ResearchPad - seasons https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The 2015-2016 El Niño increased infection parameters of copepods on Eastern Tropical Pacific dolphinfish populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7672 The oceanographic conditions of the Pacific Ocean are largely modified by El Niño (EN), affecting several ecological processes. Parasites and other marine organisms respond to environmental variation, but the influence of the EN cycle on the seasonal variation of parasitic copepods has not been yet evaluated. We analysed the relation between infection parameters (prevalence and mean intensity) of the widespread parasitic copepods Caligus bonito and Charopinopsis quaternia in the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus and oceanography during the strong 2015–16 EN. Fish were collected from capture fisheries on the Ecuadorian coast (Tropical Eastern Pacific) over a 2-year period. Variations of sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl-a), Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), total host length (TL) and monthly infection parameters of both copepod species were analysed using time series and cross-correlations. We used the generalised additive models for determine the relationship between environmental variables and infection parameters. The total body length of the ovigerous females and the length of the eggs of C. bonito were measured in both periods. Infection parameters of both C. bonito and Ch. quaternia showed seasonal and annual patterns associated with the variation of environmental variables examined (SST, salinity, Chl-a and ONI 1+2). Infection parameters of both copepod species were significantly correlated with ONI 1+2, SST, TL and Chl-a throughout the GAMLSS model, and the explained deviance contribution ranged from 16%-36%. Our results suggest than an anomaly higher than +0.5°C triggers a risen in infection parameters of both parasitic copepods. This risen could be related to increases in egg length, female numbers and the total length of the ovigerous females in EN period. This study provides the first evidence showing that tropical parasitic copepods are sensitive to the influence of EN event, especially from SST variations. The observed behaviour of parasitic copepods likely affects the host populations and structure of the marine ecosystem at different scales.

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<![CDATA[Wing morphology predicts individual niche specialization in <i>Pteronotus mesoamericanus</i> (Mammalia: Chiroptera)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7639 Morphological variation between individuals can increase niche segregation and decrease intraspecific competition when heterogeneous individuals explore their environment in different ways. Among bat species, wing shape correlates with flight maneuverability and habitat use, with species that possess broader wings typically foraging in more cluttered habitats. However, few studies have investigated the role of morphological variation in bats for niche partitioning at the individual level. To determine the relationship between wing shape and diet, we studied a population of the insectivorous bat species Pteronotus mesoamericanus in the dry forest of Costa Rica. Individual diet was resolved using DNA metabarcoding, and bat wing shape was assessed using geometric morphometric analysis. Inter-individual variation in wing shape showed a significant relationship with both dietary dissimilarity based on Bray-Curtis estimates, and nestedness derived from an ecological network. Individual bats with broader and more rounded wings were found to feed on a greater diversity of arthropods (less nested) in comparison to individuals with triangular and pointed wings (more nested). We conclude that individual variation in bat wing morphology can impact foraging efficiency leading to the observed overall patterns of diet specialization and differentiation within the population.

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<![CDATA[The applicability of recreation-grade GNSS receiver (GPS watch, Suunto Ambit Peak 3) in a forested and an open area compared to a mapping-grade receiver (Trimble Juno T41)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8984bd8b-66a6-4b6e-8af7-92a53859b107

Due to developments in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and the miniaturization of their components, the usage of Global Positioning System (GPS) is no longer restricted to professional applications, but has become available in various consumer type devices, such as wristwatches. These commercial devices, however, were primarily designed for tracking activities in predominately urban settings and their accuracy has not been tested in forested areas. In this study, we present an assessment of the positional accuracy of a GPS watch (Ambit Peak 3, Suunto, Finland) under different forest cover types, seasons and meteorological conditions within the Whitehall Forest GPS Test Site located in Athens, Georgia, USA. As a standard of comparison, the performance of the GPS watch measurements was juxtaposed to that of a mapping-grade receiver (Juno T41, Trimble Inc., USA). In this study, we analyzed the differences between the determined and control positions using root-mean-square-error (RMSE), along with the distribution of observed positions through the standard deviational ellipse. The results suggest that the seasonal variations contributed to a statistically significant impact on the RMSE values for the GPS watch. However, there were no statistically significant differences in horizontal position accuracy by forest cover-type when using the GPS watch. Furthermore, no significant differences were found in horizontal position accuracy during the leaf-off period between the RMSE values for the GPS watch and those of the mapping-grade receiver. Lastly, the positional accuracies for both types of receivers were found to be weakly, but significantly correlated with fluctuations in air temperature and absolute humidity.

