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Functional ecology is the branch of ecology that focuses on various functions that species play in the community or ecosystem in which they occur. This accessible guide offers the main concepts and tools in trait-based ecology, and their tricks, covering different trophic levels and organism types. It is designed for students, researchers and practitioners who wish to get a handy synthesis of existing concepts, tools and trends in trait-based ecology, and wish to apply it to their own field of interest. Where relevant, exercises specifically designed to be run in R are included, along with accompanying on-line resources including solutions for exercises and R functions, and updates reflecting current developments in this fast-changing field. Based on more than a decade of teaching experience, the authors developed and improved the way theoretical aspects and analytical tools of trait-based ecology are introduced and explained to readers.
Arctic mining has a bad reputation because the extractive industry is often responsible for a suite of environmental problems. Yet, few studies explore the gap between untouched tundra and messy megaproject from a historical perspective. Our paper focuses on Advent City as a case study of the emergence of coal mining in Svalbard (Norway) coupled with the onset of mining-related environmental change. After short but intensive human activity (1904–1908), the ecosystem had a century to respond, and we observe a lasting impact on the flora in particular. With interdisciplinary contributions from historical archaeology, archaeozoology, archaeobotany and botany, supplemented by stable isotope analysis, we examine 1) which human activities initially asserted pressure on the Arctic environment, 2) whether the miners at Advent City were “eco-conscious,” for example whether they showed concern for the environment and 3) how the local ecosystem reacted after mine closure and site abandonment. Among the remains of typical mining infrastructure, we prioritised localities that revealed the subtleties of long-term anthropogenic impact. Significant pressure resulted from landscape modifications, the import of non-native animals and plants, hunting and fowling, and the indiscriminate disposal of waste material. Where it was possible to identify individual inhabitants, these shared an economic attitude of waste not, want not, but they did not hold the environment in high regard. Ground clearances, animal dung and waste dumps continue to have an effect after a hundred years. The anthropogenic interference with the fell field led to habitat creation, especially for vascular plants. The vegetation cover and biodiversity were high, but we recorded no exotic or threatened plant species. Impacted localities generally showed a reduction of the natural patchiness of plant communities, and highly eutrophic conditions were unsuitable for liverworts and lichens. Supplementary isotopic analysis of animal bones added data to the marine reservoir offset in Svalbard underlining the far-reaching potential of our multi-proxy approach. We conclude that although damaging human–environment interactions formerly took place at Advent City, these were limited and primarily left the visual impact of the ruins. The fell field is such a dynamic area that the subtle anthropogenic effects on the local tundra may soon be lost. The fauna and flora may not recover to what they were before the miners arrived, but they will continue to respond to new post-industrial circumstances.
Maternal psychopathology during pregnancy is associated with negative outcomes in offspring. Increased placental transfer of maternal cortisol may contribute to mediate this association. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) appear to be a good biomarker of long-term prenatal stress exposure. Little is known about the associations between severe maternal psychopathology and perinatal infant HCCs.
We assessed HCCs in the perinatal period in mother–infant dyads with and without severe psychiatric disorders.
We examined group differences in HCCs of mother–infant dyads (n = 18) subjected to severe maternal psychiatric disorders versus healthy control dyads (n = 27). We assessed the correlation of HCCs between mother and infant within both groups, and the association between current maternal symptoms and HCCs in patient dyads.
Median (interquartile range) and distribution of HCC differed in patients compared with control mothers (U = 468.5, P = 0.03). HCCs in infants of patients did not differ from control infants (U = 250.0, P = 0.67). Subsequently, we found that HCCs within healthy control dyads were correlated (n = 27, r 0.55 (0.14), P = 0.003), but were not within patient dyads (n = 18, r 0.082 (0.13), P = 0.746). HCCs in infants of patients showed a positive correlation with maternal symptoms (n = 16, r = 0.63 (0.06), P = 0.008).
These preliminary findings suggest that infant HCC reflect perinatal stress exposure. In infants, these early differences could influence lifetime hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning, which might be associated with increased susceptibility to later disease.
