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The genus Pogonophryne is the most species-rich genus of barbeled plunderfishes (Artedidraconidae) and includes more than 25 poorly known species endemic to the Southern Ocean. In this study, we provide new data on the age and reproductive traits of some species of Pogonophryne from the southern Weddell Sea, inferred through otolith reading and histological analyses of gonads. Individual age estimates ranged between 16 and 18 years for Pogonophryne barsukovi and Pogonophryne immaculata and between 10 and 22 years for Pogonophryne scotti. As is commonly found in notothenioids, P. barsukovi followed a group-synchronous type of ovarian development, with pre-vitellogenic and vitellogenic oocytes forming two well-separated egg-size groups. A single spawning female in the sample produced ~1097 eggs and 7.9 eggs g-1. The sample of P. immaculata consisted exclusively of developing males, with testes composed of cysts of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids. Pogonophryne scotti was the most abundant species, including relatively small males at immature or developing stages of gonad development. Larger females were regressing, being characterized by ovaries with postovulatory follicles and atretic oocytes. Based on the macroscopic and histological analyses of gonads, the spawning season would take place in autumn for P. barsukovi and P. immaculata and in spring–early summer for P. scotti.
We reconstructed the late Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) evolution of the ancient harbour of Naples, one of the largest coastal conurbations in the Mediterranean. We carried out multiproxy investigations, coupling archaeological evidence with biological indicators. Our data robustly constrain 2000 yr of non-monotonic changes in sea level, chiefly controlled by the complex volcano-tectonic processes that characterize the area. Between ~200 BC and AD ~0, a subsidence rate of more than ~1.5 mm/yr enhanced the postglacial RSL rise, while negligible or moderate land uplift < ~0.5 mm/yr triggered a RSL stabilization during the Roman period (first five centuries AD). This stabilization was followed by a post-Roman enhancement of the sea-level rise when ground motion was negative, attested by a subsidence rate of ~0.5 to ~1 mm/yr. Our analysis seems to indicate very minor impacts of this nonmonotonic RSL evolution on the activities of the ancient harbour of Naples, which peaked from the third century BC to the second century AD. After this period, the progressive silting of the harbour basin made it impossible to safely navigate within the basin, leading to the progressive decline of the harbour.
This study investigated the diet of longnose stingray Hypanus guttatus in the tropical waters of north-eastern Brazil. Samples were obtained from monthly sampling of artisanal fisheries from August 2007 to July 2008. A total of 258 specimens were examined, 127 females and 131 males, and stomach contents analysis suggested H. guttatus to be a generalist and opportunistic predator feeding on the most available prey in the environment. There was no significant difference in the diet composition of males and females, or between seasons. However, an ontogenetic dietary shift was observed with larger individuals having an increased proportion of molluscs in the diet, whilst smaller individuals predated primarily on small crustaceans.
Marinobacter sp. W1-16 from Antarctic surface seawater was analysed for the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). Enhancement of the EPS biosynthesis was carried out by evaluating the influences of the carbon source (type and concentration), temperature, pH and salinity. EPS yields varied strongly depending on sugar substrate and temperature, while pH and salinity did not strongly affect levels of EPS production. Marinobacter sp. W1-16 produced the highest quantity of EPSs when growing at 15°C and pH 8, in the presence of 2% glucose and 3% NaCl. The EPS chemical characterization revealed a molecular weight of about 260 kDa. Colorimetric assays determined a higher quantity of carbohydrate than of proteins and uronic acids, as well as the presence of sulphate, in the extracted EPSs. The monosaccharidic composition resulted in Glc:Man:Gal:GalN:GalA:GlcA in relative molar proportions of 1:0.9:0.2:0.1:0.1:0.01. Some biotechnological potentialities (i.e. emulsifying and cryoprotective actions, and heavy metal binding properties) of the EPSs were proved, suggesting possible industrial and bioremediation applications.
