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This study evaluated the effect of roughage:concentrate (R:C) ratio associated with a variable particle size of physically effective neutral detergent fibre (peNDF8) in the forage (Tifton-85 hay) on the performance, carcass traits and meat quality of lambs. Seventy-two 4-month-old, non-castrated Santa Ines male lambs (23.5 ± 2.32 kg BW) were distributed in a completely randomized design, in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement [two peNDF8 hay particle sizes (13 and 6 mm) and two R:C ratios (700:300 and 500:500 g/kg DM total)]. DMI, DM, NFC and TDN digestibility's, N-intake and N-faecal excretion were affected by the R:C ratio (P < 0.05). However, the N-retained was not affected by the studied variables (P > 0.05). It was observed an interaction (P < 0.05) between the peNDF8 and R:C ratios for final BW, average daily gain (ADG), colour parameters and pH 24 h. The lower roughage ratio provided greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of C14:1, C16:1–cis9, C18:1–cis9, ΣMUFA, Σn–6:Σn–3 and hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic index, enzymatic activity Δ9desaturase-C16 and -C18. Lambs fed a lower roughage diet had improved performance and feed efficiency, however, presented reduced polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) concentrations in the meat, especially Σn–3 family. Higher roughage diet and larger peNDF8 particle size improved the concentrations of PUFA while decreased Σn–6:Σn–3 ratio in meat. Larger peNDF8 particle size associated with higher roughage proportion, have reduced animal performance however, it increased protein concentration, a* and C* colour parameter without affecting fatty acids profile of Longissimus lumborum muscle.
This study aimed to analyse the survival of patients admitted to Brazilian hospitals due to the COVID-19 and estimate prognostic factors. This is a retrospective, multicentre cohort study, based on data from 46 285 hospitalisations for COVID-19 in Brazil. Survival functions were calculated using the Kaplan–Meier's method. The log-rank test compared the survival functions for each variable and from that, hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated, and the proportional hazard model was used in Cox multiple regression. The smallest survival curves were the ones for patients at the age of 68 years or more, black/mixed race, illiterate, living in the countryside, dyspnoea, respiratory distress, influenza-like outbreak, O2 saturation <95%, X-ray change, length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), invasive ventilatory support, previous heart disease, pneumopathy, diabetes, Down's syndrome, neurological disease and kidney disease. Better survival was observed in the influenza-like outbreak and in an asthmatic patient. The multiple model for increased risk of death when they were admitted to the ICU HR 1.28, diabetes HR 1.17, neurological disease HR 1.34, kidney disease HR 1.11, heart disease HR 1.14, black or mixed race of HR 1.50, asthma HR 0.71 and pneumopathy HR 1.12. This reinforces the importance of socio-demographic and clinical factors as a prognosis for death.
This study aimed to analyse the trend and spatial–temporal clusters of risk of transmission of COVID-19 in northeastern Brazil. We conducted an ecological study using spatial and temporal trend analysis. All confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Northeast region of Brazil were included, from 7 March to 22 May 2020. We used the segmented log-linear regression model to assess time trends, and the local empirical Bayesian estimator, the global and local Moran indexes for spatial analysis. The prospective space–time scan statistic was performed using the Poisson probability distribution model. There were 113 951 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The average incidence rate was 199.73 cases/100 000 inhabitants. We observed an increasing trend in the incidence rate in all states. Spatial autocorrelation was reported in metropolitan areas, and 178 municipalities were considered a priority, especially in the states of Ceará and Maranhão. We identified 11 spatiotemporal clusters of COVID-19 cases; the primary cluster included 70 municipalities from Ceará state. COVID-19 epidemic is increasing rapidly throughout the Northeast region of Brazil, with dispersion towards countryside. It was identified high risk clusters for COVID-19, especially in the coastal side.
