27,929 research outputs found

    Phylogeographic investigation of the bladder grasshopper Bullacris unicolor (Orthoptera Pneumoroidea) in South Africa

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    There are several factors, such as genetic drift, gene flow and migration that affect the population genetic structure and phylogeographic distribution of genetic lineages within single species. Previous studies of the bladder grasshoppers, Bullacris unicolor of South Africa, showed divergence in mitochondrial CO1 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) haplotype diversity and significant genetic structure. In this study, we revisit these findings adding more samples from different locations and using mitochondrial CO1 and Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene sequences. We tested the hypothesis that the western, northern and eastern distribution ranges of B. unicolor show different population genetic patterns, corresponding with isolation-by-distance. Mitochondrial CO1 and ITS data were collected for 99 individuals from 12 localities across the Western, Northern and Eastern sides of South Africa. Overall, significant variation in genetic structure was found across the localities as indicated by FST analyses

    New methodological aspects in rehabilitation after proximal humerus fracture

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    Proximal humerus fracture ranks third in the elderly after femoral neck fractures and distal radius fractures, and seventh in adults, and the risk of occurrence is related to advancing age. In this study we aimed to analyze the efficacy of a 24-weeks physical therapy programme based on a particular methodology consisting of the reprogramming of the specific proprioceptive neuromuscular facil-itation techniques added to the classical physical therapy and by introducing modern interactive therapies and technologies: Capacitive Resistive Electric Transference, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, kinesiological tapes and PRAMA system, compared with classical physical therapy. Our study included 26 patients, aged between 18 and 55 years, with proximal humerus fracture, who complete the 24-weeks rehabilitation programme. We assessed pain, shoulder range of motion, muscle strength and the ability to perform activities of daily living. The statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS and Excel 2021. The results showed statistically significant im-provement in all shoulder motion, increased muscle strength, decreased pain, and a better ability to perform daily activities. The physical therapy programme based on the proposed particular methodology has proven to be more effective than classical physical therapy, both regarding the improvement of the movement parameters compared to the physiological values, as well as the symmetry of both shoulders

    Defining collective irrationality of COVID-19: shared mentality, mimicry, affective contagion, and psychosocial adaptivity

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    This paper defines the nature of collective irrationality that flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic and lays out specific individual and shared traits and dispositions that facilitate it. Drawing on the example of globally experienced phenomenon of panicked toilet paper buying and hoarding during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources from philosophy, psychology, sociology, and economics this paper identifies four essential features of collective irrationality: weak shared mentality; non-cognitive and immediate mimicry; affective contagion; and psychosocial adaptivity. After (I) initially pointing out conceptual problems around benchmarking collectivity and irrationality, this paper (II) identifies weak mentality as serving the goals of “group” recognition internally and externally. It is argued that (III) the non-cognitive and immediate mimicry and emotional contagion are shared and individual dispositional conditions that facilitate collective irrationality in environments affected by uncertainty (IV). The human mimetic faculty and susceptibility to emotional contagion are presented as enabling and augmenting conditions under which collective irrationality flourishes. Finally, (IV) presenting collective irrationality in the context of psychosocial adaptivity, the paper provides evolutionary reasons for engaging in irrational behaviors, rendering collective irrationality as an adaptive strategy

    Review of the applications of principles of insect hearing to microscale acoustic engineering challenges

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    When looking for novel, simple, and energy-efficient solutions to engineering problems, nature has proved to be an incredibly valuable source of inspiration. The development of acoustic sensors has been a prolific field for bioinspired solutions. With a diverse array of evolutionary approaches to the problem of hearing at small scales (some widely different to the traditional concept of "ear"), insects in particular have served as a starting point for several designs. From locusts to moths, through crickets and mosquitoes among many others, the mechanisms found in nature to deal with small-scale acoustic detection and the engineering solutions they have inspired are reviewed. The present article is comprised of three main sections corresponding to the principal problems faced by insects, namely frequency discrimination, which is addressed by tonotopy, whether performed by a specific organ or directly on the tympana; directionality, with solutions including diverse adaptations to tympanal structure; and detection of weak signals, through what is known as active hearing. The three aforementioned problems concern tiny animals as much as human-manufactured microphones and have therefore been widely investigated. Even though bioinspired systems may not always provide perfect performance, they are sure to give us solutions with clever use of resources and minimal post-processing, being serious contenders for the best alternative depending on the requisites of the problem

