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The White Sea being connected with the Arctic Ocean via the Barents Sea has an influence on its water temperature/salinity structures and biological processes and thus has an indirect impact on the Eurasian climate system. In this work, we have managed to find a correspondence between the climate fluctuation in the Holocene and changes in the geochemical and microfossil properties in the sediment core of the White Sea. For the first time, the element speciation in the sediment core covering about 10,000 cal yr BP period was investigated. The cooling periods (the early Holocene and the Subboreal stage) were characterized by a trend of increase in Si, Al, and Ti contents and Ti/Al ratios, which reflect lithogenous contribution, and decrease in geochemically labile forms of trace elements. A significant increase in the content of organic-bound trace elements and biogenic components (Сorg, BSi, and chlorin) was observed during periods of Holocene climatic optimums. The evident relationship between the metal speciation and indicators of the sedimentation paleoenvironment is observed at the stage of the active phase of early diagenesis after the slowing down of the biogeochemical processes. Down-core decrease in the Mn oxyhydroxide content exhibited a weakening of diagenesis processes at the ~130–150 cm depth.
The potential 14C (carbon-14, radiocarbon) flux from disposal of 14C containing waste into air is compared with the natural 14C emanation rate from soil in order to put the 14C hazard potential from disposal of this waste in perspective with the 14C exposure from cosmogenic origin. Chemical corrosion of neutron irradiated metals, steel and Zircaloy, is bounded by diffusion of water through a thermodynamically stable metal-oxide layer and dissolution of this metal-oxide in a nuclear plant. Many countries process radioactive waste for disposal using cementitious materials, an acknowledged end-point management technique for this waste. The metal-oxides are also stable when these waste forms are embedded in cementitious materials. The 14C release rate from this Zircaloy at these alkaline and reducing conditions is comparable to the natural 14C emanation rate from soil into air. Neutron irradiated graphite and spent ion exchange resins are chemically inert and therefore other release mechanisms need to be assumed. Radiolytic corrosion is used to determine the 14C release rate from this graphite. Moreover, ion exchange—with ingressing anionic species that have a higher affinity than contained anionic 14C—is proposed as a release mechanism for these resins.
Carbon-14 (radiocarbon, 14C) is a long-lived radionuclide (5730 yr) of interest regarding the safety for the management of intermediate level wastes (ILW). The present study gives an overview of the release of 14C from irradiated Zircaloy cladding in alkaline media. 14C is found either in the alloy part of Zircaloy cladding due to the neutron activation of 14N impurities by 14N(n,p)14C reaction, or in the oxide layer (ZrO2) formed at the metal surface by the neutron activation of 17O from UO2 or (U-Pu)O2 fuel and water from the primary circuit in the reactor by 17O(n,α)14C reaction. Various irradiated and unirradiated Zircaloys have been studied. The total 14C inventory has been determined both experimentally and by calculations. The results seem to be in good agreement. Leaching experiments were conducted in alkaline media for several time durations. 14C was mainly released as carboxylic acids. Further, corrosion measurements were performed by using both hydrogen measurements and electrochemical measurements. The corrosion rate (CR) ranges from a few nm/yr to 100 nm/yr depending on the surface conditions and the method used for measurement. From a safety assessment point of view, the instant release fraction (IRF) was determined on irradiated Zircaloy-2. The results showed that the 14C inventory in the oxide was significantly below the 20% commonly used in safety case assessments.
Sexual behavioural isolation can result from sexual selection and represents a relevant factor associated with the speciation process. We analysed the pheromone emission pattern and the courtship of males of five different populations of the Anastrepha fraterculus cryptic complex: Brazil (Vacaria, Tucumán and Piracicaba), Colombia and Peru. The time of pheromone emission was recorded in each population every 30 min during the day. The behavioural sequences of courting were video recorded and analysed using EthoSeq software. Males from different populations have showed different period of pheromone emission – Vacaria, Piracicaba and Tucumán executed calling only during the morning, Colombia only in the afternoon and Peru during both periods. The general frequencies of the courtship units of the males were distinct among the populations. Three groups were formed in the classification from the function of 14 behavioural routines: Vacaria, Piracicaba and Tucumán formed a single group (Brazil-1), while Colombia and Peru formed two distinct groups. In the probabilistic trees generated, the behavioural units that most contributed to the occurrence of copulation were distinct among the three groups formed: Brazil-1 (Contact, Alignment and Arrowhead-1); Colombia (Flying, Mobile, Contact and Alignment); Peru (Flying, Arrowhead-1 and Calling). Our results indicated differences in sexual behaviour that may explain the behavioural isolation found between the distinct groups in addition with the temporal isolation found between the Brazil-1 and Colombia populations. The evolutionary implications for the A. fraterculus cryptic species complex are discussed.
