To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Negative interactions between guanacos Lama guanicoe and ranchers have recently intensified in central Chile because guanacos are perceived to be competing with livestock for pasture resources. We examined this conservation conflict with a novel approach that considers ranchers' subjective theories, to better understand the origins of the conflict and to identify effective conservation measures based on the participants' explanations. Our findings indicate that ranchers see the source of the current problem in a shift towards increasingly arid conditions associated with climate change. We suggest the ranchers’ perceived problems are not only caused by interspecific resource competition arising from this climatic shift, but also by reported difficulties in negotiating with governmental institutions. This study adds to knowledge of human–wildlife interactions by exploring a further dimension of the complex ecological and social interactions taking place on livestock farms. We recommend identifying effective, acceptable solutions by considering and understanding the everyday knowledge of the conflict's protagonists and their potential for change.
Modern lifestyle increases the prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidities in the young population. High-salt (HS) diets are associated with hypertension and cardiac remodelling. The present study evaluated the potential effects of cardiometabolic programming induced by HS intake during puberty in lean and obese rats. Additionally, we investigated whether HS could exacerbate the impairment of cardiovascular parameters in adult life due to postnatal early overnutrition (PO). At postnatal day 3 (PN3), twenty-four litters of Wistar rats were divided into two groups: normal litter (NL, nine pups/dam) and small litter (SL, three pups/dam) throughout the lactation period; weaning was at PN21. At PN30, the pups were subdivided into two more groups: NL plus HS (NLHS) and SL plus HS (SLHS). HS intake was from PN30 until PN60. Cardiovascular parameters were evaluated at PN120. SL rats became overweight at adulthood due to persistent hyperphagia; however, HS exposure during puberty reduced the weight gain and food intake of NLHS and SLHS. Both HS and obesity raised the blood pressure, impaired baro- and chemoreflex sensitivity and induced cardiac remodelling but no worsening was observed in the association of these factors, except a little reduction in the angiotensin type-2 receptor in the hearts from SLHS animals. Our results suggest that the response of newborn offspring to PO and juveniles to a HS diet leads to significant changes in cardiovascular parameters in adult rats. This damage may be accompanied by impairment of both angiotensin signalling and antioxidant defence in the heart.
In cases of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs), triage represents a fundamental tool for the management of and assistance to the wounded, which helps discriminate not only the priority of attention, but also the priority of referral to the most suitable center.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of different prehospital triage systems based on physiological parameters (Shock Index [SI], Glasgow-Age-Pressure Score [GAP], Revised Trauma Score [RTS], and National Early Warning Score 2 [NEWS2]) to predict early mortality (within 48 hours) from the index event for use in MCIs.
This was a longitudinal prospective observational multi-center study on patients who were attended by Advanced Life Support (ALS) units and transferred to the emergency department (ED) of their reference hospital. Collected were: demographic, physiological, and clinical variables; main diagnosis; and data on early mortality. The main outcome variable was mortality from any cause within 48 hours.
From April 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019, a total of 1,288 patients were included in this study. Of these, 262 (20.3%) participants required assistance for trauma and injuries by external agents. Early mortality within the first 48 hours due to any cause affected 69 patients (5.4%). The system with the best predictive capacity was the NEWS2 with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.891 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94); a sensitivity of 79.7% (95% CI, 68.8-87.5); and a specificity of 84.5% (95% CI, 82.4-86.4) for a cut-off point of nine points, with a positive likelihood ratio of 5.14 (95% CI, 4.31-6.14) and a negative predictive value of 98.7% (95% CI, 97.8-99.2).
Prehospital scores of the NEWS2 are easy to obtain and represent a reliable test, which make it an ideal system to help in the initial assessment of high-risk patients, and to determine their level of triage effectively and efficiently. The Prehospital Emergency Medical System (PhEMS) should evaluate the inclusion of the NEWS2 as a triage system, which is especially useful for the second triage (evacuation priority).
