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The synthesis of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference (ABEC) 2015, which was held to assess scientific progress over the past twnety-five years, this book provides a comprehensive and global review of work since the 1992 publication of Plant-Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos. Taking a regional and, where appropriate, habitat perspective, it considers sites of coastal biodiversity from around the world to incorporate a global approach. The volume analyses abiotic and biotic interactions, and the factors determining distribution patterns, community structure and ecosystem functioning of coastal systems. It explores themes of how phylogeography and biogeographic process influence assemblage composition, and hence drive community structure and the respective roles of environmental factors and biological interactions, with the overall goal to establish how general are the processes in different regions and habitats. For researchers, graduate students and academics studying coastal ecosystems, with interest for conservation practitioners managing areas of high biodiversity.
This volume has achieved a large coverage of the experimentally well-studied areas of the temperate and subtropical coasts of the world (see Figure 1.1) – venturing into the tropics in some regions (Chapter 14, South-East Asia) and including mangroves (Chapter 17). Coral reef systems have not been considered. Much of the emphasis has been on rocky habitats as this is where the majority of experimental work on interactions has been done (but see Chapter 6). As well as reviewing regions where there has been a long history of experimental research (e.g., Chapters 2–4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16), areas of emerging experimental research in the last twenty-five years (e.g., Chapter 8, western Mediterranean; Chapter 12, south-east Pacific) and understudied regions (e.g., Chapter 7, Argentina; Chapter 14, South-East Asia) have also been included, allowing more comprehensive insights into the processes important for shaping these communities. In this short synthesis chapter, we first consider the main processes determining patterns covered by the previous chapters. We then consider major human impacts in these regions. Finally, we identify gaps in knowledge and make some suggestions for the way forward. We make the case for combining phylogeographic studies with macro-ecology and biogeography, coupled with well-designed hypothesis testing experiments, to better understand processes generating patterns on micro-evolutionary (hundreds to thousands of years) and ecological (up to hundreds of years) time scales.
At the end of the 2015 Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference, a day was set aside for a workshop following up on the 1990 Plant–Animal Interactions meeting and its associated Systematics Association book – Plant–Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos (John et al., 1992). Talks given throughout the 2015 conference also informed the present volume and its chapters. The 2015 workshop took a comparative approach with a series of informal presentations and discussion sessions from selected participants from around the world. The general aim was to take a regionally based view of the role of interactions in setting distribution patterns, community structure and functioning of shallow-water marine ecosystems. The coverage was predominantly coastal, down to the limit of light penetration. Most contributions were from those working on rocky intertidal and subtidal habitats, reflecting the size (and willingness to contribute) of the research community coupled with the greater tradition of experimental approaches to examine interactions on more tractable hard substrata. In addition, mangroves, biofilms and the deep sea were also considered as special systems that are ubiquitous across several oceans where significant advances have been made and, therefore, warranted inclusion. Recent advances in remotely operated vehicles, for example, have increased the scope for observation and experiment in the deep sea (Johnson et al., 2013); whereas mangroves are important ecosystem engineers which provide important ecosystem services, but are declining globally (Polidoro et al., 2010; Chee et al., 2017). Biofilms were also included as a subject given their global distribution and importance as the site of first settlement of macrobenthic organisms and as a food source for grazers (Abreu et al., 2007). While this volume does not feature any chapters specifically on artificial structures, ocean sprawl or eco-engineering, a large number of talks and posters at the conference dealt with these emerging issues, reflecting their global importance (see Firth et al., 2016; Bishop et al., 2017 and Strain et al., 2018 for reviews). A notable omission is coral reefs, which were not covered because they already have a well-established community of research workers and deserve a volume in their own right. Inevitably, there are gaps in coverage reflecting difficulties in soliciting and delivering input, especially on soft shores as well as certain geographic locations. Coverage in 1992 and 2018 is shown on the maps in Figure 1.1.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
An outline is given of the Quaternary geology and geomorphology of Court Hill Col in Failand Ridge near Clevedon, Avon County, from observations made during the construction of the M5 Motorway.
A glacial col-gully about 100 m wide and approximately 25 m deep is described. The col-gully, eroded through the Carboniferous Limestone, opens and deepens northward. Associated with the Col and the col-gully is a complex sequence of Quaternary deposits. Uppermost in the sequence is a layer of red sandy silt (cover sand) approximately 0.5 m thick, of periglacial origin, probably of Devensian (Weichselian) age. Largely confined to the col-gully are unstratified tills, stratified ice-contact deposits and glacio-lacustrine deltaic deposits. The glaciogenic deposits are up to 25 m thick. Boulders of about 8 Mg in weight have been observed.
The geomorphology of the col-gully, and the stratification and composition of the glaciogenic deposits, demonstrate that an ice sheet at least 85 m thick had impinged against the south flank of Failand Ridge and was discharging immense quantities of water and sediment down an ice-contact slope through the Col into a small ice-marginal lake north of the col-gully. The ice sheet is regarded as being Wolstonian, or Anglian, in age.
The precise origins of the col-gully and the interpretation of the glacial sequence are not yet completely clear. However, it is believed that the balance of evidence indicates that both the col-gully itself and the glaciogenic deposits represent a complex sub-, en- and pro-glacial sequence associated with the downwasting and division of an ice mass into two parts by the "emergence" of Failand Ridge. The possible extent and geomorphological implications of ice-sheet penetration into the Bristol area are briefly discussed.