The life history traits of bathydraconids, deep-living fishes distributed all around the Antarctic continent, are poorly known. In particular, very few data are available on the relatively rare genera Akarotaxis and Bathydraco. With the aim to fill this gap, sagittal otoliths and gonads were analysed to assess individual age and reproductive features of Akarotaxis nudiceps (Waite, 1916), Bathydraco macrolepis Boulenger 1907 and Bathydraco marri Norman, 1938 collected in the Weddell Sea. Based on the annual growth increment patterns, age estimates ranged between 6–11, 5–11 and 8–11 years for A. nudiceps, B. macrolepis and B. marri, respectively. Most of the gametogenetic processes could be described based on gonad histology for both sexes. Females shared the reproductive features commonly reported in notothenioids, such as group-synchronous ovary development and prolonged gametogenesis. Total fecundity estimates were comparable between the two species of Bathydraco (1500–2500 eggs/female), whereas that of Akarotaxis was one order of magnitude smaller (200–250 eggs/female). Consistently, the mean size of late vitellogenic oocytes showed an opposite trend, being 1.6–1.8 mm in Bathydraco and 2.2 mm in Akarotaxis.
The integration of conservation agriculture with the benefits of precision farming represents an innovative feature aimed to achieve better economic and environmental sustainability. The synergy between these principles was assessed through a technical feasibility and energy efficiency to define the best approach depending on different agricultural systems, spatial and temporal field variability. The study compares three conservation tillage techniques supported by precision farming with conventional tillage in a specific crop rotation: wheat, rapeseed, corn and soybean. The preliminary results show a positive response of precision farming in all the conservation tillage systems, increasing yields until 22%. The energy efficiency achieves highest level in those techniques supported by precision farming, gaining peak of 9% compared to conventional tillage.
The presence of aerodynamics loadings makes the design of some classes of elastic structures, as, for instance, marine structures and risers, very challenging. Moreover, capturing the complex physical interaction between the structure and the fluid is challenging for both theoretical and numerical models. One of the most important phenomena that appear in these situations is vortex-induced vibrations. The picture is even more complicated when multiple elastic elements are close enough to interact by modifying the fluid flow pattern. In the present work, we show how the common design practice for these structures, which is entirely based on deterministic simulations, needs to be complemented by the uncertainty quantification analysis. The model problem is a structure constituted by two elastically mounted cylinders exposed to a two-dimensional uniform flow at Reynolds number 200. The presence of a manufacturing tolerance in the relative position of the two cylinders, which we consider to be a source of uncertainty, is addressed. The overall numerical procedure is based on a Navier–Stokes immersed boundary solver that uses a flexible moving least squares approach to compute the aerodynamics loadings on the structure, whereas the uncertainty quantification propagation is obtained by means of a nonintrusive polynomial chaos technique. A range of reduced velocities is considered, and the quantification, in a probabilistic sense, of the difference in the performances of this structure with respect to the case of an isolated cylinder is provided. The numerical investigation is also complemented by a global sensitivity analysis based on the analysis of variance.
The data we are receiving from galactic cosmic rays are reaching an unprecedented precision, over very wide energy ranges. Nevertheless, many problems are still open, while new ones seem to appear when data happen to be redundant. We will discuss some paths to possible progress in the theoretical modeling and experimental exploration of the galactic cosmic radiation.
The survey covered 124 385 females aged 15–49 years and 74 369 males aged 15–54 years.
A social gradient in underweight exists in India. Even after allowing for wealth status, differences in the predicted probability of underweight persisted based upon rurality, age/maturity and gender. We found individual-level education lowered the likelihood of underweight for males, but no statistical association for females. Paradoxically, rural young (15–24 years) females from more educated villages had a higher likelihood of underweight relative to those in less educated villages; but for rural mature (>24 years) females the opposite was the case. Christians had a significantly lower likelihood of underweight relative to other socio-religious groups (OR=0·53–0·80). Higher state-level inequality increased the likelihood of underweight across most population groups, while neighbourhood inequality exhibited a similar relationship for the rural young population subgroups only. Individual states/neighbourhoods accounted for 5–9 % of the variation in the prediction of underweight. We found that rural young females represent a particularly highly vulnerable sub-population.
Economic growth alone is unlikely to reduce the burden of malnutrition in India; accordingly, policy makers need to address the broader social determinants that contribute to higher underweight prevalence in specific demographic subgroups.
In this paper a non-convex vector optimization problem among infinite-dimensional spaces is presented. In particular, a generalized Lagrange multiplier rule is formulated as a necessary and sufficient optimality condition for weakly minimal solutions of a constrained vector optimization problem, without requiring that the ordering cone that defines the inequality constraints has non-empty interior. This paper extends the result of Donato (J. Funct. Analysis261 (2011), 2083–2093) to the general setting of vector optimization by introducing a constraint qualification assumption that involves the Fréchet differentiability of the maps and the tangent cone to the image set. Moreover, the constraint qualification is a necessary and sufficient condition for the Lagrange multiplier rule to hold.