The release and the speciation of carbon species from irradiated JRQ carbon steel samples, representative of the reactor pressure vessel of Belgian nuclear power plants, were studied in a saturated portlandite aqueous solution, relevant for the Belgian Supercontainer design, as perceived for the geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste. To achieve this, we performed simple immersion and potentiostatic corrosion tests. In addition, the corrosion rate (which determines the 14C release) was estimated by measuring the release of 60Co. Gas chromatography showed that during the static corrosion test, the carbonaceous species methane, carbon dioxide, ethene, and ethane were produced. Under the hypothesis that all the carbon released from the JRQ steel was transformed into carbon-base gaseous compounds, this corresponds to a corrosion rate of approximately 100 nm/yr, which is in good agreement with literature data.
The gas release and speciation of carbon species from irradiated and unirradiated Zircaloy-4 samples, representative for the fuel cladding as used in Belgian nuclear power plants, were studied in a saturated Ca(OH)2 solution in anaerobic conditions. This environment is relevant for the Belgian Supercontainer design, as perceived for the geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste. To achieve this, we performed simple immersion and potentiostatic corrosion tests. Potentiodynamic polarization curves, recorded prior to the potentiostatic tests, revealed that irradiation seems to induce changes on the Zircaloy-4 corrosion behavior, such as a shift of the corrosion potential. Potentiostatic corrosion tests on unirradiated Zircaloy-4 provided a corrosion rate of ~54 nm/yr over a 7 day-experiment, whilst a corrosion rate of only ~4 nm/yr was calculated for the irradiated sample. Gas chromatography revealed that during simple immersion tests, which lasted 195 days, hydrogen, methane, ethane, and CO2 were produced, with methane being the major compound. Assuming that all carbon released from the metal was transformed into gaseous compounds, this yields to a corrosion rate ranging from 57 to 84 nm/yr for the irradiated sample. However, caution has to be taken on these corrosion rate and more tests should be performed to confirm these results.
The retention mechanisms of metal ions during interaction of clay with metal-rich aqueous solutions is usually investigated by sorption isotherms. Although classical isotherm models may provide sufficient information about the characteristics of the solid–liquid system, they do not distinguish among the various retention mechanisms. This study presents a methodological approach of combining batch experiment data and geochemical modelling for the characterization of the interaction of Mg-Fe-rich clay materials with monometallic solutions of Pb and Cu. For this purpose, a palygorskite clay (PCM), an Fe-smectite clay (SCM) and a natural palygorskite-Fe-smectite mixed clay (MCM) were assessed for their effectiveness as metal ion sorbents. The sorption capacity of the materials follows the order MCM > SCM > PCM and ranges between 27.6–52.1 mg g–1 for Pb and 7.7–17.6 mg g–1 for Cu. Based on the experimental results that allowed the speciation calculations, fitting of sorption isotherms and the investigation of relationships between protons, Mg and the metals studied we suggest that a combination of sorption mechanisms occurs during the interaction of clay materials with metal solutions. These involve surface complexation, ion exchange and precipitation of solid compounds onto the solid surface. A three-term isotherm model was employed to quantify the role of each of the above mechanisms in the overall retention process. The superior performance of mixed clay among the materials tested is attributed to the synergetic effect of exchange in the interlayer and specific sorption on the clay edges.
Pneumocystis organisms are airborne-transmitted fungal parasites that infect the lungs of numerous mammalian species with strong host specificity. In this study, we investigated the genetic diversity and host specificity of Pneumocystis organisms infecting Southeast Asian murid rodents through PCR amplification of two mitochondrial genes and tested the co-phylogeny hypothesis among these fungi and their rodent hosts. Pneumocystis DNA was detected in 215 of 445 wild rodents belonging to 18 Southeast Asian murid species. Three of the Pneumocystis lineages retrieved in our phylogenetic trees correspond to known Pneumocystis species, but some of the remaining lineages may correspond to new undescribed species. Most of these Pneumocystis species infect several rodent species or genera and some sequence types are shared among several host species and genera. These results indicated a weaker host specificity of Pneumocystis species infecting rodents than previously thought. Our co-phylogenetic analyses revealed a complex evolutionary history among Pneumocystis and their rodent hosts. Even if a significant global signal of co-speciation has been detected, co-speciation alone is not sufficient to explain the observed co-phylogenetic pattern and several host switches are inferred. These findings conflict with the traditional view of a prolonged process of co-evolution and co-speciation of Pneumocystis and their hosts.
