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This study aimed to examine the effects of re-ensiling time and Lactobacillus buchneri on the fermentation profile, chemical composition and aerobic stability of sugarcane silages. The experiment was set up as a repeated measure design consisting of four air-exposure periods (EP)(0, 6, 12, and 24 h) microbial additive (A) (L. buchneri; or lack of there), with five replicates. Sugarcane was ground through a stationary forage chopper and ensiled in four plastic drums of 200-L capacity. After 210 days of storage, the drums were opened and half of the silage mass was treated with L. buchneri at the concentration of 105 cfu/g of forage. Subsequently, the silages were divided into stacks. The re-ensiling process was started immediately, at 0, 6, 12 and 24-hour intervals, by transferring the material to PVC mini-silos. Silos were opened after 120 days of re-ensiling. The use of L. buchneri reduced butyrate concentration but did not change ethanol or acetic acid concentrations and aerobic stability. An interaction effect between L. buchneri and re-ensiling time was observed for dry matter (DM) losses and composition. Lactobacillus buchneri is not effective in improving aerobic stability in re-ensiled sugarcane silages. However, less DM is lost in silages treated with L. buchneri and exposed to air for 24 h. Re-ensiling sugar cane in up to 24 h of exposure to air does not change final product quality.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics and chemical composition of cochineal nopal cactus silage additives with urea or Lactobacillus buchneri (LB), as well as the association of both additives in four storage times (7, 15, 60 and 120 days) and during aerobic stability, with evaluations at 0, 48 and 96 h. Four silages were used: no additive, addition of 2% urea, addition of LB and addition of 2% urea and LB. The study was divided into two experiments: the first experiment evaluated the silages at different storage times, and the second experiment evaluated the silages during the aerobic stability test. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized in a factorial scheme (4 × 4 and 4 × 3) with three replicates per treatment. After the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria predominated in all treatments. The concentration of lactic acid increased significantly from 60 days of ensiling. The concentration of acetic acid varied significantly between the storage times only for the silages treated with urea and LB alone. The silage treated with urea maintained a constant pH value up to 120 days of storage. During the 96 h aerobic stability test, no breaking in the stability of silages was observed. The exclusive or associated use of urea and LB promotes improvement in the fermentative characteristics of cochineal nopal cactus silage, without major alterations in the chemical composition or interfering with the aerobic stability of the silages.
Helicoverpa armigera is a pest of several crops causing significant economic impact. We evaluated the insect development on different vegetative and reproductive structures of cotton, maize, and soybean compared to artificial diet. One hundred individuals were evaluated per structure (cotton leaves and bolls; maize leaves, grains, and silk; soybean leaves and pods) and artificial diet. Centesimal analyses were performed on quantifiable nutrient contents in diets. The viability of immatures (eggs, larvae, and pupae) ranged from 30% on maize leaf to 74% on cotton bolls, while on the artificial diet, it was 70%. Maize, cotton, and soybean leaves provided viability of 30, 37, and 42%, respectively, revealing these leaves tissues are less favorable to the development of H. armigera immatures compared to ‘reproductive tissues’. Centesimal composition of diets compared 14 common components in all diets, which correlated significantly with larval and pupal stages and/or pupal weight. Of the 12 dietary components that significantly affected larval development time, half were negatively correlated, indicating a decrease in developmental time from their increments. In general, when insects were confined separately to substrates, the artificial diet was the most suitable for H. armigera development compared to the evaluated natural diets. However, in natural conditions, the variability of available hosts must be considered. In addition, it is acceptable for moths to select more suitable hosts for oviposition, while their larvae move to other more suitable tissues of the same plant or even migrate to other plants.
