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There is a paucity of information on the diversity and occurrence of freshwater fish parasites in Australia. This study investigates the distribution and occurrence of a parasitic nematode of the genus Contracaecum in freshwater fish from south-eastern Australia. Fish (n = 508) belonging to nine species and eight families were collected from eight wetlands associated with the Murrumbidgee River floodplain in the southern Murray–Darling Basin and subjected to laboratory examination. Third-stage nematode larvae were found in eight of the nine fish species. The exception was the fly-specked hardeyhead (Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum), although only one specimen of this species was examined. Nematode larvae were identified as Contracaecum bancrofti using a combined morphological and molecular approach. The parasite was most prevalent in weather loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus; 34.8%) and Australian smelt (Retropinna semoni; 21.4%), followed by carp (Cyprinus carpio; 9.5%), of which the former and latter are non-native species. Contracaecum prevalence differed between locations, with Two Bridges having the highest number of infected fish. This may be due to the higher number of suitable host species collected at these localities. Contracaecum spp. are parasites with low host specificity that have also been reported in Australian marine fish, humans and piscivorous birds. The high parasite prevalence in the two abundant non-native fish species in the region suggests that they act as a suitable host for this endemic parasite, resulting in the increase in the parasite population. It would be interesting to study host–parasite interactions in this area, especially if introduced fish populations declined dramatically in the attempt to eradicate them or control their population.
Two new species of Andracantha (Polymorphidae) are described from the intestine of the shags Leucocarbo chalconotus (Gray) and Phalacrocorax punctatus (Sparrman), and the penguin Eudyptula minor (Forster) from southern South Island, New Zealand. Andracantha leucocarboi n. sp. is distinguished from its congeners by having no genital or ventral trunk spines, but possessing a scattering of small spines between the anterior fields of spines. This is the first record of a species of Andracantha from a penguin. Circumbursal papillae are illustrated in a scanning electron micrograph for the first time in the polymorphids. Andracantha sigma n. sp. is distinguished by the sigmoid shape of its largest proboscis hook, hook VIII, and having the ventral field separated from the posterior disc field by an aspinous gap. A Maximum Likelihood tree from cox1 and large ribosomal subunit (LSU) data shows A. leucocarboi n. sp. to be more closely related to A. gravida than A. sigma n. sp. and the genus Andracantha as sister to Corynosoma spp. Genetic distances between species of Andracantha are comparatively large. A key to the species of Andracantha is provided.
The acanthocephalan fauna of Australian freshwater fishes was documented from field surveys, a literature survey and examination of specimens registered in Australian museums. From the 4030 fishes, representing 78 of the 354 Australian freshwater fish species (22%), examined for infection seven species of acanthocephalan were recovered. These species comprised five endemic species, three in endemic genera, two species in cosmopolitan genera, one species not fully identified and 1 putative exotic species recovered from eight species of fish. Of these Edmonsacanthus blairi from Melanotaenia splendida, was the only acanthocephalan found at a relatively high prevalence of 38·6%. These findings are indicative of a highly endemic and possibly depauperate acanthocephalan fauna. Species richness was higher in the tropical regions than the temperate regions of the country. Exotic acanthocephalan species have either not been introduced with their exotic hosts or have been unable to establish their life cycles in Australian conditions. Consequently, acanthocephalans have not yet invaded endemic Australian fish hosts.
Syphacia stroma (von Linstow, 1884) Morgan, 1932 and Syphacia frederici Roman, 1945 are oxyurid nematodes that parasitize two murid rodents, Apodemus sylvaticus and Apodemus flavicollis, on the European mainland. Only S. stroma has been recorded previously in Apodemus spp. from the British Isles. Despite the paucity of earlier reports, we identified S. frederici in four disparate British sites, two in Nottinghamshire, one each in Berkshire and Anglesey, Wales. Identification was based on their site in the host (caecum and not small intestine), on key morphological criteria that differentiate this species from S. stroma (in particular the tail of female worms) and by sequencing two genetic loci (cytochrome C oxidase 1 gene and a section of ribosomal DNA). Sequences derived from both genetic loci of putative British S. frederici isolates formed a tight clade with sequences from continental worms known to be S. frederici, clearly distinguishing these isolates from S. stroma which formed a tight clade of its own, distinct from clades representative of Syphacia obvelata from Mus and S. muris from Rattus. The data in this paper therefore constitute the first record of S. frederici from British wood mice, and confirm the status of this species as distinct from both S. obvelata and S. stroma.
This study examined whether risk status and cumulative risk were associated with autonomic nervous system reactivity and recovery, and emotion regulation in infants. The sample included 121 6-month-old infants. Classification of risk status was based on World Health Organization criteria (e.g., presence of maternal psychopathology, substance use, and social adversity). Heart rate, parasympathetic respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and sympathetic preejection period were examined at baseline and across the still face paradigm. Infant emotion regulation was coded during the still face paradigm. Infants in the high-risk group showed increased heart rate, parasympathetic withdrawal, and sympathetic activation during recovery from the still face episode. Higher levels of cumulative risk were associated with increased sympathetic nervous system activation. Moreover, increased heart rate during recovery in the high-risk group was mediated by both parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, indicating mobilization of sympathetic resources when confronted with socioemotional challenge. Distinct indirect pathways were observed from maternal risk to infant emotion regulation during the still face paradigm through parasympathetic and sympathetic regulation. These findings underline the importance of specific measures of parasympathetic and sympathetic response and recovery, and indicate that maternal risk is associated with maladaptive regulation of stress early in life reflecting increased risk for later psychopathology.