Lake Ejagham is a small, shallow lake in Cameroon, West Africa, which supports five endemic species of cichlid fishes in two distinct lineages. Genetic evidence suggests a relatively young age for the species flocks, but supporting geologic evidence has thus far been unavailable. Here we present diatom, geochemical, mineralogical, and radiocarbon data from two sediment cores that provide new insights into the age and origin of Lake Ejagham and its endemic fishes. Radiocarbon ages at the base of the longer core indicate that the lake formed approximately 9 ka ago, and the diatom record of the shorter core suggests that hydroclimate variability during the last 3 millennia was similar to that of other lakes in Cameroon and Ghana. These findings establish a maximum age of ca. 9 cal ka BP for the lake and its endemic species and suggest that repeated cichlid speciation in two distinct lineages occurred rapidly within the lake. Local geology and West African paleoclimate records argue against a volcanic, chemical, or climatic origin for Lake Ejagham. Although not conclusive, the morphometry of the lake and possible signs of impact-induced effects on quartz grains are instead more suggestive of a bolide impact.
Sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 + ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA were employed to determine whether the congeneric assemblages of species of the strongyloid nematode genus Cloacina, found in the forestomachs of individual species of kangaroos and wallabies (Marsupialia: Macropodidae), considered to represent species flocks, were monophyletic. Nematode assemblages examined in the black-striped wallaby, Macropus (Notamacropus) dorsalis, the wallaroos, Macropus (Osphranter) antilopinus/robustus, rock wallabies, Petrogale spp., the quokka, Setonix brachyurus, and the swamp wallaby, Wallabia bicolor, were not monophyletic and appeared to have arisen by host colonization. However, a number of instances of within-host speciation were detected, suggesting that a variety of methods of speciation have contributed to the evolution of the complex assemblages of species present in this genus.
A crystal chemical study of narsarsukite from the Murun alkaline massif, Russia has been carried out combining single-crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe analyses, micro-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The narsarsukite single crystals are tetragonal (space group I4/m) with unit-cell parameters: 10.7140(1) ≤ a ≤ 10.7183(2) Å and 7.9478(1) ≤ c ≤ 7.9511(1) Å. The XPS analysis showed that Fe occurs in the mineral as Fe3+, whereas the FTIR spectrum showed that the sample studied is anhydrous. The average crystal chemical formula of the Murun narsarsukite is: Na2.04K0.01(V0.015+Ti0.74Zr0.01Al0.01Fe0.223+Mg0.01)1.00Si4.00(O10.74F0.23OH0.03)11.00. Structural disorder at octahedral and interstitial sites was modelled and also discussed in consideration of the main substitutional mechanism Ti4+ + O2– ↔ Fe3+ + (F–, OH–) active in the structure of the mineral.
The Splanchnotrophidae is a family of highly modified endoparasitic copepods known to infest nudibranch or sacoglossan sea slug hosts. Most splanchnotrophid species appear to be specific to a single host, but some were reported from up to nine different host species. However, splanchnotrophid taxonomy thus far is based on external morphology, and taxonomic descriptions are, mostly, old and lack detail. They are usually based on few specimens, with intraspecific variability rarely reported. The present study used molecular data for the first time to test (1) the current taxonomic hypotheses, (2) the apparently strict host specificity of the genus Ismaila and (3) the low host specificity of the genus Splanchnotrophus with regard to the potential presence of cryptic species. Phylogenetic analyses herein used sequences of the barcoding region of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene from 40 specimens representing 13 species of five genera. Species delimitation approaches include distance and barcoding gap analyses, haplotype networks and diagnostic nucleotides. Molecular results are largely compatible with the commonly accepted, morphology-based taxonomy of the Splanchnotrophidae. Strict host specificity could be confirmed for two Ismaila species. COI analyses also supported the idea that Splanchnotrophus angulatus is host-promiscuous. In Ismaila, morphology seems more suitable than barcoding to display speciation events via host switches in a recent Chilean radiation. In Splanchnotrophus, some genetic structure suggests ongoing diversification, which should be investigated further given the inadequate morphology-based taxonomy. The present study thus supports the presence of two different life history strategies in splanchnotrophids, which should be explored integratively.
