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Over recent decades, biomass gains in remaining old-growth Amazonia forests have declined due to environmental change. Amazonia’s huge size and complexity makes understanding these changes, drivers, and consequences very challenging. Here, using a network of permanent monitoring plots at the Amazon–Cerrado transition, we quantify recent biomass carbon changes and explore their environmental drivers. Our study area covers 30 plots of upland and riparian forests sampled at least twice between 1996 and 2016 and subject to various levels of fire and drought. Using these plots, we aimed to: (1) estimate the long-term biomass change rate; (2) determine the extent to which forest changes are influenced by forest type; and (3) assess the threat to forests from ongoing environmental change. Overall, there was no net change in biomass, but there was clear variation among different forest types. Burning occurred at least once in 8 of the 12 riparian forests, while only 1 of the 18 upland forests burned, resulting in losses of carbon in burned riparian forests. Net biomass gains prevailed among other riparian and upland forests throughout Amazonia. Our results reveal an unanticipated vulnerability of riparian forests to fire, likely aggravated by drought, and threatening ecosystem conservation at the Amazon southern margins.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
Most major modern families of Hymenoptera were established in the Mesozoic, but the diversifications within ecologically key trophic guilds and lineages that significantly influence the character of modern terrestrial ecosystems – bees (Apiformes), ants (Formicidae), social Vespidae, parasitoids (Ichneumonidae), and phytophagous Tenthredinoidea – were previously known to occur mostly in the middle to late Eocene. We find these changes earlier, seen here in the early Eocene Okanagan Highlands fossil deposits of western North America. Some of these may have occurred even earlier, but have been obscured by taphonomic processes. We provide an overview of the Okanagan Highlands Hymenoptera to family level and in some cases below that, with a minimum of 25 named families and at least 30 when those tentatively assigned or distinct at family level, but not named are included. Some are poorly known as fossils (Trigonalidae, Siricidae, Peradeniidae, Monomachidae), and some represent the oldest confirmed occurrences (Trigonalidae, Pompilidae, Sphecidae sensu stricto, Peradeniidae, Monomachidae, and possibly Halictidae). Some taxa previously thought to be relictual or extinct by the end of the Cretaceous (Angarosphecidae, Archaeoscoliinae, some Diapriidae) are present and sometimes abundant in the early Eocene. Living relatives of some taxa are now present in different climate regimes or on different continents.
The cold-based termini of polythermal glaciers are usually assumed to adhere strongly to an immobile substrate and thereby supply significant resistance to the flow of warm-based ice up-glacier. This compressive environment is commonly thought to uplift basal sediment to the surface of the glacier by folding and thrust faulting. We present model and field evidence from the terminus of Storglaciären, Sweden, showing that the cold margin provides limited resistance to flow from up-glacier. Ice temperatures indicate that basal freezing occurs in this zone at 10−1 −10−2 m a−1, but model results indicate that basal motion at rates greater than 1 m a−1 must, nevertheless, persist there for surface and basal velocities to be consistent with measurements. Estimated longitudinal compressive stresses of 20–25 kPa within the terminus further indicate that basal resistance offered by the cold-based terminus is small. These results indicate that where polythermal glaciers are underlain by unlithified sediments, ice-flow trajectories and sediment transport pathways may be affected by subglacial topography and hydrology more than by the basal thermal regime.
Most attention on tropical biodiversity conservation has focussed on protected areas. Recognising and enhancing the value of biodiversity outside, as well as inside, protected areas is increasingly important given recognition that biodiversity targets will not be met through protected areas alone. We investigated the extent to which protection influences colony occupancy and colony size of a species of conservation concern, the rock-nesting White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus. We used mixed models to compare long term trends at 42 colonies located both inside and outside a protected area of forest, Gola Rainforest National Park, and considered colonies further inside the boundary as being better protected. Colony occupation was primarily predicted by the level of protection, with occupation highest within protected areas, but was not different between colonies situated close to or far from the boundary. Mean colony occupation was consistently high in protected areas, and lower in unprotected areas. The surface area of colony rocks was also an important predictor with larger rock faces having a higher probability of occupancy. Our best models also included distance to forested habitat, presence of cleared forest and evidence of hunting as less important predictors. Over the eight-year study, after controlling for rock surface area, active colony size declined significantly. However, declines were only significant in colonies in unprotected forest, whilst colonies located within protected areas were buffered from significant decline. Together this suggests colony occupancy and the number of active nests are influenced by protection and human disturbance. Although a lack of demographic and population dynamic work on picathartes prevents identifying mechanisms, we show that despite unprotected colonies having lower occupancy and fewer active nests they can persist in human altered and disturbed areas, partly because larger traditionally used rocks remain important nesting sites.
We describe a versatile infrared camera/spectrograph, IRIS, designed and constructed at the Anglo-Australian Observatory for use on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. A variety of optical configurations can be selected under remote control to provide several direct image scales and a few low-resolution spectroscopic formats. Two cross-dispersed transmission echelles are of novel design, as is the use of a modified Bowen-Burch system to provide a fast f/ratio in the widest-field option. The drive electronics includes a choice of readout schemes for versatility, and continuous display when the array is not taking data, to facilitate field acquisition and focusing.
The linearity of the detector has been studied in detail. Although outwardly good, slight nonlinearities prevent removal of fixed-pattern noise from the data without application of a cubic linearising function.
Specific control and data-reduction software has been written. We describe also a scanning mode developed for spectroscopic imaging.
This spatial experiment is under construction and has been defined as a 2 years mission on board SOHO, a satellite dedicated to the Sun which will be launched in mid 95. The main objectives are the detection of solar low degree acoustic modes and solar gravity modes for improving our knowledge of the solar nuclear region.
Full Stokes spectropolarimetric observations of a Mira star (χ Cyg) and a RV Tauri star (R Sct) are presented and analyzed comparatively. From their Stokes V data (circular polarization), we report the detection of a weak magnetic field at the surface of these cool and evolved radially pulsating stars. For both stars, we analyse this detection in the framework of their complex atmospheric dynamics, with the possibility that shock waves may imprint an efficient compressive effect on the surface magnetic field. We also report strong Stokes U and Stokes Q signatures associated to metallic lines (as a global trend), those linear polarimetric features appear to be time variable along the pulsating phase. More surprising, in the Stokes U and Stokes Q data, we also detect signatures associated to individual metallic lines (such as Sr i 460.7 nm, Na D2588.9 nm), that are known (from the solar case) to be easily polarizable in case of a global asymmetry at the photospheric level.
There are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, hence one can consider the case of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU from the star would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for about 8 Gyr. Polarisation due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a powerful tool to detect close-in planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow one to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, even providing a first characterisation. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue. Preliminary habitability study show also that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on Earth-like planets orbiting CWDs and that the DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, hence white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life from the perspective of UV irradiation.
Deep levels studies on a set of n-GaN films grown by MOCVD and HVPE reveal the presence of electron traps with levels near Ec−0.25 eV, Ec−0.55 eV, Ec−0.8 eV, Ec−1 eV, hole traps with levels near Ev+0.9 eV and a band of relatively shallow states in the lower half of the bandgap. The total density of these latter states was estimated to be some 1016 cm−3 and they were tentatively associated with dislocations in GaN based on their high concentration and band-like character. None of the electron or hole traps could be unambiguously related with strong changes of diffusion lengths of minority carriers in various samples. It is proposed that such changes occur due to different surface recombination velocities. An important role of Ec−0.55 eV traps in persistent photoconductivity phenomena in n-GaN has been demonstrated.