26 research outputs found

    The impact of agri-environment schemes on pollination services in England

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    Agri-environment schemes fund landholders to manage land to achieve environmental objectives and other public goods. Previous research has shown that individual scheme interventions can boost wild pollinator populations locally. However, the effect of an entire scheme at a national scale has never previously been assessed. The location of every intervention implemented in England during 2016 was mapped and schemes’ predicted impact on bee abundance and pollination services was modelled using a validated, processbased spatial model (poll4pop), which simulates foraging and population dynamics. The study considered four wild bee guilds (incorporating bumblebees and solitary bees) and their visitation rates to four pollinator-dependent crops (oilseed rape, field beans, orchard fruit and strawberries). The modelling predicted that the scheme significantly increased ground-nesting (but not tree/cavitynesting) bee populations nationally. There were no significant increases in crop visitation at national scale, but some locally significant increases in ground-nesting bumblebee visitation to oilseed rape and field beans were predicted. Linear regression at 10 km scale was used to determine which interventions were driving increased oilseed rape and field bean visitation and found that hedgerow/woodland edge management dominated, due to high resource quality. Floral margins were estimated to provide more limited benefit, due to later resource phenology and low uptake. Fallow also had a strong effect, despite lower relative resource quality, implying effective placement with respect to crops. Finally, the effect of additional tree-planting interventions (hedgerows, agroforestry, and woodland) on bumblebee abundance and crop visitation (oilseed rape, field beans) was studied. This showed that hedgerow planting would deliver the greatest increase in bumblebee abundance, whereas fruit or willow agroforestry would increase crop visitation the most, due to higher co-location. Based on these findings, recommendations are set out for design of future schemes to help deliver greater and more resilient crop pollination services in arable landscapes

    Systematic review of reviews of intervention components associated with increased effectiveness in dietary and physical activity interventions.

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    BACKGROUND: To develop more efficient programmes for promoting dietary and/or physical activity change (in order to prevent type 2 diabetes) it is critical to ensure that the intervention components and characteristics most strongly associated with effectiveness are included. The aim of this systematic review of reviews was to identify intervention components that are associated with increased change in diet and/or physical activity in individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Library were searched for systematic reviews of interventions targeting diet and/or physical activity in adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes from 1998 to 2008. Two reviewers independently selected reviews and rated methodological quality. Individual analyses from reviews relating effectiveness to intervention components were extracted, graded for evidence quality and summarised. RESULTS: Of 3856 identified articles, 30 met the inclusion criteria and 129 analyses related intervention components to effectiveness. These included causal analyses (based on randomisation of participants to different intervention conditions) and associative analyses (e.g. meta-regression). Overall, interventions produced clinically meaningful weight loss (3-5 kg at 12 months; 2-3 kg at 36 months) and increased physical activity (30-60 mins/week of moderate activity at 12-18 months). Based on causal analyses, intervention effectiveness was increased by engaging social support, targeting both diet and physical activity, and using well-defined/established behaviour change techniques. Increased effectiveness was also associated with increased contact frequency and using a specific cluster of "self-regulatory" behaviour change techniques (e.g. goal-setting, self-monitoring). No clear relationships were found between effectiveness and intervention setting, delivery mode, study population or delivery provider. Evidence on long-term effectiveness suggested the need for greater consideration of behaviour maintenance strategies. CONCLUSIONS: This comprehensive review of reviews identifies specific components which are associated with increased effectiveness in interventions to promote change in diet and/or physical activity. To maximise the efficiency of programmes for diabetes prevention, practitioners and commissioning organisations should consider including these components.RIGHTS : This article is licensed under the BioMed Central licence at http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/license which is similar to the 'Creative Commons Attribution Licence'. In brief you may : copy, distribute, and display the work; make derivative works; or make commercial use of the work - under the following conditions: the original author must be given credit; for any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are

    Managing uncertainty: a review of food system scenario analysis and modelling

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    Complex socio-ecological systems like the food system are unpredictable, especially to long-term horizons such as 2050. In order to manage this uncertainty, scenario analysis has been used in conjunction with food system models to explore plausible future outcomes. Food system scenarios use a diversity of scenario types and modelling approaches determined by the purpose of the exercise and by technical, methodological and epistemological constraints. Our case studies do not suggest Malthusian futures for a projected global population of 9 billion in 2050; but international trade will be a crucial determinant of outcomes; and the concept of sustainability across the dimensions of the food system has been inadequately explored so far. The impact of scenario analysis at a global scale could be strengthened with participatory processes involving key actors at other geographical scales. Food system models are valuable in managing existing knowledge on system behaviour and ensuring the credibility of qualitative stories but they are limited by current datasets for global crop production and trade, land use and hydrology. Climate change is likely to challenge the adaptive capacity of agricultural production and there are important knowledge gaps for modelling research to address

    A multimodal cell census and atlas of the mammalian primary motor cortex

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    ABSTRACT We report the generation of a multimodal cell census and atlas of the mammalian primary motor cortex (MOp or M1) as the initial product of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN). This was achieved by coordinated large-scale analyses of single-cell transcriptomes, chromatin accessibility, DNA methylomes, spatially resolved single-cell transcriptomes, morphological and electrophysiological properties, and cellular resolution input-output mapping, integrated through cross-modal computational analysis. Together, our results advance the collective knowledge and understanding of brain cell type organization: First, our study reveals a unified molecular genetic landscape of cortical cell types that congruently integrates their transcriptome, open chromatin and DNA methylation maps. Second, cross-species analysis achieves a unified taxonomy of transcriptomic types and their hierarchical organization that are conserved from mouse to marmoset and human. Third, cross-modal analysis provides compelling evidence for the epigenomic, transcriptomic, and gene regulatory basis of neuronal phenotypes such as their physiological and anatomical properties, demonstrating the biological validity and genomic underpinning of neuron types and subtypes. Fourth, in situ single-cell transcriptomics provides a spatially-resolved cell type atlas of the motor cortex. Fifth, integrated transcriptomic, epigenomic and anatomical analyses reveal the correspondence between neural circuits and transcriptomic cell types. We further present an extensive genetic toolset for targeting and fate mapping glutamatergic projection neuron types toward linking their developmental trajectory to their circuit function. Together, our results establish a unified and mechanistic framework of neuronal cell type organization that integrates multi-layered molecular genetic and spatial information with multi-faceted phenotypic properties

    UBC Computer Science Technical Report TR-2001-08

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    In this document we explore the theory and potential experimental setups for measuring the near field of a complex luminary