Populations of Liparus glabrirostris (Curculionidae: Molytinae), a weevil inhabiting higher altitudes of Central Europe, were sampled from 24 localities in the Alps and Carpathian Mountains, and the geographical structuring of genetic variation was analyzed. Comparison of the concatenated mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I and subunit II sequences revealed consistent genetic divergence between the populations of L. glabrirostris from different mountain ranges. In phylogenetic analysis using maximum parsimony and median-joining networks, concatenated mitochondrial haplotypes from the Alps and Carpathians clustered as separate lineages, with high bootstrap support. Substantial genetic distances determined between the separated groups ranged from 2.6 to 3.0%, with divergence estimated to have initiated approximately 0.85–0.98 million years ago. The nuclear elongation factor 1α gene was additionally amplified and haplotype analysis showed very low evolutionary divergence (0.2%), with separate clustering as well. The observed divergence suggests that the populations have been isolated for a long time, as a consequence of environmental changes resulting in varying fragmentation of habitats in the Alps and Carpathians, interrupting genetic exchange events and altering the genetic structure of L. glabrirostris populations. On the other hand, comparison of morphological characteristics showed no differences to confirm genetically well differentiated groups of populations. A polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism-based method was therefore developed to discriminate between the Alpine and Carpathian lineages.
Iodine-129 is a high-yield fission product formed in nuclear reactors and is a risk-driving radionuclide in both contaminated land and radioactive waste disposal due to its high mobility and long half-life. Here, the bioreduction behaviour of iodate was investigated by tracking iodine speciation and concentration in solution during the development of progressive anoxia in sediment microcosm experiments incubated at neutral pH. Experiments with acetate added as an electron donor showed the expected cascade of terminal electron-accepting processes. Analysis of solution chemistry showed reduction of iodate to iodide during the early stages of metal (Mn(IV) and Fe(III)) reduction, but with no significant retention of iodine species on solids. There was, however, a net release of natural iodine associated with the sediments to solution when robust iron reduction / sulfate reduction had developed. In addition, over 210 days, the controls with no electron donor and the sterile controls showed no Mn(IV) or Fe(III) reduction but displayed modest sorption of iodate to the sediments in the absence of bioreduction. Overall these results show that under oxic conditions iodate may be partially sorbed to sediments over extended periods but that development of mildly reducing conditions leads to the reductive release of iodine to solution as iodide.
We consider a dynamic metapopulation involving one large population of size N surrounded by colonies of size εNN, usually called peripheral isolates in ecology, where N → ∞ and εN → 0 in such a way that εNN → ∞. The main population, as well as the colonies, independently send propagules to found new colonies (emigration), and each colony independently, eventually merges with the main population (fusion). Our aim is to study the genealogical history of a finite number of lineages sampled at stationarity in such a metapopulation. We make assumptions on model parameters ensuring that the total outer population has size of the order of N and that each colony has a lifetime of the same order. We prove that under these assumptions, the scaling limit of the genealogical process of a finite sample is a censored coalescent where each lineage can be in one of two states: an inner lineage (belonging to the main population) or an outer lineage (belonging to some peripheral isolate). Lineages change state at constant rate and (only) inner lineages coalesce at constant rate per pair. This two-state censored coalescent is also shown to converge weakly, as the landscape dynamics accelerate, to a time-changed Kingman coalescent.
Specimens collected in or near Pensacola Bay, Florida matching the descriptions of Luidia lawrencei and Luidia clathrata (the congener from which L. lawrencei was recently split) were compared to determine whether their recent taxonomic separation is supported by differences in sediment preference, salinity tolerance and COX-1 mtDNA sequences. Luidia clathrata has a preference for smaller grain sizes, while no statistically significant preference was found for Luidia lawrencei, and no significant difference was found between the species. Luidia clathrata is more tolerant of lower salinity based on the righting response than Luidia lawrencei, especially at salinities lower than 25 g kg−1. The COX-1 comparison returned over 99% homology among individuals of the two species. While sediment preference and salinity tolerance results indicate differences in response to habitat dissimilarities, the COX-1 genetic result is strong evidence against the recently proposed separation of the species. In light of the COX-1 result, we interpret the sediment and salinity results as long-term acclimation responses.