The bovine appeasing substance (BAS) is expected to have calming effects in cattle experiencing stressful situations. Therefore, this study investigated the impacts of BAS administration during two of the most stressful events within beef production systems: weaning and feedlot entry. In experiment 1, 186 Bos indicus-influenced calves (73 heifers, 113 bulls) were weaned at 211 ± 1 days of age (day 0). At weaning, calves were ranked by sex and BW, and assigned to receive BAS (Nutricorp, Araras, SP, Brazil; n = 94) or water (CON; n = 92). Treatments (5 ml) were topically applied to the nuchal skin area of each animal. Calf BW was recorded and samples of blood and tail-switch hair were collected on days 0, 15 and 45. Calves that received BAS had greater (P < 0.01) BW gain from day 0 to 15 compared with CON. Overall BW gain (days 0 to 45) and BW on days 15 and 45 were also greater (P ≤ 0.03) in BAS v. CON. Plasma haptoglobin concentration was less (P < 0.01) in BAS v. CON on day 15, whereas cortisol concentrations in plasma and tail-switch hair did not differ between treatments (P ≥ 0.13). In experiment 2, 140 B. indicus-influenced bulls (∼27 months of age) from 2 different pasture-based systems (70 bulls/origin) were transported to a commercial feedlot (≤ 200-km transport; day -1). On day 0, bulls were ranked by source and BW, and assigned to receive BAS (n = 70) or CON (n = 70) and the same sampling procedures as in experiment 1. Bulls receiving BAS had greater (P = 0.04) BW gain from day 0 to 15, but less (P < 0.01) BW gain from day 15 to 45 compared to CON. No other treatment effects were detected (P > 0.14). Therefore, BAS administration to beef calves alleviated the haptoglobin response associated with weaning, and improved calf growth during the subsequent 45 days. Administration of BAS to beef bulls at feedlot entry improved BW gain during the initial 15 days, but these benefits were not sustained throughout the 45-day experiment.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
The history of music criticism in Portugal is only slowly emerging as a field of musicological inquiry, owing in part to the lack of a systematic inventory of the relevant source materials, but also, no doubt, to the inherited view of the nineteenth century (if not the twentieth) as a period of decadence following a purported ‘golden age’ of Portuguese music – a view amounting to a foundation myth of Portuguese musicology that has only recently begun to be challenged. A reversal of this perspective was first articulated by the composer, essayist and critic Fernando Lopes Graça, who claimed provocatively, as early as 1935, that the nineteenth century had been, on the contrary, ‘the most fruitful, the one with the strongest and most beneficial consequences’, providing the country with the first outline of a modern musical life, less exclusively centred in the court, the church and – in theory, at least – the Italian opera.
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.
Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann), a pest of great economic importance in South America, needs urgently to be controlled by environmentally friendly methods such as the sterile insect technique for which mass rearing of insects is required. Because oogenesis takes place during the adult stage, mass-rearing facilities should provide the females a diet that maximizes egg production at the lowest cost. Accordingly, we investigated the effect of artificial protein sources in the adult diet (yeast derivatives of different cost but with similar amino acids profiles, and the addition of wheat germ) on fecundity. Additionally, we evaluated different ratios of yeast derivatives or wheat germ on ovary maturation, fecundity, and fertility as well as their association with the nutrient content of females. Females fed hydrolyzed yeast and yeast extract attained the highest fecundity level, and those fed brewer's yeast the lowest. Reducing the amount of hydrolyzed yeast, an expensive protein source, in the diet negatively affected fecundity and ovary maturation. Increasing the amount of brewer's yeast, a low-cost protein source, did not favor fecundity. The addition of wheat germ in the adult diet improved fecundity regardless of the yeast derivate considered. Percentage of egg hatch was not affected by the diet. Nutrient content of A. fraterculus females varied according to the adult diet provided and mating status. Our findings provide novel baseline information to understand the role of nutrition on reproductive performance of A. fraterculus females and are discussed in the context of resource allocation. They also provide valuable advances in the search for cost-effective adult diets at fruit fly mass rearing facilities.