The co-occurrence of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic creates complex dilemmas for protecting populations from these intersecting threats. Climate change is likely contributing to stronger, wetter, slower-moving, and more dangerous hurricanes. Climate-driven hazards underscore the imperative for timely warning, evacuation, and sheltering of storm-threatened populations – proven life-saving protective measures that gather evacuees together inside durable, enclosed spaces when a hurricane approaches. Meanwhile, the rapid acquisition of scientific knowledge regarding how COVID-19 spreads has guided mass anti-contagion strategies, including lockdowns, sheltering at home, physical distancing, donning personal protective equipment, conscientious handwashing, and hygiene practices. These life-saving strategies, credited with preventing millions of COVID-19 cases, separate and move people apart. Enforcement coupled with fear of contracting COVID-19 have motivated high levels of adherence to these stringent regulations. How will populations react when warned to shelter from an oncoming Atlantic hurricane while COVID-19 is actively circulating in the community? Emergency managers, health care providers, and public health preparedness professionals must create viable solutions to confront these potential scenarios: elevated rates of hurricane-related injury and mortality among persons who refuse to evacuate due to fear of COVID-19, and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases among hurricane evacuees who shelter together.
We examined associations of urine iodide excretion, proxy for iodine intake, with child development and growth.
This is a secondary analysis of a 1:1 cluster-randomised trial with a 6-month nutrition/stimulation/hygiene education intervention among mothers of children aged 6–8 months to improve child development and growth. Development was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development–III (BSID-III) and Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), whereas anthropometry was used to assess growth. Urine iodide concentration (UIC) and urine iodide/creatinine ratio (ICR) were measured.
The current study was conducted in southern Uganda.
We randomly selected 155 children from the 511 enrolled into the original trial and analysed data when they were aged 20–24 and 36 months.
Median UIC for both study groups at 20–24 and 36 months were similar (P > 0·05) and within the normal range of 100–199 µg/l (0·79–1·60 µmol/l), whereas the intervention group had significantly higher ICR at 20–24 months. The BSID-III cognitive score was positively associated (P = 0·028) with ICR at 20–24 months in the intervention group. The ASQ gross motor score was negatively associated (P = 0·020) with ICR at 20–24 months among the controls. ICR was not significantly associated with anthropometry in the two study groups at either time-point.
Following the intervention, a positive association was noted between ICR and child’s cognitive score at 20–24 months, whereas no positive association with ICR and growth was detected. Iodine sufficiency may be important for child’s cognitive development in this setting.
Psychiatric services providing care for patients and their families confronted with a first psychotic episode need to be sensitive towards patients’ and families’ preferences. Ten patients, ten family members and ten professional caregivers composed a list of 42 preferences in the treatment for a first psychotic episode. In total 99 patients, 100 family members and 263 professional caregivers evaluated these preferences, thus producing an order of priorities. There appears to be considerable agreement among the groups of respondents regarding their top ten priorities, especially concerning information on diagnosis and medication. However, we found important differences between groups of respondents. The results suggest that in psychiatric services great attention should be given to psycho-education and early outpatient intervention.
Diagnostic stability in first-episode psychosis shows a wide variability between studies. Amini and cols reported a 50% rate of patients schizophreniform disorder shifting to schizophrenia during the first 12 months period. We report the preliminary follow-up results of our recently ongoing first- episode psychosis unit.
Forty-six patients admitted for a first-episode psichosis to our Inpatient Psychiatric Unit from January 2006 to January 2008 were recruited. Clinical and socio-demographic characteristics were registered during admission period and during the follow-up period.
At admission 52% of the first-episode subjects had a diagnosis of psychosis NOS and 32% a schizophreniform disorder diagnosis. after discharge, most of the patients (72%) had a diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder, 16% psychosis NOS and 8% brief psychotic disorder. Six months later, half of the followed-up patients had a schizophreniform disorder diagnosis, and 23% had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. 30% of the patients were drop-outs, mainly referred to other out-patient services. Patients shifting to schizophrenia were younger, predominantly male (75% vs 50% in non-schizophrenia shift), had a lower proportion of university studies and presented a longer hospitalization period at admission. No differences in familial history of psychosis and cannabis use were found. after one-year follow-up period, 50% preserved a schizophreniform disorder diagnosis and 30% were diagnosed as schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders have a high stability in first-episode psychosis during first year follow-up. as in previous studies, male gender is one of the factors that best predicts the shift to schizophrenia.
In the Netherlands, seclusion is historically the measure of first choice in dealing with aggressive incidents. In 2010, the Mediant Mental Health Trust in Eastern Netherlands introduced a policy prioritising the use of enforced medication to manage aggressive incidents over seclusion. The main goal of the study was to investigate whether prioritising enforced medication over seclusion leads to a change of aggressive incidents and coercive measures.
