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Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) emerged in the late 1960s at a time when societies throughout the world were beginning to recognize that our environment and natural resources were being threatened by their activities. Management practices in rangelands, forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and waterways were inadequate to meet the challenges of deteriorating environments, many of which were caused by the practices themselves. Scientists recognized an immediate need was developing a knowledge base about how ecosystems function. That effort took nearly two decades (1980s) and concluded with the acceptance that humans were components of ecosystems, not just controllers and manipulators of lands and waters. While ecosystem science was being developed, management options based on ecosystem science were shifting dramatically toward practices supporting sustainability, resilience, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and local to global interconnections of ecosystems. Emerging from the new knowledge about how ecosystems function and the application of the systems ecology approach was the collaboration of scientists, managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders locally and globally. Today’s concepts of ecosystem management and related ideas, such as sustainable agriculture, ecosystem health and restoration, consequences of and adaptation to climate change, and many other important local to global challenges are a direct result of the SEP.
Emerging from the warehouse of knowledge about terrestrial ecosystem functioning and the application of the systems ecology paradigm, exemplified by the power of simulation modeling, tremendous strides have been made linking the interactions of the land, atmosphere, and water locally to globally. Through integration of ecosystem, atmospheric, soil, and more recently social science interactions, plausible scenarios and even reasonable predictions are now possible about the outcomes of human activities. The applications of that knowledge to the effects of changing climates, human-caused nitrogen enrichment of ecosystems, and altered UV-B radiation represent challenges addressed in this chapter. The primary linkages addressed are through the C, N, S, and H2O cycles, and UV-B radiation. Carbon dioxide exchanges between land and the atmosphere, N additions and losses to and from lands and waters, early studies of SO2 in grassland ecosystem, and the effects of UV-B radiation on ecosystems have been mainstays of research described in this chapter. This research knowledge has been used in international and national climate assessments, for example the IPCC, US National Climate Assessment, and Paris Climate Accord. Likewise, the knowledge has been used to develop concepts and technologies related to sustainable agriculture, C sequestration, and food security.
There are sparse data on the outcomes of endoscopic stapling of pharyngeal pouches. The Mersey ENT Trainee Collaborative compared regional practice against published benchmarks.
A 10-year retrospective analysis of endoscopic pharyngeal pouch surgery was conducted and practice was assessed against eight standards. Comparisons were made between results from the tertiary centre and other sites.
A total of 225 procedures were performed (range of 1.2–9.2 cases per centre per year). All centres achieved 90 per cent resumption of oral intake within 2 days. All centres achieved less than 2-day hospital stays. Primary success (84 per cent (i.e. abandonment of endoscopic stapling in 16 per cent)), symptom resolution (83 per cent) and recurrence rates (13 per cent) failed to meet the standard across the non-tertiary centres.
Endoscopic pharyngeal pouch stapling is a procedure with a low mortality and brief in-patient stay. There was significant variance in outcomes across the region. This raises the question of whether this service should become centralised and the preserve of either tertiary centres or sub-specialist practitioners.
We analyse United States presidential appointee positions subject to Senate confirmation without a confirmed appointee in office. These “vacant” positions are byproducts of American constitutional design, shaped by the interplay of institutional politics. Using a novel dataset, we analyse appointee vacancies across executive branch departments and single-headed agencies from 1989 to 2013. We develop a theoretical model that uncovers the dynamics of vacancy onset and length. We then specify an empirical model and report results highlighting both position and principal–agent relations as critical to the politics of appointee vacancies. Conditional on high status positions reducing the frequency and duration of vacancies, we find important principal–agent considerations from a separation of powers perspective. Appointee positions in agencies ideologically divergent from the relevant Senate committee chair are vacant for less time than in ideologically proximal agencies. Importantly, this relationship strengthens as agency ideology diverges away from the chair and towards the chair’s party extreme.
Antarctica's ice shelves modulate the grounded ice flow, and weakening of ice shelves due to climate forcing will decrease their ‘buttressing’ effect, causing a response in the grounded ice. While the processes governing ice-shelf weakening are complex, uncertainties in the response of the grounded ice sheet are also difficult to assess. The Antarctic BUttressing Model Intercomparison Project (ABUMIP) compares ice-sheet model responses to decrease in buttressing by investigating the ‘end-member’ scenario of total and sustained loss of ice shelves. Although unrealistic, this scenario enables gauging the sensitivity of an ensemble of 15 ice-sheet models to a total loss of buttressing, hence exhibiting the full potential of marine ice-sheet instability. All models predict that this scenario leads to multi-metre (1–12 m) sea-level rise over 500 years from present day. West Antarctic ice sheet collapse alone leads to a 1.91–5.08 m sea-level rise due to the marine ice-sheet instability. Mass loss rates are a strong function of the sliding/friction law, with plastic laws cause a further destabilization of the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, East Antarctica. Improvements to marine ice-sheet models have greatly reduced variability between modelled ice-sheet responses to extreme ice-shelf loss, e.g. compared to the SeaRISE assessments.
Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for the removal of kidney stones. A ureteroscope, containing a hollow, cylindrical working channel, is inserted into the patient's kidney. The renal space proximal to the scope tip is irrigated, to clear stone particles and debris, with a saline solution that flows in through the working channel. We consider the fluid dynamics of irrigation fluid within the renal pelvis, resulting from the emerging jet through the working channel and return flow through an access sheath. Representing the renal pelvis as a two-dimensional rectangular cavity, we investigate the effects of flow rate and cavity size on flow structure and subsequent clearance time of debris. Fluid flow is modelled with the steady incompressible Navier–Stokes equations, with an imposed Poiseuille profile at the inlet boundary to model the jet of saline, and zero-stress conditions on the outlets. The resulting flow patterns in the cavity contain multiple vortical structures. We demonstrate the existence of multiple solutions dependent on the Reynolds number of the flow and the aspect ratio of the cavity using complementary numerical simulations and particle image velocimetry experiments. The clearance of an initial debris cloud is simulated via solutions to an advection–diffusion equation and we characterise the effects of the initial position of the debris cloud within the vortical flow and the Péclet number on clearance time. With only weak diffusion, debris that initiates within closed streamlines can become trapped. We discuss a flow manipulation strategy to extract debris from vortices and decrease washout time.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is an imaging modality that has been used to predict the computed tomography (CT)-determined carcass composition of multiple species, including sheep and pigs, with minimal inaccuracies, using medical grade DEXA scanners. An online DEXA scanner in an Australian abattoir has shown that a high level of precision can be achieved when predicting lamb carcass composition in real time. This study investigated the accuracy of that same online DEXA when predicting fat and lean percentages as determined by CT over a wide range of phenotypic and genotypic variables across 454 lambs over 6 kill groups and contrasted these results against the current Australian industry standard of grade-rule (GR) measurements to grade carcasses. Lamb carcasses were DEXA scanned and then CT scanned to determine CT Fat % and CT Lean %. All phenotypic traits and genotypic information, including Australian Sheep Breeding Values, were recorded for each carcass. Residuals of the DEXA predicted CT Fat % and Lean %, and the actual CT Fat % and Lean % were calculated and tested against all phenotypic and genotypic variables. Excellent overall precision was recorded when predicting CT Fat % (R2 = 0.91, RMSE = 1.19%). Small biases present for sire breed, sire type, dam breed, hot carcass weight and c-site eye muscle area could be explained by a regression paradox; however, biases among kill group (−0.73% to 1.01% for CT Fat %, −1.48% to 0.76% for CT Lean %) and the Merino sire type (0.36% for CT Fat %, −0.73% for CT Lean %) could not be explained by this effect. Over the large range of phenotypic and genotypic variation, there was excellent precision when predicting CT Fat % and CT Lean % by an online DEXA, with only minor biases, showing superiority to the existing Australian standard of GR measurements.
Cognitive dysfunction is an important aspect of depression that includes problems with thinking, concentration and memory. Research suggests that the cognitive aspect of depression is highly prevalent and has a significant impact on patient functioning. Currently, cognitive dysfunction in depression is largely unrecognised, unmonitored and untreated.
We aim to define cognitive dysfunction in clinical depression (major depressive disorder) and explore its detection and management in the UK, highlighting priority areas to be addressed.
A modified Delphi method was used as the process to gain consensus. A multi-stakeholder steering committee of depression experts (including psychiatrists, psychologists, primary care physicians, and representatives from occupational therapy and a depression charity) provided the key themes and, through round-table discussion, developed draft statements. The main areas of focus were burden, detection and management of cognitive dysfunction in depression. These statements formed a questionnaire to be reviewed by 150–200 health-care professionals with an involvement in the management of depression, with level of agreement noted as ‘strongly disagree’, ‘disagree’, ‘don’t know/uncertain’, ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’. Responses to the questionnaire will be analysed (very high agreement [> 66%] or very low agreement [< 33%]) and the steering committee will revise and finalise the consensus statements, and identify priority areas for future consideration. The steering committee was initiated and supported by the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck Ltd, through an educational grant. Lundbeck Ltd did not influence content.
