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The status of Asian populations of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra is largely unknown. Since its designation as a Natural Monument (in 1983) and as Endangered (in 1997) in South Korea the authorities there have been trying to conserve and recover the species. We conducted a national otter survey by standard methods in 2017 and compared the current otter distribution to those recorded in a previous survey (2010). We found otter signs in 84.5% of 1,105 10 × 10 km grid cells, with the highest sprainting intensity in the south-west in the Yeongsan River Basin and on the south coast, where we recorded 7.05 and 6.26 spraints/site, respectively. Despite relatively low spraint densities, the otter has expanded its range since 2010 by colonizing urban areas. This trend suggests that South Korea could be a source area for the recovery of the Eurasian otter in East Asia.
Pollinator declines coupled with increasing demand for insect pollinated crops have the potential to cause future pollinator shortages for our most nutritious and valuable crops. Ensuring adequate crop pollination may necessitate a shift in pollination management, from one that primarily relies on the managed European honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) to one that integrates alternative pollinators. While a growing body of scientific evidence supports significant contributions made by naturally occurring, native bees for crop pollination, translating research to practice requires buy-in from growers. The intention of agricultural extension is to address grower needs and concerns; however, few studies have assessed grower knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about native pollinators. Here we present findings from questionnaire-based surveys of over 600 apple growers in New York State and Pennsylvania, coupled with ecological data from bee surveys. This hybrid sociological and biological survey allows us to compare grower knowledge and perceptions to an actual pollinator census. While up to 93% of respondents highly valued importance of native bees, 20% growers did not know how much native bees actually contribute to their orchard pollination. Despite the uncertainty, a majority of growers were open to relying on native bees (up to 60% in NY and 67% in PA) and to making low-cost changes to their farm's management that would benefit native pollinators (up to 68 in NY and 85% in PA). Growers consistently underestimated bee diversity, but their estimates corresponded to major bee groups identifiable by lay persons, indicating accurate local knowledge about native bees. Grower reliance on honeybees increased with farm size; because native bee abundance did not measurably decrease with farm size, renting honeybees may be motivated by risk avoidance rather than grower perception of lower native bee activity. Demonstrated effectiveness of native pollinators and clear guidelines for their management were the most important factors influencing grower decision to actively manage orchards for native bees. Our results highlight a pressing need for an active and research-based extension program to support diversification of pollination strategies in the region.
The emergence of a drive to reduce restrictive interventions has been accompanied particularly in the UK by a debate focussing on restraint positions. Any restraint intervention delivered poorly can potentially lead to serious negative outcomes. More research is required to reliably state the risk attached to a particular position in a particular clinical circumstance.
Declaration of interest
F.S. is a consultant psychiatrist in Psychiatric Intensive Care at the Maudsley Hospital, London. He is on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care and Low Secure Units, and was a member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guideline Development Group for the Short-Term Management of Aggression and Violence (2015). J.P. is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University. E.B. is a consultant and expert witness in violence reduction and the use of physical interventions, independent expert to the High Secure Hospitals Violence Reduction Manual Steering Group and a member of the College of Policing Guideline Committee Steering Group and Mental Health Restraint Expert Reference Group. B.P. is the clinical director for Crisis and Aggression Limitation and Management (CALM) Training and formerly a senior lecturer for the Faculty of Health, University of Stirling. He is a nurse and psychotherapist and presently chairs the European Network for Training in the Management of Aggression. A.O'B. is a consultant psychiatrist, the Director of Educational Programmes for the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care and Low Secure Units, and the Dean for Students at St George's University of London.
The distribution of molecular markers in sediments provides a reservoir of unique information concerning biogeochemical processes in the geological past, and how these processes respond to environmental change. However, sedimentary systems themselves are biologically dynamic and these markers, and their precursors, have been subjected to bacterial degradation and modification. Recent research indicates that key changes in sedimented organic matter take place during the earliest stages of sediment burial and diagenesis where bacterial activity is also intense. Hence, effective interpretation of the distribution of biomarkers from deep sediment layers and sedimentary rocks requires knowledge of the rates and processes of bacterial decomposition under a range of environmental conditions.
Algae are important primary producers in the marine environment. The prymnesiophyte alga Emiliania huxleyi was selected as a subject for study as it is a source of long chain ketones which are geochemically important biomarkers. The ratio of the ketones C37:2 to C37:3 is temperature sensitive and has been used as a palaeotemperature indicator (UK37).
Preliminary sediment slurry incubations were carried out to optimize experimental design (concentration of decay organism, concentration of sediment in slurry, ability to obtain defined microbial environments over long term incubations, aerobic and anaerobic), and quantitative analytical scheme (extraction and separation technique, type and concentration of internal standards). Subsequent experiments on aerobic bacterial degradation of E. huxleyi demonstrated rapid increase in bacterial activity and biomass. This was accompanied by major changes in lipid classes. The dominant aliphatic hydrocarbons, three isomers of nC31:2, were rapidly degraded and completely removed by 78 days. In contrast, in preliminary anaerobic incubations, the same compounds remained unchanged. By 78 days a significant reduction in the total algal sterols was accompanied by a small increase in total stanols; hence the cholestanol/cholesterol ratio increased markedly. The abundance of the long chain unsaturated ketone C37:3 decreased relative to C37:2 resulting in an increase in the UK37 ratio. The reasons for these changes are unclear. However, they indicate that bacterial degradation may have to be taken into account in the interpretation of UK37 ratios in terms of paleotemperatures.