The study was carried out with data from 2764 patients admitted between 2007 and 2013 to the hospital locations of the Mediant Mental Health Trust in Eastern Netherlands, with a catchment area of 500,000 inhabitants. Seclusion, restraint and enforced medications as well as other coercive measures were gathered systematically. Aggressive incidents were assessed with the SOAS-R. An event sequence analysis was preformed, to assess the whether seclusion, restraint or enforced medication were used or not before or after aggressive incidents.
Enforced medication use went up by 363% from a very low baseline. There was a marked reduction of overall coercive measures by 44%. Seclusion hours went down by 62%. Aggression against staff or patients was reduced by 40%.
When dealing with aggression, prioritising medication significantly reduces other coercive measures and aggression against staff, while within principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and expediency.
Impairment of insight in psychotic disorder is associated with adverse impact in treatment compliance, outcome and social functioning although its underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Social cognition and more specifically Theory of mind have been proposed to be correlated to insight. However, the relationship between both factors is still not well defined.
To study the association between social cognition and insight into mental illness in individuals with early psychosis included in the first episode of psychosis program of Hospital del Mar.
From the 94 patients included in the first psychotic episode program between January 2011 and January 2016, thirty-eight patients were evaluated six months after the episode. The three initial items of SUMD (Scale Unawareness of Mental Disorder) were used to measure insight and MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) was used to assess social cognition. Linear correlation analysis by Pearson correlation was conducted.
Insight results of SUMD six months after the first episode of psychosis were significantly associated with several subsections of MSCEIT, such as experiential area total punctuation (r = –0.574; P = 0.025), emotional facilitation section (r = –0.633; P = 0.011) and the facial emotion perception task (r = –0.572; P = 0.026).
Results suggest an association between insight and emotional perception and facilitation performance in first episode patients, which may suggest a role of social cognition in psychosis insight impairment. Further research to better define the participation of social cognition in insight into psychosis alteration is mandatory to understand the etiology of insight, define treatment targets and consequently improve the disorder prognosis.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that meat products have digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) >100 and that various processing methods will increase standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) and DIAAS. Nine ileal-cannulated gilts were randomly allotted to a 9 × 8 Youden square design with nine diets and eight 7-d periods. Values for SID of AA and DIAAS for two reference patterns were calculated for salami, bologna, beef jerky, raw ground beef, cooked ground beef and ribeye roast heated to 56, 64 or 72°C. The SID of most AA was not different among salami, bologna, beef jerky and cooked ground beef, but was less (P < 0·05) than the values for raw ground beef. The SID of AA for 56°C ribeye roast was not different from the values for raw ground beef and 72°C ribeye roast, but greater (P < 0·05) than those for 64°C ribeye roast. For older children, adolescents and adults, the DIAAS for all proteins, except cooked ground beef, were >100 and bologna and 64°C ribeye roast had the greatest (P < 0·05) DIAAS. The limiting AA for this age group were sulphur AA (beef jerky), leucine (bologna, raw ground beef and cooked ground beef) and valine (salami and the three ribeye roasts). In conclusion, meat products generally provide high-quality protein with DIAAS >100 regardless of processing. However, overcooking meat may reduce AA digestibility and DIAAS.
Surface melt on the coastal Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) determines the viability of its ice shelves and the stability of the grounded ice sheet, but very few in situ melt rate estimates exist to date. Here we present a benchmark dataset of in situ surface melt rates and energy balance from nine sites in the eastern Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML), East Antarctica, seven of which are located on AIS ice shelves. Meteorological time series from eight automatic and one staffed weather station (Neumayer), ranging in length from 15 months to almost 24 years, serve as input for an energy-balance model to obtain consistent surface melt rates and energy-balance results. We find that surface melt rates exhibit large temporal, spatial and process variability. Intermittent summer melt in coastal DML is primarily driven by absorption of shortwave radiation, while non-summer melt events in the eastern AP occur during föhn events that force a large downward directed turbulent flux of sensible heat. We use the in situ surface melt rate dataset to evaluate melt rates from the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2 and validate a melt product from the QuikSCAT satellite.
Until the past half-century, all agriculture and land management was framed by local institutions strong in social capital. But neoliberal forms of development came to undermine existing structures, thus reducing sustainability and equity. The past 20 years, though, have seen the deliberate establishment of more than 8 million new social groups across the world. This restructuring and growth of rural social capital within specific territories is leading to increased productivity of agricultural and land management systems, with particular benefits for those previously excluded. Further growth would occur with more national and regional policy support.
Introduction: Dietary habits are established from a very young age. Parental role modeling is an important factor influencing the eating behavior of their children. Drinking behavior may have an impact in the development of childhood obesity. This study aimed to explore the correlations of core drinking beverages between parents and their children.
