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Using the theory of fuzzy sets, this paper develops a fuzzy logic reasoning system as an augmentation to a rule-based expert system to deal with fuzzy information. First, fuzzy set theorems and fuzzy logic principles are briefly reviewed and organized to form a basis for the proposed fuzzy logic system. These theorems and principles are then extended for reasoning based on knowledge base with fuzzy production rules. When an expert system is augmented with the fuzzy logic system, the inference capability of the expert system is greatly expanded; and the establishment of a rule-based knowledge base becomes much easier and more economical. Interpretations of the system’s power and possible future research directions conclude the paper.
The concept of ecological exchangeability, together with genetic exchangeability, is central to both the Cohesion Species Concept as well as to some definitions of Evolutionarily Significant Units. While there are well-established criteria for measuring genetic exchangeability, the concept of ecological exchangeability has generated considerable confusion. We describe a procedure that uses the complementary strengths, while recognising the limitations, of both molecular genetic data and ecological experiments to determine the ecological exchangeability of local populations within a species. This is the first synthesis of a combined approach (experiments and genetics) and the first explicit discussion of testing ecological exchangeability. Although it would be ideal to find functional genes that interact to influence quantitative traits resulting in ecological differences (e.g. growth, size, fecundity), we suggest that our current knowledge of functional markers is too limited for most species to use them to differentiate adaptively different local populations. Thus, we argue that ecological experiments using whole organisms combined with neutral markers that indicate evolutionary divergence, provide the strongest case for detecting adaptive differences among local populations. Both genetic divergence and ecological experiments provide the best information for infering ecological exchangeability. This procedure can be used to decide which local populations should be preserved to maintain intraspecific variation and to determine which populations would enhance captive-breeding programs, augment endangered local populations and could best be used to re-introduce native species into historically occupied areas.
We present results from a study of genetic variation in Utah's cougar population. Estimates were based on data for 50 animals at nine microsatellite loci with five individuals sampled for each of ten management units throughout Utah. Levels of variation were moderate (average genetic diversity across populations was estimated to be 0.4687 for all 50 individuals), and comparable with other large mammals. But this level of variation for the microsatellite loci translated into an inbreeding effective population size of only 571 animals, much lower than the current estimates of census sizes of around 2000-3000. A lack of differentiation among the sampled populations across Utah (average Nem = 6.2) indicates that gene flow occurs over a large area. Since cougars are capable of movement beyond the Utah state borders (and certainly across management units), a better understanding of migration rates and patterns of dispersal will be achieved by sampling a much larger geographic region incorporating much of the western USA. Successful management and conservation of this species will then require a far more integrated approach, involving agencies across a number of states, as opposed to current management practices involving individual units within states.
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