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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
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.
In a search for very high density (n ≳ 107 cm−3) regions, the Millimeter Wave Observatory 5-m telescope was used to observe several submillimeter lines. The regions studied were Orion A, M17, S140, and NGC2024. The lines were CS(J=7-6), H2CO(JK-1K1=515→414), and HCN(J=4-3). These data are combined with data at millimeter wavelengths to derive the volume density and the results are compared to those deduced from millimeter lines alone (Snell et al. 1984). In NGC2024, higher densities (≳ 107 cm−3) are clearly indicated by the sub-mm lines than were derived by Snell et al. In M17, derived densities are also higher, but uncertainties overlap the Snell et al. solutions. The range of densities derived from CS and HCN are consistent. The sub-millimeter lines of these species appear to be good probes of the highest densities present in regions of active star formation.
Remote sensing has revolutionized procedures for locating buried features at archaeological sites in eastern North America. However, the potential of instruments such as gradiometers to shape innovative research in ways that move beyond survey and testing is not always realized in practice. At the Mississippian site of Moundville, Alabama, we conducted a landscape-scale geophysical survey to serve as the guiding method of community settlement analysis. First, we mapped the distribution of magnetic anomalies across the site. Next, we defined the variability of anomalies and selected a sample for test excavations to correlate specific anomaly shapes and amplitudes with specific cultural features. Once confirmed as cultural features, we extrapolated sample results to identify unexcavated anomalies as specific building forms and other features with a higher degree of probability than would have been possible without confirmation by test excavation. Results include the identification and mapping of over 450 unexcavated probable buildings, nearly five times the number previously discovered in decades of traditional excavation. Because the buried probable buildings have different forms, sizes, distributions, and chronological spans, the interpreted gradiometer map is transformed through interpretation from a static palimpsest of anomalies to a picture of changing community settlement organization.
The vertebrate record at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (ZRFS) near Snowmass Village, Colorado ranges from ~140 to 77 ka, spanning all of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. The site contains at least 52 taxa of macro- and microvertebrates, including one fish, three amphibian, four reptile, ten bird, and 34 mammal taxa. The most common vertebrate is Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander), which is represented by >22,000 elements representing the entire life cycle. The mastodon, Mammut americanum, is the most common mammal, and is documented by >1800 skeletal elements making the ZRFS one of the largest accumulations of proboscidean remains in North America. Faunas at the ZRFS can be divided into two groups, a lake-margin group dating to ~140–100 ka that is dominated by woodland taxa, and a lake-center group dating to ~87–77 ka characterized by taxa favoring more open conditions. The change in faunal assemblages occurred between MIS 5c and 5a (vertebrates were absent from MIS 5b deposits), which were times of significant environmental change at the ZRFS. Furthermore, the ZRFS provides a well-dated occurrence of the extinct Bison latifrons, which has implications for the timing of the Rancholabrean Mammal Age in the region.
Predictions of weed emergence can be used by practitioners to schedule POST weed management operations. Common sunflower seed from Kansas was used at six Midwestern U.S. sites to examine the variability that 16 climates had on common sunflower emergence. Nonlinear mixed effects models, using a flexible sigmoidal Weibull function that included thermal time, hydrothermal time, and a modified hydrothermal time (with accumulation starting from January 1 of each year), were developed to describe the emergence data. An iterative method was used to select an optimal base temperature (Tb) and base and ceiling soil matric potentials (ψb and ψc) that resulted in a best-fit regional model. The most parsimonious model, based on Akaike's information criterion (AIC), resulted when Tb = 4.4 C, and ψb = −20000 kPa. Deviations among model fits for individual site years indicated a negative relationship (r = −0.75; P < 0.001) between the duration of seedling emergence and growing degree days (Tb = 10 C) from October (fall planting) to March. Thus, seeds exposed to warmer conditions from fall burial to spring emergence had longer emergence periods.
Knowledge of environmental factors influencing demography of weed species will improve understanding of current and future weed invasions. The objective of this study was to quantify regional-scale variation in vital rates of giant ragweed and common sunflower. To accomplish this objective, a common field experiment was conducted across seven sites between 2006 and 2008 throughout the north central U.S. maize belt. Demographic parameters of both weed species were measured in intra- and interspecific competitive environments, and environmental data were collected within site-years. Site was the strongest predictor of belowground vital rates (summer and winter seed survival and seedling recruitment), indicating sensitivity to local abiotic conditions. However, biotic factors influenced aboveground vital rates (seedling survival and fecundity). Partial least squares regression (PLSR) indicated that demography of both species was most strongly influenced by thermal time and precipitation. The first PLSR components, both characterized by thermal time, explained 63.2% and 77.0% of variation in the demography of giant ragweed and common sunflower, respectively; the second PLSR components, both characterized by precipitation, explained 18.3% and 8.5% of variation, respectively. The influence of temperature and precipitation is important in understanding the population dynamics and potential distribution of these species in response to climate change.