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With the growing human population, and their improving wealth, it is predicted that there will be significant increases in demand for livestock products (mainly meat and milk). Recent years have demonstrated that the growth in livestock production has generally had significant impacts on wildlife worldwide; and these are, usually, negative. Here I review the interactions between livestock and wildlife and assess the mechanisms through which these interactions occur. The review is framed within the context of the socio-ecological system whereby people are as much a part of the interaction between livestock and wildlife as the animal species themselves. I highlight areas of interaction that are mediated through effects on the forage supply (vegetation) – neutral, positive and negative – however, the review broadly analyses the impacts of livestock production activities. The evidence suggests that it is not the interaction between the species themselves but the ancillary activities associated with livestock production (e.g. land use change, removal of predators, provision of water points) that are the major factors affecting the outcome for wildlife. So in future, there are two key issues that need to be addressed – first, we need to intensify livestock production in areas of ‘intensive’ livestock production in order to reduce the pressure for land use change to meet the demand for meat (land sparing). And second, if wildlife is to survive in areas where livestock production dominates, it will have to be the people part of the socio-ecological system that sees the benefits of having wildlife co-exist with livestock on farming lands (land sharing and win-win).
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
Sugarcane is an important forage resource in sub-tropical and tropical areas as it is used during the winter or dry season when the growth rate of pastures is significantly reduced. The current research study assessed the effect of four vertical sections of sugarcane in a pen trial and the level of sugarcane utilization in a grazing trial on the ingestive behaviour and forage intake of two age groups of steers (1 and 2 years old). The pen trial was comprised of two simultaneous 4 × 4 balanced Latin square designs (one for each age group of animals) of four periods, four animals and four feeding treatments, which consisted of four equal vertical sections of sugarcane. Dry matter (DM) and digestible DM (DDM) intake per kilogram of metabolic weight declined gradually from top to bottom of the sugarcane, with no significant differences between the age groups of steers. This difference in intake was associated with a decline in intake of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) as a proportion of the liveweight of the animal and an increase of total chewing time per kilogram of DM or NDF from top to bottom of the sugarcane. It was concluded that the toughness of plant material played a significant role regulating intake, which was higher for the top sections of sugarcane. In the grazing trial, steers of both age groups grazed down sugarcane in three plots over 9 days. Steers grazed up to four distinctive grazing strata. Digestible DM intake (DDM intake) was high at low levels of horizontal utilization of the top grazing stratum but DDM intake started to decline sharply when this stratum was removed in 0·92 of paddock area (i.e. equivalent to 0·08 of the pasture area remaining un-grazed). It was concluded that the proportion of un-grazed area of the pasture can be used as a grazing management strategy to control forage intake for sugarcane.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
The relic “the sack of Saint Francesco” has for the first time been investigated by scientific means. The sack is kept at the Franciscan Friary of Folloni near Montella in southern Italy. According to legend, the sack appeared on the doorstep of the Friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from St Francesco (St Francis of Assisi), who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel. We analyzed samples of the sack to obtain a radiocarbon (14C) date and to search for any remaining traces of bread. The 14C date yielded a calibrated age range of AD 1220–1295 (2σ), which places the textile in the right timeframe according to the legend. Chemical analysis by gas-chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS) revealed the presence of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3b-ol), a known biomarker of brewing, baking, or agriculture. In this paper we have further substantiated the validity of ergosterol as a biomarker for the past presence of bread. It appears that there is a fine correspondence between the Franciscan legend and the two most decisive scientific methods relevant for analyzing the sack. Although it is not proof, our analysis shows that the sack indeed could be authentic.
Multi-functionalization of catalytically-active nanomaterials provides a valuable tool for enhancing reaction yield by shifting reaction equilibrium, and potentially also by adjusting reaction-diffusion kinetics. For example, multi-functionalization of mesoporous silica to make the interior pore surface hydrophobic can enhance yield in dehydration reactions. Detailed molecular-level modeling to describe the pore environment, as well as the reaction and diffusion kinetics is challenging, although we briefly discuss current strategies. Our focus, however, is on coarse-grained stochastic modeling of the overall catalytic process for highly restricted transport within narrow pores (with single-file diffusion), while accounting for a tunable interaction of the pore interior with reaction products. We show that making the pore interior unfavorable to products can significantly enhance yield due to both thermodynamic and kinetics factors.
In the last decades many techniques have been proposed to manufacture thin (<50µm) silicon solar cells. The main issues in manufacturing thin solar cells are the unavailability of a reliable method to produce thin silicon foils with contained material losses (kerf-losses) and the difficulties in handling and processing such fragile foils. A way to solve both issues is to grow an epitaxial foil on top of a weak sintered porous silicon layer. The porous silicon layer is formed by electrochemical etching on a thick silicon substrate and then annealed to close the top surface. This surface is employed as seed layer for the epitaxial growth of a silicon layer which can be partially processed while attached on the substrate that provides mechanical support. Afterward, the foil can be bonded on glass, detached and further processed at module level. The efficiency of the final solar cell will depend on the quality of the epitaxial layer which, in turn, depends on the seed layer smoothness.
