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The Cape Parrot Poicephalus robustus is a habitat specialist, restricted to forest patches in the Eastern Cape (EC), KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Limpopo provinces of South Africa. Recent census estimates suggest that there are less than 1,600 parrots left in the wild, although historical data suggest that the species was once more numerous. Fragmentation of the forest biome is strongly linked to climate change and exploitation of the forest by the timber industry. We examine the subpopulation structure and connectivity between fragmented populations across the distribution of the species. Differences in historical and contemporary genetic structure of Cape Parrots is examined by including both modern samples, collected from 1951 to 2014, and historical samples, collected from 1870 to 1946. A total of 114 individuals (historical = 29; contemporary = 85) were genotyped using 16 microsatellite loci. We tested for evidence of partitioning of genotypes at both a temporal and spatial scales by comparing shifts in allelic frequencies of historical (1870–1946) and contemporary (1951–2014) samples across the distribution of the species. Tests for population bottlenecks were also conducted to determine if anthropogenic causes are the main driver of population decline in this species. Analyses identified three geographically correlated genetic clusters. A southern group restricted to forest patches in the EC, a central group including birds from KZN and a genetically distinct northern Limpopo cluster. Results suggest that Cape Parrots have experienced at least two population bottlenecks. An ancient decline during the mid-Holocene (∼ 1,800-3,000 years before present) linked to climate change, and a more recent bottleneck, associated with logging of forests during the early 1900s. This study highlights the effects of climate change and human activities on an endangered species associated with the naturally fragmented forests of eastern South Africa. These results will aid conservation authorities with the planning and implementation of future conservation initiatives. In particular, this study emphasises the Eastern Cape mistbelt forests as an important source population for the species and calls for stronger conservation of forest patches in South Africa to promote connectivity of forest taxa.
A study was carried out, from 2012 to 2015, in 10 French départements to estimate the serological prevalence of Q fever and the frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to Coxiella burnetii in a large sample of cattle, sheep and goat herds. The serological survey covered 731 cattle, 522 sheep and 349 goat herds, randomly sampled. The frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to C. burnetii was estimated by investigating series of abortions in 2695 cattle, 658 sheep and 105 goat herds using quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses and complementary serological results when needed. The average between-herd seroprevalence was significantly lower for cattle (36·0%) than for sheep (55·7%) and goats (61·0%) and significantly higher for dairy herds (64·9% for cattle and 75·6% for sheep) than for meat herds (18·9% for cattle and 39·8% for sheep). Within-herd seroprevalence was also significantly higher for goats (41·5%) than for cattle (22·2%) and sheep (25·7%). During the study period, we estimated that 2·7% (n = 90), 6·2% (n = 48) and 16·7% (n = 19) of the abortive episodes investigated could be ‘potentially related to C. burnetii’in cattle, sheep and goat herds, respectively. Overall, strong variability was observed between départements and species, suggesting that risk factors such as herd density and farming practices play a role in disease transmission and maintenance.
A grid of 200 synthetic spectra was built in the wavelength region λλ 478-530 nm, and a method was developed for deriving the stellar parameters temperature, gravity and metallicity from low-resolution stellar spectra. The parameters of the observed spectra are derived by dividing the observed spectrum by that of a reference star. The resulting δf(λ) = log F*/Fref is then used, in conjunction with the grid of synthetic spectra, to derive the final parameters, through a perturbation method. The method was applied to a sample of 41 stars in the Basel field SA 141 (1 = 245°, b = −85.8°). Since this direction points closely to the south galactic pole, the binning of stars into appropriate distance intervals provides a coarse view of the metallicity distributions associated with the major galactic populations: we find the thin disk, thick disk and halo components near the current best estimates of their scale heights above the galactic plane. The first results were presented in Cayrel et al. (1991a, A&A, 247, 108; 1991b, A&A, 247, 122). Further observations are in progress, with the aim of having a sample of about 1000 stars.
The aim of our stellar population study is to investigate the kinematical and chemical characteristics of the thin disk, thick disk and halo of the Galaxy. We have selected 51 stars in 2 astrometric and photometric surveys at l = 42°, b = +79° (Soubiran 1992) and l = 167°, b = +47° (Ojha et al. 1994), on the basis of the Reduced Proper Motion Diagram. They were observed with the 193cm telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence, with the CARELEC spectrograph (dispersion of 66Å/mm, FWHM of 3.0Å, range λλ4600 – 5500Å), together with 43 comparison stars with known fundamental parameters. The derivation of Teff, logg and [Fe/H] was done differentially using a grid of synthetic spectra and the comparison stars, as described in Cayrel et al. (1991). Twenty of the target stars were found to be more deficient than −0.5. In the (V, [Fe/H]) distribution, the halo stars are clearly separated from the other stars with a mean of (V, [Fe/H]) ≃ (−210km/s, – 1.4dex). Because of the small size of the sample, it was not possible to discriminate the thick disk from the thin disk. We have taken 200 more spectra, and with these new observations, we hope to be able to deconvolve the 3 populations in the (U, V, W, [Fe/H]) space as we did previously with the (U, V) velocity (Soubiran 1993).
