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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
One major challenge facing policy-makers is to design education and workplace training programs that are appropriately challenging. We review previous research that suggests that difficult training is better than easy training. However, surveys we conducted of students and of expert sport coaches showed that many prescribed easy rather than difficult training for those they coached. We analyzed the performance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball teams in postseason tournaments to see whether the existing research, largely on individuals in short-term situations, would generalize to teams in the long run. Indeed, playing difficult nonconference (training) games modestly improved performance for NCAA teams in the postseason. Difficult training particularly benefitted teams that lost many nonconference games, and the effect of difficulty was positive within the range of difficulty NCAA teams actually encounter, making it clear that difficult training is superior. We suggest that our results can be generalized beyond sports, although with careful consideration of differences between NCAA basketball teams and other teams that may limit generalizability. These results suggest that policy-makers might consider amplifying the difficulty of team training exercises under certain conditions.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
The mid-infrared range contains many spectral features associated with large molecules and dust grains such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and silicates. These are usually very strong compared to fine-structure gas lines, and thus valuable in studying the spectral properties of faint distant galaxies. In this paper, we evaluate the capability of low-resolution mid-infrared spectroscopic surveys of galaxies that could be performed by SPICA. The surveys are designed to address the question how star formation and black hole accretion activities evolved over cosmic time through spectral diagnostics of the physical conditions of the interstellar/circumnuclear media in galaxies. On the basis of results obtained with Herschel far-infrared photometric surveys of distant galaxies and Spitzer and AKARI near- to mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of nearby galaxies, we estimate the numbers of the galaxies at redshift z > 0.5, which are expected to be detected in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon features or dust continuum by a wide (10 deg2) or deep (1 deg2) blind survey, both for a given observation time of 600 h. As by-products of the wide blind survey, we also expect to detect debris disks, through the mid-infrared excess above the photospheric emission of nearby main-sequence stars, and we estimate their number. We demonstrate that the SPICA mid-infrared surveys will efficiently provide us with unprecedentedly large spectral samples, which can be studied further in the far-infrared with SPICA.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
The next-generation radio telescopes such as LOFAR and SKA will give access to high time-resolution and high instantaneous sensitivity that can be exploited to study slow and fast transients over the whole radio window. The search for radio transients in large datasets also represents a new signal-processing challenge requiring efficient and robust signal reconstruction algorithms. Using sparse representations and the general ‘compressed sensing’ framework, we developed a 2D–1D algorithm based on the primal-dual splitting method. We have performed our sparse 2D–1D reconstruction on three-dimensional data sets containing either simulated or real radio transients, at various levels of SNR and integration times. This report presents a summary of the current level of performance of our method.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Workshop 11 covered the substantial recent progress in studies of supernovæ (SNe), tidal disruption events (TDEs), and other types of luminous transients occurring within the nuclear regions of galaxies. In the past, such transients have largely been missed owing to the substantial extinction of those regions, and to the problems of contrast against the bright (and often complex) nuclear background – or mistaken for normal active galactic nucleus (AGN) variability.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The period variations of rotating, pulsating and eclipsing variable stars bear valuable astrophysical information about the presence of companions, evolutionary effects, and the inner structure of the stars. This talk described a universal method for de-trending and re-scaling precise photometric data (Kepler, MOST, CoRoT, OGLE, …) appropriate for period-change diagnostics of periodic variables. We demonstrated the potential of the method by analysing the period variability of one of the newly-identified Kepler magnetic chemically-peculiar (mCP) stars. We showed that, surprisingly, our target star displays near-sinusoidal changes in its observed light-variations, with a period of 2.85(6) years, which is apparently the result of the presence of a nearby stellar companion. The expected long-term changes of the rotational period, as have been observed in several mCP stars, have not been identified among the sample of Kepler mCP stars.
To examine the comparability of fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake data in the USA from 2001 to 2014 between data acquired from two national data collection programmes.
Cross-sectional analysis. Linear regression models estimated trends in daily per capita intake of total F&V. Pooled differences in intake of individual F&V (n 109) were examined by processing form (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juice).
What We Eat in America (WWEIA, 2001–2014) and Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data series (LAFA, 2001–2014).
No temporal trends were observed in daily per capita intake of total F&V from 2001 to 2014 using WWEIA and LAFA. Modest differences between WWEIA and LAFA were observed in mean pooled intake of most individual F&V.
WWEIA and LAFA produced similar estimates of F&V intake. However, WWEIA may be best suited for monitoring intake at the national level because it allows for the identification of individual F&V in foods with multiple ingredients, and it is structured for sub-population analysis and covariate control. LAFA does retain advantages for other research protocols, specifically by providing the only nationally representative estimates of food losses at various points in the food system, which makes it useful for examining the adequacy of the food supply at the agricultural, retail and consumer levels.
The use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) on winter wheat in the UK is a common practice. Significant yield benefits can be gained from its use. For the most efficient use of PGRs the rates of application must be matched to the crop canopy. The variation of crop growth was monitored during the spring growing season using vegetation indices derived from satellite imagery. Application rates of PGRs were matched to changes in biomass as measured by the imagery. Final yields were measured using a GPS combine yield meter. The variable application showed an average yield benefit of 0.4 t/ha over the uniform full recommended application rate.
