2,334 research outputs found

    Habitat filtering determines spatial variation of macroinvertebrate community traits in northern headwater streams

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    Although our knowledge of the spatial distribution of stream organisms has been increasing rapidly in the last decades, there is still little consensus about trait-based variability of macroinvertebrate communities within and between catchments in near-pristine systems. Our aim was to examine the taxonomic and trait based stability vs. variability of stream macroinvertebrates in three high-latitude catchments in Finland. The collected taxa were assigned to unique trait combinations (UTCs) using biological traits. We found that only a single or a highly limited number of taxa formed a single UTC, suggesting a low degree of redundancy. Our analyses revealed significant differences in the environmental conditions of the streams among the three catchments. Linear models, rarefaction curves and beta-diversity measures showed that the catchments differed in both alpha and beta diversity. Taxon- and trait-based multivariate analyses also indicated that the three catchments were significantly different in terms of macroinvertebrate communities. All these findings suggest that habitat filtering, i.e., environmental differences among catchments, determines the variability of macroinvertebrate communities, thereby contributing to the significant biological differences among the catchments. The main implications of our study is that the sensitivity of trait-based analyses to natural environmental variation should be carefully incorporated in the assessment of environmental degradation, and that further studies are needed for a deeper understanding of trait-based community patterns across near-pristine streams

    Constraints on the Proper Motion of the Andromeda Galaxy Based on the Survival of Its Satellite M33

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    A major uncertainty in the dynamical history of the local group of galaxies originates from the unknown transverse speed of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) relative to the Milky Way. We show that the recent VLBA measurement of the proper motion of Andromeda's satellite, M33, severely constrains the possible values of M31's proper motion. The condition that M33's stellar disk will not be tidally disrupted by either M31 or the Milky Way over the past 10 billion years, favors a proper motion amplitude of 100+-20km/s for M31 with the quadrant of a negative velocity component along Right Ascension and a positive component along Declination strongly ruled-out. This inference can be tested by future astrometric measurements with SIM, GAIA, or the SKA. Our results imply that the dark halos of Andromeda and the Milky Way will pass through each other within the next 5-10 billion years.Comment: Accepted for publication in Ap

    Ecology and Adaptation of Stunted Growth in Fish [Updated August 2000]

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    Dwarf individuals are observed in many species of freshwater fish. This paper studies the potential causes of such stunted growth. We present a model which describes the effect of growth conditions on the age- and size- structure of fish populations. The model parameters are chosen to characterize a Eurasian perch population. Two possible causes of stunting are identified: resource limitation and size- or age-dependent survival probabilities. While the former mechanism often arises from intraspecific density dependence, the latter is of particular relevance in the context of interspecific interactions and fishing. After evaluating the immediate ecological consequences of these factors, we examine the potential for life-history adaptations in stunted fish populations. Interactions between the ecological and adaptive mechanisms of stunting are shown to be intricate: not only does the age at maturity of individuals affect their growth trajectories, but, in addition, alterations in growth conditions can result in different adaptively stable ages at maturity. We show that such adaptive responses can either alleviate or amplify stunting caused by ecological factors. Life-history adaptation may also lead to the persistence of stunting when ecological factors alone would allow for normal growth. An appreciation of the interplay between ecological and adaptive factors therefore is critical for understanding the causes and mechanisms of stunted growth

    Optical quality assurance of GEM foils

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    An analysis software was developed for the high aspect ratio optical scanning system in the Detec- tor Laboratory of the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki Institute of Physics. The system is used e.g. in the quality assurance of the GEM-TPC detectors being developed for the beam diagnostics system of the SuperFRS at future FAIR facility. The software was tested by analyzing five CERN standard GEM foils scanned with the optical scanning system. The measurement uncertainty of the diameter of the GEM holes and the pitch of the hole pattern was found to be 0.5 {\mu}m and 0.3 {\mu}m, respectively. The software design and the performance are discussed. The correlation between the GEM hole size distribution and the corresponding gain variation was studied by comparing them against a detailed gain mapping of a foil and a set of six lower precision control measurements. It can be seen that a qualitative estimation of the behavior of the local variation in gain across the GEM foil can be made based on the measured sizes of the outer and inner holes.Comment: 12 pages, 29 figure

    The Spectrum and Variability of Circular Polarization in Sagittarius A* from 1.4 to 15 GHz