Litter size reduction can induce early overnourishment, being an attractive experimental model to study short- and long-term consequences of childhood obesity. Epidemiological data indicate sex differences regarding cardiometabolic disorders and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The present study aimed to describe biometric, nutritional and cardiovascular changes related to neonatal overweight promoted by litter size reduction in young and adult Wistar rats of both sexes. Litter adjustment to eight or four pups/mother (1:1 male-to-female ratio) gave, respectively, control and overweight groups. Body mass, food intake, haemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters and cardiorespiratory capacity were evaluated at postnatal days 30 and 150. Diminished litters were correlated with higher body mass and weight gain (12 %) during lactation, validating the experimental model of neonatal overweight. Soon after weaning male (16 %) and female (25 %) offspring of these litters presented a lower food intake than their respective control, without differences in body mass. Adult males from reduced litters presented higher abdominal circumference (7 %), systolic blood pressure (10 %), interventricular septum thickness (15 %) and relative wall thickness (15 %) compared with their respective control. Rats' performance on the maximal effort ergometer test was not affected by neonatal overweight. Data suggest the occurrence of catch-down growth and hypophagia in male and female rats submitted to neonatal overweight. However, only male rats presented haemodynamic and cardiac structural changes. These findings are crucial to personalised/gender medicine.
An understanding of the processes involved in grazing behaviour is a prerequisite for the design of efficient grassland management systems. The purpose of managing the grazing process is to identify sward structures that can maximize animal forage daily intake and optimize grazing time. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of different grazing management strategies on foraging behaviour and herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass under rotational stocking. The experiment was carried out in 2015 in southern Brazil. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with two grazing management strategies and four replicates. The grazing management treatments were a traditional rotational stocking (RT), with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 25 and 5 cm, respectively, and a ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking (RN) with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 18 and 11 cm, respectively. Male sheep with an average live weight of 32 ± 2.3 kg were used. As intended, the pre- and post-grazing sward heights were according to the treatments. The pre-grazing leaf/stem ratio of the Italian ryegrass pasture did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05) (~2.87), but the post-grazing leaf/stem ratio was greater (P < 0.001) in the RN than in the RT treatment (1.59 and 0.76, respectively). The percentage of the non-grazed area was greater (P < 0.01) in post-grazing for RN compared with RT treatment, with an average of 29.7% and 3.49%, respectively. Herbage nutritive value was greater for the RN than for the RT treatment, with greater CP and lower ADF and NDF contents. The total time spent grazing, ruminating and resting did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05), with averages of 439, 167 and 85 min, respectively. The bite rate, feeding stations per min and steps per min by sheep were greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment. The grazing time per hour and the bite rate were greater (P < 0.05) in the afternoon than in the morning in both treatments. The daily herbage intake by sheep grazing Italian ryegrass was greater (P < 0.05) in the RN than in the RT treatment (843.7 and 707.8 g organic matter/sheep, respectively). Our study supports the idea that even though the grazing time was not affected by the grazing management strategies when the animal behaviour responses drive management targets, such as in ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking, the sheep herbage intake is maximized, and the grazing time is optimized.
The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.
Recent studies involved the pathways of kinases regulated by extracellular signal (ERK - extracellular signal regulated kinases), a broad range of key cellular processes, in the mechanisms of depression and consequently in the action of antidepressants. It is also known that the use of specific inhibitors of phosphorylation of ERKs1 / 2 showed to have antidepressant effect in animal models. Fluoxetina (SSRI) was recently discovered to be a potente inhibitor of phosphorylation of ERKs. The ERKs1 / 2 and recently the 3, are present in neurons and glia, these also engaged in biological mechanisms of depression.
The authors propose to do, based on the current literature, the characterization of the type (s) of cell (s) where changes in activation of ERKs1 / 2, occur during depression, and during the administration of antidepressants, in order to understand, to what extent these kinases may be considered as biological markers of depression. Possibly also to examine the feasibility of using these markers in clinical use.