We have built a new grid of synthetic spectra in the wavelength range λλ 4600-5600 Å for [α-elements/Fe] = 0.0, +0.2, +0.4 and +0.6. The Lick indices Mg2, Mgb, Fe5270 and Fe5335 are measured in all grid spectra, and their behaviour with stellar parameters is studied.
For the calculation of this new grid, the set of atomic and molecular constants was revised and model atmospheres with overshooting and mixing length parameters appropriate to reproduce the wings of the Hβ line (suitable to indicate temperatures) were computed. We also present a grid in the wavelength range λλ 6000 – 10200 Å. A computation of a high-resolution grid of spectra in the range λλ 3800–7000 Å, as well as a full grid in the range λλ 3000–10200 Å, to be further used in conjunction with evolutionary population synthesis models, are also underway.
In view of the considerable ground covered by the Commission at its Paris meetings and the fairly complete record of the activities of institutes and observatories, etc. published in the Minutes, it has not been deemed profitable by the president to call for further reports in advance of the Stockholm meeting. At the Paris meeting it was agreed that such reports be printed independently before each meeting of the Union and that reprints of or references to the published reports be sent to the president. It is hoped that all such reports if ready will be made available before the Stockholm meeting so that they may be summarized by the representatives in attendance or by the president and recorded in the Minutes. With reference to the pronouncement at the Paris meeting “that it is eminently desirable that more attention be given to the development of accurate general perturbations and mean elements on the basis of accurate osculating elements”, the president has visited the Planeten-Institut at Frankfurt and the Rechen-Institut at Berlin and has been in correspondence with the Leningrad Institute. From these sources particularly valuable material has been received.
Poor adherence to recommended intake protocols is common and a top challenge for micronutrient powder (MNP) programmes globally. Identifying modifiable predictors of intake adherence could inform the design and implementation of MNP projects.
We assessed high MNP intake adherence among children who had received MNP ≥2 months ago and consumed ≥1 sachet (n 771). High MNP intake adherence was defined as maternal report of child intake ≥45 sachets. We used logistic regression to assess demographic, intervention components and perception-of-use factors associated with high MNP intake.
Four districts of Nepal piloting an integrated infant and young child feeding and MNP project.
Children aged 6–23 months were eligible to receive sixty MNP sachets every 6 months with suggested intake of one sachet daily for 60 d. Cross-sectional surveys representative of children aged 6–23 months were conducted.
Receiving a reminder card was associated with increased odds for high intake (OR=2·18, 95 % CI 1·14, 4·18); exposure to other programme components was not associated with high intake. Mothers perceiving ≥1 positive effects in their child after MNP use was also associated with high intake (OR=6·55, 95 % CI 4·29, 10·01). Perceiving negative affects was not associated; however, the child not liking the food with MNP was associated with lower odds of high intake (OR=0·12, 95 % CI 0·08, 0·20).
Behaviour change intervention strategies tailored to address these modifiable predictors could potentially increase MNP intake adherence.
An AlxGa1−xN/GaN two-dimensional electron gas structure with x = 0.13 deposited by molecular beam epitaxy on a GaN layer grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy on a sapphire substrate was characterized. Hall effect measurements gave a sheet electron concentration of 5.1×1012 cm−2 and a mobility of 1.9 × 104 cm2/Vs at 10 K. Mobility spectrum analysis showed single-carrier transport and negligible parallel conduction at low temperatures. The sheet carrier concentrations determined from Shubnikov-de Haas magnetoresistance oscillations were in good agreement with the Hall data. The electron effective mass was determined to be 0.215±0.006 m0 based on the temperature dependence of the amplitude of Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations. The quantum lifetime was about one-fifth of the transport lifetime of 2.3 × 10−12 s.
The efficiency of thin-film solar cells using a-Si:H is limited by the decrease in a-Si:H layer optical path length and its poor light absorption at red and NIR wavelengths. Metal NP such as Au have been shown to increase the absorption in the active material and then cell performances, by exhibiting localized surface plasmon (LSP) resonances. Our work’s goal is to understand NP influence in such cells, to perform an optimal structure by increasing the amount of light absorbed within the cell using NP scattering and luminescence. Modeling based on Mie theory is first carried out using bulk Palik data for Au spheres with various diameters and refractive medium indexes. Using modeling parameters, Au layers were deposited on glass and SnO2 substrates respectively by thermal evaporation in vacuum and sputtering, followed by thermal annealing (200 ∼ 500°C) in order to promote the NP growth. MEB pictures show quasispherical Au NP shape with a mean size of 150nm. This diameter range switches extinction of NP in scattering regime. Annealing temperature (T) strongly affects the NP morphology. Surface coverage decreases and sphericity appears to increase with T. UV-Visible spectroscopy displays distinct LSP resonances around 600nm after annealing with a red shift while T increases.
