven by location (latitude and longitude). Location and distance from the coastline were significantly correlated with %C and %N. At depth in two of twenty (10%) core profiles, we found negative δ13C and Δ14C excursions from baseline values in bulk sedimentary organic material, consistent with either oil-residue deposition or terrestrial inputs, but likely the latter. We then used 210Pb dating on those two profiles to determine the time in which the excursion-containing horizons were deposited. Despite the large spill in 1979, no evidence of hydrocarbon residue remained in the sediments from this specific time period.

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<![CDATA[Human mobility in bike-sharing systems: Structure of local and non-local dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89772bd5eed0c4847d25f2

The understanding of human mobility patterns in different transportation modes is an interdisciplinary research field with a direct impact in aspects as varied as urban planning, traffic optimization, sustainability, the reduction of operating costs as well as the mitigation of pollution in urban areas. In this paper, we study the global activity of users in bike-sharing systems operating in the cities of Chicago and New York. For this transportation mode, we explore the temporal and spatial characteristics of the mobility of cyclists. In particular, through the analysis of origin-destination matrices, we characterize the spatial structure of the displacements of users. We apply a mobility model for the global activity of the system that classifies the displacements between stations in local and non-local transitions. In local transitions, cyclists move in a region around each station whereas, in the non-local case, bike users travel with long-range displacements in a similar way to Lévy flights. We reproduce the spatial dynamics by using Monte Carlo simulations. The obtained results are similar to the observed in real data and reveal that the model implemented captures important characteristics of the global spatial dynamics in the systems analyzed.

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<![CDATA[A season for all things: Phenological imprints in Wikipedia usage and their relevance to conservation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c882408d5eed0c4846395ce

Phenology plays an important role in many human–nature interactions, but these seasonal patterns are often overlooked in conservation. Here, we provide the first broad exploration of seasonal patterns of interest in nature across many species and cultures. Using data from Wikipedia, a large online encyclopedia, we analyzed 2.33 billion pageviews to articles for 31,751 species across 245 languages. We show that seasonality plays an important role in how and when people interact with plants and animals online. In total, over 25% of species in our data set exhibited a seasonal pattern in at least one of their language-edition pages, and seasonality is significantly more prevalent in pages for plants and animals than it is in a random selection of Wikipedia articles. Pageview seasonality varies across taxonomic clades in ways that reflect observable patterns in phenology, with groups such as insects and flowering plants having higher seasonality than mammals. Differences between Wikipedia language editions are significant; pages in languages spoken at higher latitudes exhibit greater seasonality overall, and species seldom show the same pattern across multiple language editions. These results have relevance to conservation policy formulation and to improving our understanding of what drives human interest in biodiversity.

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<![CDATA[Large-scale micron-order 3D surface correlative chemical imaging of ancient Roman concrete]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d0ed5eed0c484c81e67

There has been significant progress in recent years aimed at the development of new analytical techniques for investigating structure-function relationships in hierarchically ordered materials. Inspired by these technological advances and the potential for applying these approaches to the study of construction materials from antiquity, we present a new set of high throughput characterization tools for investigating ancient Roman concrete, which like many ancient construction materials, exhibits compositional heterogeneity and structural complexity across multiple length scales. The detailed characterization of ancient Roman concrete at each of these scales is important for understanding its mechanics, resilience, degradation pathways, and for making informed decisions regarding its preservation. In this multi-scale characterization investigation of ancient Roman concrete samples collected from the ancient city of Privernum (Priverno, Italy), cm-scale maps with micron-scale features were collected using multi-detector energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and confocal Raman microscopy on both polished cross-sections and topographically complex fracture surfaces to extract both bulk and surface information. Raman spectroscopy was used for chemical profiling and phase characterization, and data collected using EDS was used to construct ternary diagrams to supplement our understanding of the different phases. We also present a methodology for correlating data collected using different techniques on the same sample at different orientations, which shows remarkable potential in using complementary characterization approaches in the study of heterogeneous materials with complex surface topographies.

