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Only 6 to 8 % of the UK adults meet the daily recommendation for dietary fibre. Fava bean processing lead to vast amounts of high-fibre by-products such as hulls. Bean hull fortified bread was formulated to increase and diversify dietary fibre while reducing waste. This study assessed the bean hull: suitability as a source of dietary fibre; the systemic and microbial metabolism of its components and postprandial events following bean hull bread rolls. Nine healthy participants (53·9 ± 16·7 years) were recruited for a randomised controlled crossover study attending two 3 days intervention sessions, involving the consumption of two bread rolls per day (control or bean hull rolls). Blood and faecal samples were collected before and after each session and analysed for systemic and microbial metabolites of bread roll components using targeted LC-MS/MS and GC analysis. Satiety, gut hormones, glucose, insulin and gastric emptying biomarkers were also measured. Two bean hull rolls provided over 85 % of the daily recommendation for dietary fibre; but despite being a rich source of plant metabolites (P = 0·04 v. control bread), these had poor systemic bioavailability. Consumption of bean hull rolls for 3 days significantly increased plasma concentration of indole-3-propionic acid (P = 0·009) and decreased faecal concentration of putrescine (P = 0·035) and deoxycholic acid (P = 0·046). However, it had no effect on postprandial plasma gut hormones, bacterial composition and faecal short chain fatty acids amount. Therefore, bean hulls require further processing to improve their bioactives systemic availability and fibre fermentation.
Paleoecological data from the Quaternary Period (2.6 million years ago to present) provides an opportunity for educational outreach for the earth and biological sciences. Paleoecology data repositories serve as technical hubs and focal points within their disciplinary communities and so are uniquely situated to help produce teaching modules and engagement resources. The Neotoma Paleoecology Database provides support to educators from primary schools to graduate students. In collaboration with pedagogical experts, the Neotoma Paleoecology Database team has developed teaching modules and model workflows. Early education is centered on discovery; higher-level educational tools focus on illustrating best practices for technical tasks. Collaborations among pedagogic experts, technical experts and data stewards, centered around data resources such as Neotoma, provide an important role within research communities, and an important service to society, supporting best practices, translating current research advances to interested audiences, and communicating the importance of individual research disciplines.
Taphonomic factors may significantly alter faunal assemblages at varying scales. An exceptional record of late Holocene (<4000 yr old) mammal faunas establishes a firm baseline to investigate the effects of scale on taphonomy. Our sample contains 73 sites within four contiguous states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, USA) that transect a strong modern and late Holocene environmental gradient, the prairie–forest ecotone. We performed detrended correspondence (DCA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses. Both DCA and NMDS analyses of the data sets produced virtually the same results, and both failed to reveal the known ecological gradient within each state. However, both DCA and NMDS analyses of the unfiltered multistate data set across the entire gradient clearly reflect an environmental, rather than taphonomic, signal. DCA tended to provide better separation of some clusters than did NMDS in most of the analyses. We conclude that a robust mammal data set collected across a strong environmental gradient will document species turnover without the removal of taphonomic factors. In other words, taphonomy exhibits varying scale-dependent effects.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
Late Quaternary small mammal faunas document ecological change and biotic responses to past climates but are especially rare in some geographic regions such as the North American Great Plains. Don’s Gooseberry Pit (DGP), a cave in the southeastern Black Hills of South Dakota, USA, contains a fauna documenting small mammal community composition shifts and environmental change over the last 18,000 yr in this data-depauperate region. Although the stratigraphy of the cave appears to be primary, disparate radiocarbon dates indicate that there is mixing of the fauna throughout. A paleoenvironmental signal consistent with regional reconstructions still emerges from an analysis of the stratigraphically ordered fauna. Dated taxa from DGP record the ecological replacement of Dicrostonyx by Myodes and later Microtus in response to late Quaternary warming. Individually dated specimens of Dicrostonyx richardsoni confirm late survival of this cold-adapted taxon in the Black Hills (17,083 cal yr BP). Our results indicate that a coarse paleoecological signal is present in DGP, and that the Black Hills served as a “high-altitude” refugium for cold-adapted species following the end of the last glacial period.
