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Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools used to develop continuous predictions of species occurrence. ‘Integrated SDMs’ (ISDMs) are an elaboration of this approach with potential advantages that allow for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only data and site-occupancy data from planned surveys. These models also account for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modelling framework that separately estimates the species–environment response and detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. Despite this potential importance, ISDMs remain largely untested under a variety of scenarios. We performed an exploration of key modelling decisions and assumptions on an ISDM using the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) as a test species. We found that site area had the strongest effect on the magnitude of population estimates and underlying intensity surface and was driven by estimates of model intercepts. Selecting a site area that accounted for the individual movements of the species within an average home range led to population estimates that coincided with expert estimates. ISDMs that do not account for the individual movements of species will likely lead to less accurate estimates of species intensity (number of individuals per unit area) and thus overall population estimates. This bias could be severe and highly detrimental to conservation actions if uninformed ISDMs are used to estimate global populations of threatened and data-deficient species, particularly those that lack natural history and movement information. However, the ISDM was consistently the most accurate model compared to other approaches, which demonstrates the importance of this new modelling framework and the ability to combine opportunistic data with systematic survey data. Thus, we recommend researchers use ISDMs with conservative movement information when estimating population sizes of rare and data-deficient species. ISDMs could be improved by using a similar parameterization to spatial capture–recapture models that explicitly incorporate animal movement as a model parameter, which would further remove the need for spatial subsampling prior to implementation.
Polyurethanes (PUs) were synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil and isophorone diisocyanate. The materials were evaluated for their mechanical properties using stress–strain curves, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and contact angle analysis. The biological response of the materials was evaluated by determining their cell viability in vitro, antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and biological response in vivo of PUs by means of implanting them in Wistar rats. The cell proliferation on the materials was analyzed using mouse fibroblast L929, human fibroblast MRC-5, and adult human dermal fibroblast (HDFa) cells by the ISO 10993-5 method. The materials showed no toxic effects and promoted cell proliferation. Experiments performed in vivo for 30 days in mice showed that the materials neither affected the wound healing process nor caused adverse effects or severe injuries in the dorsal mid-cervical tissue or organs on histological evaluation. PUs synthesized can be used in biomedical devices.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Polyurethane/cellulose composites were synthesized from castor-oil-derived polyols and isophorone diisocyanate using dibutyltin dilaurate (DBTDL) as the catalyst. Materials were obtained by adding 2% cellulose in the form of either microcrystals (20 μm) or nanocrystals obtained by acid hydrolysis. The aim was to assess the effects of filler particle size and the use of a catalyst on the physicochemical properties and biological response of these composites. The addition of the catalyst was found to be essential to prevent filler aggregations and to enhance the tensile strength and elongation at break. The cellulose particle size influenced the composite properties, as its nanocrystals heighten hydrogen bond interactions between the filler surface and polyurethane domains, improving resistance to hydrolytic degradation. All hybrids retained cell viability, and the addition of DBTDL did not impair their biocompatibility. The samples were prone to calcification, which suggests that they could find application in the development of bioactive materials.
Phenotypic plasticity is thought to evolve in response to environmental unpredictability and can shield genotypes from selection. However, selection can also act on plastic traits. Egg-laying behaviour, including clutch size regulation, is a plastic behavioural trait among tephritid fruit flies. We compared plasticity in clutch size regulation among females of Anastrepha ludens populations stemming from environments that differed in the degree of predictability in egg-laying opportunities. Clutch size regulation in response to hosts of different sizes was compared among flies from (a) a wild, highly isolated population, (b) a wild population that switches seasonally from a small wild host fruit that varies greatly in abundance to an abundant large-sized commercial host, and (c) a laboratory population. Flies from all three populations adjusted clutch number and size according to host size. However, flies from the heterogeneous wild environment were more plastic in adjusting clutch size than flies from agricultural settings that also laid fewer eggs; yet both populations were more plastic in adjusting clutch size in line with host size when compared with laboratory females. When wild and orchard females encountered the largest host, clutch size was extremely variable and egg regulation did not follow the same trend. Heterogeneity in host availability in space and time appears to be as important as seasonal variation in host size in maintaining plastic clutch size regulation behaviour. In stable environments, there was a clear reduction in the plasticity of these traits.
