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Conservation tillage adoption continues to be threatened by glyphosate and acetolactate synthase–resistant Palmer amaranth and other troublesome weeds. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2010 through crop harvest in 2013 at two locations in Alabama to evaluate the effect of integrated management practices on weed control and seed cotton yield in glyphosate-resistant cotton. The effects of a cereal rye cover crop using high- or low-biomass residue, followed by wide or narrow within-row strip tillage and three PRE herbicide regimens were evaluated. The three PRE regimens were (1) pendimethalin at 0.84 kg ae ha−1 plus fomesafen at 0.28 kg ai ha−1 applied broadcast, (2) pendimethalin plus fomesafen applied banded on the row, or (3) no PRE. Each PRE treatment was followed by (fb) glyphosate (1.12 kg ae ha−1) applied POST fb layby applications of diuron (1.12 kg ai ha−1) plus monosodium methanearsonate (2.24 kg ai ha−1). Low-residue plots ranged in biomass from 85 to 464 kg ha−1, and high-biomass residue plots ranged from 3,119 to 6,929 kg ha−1. In most comparisons, surface disturbance width, residue amount, and soil-applied herbicide placement did not influence within-row weed control; however, broadcast PRE resulted in increased carpetweed, large crabgrass, Palmer amaranth, tall morning-glory, and yellow nutsedge weed control in row middles compared with plots receiving banded PRE. In addition, high-residue plots had increased carpetweed, common purslane, large crabgrass, Palmer amaranth, sicklepod, and tall morning-glory weed control between rows. Use of banded PRE herbicides resulted in equivalent yield and revenue in four of six comparisons compared with those with broadcast PRE herbicide application; however, this would likely result in many between-row weed escapes. Thus, conservation tillage cotton would benefit from broadcast soil-applied herbicide applications regardless of residue amount and tillage width when infested with Palmer amaranth and other troublesome weed species.
The bran and particularly the aleurone fraction of wheat are high in betaine and other physiological methyl donors, which may exert beneficial physiological effects. We conducted two randomised, controlled, cross-over postprandial studies to assess and compare plasma betaine and other methyl donor-related responses following the consumption of minimally processed bran and aleurone fractions (study A) and aleurone bread (study B). For both studies, standard pharmacokinetic parameters were derived for betaine, choline, folate, dimethylglycine (DMG), total homocysteine and methionine from plasma samples taken at 0, 0·5, 1, 2 and 3 h. In study A (n 14), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially elevated from 0·5 to 3 h following the consumption of both bran and aleurone compared with the control; however, aleurone gave significantly higher responses than bran. Small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG measures; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. In study B (n 13), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially higher following consumption of the aleurone bread compared with the control bread; small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG and folate measures in response to consumption of the aleurone bread; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. Peak plasma betaine concentrations, which were 1·7–1·8 times the baseline levels, were attained earlier following the consumption of minimally processed aleurone compared with the aleurone bread (time taken to reach peak concentration 1·2 v. 2·1 h). These results showed that the consumption of minimally processed wheat bran, and particularly the aleurone fraction, yielded substantial postprandial increases in plasma betaine concentrations. Furthermore, these effects appear to be maintained when aleurone was incorporated into bread.
The current hypothesis of alveolar capillary membrane dysfunction fails to completely explain the severe and persistent leak of protein-rich fluid into the pulmonary interstitium, seen in the exudative phase of acute lung injury (ALI). The presence of intact red blood cells in the pulmonary interstitium may suggest mechanical failure of pulmonary arterioles and venules. These studies involved the pathological and ultrastructural evaluation of the pulmonary vasculature in Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)-induced ALI. Administration of SEB resulted in a significant increase in the protein concentration of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and vascular leak in SEB-exposed mice compared to vehicle-treated mice. In vivo imaging of mice demonstrated the pulmonary edema and leakage in the lungs of SEB-administered mice. The histopathological studies showed intense clustering of inflammatory cells around the alveolar capillaries with subtle changes in architecture. Electron microscopy studies further confirmed the diffuse damage and disruption in the muscularis layer of the terminal vessels. Cell death in the endothelial cells of the terminal vessels was confirmed with TUNEL staining. In this study, we demonstrated that in addition to failure of the alveolar capillary membrane, disruption of the pulmonary arterioles and venules may explain the persistent and severe interstitial and alveolar edema.