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<![CDATA[Mesoscale circulation determines broad spatio-temporal settlement patterns of lobster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df326d5eed0c484580db3

The influence of physical oceanographic processes on the dispersal of larvae is critical for understanding the ecology of species and for anticipating settlement into fisheries to aid long-term sustainable harvest. This study examines the mechanisms by which ocean currents shape larval dispersal and supply to the continental shelf-break, and the extent to which circulation determines settlement patterns using Sagmariasus verreauxi (Eastern Rock Lobster, ERL) as a model species. Despite the large range of factors that can impact larval dispersal, we show that within a Western Boundary Current system, mesoscale circulation explains broad spatio-temporal patterns of observed settlement including inter-annual and decadal variability along 500 km of coastline. To discern links between ocean circulation and settlement, we correlate a unique 21- year dataset of observed lobster settlement (i.e., early juvenile & pueruli abundance), with simulated larval settlement. Simulations use outputs of an eddy-resolving, data-assimilated, hydrodynamic model, incorporating ERL spawning strategy and larval duration. The latitude where the East Australian Current (EAC) deflects east and separates from the continent determines the limit between regions of low and high ERL settlement. We found that years with a persistent EAC flow have low settlement while years when mesoscale eddies prevail have high settlement; in fact, mesoscale eddies facilitate the transport of larvae to the continental shelf-break from offshore. Proxies for settlement based on circulation features observed with satellites could therefore be useful in predicting broadscale patterns of settlement orders of magnitudes to guide harvest limits.

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<![CDATA[Response of Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis to marine environmental changes in the north-central South China Sea based on satellite and in situ observations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feaad5eed0c4841352bc

In the South China Sea (SCS), Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis (S. oualaniensis) generally has the highest stock density in spring and occupies an important position in fisheries. The responses of S. oualaniensis to marine environments in the north-central SCS in spring (March to May) from 2006 to 2010 were analyzed using satellite and in situ observations, with generalized additive models (GAMs). A high proportion variation in catch per unit effort (CPUE) was explained by environmental variables, including sea surface temperature (SST; explaining 13.8%) and the interaction between SST and chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentration (explaining 16.9%). SSTs within the range of 24–28°C and Chl-a concentrations within 0.10–0.35 mg/m3 had positive effects on S. oualaniensis CPUE, and SST within 28–29.5°Cand Chl-a concentrations within 0.05–0.20 mg/m3 had negative effects. In addition, the response time of the maximum standardized catch per unit effort (SCPUE) in May to the maximum Chl-a in March was approximately six ten-day time step. The higher Chl-a and smaller stock size of S. oualaniensis in early March 2008 were partly associated with climatic anomalies caused by La Niña in spring and the limitation of S. oualaniensisby low temperature in 2008. The findings in this study can help better protect and manage S. oualaniensis resources in the SCS.

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<![CDATA[Regional variability in reproductive traits of the Acropora hyacinthus species complex in the Western Pacific Region]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fea9d5eed0c4841352b0

Understanding natural variations in the life history traits of reef-building corals under different environmental conditions is an area of active research. This study compares variability in the reproductive and genetic traits of the hermaphroditic broadcast spawning coral Acropora hyacinthus, from the Western Pacific Region, across six different latitudes [Japan (33° and 31°N), Taiwan (23°, 22° and 21°N), and Indonesia (5°S)]. Egg sizes among corals in the lowest latitude studied were significantly larger than those at high latitudes, while the mean number of eggs were significantly different only among high latitude and two out of the three mid latitude locations studied. Egg numbers were significantly negatively correlated with egg and testis volumes, indicating reproductive trade-offs across locations. Female gonad volumes were smaller at high latitudes but significantly larger at lower latitudes, being positively correlated with seawater temperatures. Furthermore, high genetic similarities among populations suggest active gene flow among low-, mid- and high-latitude locations. An exception to this trend, the mid-latitude location of Penghu (off western Taiwan) formed an independent group with highly similar genetic and reproductive traits, suggesting reproductive isolation with local adaptations. This study reports natural spatial variations in the reproductive traits of A. hyacinthus at different latitudinal locations, which may serve as baseline information to predict how the life histories of corals in general respond to the impacts of climate change.