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<![CDATA[Partition dependence in financial aid distribution to income categories]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0611b39b-d559-4542-a5d9-a69c54a62df4

When allocating resources, people often diversify across categories even when those categories are arbitrary, such that allocations differ when identical sets of options are partitioned differently (“partition dependence”). The first goal of the present work (Experiment 1) was to replicate an experiment by Fox and colleagues in which graduate students exhibited partition dependence when asked how university financial aid should be allocated across arbitrarily partitioned income brackets. Our sample consisted of community members at a liberal arts college where financial aid practices have been recent topics of debate. Because stronger intrinsic preferences can reduce partition dependence, these participants might display little partition dependence with financial aid allocations. Alternatively, a demonstration of strong partition dependence in this population would emphasize the robustness of the effect. The second goal was to extend a “high transparency” modification to the present task context (Experiment 2) in which participants were shown both possible income partitions and randomly assigned themselves to one, to determine whether partition dependence in this paradigm would be reduced by revealing the study design (and the arbitrariness of income categories). Participants demonstrated clear partition dependence in both experiments. Results demonstrate the robustness of partition dependence in this context.

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<![CDATA[Daily and seasonal fluctuation in Tawny Owl vocalization timing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7177f503-3b7e-4d4b-a022-d9bd333d526e

A robust adaptation to environmental changes is vital for survival. Almost all living organisms have a circadian timing system that allows adjusting their physiology to cyclic variations in the surrounding environment. Among vertebrates, many birds are also seasonal species, adapting their physiology to annual changes in photoperiod (amplitude, length and duration). Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) are nocturnal birds of prey that use vocalization as their principal mechanism of communication. Diurnal and seasonal changes in vocalization have been described for several vocal species, including songbirds. Comparable studies are lacking for owls. In the present work, we show that male Tawny Owls present a periodic vocalization pattern in the seconds-to-minutes range that is subject to both daily (early vs. late night) and seasonal (spring vs. summer) rhythmicity. These novel theory-generating findings appear to extend the role of the circadian system in regulating temporal events in the seconds-to-minutes range to other species.

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<![CDATA[Variation in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 in normal pregnancy with gestational age, sampling season, and complications: A longitudinal cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndf1a2733-e0b1-4fc7-90ad-b2bfa4368f5f

Introduction

Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy have been associated with the risk of a variety of pregnancy outcomes. Few studies have investigated vitamin D concentrations throughout pregnancy in healthy women, and most guidelines recommend high vitamin D levels. In the present study, we investigated 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy Caucasian Danish women in relation to season, gestational age and possible vitamin D-linked complications.

Materials and methods

Eight hundred and one healthy Caucasian Danish women with an expected normal pregnancy were recruited among 2147 women attending first trimester screening. Seven blood samplings were planned throughout the pregnancy and delivery period. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (25(OH)D2) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were calculated.

Results

A total of 3304 samples from 694 women were available for 25(OH)D measurements. The mean (25th-75th percentiles) concentrations of 25(OH)D, 25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 were 54.6 (38.8–68.6) nmol/L, 52.2 (36.4–66.4) nmol/L, and 2.4 (2.2–2.2) nmol/L, respectively. Season was the strongest predictor of 25(OH)D concentration, with the lowest values observed in winter and spring, where only 42% and 41% of samples, respectively, were above 50 nmol/L. Nearly all women had values below the suggested optimal level of 75 nmol/L, independent of season. 25(OH)D peaked at gestational weeks 21–34. Plasma 25(OH)D2 levels were low in all seasons. Women with complications during pregnancy had higher 25(OH)D (estimated difference 9.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.7, p<0.001) than did women without complications, and women giving birth vaginally had lower 25(OH)D than did those delivering via elective (10.0 nmol/L, standard error 2.1, p<0.001) or emergency cesarean section (6.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.2, p<0.001).

Conclusion

The 25(OH)D concentrations vary with both season and gestational age. Healthy women had lower 25(OH)D concentrations than recommended, without an association with an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Guidelines for vitamin D in pregnancy may require revision.