Sorghum panicle residue (SPR), a by-product of Sorghum vulgare, obtained in the manufacture of brooms and wisks, has potential as a partial substitute for grain in growing-finishing diets for feedlot lambs. Accordingly, 48 Pelibuey×Katahdin lambs (initial weight=16.2±4.3 kg) were used in an 84-d growth-performance trial to evaluate its comparative feeding value. Lambs were blocked by weight and assigned within weight groupings to 12 pens (4 lambs per pen). The SPR was finely ground before it was incorporated into the diet. The basal diet contained 60% whole grain sorghum (WGS; DM basis). Dietary treatments consisted in the replacement of WGS with 0, 50, or 100% SPR. Replacement of WGS with SPR decreased (linear effect, P=0.04) average daily gain (ADG), and tended to increase (linear effect, P=0.06) dry matter intake (DMI). Replacement of WGS with SPR decreased (linear effect, P<0.01) gain efficiency (ADG : DMI), and observed dietary net energy (NE), as well as hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, kidney–pelvic–heart fat, and back fat thickness (linear effect, P⩽.05) Other carcass characteristics and wholesale cuts as a percentage of cold carcass weight were not affected by dietary treatments. It is concluded that SPR is a palatable feed ingredient for inclusion in finishing diets for feedlot lambs. The comparative NE values for SPR are 1.50 and 0.91 Mcal/kg for maintenance and gain, respectively, 75% the NE value of WGS. These NE values reflect the greater fiber content of SPR. To the extent that dietary energy density limits energy intake (and hence daily weight gain), appropriate constraints on level of SPR incorporation is warranted.
A study was conducted over eight consecutive days in February 2010 in which daily variations in the vertical distributions of heterotrophic bacteria, mesozooplankton and ichthyoplankton at 1–1200 m in the South-western Atlantic Ocean were investigated. Diurnal and nocturnal samples were collected at an oceanographic station at four regional depths: Tropical Water (TW) (1 m), South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) (250 m), Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) (800 m) and Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) (1200 m). Bacterial, mesozooplankton and larval fish densities significantly differed between sample depths but not between sampling tow times. In total, 154 zooplankton species and 18 larval fish species were identified. The highest number of taxa was obtained from the night-time TW trawls. This depth zone had the highest densities of mesozooplankton, larval fish and bacterioplankton (auto and heterotrophic), associated with the highest temperature and salinity and the lowest inorganic nutrient concentrations. Two sample groups were identified based on their mesozooplankton and larval fish compositions: night-time TW and other water masses (daytime TW, SACW, AAIW and UCDW). Thirty-two indicator species were detected in night-time TW. The copepod Nullosetigera impar was, to the best of our knowledge, identified for the first time on the Brazilian coast. Our results showed significant variability in the abundance and vertical distribution of mesozooplankton, bacterioplankton and larval fish along the water column in an oceanic area. We have provided new data and insights on the composition and vertical distribution of mesozooplankton, larval fish and bacterioplankton in deep waters in the South-western Atlantic Ocean.
Previous reviews suggest there is minimal evidence for an association between duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and neurocognition. This is based on tallied findings of studies with small samples and neurocognition viewed as a single construct. We aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the association between DUP and individual neurocognitive domains and tests in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
MOOSE and PRISMA guidelines were followed. Forty-three studies involving 4647 FEP patients were included. For studies providing correlations between DUP and neurocognition, 12 separate meta-analyses were performed based on neurocognitive domains/indices. The influence of demographic/clinical variables was tested using weighted linear meta-regression analyses.
The relationship between DUP and most neurocognitive domains/indices was not significant. Longer DUP was associated with a larger cognitive deterioration index, i.e. current minus premorbid intellectual functioning (N = 4; mean ES −0.213, 95% confidence interval (CI) (−0.344 to −0.074), p = 0.003). Findings were homogeneous, with no evidence of publication bias or significant influence from moderators. For studies providing mean and standard deviations for neurocognitive measures and DUP, 20 meta-regressions were performed on individual neurocognitive tests. One significant finding emerged showing that longer DUP was associated with fewer Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-perseverative errors (mean ES −0.031, 95% CI (−0.048 to −0.013), p < 0.001). Exploratory meta-regressions in studies with mean DUP <360 days showed longer DUP was significantly associated with poorer performance on Trail Making Test A and B and higher Full-Scale IQ.