Adult size is the trait most closely correlated with reproductive output in insects, but may also have important selective implications determining additional fitness gains. In longhorn beetles, adult size-mediated ultimate benefits may arise from mate choice, male antennal spread width or male fighting for mates. In this paper, we examined factors potentially shaping adult size of Cerambyx welensii Küster (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), an emergent oak (Quercus Linnaeus; Fagaceae) pest. Sex ratio and adult length/weight allometric relationships were also explored. Overwintering adults were collected inside oaks in Extremadura (southwestern Spain) during 2011–2017 to ensure that larval development was completed in the wild. Sex, host species, and wood quality affected adult size, though some interactions occurred and among-host differences were weak. Adults collected inside older trees and wider branches were significantly larger. Adult size was unaffected by either elevation, aspect, or population density. There was a robust allometric scaling in both sexes between elytral/adult length and weight, females being heavier than males and males longer than females when adults were large. Female-biased sex ratios occurred in old/veteran trees and in dense/crowded larval populations. We discuss these results from an evolutionary perspective considering the potential impact of C. welensii adult size on population dynamics and management tactics.
The use of multiple species in biological control programmes is controversial when interactions among them are not fully understood. We determined the response of the pupal parasitoid Coptera haywardi (Oglobin) to different availability of Anastrepha ludens (Loew) pupae previously parasitized or not by larval–pupal Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead). The two types of pupae were exposed at different ages and proportions to different numbers of C. haywardi females for 48 h. The performance of C. haywardi adults emerging from parasitized and unparasitized pupae was measured. Coptera haywardi prefers to attack unparasitized A. ludens pupae rather than pupae parasitized by D. longicaudata. However, when the availability of unparasitized pupae was low or the number of foraging females was high, C. haywardi competed against early immature stages of the D. longicaudata, or hyperparasitized, feeding directly on the advanced-immature developmental stages of the early acting species. Adults of C. haywardi emerging as hyperparasitoids were no different in size, fecundity and longevity from those emerging as primary parasitoids. Our data suggest that simultaneous use of these species in augmentative biological control projects may be feasible but should be carefully planned in order to avoid any detrimental effect of its interaction.
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.
This study investigated the potential application of genomic selection under a multi-breed scheme in the Spanish autochthonous beef cattle populations using a simulation study that replicates the structure of linkage disequilibrium obtained from a sample of 25 triplets of sire/dam/offspring per population and using the BovineHD Beadchip. Purebred and combined reference sets were used for the genomic evaluation and several scenarios of different genetic architecture of the trait were investigated. The single-breed evaluations yielded the highest within-breed accuracies. Across breed accuracies were found low but positive on average confirming the genetic connectedness between the populations. If the same genotyping effort is split in several populations, the accuracies were lower when compared with single-breed evaluation, but showed a small advantage over small-sized purebred reference sets over the accuracies of subsequent generations. Besides, the genetic architecture of the trait did not show any relevant effect on the accuracy with the exception of rare variants, which yielded slightly lower results and higher loss of predictive ability over the generations.
Polyurethane-based bioadhesive was synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil (chemically modified and unmodified) and hexamethylene diisocyanate with chitosan addition as a bioactive filler. The objective was to evaluate the effect of type of polyols with the incorporation of low-concentrations of chitosan on the mechanical and biological properties of the polymer to obtain suitable materials in the design of biomaterials. The results showed that increasing physical crosslinking increased the mechanical and adhesive properties. An in vitro cytotoxic test of polyurethanes showed cellular viability. The biocompatibility of the polyurethanes favors the adhesion of L929 cells at 6, 24, and 48 h. The polyurethanes showed bacterial inhibition depending on the polyol and percentage of chitosan. The antibacterial effect of the polyurethanes for Escherichia coli decreased 60–90% after 24 h. The mechanical and adhesive properties together with biological response in this research suggested these polyurethanes as external application tissue bioadhesives.
Early life traits (ELT) of the sand-burrowing cryptic marine fish Sindoscopus australis (family Dactyloscopidae) were compared between cohorts hatched during winter and spring 2013, in nearshore rocky reefs off central Chile. Pelagic larvae were similarly abundant during both periods, but larger larvae were collected during austral spring. The sagittal otolith microstructure and size analyses also indicated that size-at-hatch was larger (4.7 mm) for the winter cohort, but winter larvae experienced slower growth rates (0.145 mm day−1 ± 0.008). Conversely, larvae from the spring cohort hatched at smaller sizes (2.9 mm), but they grew faster (0.182 mm day−1 ± 0.008). Hatching periods were coupled with the lunar cycle; in winter, hatching events were related to neap tides (first and third quarter moon), increasing chances of self-recruitment. Meanwhile, during spring, hatching occurred during spring tides, particularly over the new moon, decreasing chances of larval mortality by predation. Otolith traits used to test asymmetry among cohorts showed inconsistent results. Only sagittal perimeter presented fluctuating asymmetry, showing higher variance for the winter cohort. We conclude that this burrowing species displays different reproductive tactics at a seasonal scale.