A fossil assemblage containing molluscs, mammals, insects, ostracodes, and plants has been recovered from a silt-filled depression near Lima, in west-central Illinois. The reversed remanent magnetic signature of the sediments and the temporal ranges of two mammals, Microtus paroperarius and Lasiopodomys deceitensis, constrain the age of the assemblage to between 730,000 and 830,000 yr B.P. The extent of isoleucine epimerization in the molluscan shell is consistent with this age interpretation. The fauna includes at least 43 taxa of beetles from 11 families, 35 nominal species of molluscs, and two genera of ostracodes. The mammals include two shrews, three rodents, and a rabbit. The plant macrofossils (no pollen recovered) include 25 species of seed plants and four kinds of terrestrial or wetland mosses. Most of the plant species identified still occur in the upper Midwest, although a few of the taxa are found mainly to the north of the site. The fauna is characterized by an almost total absence of true aquatic taxa. The association of both boreal and thermophilous faunal and floral elements suggest that summer temperatures were not greatly different from present ones, but cooler, moist areas must have been available to support the boreal elements. Local conditions were probably similar to those now found in northeastern Iowa, where rains blocks, fissures, and joints in carbonate bedrock serve as traps for debris accumulations, provide shade, and are kept cool and moist during the hot summer months by cold-air drainage and groundwater seepage. Summer mean temperature in these microhabitats was probably between 18 and 20°C, similar to temperatures that now occur near the northern hardwood spruce-fir transition in the eastern United States.
New records of Jefferson's ground sloth (Megalonyx jeffersonii) and elk-moose (Cervalces scotti) from Lang Farm provide the first precise temporal correlation of these taxa with the specific environments inhabited by them near the time of their extinction. Six AMS 14C measurements establish an age of 11,405 ± 50 14C yr B.P. for Lang Farm Cervalces and an age of 11,430 ± 60 or 11,485 ± 40 14C yr B.P. for the Megalonyx. These measurements represent the youngest 14C dates for these two genera based on direct dating. Comparison of the dates with pollen data from northern Illinois indicates that these species inhabited a nonanalog environment that was transitional from mid-latitude tundra to mixed conifer and deciduous woodland. Although spruce (Picea sp.) was dominant, it was less abundant than prior to 12,500 14C yr B.P. The presence of black ash (Fraxinus nigra) and fir (Abies sp.) indicates a wet climate and heavy winter precipitation. This may have been the preferred habitat for Cervalces because of its narrow geographic range. However, this habitat type was only one of many occupied by Megalonyx as indicated by its broad geographic distribution.
Four Quaternary cave sites in central Texas demonstrate that the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) ranged more than 600 km southwest of its modern distribution. Climatographs suggest that the late Pleistocene/early Holocene summer climates were either 7.5°C cooler and 120 mm moister than today or 300 mm moister, if temperature remained unchanged. The distribution of T. striatus also implies that mixed deciduous forest existed on the eastern Edwards Plateau at this time.
Cave, a lava tube cave on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, has recently produced a mid-Holocene vertebrate faunal assemblage including woolly mammoth, polar bear, caribou, and Arctic fox. Several dates on the mammoth remains converge on 5700 14C yr BP. These dates, ~ 2300 yr younger than mammoth dates previously published from the Pribilof Islands, make these the youngest remains of proboscideans, and of non-extinct Quaternary megafauna, recovered from North America. Persistence of mammoths on the Pribilofs is most parsimoniously explained by the isolation of the Pribilofs and the lack of human presence in pre-Russian contact times, but an additional factor may have been the local existence of high-quality forage in the form of grasses enriched by nutrients derived from local Holocene tephras. This interpretation is reinforced by stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values obtained from the mammoth remains. The endpoint of mammoth survival in the Pribilofs is unknown, but maybe coterminous with the arrival of polar bears whose remains in the cave date to the Neoglacial cold period of ~ 4500 to 3500 14C yr BP. The polar bear record corroborates a widespread cooling of the Bering Sea region at that time.