Results of the questionnaire and the evolution of the final consensus statements will be presented.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
This paper considers the significant role of cross-sectional geometry on resistance in co-axial pipe flows. We consider an axially flowing viscous fluid in between two long and thin elliptical coaxial cylinders, one inside the other. The outer cylinder is stationary, while the inner cylinder (rod) is free to move. The rod poses a resistance to the axial flow, while the viscous fluid poses a resistance to any motion of the rod. We show that the equations for flow in the axial direction – driven by a prescribed flux – and for flow within the cross-section of the domain – driven by the motion of the rod – decouple in the asymptotic limit of small cylinder aspect ratio into axial Poiseuille flow and transverse Stokes flow, respectively. The objective of this paper is to calculate numerically the axial and cross-sectional resistances and to determine their dependence on cross-sectional geometry – i.e. rod position and the ellipticities of the rod and bounding cylinder. We characterise axial resistance, first for three reduced parameter spaces that have not been fully analysed in the literature: (i) a circle in an ellipse, (ii) an ellipse in a circle and (iii) an ellipse in an ellipse of equal eccentricity and orientation, before extending our geometric parameter space to determine the overall optimal geometry to minimise axial flow resistance for fixed cross-sectional area. Cross-sectional resistance is characterised via coefficients in a Stokes resistance matrix and we highlight the interdependent effects of cross-sectional ellipticity and boundary interactions.
The objectives of this study were to obtain patient evaluations of the content, structure, and delivery modality of Meaning-Centered Pain Coping Skills Training (MCPC), a novel psychosocial intervention for patients with advanced cancer and pain. MCPC aims to help patients connect with valued sources of meaning in their lives (e.g., family relationships), while providing training in evidence-based cognitive and behavioral skills (e.g., guided imagery) to reduce pain.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 patients with stage IV solid tumor cancers and persistent pain. Transcripts were analyzed using methods from applied thematic analysis.
When evaluating MCPC's educational information and skills training descriptions, participants described ways in which this content resonated with their experience. Many coped with their pain and poor prognosis by relying on frameworks that provided them with a sense of meaning, often involving their personally held religious or spiritual beliefs. They also expressed a need for learning ways to cope with pain in addition to taking medication. A few participants offered helpful suggestions for refining MCPC's content, such as addressing common co-occurring symptoms of sleep disturbance and fatigue. Concerning MCPC's structure and delivery modality, most participants preferred that sessions include their family caregiver and described remote delivery (i.e., telephone or videoconference) as being more feasible than attending in-person sessions.
Significance of results
Participants were interested in an intervention that concurrently focuses on learning pain coping skills and enhancing a sense of meaning. Using remote delivery modalities may reduce access barriers (e.g., travel) that would otherwise prevent many patients from utilizing psychosocial services.
In this work, we study the optical properties of 58 CSS/GPS radio sources selected from the literature in order to determine the impact of the radio-jet in the circumnuclear environment of these objects. We obtained optical spectra for all sources from SDSS-DR12 and performed a stellar population synthesis using the Starlight code. Our results indicate that the sample is dominated by intermediate to old stellar populations and there is no strong correlation between optical and radio properties of these sources.
We investigate the processes of active galactic nuclei (AGN) feeding and feedback in the narrow line regions (NLRs) and host galaxies of nearby AGN through spatially resolved spectroscopy with the Gemini Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) and the Hubble Space Telescope’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). We examine the connection between nuclear and galactic inflows and outflows by adding long-slit spectra of the host galaxies from Apache Point Observatory. We demonstrate that nearby AGN can be fueled by a variety of mechanisms. We find that the NLR kinematics can often be explained by in situ ionization and radiative acceleration of ambient gas, often in the form of dusty molecular spirals that may be the fueling flow to the AGN.
We study the behaviour of the dynamical and stellar mass inside the effective radius as function of local density for early-type galaxies (ETGs). We use several samples of ETGs - ranging from 19000 to 98000 objects - from the ninth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We consider Newtonian dynamics, different light profiles and different initial mass functions (IMF) to calculate the dynamical and stellar mass. We assume that any difference between these two masses is due to dark matter and/or a non-universal IMF. The main results are: (i) the amount of dark matter (DM) inside ETGs depends on the environment; (ii) ETGs in low-density environments span a wider DM range than ETGs in dense environments; (iii) the amount of DM inside ETGs in the most dense environments will be less than approximately 55-65 per cent of the dynamical mass; (iv) the accurate value of this upper limit depends on the impact of the IMF on the stellar mass estimation.