The present study aimed to determine whether any gender-related difference exists concerning oxidative stress parameters in a population of 231 subjects, and if these changes might be related to gender-associated differences in major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD) vulnerability. This is a case-control nested in a population-based study. The initial psychopathology screen was performed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the diagnostic was further confirmed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Blood samples were obtained after the interview and the oxidative stress parameters such as uric acid, advanced oxidation protein product (PCC) and lipid hydroperoxides (TBARS) were determined. Our results indicated a higher prevalence of MDD and BD in women when compared to men. In addition, significant gender differences were found in the levels of PCC (0.27 ± 0.27 vs. 0.40 ± 0.31 nmol CO/mg protein, men vs. women, respectively; P = 0.02) and uric acid (4.88 ± 1.39 mg/dL vs. 3.53 ± 1.02 mg/dL, men vs. women, respectively; P = 0.0001), but not in TBARS (0.013 ± 0.01 nmol/mg of protein vs. 0.017 ± 0.02 nmol/mg of protein, men vs. women respectively; P = 0.243). After sample stratification by gender, no association was found between oxidative stress parameters and clinical diagnosis of MDD and BD for women (P = 0.516 for PCC; P = 0.620 for TBARS P = 0.727 for uric acid) and men (P = 0.367 for PCC; P = 0.372 for TBARS P = 0.664 for uric acid). In this study, women seem more susceptible to oxidative stress than male. However, these gender-based differences do not seem to provide a biochemical basis for the epidemiologic differences in mood disorders susceptibility between sexes.
Our aim is to discuss the use of cognitive assessment tools in generational cohorts with high rates of illiteracy. The scales used to evaluate the cognitive impairment were the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Three items were added to assess the domain of language.
The sample included 224 institutionalized elderly from municipality of Miranda do Corvo - Portugal, mean age of 83.76 years (± 7.29), 179 were women (79.9%), and 93 (41.5%) had no education.
The assessment took place between December 2011 and May 2012 and showed that people had high levels of cognitive impairment. The difference was proved to be statistically significant regardless the considered age cuts of 65, 65–74 or 75. Through the MMSE, we found that 55 of the 144 respondents (38.2%) had cognitive impairment. If we add the other elderlies diagnosed with dementia, the prevalence rises to 60.3%. The evaluation conducted by MoCA showed that 140 (97.2%) of the elderly had cognitive impairment. If we add to these the remaining respondents diagnosed with dementia, this percentage rises to 98.2%.
The results were related to the sociodemographic characteristics of this generational cohort and attested the prevalence of cognitive impairment in institutions for elderly people.
Thus, we propose that institutions implement cognitive stimulation programs for the maintenance and improvement of cognitive abilities of the elderly, and we methodologically discuss the use of these scales to the measure of the cognitive impairment.
Psychiatric training in the European Union is undergoing a process of harmonization of national curricula in order to establish a common postgraduate training framework. The Research Group of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) is conducting a multi-national study on psychiatry education of trainees among the European countries in regard to the Union Européenne Des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS) 2009 competencies framework.
The aims are to raise awareness on these competencies, compile data on trainees‘ experience of their training and assessment methods, opinions on level of confidence, and on relevance of these competencies.
This study surveyed trainees from 15 EFPT countries using a questionnaire developed specifically for this research.
Psychiatric training in Europe differs significantly regarding length, with a training duration ranging from 4 to 8 years. Only 26,7% of the trainees were well acquainted with the UEMS competencies and trainees from only 8 countries declared to have a competency based national training curriculum. These results reveal that trainees have different experiences and opinions on competencies and assessment methods depending on their country of residence.
A limitation of the results may be that our respondents are the EFPT representatives’ and probably have better knowledge on the educational issues.
The combined quantitative and qualitative outlook on national training programmes from the trainees point of view enhances our understanding and perspective of the dynamic processes of psychiatric education in Europe. Data obtained from this research study contributes to the efforts to unify psychiatric training curricula.
The healthcare needs of the elderly are seldom assessed in practice. Research in clinical populations with neuropsychiatric disorders generally unravels high levels of unmet needs. Although there are Portuguese studies in needs assessment, explorations of community or social services’ scenarios have been scarce.
Objectives and aims:
By gathering data from health and social services research, and from an epidemiological survey in the same region, we aimed to better characterize the unmet needs of Portuguese elderly.