Knowing how energy intake is partitioned between maintenance, growth and egg production (EP) of birds makes it possible to structure models and recommend energy intakes based on differences in the BW, weight gain (WG) and EP on commercial quail farms. This research was a dose-response study to re-evaluate the energy partition for Japanese quails in the EP phase, based on the dilution technique to modify the retained energy (RE) of the birds. A total of 300 VICAMI® Japanese quail, housed in climatic chambers, were used from 16 weeks of age, with averages for BW of 185 g and EP of 78%, for 10 weeks. To modify the RE in the bird’s body, a qualitative dilution of dietary energy was used. Ten treatments (metabolisable energy levels) were distributed in completely randomised units, with six replicates of five quails per experimental unit. Metabolisable energy intake (MEI), egg mass (EM) and RE were expressed in kJ/kg0.67. The utilisation efficiency (kt) was estimated from the relationship between RE and MEI. The metabolisable energy for maintenance was given by RE = 0. The net energy requirement for WG was obtained from the relationship between RE in the BW as a function of the BW. The utilisation efficiency for EP (ko) was obtained from the relationship between EM and RE corrected MEI for maintenance and WG. Based on these efficiencies, the requirements for WG and EM were calculated. The energy intake by Japanese quails was partitioned according to the model: MEI = 569.8 × BW0.67 + 22 × WG + 13 × EM. The current study provides procedures and methods designed for quails as well as a simple and flexible model that can be quickly adopted by technicians and poultry companies.
Oral nutritional supplements are widely recommended to head-and-neck cancer patients undergoing anti-cancer treatment; however, their effects on the outcomes of most importance to patients are unclear. This study aimed to systematically review the evidence of effect of oral nutritional supplements on mortality, treatment tolerance, quality of life, functional status, body weight and adverse effects. We searched PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, LILACS, Web of Science, CINAHL, two trial registry platforms, three sources of grey literature and reference lists of included studies. We assessed the risk of bias using the revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool (RoB 2), and certainty of evidence using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach. We used random-effects models with Hartung–Knapp correction for the meta-analyses. We included fifteen trials, of which five were ongoing or unpublished, providing evidence in four comparisons. We found very low to low certainty evidence for the effect of oral nutritional supplements on mortality, treatment tolerance, quality of life, functional status and adverse effects. When compared with nutritional counselling alone, nutritional counselling plus oral nutritional supplements probably increased body weight slightly. We also found adverse events relating to supplements use such as nausea, vomiting and feeling of fullness. Possible increases in mortality, treatment tolerance and quality of life besides a possible decrease in functional status are worthy of further investigation. Future research could attempt to address the clinical importance of a probable increase in body weight. Possible adverse effects of the use of oral nutritional supplements should not be overlooked.
The rate of passage (ROP) in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) influences the exposure time of food to the digestion and absorption processes. Consequently, ROP affects the efficiency of nutrient utilization and energy from the diet. This study aimed to determine the physiological parameters that characterize the digestive response, such as first appearance time (FAT), ROP, mean retention time (MRT) and transit time (TT) in adult Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), and to evaluate the effects of sex, apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance (AMEn) content in the diet and different types of markers on these parameters. In the first trial, we investigated the effects of sex and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diet) on the FAT parameter. Thirty-two male and 32 female Japanese quail were randomly allocated to 8 battery cages and assigned to 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 4 replicates of 4 birds for each treatment. To determine the FAT, ferric oxide (1%) was added to the diet, and the excreta of the quail was monitored until the first appearance of the marker. The results indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) in the FAT between males (100 min) and females (56 min), regardless of the AMEn content. In the second trial, thirty-two 32-week-old female Japanese quail in the laying phase were assigned to four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design, in which the main independent variables were type of marker (Cr or Ti) and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diets). In order to determine ROP (ET1%), MRT and TT (ET100%), the markers (0.5%: Cr2O3 and 0.5%: TiO2) were added to the diets, and the excreta were collected for 750 min. The excretion times for 1% (ET1%), 25% (ET25%), 50% (ET50%), 75% (ET75%) and 100% (ET100%) were estimated using cumulative excretion curves. No effect was detected for the AMEn level (P > 0.05); however, the effect of different marker types was significant (P < 0.05). This difference increased with time and ET100% was estimated to occur at 59 min. The ROP was estimated to be 68 min. The TT was estimated to be 540 min using Cr and 599 min using Ti, with an average MRT value of 0930 h. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that Japanese quail digestion through the GIT can be dynamic and differ based on sex or marker type.
