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Improving robustness of farm animals is one of the goals in breeding programmes. However, robustness is a complex trait and not measurable directly. The objective of this study was to quantify and characterize (elements of) robustness in growing pigs. Robustness can be analysed by examining the animal’s response to perturbations. Although the origin of perturbations may not be known, their effect on animal performance can be observed, for example, through changes in voluntary feed intake. A generic model and data analysis procedure was developed (1) to estimate the target trajectory of feed intake, which is the amount of feed that a pig desires to eat when it is not facing any perturbations; (2) to detect potential perturbations, which are deviations of feed intake from the estimated target trajectory; and (3) to characterize and quantify the response of the growing pigs to the perturbations using voluntary feed intake as response criterion. The response of a pig to a perturbation is characterized by four parameters. The start and end times of the perturbation are ‘imposed’ by the perturbing factor, while two other parameters describe the resistance and resilience potential of the pig. One of these describes the immediate reduction in daily feed intake at the start of the perturbation (i.e., a ‘resistance’ trait) while another parameter describes the capacity of the pig to adapt to the perturbation through compensatory feed intake to rejoin the target trajectory of feed intake (i.e., a ‘resilience’ trait). The procedure has been employed successfully to identify the target trajectory of feed intake in growing pigs and to quantify the pig’s response to a perturbation.
“Sovereignty” was not always there. What is called “sovereignty” today emerged under certain historical conditions at a certain time and in a certain place, and it can disappear or lose its meaning if the conditions change. Some authors assume that this has already happened so that we find ourselves in a post-sovereign era. The best way to ascertain whether they are right seems to be a reconstruction of the conditions under which sovereignty originally emerged, followed by an analysis as to whether the conditions have changed in the meantime, and, if so, how the changes affect sovereignty. Without such a historical assessment it is difficult to understand the present situation.
Sovereignty is the ‘boomerang’ concept of Western legal and political thought. For all the best efforts of scholars, politicians, lawyers and citizens to consign it to oblivion, sovereignty always returns, typically with a vengeance. The more its normative and explanatory force and its political valence are challenged, the more ubiquitous the concept of sovereignty seems to become. Unsurprisingly then, despite the recent intensification of supranational and transnational patterns of legal and political authority, once believed to be one more – and perhaps final – nail in sovereignty’s coffin, we stand today at yet another critical juncture, with sovereignty flying back in our faces.
‘The king reigns but does not govern’. This formula, which according to Carl Schmitt was coined by Adolphe Thiers, a French liberal historian and politician, enemy of Bonapartism yet suppressor of the Paris Commune, has become today the most important formula in the study of liberalism. Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben both understand this formula as capturing something essential about liberalism as a form of governmentality that guides the conduct of individuals either in the absence, or beyond the reach, of the sovereign power and its legislation through normative and normalizing orders that escape democratic control. Although not discussed as such, this formula also underlies recent attempts by jurists and historians of political ideas such as Martin Loughlin and Richard Tuck to bolster the sovereignty of the state against new forms of governing without the state that emerge in neoliberalism. This chapter proposes a new reading of this formula by situating it on the terrain of constitutionalism, rather than on that of sovereignty. In so doing, it seeks to bring together in a meaningful exchange these two different critical approaches to neoliberalism, and the emerging debates they harbour. One debate is between those who advocate a Foucauldian and biopolitical and those who adopt an Agambenian and politico-theological analysis of neoliberal governmentality. The other is the one between advocates of a republican, constitutional approach to democracy and those who argue for the revival of popular sovereignty on the basis of new ‘democratic’ interpretations of Bodin and Hobbes.
Sovereignty in premodern times evoked the dynastic figure of the 'sovereign' or territorial monarch. In modern times, it became a more abstract idea, referring to the power of the state, later of the people or 'the popular sovereign' as articulated and refined through constitutional arrangements. Today these inherited understandings of sovereignty confront various new challenges, including those of globalization, privatization of power, and the rise of sub-state nationalism. An examination of key historical writers and trends from the seventeenth century onwards, including Hobbes, Bodin, Constant, Rousseau and Schmitt, brings out these developments and challenges. Sovereignty remains a malleable and 'active' feature of the global configuration of power. Will sovereignty become a redundant concept over time, or will it remain a key part of the grammar of modern politics?