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<![CDATA[Adsorption of Pb2+ by ameliorated alum plasma in water and soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6448d7d5eed0c484c2efe8

Four methods, including hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment, calcination treatment and sulfhydrylation treatment, were applied to activate alum plasma in order to obtain new Pb2+ adsorbents. The corresponding adsorption isotherm satisfies the Langmuir equation, and the maximum adsorption of the alum plasma after hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment and high-temperature calcination were 18.9, 57.3 and 10.9 mg·g−1, respectively, and in the range of 1.23–6.57 times greater than the adsorption capacity of the original alum plasma. The soil culture experiments indicated that the effective Pb content in the soils treated with hot alkali ameliorated alum plasma was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than those treated with the other three types of alum plasma. For example, if the additive content is 5.0%, after a storage period of 16 weeks, the effective Pb content becomes 19.87 mg·kg−1, which corresponds to a reduction of 60.9% in comparison with the control sample. In addition, Specific surface area (BET), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FIR) were used to characterize the microstructure of alum plasma before and after amelioration. It was evident that hot alkali treatment of alum plasma resulted in smaller particles, a significantly higher specific area and lower mineral crystallinity, which improved the adsorption performance of Pb2+. In conclusion, hot alkali treatment of alum plasma indicates relatively good Pb2+ adsorption ability, and is a promising novel adsorbents that could ameliorate soils that have been polluted by heavy metal Pb.

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<![CDATA[Altitudinal range-size distribution of breeding birds and environmental factors for the determination of species richness: An empirical test of altitudinal Rapoport’s rule and non-directional rescue effect on a local scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6448bad5eed0c484c2ec96

Range-size distributions are important for understanding species richness patterns and led to the development of the controversial Rapoport’s rule and Rapoport-rescue effect. This study aimed to understand the relationship between species richness and range-size distribution in relation to environmental factors. The present study tested the following: (1) altitudinal Rapoport’s rule, and a subsequent test on climatic and ambient energy hypotheses, (2) non-directional rescue effect, and a subsequent test on effect of environmental factors associated with the distribution of narrowest to widest-range species. Altitudinal species range-size distribution increased with increasing altitude and showed a negative relationship with climatic variables. These results support the altitudinal Rapoport’s rule and climatic hypothesis; however, they do not fully support the ambient energy hypothesis. Results from testing the non-directional rescue effect showed that the inflow intensity of species from both directions (high and low elevations) affected species richness. And we found that the species with intermediate range-size, rather than narrowest or widest range-size were the main cause of a mid-peak of species richness and the non-directional rescue effect. Additionally, the richness of species with intermediate range-size was highly related to minimum temperature, habitat heterogeneity, or primary productivity. Although altitudinal range-size distribution results were similar to the phenomenon of altitudinal Rapoport’s rule, the mid-peak pattern of species richness could not be explained by the underlying mechanism of Rapoport’s-rescue effect; however, the non-directional rescue effect could explain a mid-peak pattern of species richness along altitudinal gradient.

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<![CDATA[Subarctic singers: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song structure and progression from an Icelandic feeding ground during winter]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52181ad5eed0c48479736e

Humpback whale songs associated with breeding behaviors are increasingly reported outside of traditional low latitude breeding grounds. Songs from a subarctic feeding ground during the winter were quantitatively characterized to investigate the structure and temporal changes of the songs at such an atypical location. Recordings were collected from 26. January to 12. March, 2011, using bottom mounted recorders. Humpback songs were detected on 91% of the recording days with peak singing activities during 9.–26. February. The majority of the recordings included multiple chorusing singers. The songs were characterized by a) common static themes which transitioned consistently to predictable themes, b) shifting themes which occurred less predictably and c) rare themes. A set median sequence was found for four different periods (sets) of recordings (approximately 1 week each). The set medians were highly similar and formed a single cluster indicating that the sequences of themes sung in this area belonged to a single cluster of songs despite of the variation caused by the shifting themes. These subarctic winter songs could, thus, represent a characteristic song type for this area which is comparable to extensively studied songs from traditional low latitude breeding grounds. An increase in the number of themes per sequence was observed throughout the recording period including minor changes in the application of themes in the songs; indicating a gradual song progression. The results confirm that continual singing of sophisticated songs occur during the breeding season in the subarctic. In addition to being a well-established summer feeding ground the study area appears to be an important overwintering site for humpback whales delaying or canceling their migration where males engage in active sexual displays, i.e. singing. Importantly, such singing activity on a shared feeding ground likely aids the cultural transmission of songs in the North Atlantic.