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<![CDATA[Heterochrony of puberty in the European badger (Meles meles) can be explained by growth rate and group-size: Evidence for two endocrinological phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897769d5eed0c4847d2c1b

Puberty is a key stage in mammalian ontogeny, involving endocrinological, physiological and behavioural changes, moderated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Thus, not all individuals within one population achieve sexual maturity simultaneously. Here, using the European badger (Meles meles) as a model, we describe male testosterone and female oestrone profiles (using Enzyme-immunoassays) from first capture (3 months, post-weaning) until 28 months (attaining sexual maturity and final body size), along with metrics of somatic growth, scent gland development and maturation of external reproductive organs as well as intra-specific competition. In both sexes, endocrinological puberty commenced at ca. 11 months. Thereafter, cub hormone levels followed adult seasonal hormone patterns but at lower levels, with the majority of cubs reaching sexual maturity during their second mating season (22–28 months). Interestingly, there was evidence for two endocrinological phenotypes among male cubs (less evident in females), with early developers reaching sexual maturity at 11 months (first mating season) and late developers reaching sexual maturity at 22–26 months (second mating season). Early developers also attained a greater proportion of their ultimate adult size by 11 months, exhibiting faster growth rates than late developers (despite having similar adult size). Male cubs born into larger social groups tended to follow the late developer phenotype. Our results support the hypothesis that a minimum body size is required to reach sexual maturity, which may be achieved at different ages, even within a single population, where early maturity can confer individual fitness advantages and enhance population growth rate.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal characteristics of influenza vary regionally across US]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897716d5eed0c4847d2428

Given substantial regional differences in absolute humidity across the US and our understanding of the relationship between absolute humidity and influenza, we may expect important differences in regional seasonal influenza activity. Here, we assessed cross-seasonal influenza activity by comparing counts of positive influenza A and B rapid test results during the influenza season versus summer baseline periods for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 influenza years. Our analysis indicates significant regional patterns in cross-seasonal influenza activity, with relatively fewer influenza cases during the influenza season compared to summertime baseline periods in humid areas of the US, particularly in Florida and Hawaii. The cross-seasonal ratios vary from year-to-year and influenza type, but the geographic patterning of the ratios is relatively consistent. Mixed-effects regression models indicated absolute humidity during the influenza season was the strongest predictor of cross-seasonal influenza activity, suggesting a relationship between absolute humidity and cross-seasonal influenza activity. There was also evidence that absolute humidity during the summer plays a role, as well. This analysis suggests that spatial variation in seasonal absolute humidity levels may generate important regional differences in seasonal influenza activity and dynamics in the US.

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<![CDATA[Modern botanical analogue of endangered Yak (Bos mutus) dung from India: Plausible linkage with extant and extinct megaherbivores]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897796d5eed0c4847d30d6

The study reports the micro- and macrobotanical remains on wild Yak dung, providing evidence for understanding the diet, habitat, and ecology of extant and extinct megaherbivores. Grasses are the primary diet of the yak as indicated by the abundance of grass pollen and phytoliths. Other associated non-arboreal and arboreal taxa namely, Cyperacaeae, Rosaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia, Prunus, and Rhododendron are also important dietary plants for their living. The observation of plant macrobotanical remains especially the vegetative part and seeds of the grasses and Cyperaceae is also in agreement with the palynodata. The documented micro- and macrobotanical data are indicative of both Alpine meadow and steppe vegetation under cold and dry climate which exactly reflected the current vegetation composition and climate in the region. The recovery of Botryococcus, Arcella, and diatom was observed in trace amounts in the palynoassemblage which would have been incorporated in the dung through the ingestion of water and are indicative of the presence of perennial water system in the region. Energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis marked that the element contained in dung samples has variation in relation to the summer and winter, which might be due to the availability of the food plants and vegetation. This generated multiproxy data serves as a strong supplementary data for modern pollen and vegetation relationships based on surface soil samples in the region. The recorded multiproxy data could also be useful to interpret the relationship between the coprolites of herbivorous fauna and the palaeodietary, the palaeoecology in the region, and to correlate with other mega herbivores in a global context.