The aim of the present study was to conduct the preliminary adaptation of the Morningness-Eveningness-Stability-Scale improved (MESSi) to Spanish population, testing its factor structure and construct validity. Participants were 261 adults (65% women; M = 31.4, SD = 12.01) who filled out measures of Morningness-Eveningness (MESSi and CSM), sleep habits, personality traits, positive and negative affect, and subjective level of alertness during the day. Psychometric results supported a three factorial model with the factors Morning Affect, Eveningness and Distinctness (RMSEA = .072). The factors showed good internal consistence (α = 0.72–0.85). The pattern of correlations between MESSi and the other measures were in the expected direction (low to moderated size effects). Morning Affect was positively predicted by morning chronotype (R2 = .64), Eveningness was negatively predicted by age and positively by evening chronotype (R2 = .41), and Distinctness was negatively predicted by sex (women reported higher DI than men) and age (R2 = .08). This study provides evidence for the factor structure of a new measure of Morningness-Eveningness based on a rigorous psychometric evaluation.
Slaughter is a crucial step in the meat production chain that could induce psychological stress on each animal, resulting in a physiological response that can differ among individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between an animal’s emotional state, the subsequent psychological stress at slaughter and the cellular damage as an effect. In all, 36 entire male pigs were reared at an experimental farm and a cognitive bias test was used to classify them into positive bias (PB) or negative bias (NB) groups depending on their decision-making capabilities. Half of the animals, slaughtered in the same batch, were used for a complete study of biomarkers of stress, including brain neurotransmitters and some muscle biomarkers of oxidative stress. After slaughter, specific brain areas were excised and the levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA)) and indoleamines (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and serotonin (5HT)) were analyzed. In addition, muscle proteasome activity (20S), antioxidant defence (total antioxidant activity (TAA)), oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation (LPO)) and autophagy biomarkers (Beclin-1, microtubule-associated protein I light chain 3 (LC3-I) and LC3-II) were monitored during early postmortem maturation (0 to 24 h). Compared with PB animals, NB pigs were more susceptible to stress, showing higher 5HT levels (P<0.01) in the hippocampus and lower DA (P<0.001) in the pre-frontal cortex. Furthermore, NB pigs had more intense proteolytic processes and triggered primary muscle cell survival mechanisms immediately after slaughter (0 h postmortem), thus showing higher TAA (P<0.001) and earlier proteasome activity (P<0.001) and autophagy (Beclin-1, P<0.05; LC3-II/LC3-I, P<0.001) than PB pigs, in order to counteract the induced increase in oxidative stress, that was significantly higher in the muscle of NB pigs at 0 h postmortem (LPO, P<0.001). Our study is the first to demonstrate that pig’s cognitive bias influences the animal’s susceptibility to stress and has important effects on the postmortem muscle metabolism, particularly on the cell antioxidant defences and the autophagy onset. These results expand the current knowledge regarding biomarkers of animal welfare and highlight the potential use of biomarkers of the proteasome, the autophagy (Beclin-1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and the muscle antioxidant defence (TAA, LPO) for detection of peri-slaughter stress.
This paper analyses the interdependence between environment and society in terms of socio-ecological webs, in which human and biophysical systems are linked. A quantitative model, based on canonical correlation analysis applied in Fuerteventura Island (Canary Archipelago), detected indicators of human–landscape relationships and predicted potential shifts based on simulated environmental changes. In the last few decades, the landscape of Fuerteventura Island has changed: natural components and cultural agrarian uses have decreased, while the population has increased due to immigration, mainly from mainland Spain and other European countries. The island shows a transition from a coupled local socio-ecosystem to one based on the interaction between environment and coastal tourism that decouples native inhabitants from the landscape and traditional land-use practices. As vulnerability and adaptation to climate change represent critical sets of potential interactions in Canary Islands, a model and a map of the socio-ecological system under four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios show rural decoupling through ‘deagrarianization’ and ‘deruralization’, as well as stronger links to the tourism system.