Myocardial deformation by speckle tracking echocardiography provides additional information on left ventricular function. Values of myocardial deformation (strain and strain rate) depend on the type of ultrasound machine and software that is used. Normative values for QLAB (Philips) are scarce, especially for children. It is important to evaluate the influence of age and body size on myocardial deformation parameters, since anthropometrics strongly influence many standard echocardiographic parameters. The aim of this study was to provide comprehensive normal values for myocardial deformation of the left ventricle using a Philips platform and to evaluate the association with anthropometric and standard echocardiographic parameters.
Healthy children between 1 and 18 years of age were prospectively examined using a standard echocardiographic protocol. Short-axis and apical four-chamber, two-chamber, and three-chamber views were used to measure peak systolic circumferential and longitudinal strain and systolic and early diastolic strain rate of the left ventricle using dedicated software.
A total of 103 children were included with a mean age of 10.8 and inter-quartile range 7.3–14.3 years. Global circumferential strain values (±SD) were −24.2±3.5% at basal, −25.8±3.5% at papillary muscle, and −31.9±6.2% at apex levels. Global left ventricular longitudinal strain values were −20.6±2.6% in apical four-chamber view, −20.9±2.7% in apical two-chamber, and −21.0 ±2.7% in apical three-chamber. Age was associated with longitudinal strain, longitudinal systolic and early diastolic strain rate, but not with circumferential strain.
Normal values for left ventricular deformation parameters in children are obtained using a Philips platform. Age partly explains normal variation of strain and strain rate.
In this study, we combine remote sensing, in situ and model-derived datasets from 1966 to 2014 to calculate the mass-balance components of Kronebreen, a fast-flowing tidewater glacier in Svalbard. For the well-surveyed period 2009–2014, we are able to close the glacier mass budget within the prescribed errors. During these 5 years, the glacier geodetic mass balance was −0.69 ± 0.12 m w.e. a−1, while the mass budget method led to a total mass balance of −0.92 ± 0.16 m w.e. a−1, as a consequence of a strong frontal ablation (−0.78 ± 0.11 m w.e. a−1), and a slightly negative climatic mass balance (−0.14 ± 0.11 m w.e. a−1). The trend towards more negative climatic mass balance between 1966–1990 (+0.20 ± 0.05 m w.e. a−1) and 2009–2014 is not reflected in the geodetic mass balance trend. Therefore, we suspect a reduction in ice-discharge in the most recent period. Yet, these multidecadal changes in ice-discharge cannot be measured from the available observations and thus are only estimated with relatively large errors as a residual of the mass continuity equation. Our study presents the multidecadal evolution of the dynamics and mass balance of a tidewater glacier and illustrates the errors introduced by inferring one unmeasured mass-balance component from the others.
We analyzed intestinal contents of two late-glacial mastodons preserved in lake sediments in Ohio (Burning Tree mastodon) and Michigan (Heisler mastodon). A multi-proxy suite of macrofossils and microfossils provided unique insights into what these individuals had eaten just before they died and added significantly to knowledge of mastodon diets. We reconstructed the mastodons’ habitats with similar multi-proxy analyses of the embedding lake sediments. Non-pollen palynomorphs, especially spores of coprophilous fungi differentiated intestinal and environmental samples. The Burning Tree mastodon gut sample originates from the small intestine. The Heisler mastodon sample is part of the large intestine to which humans had added clastic material to anchor parts of the carcass under water to cache the meat. Both carcasses had been dismembered, suggesting that the mastodons had been hunted or scavenged, in line with other contemporaneous mastodon finds and the timing of early human incursion into the Midwest. Both mastodons lived in mixed coniferous-deciduous late-glacial forests. They browsed tree leaves and twigs, especially Picea. They also ate sedge-swamp plants and drank the lake water. Our multi-proxy estimates for a spring/summer season of death contrast with autumn estimates derived from prior tusk analyses. We document the recovered fossil remains with photographs.