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<![CDATA[Population density and temperature correlate with long-term trends in somatic growth rates and maturation schedules of herring and sprat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89775ed5eed0c4847d2b47

We examine long-term trends in the average growth rates and maturation schedules of herring and sprat populations using survey data collected from the North Sea and west of Scotland since the 1960s and 1980s respectively. Otolith age data and maturity data are used to calculate time series of mean lengths at age, von Bertalanffy growth parameters, and probabilistic maturation reaction norms. As the growth and maturation of fish is known to be influenced by temperature and stock abundances, we account for these variables using Generalised Additive Models. Each of the herring populations displayed either steady declines in mean length across multiple age groups, or declines in length followed years later by some recovery. Depending on region, lengths at age of sprat increased or decreased over time. Varying temporal trends in maturation propensity at age and length were observed across herring populations. Many of the trends in growth rate and maturation were correlated to population abundance and/or temperature. In general, abundance is shown to be negatively correlated to growth rates in herring and sprat, and positively correlated with maturation propensity in herring. Temperature is also shown to be correlated to growth and maturation, and although the effect is consistent within species, the temperature effects differ between herring and sprat. This study provides detailed information about long-term trends in growth and maturation, which is lacking for some of these pelagic stocks, especially in the west of Scotland.

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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[Hygroregulation, a key ability for eusocial insects: Native Western European honeybees as a case study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730dbd5eed0c484f38231

Sociality has brought many advantages to various hymenoptera species, including their ability of regulating physical factors in their nest (e.g., temperature). Although less studied, humidity is known to be important for egg, larval and pupal development, and also for nectar concentration. Two subspecies of Apis mellifera of the M evolutionary lineage were used as models to test the ability of a superorganism (i.e. honeybee colony) to regulate the humidity in its nest (i.e. “hygroregulation hypothesis”) in four conservation centers: two in France (A. m. mellifera) and two in Portugal (A. m. iberiensis). We investigated the ability of both subspecies to regulate the humidity in hives daily, but also during the seasons for one complete year. Our data and statistical analysis demonstrated the capacity of the bees to regulate humidity in their hive, regardless of the day, season or subspecies. Furthermore, the study showed that humidity in beehives is stable even during winter, when brood is absent, and when temperature is known to be less stable in the beehives. These results suggest that humidity is important for honeybees at every life stage, maybe because of the ‘imprint’ of the evolutionary history of this hymenopteran lineage.

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<![CDATA[Drought stress affects the protein and dietary fiber content of wholemeal wheat flour in wheat/Aegilops addition lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633936d5eed0c484ae624e

Wild relatives of wheat, such as Aegilops spp. are potential sources of genes conferring tolerance to drought stress. As drought stress affects seed composition, the main goal of the present study was to determine the effects of drought stress on the content and composition of the grain storage protein (gliadin (Gli), glutenin (Glu), unextractable polymeric proteins (UPP%) and dietary fiber (arabinoxylan, β-glucan) components of hexaploid bread wheat (T. aestivum) lines containing added chromosomes from Ae. biuncialis or Ae. geniculata. Both Aegilops parents have higher contents of protein and β-glucan and higher proportions of water-soluble arabinoxylans (determined as pentosans) than wheat when grown under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. In general, drought stress resulted in increased contents of protein and total pentosans in the addition lines, while the β-glucan content decreased in many of the addition lines. The differences found between the wheat/Aegilops addition lines and wheat parents under well-watered conditions were also manifested under drought stress conditions: Namely, elevated β-glucan content was found in addition lines containing chromosomes 5Ug, 7Ug and 7Mb, while chromosomes 1Ub and 1Mg affected the proportion of polymeric proteins (determined as Glu/Gli and UPP%, respectively) under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. Furthermore, the addition of chromosome 6Mg decreased the WE-pentosan content under both conditions. The grain composition of the Aegilops accessions was more stable under drought stress than that of wheat, and wheat lines with the added Aegilops chromosomes 2Mg and 5Mg also had more stable grain protein and pentosan contents. The negative effects of drought stress on both the physical and compositional properties of wheat were also reduced by the addition of these. These results suggest that the stability of the grain composition could be improved under drought stress conditions by the intraspecific hybridization of wheat with its wild relatives.