The description of the growth of the Japanese quails is necessary to characterize the genetic potential of these birds raised in different countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the genetic potential of Japanese quails by conducting a meta-analysis considering studies conducted in different countries. Only data about the subspecies Coturnix coturnix japonica were considered; studies regarding Coturnix coturnix coturnix were not examined. The criteria investigated were BW (W), age (t), year of publication and location of the study. Each set of genetic material within a publication was coded as one study. The Gompertz function was used to interpret the growth of laying quails; thus, each study was represented by Gompertz parameters. The W and t data were applied to estimate the values of Gompertz growth parameters, including BW at maturity (Wm), BW at birth (Wi), maturity rate (B) and inflection point (IP). The age at which the maximum growth rate was achieved (t*) was calculated considering the parameters Wm, Wi and B. To estimate these parameters, random regression was used to randomize the parameter Wm. The parameters estimated for each assay were used in exploratory, grouping, and principal component analyses. The values of Wi ranged from 4.1 to 11.6 g. The values of B ranged from 0.0393 to 0.1039/day, and consequently, the values of t* and IP ranged from 14 to 31 days and 9.21 to 31.03 g, respectively. These results show that there is considerable variability in the growth potential of Japanese quails. To better understand this variation, two groups were examined: Brazil and other countries, according to the grouping of Wi, Wm, B and t*; parameter B was the variable that presented the highest specificity, indicating that both groups modified the maturity rate. For the principal component analysis, the year of publication showed a relationship with the growth parameters but only for studies performed in Brazil. For studies carried out in other countries, the changes in growth parameters were not related to the year of publication. In Brazilian studies, there was a decrease in the maturity rate, but the weight at maturity was higher. Therefore, it appears that different strategies of genetic selection were adopted in Brazil compared to other countries.
Each individual in the population has a distinct maximum growth potential, and the growth curve may vary depending on the response to nutrient intake, growth phase and variability among animals. The present study aimed to (1) model weight gain (WG) response to methionine+cystine (Met+Cys) supply using different mathematical functions, (2) identify functions that better fit the growth responses of pullets, (3) determine the Met+Cys requirements that maximize WG based on breeding standards and (4) partition the Met+Cys requirements for WG and maintenance. Three trials were performed using 1448 laying-type pullets. We adopted a completely randomized design with eight treatments and six replicates. The first trial (2 to 6 weeks, P1) used 15 pullets per experimental unit. The second and third trials (8 to 12 weeks, P2; 14 to 18 weeks, P3) were used eight pullets per replicate. The Met+Cys levels were obtained using a dilution technique. The mathematical functions used to describe WG responses to Met+Cys intake were broken line, broken line with curvilinear ascendancy, Michaelis–Menten, saturation kinetics and three logistic and three exponential models. Models were selected using the Bayesian information criterion and evaluated by residual analysis. It was possible to model the responses using the studied functions. The best functions were obtained by logistic and sigmoidal models in P1 and P2, and with the broken line by the curvilinear ascendancy model in P3. The Met+Cys intake that determined the maximum potential for WG (WGmax) in P1, P2 and P3 were 313, 381 and 318 mg/day, respectively. The Met+Cys requirements for WG were 20, 22 and 27 mg/g, and for maintenance were 214, 53 and 30 mg/kgBW0.75 for P1, P2 and P3, respectively.
This research communication describes the influence of diet, mammary quarter position and milking process on the temperature of teats and udder of cows fed diets containing different lipid sources. Five primiparous cows were fed diets containing cottonseed, sunflower seed, soybeans or soybean oil as a source of lipids and a reference diet without the inclusion of lipid sources in a 5 × 5 Latin Square design. Milk yield was determined in the last five days of each period. Milk samples were collected for SCC analysis on the last two days of each experimental period. The images of the mammary gland were obtained using an infrared camera and were analyzed with appropriate computer software. Milk yield was 14.8% higher for cows fed soybeans as a source of lipids. Diets and somatic cell counts did not influence the temperature of teats and udder. The milking process reduced the temperature of teats and udder by 0.79°C. Rear teats and rear quarters had higher surface temperatures than front teats and fore quarters. Changes in temperature of teats and mammary quarters occurred as a function of the milking process and quarter position. However, the diet and the SCC did not influence the temperature of teats and mammary quarters in this experiment.