The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a high contrast coronagraph designed to directly image exoplanets and circumstellar disks. GPI includes a polarimetry mode designed to characterize dust grains and enhance the contrast of scattered, polarized light by a factor of 100. Reflections and birefringence of optics within the optical train induce a polarization signature that needs to be measured a priori and calibrated out during data reduction. Here we report on the results of an extensive laboratory characterization campaign of the polarimetry mode. The linear instrumental polarization has been measured in 4 GPI passbands and found to be between 3.5 ± 0.3 % at 1.0 micron and 1.1 ± 0.3 % at 2.0 microns. Modulation efficiency has been measured to be 94% at 1.0 micron increasing to 97% at 2.0 microns. Stability has been shown to better than 0.6% over timescales of ~ 3 months and over cool down cycles. The tests show that GPI passes all polarimetry design requirements and should be able to measure circumstellar disk linear polarization to 1% accuracy.
We report on a long-term monitoring of the cool supergiant Betelgeuse, using the NARVAL and ESPaDOnS high-resolution spectropolarimeters, respectively installed at Telescope Bernard Lyot (Pic du Midi Observatory, France) and at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii). The data set, constituted of circularly polarized (Stokes V) and intensity (Stokes I) spectra, was collected between 2010 and 2012. We investigate here the temporal evolution of magnetic field, convection and temperature at photospheric level, using simultaneous measurements of the longitudinal magnetic field component, the core emission of the Ca II infrared triplet, the line-depth ratio of selected photospheric lines and the radial velocity of the star.
An AlxGa1-xN/GaN two-dimensional electron gas structure with x = 0.13 deposited by molecular beam epitaxy on a GaN layer grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy on a sapphire substrate was characterized. Hall effect measurements gave a sheet electron concentration of 5.1×1012 cm-2 and a mobility of 1.9 × 104 cm2/Vs at 10 K. Mobility spectrum analysis showed single-carrier transport and negligible parallel conduction at low temperatures. The sheet carrier concentrations determined from Shubnikov-de Haas magnetoresistance oscillations were in good agreement with the Hall data. The electron effective mass was determined to be 0.215±0.006 m0 based on the temperature dependence of the amplitude of Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations. The quantum lifetime was about one-fifth of the transport lifetime of 2.3 × 10-12 s.
The first UK epizootic of highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 influenza in wild birds occurred in 2008, in a population of mute swans that had been the subject of ornithological study for decades. Here we use an innovative combination of ornithological, phylogenetic and immunological approaches to investigate the ecology and age structure of HP H5N1 in nature. We screened samples from swans and waterbirds using PCR and sequenced HP H5N1-positive samples. The outbreak's origin was investigated by linking bird count data with a molecular clock analysis of sampled virus sequences. We used ringing records to reconstruct the age-structure of outbreak mortality, and we estimated the age distribution of prior exposure to avian influenza. Outbreak mortality was low and all HP H5N1-positive mute swans in the affected population were <3 years old. Only the youngest age classes contained an appreciable number of individuals with no detectable antibody responses to viral nucleoprotein. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the outbreak strain circulated locally for ∼1 month before detection and arrived when the immigration rate of migrant waterbirds was highest. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that HP H5N1 epizootics in wild swans exhibit limited mortality due to immune protection arising from previous exposure. Our study population may represent a valuable resource for investigating the natural ecology and epidemiology of avian influenza.
Over the last 5 years France gained a feedback on its NORM industries situation. Regulation imposes to the operators to assess effective doses for workers and members of the public. Theses data were used to update the list of industrial sectors to be regulated for NORM use or storage.
Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars (AGB) are evolved, mass losing red giants with tenuous molecular envelopes which have been the subject of much recent study using infrared and radio interferometers. In oxygen rich stars, radio SiO masers form in the outer regions of the molecular envelopes and are powerful diagnostics of the extent of these envelopes. Spectroscopically resolved infrared interferometry helps constrain the extent of various species in the molecular layer. We made VLBA 7 mm SiO maser, Keck Interferometer near IR and VLTI/MIDI mid IR high resolution observations of the stars U Ari, W Cnc, RX Tau, RT Aql, S Ser and V Mon. This paper presents evidence that the SiO is depleted from the gas phase and speculate that it is frozen onto Al2O3 grains and that radiation pressure on these grains help drive the outflow.