There may not be a generalised association between DUP and neurocognition, however, specific cognitive functions may be associated with longer DUP or delayed help-seeking.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Previous cafeteria studies suggested that a moderate natural gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection did not modify the resource selection of adult Criollo goats towards tannin-rich plants compared with worm-free goats. A higher infection with Haemonchus contortus could trigger a change in the resource selection behaviour towards tannin-rich foliage. Alternatively, goats might select plant species solely to meet their nutritional requirements. A cafeteria study investigated the effect of a high artificial infection with H. contortus on the feed resource selection of goats. Adult Criollo goats (37.5±4.8 kg BW) with browsing experience were distributed in two groups: the infected group (IG) with six animals artificially infected with H. contortus (6000 L3/animal); and the non-infected group (NIG) with six animals maintained worm-free. The experiment included two 5-day periods with additional 5-day adaptation period. In the first period, animals were offered foliage of five plant species with a decreasing gradient of condensed tannins (CT) (Mimosa bahamensis, Gymnopodium floribundum, Havardia albicans, Acacia pennatula, Lysiloma latisiliqum), and three plant species with negligible CT content (Leucaena leucocephala, Piscidia piscipula and Brosimum alicastrum). In the second period the foliage of B. alicastrum was withdrawn. A grain-based concentrate feed was offered daily at 1% BW in DM basis. Dry matter and nutrient intake was determined. Foliage selection of each experimental group was determined using the Chesson selection index. The H. contortus egg count per gram of faeces (EPG) was determined for infected goats twice daily. Chesson index showed a similar pattern of foliage selection on periods 1 and 2. Mean EPG of goats in IG was 2028±259 EPG during period 1 and 1 293±198 EPG during period 2 (P>0.05). During period 1, the selection pattern was highest for B. alicastrum (tannin-free), followed by a tannin-rich plant (M. bahamensis). These two plants remained as highly selected during period 2. The Chesson index showed that both experimental groups (IG and NIG) selected the same plant species in both periods. Thus, a high H. contortus infection did not affect selection of goats fed with CT-rich plants. Apparently, goats balanced their nutrient intake with the plants selected, showing evidence of nutritional wisdom. This balance may have helped to prevent excess protein in the diet and also to maintain a low GIN infection, both considered as examples of prophylactic self-medication.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship of four TNF-α SNP with inflammatory biomarkers and plasma fatty acids (FA), and the interaction among them in a population-based, cross-sectional study in São Paulo, Brazil. A total of 281 subjects, aged >19 and <60 years, participated in a cross-sectional, population-based study performed in Brazil. The following SNP spanning the TNF-α gene were genotyped: -238G/A (rs361525), -308G/A (rs1800629), -857C/T (rs1799724) and -1031T/C (rs1799964). In all, eleven plasma inflammatory biomarkers and plasma FA profile were determined. To analyse the interaction between TNF-α SNP and plasma FA, a cluster analysis was performed to stratify individuals based on eleven inflammatory biomarkers into two groups used as outcome: inflammatory (INF) and non-inflammatory clusters. The -238A allele carriers had higher TNF-α (P=0·033), IL-6 (P=0·013), IL-1β (P=0·037), IL-12 (0·048) and IL-10 (P=0·010) than the GG genotype. The -308A allele carriers also had lower levels of plasma palmitoleic acid (P=0·009), oleic acid (P=0·039), total MUFA (P=0·014), stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) activity index-16 (P=0·007), SCD-18 (P=0·020) and higher levels of PUFA (P=0·046) and DHA (P=0·044). Significant interactions modifying the risk of belonging to the INF cluster were observed with inflammatory cluster as outcome between -857C/T and plasma α-linolenic acid (P=0·026), and also between -308G/A and plasma stearic acid (P=0·044) and total SFA (P=0·040). Our study contributes to knowledge on TNF-α SNP and their association with inflammatory biomarker levels, plasma FA and the interaction among them, of particular interest for the Brazilian population.