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    We report here multi-epoch, multi-frequency observations of the circular polarization in Sagittarius A*, the compact radio source in the Galactic Center. Data taken from the VLA archive indicate that the fractional circular polarization at 4.8 GHz was -0.31% with an rms scatter of 0.13% from 1981 to 1998, in spite of a factor of 2 change in the total intensity. The sign remained negative over the entire time range, indicating a stable magnetic field polarity. In the Summer of 1999 we obtained 13 epochs of VLA A-array observations at 1.4, 4.8, 8.4 and 15 GHz. In May, September and October of 1999 we obtained 11 epochs of Australia Telescope Compact Array observations at 4.8 and 8.5 GHz. In all three of the data sets, we find no evidence for linear polarization greater than 0.1% in spite of strong circular polarization detections. Both VLA and ATCA data sets support three conclusions regarding the fractional circular polarization: the average spectrum is inverted with a spectral index ~0.5 +/- 0.2; the degree of variability is roughly constant on timescales of days to years; and, the degree of variability increases with frequency. We also observed that the largest increase in fractional circular polarization was coincident with the brightest flare in total intensity. Significant variability in the total intensity and fractional circular polarization on a timescale of 1 hour was observed during this flare, indicating an upper limit to the size of 70 AU at 15 GHz. The fractional circular polarization at 15 GHz reached -1.1% and the spectral index is strongly inverted during this flare. We conclude that the spectrum has two components that match the high and low frequency total intensity components. (abridged)Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ, 40 pages, 18 figure

    Interactions between Economic Growth and Environmental Quality in Shenzhen, China's First Special Economic Zone

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    The relationship between economic development and environmental quality is a debated topic. Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) is one prominent hypothesis, positing an inverted U-shaped development-environment relationship. Here we test this hypothesis using data from Shenzhen, Peoples Republic of China. Established in 1980 as the first special economic zone in China, Shenzhen has developed from a small village into a large urban-industrial agglomeration with the highest income level in the country. The enormous expansion of infrastructure, industrial sites and urban settlements has profoundly changed the local environment. We utilize environmental monitoring data from Shenzhen on concentration of pollutants in ambient air, main rivers, and near shore waters from 1989 to 2003. The results show that production-induced pollutants support EKC while consumption-induced pollutants do not support it

    Does Density-Dependent Individual Growth Simplify Dynamics in Age-Structured Populations? A General Model Applied to Perch, "Perca fluviatilis"

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    Availability of resources is a limiting factor for many populations. Diminished resource availability due to intraspecific competition is expected to decrease the annual growth increments of individuals. We study an age- structured population model for individuals with indeterminate growth and annual reproduction; parameters of the model are chosen to characterize a population with life history similar to the Eurasian perch. Different variants of this model are analyzed, all of which have a potential for exhibiting non-equilibrium population fluctuations. We demonstrate that by incorporating density-dependent individual growth into these models changes the dynamics of these populations by damping or even eradicating fluctuations in abundance and biomass. This finding offers an explanation for the observed stable dynamics of unperturbed perch populations. Further, density-dependent individual growth may also be a significant factor for contributing to the conspicuous empirical rarity of non-equilibrium population dynamics in general

    Stock-catch analysis of carp recreational fisheries in Czech reservoirs: Insights into fish survival, and impact of extreme events

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    In culture-based fisheries, managers strive for high stocking efficiency, the ratio between the total weight of caught and stocked fish. Here we present a new time series approach to examine the dependence of reported anglers. catches on stocking and external events, using data on carp ('Cyprinus carpio' L.) from 14 reservoirs in the Czech Republic. Average stocking efficiency varied between 0.25 and 2.2, with values close to unity in most reservoirs. The lowest efficiencies occurred in three reservoirs receiving cold hypoxic water from a large upstream reservoir, while the highest efficiencis were found in two shallow, highly productive reservoirs. Analyses further indicate that stocked carp are typically caught during the year of release or the year after; but also that the mean time lag- between stocking and capture increases with reservoir area. External events can be important: major floods in the years 2002 and 2006 were in many cases followed by large, up to 10-fold, increases in catches in subsequent years; we attribute the surplus catch to carp washed down from upstream aquaculture and river stretches. In contrast, the "Velvet REvolution" (demise of the communist regime in 1989) had no discernible effect on catches in subsequent years. In conclusion, the proposed method can simultaneously estimate the likely mean survival time of stocked carp and identify the impact of major environmental and societal events on recreational fisheries. The approach thus sheds light on the performance of current stocking practices at individual reservoirs, and could be used to monitor and improve stocking strategies and management of culture-based recreational fisheries

    Stacking-fault energies for Ag, Cu, and Ni from empirical tight-binding potentials

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    The intrinsic stacking-fault energies and free energies for Ag, Cu, and Ni are derived from molecular-dynamics simulations using the empirical tight-binding potentials of Cleri and Rosato [Phys. Rev. B 48, 22 (1993)]. While the results show significant deviations from experimental data, the general trend between the elements remains correct. This allows to use the potentials for qualitative comparisons between metals with high and low stacking-fault energies. Moreover, the effect of stacking faults on the local vibrational properties near the fault is examined. It turns out that the stacking fault has the strongest effect on modes in the center of the transverse peak and its effect is localized in a region of approximately eight monolayers around the defect.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in Phys. Rev.
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