Because plant phenotypes can change in response to attacks by herbivores in highly variable ways, the distribution of herbivores depends on the occurrence of other herbivore species on the same plant. We carried out a field study to evaluate the co-occurrence of three coconut pests, the mites Aceria guerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae), Steneotarsonemus concavuscutum (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and the moth Atheloca bondari (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). The eriophyid mite Ac. guerreronis is the most important coconut pest around the world, whereas S. concavuscutum and At. bondari are economically important only in some areas along the Brazilian coast. A previous study suggested that the necrosis caused by Ac. guerreronis facilitates the infestation of At. bondari larvae. Because all three species infest the area under the perianths on coconuts and S. concavuscutum also causes necrosis that could facilitate At. bondari, we evaluated the co-occurrence of all three species. We found that the occurrence of At. bondari was positively associated with Ac. guerreronis, but negatively associated with S. concavuscutum. In addition, the two mite species showed negative co-occurrence. Atheloca bondari was found on nuts of all ages, but more on nuts that had fallen than on those on the trees, suggesting that nuts infested by At. bondari tend to fall more frequently. We discuss the status of At. bondari as a pest and discuss experiments to test the causes of these co-occurrence patterns.
A child’s diet contains nutrients and other substances that influence intestinal health. The present study aimed to evaluate the relations between complementary feeding, intestinal barrier function and environmental enteropathy (EE) in infants. Data from 233 children were obtained from the Brazilian site of the Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health and Development Project cohort study. Habitual dietary intake from complementary feeding was estimated using seven 24-h dietary recalls, from 9 to 15 months of age. Intestinal barrier function was assessed using the lactulose–mannitol test (L–M), and EE was determined as a composite measure using faecal biomarkers concentrations – α-1-antitrypsin, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and neopterin (NEO) at 15 months of age. The nutrient adequacies explored the associations between dietary intake and the intestinal biomarkers. Children showed adequate nutrient intakes (with the exception of fibre), impaired intestinal barrier function and intestinal inflammation. There was a negative correlation between energy adequacy and L–M (ρ = −0·19, P < 0·05) and between folate adequacy and NEO concentrations (ρ = −0·21, P < 0·01). In addition, there was a positive correlation between thiamine adequacy and MPO concentration (ρ = 0·22, P < 0·01) and between Ca adequacy and NEO concentration (ρ = 0·23; P < 0·01). Multiple linear regression models showed that energy intakes were inversely associated with intestinal barrier function (β = −0·19, P = 0·02), and fibre intake was inversely associated with the EE scores (β = −0·20, P = 0·04). Findings suggest that dietary intake from complementary feeding is associated with decreased intestinal barrier function and EE in children.
Since behavioural adjustments are an important line of defence against thermal stress, either due to their energy efficiency or to efficiency at preventing overheating, we aimed to evaluate whether broilers fed different maize particle sizes adjusted their behaviour to deal with heat stress challenges. At several times a day, the behaviour of 220 naked neck broilers was evaluated. These broilers were fed with isonutritive diets containing maize with different geometric mean diameters (GMD): 605 and 2280 μm. The thermal environment was monitored during the experiment. Panting and open wings were the only behaviours that showed differences between the times of day (P < 0.05). However, GMD showed a significant effect on feed intake and panting (P < 0.05). The interaction between GMD and time of day was significant only on panting (P < 0.05). Although no daily variation was observed, the highest feed intake was observed in broilers fed the diet containing maize with a GMD of 2280 μm. Less than 5% of the broilers were observed drinking water during the day. Open wings was the behavioural adjustment most used by broilers from 10:00 h, and remained elevated until 14:00 h for both GMDs. The birds panted more when fed the diet containing maize with a GMD of 2280 μm. In conclusion, broilers adjust their behaviour to dissipate excess body heat from the environment and as a result of feed intake. Coarse particles of maize in the diet increase the thermal challenge of broilers since the environment also provides stressful thermal conditions.