In Spain, the use of annual cover crops is a crop management practice for irrigated vineyards that allows controlling vineyard vigor and yield, which also leads to improve the crop quality. Recently, Cynodon dactylon (bermudagrass) has been reported to infest those cover crops and colonize the grapevine rows, resulting in significant yield and economic losses due to the competition for water and nutrients. From timely unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery, the objective of this research was to map C. dactylon patches in order to provide an optimized site-specific weed management. A quadrocopter UAV equipped with a point-and-shoot camera was used to collect a set of aerial red-green-blue (RGB) images over a commercial vineyard plot, coinciding with the dormant period of C. dactylon (February 2016). Object-based image analysis (OBIA) techniques were used to develop an innovative algorithm for early discrimination and mapping of C. dactylon, which had the ability to solve the limitation of spectral similarity of this weed with cover crops or bare soil. As a general result, the classified maps of the studied vineyard showed four main classes, i.e. vine, cover crop, C. dactylon and bare soil, with 85% overall accuracy. These weed maps allow developing new strategies for site-specific control of C. dactylon populations in the context of precision viticulture.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) are pregnancy complications associated with morbidity in later life. Despite a growing body of evidence from current research on developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), little information is currently provided to parents on long-term metabolic, cardiovascular and neurologic consequences. As parents strongly rely on internet-based health-related information, we examined the quality of information on IUGR/FGR sequelae and DOHaD in webpages used by laypersons. Simulating non-clinicians experience, we entered the terms ‘IUGR consequences’ and ‘FGR consequences’ into Google and Yahoo search engines. The quality of the top search-hits was analyzed with regard to the certification through the Health On the Net Foundation (HON), currentness of cited references, while reliability of information and DOHaD-related consequences were assessed via the DISCERN Plus score (DPS). Overall the citation status was not up-to-date and only a few websites were HON-certified. The results of our analysis showed a dichotomy between the growing body of evidence regarding IUGR/FGR-related sequelae and lack of current guidelines, leaving parents without clear directions. Furthermore, detailed information on the concept of DOHaD is not provided. These findings emphasize the responsibility of the individual physician for providing advice on IUGR/FGR-related sequelae, monitoring and follow-up.
Strongyloides venezuelensis is a parasitic nematode of rodents that is frequently used to obtain heterologous antigens for immunological diagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. The aim of this study was to identify antigens from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis for immunodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. Soluble and membrane fractions from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis were obtained in phosphate saline (SS and SM) and in Tris–HCl buffer (TS and TM), and were analysed by Western blotting. Different antigenic components were recognized by IgG antibodies from the sera of strongyloidiasis patients. Highest recognition was observed for a 30–40 kDa mass range present in all antigenic fractions. The band encompassing this mass range was then excised and subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification. Immunoreactive proteins identified in the soluble fractions corresponded to metabolic enzymes, whereas cytoskeletal proteins and galectins were more abundant in the membrane fractions. These results represent the first approach towards identification of S. venezuelensis antigens for use in immunodiagnostic assays for human strongyloidiasis.
Among the solar proxies, κ1 Cet, stands out as potentially having a mass very close to solar and a young age. We report magnetic field measurements and planetary habitability consequences around this star, a proxy of the young Sun when life arose on Earth. Magnetic strength was determined from spectropolarimetric observations and we reconstruct the large-scale surface magnetic field to derive the magnetic environment, stellar winds, and particle flux permeating the interplanetary medium around κ1 Cet. Our results show a closer magnetosphere and mass-loss rate 50 times larger than the current solar wind mass-loss rate when Life arose on Earth, resulting in a larger interaction via space weather disturbances between the stellar wind and a hypothetical young-Earth analogue, potentially affecting the habitability. Interaction of the wind from the young Sun with the planetary ancient magnetic field may have affected the young Earth and its life conditions.
The seeds of Schinus molle are referred to as displaying physical dormancy because of their water-impermeable endocarp. Therefore, this work aimed to evaluate the germination of S. molle seeds as related to environmental conditions, scarification, storage time and seed anatomy. Various experiments were conducted to test the alleviation of dormancy in newly collected and stored seeds. Acid-scarified seeds incubated under continuous light at 25°C showed greatest vigour and germination. The separation of seeds by specific gravity revealed a higher germination percentage for those seeds that sank. In addition, dry storage alleviated dormancy with a remarkable increase in the various germination parameters. Overall, germination traits decreased after prolonged storage, but even after 12 months the means for germination parameters for stored seeds were still higher than those of newly collected ones. S. molle seeds remain attached to parts of the fruit mesocarp and endocarp. The mesocarp contains several layers of parenchyma showing secretory cavities. The endocarp consists of three layers of sclereids surrounding the embryo. Acid scarification strongly changed the structure of the external layers in the mesocarp, digesting parenchyma cells and removing the contents from both parenchyma cells and the secretory cavities; this improved water uptake during imbibition, which occurred only at the carpellary hilar slit. In conclusion, S. molle seeds are positively photoblastic and show physiological dormancy which can be alleviated by acid scarification and dry storage. Seeds can be stored for over 12 months without significant losses in germination parameters compared to newly collected seeds.