Small mammal species distribution, density, and composition of modern and Pleistocene faunas from the eastern United States provide information about environmental gradients. Higher summer temperatures and less effective moisture along a transect from the northeast to the southwest can be correlated with the distribution of small mammals as well as decreases in the total number of shrew and vole species. Relative frequencies of “boreal”, “deciduous”, and “steppe” species are more equal in late Wisconsin than modern faunas which are predominantly composed of only one group. A higher vole species density is prevalent in each late Wisconsin fauna and eleven of twelve of these faunas have a higher shrew species density than the corresponding modern fauna. Many shrew and vole species that are today endemic to the boreal provinces were cosmopolitan during the late Wisconsin. Moderate environmental gradients of the equable late Wisconsin climates allowed integration of boreal species with resident species in the south.
More than 300 coots (Fulica americana) became frozen in Spring Lake, Tazewell County, Illinois, on December 1, 1985. This catastrophic event permitted 8 weeks of taphonomic observations, which showed that ice forms a stable substrate which permits terrestrial taphonomic processes to be imprinted on lacustrine deposits. Bird and mammal scavengers attacked coot carcasses in different manners, resulting in distinct disarticulation sequences. Bird scavengers preferentially fed on the head, neck, and breast-wing complex, causing early disarticulation of bones in these areas, late loss of hindlimb joints, and minimal bone damage. In contrast, mammal scavengers concentrated their attention on the hindlimb and tail region, resulting in bone breakage and early disarticulation of these body parts, but late disarticulation of the breast-wing complex. These data demonstrate that scavenger-specific feeding behaviors significantly influence disarticulation patterns early in assemblage formation, while anatomy may exert increasingly greater influence on disarticulation patterns as carasses become less attractive to scavengers. Finally, because taphonomic processes change in intensity and type through time, bone frequency and modification patterns will vary according to the time at which the patterns are arrested by burial. Thus, bone frequency and modification patterns should provide an index to the relative importance of specific biotic agents and of anatomy in fossil disarticulation patterns as well as an estimate of the time between death and burial.
Digital signal processing is one of many valuable tools for suppressing unwanted signals or inter-ference. Building hardware processing engines seems to be the way to best implement some classes of interference suppression but is, unfortunately, expensive and time-consuming, especially if several miti-gation techniques need to be compared. Simulations can be useful, but are not a substitute for real data. CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility has recently commenced a ‘software radio telescope’ project designed to fill the gap between dedicated hardware processors and pure simulation. In this approach, real telescope data are recorded coherently, then processed offline. This paper summarises the current contents of a freely available database of base band recorded data that can be used to experiment with signal processing solutions. It includes data from the following systems: single dish, multi-feed receiver; single dish with reference antenna; and an array of six 22 m antennas with and without a reference antenna. Astronomical sources such as OH masers, pulsars and continuum sources subject to interfering signals were recorded. The interfering signals include signals from the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and its Russian equivalent (GLONASS), television, microwave links, a low-Earth-orbit satellite, various other transmitters, and signals leaking from local telescope systems with fast clocks. The data are available on compact disk, allowing use in general purpose computers or as input to laboratory hardware prototypes.
Frequent and repeated climate fluctuations of the late Quaternary serve as a “natural experiment” for the response of species to environmental change. Analysis of the FAUNMAP database documents individualistic shifts in the geographic distributions for late Quaternary mammals. However, because the individualistic response is not necessarily random and because many species share similar niche parameters, it is possible that some species appear to form coherent groups of core species. In reality their dispersals are individualistic with regard to rate and timing. The individualistic response of mammals, as well as that of other organisms, has created late Quaternary communities without modern analogues. This concept has profound implications for the design of biological reserves and for land use management with respect to future global climate change. However, the relevance of non-analogue mammal communities has been challenged by Alroy (1999), who claims that non-analogue associations were not common in the Quaternary and that they appeared to occur in both the Pleistocene and Holocene. Reexamination of his analysis shows that he employed a different definition for non-analogue faunas and that his methods of analyses created artificially low counts of non-analogue communities and consequently an underestimate of their importance.
We have undertaken an adaptive optics imaging survey of extra-solar planetary systems and stars showing interesting radial velocity trends from high precision radial velocity searches. Adaptive Optics increases the resolution and dynamic range of an image, substantially improving the detectability of faint close companions. This survey is sensitive to objects less luminous than the bottom of the main sequence at separations as close as 1″. We have detected stellar companions to the planet bearing stars HD 114762 and Tau Boo. We have also detected a companion to the non-planet bearing star 16 Cyg A.
