58 research outputs found

    Network Structure of Vertebrate Scavenger Assemblages at the Global Scale: Drivers and Ecosystem Functioning Implications

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    The organization of ecological assemblages has important implications for ecosystem functioning, but little is known about how scavenger communities organize at the global scale. Here, we test four hypotheses on the factors affecting the network structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger assemblages and its implications on ecosystem functioning. We expect scavenger assemblages to be more nested (i.e. structured): 1) in species‚Äźrich and productive regions, as nestedness has been linked to high competition for carrion resources, and 2) regions with low human impact, because the most efficient carrion consumers that promote nestedness are large vertebrate scavengers, which are especially sensitive to human persecution. 3) We also expect climatic conditions to affect assemblage structure, because some scavenger assemblages have been shown to be more nested in colder months. Finally, 4) we expect more organized assemblages to be more efficient in the consumption of the resource. We first analyzed the relationship between the nestedness of the scavenger assemblages and climatic variables (i.e. temperature, precipitation, temperature variability and precipitation variability), ecosystem productivity and biomass (i.e. NDVI) and degree of human impact (i.e. human footprint) using 53 study sites in 22 countries across five continents. Then, we related structure (i.e. nestedness) with its function (i.e. carrion consumption rate). We found a more nested structure for scavenger assemblages in regions with higher NDVI values and lower human footprint. Moreover, more organized assemblages were more efficient in the consumption of carrion. However, our results did not support the prediction that the structure of the scavenger assemblages is directly related to climate. Our findings suggest that the nested structure of vertebrate scavenger assemblages affects its functionality and is driven by anthropogenic disturbance and ecosystem productivity worldwide. Disarray of scavenger assemblage structure by anthropogenic disturbance may lead to decreases in functionality of the terrestrial ecosystems via loss of key species and trophic facilitation processes

    Scavenging in the Anthropocene: Human impact drives vertebrate scavenger species richness at a global scale

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    Understanding the distribution of biodiversity across the Earth is one of the most challenging questions in biology. Much research has been directed at explaining the species latitudinal pattern showing that communities are richer in tropical areas; however, despite decades of research, a general consensus has not yet emerged. In addition, global biodiversity patterns are being rapidly altered by human activities. Here, we aim to describe large‚Äźscale patterns of species richness and diversity in terrestrial vertebrate scavenger (carrion‚Äźconsuming) assemblages, which provide key ecosystem functions and services. We used a worldwide dataset comprising 43 sites, where vertebrate scavenger assemblages were identified using 2,485 carcasses monitored between 1991 and 2018. First, we evaluated how scavenger richness (number of species) and diversity (Shannon diversity index) varied among seasons (cold vs. warm, wet vs. dry). Then, we studied the potential effects of human impact and a set of macroecological variables related to climatic conditions on the scavenger assemblages. Vertebrate scavenger richness ranged from species‚Äźpoor to species rich assemblages (4‚Äď30 species). Both scavenger richness and diversity also showed some seasonal variation. However, in general, climatic variables did not drive latitudinal patterns, as scavenger richness and diversity were not affected by temperature or rainfall. Rainfall seasonality slightly increased the number of species in the community, but its effect was weak. Instead, the human impact index included in our study was the main predictor of scavenger richness. Scavenger assemblages in highly human‚Äźimpacted areas sustained the smallest number of scavenger species, suggesting human activity may be overriding other macroecological processes in shaping scavenger communities. Our results highlight the effect of human impact at a global scale. As speciesrich assemblages tend to be more functional, we warn about possible reductions in ecosystem functions and the services provided by scavengers in human‚Äźdominated landscapes in the Anthropocene

    The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-size Planets Orbiting a Nearby M Dwarf