This paper focuses on systems producing short rotation coppice willows (SRCW) in chickens’ free-range areas. We aim to map chicken farmers’ motivation to implement SRCW, and to assess the economic viability of these systems. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 free-range chicken farmers. Farmers agreed that chickens would prefer SRCW over grassland, which could benefit chicken welfare. They expected establishing an SRCW system would be labor intensive, and doubted if it would be a profitable investment. Some concerns of farmers might be taken away by exchanging information with farmers with SRCW experience. A partial budget analysis was performed to calculate the net present value (NPV) of six different scenarios, differing in the type of chickens, in whether the produced biomass was sold or valorized on-farm and in harvest pattern, all over a 23-yr period. The NPV was positive but low for all scenarios. A sensitivity analysis showed that changes in biomass yield, wood chip price, a price premium for poultry products and current fuel price were most likely to influence the NPV. A risk analysis revealed that NPVs were positive in the majority of the modeled cases. Scenarios in which biomass was used for on-farm heat production showed the highest risk of a negative NPV. A price premium for poultry products may be most effective at increasing profitability, but may only be feasible for farms selling directly to consumers. Establishing a solid market for biomass energy, including guaranteed demand and availability of appropriate machinery for cultivation, may mitigate farmers’ concerns.
Sorghum is a staple food crop in Niger and its production is constrained by sorghum midge and the use of low yielding, local sorghum varieties. To improve sorghum productivity, it is crucial to provide farmers with high yielding sorghum cultivars that are resistant to midge. We evaluated 282 genotypes in four environments of Niger Republic. Alpha (0.1) lattice with two replications was the experimental design. Genotype and genotype by environment (GGE) biplot analysis was used to study grain yield (GY) stability and G × E interactions. The results revealed that two distinct mega environments were present. Genotype L232 was the best genotype for GY in the first planting date at Konni and the first and second planting dates (PDs) at Maradi. Genotype L17 was the best for GY in the second PD at Konni. The second PD at Konni was the most discriminating environment while the first PD at Konni is suitable for selecting widely adapted genotypes for GY.
Surface physical properties, hydrodynamics, biochemical cues, orientation and temporal scales play an important role in invertebrate larval recruitment on artificial substrates. In the present study, invertebrate recruitment on four different substrates (acrylic, stainless steel, ceramic and concrete panels) was investigated in two different orientations (vertical and horizontal) in the central Red Sea. Results showed significant variations in the abundance of benthic invertebrates between the different substrates. While barnacles and bivalves preferred panels placed in vertical positions, the abundance of bryozoans was high on horizontal panels. Artificial panel submersion season plays a significant role in the recruitment of benthic invertebrates on surfaces in the Red Sea. In conclusion, this study supports the overall notion that marine invertebrate recruitment on hard substrates is regulated by a combination of factors which include substrate type, orientation and submersion season.
Perhaps the world's best-known cetacean, the bottlenose dolphin shows considerable variation in behaviour between and within populations in relation to differences in natural and anthropogenic conditions. Drivers of behavioural variation need to be identified to understand the dynamics of wild dolphin populations. Little research has been published on the bottlenose dolphin population found in the Southern Adriatic Sea. Using a set of spatial, temporal and social predictors, we aimed to investigate what variables are related to the behaviour of an under-studied population of bottlenose dolphins along the coastline of Montenegro. We present the results of a year-long study monitoring the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins along coastal Montenegro. We considered the effect of topography, seasonality and group size. A large proportion of travelling (55%) small groups (mean 4, range 1–9) in shallow waters (<50 m) was observed. We showed that seasonality alone explained behaviour best, with surface-feeding and socializing-resting increasing in autumn and winter. Group size was found to be a result of behavioural choice. We suggest seasonal changes in environmental conditions and anthropogenic pressure may explain the recorded behavioural pattern. This research points to the necessity of increased collaboration in the region to help understand complex patterns in behaviour and habitat use of local dolphin populations if effective conservation measures are to be developed.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus the conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) requires information on land-use and land-cover changes (LULCCs) and carbon emission trends from the past to the present and into the future. Here, we use the results of participatory scenario development in Tanzania to assess the potential interacting impacts on carbon stock, biodiversity and water yield of alternative scenarios where REDD+ is or is not effectively implemented by 2025, a green economy (GE) scenario and a business as usual (BAU) scenario, respectively. Under the BAU scenario, LULCCs will cause 296 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) national stock loss by 2025, reduce the extent of suitable habitats for endemic and rare species (mainly in encroached protected mountain forests) and change water yields. In the GE scenario, national stock loss decreases to 133 MtC. In this scenario, consistent LULCC impacts occur within small forest patches with high carbon density, water catchment capacity and biodiversity richness. Opportunities for maximizing carbon emission reductions nationally are largely related to sustainable woodland management, but also contain trade-offs with biodiversity conservation and changes in water availability.