Further experiments are in progress to clarify the interpretation of these results and provide information on the more recalcitrant biomarkers.
Neuroticism, a ‘Big Five’ personality trait, has been associated with sub-clinical traits of both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of the current study was to examine whether causal overlap between ASD and ADHD traits can be accounted for by genetic and environmental risk factors that are shared with neuroticism. We performed twin-based structural equation modeling using self-report data from 12 items of the Neo Five-Factor Inventory Neuroticism domain, 11 Social Responsiveness Scale items, and 12 Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale items obtained from 3,170 young adult Australian individual twins (1,081 complete pairs). Univariate analysis for neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits suggested that the most parsimonious models were those with additive genetic and unique environmental components, without sex limitation effects. Heritability of neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, as measured by these methods, was moderate (between 40% and 45% for each respective trait). In a trivariate model, we observed moderate phenotypic (between 0.45 and 0.62), genetic (between 0.56 and 0.71), and unique environmental correlations (between 0.37and 0.55) among neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, with the highest value for the shared genetic influence between neuroticism and self-reported ASD traits (rg = 0.71). Together, our results suggest that in young adults, genetic, and unique environmental risk factors indexed by neuroticism overlap with those that are shared by ASD and ADHD.
Since the AD 775 and AD 994 Δ14C peak (henceforth M12) was first measured by Miyake et al. (2012, 2013), several possible production mechanisms for these spike have been suggested, but the work of Mekhaldi et al. (2015) shows that a very soft energy spectrum was involved, implying that a strong solar energetic particle (SEP) event (or series of events) was responsible. Here we present Δ14C values from AD 721–820 Sequoiadendron giganteum annual tree-ring samples from Sequoia National Park in California, USA, together with Δ14C in German oak from 650–670 BC. The AD 721–820 measurements confirm that a sharp Δ14C peak exists at AD 775, with a peak height of approximately 15‰ and show that this spike was preceded by several decades of rapidly decreasing Δ14C. A sharp peak is also present at 660 BC, with a peak height of about 10‰, and published data (Reimer et al. 2013) indicate that it too was preceded by a multi-decadal Δ14C decrease, suggesting that solar activity was very strong just prior to both Δ14C peaks and may be causally related. During periods of strong solar activity there is increased probability for coronal mass ejection (CME) events that can subject the Earth’s atmosphere to high fluencies of solar energetic particles (SEPs). Periods of high solar activity (such as one in October–November 2003) can also often include many large, fast CMEs increasing the probability of geomagnetic storms. In this paper we suggest that the combination of large SEP events and elevated geomagnetic activity can lead to enhanced production of 14C and other cosmogenic isotopes by increasing the area of the atmosphere that is irradiated by high solar energetic particles.
Host–parasite associations are complex interactions dependent on aspects of hosts (e.g. traits, phylogeny or coevolutionary history), parasites (e.g. traits and parasite interactions) and geography (e.g. latitude). Predicting the permissive host set or the subset of the host community that a parasite can infect is a central goal of parasite ecology. Here we develop models that accurately predict the permissive host set of 562 helminth parasites in five different parasite taxonomic groups. We developed predictive models using host traits, host taxonomy, geographic covariates, and parasite community composition, finding that models trained on parasite community variables were more accurate than any other covariate group, even though parasite community covariates only captured a quarter of the variance in parasite community composition. This suggests that it is possible to predict the permissive host set for a given parasite, and that parasite community structure is an important predictor, potentially because parasite communities are interacting non-random assemblages.
We report the discovery of pulsed X-ray emission from the compact object CXOU J112439.1-591620 within the Galactic supernova remnant G292.0+1.8 using the High Resolution Camera on the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The X-ray period is consistent with the extrapolation of the radio period and spindown rate of PSR J1124−5916. The X-ray pulse is single peaked and broad. There is no optical counterpart to a limit of MV ∼ 26. The pressure in the pulsar wind nebula is considerably less than that in the reverse-shock-heated ejecta and circumstellar medium, indicating that the reverse shock has not yet begun to interact with the nebula.
We evaluated the effect of tree genotype on the resistance of balsam fir, Abies balsamea (Linnaeus) Miller (Pinaceae), to damage from the balsam twig aphid, Mindarus abietinus Koch (Hemiptera: Aphididae), by visually assessing aphid damage in clonal seed orchards located in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, during four consecutive years. Estimates of clone mean heritability were moderate, suggesting that heritability of resistance is influenced by genetic factors. In New Brunswick, positive phenotypic and genetic correlations of clone-mean damage among years indicate that clones rank similarly each year. Our results suggest that selectively breeding for increased resistance could result in genetic gains.
To investigate whether socioeconomic status influenced rates of depot medication prescribing, polypharmacy (more than two psychotropic medications), newer (second-generation) antipsychotic prescribing and clozapine therapy. Postcodes, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) categories and current medication status were ascertained. Patients in the most deprived SIMD groups (8–10 combined) were compared with those in the most affluent SIMD groups (1–3 combined).
Overall, 3200 patients with ICD-10 schizophrenia were identified. No clear relationship between socioeconomic status and any of the four prescribing areas was identified, although rates of depot medication use in deprived areas were slightly higher.
Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no evidence that patients with schizophrenia within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde who live in more deprived communities had different prescribing experiences from patients living in more affluent areas.