We report on studies with old age people in Seixal, near Lisbon: 1) the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly was used for auditing a non-profit organization, with day-centre and home support services (n=95), and in a survey of family carers of dementia outpatients (n=116); 2) the 10/66 DRG community prevalence study (n=670) used comprehensive assessments to provide psychiatric diagnoses, data on health and psychosocial needs, and the use of services.
In the social service audit, unmet needs were mainly related to food, company, physical health and daytime activities. Domiciliary care users had more unmet needs than day centre users (p<0.001). Informal caregivers of dementia patients reported information and psychological distress needs. Finally, these 10/66 DRG study partial results highlighted a high prevalence of depression (20.4%; 95%CI 17.4-23.7) and huge health services’ utilization needs.
Systematic assessments of needs for care generally unravel high proportions of health and psychosocial problems lacking adequate interventions, in clinical and community populations. This may provide a more consistent basis for health services planning.
Sensory processing is the individual's ability to receive, process and integrate sensory information from the environment and body movement in the central nervous system, in order to produce adaptive responses. Sensory processing disorders (SPD) are associated to difficulties in regulating emotions and behaviours as well as motor abilities in response to sensory stimulation that lead to impairment in development and functioning. It is estimated that SPD affect 5–16% of school-aged children. Although these diseases constitute a primary diagnostic category in the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Development Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood: DC0-3, they have not yet been validated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-DSM. In the latest edition of DSM, SPD were only included as one of the diagnostic criteria of autism-spectrum disorders. However, several studies have suggested that SPD may present themselves solely or coexist with other clinical conditions.
The aim of this study was to review systematically the relationship between SPD and psychopathology.
Articles indexed in the Pubmed database were analyzed.
Although sensory processing problems are well known to occur in association with autism, their relationship with other mental disorders is not a well studied area. Some studies have related them with ADHD, behavioural disorders and learning disorders. Some studies also comproved that SPD are a valid diagnosis and that there are individuals with SPD who do not meet the criteria for other known disorder. One study found an abnormal white matter microstructure in children with SPD. Despite these findings SPD need to be further studied.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Ensemble data assimilation methods integrate measurement data and computational flow models to estimate the state of fluid systems in a robust, scalable way. However, discretization errors in the dynamical and observation models lead to biased forecasts and poor estimator performance. We propose a low-rank representation for this bias, whose dynamics is modelled by data-informed, time-correlated processes. State and bias parameters are simultaneously corrected online with the ensemble Kalman filter. The proposed methodology is then applied to the problem of estimating the state of a two-dimensional flow at modest Reynolds number using an ensemble of coarse-mesh simulations and pressure measurements at the surface of an immersed body in a synthetic experiment framework. Using an ensemble size of 60, the bias-aware estimator is demonstrated to achieve at least 70 % error reduction when compared to its bias-blind counterpart. Strategies to determine the bias statistics and their impact on the estimator performance are discussed.
The prediction of seed longevity (P50) is traditionally performed by the use of the Probit model. However, due to the fact that the survival data are of binary origin (0,1), the fit of the model can be compromised by the non-normality of the residues. Consequently, this leads to prediction losses, despite the data being partially smoothed by Probit and Logit models. A possibility to reduce the effect of non-normality of the data would be to apply the principles of the central limit theorem, which states that non-normal residues tend to be normal as the n sample is increased. The Logit and Probit models differ in their normal and logistic distribution. Therefore, we developed a new estimation procedure by using a small increase of the n sample and tested it in the Probit and Logit functions to improve the prediction of P50. The results showed that the calculation of P50 by increasing the n samples from 4 to 6 replicates improved the index of correctness of the prediction. The Logit model presented better performance when compared with the Probit model, indicating that the estimation of P50 is more adequate when the adjustment of the data is performed by the Logit function.
Electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formic acid is a good strategy to address both environmental and energy issues. However, some drawbacks including low activity, selectivity, and stability of electrocatalysts must be overcome. We propose a method for tailoring Bi2O2CO3-coated carbon fiber electrodes with higher selectivity and stability for electrochemical CO2 reduction to formic acid. We evaluated the effect of Bi2O2CO3 and Nafion contents on the electrocatalysts performance for CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR). All electrodes produced only HCOO− in the liquid phase with a maximum faradaic efficiency (FE) of 69%. The electrocatalysts were stable under 24 h of continuous CO2RR operation. The FE increased with the increasing electrolyte concentration and cation radius size, which indicates that the anion stabilization in solution is critical for adequate formate generation. The CO2RR mechanism was proposed with basis on the literature. The structural carbonate of Bi2O2CO3 acts as an intermediate species in the formate production from CO2.
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disorder leading to the growth of hamartomas in multiple organs, including cardiac rhabdomyomas. Children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma require frequent admissions to intensive care units, have major complications, namely, arrhythmias, cardiac outflow tract obstruction and heart failure, affecting the quality of life and taking on high healthcare cost. Currently, there is no standard pharmacological treatment for this condition, and the management includes a conservative approach and supportive care. Everolimus has shown positive effects on subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, renal angiomyolipoma and refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. However, evidence supporting efficacy in symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma is limited to case reports. The ORACLE trial is the first randomised clinical trial assessing the efficacy of everolimus as a specific therapy for symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma.
ORACLE is a phase II, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre protocol trial. A total of 40 children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex will be randomised to receive oral everolimus or placebo for 3 months. The primary outcome is 50% or more reduction in the tumour size related to baseline. As secondary outcomes we include the presence of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, intracardiac obstruction, adverse events, progression of tumour reduction and effect on heart failure.
ORACLE protocol addresses a relevant unmet need in children with tuberous sclerosis complex and cardiac rhabdomyoma. The results of the trial will potentially support the first evidence-based therapy for this condition.
A longstanding issue in the field of nutrition is the potential inaccuracy of methods traditionally used for dietary assessment (i.e. food diaries and food frequency questionnaires). It is possible to overcome the limitations and biases of these techniques by combining them with analytical measurements in human biofluids. Metabolomic technologies are gaining popularity as nutritional tools due to their capacity to measure metabolic responses to external stimuli, such as the ingestion of certain foods. This project performed both LC-MS and 1H-NMR metabolomic profiling on serum samples collected as part of the NICOLA study (Northern Irish Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging) in order to discover novel dietary biomarkers. A dietary validation cohort (NIDAS) was incorporated within NICOLA, involving 45 males and 50 females, aged 50 years and over. Participants provided detailed dietary data (4-day food diary) and blood samples at two time-points, six months apart. Serum samples were processed on two analytical platforms. 1H-NMR spectra were acquired using a Bruker 600 MHz Ascent coupled to a TCI cryoprobe and processed using Bayesil (University of Alberta, Canada). A Waters TQ-S coupled with an Acquity I-class UPLC was used in combination with a targeted commercially available kit (AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit, Biocrates). Mass spectra obtained were processed with MetIDQ and verified using MassLynx (v4.1). Data were tested for normality, and metabolite concentrations were correlated with recorded dietary intake of each food type using SPSS. Additional tests (PCA, PLS-DA, ROC Curves) were performed on MetaboAnalyst 4.0 (University of Alberta, Canada). More than 50 statistically significant (P < 0.05) food-metabolite correlations were detected, 15 of which remained significant after eliminating potential confounding from sex, age and BMI. The strongest correlations were between fruit consumption and acetic acid, and between dairy consumption and certain glycerophospholipids (e.g. LysoPC aa C20:3). Stratifying the cohort by gender yielded further correlations, including PC ae C38:2 (dairy; males), PC aa C34:4 (dairy; females), PC aa C36:4 (dairy; females) and trans-4-Hydroxyproline (meat; males). A number of potential blood-based food biomarkers were detected, many of which are gender-specific, and some are corroborated by previously published studies. However, further validation work is required. For example, biological plausibility needs to be established, and the findings need to be reproduced in other cohorts to demonstrate their applicability in larger and more diverse populations. These results contribute greatly to the ongoing efforts to discover and validate reliable nutritional biomarkers as an objective and unbiased measurement of food intake.