In this paper I review the properties and behavior of low-mass X-ray binary systems (LMXBs) that contain neutron stars (NS), concentrating on the Galactic bulge sources and bursters. I describe the observed characteristics of LMXBs including their light curves, spectra, eclipses, dips, bursts, flares, pulsations, QPO, long-term periodicities and orbital period changes, and explain how fast timing results and the distinction between ‘Z’ and ‘atoll’-type sources provide the key to a unified model of LMXB behavior.
The BBXRT observed nine supernova remnants during its nine-day flight. We present preliminary results from some of these observations, emphasizing the ability of BBXRT to perform spatially resolved spectroscopy. The improved spectral resolution and efficiency over previous instruments makes possible measurements of previously undetectable lines, and the broad bandpass allows simultaneous measurement of lines from oxygen through iron.
The molecular phylogeny and morphology of the oxyuroid nematode genus Aspiculuris from voles and house mice has been examined. Worms collected from Myodes glareolus in Poland, Eire and the UK are identified as Aspiculuris tianjinensis, previously known only from China, while worms from Mus musculus from a range of locations in Europe and from laboratory mice, all conformed to the description of Aspiculuris tetraptera. Worms from voles and house mice are not closely related and are not derived from each other, with A. tianjinensis being most closely related to Aspiculuris dinniki from snow voles and to an isolate from Microtus longicaudus in the Nearctic. Both A. tianjinensis and A. tetraptera appear to represent recent radiations within their host groups; in voles, this radiation cannot be more than 2 million years old, while in commensal house mice it is likely to be less than 10 000 years old. The potential of Aspiculuris spp. as markers of host evolution is highlighted.
Sea urchins are key herbivores in many coastal ecosystems. The purple sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma, is widely distributed across temperate Australia where it exhibits considerable plasticity in feeding behaviour and ecophysiology. In this study we examined H. erythrogramma populations on subtidal reefs along ~4° of latitude in south-west Australia. We used a multi-factorial survey design to assess variability in H. erythrogramma abundances between locations (>200 km part), sites (≥1 km apart) and habitat types (reef flats and slopes). We also examined spatial variability in urchin size, condition (measured by gonad index), and the relative abundances of two co-occurring subspecies. Urchin densities were generally low and did not vary between locations, but did vary between habitat types and amongst sites. Site-level variability in urchin size and condition was also pronounced. The southernmost population comprised smaller individuals and greater relative abundance of the H. e. erythrogramma subspecies, which is abundant on the east coast of Australia. We observed no indication of population-level responses to a recent extreme warming event that impacted the wider ecology of the region, but further investigation into the effects of both gradual warming and short-term climatic events on the ecology of H. erythrogramma and other key herbivores is required.
Dwarf (Kogia sima) and pygmy (K. breviceps) sperm whales occur in pelagic waters around southern Africa. Here we report the first record of K. sima from Namibia and provide information on the basic morphometrics and diet of that record and of two recent strandings of K. breviceps. All known records (N = 29) of K. breviceps from Namibia are also collated. Eight families of cephalopod were identified in the stomach contents of the K. sima but no fish remains and few crustacean parts were present. Nine and ten families of cephalopod were identified in the stomachs of the two K. breviceps specimens respectively. This report expands the known range of K. sima by more than 1000 km from previous published records in the region. The sparsely populated nature of the Namibian coast and bias of records towards centres of human habitation suggest Kogia strandings are under reported. The low number of stranded specimens of K. sima from Namibia and west South Africa, in comparison to K. breviceps suggests that K. sima occur rarely or at very low densities in the area influenced by the Benguela current ecosystem. Specimens from Namibia are valuable due to uncertainties about taxomony of kogiids in the region.
Shepherd's beaked whale Tasmacetus shepherdi is one of the most poorly known cetaceans, whose diet has created some speculation given that its dentition differs greatly from that of most other beaked whales that are primarily teuthophagous. The few stomachs examined previously have given seemingly conflicting dietary information. In this paper the stomach contents of a freshly stranded adult female on Tristan da Cunha have been examined through identification of trace elements and genetic analysis of soft parts. At least 13 cephalopod and 8 fish species were identified from beaks and otoliths respectively, but only undigested fish remains were present in the stomach and identified genetically as Beryx splendens. Reconstituted masses totaled 8809 g for cephalopods and 17,554 g for fish, with four species (Histioteuthis atlantica, Taningia danae, Ommastrephes bartrami and Pholidoteuthis ‘A’) comprising 78.6% of the cephalopods and one species (B. splendens) comprising 87.4% of the fish eaten. It is concluded that Tasmacetus may alternately exploit fish and cephalopods, depending on the time of day and access to seamount or continental slope areas.