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<![CDATA[Influence of vertical wind shear on wind- and rainfall areas of tropical cyclones making landfall over South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0173d5eed0c48403b75a

The wind- and rainfall areas of tropical cyclones (TCs) making landfall over South Korea were examined for the period 1998–2013 by using the Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 data. Here, the wind- and rainfall areas were defined as the regions where wind speeds and precipitation rates exceed 14 m s-1 and 80 mm day-1 within 1000 km from the TC center, respectively. In general, TCs show significantly asymmetric wind and rainfall structures, with strong vertical wind shear appearing over South Korea during the landfall period. The rainfall area significantly increases with environmental vertical wind shear while the wind area is not sensitive to it. Composite analyses of the cases of strong and weak vertical wind shear confirm that the increase of rainfall area is related to the asymmetric convection (rising/sinking motion in the downshear-left/upshear-right side) induced by the vertical wind shear. This work highlights the importance of local atmospheric environment in determining the area primarily affected by strong winds or heavy rainfall during TC landfalls.

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<![CDATA[Morphology and genetics of Lythrum salicaria from latitudinal gradients of the Northern Hemisphere grown in cold and hot common gardens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7c1d5eed0c484490bd7

The aim of this project was to compare the phenotypic responses of global populations of Lythrum salicaria in cold/dry and hot/humid environments to determine if phenotypic plasticity varied between the native and invasive ranges, and secondarily if this variation was linked to genetic diversity. Common garden studies were conducted in Třeboň, Czech Republic, and Lafayette, Louisiana, USA (cold/dry vs. hot/humid garden, respectively), using populations from latitudinal gradients in Eurasia and North America. Lythrum salicaria seeds collected from the same maternal plants across these latitudinal gradients were germinated and grown in Třeboň and Lafayette. Tissue masses (above-, below-ground, inflorescence and total) of these individuals were assessed at the end of each growing season (2006–2008). Worldwide field measurements of L. salicaria height were made by volunteers from 2004–2016. Biomass and height data were analyzed using the General Linear Model framework and multivariate techniques. Molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphisms) of individuals used in the common garden study were analyzed using traditional genetic diversity metrics and Bayesian clustering algorithms in STRUCTURE. Reaction norms were developed from differences in maternal plant responses in Třeboň versus Lafayette. In the common garden studies, stem/leaf, root and total biomass generally were highest for individuals grown from seeds collected in the southern part of the range in the cold garden, particularly by the third year of the study. In contrast, inflorescence biomass in the cold garden was higher by the third year in individuals from mid-latitude populations. As measured by volunteers, plants were taller in Eurasia than in North America moving from north to south with the pattern switching southward of 40°N latitude. Genetic diversity was similar between native and non-native invasive populations regardless of geographical origin of the seed and was not significantly different in the GLM Select model (p > 0.05). Reaction norm slopes showed that Eurasia had larger values than North America for reaction norms for above-ground and total biomass. Plants from the seeds of mother plants from Turkey had wide variation in total biomass when grown in Třeboň versus Lafayette; this variation in response within certain populations may have contributed to the lack of population-level differences in plasticity. These results indicate no loss of genetic diversity for L. salicaria during its North American invasion, nor reduction in plastic tissue allocation responses to a varying environment, which may help explain some of its invasive qualities and which could be of adaptive value under changing future environments.

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<![CDATA[Estimating lake ice thickness in Central Ontario]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf58d5eed0c484914431

Lakes are a key geographical feature in Canada and have an impact on the regional climate. In the winter, they are important for recreational activities such as snowmobiling and ice fishing and act as part of an important supply route for northern communities. The ability to accurately report lake ice characteristics such as thickness is vital, however, it is underreported in Canada and there is a lack of lake ice thickness records for temperate latitude areas such as Central Ontario. Here, we evaluate the application of previously developed temperature models and RADARSAT-2 for estimating lake ice thickness in Central Ontario and provide insight into the regions long term ice thickness variability. The ALS Environmental Science Shallow Water Ice Profiler (SWIP) was used for validation of both temperature and radar-based models. Results indicate that the traditional approach that uses temperatures to predict ice thickness during ice growth has low RMSE values of 2.3 cm and correlations of greater than 0.9. For ice decay, similar low RMSE values of 2.1 cm and high correlations of 0.97 were found. Using RADARSAT-2 to estimate ice thickness results in R2 values of 0.6 (p < 0.01) but high RMSE values of 11.7 cm. Uncertainty in the RADARSAT-2 approach may be linked to unexplored questions about scattering mechanisms and the interaction of radar signal with mid-latitude lake ice. The application of optimized temperature models to a long-term temperature record revealed a thinning of ice cover by 0.81 cm per decade.