Several parameters can be adjusted to change the morphology and, hence, the properties of the porous layer, both in the porous silicon formation and the succeeding thermal treatment. This work focuses on the effect of the parameters that control the porous silicon formation on the structure of the porous silicon layer after annealing and, more specifically, on the roughness of the top surface. The reported analysis shows how the roughness of the seed layer can be reduced to improve the quality of the epitaxial growth.
Northern Appalachian Basin deposits and associated fossils have served as exemplars for ecological-evolutionary investigations, and as the reference interval for the concept of coordinated stasis. Here, we examine faunal and environmental changes within the uppermost Hamilton and lowermost Genesee Groups of the late Middle Devonian succession of New York State. Dramatic diversity loss, faunal migrations, and ecological restructuring recognized in these strata have been used previously to define the end of the Hamilton ecological-evolutionary subunit, and, furthermore, these strata and corresponding faunal changes represent the type region for the global Taghanic Biocrisis. We present and analyze a new, high-resolution data set of post-Taghanic Genesee fossil assemblages, in which we recognize 11 biofacies corresponding to an onshore-offshore (depth) gradient. The Genesee Fauna shows an unexpectedly high taxonomic similarity to nearshore biofacies of the pre-Taghanic Hamilton Fauna, related to the persistence of siliciclastic-dominated nearshore settings through the Taghanic Biocrisis, whereas the onset of anoxic/dysoxic conditions typified offshore portions of the environmental gradient. The “Nearshore Refugium Model” of Erwin offers a possible explanation for the persistence of taxa through the biocrisis in nearshore settings. This constriction was followed by subsequent expansion of these residual taxa to offshore environments in relatively similar associations, as increased Acadian orogenic activity and resultant delta progradation increased habitable space offshore by decreasing the extent of deeper-water, oxygen-poor settings. Although taxonomic similarity was high between the Hamilton and Genesee Faunas, biofacies structure differed primarily because of tectonically driven physical transformations to the basin and associated biotic turnover. Nevertheless, the combination of high taxonomic persistence of Hamilton nearshore taxa and the introduction of relatively few new taxa in the Genesee Fauna resulted in a taxonomic holdover that was much higher than observed in the original formulation of coordinated stasis.
This Summary for Policymakers presents key findings from the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX). The SREX approaches the topic by assessing the scientific literature on issues that range from the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events (‘climate extremes’) to the implications of these events for society and sustainable development. The assessment concerns the interaction of climatic, environmental, and human factors that can lead to impacts and disasters, options for managing the risks posed by impacts and disasters, and the important role that non-climatic factors play in determining impacts. Box SPM.1 defines concepts central to the SREX.
The character and severity of impacts from climate extremes depend not only on the extremes themselves but also on exposure and vulnerability. In this report, adverse impacts are considered disasters when they produce widespread damage and cause severe alterations in the normal functioning of communities or societies. Climate extremes, exposure, and vulnerability are influenced by a wide range of factors, including anthropogenic climate change, natural climate variability, and socioeconomic development (Figure SPM.1). Disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change focus on reducing exposure and vulnerability and increasing resilience to the potential adverse impacts of climate extremes, even though risks cannot fully be eliminated (Figure SPM.2). Although mitigation of climate change is not the focus of this report, adaptation and mitigation can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change. [SYR AR4, 5.3]
Internal gravity waves are excited at the interface of convection and radiation zones of a solar-type star, by the tidal forcing of a short-period planet. The fate of these waves as they approach the centre of the star depends on their amplitude. We discuss the results of numerical simulations of these waves approaching the centre of a star, and the resulting evolution of the spin of the central regions of the star and the orbit of the planet. If the waves break, we find efficient tidal dissipation, which is not present if the waves perfectly reflect from the centre. This highlights an important amplitude dependence of the (stellar) tidal quality factor Q′, which has implications for the survival of planets on short-period orbits around solar-type stars, with radiative cores.
The spatial heterogeneity of grasslands determines the abundance and quality of food resources for grazing animals. As plants mature, they increase in mass, which allows greater instantaneous intake rates, but the cell wall concentrations increase too, reducing diet quality. In ruminants, daily intake rates are often constrained by the time needed for the ingesta to pass through the rumen, which is influenced by the rate of digestion. It has been suggested that the digestive constraint should have much less effect on hindgut fermenters such as equids. Horses play an increasing role in the management of grasslands in Europe, but the data on the influence of the heterogeneity of the vegetation on their daily intake and foraging behaviour are sparse. We report here the results of a preliminary study concerning the effects of sward structure on nutrient assimilation and the use of patches of different heights by horses grazing successively a short immature, a tall mature and a heterogeneous pastures (with short and tall swards). Daily nutrient assimilation was higher in the heterogeneous pasture compared to the short (+35%) and the tall (+55%) ones. The digestive constraints may have limited voluntary intake by horses on the tall swards. In the heterogeneous pasture, the mean height used for feeding (6 to 7 cm) by horses was intermediate between the heights used in the short (4 to 5 cm) and tall pastures (22 to 23 cm), and the animals may thus have benefited from both short swards of high quality and tall swards offering a higher instantaneous intake rate.