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<![CDATA[Historical observations of algal blooms in Mazatlan Bay, Sinaloa, Mexico (1979-2014)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b529ad5eed0c4842bcc8c

A 35-year record of algal blooms in Mazatlan Bay is reviewed in order to register bloom-forming species and their seasonal presence, duration, degree of toxicity and environmental impact. A total of 202 algal blooms have been recorded and 25 dominant species identified: 6 toxic, 5 harmful and 14 harmless species. A harmless species, Myrionecta rubra, tended to decrease in frequency, while toxic species Gymnodinium catenatum and Margalefidinium polykrikoides showed a clear trend towards an increase in frequency. The number of discoloration days attributable to blooms was highly variable in each year, but a decadal analysis revealed a tendency to increase. The monthly distribution of algal blooms for decades showed two peaks of high frequency, the larger from February to May and the smaller from September to November. The duration of blooms varied from a few days to more than three months; the ephemeral blooms were the most frequent, but in the last decade, the frequency of the longer-lasting blooms has increased. An absence of blooms in 1983–4 and 1992–3 coincided with strong El Niño events, but this pattern was not consistent in subsequent El Niño years. Years with more or fewer discolorations days appear to be associated with cold or warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

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<![CDATA[Tree rings as a proxy for seasonal precipitation variability and Early Neolithic settlement dynamics in Bavaria, Germany]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52ecd5eed0c4842bd293

Studying the dynamic of Neolithic settlement on a local scale and its connection to climate variability is often difficult due to missing on-site climate reconstructions from natural archives. Here we bring together archaeological settlement data and a regional climate reconstruction from precipitation-sensitive trees. Both archives hold information about regional settlement dynamics and hydroclimate variability spanning the time of the first farming communities, the so called Linearbandkeramik (LBK) in Bavaria, Germany. Precipitation-sensitive tree-ring series from subfossil oak are used to develop a spring-summer precipitation reconstruction (5700–4800 B.C.E.) representative for southern Germany. Early Neolithic settlement data from Bavaria, mainly for the duration of the LBK settlement activities, are critically evaluated and compared to this unique regional hydroclimate reconstruction as well as to reconstructions of Greenland temperature, summer sea surface temperature, delta 18O and global solar irradiance to investigate the potential impact of climate on Neolithic settlers and their settlement dynamic during the LBK. Our hydroclimate reconstruction demonstrates an extraordinarily high frequency of severe dry and wet spring-summer seasons during the entire LBK, with particularly high year-to-year variability from 5400 to 5101 B.C.E. and with lower fluctuations until 4801 B.C.E. A significant influence of regional climate on the dynamic of the LBK is possible (e.g. around 4960 B.C.E.), but should be interpreted very carefully due to asynchronous trends in settlement dynamics. Thus, we conclude that even when a climate proxy such as tree rings that has excellent spatio-temporal resolution is available, it remains difficult to establish potential connections between the settlement dynamic of the LBK and climate variability.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide association mapping of grain yield in a diverse collection of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) evaluated in southern Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8c8d5eed0c48496f180

Wheat landraces, wild relatives and other ‘exotic’ accessions are important sources of new favorable alleles. The use of those exotic alleles is facilitated by having access to information on the association of specific genomic regions with desirable traits. Here, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a wheat panel that includes landraces, synthetic hexaploids and other exotic wheat accessions to identify loci that contribute to increases in grain yield in southern Australia. The 568 accessions were grown in the field during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and measured for plant height, maturity, spike length, spike number, grain yield, plant biomass, HI and TGW. We used the 90K SNP array and two GWAS approaches (GAPIT and QTCAT) to identify loci associated with the different traits. We identified 17 loci with GAPIT and 25 with QTCAT. Ten of these loci were associated with known genes that are routinely employed in marker assisted selection such as Ppd-D1 for maturity and Rht-D1 for plant height and seven of those were detected with both methods. We identified one locus for yield per se in 2014 on chromosome 6B with QTCAT and three in 2015, on chromosomes 4B and 5A with GAPIT and 6B with QTCAT. The 6B loci corresponded to the same region in both years. The favorable haplotypes for yield at the 5A and 6B loci are widespread in Australian accessions with 112 out of 153 carrying the favorable haplotype at the 5A locus and 136 out of 146 carrying the favorable haplotype at the 6A locus, while the favorable haplotype at 4B is only present in 65 out of 149 Australian accessions. The low number of yield QTL in our study corroborate with other GWAS for yield in wheat, where most of the identified loci have very small effects.

