2,397 research outputs found

    Conservation implications of sea turtle nesting trends: elusive recovery of a globally important loggerhead population

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    Abstract Understanding population status and trends is important for developing and evaluating management and conservation actions for threatened species. Monitoring population status of marine organisms is especially challenging. Because sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs and nests are easily counted, these counts are commonly used as an index of abundance and population trends. Nest counts do not provide a direct index of adult female population abundance because females typically lay more than one nest per year and most do not reproduce every year. This study attempts for the first time to investigate the likelihood that observed fluctuations of nest counts represent inter‐annual changes of the adult female population by accounting for uncertainty in reproductive rate parameters. We analyzed 30 yr of reproductive data from the largest nesting loggerhead sea turtle population worldwide, breeding in Florida (USA), and for the three Recovery Units and seven Management Units therein. Nest counts followed a general non‐monotonic trend with wide fluctuations that corresponded to decreasing and increasing trends during short intervals. When we accounted for uncertainty in both clutch frequency and remigration interval, there was no evidence for an increasing or a declining trend in the breeding female population across the entire period. Despite extensive conservation efforts and protections for loggerheads in Florida and the wider USA, we did not find evidence of a strong population recovery. We recommend maintaining a high level of protection, addressing persistent anthropogenic threats, continued collection of rigorous nest‐count data, and monitoring reproductive parameters to better link nest counts to adult female population abundance. Our results demonstrate the need for caution in using nest counts as a direct proxy for adult female population status, as it may lead to unsupported conclusions potentially detrimental to conservation. Therefore, we recommend to always translating nest trends to at least adult female trends, including uncertainty in reproductive parameters. Our approach can be exported to other populations, even where reproductive parameters are not available. Applying high parameter uncertainty obtained from other populations can help identifying unequivocal population changes; that is, nest trends unlikely justified by uncertainty and poor knowledge of reproductive parameters

    Cloning and functional characterization of the fatty acid elongase 1 (FAE1) gene from high erucic Crambe abyssinica cv. Prophet.

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    A genomic fatty acid elongation 1 (FAE1) clone was isolated from Crambe abyssinica. The genomic clone corresponds to a 1521-bp open reading frame, which encodes a protein of 507 amino acids. In yeast cells expression of CrFAE led to production of new very long chain monounsaturated fatty acids such as eicosenoic (20:1(delta11)) and erucic (22:1(delta13)) acids. Seed-specific expression in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in up to a 12-fold increase in the proportion of erucic acid. On the other hand, in transgenic high-erucic Brassica carinata plants, the proportion of erucic acid was as high as 51.9% in the best transgenic line, a net increase of 40% compared to wild type. These results indicate that the CrFAE gene encodes a condensing enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of very long-chain fatty acids utilizing monounsaturated and saturated acyl substrates, with a strong capability for improving the erucic acid content

    Identification of a Bacterial Type III Effector Family with G Protein Mimicry Functions

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    SummaryMany bacterial pathogens use the type III secretion system to inject “effector” proteins into host cells. Here, we report the identification of a 24 member effector protein family found in pathogens including Salmonella, Shigella, and enteropathogenic E. coli. Members of this family subvert host cell function by mimicking the signaling properties of Ras-like GTPases. The effector IpgB2 stimulates cellular responses analogous to GTP-active RhoA, whereas IpgB1 and Map function as the active forms of Rac1 and Cdc42, respectively. These effectors do not bind guanine nucleotides or have sequences corresponding the conserved GTPase domain, suggesting that they are functional but not structural mimics. However, several of these effectors harbor intracellular targeting sequences that contribute to their signaling specificities. The activities of IpgB2, IpgB1, and Map are dependent on an invariant WxxxE motif found in numerous effectors leading to the speculation that they all function by a similar molecular mechanism

    Turbulent flow at 190 m height above London during 2006-2008: A climatology and the applicability of similarity theory

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    Flow and turbulence above urban terrain is more complex than above rural terrain, due to the different momentum and heat transfer characteristics that are affected by the presence of buildings (e.g. pressure variations around buildings). The applicability of similarity theory (as developed over rural terrain) is tested using observations of flow from a sonic anemometer located at 190.3 m height in London, U.K. using about 6500 h of data. Turbulence statistics—dimensionless wind speed and temperature, standard deviations and correlation coefficients for momentum and heat transfer—were analysed in three ways. First, turbulence statistics were plotted as a function only of a local stability parameter z/Λ (where Λ is the local Obukhov length and z is the height above ground); the σ_i/u_* values (i = u, v, w) for neutral conditions are 2.3, 1.85 and 1.35 respectively, similar to canonical values. Second, analysis of urban mixed-layer formulations during daytime convective conditions over London was undertaken, showing that atmospheric turbulence at high altitude over large cities might not behave dissimilarly from that over rural terrain. Third, correlation coefficients for heat and momentum were analyzed with respect to local stability. The results give confidence in using the framework of local similarity for turbulence measured over London, and perhaps other cities. However, the following caveats for our data are worth noting: (i) the terrain is reasonably flat, (ii) building heights vary little over a large area, and (iii) the sensor height is above the mean roughness sublayer depth

    Investigation of photorefractive subharmonics in the absence of wavemixing

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    Using a new optical configuration free from the influence of photorefractive optical nonlinearity, we investigate the main characteristics of the spatial subharmonic K/2 excited in a Bi12SiO20 crystal by a light-intensity pattern with wave vector K and frequency O. It is shown that in a large region of intensity and applied electric field the optimum value O of the frequency corresponds to the conditions of parametric excitation of the weakly damped eigenmodes of the medium: the space-charge waves. The threshold and above-threshold characteristics of the subharmonic regime are in good agreement with the theory

    Measurement of the cross-section and charge asymmetry of WW bosons produced in proton-proton collisions at s=8\sqrt{s}=8 TeV with the ATLAS detector

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    This paper presents measurements of the W+→Ό+ÎœW^+ \rightarrow \mu^+\nu and W−→Ό−ΜW^- \rightarrow \mu^-\nu cross-sections and the associated charge asymmetry as a function of the absolute pseudorapidity of the decay muon. The data were collected in proton--proton collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of 8 TeV with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC and correspond to a total integrated luminosity of 20.2~\mbox{fb^{-1}}. The precision of the cross-section measurements varies between 0.8% to 1.5% as a function of the pseudorapidity, excluding the 1.9% uncertainty on the integrated luminosity. The charge asymmetry is measured with an uncertainty between 0.002 and 0.003. The results are compared with predictions based on next-to-next-to-leading-order calculations with various parton distribution functions and have the sensitivity to discriminate between them.Comment: 38 pages in total, author list starting page 22, 5 figures, 4 tables, submitted to EPJC. All figures including auxiliary figures are available at https://atlas.web.cern.ch/Atlas/GROUPS/PHYSICS/PAPERS/STDM-2017-13

    Measurement of χ c1 and χ c2 production with s√ = 7 TeV pp collisions at ATLAS