Psychiatric phenotypes are currently defined according to sets of
descriptive criteria. Although many of these phenotypes are heritable, it
would be useful to know whether any of the various diagnostic categories
in current use identify cases that are particularly helpful for
To use genome-wide genetic association data to explore the relative
genetic utility of seven different descriptive operational diagnostic
categories relevant to bipolar illness within a large UK case–control
bipolar disorder sample.
We analysed our previously published Wellcome Trust Case Control
Consortium (WTCCC) bipolar disorder genome-wide association data-set,
comprising 1868 individuals with bipolar disorder and 2938 controls
genotyped for 276 122 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that met
stringent criteria for genotype quality. For each SNP we performed a test
of association (bipolar disorder group v. control group) and used the
number of associated independent SNPs statistically significant at
P<0.00001 as a metric for the overall genetic
signal in the sample. We next compared this metric with that obtained
using each of seven diagnostic subsets of the group with bipolar
disorder: Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC): bipolar I disorder; manic
disorder; bipolar II disorder; schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type;
DSM–IV: bipolar I disorder; bipolar II disorder; schizoaffective
disorder, bipolar type.
The RDC schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type (v.
controls) stood out from the other diagnostic subsets as having a
significant excess of independent association signals
(P<0.003) compared with that expected in samples of
the same size selected randomly from the total bipolar disorder group
data-set. The strongest association in this subset of participants with
bipolar disorder was at rs4818065 (P = 2.42 ×
10–7). Biological systems implicated included gamma
amniobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors. Genes having at least one
associated polymorphism at P<10–4 included
B3GALTS, A2BP1, GABRB1, AUTS2, BSN, PTPRG, GIRK2 and
Our findings show that individuals with broadly defined bipolar
schizoaffective features have either a particularly strong genetic
contribution or that, as a group, are genetically more homogeneous than
the other phenotypes tested. The results point to the importance of using
diagnostic approaches that recognise this group of individuals. Our
approach can be applied to similar data-sets for other psychiatric and
Tidal friction is thought to be important in determining the long-term spin-orbit evolution of short-period extrasolar planetary systems. Using a simple model of the orbit-averaged effects of tidal friction (Eggleton et al. 1998), we analyse the effects of the inclusion of stellar magnetic braking on the evolution of such systems. A phase-plane analysis of a simplified system of equations, including only the stellar tide together with a model of the braking torque proposed by Verbunt & Zwaan (1981), is presented. The inclusion of stellar magnetic braking is found to be extremely important in determining the secular evolution of such systems, and its neglect results in a very different orbital history. We then show the results of numerical integrations of the full tidal evolution equations, using the misaligned spin and orbit of the XO-3 system as an example, to study the accuracy of simple timescale estimates of tidal evolution. We find that it is essential to consider coupled evolution of the orbit and the stellar spin in order to model the behaviour accurately. In addition, we find that for typical Hot Jupiters the stellar spin-orbit alignment timescale is of the same order as the inspiral time, which tells us that if a planet is observed to be aligned, then it probably formed coplanar. This reinforces the importance of Rossiter-McLaughlin effect observations in determining the degree of spin-orbit alignment in transiting systems.
Food intake is a key biological process in animals, as it determines the energy and nutrients available for the physiological and behavioural processes. In herbivores, the abundance, structure and quality of plant resources are known to influence intake strongly. In ruminants, as the forage quality declines, digestibility and total intake decline. Equids are believed to be adapted to consume high-fibre low-quality forages. As hindgut fermenters, it has been suggested that their response to a reduction in food quality is to increase intake to maintain rates of energy and nutrient absorption. All reviews of horse nutrition show that digestibility declines with forage quality; for intake, however, most studies have found no significant relationship with forage quality, and it has even been suggested that horses may eat less with declining forage quality similarly to ruminants. A weakness of these reviews is to combine data from different studies in meta-analyses without allowing the differences between animals and diets to be controlled for. In this study, we analysed a set of 45 trials where intake and digestibility were measured in 21 saddle horses. The dataset was analysed both at the group (to allow comparisons with the literature) and at the individual levels (to control for individual variability). As expected, dry matter digestibility declined with forage quality in both analyses. Intake declined slightly with increasing fibre contents at the group level, and there were no effects of crude protein or dry matter digestibility on intake. Overall, the analysis for individual horses showed a different pattern: intake increased as digestibility and crude protein declined, and increased with increasing fibre. Our analysis at the group level confirms previous reviews and shows that forage quality explains little of the variance in food intake in horses. For the first time, using mixed models, we show that the variable ‘individual’ clarifies the picture, as the horses showed different responses to a decrease in forage quality: some compensated for the low nutritional value of the forages by increasing intake, few others responded by decreasing intake with declining forage quality, but not enough to cause any deficit in their energy and protein supplies. On the whole, all the animals managed to meet their maintenance requirements. The individual variability may be a by-product of artificial selection for performance in competition in saddle horses.