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<![CDATA[Hierarchical elimination selection method of dendritic river network generalization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed773d5eed0c484f1417c

Dendritic river networks are fundamental elements in cartography, and the generalization of these river networks directly influences the quality of cartographic generalization. Automatic selection is a difficult and important process for river generalization that requires the consideration of semantic, geometric, topological, and structural characteristics. However, owing to a lack of effective use of river features, most existing methods lose important spatial distribution characteristics of rivers, thus affecting the selection result. Therefore, a hierarchical elimination selection method of dendritic river networks is proposed that consists of three steps. First, a directed topology tree (DTT) is investigated to realize the organization of river data and the intelligent identification of river structures. Second, based on the “180° hypothesis” and “acute angle hypothesis”, each river is traced in the upstream direction from its estuary to create the stroke connections of dendritic river networks based on a consideration of the river semantics, length, and angle features, and the hierarchical relationships of a dendritic river network are then determined. Finally, by determining the total number of selected rivers, a hierarchical elimination algorithm that accounts for density differences is proposed. The reliability of the proposed method was verified using sample data tests, and the rationality and validity of the method were demonstrated in experiments using actual data.

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<![CDATA[Modeling the spatial and seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in the southeast United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841e3d5eed0c484fcb11d

Understanding the distribution and intensity of recreational boating activities is key for managing safety as well as environmental and social impacts. Recreational boating is a very important component of the diverse maritime traffic in the southeastern United States. The seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in waters off the coast of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia was modeled using several techniques (Poisson, negative binomial, hurdle and zero inflated modes, generalized additive models, and generalized mixed models) and by combining map-based information provided by recreational boaters with environmental and geographical variables to find the most parsimonious model. Based on model performance, the final model analysis was conducted using a GAM approach with a negative binomial distribution. The best seasonal models explained between 86.1%– 88.6% of the total deviance. For most seasons, a model that included latitude, longitude, interaction between latitude and longitude, chlorophyll a concentration, and abundance of artificial reefs resulted in the best fit. The only exception was the model for the summer season, which did not include chlorophyll a concentration. Given the complexity of the study area, with a number of maritime activities and several marine species co-occurring, these models could provide information to analyze the distribution and overlap of recreational boating trips with other maritime activities (e.g., cargo ships, commercial vessels) and species (e.g., right whales, sea turtles, sharks). These analyses could be used to decrease harmful interactions among these groups and activities.

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<![CDATA[Spatio-Temporal Factors Associated with Meningococcal Meningitis Annual Incidence at the Health Centre Level in Niger, 2004&#8211;2010]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85c9b

Background

Epidemics of meningococcal meningitis (MM) recurrently strike the African Meningitis Belt. This study aimed at investigating factors, still poorly understood, that influence annual incidence of MM serogroup A, the main etiologic agent over 2004–2010, at a fine spatial scale in Niger.

Methodology/Principal Findings

To take into account data dependencies over space and time and control for unobserved confounding factors, we developed an explanatory Bayesian hierarchical model over 2004–2010 at the health centre catchment area (HCCA) level. The multivariate model revealed that both climatic and non-climatic factors were important for explaining spatio-temporal variations in incidence: mean relative humidity during November–June over the study region (posterior mean Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) = 0.656, 95% Credible Interval (CI) 0.405–0.949) and occurrence of early rains in March in a HCCA (IRR = 0.353, 95% CI 0.239–0.502) were protective factors; a higher risk was associated with the percentage of neighbouring HCCAs having at least one MM A case during the same year (IRR = 2.365, 95% CI 2.078–2.695), the presence of a road crossing the HCCA (IRR = 1.743, 95% CI 1.173–2.474) and the occurrence of cases before 31 December in a HCCA (IRR = 6.801, 95% CI 4.004–10.910). At the study region level, higher annual incidence correlated with greater geographic spread and, to a lesser extent, with higher intensity of localized outbreaks.

Conclusions

Based on these findings, we hypothesize that spatio-temporal variability of MM A incidence between years and HCCAs result from variations in the intensity or duration of the dry season climatic effects on disease risk, and is further impacted by factors of spatial contacts, representing facilitated pathogen transmission. Additional unexplained factors may contribute to the observed incidence patterns and should be further investigated.

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