The Spanish local beef cattle breeds have most likely common origin followed by a process of differentiation. This particular historical evolution has most probably left detectable signatures in the genome. The objective of this study was to identify genomic regions associated with differentiation processes in seven Spanish autochthonous populations (Asturiana de los Valles (AV), Avileña-Negra Ibérica (ANI), Bruna dels Pirineus (BP), Morucha (Mo), Pirenaica (Pi), Retinta (Re) and Rubia Gallega (RG)). The BovineHD 777K BeadChip was used on 342 individuals (AV, n=50; ANI, n=48; BP, n=50; Mo, n=50; Pi, n=48; Re, n=48; RG, n=48) chosen to be as unrelated as possible. We calculated the fixation index (FST) and performed a Bayesian analysis named SelEstim. The output of both procedures was very similar, although the Bayesian analysis provided a richer inference and allowed us to calculate significance thresholds by generating a pseudo-observed data set from the estimated posterior distributions. We identified a very large number of genomic regions, but when a very restrictive significance threshold was applied these regions were reduced to only 10. Among them, four regions can be highlighted because they comprised a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms and showed extremely high signals (Kullback–Leiber divergence (KLD)>6). They are located in BTA 2 (5 575 950 to 10 152 228 base pairs (bp)), BTA 5 (17 596 734 to 18 850 702 bp), BTA 6 (37 853 912 to 39 441 548 bp) and BTA 18 (13 345 515 to 15 243 838 bp) and harbor, among others, the MSTN (Myostatin), KIT-LG (KIT Ligand), LAP3 (leucine aminopeptidase 3), NAPCG (non-SMC condensing I complex, subunit G), LCORL (ligand dependent nuclear receptor corepressor-like) and MC1R (Melanocortin 1 receptor) genes. Knowledge on these genomic regions allows to identify potential targets of recent selection and helps to define potential candidate genes associated with traits of interest, such as coat color, muscle development, fertility, growth, carcass and immunological response.
TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is involved in type 1 diabetes (T1D) pathogenesis. The TNFa gene is subject of epigenetic regulation in which folate and homocysteine are important molecules because they participate in the methionine cycle where the most important methyl group donor (S-adenosylmethionine) is formed. We investigated whether TNFa gene promoter methylation status in T1D patients was related to blood folate, homocysteine and TNF-α in a transversal case–control study. We studied T1D patients (n 25, mean=13·7 years) and healthy control subjects (n 25, mean=31·1 years), without T1D and/or other autoimmune diseases or direct family history of these diseases. A blood sample was obtained for determination of serum folate, plasma homocysteine and TNF-α concentrations. Whole blood was used for the extraction of DNA to determine the percentage of methylation by real-time PCR and melting-curve analysis. Results are expressed as means and standard deviations for parametric variables and as median (interquartile range) for non-parametric variables. T1D patients showed a higher TNFa gene promoter methylation (39·2 (sd 19·5) %) when compared with control subjects (25·4 (sd 13·7) %) (P=0·008). TNFa gene promoter methylation was positively associated only with homocysteine levels in T1D patients (r 0·55, P=0·007), but not in control subjects (r −0·122, P=0·872). To our knowledge, this is the first work that reports the methylation status of the TNFa gene promoter and its relationship with homocysteine metabolism in Chilean T1D patients without disease complications.
The Endangered Cuvier's gazelle Gazella cuvieri is an endemic ungulate of north-western Africa. Information on the species has been based primarily on non-systematic surveys, and the corresponding status estimates are of unknown quality. We evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of two field methods for systematic surveys of populations of Cuvier's gazelle in arid environments: distance sampling (based on sightings) and sampling indirect sign (tracks and scats). The work was carried out in the north-western Sahara Desert, in Morocco, where what is possibly the largest population of Cuvier's gazelle persists. A logistically viable survey was conducted over a total area of c. 20.000 km2 in 10 expeditions during 2011–2014. A total of 67 sites were surveyed, with 194 walking surveys (2,169 km in total). Gazelle signs were detected at 50 sites, and gazelles were sighted at 21 sites (61 individuals). We found a relationship between sightings and abundance indices based on indirect sign, which could be useful for population monitoring or ecological studies. Additionally, the data could be used in occupancy modelling. Density estimates based on distance sampling required considerable effort; however, it is possible to survey large areas during relatively short campaigns, and this proved to be the most useful approach to obtain data on the demographic structure of the population.