Materials and Methods: The present study included children of 3.5–5.5 years and their parents from the (Multifactorial evidence-based approach using behavioral models in understanding and promoting fun, healthy food, play and policy for the prevention of obesity in early childhood) ToyBox study. The study was a kindergarten-based family-involved intervention, in preschool children from six European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain. For this study, we analyzed data from the baseline cross-sectional survey.
Data on consumption frequency of water, homemade or fresh fruit juice, prepacked fruit juice, light beverages and sugared sweetened beverages consumption from parents and their children was obtained via a validated food frequency questionnaire. Parents were given examples of serving sizes and asked about how to self-report their usual consumption per day or week. Beverage consumption of children was reported by their parents and information about frequency and portion sizes was collected. Body weight and height of children was measured and classified according to the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). Bivariate correlations were performed to analyze beverage consumption (servings per day) in children and their parents.
Results: The studied sample included 5266 pairs of children (49.2% girls) and parents (91.7% women) that were included in the analysis.
Girls presented higher correlations in water (r2 = 0,317) and sugar sweetened beverages (r2 = 0,302), whereas boys, presented slightly higher correlations of light soft drinks (r2 = 0,273), pure fruit juices (r2 = 0,308) and prepacked fruit juices (r2 = 0,324), all of them at < 0.01 level of significance. Considering boys and girls together, a slightly higher significant correlation coefficients were found between children-parents’ dyads with overweight/obesity compared to normal weight children-parentś for sugar sweetened beverages (r2 = 0,303) and light soft drinks (r2 = 0,396).
Discussion: Beverage consumption of children and their parents were found to be moderately correlated. Overweight children seem to have better correlations with their parents in relation of sugar sweetened beverages and light soft drinks. Parents should encourage a healthy beverage consumption for their own health and most important, because there are key role models to their children.
The Melody valve, designed for implantation into the pulmonary outflow tract, can also be used to treat the pathology of atrioventricular (AV) valves. Increasing gradients are seen as an indication for re-dilating the valve. Our case demonstrates the heart rate dependency of the gradient across a Melody implanted in the left AV valve position in an infant. Beta blockers were used to lower both heart rate and gradient.
This article synthesises the results of a large international study on primary care (PC), the QUALICOPC study.
Since the Alma Ata Declaration, strengthening PC has been high on the policy agenda. PC is associated with positive health outcomes, but it is unclear how care processes and structures relate to patient experiences.
Survey data were collected during 2011–2013 from approximately 7000 PC physicians and 70 000 patients in 34, mainly European, countries. The data on the patients are linked to data on the PC physicians within each country and analysed using multilevel modelling.
Patients had more positive experiences when their PC physician provided a broader range of services. However, a broader range of services is also associated with higher rates of hospitalisations for uncontrolled diabetes, but rates of avoidable diabetes-related hospitalisations were lower in countries where patients had a continuous relationship with PC physicians. Additionally, patients with a long-term relationship with their PC physician were less likely to attend the emergency department. Capitation payment was associated with more positive patient experiences. Mono- and multidisciplinary co-location was related to improved processes in PC, but the experiences of patients visiting multidisciplinary practices were less positive. A stronger national PC structure and higher overall health care expenditures are related to more favourable patient experiences for continuity and comprehensiveness. The study also revealed inequities: patients with a migration background reported less positive experiences. People with lower incomes more often postponed PC visits for financial reasons. Comprehensive and accessible care processes are related to less postponement of care.
The study revealed room for improvement related to patient-reported experiences and highlighted the importance of core PC characteristics including a continuous doctor–patient relationship as well as a broad range of services offered by PC physicians.
To describe snacking characteristics and patterns in children and examine associations with diet quality and BMI.
Children’s weight and height were measured. Participants/adult proxies completed multiple 24 h dietary recalls. Snack occasions were self-identified. Snack patterns were derived for each sample using exploratory factor analysis. Associations of snacking characteristics and patterns with Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) score and BMI were examined using multivariable linear regression models.
Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium, USA: NET-Works, GROW, GOALS and IMPACT studies.