Opportunities for alternative swine production and marketing are emerging across the value chain. Given the developing nature of the differentiated pork industry, measurements of niche performance and success are not yet fully known. For this reason, the objectives of this study were to determine performance metrics across all major life phases for niche pork production and compare such metrics with national averages of conventional commodity pork production. Additionally, this study aimed to quantify producers’ reasoning and barriers to successfully raising niche swine. Niche meat producers in the USA self-identified for this study (n = 176); their swine production had alternative characteristics that included small- to mid-sized farms, farrow-to-finish operations, heritage breeds, housing with bedding and outdoor or pasture access, no use of antibiotics (sub-therapeutic for growth promotion or no antibiotics ever), vegetarian feed, diverse agricultural enterprises and alternative marketing avenues. This study focused on the metric categories regarding reproduction, mortality, culling and growth characteristics. The niche system produced approximately 15% fewer weaned piglets per bred sow per year than the conventional system due to fewer breeding cycles, smaller litters and higher piglet mortality in alternative production. Similarly, niche production finished 12% fewer hogs per bred sow per year than conventional production. Regarding age benchmarks of finishing and breeding, the niche system averaged 18 additional days to finish hogs at a standardized market weight of 124 kg. Likewise, niche production gilts were first bred at 283 days, whereas conventional production breeds gilts at 225 days. All directly comparable metrics were found to be statistically significant with 95% confidence for the one-sample test of means. Regarding farmer attitudes toward niche pork, survey participants shared personal reasons for raising swine and barriers to successful niche production. Choosing niche over commodity swine, participants’ reasons were grouped into three intra-related categories: (1) farm and producer viability, (2) animal and environmental welfare, and (3) consumer preference and taste. Despite these benefits, participants were faced with numerous challenges, which were organized into four intra-related categories: (1) alternative production requirements, restrictions and knowledge; (2) access and affordability of credit and inputs; (3) alternative supply chain for processing, marketing and customers; and (4) non-niche production competition and governmental policies. In sum, the success of these niche pork operations equates to high welfare for the pigs, economic viability for the operation, personal enjoyment for the farmer, customer satisfaction with meat flavor and quality, and responsible environmental practices, inclusive of many components of an alternative food system.
We present a brief discussion of sample preparation procedures at the Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (KCCAMS), University of California, Irvine, and a systematic investigation of the use of Mg(ClO4)2 as an absorptive water trap, replacing the standard dry ice/ethanol cold finger in graphite sample preparation. We compare high-precision AMS measurement results from oxalic acid I and USGS coal samples using Mg(ClO4)2 under different conditions. The results obtained were also compared with those achieved using the conventional water removal technique. Final results demonstrate that the use of Mg(ClO4)2 as an alternative water trap seems very convenient and reliable, provided the Mg(ClO4)2 is replaced frequently.
We present an overview of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon sample preparation and measurements, describing the technical upgrades that now allow us to routinely obtain 0.2–0.3% precision for 1-mg carbon samples. A precision of ∼1% on samples with 100 μg of carbon can also be achieved. We have also developed graphitization techniques and AMS procedures for ultra-small samples (down to 0.002 mg of carbon). Detailed time series are presented for large and small aliquots of standards such as NIST OX-I and OX-II; FIRI-C and -D; IAEA-C6, -C7 and -C8; and 14C-free samples.
We show that high-precision radiocarbon (Δ14C) measurements from annual bands of a Hawaiian surface coral decreased by 7‰ from AD 1893 to 1952. This decrease is coincident with the Suess Effect, which is mostly due to the dilution of natural levels of 14C by 14C-free fossil fuel CO2. This decrease is equal to that expected in surface waters of the subtropical gyres, and indicates that the surface waters of the North Pacific were in steady state with respect to long term mixing of CO2 during the past century. Correlation between Δ14C and North Pacific gyre sea surface temperatures indicates that vertical mixing local to Hawaii and the North Pacific gyre as a whole is the likely physical mechanism to result in variable Δ14C. Prior to 1920, this correlation starts to break down; this may be related to the non-correlation between biennial Δ14C values in corals from the southwest Pacific and El Niño events observed during this period as well.
We report results of a three-year intercomparison experiment between the WHOI Radiocarbon Laboratory (now at University of California, Irvine) and the NSF-University of Arizona AMS Laboratory. The purpose of this study was to compare high-precision measurements of samples obtained routinely using gas proportional counting techniques with results obtained using AMS techniques. Three sets of annually banded, modern coral samples were used for the intercomparison. Each sample was acidified to CO2 at WHOI and split into two fractions. The larger fraction was converted to acetylene gas and counted at WHOI in quartz, gas-proportional beta counters. The smaller fractions were converted to graphite and analyzed for 14C using AMS techniques at the University of Arizona. Results of the three sample sets are presented. Except for a single outlier, the data from the two laboratories are in good agreement. Of the 13 samples in the third set of the intercomparison, for which a new high-intensity ion source was in operation at the Arizona AMS laboratory, agreement of results is excellent. This finding indicates that measurements made with precisions of < 3% are reproducible at both laboratories.