The genus Leontopodium (Pers.) R.Br. (Asteraceae, Compositae) is economically important for both pharmaceutical and horticultural purposes. This importance, however, has not led to a good understanding of species coherence and the delimitation of species. One fundamental aspect of a good understanding of a species is how many chromosomes it has and any possible indication of polyploidy. Here we present somatic chromosome numbers for 16 Leontopodium species, of which six are new for science. The results indicate basic chromosome numbers of x = 6, 8, 9 and 11, with x = 8 being most frequent among the species examined. While obviously including several distantly related lineages, the x = 8 species have distributions that are concentrated in the centre of diversity of the genus in southwest China. We identified two ‘species-pairs’ (Leontopodium dedekensii–L. sinense and L. souliei–L. calocephalum) in which the tetraploid species has more vigorous growth, but is confined geographically to the centre of diversity. The diploid species ascend to generally higher elevations and extend more towards the Tibetan Plateau. In contrast, our data also suggest range expansions in other polyploid species, such as the hexaploid Leontopodium ochroleucum extending into the mountains of Central Asia. Deviations from x = 8 are found at the edges of the wide Eurasian distribution of the genus. These may relate to subsequent range expansions into the Himalayas, northern Asia, the Far East, and a far disjunctive expansion to the mountains of Europe. This implies an increased ability of these species to colonise mountain floras and adapt to different environmental conditions. Thus, formation of higher ploidy levels in general might be significant for a successful radiation process.
Darwin illustrated his theory about emergence and evolution of biological species with a
diagram. It shows how species exist, evolve, appear and disappear. The goal of this work
is to give a mathematical interpretation of this diagram and to show how it can be
reproduced in mathematical models. It appears that conventional models in population
dynamics are not sufficient, and we introduce a number of new models which take into
account local, nonlocal and global consumption of resources, and models with space and
time dependent coefficients.
Strict control measures apply to movement of buffalo in South Africa including testing for Theileria parva, the causative agent of Corridor disease in cattle. The official test is a real-time hybridization PCR assay that amplifies the 18S rRNA V4 hyper-variable region of T. parva, T. sp. (buffalo) and T. sp. (bougasvlei). Mixed infections with the latter organisms affect diagnostic sensitivity due to PCR suppression. While the incidence of mixed infections in the Corridor disease endemic region of South Africa is significant, little information is available on the specific distribution and prevalence of T. sp. (buffalo) and T. sp. (bougasvlei). Specific real-time PCR assays were developed and a total of 1211 samples known to harbour these parasites were screened. Both parasites are widely distributed in southern Africa and the incidence of mixed infections with T. parva within the endemic region is similar (∼25–50%). However, a significant discrepancy exists in regard to mixed infections of T. sp. (buffalo) and T. sp. (bougasvlei) (∼10%). Evidence for speciation between T. sp. (buffalo) and T. sp. (bougasvlei) is supported by phylogenetic analysis of the COI gene, and their designation as different species. This suggests mutual exclusion of parasites and the possibility of hybrid sterility in cases of mixed infections.
Within southern Africa, the widely distributed four-striped mouse genus (Rhabdomys) is parasitized by, amongst others, the specific ectoparasitic sucking louse, Polyplax arvicanthis. Given the presence of significant geographically structured genetic divergence in Rhabdomys, and the propensity of parasites to harbour cryptic diversity, the molecular systematics of P. arvicanthis was investigated. Representatives of P. arvicanthis were sampled from Rhabdomys at 16 localities throughout southern Africa. Parsimony and Bayesian gene trees were constructed for the mitochondrial COI, 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and nuclear CAD genes. Our findings support the existence of 2 genetic groups within P. arvicanthis separated by at least 25% COI sequence divergence, which is comparable to that observed among recognized Polyplax species. We therefore propose that these 2 genetic lineages probably represent distinct species and that the apparent absence of clear morphological differences may point to cryptic speciation. The 2 taxa have sympatric distributions throughout most of the sampled host range and also occasionally occur sympatrically on the same host individual. The co-occurrence of these genetically distinct lineages probably resulted from parasite duplication via host-associated allopatric divergence and subsequent reciprocal range expansions of the 2 parasite taxa throughout southern Africa.