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Protected areas are central to global efforts to prevent species extinctions, with many countries investing heavily in their establishment. Yet the designation of protected areas alone can only abate certain threats to biodiversity. Targeted management within protected areas is often required to achieve fully effective conservation within their boundaries. It remains unclear what combination of protected area designation and management is needed to remove the suite of processes that imperil species. Here, using Australia as a case study, we use a dataset on the pressures facing threatened species to determine the role of protected areas and management in conserving imperilled species. We found that protected areas that are not resourced for threat management could remove one or more threats to 1,185 (76%) species and all threats to very few (n = 51, 3%) species. In contrast, a protected area network that is adequately resourced to manage threatening processes within their boundary could remove one or more threats to almost all species (n = 1,551; c. 100%) and all threats to almost half (n = 740, 48%). However, 815 (52%) species face one or more threats that require coordinated conservation actions that protected areas alone could not remove. This research shows that investing in the continued expansion of Australia's protected area network without providing adequate funding for threat management within and beyond the existing protected area network will benefit few threatened species. These findings highlight that as the international community expands the global protected area network in accordance with the 2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, a greater emphasis on the effectiveness of threat management is needed.
The dynamic model Nitrogen Dynamics in Crop rotations in Ecological Agriculture (NDICEA) was used to assess the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) balance of long-term organic cropping trials and typical organic crop rotations on a range of soil types and rainfall zones in the UK. The measurements of soil N taken at each of the organic trial sites were also used to assess the performance of NDICEA. The modeled outputs compared well to recorded soil N levels, with relatively small error margins. NDICEA therefore seems to be a useful tool for UK organic farmers. The modeling of typical organic rotations has shown that positive N balances can be achieved, although negative N balances can occur under high rainfall conditions and on lighter soil types as a result of leaching. The analysis and modeling also showed that some organic cropping systems rely on imported sources of P and K to maintain an adequate balance and large deficits of both nutrients are apparent in stockless systems. Although the K deficits could be addressed through the buffering capacity of minerals, the amount available for crop uptake will depend on the type and amount of minerals present, current cropping and fertilization practices and the climatic environment. A P deficit represents a more fundamental problem for the maintenance of crop yields and the organic sector currently relies on mined sources of P which represents a fundamental conflict with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements organic principles.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
General Practitioner consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) are monitored through several geographically distinct schemes in the UK, providing early warning to government and health services of community circulation and intensity of activity each winter. Following on from the 2009 pandemic, there has been a harmonization initiative to allow comparison across the distinct existing surveillance schemes each season. The moving epidemic method (MEM), proposed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for standardizing reporting of ILI rates, was piloted in 2011/12 and 2012/13 along with the previously proposed UK method of empirical percentiles. The MEM resulted in thresholds that were lower than traditional thresholds but more appropriate as indicators of the start of influenza virus circulation. The intensity of the influenza season assessed with the MEM was similar to that reported through the percentile approach. The MEM pre-epidemic threshold has now been adopted for reporting by each country of the UK. Further work will continue to assess intensity of activity and apply standardized methods to other influenza-related data sources.
We discuss the universality and self-similarity of void density profiles, for voids in realistic mock luminous red galaxy (LRG) catalogues from the Jubilee simulation, as well as in void catalogues constructed from the SDSS LRG and Main Galaxy samples. Voids are identified using a modified version of the ZOBOV watershed transform algorithm, with additional selection cuts. We find that voids in simulation are self-similar, meaning that their average rescaled profile does not depend on the void size, or – within the range of the simulated catalogue – on the redshift. Comparison of the profiles obtained from simulated and real voids shows an excellent match. The profiles of real voids also show a universal behaviour over a wide range of galaxy luminosities, number densities and redshifts. This points to a fundamental property of the voids found by the watershed algorithm, which can be exploited in future studies of voids.
We examine the stacked integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) imprints on the CMB along the lines of sight of voids and superclusters in galaxy surveys, using the Jubilee ISW simulation and mock luminous red galaxy (LRG) catalogues. We show that the expected signal in the concordance \Lam CDM model is much smaller than the primary anisotropies arising at the last scattering surface and therefore any currently claimed detections of such an imprint cannot be caused by the ISW effect in \Lam CDM. We look for the existence of such a signal in the Planck CMB using a catalogue of voids and superclusters from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), but find a result completely consistent with \Lam CDM – i.e., a null detection.
The current study investigated the coupling of groundwater and surface water nitrogen (N) dynamics over 3 years, and considered intensive agricultural land-management influences over this period where the risk of N loss to water was considered high. Groundwater N (as nitrate) was monitored monthly in different strata and zones in four hillslopes, two in each of two agricultural catchments of c. 10 km2, and stream water N flux was monitored sub-hourly in the catchment outlets. Field nutrient sources were connected to surface water via groundwater; the groundwater along hillslopes was seen to be influenced spatially and temporally by management, geology and weather as observed in the concentration variability of nitrate in groundwater. Based on spatio-temporal averages of nitrate-N concentration, groundwater status was considered good (at least below a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 11·3 mg/l). However, zones coincident with land-use change (ploughing and reseeding, typical of a management event in intensive landscapes), showed high spatio-temporal variability in nitrate-N concentration, exceeding the MAC temporarily, before recovering. This spatio-temporal variability highlighted the need for insight into these differences when interpreting groundwater quality data from a limited number of basin-scale sampling points and occasions. In both catchments the 3-year mean nitrate-N concentration in stream water was similar to the spatio-temporal mean concentration in groundwater. The magnitude and variability of loads, however, were more related to changes in annual runoff rather than changes in annual groundwater nitrate-N status. In one wet year, nitrate-N loads exceeded 48 kg/ha from an Arable catchment and 45 kg/ha from a grassland catchment (close to double the loss in a dry year).