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    We report the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of three terrestrial-size planets transiting L 98-59 (TOI-175, TIC 307210830)‚ÄĒa bright M dwarf at a distance of 10.6 pc. Using the Gaia-measured distance and broadband photometry, we find that the host star is an M3 dwarf. Combined with the TESS transits from three sectors, the corresponding stellar parameters yield planet radii ranging from 0.8 R ‚äē to 1.6 R ‚äē. All three planets have short orbital periods, ranging from 2.25 to 7.45 days with the outer pair just wide of a 2:1 period resonance. Diagnostic tests produced by the TESS Data Validation Report and the vetting package DAVE rule out common false-positive sources. These analyses, along with dedicated follow-up and the multiplicity of the system, lend confidence that the observed signals are caused by planets transiting L 98-59 and are not associated with other sources in the field. The L 98-59 system is interesting for a number of reasons: the host star is bright (V = 11.7 mag, K = 7.1 mag) and the planets are prime targets for further follow-up observations including precision radial-velocity mass measurements and future transit spectroscopy with the James Webb Space Telescope; the near-resonant configuration makes the system a laboratory to study planetary system dynamical evolution; and three planets of relatively similar size in the same system present an opportunity to study terrestrial planets where other variables (age, metallicity, etc.) can be held constant. L 98-59 will be observed in four more TESS sectors, which will provide a wealth of information on the three currently known planets and have the potential to reveal additional planets in the system

    Mitochondrial physiology

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    As the knowledge base and importance of mitochondrial physiology to evolution, health and disease expands, the necessity for harmonizing the terminology concerning mitochondrial respiratory states and rates has become increasingly apparent. The chemiosmotic theory establishes the mechanism of energy transformation and coupling in oxidative phosphorylation. The unifying concept of the protonmotive force provides the framework for developing a consistent theoretical foundation of mitochondrial physiology and bioenergetics. We follow the latest SI guidelines and those of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on terminology in physical chemistry, extended by considerations of open systems and thermodynamics of irreversible processes. The concept-driven constructive terminology incorporates the meaning of each quantity and aligns concepts and symbols with the nomenclature of classical bioenergetics. We endeavour to provide a balanced view of mitochondrial respiratory control and a critical discussion on reporting data of mitochondrial respiration in terms of metabolic flows and fluxes. Uniform standards for evaluation of respiratory states and rates will ultimately contribute to reproducibility between laboratories and thus support the development of data repositories of mitochondrial respiratory function in species, tissues, and cells. Clarity of concept and consistency of nomenclature facilitate effective transdisciplinary communication, education, and ultimately further discovery

    Mitochondrial physiology

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    As the knowledge base and importance of mitochondrial physiology to evolution, health and disease expands, the necessity for harmonizing the terminology concerning mitochondrial respiratory states and rates has become increasingly apparent. The chemiosmotic theory establishes the mechanism of energy transformation and coupling in oxidative phosphorylation. The unifying concept of the protonmotive force provides the framework for developing a consistent theoretical foundation of mitochondrial physiology and bioenergetics. We follow the latest SI guidelines and those of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on terminology in physical chemistry, extended by considerations of open systems and thermodynamics of irreversible processes. The concept-driven constructive terminology incorporates the meaning of each quantity and aligns concepts and symbols with the nomenclature of classical bioenergetics. We endeavour to provide a balanced view of mitochondrial respiratory control and a critical discussion on reporting data of mitochondrial respiration in terms of metabolic flows and fluxes. Uniform standards for evaluation of respiratory states and rates will ultimately contribute to reproducibility between laboratories and thus support the development of data repositories of mitochondrial respiratory function in species, tissues, and cells. Clarity of concept and consistency of nomenclature facilitate effective transdisciplinary communication, education, and ultimately further discovery

    Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study

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    Background: The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on postoperative recovery needs to be understood to inform clinical decision making during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports 30-day mortality and pulmonary complication rates in patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: This international, multicentre, cohort study at 235 hospitals in 24 countries included all patients undergoing surgery who had SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed within 7 days before or 30 days after surgery. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality and was assessed in all enrolled patients. The main secondary outcome measure was pulmonary complications, defined as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or unexpected postoperative ventilation. Findings: This analysis includes 1128 patients who had surgery between Jan 1 and March 31, 2020, of whom 835 (74¬∑0%) had emergency surgery and 280 (24¬∑8%) had elective surgery. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed preoperatively in 294 (26¬∑1%) patients. 30-day mortality was 23¬∑8% (268 of 1128). Pulmonary complications occurred in 577 (51¬∑2%) of 1128 patients; 30-day mortality in these patients was 38¬∑0% (219 of 577), accounting for 81¬∑7% (219 of 268) of all deaths. In adjusted analyses, 30-day mortality was associated with male sex (odds ratio 1¬∑75 [95% CI 1¬∑28‚Äď2¬∑40], p\textless0¬∑0001), age 70 years or older versus younger than 70 years (2¬∑30 [1¬∑65‚Äď3¬∑22], p\textless0¬∑0001), American Society of Anesthesiologists grades 3‚Äď5 versus grades 1‚Äď2 (2¬∑35 [1¬∑57‚Äď3¬∑53], p\textless0¬∑0001), malignant versus benign or obstetric diagnosis (1¬∑55 [1¬∑01‚Äď2¬∑39], p=0¬∑046), emergency versus elective surgery (1¬∑67 [1¬∑06‚Äď2¬∑63], p=0¬∑026), and major versus minor surgery (1¬∑52 [1¬∑01‚Äď2¬∑31], p=0¬∑047). Interpretation: Postoperative pulmonary complications occur in half of patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection and are associated with high mortality. Thresholds for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic should be higher than during normal practice, particularly in men aged 70 years and older. Consideration should be given for postponing non-urgent procedures and promoting non-operative treatment to delay or avoid the need for surgery. Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, Bowel and Cancer Research, Bowel Disease Research Foundation, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, British Association of Surgical Oncology, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, European Society of Coloproctology, NIHR Academy, Sarcoma UK, Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland, and Yorkshire Cancer Research

    Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications

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    This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from American Association for the Advancement of Science via the DOI in this record.Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale.This paper is the result of the Latin American and Caribbean Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network (DRYFLOR), which has been supported at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh by a Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant (IN-074). This work was also supported by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/I028122/1; Colciencias Ph.D. scholarship 529; Synthesys Programme GBTAF-2824; the NSF (NSF 1118340 and 1118369); the Instituto Humboldt (IAvH)‚ÄďRed colombiana de investigaci√≥n y monitoreo en bosque seco; the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI; Tropi-Dry, CRN2-021, funded by NSF GEO 0452325); Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR); and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cient√≠ficas y T√©cnicas (CONICET). The data reported in this paper are available at www.dryflor.info. R.T.P. conceived the study. M.P., A.O.-F., K.B.-R., R.T.P., and J.W. designed the DRYFLOR database system. K.B.-R. and K.G.D. carried out most analyses. K.B.-R. R.T.P., and K.G.D. wrote the manuscript with substantial input from A.D.-S., R.L.-P., A.O.-F., D.P., C.Q., and R.R. All the authors contributed data, discussed further analyses, and commented on various versions of the manuscript. K.B.-R. thanks G. Galeano who introduced her to dry forest research. We thank J. L. Marcelo, I. Huamantupa, C. Reynel, S. Palacios, and A. Daza for help with fieldwork and data entry in Peru

    Multi-ancestry genome-wide association meta-analysis of Parkinson?s disease

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    Although over 90 independent risk variants have been identified for Parkinson’s disease using genome-wide association studies, most studies have been performed in just one population at a time. Here we performed a large-scale multi-ancestry meta-analysis of Parkinson’s disease with 49,049 cases, 18,785 proxy cases and 2,458,063 controls including individuals of European, East Asian, Latin American and African ancestry. In a meta-analysis, we identified 78 independent genome-wide significant loci, including 12 potentially novel loci (MTF2, PIK3CA, ADD1, SYBU, IRS2, USP8, PIGL, FASN, MYLK2, USP25, EP300 and PPP6R2) and fine-mapped 6 putative causal variants at 6 known PD loci. By combining our results with publicly available eQTL data, we identified 25 putative risk genes in these novel loci whose expression is associated with PD risk. This work lays the groundwork for future efforts aimed at identifying PD loci in non-European populations

    COVID-19 symptoms at hospital admission vary with age and sex: results from the ISARIC prospective multinational observational study