Toward the middle of Irina Liebmann's novel In Berlin the protagonist, a writer, experiences an unsettling vision: in the darkness the hand of her dead father appears on the typewriter while the sheet of paper in the machine is lit by a curious ghostly light. The inexplicable nature of the apparition, emphasized by the unknown source of this light, seems to be out of keeping with the prosaic material of the rest of the novel. It introduces an unexpected irrational element that runs counter to the text's overt concern with the inner conflict of the protagonist and her position in the divided city of Berlin. The encounter with the supernatural interrupts the domestic setting of the protagonist's flat, rendering her familiar home “unheimlich” (uncanny, unhomely), while the movement from darkness to light recalls the act of revelation at the root of Freud's definition of the uncanny, that troubling disclosure of secrets that ought really to have remained hidden. Structurally the encounter with her father's hand marks a pivotal moment in the novel. Up to this point the narrative has focused on the protagonist's current identity crisis; now she is exposed to memories of her own childhood and to the experience of her father's past. Through the metonymic figure of the hand, the novel reveals the protagonist's self-understanding to be shaped by the literary career of her father. Alluding at times to Liebmann's own family history, the novel explores his work as a journalist in the GDR and his subsequent expulsion from the SED.
During the late war Mr Bruce Taplin received for mineralogical investigation a low-grade cassiterite concentrate from a small plant operated by the Non-Ferrous Mineral Development Control (Ministry of Supply) for the recovery of wolfram from the eluvial and alluvial gravels of the valley east of Buttern Hill, near the northern margin of the Bodmin Moor granite (fig. 1). As received, the sample contained 4·1 per cent, of tin.
Although farmers in the Malian Sahel depend on millet for survival, demand and supply constraints have impeded their use of certified seed. We use data collected from households, vendors and seed samples to test the way market purchases of grain and seed affect household food consumption and millet genetic diversity. Purchase of millet grain in markets contributes to food security, but reduces dietary diversity – suggesting that scarce cash was directed toward meeting staple food needs first. Farmers purchased millet grain for seed only in the site with riskier rainfall and smaller market fairs. Although they were more likely to purchase in markets where the genetic dissimilarity of seed was higher, purchasing seed in markets was negatively associated with on-farm diversity. Seed shortage rather than variety experimentation appears to be the motivation for seed purchase. Introducing certified seed in rural markets through small-scale traders will require the provision of market services and promotional efforts.
National and international policies have encouraged the establishment of a representative network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa, with the aim of protecting marine biodiversity. The extent to which these marine and estuarine protected areas (EPAs) represent marine fish species and communities was assessed by comparing their species compositions with those of exploited areas, as sampled using four fishing techniques. Seven hundred fish species were sampled, representing one-third of South Africa's marine fishes. MPAs in coastal habitats scored c. 40% on the Bray-Curtis measure of similarity for species representativeness, but this score declined markedly for offshore ‘trawlable’ fishing grounds. The combined effects of sampling error, temporal variation and the effects of fishing on relative abundance suggest that 80% similarity would be the maximum achieveable. Forty-nine per cent of all fish species that were recorded were found in the 14 MPAs sampled. Redundancy in the MPA network was low, with fish species most commonly being represented in only one MPA or absent. There was greater redundancy in the 33 EPAs, with 40% of species being found in two or more EPAs, but many of these estuaries were adjacent to each other and embedded in large MPAs. Deep water fish communities (>80 m deep) and communities located on the west and south-east coasts of South Africa were most poorly represented by MPAs. Routine fishery surveys provide a robust and repeatable opportunity to assess species representativeness in MPAs, and the method used could form the basis of an operational definition of ‘representative’. In contrast to an assessment based on presence-absence data, this analysis of quantitative data presents a more pessimistic assessment of protection.
This study analyses the factors affecting tea productivity in Northeast India using a combined statistical and modelling approach. The effects of a number of genotypic, environmental and management factors on tea yield are quantified and modelled, using a three-year (2007–2009) field trial in Assam, Northeast India. Simulations of the potential tea yield are obtained using the Cranfield University Plantation Productivity Analysis (CUPPA) Tea model to find out how well the predicted and observed values for tea production match. This combined approach shows that plantation age has a significant negative (R2 = 0.77) effect on tea yield. Monthly rainfall had a significant positive effect on monthly yields (R2 = 0.43). Rainfall was more strongly associated with tea yield when rainfall in month x was related to the tea yield in month x + 1 (R2 = 0.49). When repeating the analysis for a hypothetical situation that the fields are fully planted, the correlation between monthly rainfall in month x and tea yield for month x + 1 increases (R2 = 0.58). Adjusted yields show a higher correlation than actual yields. The results obtained show a close correspondence between predicted and observed yields, indicating that the model could be used on contrasting soil types, genotypes and also on daily, weekly and monthly weather data. It can be further calibrated and validated for Northeast Indian conditions if more required input parameters are collected in a series of plantations. Tea research might benefit from developing new versions of the CUPPA Tea model for the major clonal tea cultivars, with a more flexible module for fertiliser application as is currently the case.