It has been an underlying assumption in many studies that near-surface layers imaged by ground-penetrating radar (GPR) can be interpreted as depositional markers or isochrones. It has been shown that GPR layers can be approximately reproduced from the measured electrical properties of ice, but these material layers are generally narrower and more closely spaced than can be resolved by typical GPR systems operating in the range 50−400 MHz. Thus GPR layers should be interpreted as interference patterns produced from closely spaced and potentially discontinuous material layers, and should not be assumed to be interpretable as precise markers of isochrones. We present 100 MHz GPR data from Lyddan Ice Rise, Antarctica, in which near-surface (<50 m deep) layers are clearly imaged. The growth of the undulations in these layers with depth is approximately linear, implying that, rather than resulting from a pattern of vertical strain rate, they do correspond to some pattern of snowfall variation. Furthermore, comparison of the GPR layers with snow-stake measurements suggests that around 80% of the rms variability in mean annual accumulation is present in the GPR layers. The observations suggest that, at least in this case, the GPR layers do approximate isochrones, and that patterns of snow accumulation over Lyddan Ice Rise are dominated by extremely persistent spatial variations with only a small residual spatial variability. If this condition is shown to be widely applicable it may reduce the period required for measurements of surface elevation change to be taken as significant indications of mass imbalance.
The terrestrial vertebrate fossil record provides a window into the past evolution of taxa, communities, and ecosystems. It can also be used to reconstruct ancient environments, climates, and landscapes. Vertebrate fossils can document the evolution of humans and their interactions with fauna and environments. However, before the maximum potential of this record can be realized, it is essential to know the extent of temporal resolution, or time-averaging, represented by fossil samples.
The late Quaternary was a time of rapid environmental fluctuations. The last glacial maximum was reached about 20 ka with continental glaciers covering most of Canada as well as the northeastern and upper midwestern United States (U.S.). Glacial ice physically displaced entire terrestrial biomes and the cooler climates altered distributions of species outside of the glacial limits. About 14 ka, the climate began to warm rapidly and glacial ice retreated northward, opening new landscapes for colonization by terrestrial biotas. Maximum warmth was reached between 9–5 ka with a time transgressive progression from west to east.
Radiocarbon chronologies allow for fine scale (100's to 1000's of years) resolution of mammal responses to these changes. Mammal communities did not respond as intact units but individual species shifted diachronically along environmental gradients. As a result, many late Pleistocene mammal communities contain associations of extant species that do not occur together today and appear to be ecologically incompatible. Pleistocene mammal communities also had a greater diversity of species than either Holocene or modern ones. This greater diversity was, in part, due to the existence of a diverse megafauna that became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene (10 ka). However, Pleistocene small mammal guilds with extant species, especially insectivores and microtine rodents, were also more diverse. Rapid changes in small mammal species distributions, diversity patterns, and clinal shifts around 10 ka strengthens environmental models for the end-Pleistocene extinction.
Modern mammal communities began to appear at the end of the Pleistocene and into the Holocene. In the eastern U.S., the species composition of these communities has been stable for the last 10 ka, although vegetational communities have shown change throughout the Holocene. In other parts of the U.S., middle Holocene warming caused some species to shift their geographic ranges. However, species composition of communities was not significantly altered. Understanding these changes not only provides a better perspective for viewing mammal communities of the past but it may also give insight into those of the future as climate will continue to vacillate, whether induced naturally or anthropogenically.
Spatial and temporal variations in human populations are, to a large extent, determined by the environmentally controlled distribution of biotic and abiotic resources. While archaeologists generally recognize this relationship, many fail to fully appreciate the complexity of either the changing environment, the ecological literature, or applications of ecological data to archaeological problems. It is important to apply modern ecological principles to archaeological problems, but the novelty of the principle should not preclude the nature of the problem to be solved. For example, the concepts of ecotone and edge effect are still applicable to archaeological problems concerning biotic boundaries such as those between forest and grassland even though it may be more appropriate to use an individualistic approach in research designs concerned with diffuse environmental and biotic gradients.