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This article discusses prospects and challenges related to the use of meta-regression models (MRMs) for ecosystem service benefit transfer, with an emphasis on validity criteria and post-estimation procedures given sparse attention in the ecosystem services literature. We illustrate these topics using a meta-analysis of willingness to pay for water quality changes that support aquatic ecosystem services and the application of this model to estimate water quality benefits under alternative riparian buffer restoration scenarios in New Hampshire's Great Bay Watershed. These illustrations highlight the advantages of MRM benefit transfers, together with the challenges and data needs encountered when quantifying ecosystem service values.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
Choice experiments addressing outcome uncertainty (OU) typically reframe continuous probability densities for each risky outcome into two discrete categories, each with a single probability of occurrence. The implications of this simplification for welfare estimation are unknown. This article evaluates the convergent validity of willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates from a more accurate multiple-outcome treatment of OU, compared to the two-outcome approach. Results for a case study of coastal flood adaptation in Connecticut, United States, suggest that higher-resolution OU treatments increase choice complexity but can provide additional information on risk preferences and WTP. This tradeoff highlights challenges facing the valuation of uncertain outcomes.
We describe the design and performance of the Engineering Development Array, which is a low-frequency radio telescope comprising 256 dual-polarisation dipole antennas working as a phased array. The Engineering Development Array was conceived of, developed, and deployed in just 18 months via re-use of Square Kilometre Array precursor technology and expertise, specifically from the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. Using drift scans and a model for the sky brightness temperature at low frequencies, we have derived the Engineering Development Array’s receiver temperature as a function of frequency. The Engineering Development Array is shown to be sky-noise limited over most of the frequency range measured between 60 and 240 MHz. By using the Engineering Development Array in interferometric mode with the Murchison Widefield Array, we used calibrated visibilities to measure the absolute sensitivity of the array. The measured array sensitivity matches very well with a model based on the array layout and measured receiver temperature. The results demonstrate the practicality and feasibility of using Murchison Widefield Array-style precursor technology for Square Kilometre Array-scale stations. The modular architecture of the Engineering Development Array allows upgrades to the array to be rolled out in a staged approach. Future improvements to the Engineering Development Array include replacing the second stage beamformer with a fully digital system, and to transition to using RF-over-fibre for the signal output from first stage beamformers.
VLBI observations of the nucleus of Centaurus A were made in April, 1982 at two frequencies with an array of five Australian radio antennas as part of the Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE). Observations were undertaken at 2.29 GHz with all five antennas, while only two were operational at 8.42 GHz. The 2.29 GHz data yielded significant information on the structure of the nuclear jet. At 8.42 GHz a compact unresolved core was detected as well.
Consumption of weed seeds and waste grains by seed predators is an important ecosystem service that helps to regulate weed and volunteer crop populations in many agricultural systems. The prairie deer mouse is found in a variety of sparsely vegetated habitats throughout the central United States and is the dominant vertebrate seed predator in row-crop fields (corn and soybean) in this region. Evaluating the preferences of prairie deer mice for common agricultural weed seeds and waste grain is important to understand the potential ability of native mice to regulate volunteer crops and weed populations. We evaluated winter seed preference of deer mice using cafeteria-style feeding trials presented within row-crop fields in central Indiana and used compositional analysis to compare proportional consumption of seeds from five common agricultural weeds (common ragweed, common cocklebur, common lambsquarters, velvetleaf, and giant foxtail) and two grains (corn and soybean) during overnight feeding trials. Prairie deer mice significantly preferred corn to all other available seed types. Ragweed and soybean were also readily consumed and were preferred over seeds other than corn. Giant foxtail was intermediately preferred. Our results show that prairie deer mice have clear preferences for certain seeds commonly available in row-crop fields; mice likely contribute to reduction of waste grain and some weed seed populations.
‘The paradox of landscape’ is that, in theory, landscape aspires to a totality of human experience, but in practice it suppresses the complexity of the human experience. By supposing a ‘landscape perspective’ in the past, archaeologists are imposing a modern view of the world. In consequence, more varied perspectives should be considered during any archaeological inquiry. This is not a criticism of the use of landscape as a term to distinguish the wider spatial relationships between places which exist in the present. What is suggested as being unjustifiable is the use of the ‘landscape perspective’ to orientate and contextualize past human experience. This critique is illustrated and complemented by a case-study examining prehistoric land enclosure in Britain.