Asthma-obesity is a multifactorial disease with specific asthma phenotypes that aggravate due to overweight and an unbalanced diet. Furthermore, obese asthmatic patients are corticotherapy-resistant. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of an interdisciplinary intervention on food consumption, body composition, lung function and adipokines in asthmatic and non-asthmatic obese adolescents and to investigate the influence of nutrients on lung function. Obese non-asthmatic (n 42) and obese asthmatic (n 21) adolescents of both sexes were enrolled in the present study. Food intake, adipokine levels, body composition, asthma symptoms and lung function were assessed across the study. After the intervention of 1 year, there was a reduction (P ≤ 0·01) in BMI, body fat percentage, visceral and subcutaneous fat and an increase (P ≤ 0·01) in lean mass and all lung function variables in both groups, except the relation between forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced vital capacity (FEV1:FVC) in non-asthmatic patients. Moreover, both groups decreased lipid and cholesterol consumption (P ≤ 0·01). The highest energy consumption (β = −0·021) was associated with lower values of FVC. Similarly, carbohydrate consumption (β = −0·06) and cholesterol were negative predictors (β = −0·05) in FEV1:FVC. However, the consumption of Ca (β = 0·01), fibres (β = 1·34) and vitamin A (β = 0·01) were positive predictors of FEV1:FVC. Asthma-obesity interdisciplinary treatment promoted an improvement on food consumption and lung function in adolescents and demonstrated that the consumption of nutrients influenced an increase in lung function.
Regeneration from seed affects species assembly in plant communities, and temperature is the most important environmental factor controlling the germination process. Thermal dependence of seed germination is thus associated with species occurrence in an ecosystem. Hence, we aimed to investigate the role of temperature on seed germination of ten tree species from the western Brazilian Amazon. Seeds were collected in the state of Rondônia, Brazil, and set to germinate under constant temperatures ranging from 10 to 40°C in germination chambers. We calculated germination capacity (G%), germination rate (GR50, reciprocal of germination time), and thermal parameters, such as cardinal temperatures and thermal time requirements. Most species had a large range of temperatures showing G% ≥80%, with optimal temperature varying from 20 to 40°C. Base temperature ranged from 6 to 12°C and ceiling temperatures were mainly >40°C. Astronium lecointei and Parkia nitida showed high germination capacity under temperatures of 35–40°C, while germination of Theobroma cacao dropped from 100% to zero under temperatures between 37 and 40°C. The climax species Cedrela fissilis had the slowest germination time (10 days) and highest thermal time requirement, while seeds of Enterolobium schomburgkii (a late-successional species) germinated within the first day of the experiment. Rapid recruitment of Amazon species could be favoured with treefall disturbance, which increases temperatures in the understory, but sharp limits might be found in the supra-optimal range of temperatures. Such patterns might indicate different regeneration strategies in the tropical rainforest, providing important information regarding seed germination among Amazon species.
Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P<0.001). In contrast, animals fed high levels of cactus (>500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P<0.001) and similar ADG compared with those without cactus addition. The DMI was positively correlated with initial BW, final BW, concentrate and ADG, while it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion and ME of the diet. On other hand, ADG was positively correlated with DMI, initial and mean BW and concentrate, and it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion. The two developed equations had high accuracy (Cb of 0.95 for DMI and 0.94 for ADG) and the random error of MSEP was 99% for both equations. The precision of both equations was moderate, with R2 values of 0.53 and 0.50 and ρ values of 0.73 and 0.71 for DMI and ADG, respectively. In conclusion, the developed equation to predict DMI had moderate precision and high accuracy, nonetheless, it was more efficient than those reported in the literature. The proposed equations can be a useful alternative to estimate intake and performance of lambs fed cactus.