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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[Population genetic structure of the Mediterranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale in the central Balkans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f5d5eed0c4842bd32f

Migratory behaviour, sociality and roost selection have a great impact on the population structure of one species. Many bat species live in groups, and movements between summer and hibernation sites are common in temperate bats. The Mediterranean horseshoe bat Rhinolophus euryale is a cave-dwelling species that exhibits roost philopatry and undertakes seasonal movements which are usually shorter than 50 km. Its distribution in Serbia is restricted to karstic areas in western and eastern parts of the country, with a lack of known roosts between them. In this study, microsatellite markers were used to evaluate genetic variation in this species in the Central Balkans. Specifically, spatial genetic structuring between geographic regions and relatedness within different colony types were assessed. All analysed loci were polymorphic, and there was no significant inbreeding coefficient recorded. A moderate degree of genetic differentiation among the sampled colonies was found, and significant isolation by distance was recorded. Our results revealed that populations show a tendency to segregate into three clusters. Unexpectedly, populations from Montenegro and Eastern Serbia tended to group into one cluster, while populations from Western Serbia and Slovenia represented second and third cluster, respectively. The majority of variance was partitioned within colonies, and only a small but significant portion among clusters. Average relatedness within colony members was close to zero, did not differ significantly between the different colony types, and kinship is unlikely to be a major grouping mechanism in this species.

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<![CDATA[Incorporating media data into a model of infectious disease transmission]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e90cd5eed0c48496f731

Understanding the effect of media on disease spread can help improve epidemic forecasting and uncover preventive measures to slow the spread of disease. Most previously introduced models have approximated media effect through disease incidence, making media influence dependent on the size of epidemic. We propose an alternative approach, which relies on real data about disease coverage in the news, allowing us to model low incidence/high interest diseases, such as SARS, Ebola or H1N1. We introduce a network-based model, in which disease is transmitted through local interactions between individuals and the probability of transmission is affected by media coverage. We assume that media attention increases self-protection (e.g. hand washing and compliance with social distancing), which, in turn, decreases disease model. We apply the model to the case of H1N1 transmission in Mexico City in 2009 and show how media influence—measured by the time series of the weekly count of news articles published on the outbreak—helps to explain the observed transmission dynamics. We show that incorporating the media attention based on the observed media coverage of the outbreak better estimates the disease dynamics from what would be predicted by using media function that approximate the media impact using the number of cases and rate of spread. Finally, we apply the model to a typical influenza season in Washington, DC and estimate how the transmission pattern would have changed given different levels of media coverage.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the performance of different irrigation systems on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in the greenhouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e91cd5eed0c48496f815

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is a very important leafy vegetable in China and is commonly grown using furrow irrigation. In order to improve production efficiency, greenhouse experiments were conducted at Experimental Station, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China using furrow irrigation (FI), micro-sprinkler irrigation (MS), plastic film mulching irrigation (PF) and a combined plastic film mulching–micro-sprinkler irrigation system (PF+MS) to study their effects on soil physical characteristics, water distribution, root morpho-physiological traits, nutrition absorption, lettuce yield and water use efficiency for a spring crop and autumn crop in 2015 (Fig 1). Root length, root surface area, and root density were significantly higher under PF and PF+MS than under FI. Moreover, these traits were higher under MS than under FI but these differences were not significant. The soluble protein, soluble sugar, and Vitamin C content of lettuce decreased in the order PF+MS > PF > MS > FI in both crops. In the spring crop, the biological yield of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 7.22%、36.77%、43.20% higher than FI, respectively. In the spring crop, biological water use efficiency (BWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 20.93, 25.24, 36.81 and 38.54 kg m−3, respectively. The BWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 20.59%, 75.87% and 84.14% higher than FI. Economic water use efficiency (EWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 17.06, 21.31, 31.11 and 32.31 kg m−3, respectively. The EWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 24.91%, 82.36% and 89.39% higher than FI, respectively. The autumn crop achieved a higher WUE than the spring crop. The results suggested that the combined plastic film mulching-micro-sprinkler irrigation was the most suitable irrigation approach for increasing lettuce yield.

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