Two snack patterns were derived for three studies: a meal-like pattern and a beverage pattern. The IMPACT study had a similar meal-like pattern and a dairy/grains pattern. A positive association was observed between meal-like pattern adherence and HEI-2010 score (P for trend < 0⋅01) and snack occasion frequency and HEI-2010 score (β coefficient (95 % CI): NET-Works, 0⋅14 (0⋅04, 0⋅23); GROW, 0⋅12 (0⋅02, 0⋅21)) among younger children. A preference for snacking while using a screen was inversely associated with HEI-2010 score in all studies except IMPACT (β coefficient (95 % CI): NET-Works, −3⋅15 (−5⋅37, −0⋅92); GROW, −2⋅44 (−4⋅27, −0⋅61); GOALS, −5⋅80 (−8⋅74, −2⋅86)). Associations with BMI were almost all null.
Meal-like and beverage patterns described most children’s snack intake, although patterns for non-Hispanic Blacks or adolescents may differ. Diets of 2–5-year-olds may benefit from frequent meal-like pattern snack consumption and diets of all children may benefit from decreasing screen use during eating occasions.
This work summarizes the methodical capabilities, improvements, and new developments in the radiocarbon laboratory of the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at the University of Cologne, Germany, which was established in 2010. During the past years, the laboratory has specialized in the analysis of small and gaseous samples. We thus, recently installed a second ion source dedicated for radiocarbon (14C) analysis of CO2 samples at our 6 MV Tandetron AMS from High Voltage Engineering Europe B.V. that is coupled with the gas injection system from Ionplus and an EuroVector EA 3000 elemental analyzer. This work summarizes all pretreatment methods and analytical facilities established in our laboratory during the last years including 14C analysis of individual organic compounds and of CO2 trapped on molecular sieves. We also report different blank values including our long-term blank since 2011, which is for normal-sized, solid samples (650–1000 µg C) 0.0012 ± 0.0004 F14C (54,305 ± 2581 yr BP, n = 484). The precision obtained for modern samples measured as graphite is 0.5% and for gaseous samples injected with the GIS ≤2%.
Child maltreatment has been associated with various cumulative risk factors. However, little is known about the extent to which genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences between parents in perpetrating child maltreatment. To estimate the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to perpetrating maltreatment we used a parent-based extended family design. Child-reported perpetrated maltreatment was available for 556 parents (283 women) from 63 families. To explore reporter effects (i.e., child perspective on maltreatment), child reports were compared to multi-informant reports. Based on polygenic model analyses, most of the variance related to the perpetration of physical abuse and emotional neglect was explained by common environmental factors (physical abuse: c2 = 59%, SE = 12%, p = .006; emotional neglect: c2 = 47%, SE = 8%, p < .001) whereas genetic factors did not significantly contribute to the model. For perpetrated emotional abuse, in contrast, genetic factors did significantly contribute to perpetrated emotional abuse (h2 = 33%, SE = 8%, p < .001), whereas common environment factors did not. Multi-informant reports led to similar estimates of genetic and common environmental effects on all measures except for emotional abuse, where a multi-informant approach yielded higher estimates of the common environmental effects. Overall, estimates of unique environment, including measurement error, were lower using multi-informant reports. In conclusion, our findings suggest that genetic pathways play a significant role in perpetrating emotional abuse, while physical abuse and emotional neglect are transmitted primarily through common environmental factors. These findings imply that interventions may need to target different mechanisms dependings on maltreatment type.
Neurodevelopmental disabilities in children with CHD can result from neurologic injury sustained in the cardiac ICU when children are at high risk of acute neurologic injury. Physicians typically order and specify frequency for serial bedside nursing clinical neurologic assessments to evaluate patients’ neurologic status.
Materials and methods
We surveyed cardiac ICU physicians to understand how these assessments are performed, and the attitudes of physicians on the utility of these assessments. The survey contained questions regarding assessment elements, assessment frequency, communication of neurologic status changes, and optimisation of assessments.
Surveys were received from 50 institutions, with a response rate of 86%. Routine clinical neurologic assessments were reported to be performed in 94% of institutions and standardised in 56%. Pupillary reflex was the most commonly reported assessment. In all, 77% of institutions used a coma scale, with Glasgow Coma Scale being most common. For patients with acute brain injury, 82% of institutions reported performing assessments hourly, whereas assessment frequency was more variable for low-risk and high-risk patients without overt brain injury. In all, 84% of respondents thought their current practice for assessing and monitoring neurologic status was suboptimal. Only 41% felt that the Glasgow Coma Scale was a valuable tool for assessing neurologic function in the cardiac ICU, and 91% felt that a standardised approach to assessing pre-illness neurologic function would be valuable.
Routine nursing neurologic assessments are conducted in most surveyed paediatric cardiac ICUs, although assessment characteristics vary greatly between institutions. Most clinicians rated current neurologic assessment practices as suboptimal.