Nitrification inhibitors are used in agriculture for the purpose of decreasing nitrogen (N) losses, by limiting the microbially mediated oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3−). Successful inhibition of nitrification has been shown in numerous studies, but the extent to which inhibitors affect other N transformations in soil is largely unknown. In the present study, cattle slurry was applied to microcosms of three different grassland soils, with or without the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD). A solution containing NH4+ and NO3−, labelled with 15N either on the NH4+ or the NO3− part, was mixed with the slurry before application. Gross N transformation rates were estimated using a 15N tracing model. In all three soils, DCD significantly inhibited gross autotrophic nitrification, by 79–90%. Gross mineralization of recalcitrant organic N increased significantly with DCD addition in two soils, whereas gross heterotrophic nitrification from the same pool decreased with DCD addition in two soils. Fungal to bacterial ratios were not significantly affected by DCD addition. Total gross mineralization and immobilization increased significantly across the three soils when DCD was used, which suggests that DCD can cause non-target effects on soil N mineralization–immobilization turnover.
This study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the associations among parental guilt induction (a form of psychological control), youth cognitive style, and youth internalizing symptoms, with parents and youth participating in a randomized controlled trial of a family-based group cognitive–behavioral preventive intervention targeting families with a history of caregiver depression. The authors present separate models utilizing parent report and youth report of internalizing symptoms. Findings suggest that families in the active condition (family-based group cognitive–behavioral group) relative to the comparison condition showed a significant decline in parent use of guilt induction at the conclusion of the intervention (6 months postbaseline). Furthermore, reductions in parental guilt induction at 6 months were associated with significantly lower levels of youth negative cognitive style at 12 months. Finally, reductions in parental use of guilt induction were associated with lower youth internalizing symptoms 1 year following the conclusion of the intervention (18 months postbaseline).
Many studies have shown the efficacy of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) in reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nitrate (NO3−) leaching. However, there is no information on the effect of DCD on gross soil N transformations under field conditions, which is key information if it is to be used as a mitigation strategy to reduce N losses. The current field study was conducted to determine the effect of DCD on ten gross nitrogen (N) transformations in soil following cattle slurry (CS) application to grassland in Northern Ireland on three occasions (June 2010, October 2010 and March 2011).
Ammonium (NH4+) oxidation (ONH4) was the dominant process in total NO3− production (ONH4+ONrec (oxidation of recalcitrant organic N to NO3−)) following CS application, accounting for 0·894–0·949. Dicyandiamide inhibited total NO3− production from CS by 0·781, 0·696 and 0·807 in June 2010, October 2010 and March 2011, respectively. The lower inhibition level in October 2010 was thought to be due to the higher rainfall and soil moisture content in that month compared to the other application times. As DCD strongly inhibited NH4+ oxidation following CS application, it also decreased the rate of total NO3− consumption, since less NO3− was formed. The rates of mineralization from recalcitrant organic-N (MNrec) were higher than from labile organic-N (MNlab) on all occasions. The DCD significantly increased total mineralization (MNrec+MNlab) following CS application in June 2010 and March 2011, but had no significant effect in October 2010. In contrast, the rate of immobilization of labile organic-N (INH4_Nlab) was higher than from recalcitrant organic-N (INH4_Nrec) on all occasions, accounting for 0·878–0·976 of total NH4+ immobilization from CS. The DCD significantly increased total immobilization (INH4_Nrec+INH4_Nlab) when CS was applied in June 2010, but had no significant effect at other times of the year.
Dicyandiamide was shown to be a highly effective inhibitor of ammonium oxidation at this grassland site. Although there was evidence that it increased both NH4+ mineralization and immobilization following CS application, its effect on these processes was inconsistent. Further work is required to understand the reason for these inconsistent effects: future improvements in 15N tracer models may help.
To demonstrate that Blu-tack is equally effective at attenuating sound as over-the-counter ear plugs.
Nineteen healthy volunteers had their hearing thresholds assessed before and after the insertion of over-the-counter ear plugs. The results were compared with hearing thresholds following the insertion of Blu-tack. Thresholds were tested at: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 kHz. The differences were compared, and p values of less than 0.02 were regarded as significant. Using a visual analogue scale, volunteers were asked to assess the comfort and ease of insertion of the ear plugs and Blu-tack, and their peace of mind whilst using the ear plugs and Blu-tack.
Blu-tack was less effective at attenuating sound at low frequencies, but was as effective as over-the-counter ear plugs at attenuating sound above 3 kHz. Blu-tack was significantly more comfortable to wear (p = 0.006). There was no difference in terms of ease of insertion and peace of mind.
Blu-tack can be regarded as a comfortable alternative to over-the-counter ear plugs for the attenuation of everyday sound.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).