Observational data show an inverse association between the consumption of wholegrain foods, and inflammation and related diseases. Although the underlying mechanisms are unclear, wholegrains, and in particular the aleurone layer, contain a wide range of components with putative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. We evaluated the effects of a diet high in wheat aleurone on plasma antioxidants status, markers of inflammation and endothelial function. In this parallel, participant-blinded intervention, seventy-nine healthy, older, overweight participants (45–65 years, BMI>25 kg/m2) incorporated either aleurone-rich cereal products (27 g aleurone/d), or control products balanced for fibre and macronutrients, into their habitual diets for 4 weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and on day 29. Results showed that, compared to control, consumption of aleurone-rich products provided substantial amounts of micronutrients and phytochemicals which may function as antioxidants. Additionally, incorporating these products into a habitual diet resulted in significantly lower plasma concentrations of the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein (P = 0·035), which is an independent risk factor for CVD. However, no changes were observed in other markers of inflammation, antioxidant status or endothelial function. These results provide a possible mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of longer-term wholegrain intake. However, it is unclear whether this effect is owing to a specific component, or a combination of components in wheat aleurone.
The study of life histories involves the full span of life, from egg or sperm through reproduction and death. The ways in which individuals maximize progeny production and survival are about as diverse as the populations and species themselves. Research interest in life history is therefore strongly comparative, looking at the variation in life-history characteristics within populations, within species and among related species. As with ecology in general, we search for patterns in nature and develop hypotheses and theories, which account for the trends that we observe, and prompt new observations in a cycle of efforts to refine knowledge.
Understanding of life histories is fundamental to insect ecology, and we have covered many examples of life-history studies already in this book, and more will follow. Behavioral traits that promote fitness were covered in Chapter 2, and the evolution of life histories of social insects was discussed in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 included discussion of wing polymorphism in planthoppers (Figure 4.5), and jousting and territoriality of Pemphigus aphids (Figure 4.11). Density effects on planthopper fecundity and wing polymorphism were involved with competition (Chapter 5, Figure 5.8), and egg-laying schedules of a fruit fly were described in Chapter 9 (Figure 9.10). We noted also in Chapter 9 the differences between pro-ovigenic and synovigenic egg production, and the marked differences in survival of progeny portrayed in survivorship curves. In Chapter 6 different strategies of yucca moths were noted among true pollinators and two classes of cheaters (Figure 6.14). We also saw divergence of life-history types in scarab beetles (Figure 6.16) and the constraints on ovariole number and fecundity of parasitoid wasps and flies (Figure 8.4). Indeed, the study of life-history traits runs throughout ecology, and this is how it should be, because understanding the evolution of whole life histories is at the heart of understanding insects, and the evolutionary pathways along which they have traveled. This point is taken up again in the last section of this chapter on applications.
Everybody is conscious of insects, and even concerned about them. In fact, we each have an ecological relationship with their kind. We share our houses and gardens with them, our walks and picnics, and our adventures. So should we not understand them? Their richness in species and interactions, their beauty and behavioral intricacy, all enrich our lives if we understand who they are, and what they are doing. Therefore, the ecology of insects is for everybody.
Eisner (2003, p. 1), in his latest book, For Love of Insects, starts by writing that “This book is about the thrill of discovery.” And, Wilson (1994, p. 191), in his autobiographical, Naturalist, advised, “Love the organisms for themselves first, then strain for general explanations, and, with good fortune, discoveries will follow. If they don't, the love and the pleasure will have been enough.” Here is sound advice from two of the greatest practitioners of entomology and ecology, for discovery is thrilling, and the deeper the fascination one develops, the greater will be the discoveries that follow.
This book concludes with discussions on the broadest biological patterns we can observe on this Earth, and the reasons for their existence. We also examine smaller scales of variation that would be seen on the landscape and ecosystem levels. In doing so we pick up various topics discussed in previous chapters, such as the roles of time and space as influences on species richness, and expand this view to the global level, showing that the same factors remain important as we scale up our perspective to interactions on Earth. We also look at the paleobiological record again, as we did in Chapter 1 to note the long evolutionary history of insects, but in this section we examine the record for clues on what might be expected as global changes occur, and if predictions are possible.