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.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
Reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission is still a public health priority. The development of effective control strategies relies on the quantification of the effects of prophylactic and therapeutic measures in disease incidence. Although several assays can be used to estimate HIV incidence, these estimates are limited by the poor performance of these assays in distinguishing recent from long-standing infections. To address such limitation, we have developed an assay to titrate p24-specific IgG3 antibodies as a marker of recent infection. The assay is based on a recombinant p24 protein capable to detect total IgG antibodies in sera using a liquid micro array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, the assay was optimised to detect and titrate anti-p24 IgG3 responses in a panel of sequential specimens from seroconverters over 24 months. The kinetics of p24-specific IgG3 titres revealed a transient peak in the 4 to 5-month period after seroconversion. It was followed by a sharp decline, allowing infections with less than 6 months to be distinguished from older ones. The developed assay exhibited a mean duration of recent infection of 144 days and a false-recent rate of ca. 14%. Our findings show that HIV-1 p24-specific IgG3 titres can be used as a tool to evaluate HIV incidence in serosurveys and to monitor the efficacy of vaccines and other transmission control strategies.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
Improving understanding of the pathogen-specific seasonality of enteric infections is critical to informing policy on the timing of preventive measures and to forecast trends in the burden of diarrhoeal disease. Data obtained from active surveillance of cohorts can capture the underlying infection status as transmission occurs in the community. The purpose of this study was to characterise rotavirus seasonality in eight different locations while adjusting for age, calendar time and within-subject clustering of episodes by applying an adapted Serfling model approach to data from a multi-site cohort study. In the Bangladesh and Peru sites, within-subject clustering was high, with more than half of infants who experienced one rotavirus infection going on to experience a second and more than 20% experiencing a third. In the five sites that are in countries that had not introduced the rotavirus vaccine, the model predicted a primary peak in prevalence during the dry season and, in three of these, a secondary peak during the rainy season. The patterns predicted by this approach are broadly congruent with several emerging hypotheses about rotavirus transmission and are consistent for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotavirus episodes. These findings have practical implications for programme design, but caution should be exercised in deriving inferences about the underlying pathways driving these trends, particularly when extending the approach to other pathogens.
The objective of this study was to validate an electronic system for monitoring individual feeding and drinking behaviour and intake developed for young cattle housed in group. A total of 35 Holstein–Gyr crossbred heifers (BW: 180±52 kg; age: 121.5±32.5 days), fitted with an ear tag containing a unique passive transponder, were distributed in three groups of 12, 12 and 11 animals per period and had free access to 12 electronic feed bins and two electronic water bins (Intergado® Ltd). The dimensions of feed and water bins, as well as the sensors position were appropriate for young cattle. The system documented the visit frequency and duration, as well as the feed and water intakes, by recording the animal’s identification tag, bin number, initial and final times of visits and the difference of feed/water weight at the start and end of each bin visit. Feed bins were monitored using time-lapse video recording over 4 days and the water bins were monitored over 6 days. For each feed bin, two feeding events were monitored using manual weighings with an external scale immediately before and after the animal’s visit and the difference between them was assumed as feed intake (n=24 observations). For the water bins, 60 manual weighings were made. Video and manual weighing data were regressed on the electronic feeding and drinking behaviour and intake data to evaluate the system’s precision and accuracy. The system showed high specificity (98.98% and 98.56% for the feed and water bins, respectively) and sensitivity (99.25% and 98.74%, respectively) for identifying an animal’s presence or absence. Duration of feed and water bin visits as well as feed and water consumption per visit estimated by the system were highly correlated and precise compared with the observed video and manual weighing data (r2=0.917, 0.963, 0.973 and 0.986, respectively). It was concluded that Intergado® system is a useful tool for monitoring feeding and drinking behaviour as well as water and feed intakes in young cattle housed in groups.
Lychnophora ericoides Mart. (Asteraceae), popularly known as arnica, is a plant species subjected to non-timber forest products extraction. Evidence is mounting that some local populations are on the brink of extinction. However, demographic studies of Lychnophora ericoides are rare. Therefore, as a step towards conservation, a remnant population of Lychnophora ericoides located in an area of the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna) in Central Brazil was evaluated from 2010 through 2014. Disturbances such as wildfires and harvesting of Lychnophora ericoides were randomly distributed throughout the study period in this area. Four annual transition matrices (A1, A2, A3 and A4) were constructed, based on life stages. The main results of studies of population dynamics for this species are as follows: 1) population growth rates (λ) with 95% confidence intervals indicated a declining population in all periods from 2010 to 2014; 2) stochastic population growth rate considering the four matrices was < 1 with value λ = 0.358 and CI95% = (0.354–0.362); 3) survival with permanence at the same stage of reproductive adult individuals (46–80%) contributed most to population growth rate, based on elasticity analysis; 4) the population is much less likely to have increases in density, compared with reduction, for all intervals from 2010 to 2014, based on transient indices; 5) the low value of λ in the high-mortality year was caused by lower stasis of individuals in the seedling or sapling and juvenile life stages, as well as fecundity in the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 intervals, as shown by a life table response experiment; and 6) 100% of the population will probably be extinct within 15 years. There is evidence that the main cause for local extinction of Lychnophora ericoides could be the effects of frequent wildfires. Based on these results, it is suggested that the time has come for significant conservation efforts to rescue this population, including monitoring, protection and education as the first steps towards protection of this vulnerable plant species.