Gender equity is imperative to the attainment of healthy lives and wellbeing of all, and promoting gender equity in leadership in the health sector is an important part of this endeavour. This empirical research examines gender and leadership in the health sector, pooling learning from three complementary data sources: literature review, quantitative analysis of gender and leadership positions in global health organisations and qualitative life histories with health workers in Cambodia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The findings highlight gender biases in leadership in global health, with women underrepresented. Gender roles, relations, norms and expectations shape progression and leadership at multiple levels. Increasing women's leadership within global health is an opportunity to further health system resilience and system responsiveness. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equity.
Canopy-forming fucoid algae have an important role as ecosystem engineers on rocky intertidal shores, where they increase the abundance of species otherwise limited by exposure during low tide. The facilitative relationship between Ascophyllum nodosum and associated organisms was explored using a frond breakage experiment (100%, 50%, 25%, 0% intact-frond treatments) in southern England, to assess the consequences of disturbance. Understorey substratum temperature was on average 3°C higher in 0% and 25% intact-frond treatments than in plots with 50% and 100% intact fronds. Light (as PAR during low tide) doubled in 0% intact-frond treatments in comparison to other treatments (which had similar light levels). Mobile invertebrate species richness declined by on average 1 species per m2 in the treatments with only 25% and 0% intact fronds, and the abundance of Littorina obtusata declined by 2.4–4.2 individuals per m2 in the treatments with 25 and 0% intact fronds. Sessile taxa, including Osmundea pinnatifida and encrusting coralline algae, declined by half on average in the 0% intact-frond treatment. These results suggest that the ability of Ascophyllum to mediate environmental conditions to the understorey is the mechanism responsible for species distributed in the understorey (autogenic ecosystem engineering). The results of this study imply that a pulse disturbance resulting in a 50% breakage of Ascophyllum fronds significantly increases temperature and decreases the abundance of mobile invertebrates usually associated with Ascophyllum. Sessile taxa associated with Ascophyllum can, however, withstand disturbances down to 25% intact Ascophyllum fronds.
The sizes of fifty planetaries at the four IRAS wavelengths are presented as a result of performing spatial deconvolution of survey mode data. We obtain an increase in resolving of a factor of about 2 or 3 from the normal IRAS detector sizes of 45″, 45″, 90″, and 180″ at wavelengths 12, 25, 60 and 100 microns. Most of the planetaries deconvolve at 12 and 25 microns to sizes equal to or smaller than the optical size. Some of the nebulae such as NGC 6720 and NGC 6543 show full width at half maximum at all IRAS wavelengths that are about equal to the optical size, while others give an increasing size with wavelength. The profiles of a few interesting cases are shown. The method and results should allow comparison with models for infrared emission from dust from planetary nebulae.
Although the HST GSC–I (Paper-I: Lasker et al. 1990, Paper-II: Russell et al. 1990, Paper-III: Jenkner et al. 1990) has been used with great success operationally, it was always known that it was possible to improve the scientific and operational usefulness by an increase in scope to include multi-color and multi-epoch data. Once the GSC-II concept was established, it was evident that, even beyond the original motivations in HST operations, it would address a number of other astronomical needs such as increasing demands for fainter catalogues to support remote or queue scheduling capabilities and adaptive optics on the next generation of large-aperture, new-technology telescopes. In addition, the all sky nature of the GSC–II makes it a natural data source for research in galactic structure.
Cognitive and functional impairment increase risk for post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery delirium (PCD), but how much impairment is necessary to increase PCD risk remains unclear.
The Neuropsychiatric Outcomes After Heart Surgery (NOAHS) study is a prospective, observational cohort study of participants undergoing elective CABG surgery. Pre-operative cognitive and functional status based on Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale and neuropsychological battery are assessed. We defined mild cognitive impairment (MCI) based on either (1) CDR global score 0.5 (CDR-MCI) or (2) performance 1.5 SD below population means on any cognitive domain on neurocognitive battery (MCI-NC). Delirium was assessed daily post-operative day 2 through discharge using the confusion assessment method (CAM) and delirium index (DI). We investigate whether MCI – either definition – predicts delirium or delirium severity.
So far we have assessed 102 participants (mean age 65.1 ± 9; male: 75%) for PCD. Twenty six participants (25%) have MCI-CDR; 38 (62% of those completing neurocognitive testing) met MCI-NC criteria. Fourteen participants (14%) developed PCD. After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity, and education, MCI-CDR, MMSE, and Lawton IADL score predicted PCD on logistic regression (OR: 5.6, 0.6, and 1.5, respectively); MCI-NC did not (OR [95% CI]: 11.8 [0.9, 151.4]). Using similarly adjusted linear regression, MCI-CDR, MCI-NC, CDR sum of boxes, MMSE, and Lawton IADL score predicted delirium severity (adjusted R2: 0.26, 0.13, 0.21, 0.18, and 0.32, respectively).
MCI predicts post-operative delirium and delirium severity, but MCI definition alters these relationships. Cognitive and functional impairment independently predict post-operative delirium and delirium severity.