    Kinship composition in mammals

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    This is the final version. Available from the Royal Society via the DOI in this record. Data accessibility: The data, metadata and code are provided in the main text and the electronic supplementary materialUnderstanding the evolution of group-living and cooperation requires information on who animals live and cooperate with. Animals can live with kin, non-kin or both, and kinship structure can influence the benefits and costs of group-living and the evolution of within-group cooperation. One aspect of kinship structure is kinship composition, i.e. a group-level attribute of the presence of kin and/or non-kin dyads in groups. Despite its putative importance, the kinship composition of mammalian groups has yet to be characterized. Here, we use the published literature to build an initial kinship composition dataset in mammals, laying the groundwork for future work in the field. In roughly half of the 18 species in our sample, individuals lived solely with same-sex kin, and, in the other half, individuals lived with related and unrelated individuals of the same sex. These initial results suggest that it is not rare for social mammals to live with unrelated individuals of the same sex, highlighting the importance of considering indirect and direct fitness benefits as co-drivers of the evolution of sociality. We hope that our initial dataset and insights will spur the study of kinship structure and sociality towards new exciting avenues.European CommissionRepública Portuguesa/ Ministério Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superio

    National Koala Disease Risk Analysis Report V 1.2

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    The Koala Disease Risk Analysis (KDRA) identifies the knowledge base, information gaps, risk assessments and critical control points for koala disease hazards. The national focus of the KDRA provides a clear, evidence-based assessment of koala disease which will be of value in evaluating disease risk at all regional levels and for koalas in all management situations (captive, rehabilitation and free-ranging). The KDRA is a key guiding document for actions to achieve a vision of “sustainable, resilient and healthy populations of koalas, living in positive welfare within healthy ecosystems across their range

    Social plasticity and limited resilience of coral-dwelling gobies (genus Gobiodon) to climate change: outlook for coral-fish mutualisms in a changing world

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    Climate change is rapidly altering ecosystems on a global scale, and coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to climate-induced disturbances. Coral reefs depend on mutualisms with their foundation species, i.e. corals, and yet most of the literature has focused on their mutualisms with only one type of symbiont (algae). Little is known about how coral-fish mutualisms respond to climatic disturbances, and yet cyclones and heatwaves are increasingly devastating coral reefs. We urgently need to assess how coral-fish mutualisms respond to disturbances as changes in mutualisms have the potential for causing ecosystem-level changes. Yet fish in coral-fish mutualisms have often been overlooked in studies regarding environmental disturbances. There are multiple aspects of the life history, behaviour, and movement of fish that may impact their mutualisms with corals. Here, I investigated (1) whether both symbionts in coral-fish mutualisms respond similarly to climatic disturbances, and (2) what mechanisms from the fish perspective are likely responsible for how coral-fish mutualisms respond to climatic disturbances. I used a model coral-fish mutualism between coral hosts from the genus Acropora and coral-dwelling gobies from the genus Gobiodon in which both organisms provide important benefits for the resilience of each partner. I implemented a comparative approach by investigating multiple goby and coral species encountered in study locations to provide genus-wide understandings of how their coral-goby mutualisms are impacted by climatic disturbances. Particularly important is that gobies can live in social groups and living in groups can improve coral maintenance. Accordingly, first I provided a comprehensive review on how climate change is impacting the sociality of coral reef fish as the sociality of these taxa have only recently been investigated. Studies have shown that climate change affected the habitat and physiology of fishes, and each of these effects impacted their sociality. The review highlighted key changes to the sociality of these fish depending on how corals respond to disturbances, like reduction in coral size, shifts in coral communities, and health of corals. Secondly, I set the scene by monitoring coral-goby mutualisms throughout four extreme disturbances in the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR): two cyclones and two heatwaves that caused mass bleaching events. In the aftermath and after a few years of recovery, there were more coral species, but corals were almost three times smaller. For gobies though, there were two times fewer coral species, there were fewer gobies, and most corals became absent of gobies when previously most were occupied. Alarmingly, this study highlighted that gobies declined far more than corals and were far slower to recover than their hosts. Finally, I used a combination of observational and manipulative studies to investigate the potential for coral gobies to exhibit plasticity in their host use, sociality, and movement in relation to disturbances. Following the same four extreme disturbances, I found that gobies shifted hosts to the newly abundant coral species. Although exhibiting host plasticity may be an advantage in the short-term, using alternative coral hosts may reduce the fitness of gobies, i.e. their growth rates. I then investigated whether gobies shifted their social tendencies to live in groups or in pairs following these four extreme disturbances in the northern GBR and following a single extreme disturbance in the southern GBR. Gobies no longer lived in groups, rarely in pairs, and primarily lived as solitary individuals after the four disturbances, whereas there was relatively little change in their social tendencies after the single disturbance. This study suggests that if consecutive disturbances become the norm, gobies may continue to decline if they primarily stay solitary as they need to live in pairs to breed. I then completed another study to investigate how predation risk, coral size and health, and number of group members affected the movement of gobies. I translocated gobies in situ into corals with varying sizes, number of individuals, and health. I replicated the study in a relatively undisturbed environment in Papua New Guinea, and in the highly disturbed environment following the four extreme disturbances in northern GBR. Regardless of the disturbance state, gobies preferred to face high costs of predation and did alter their movement based on coral size, health, or number of group members, even when predation risk was higher in disturbed environments. This suggests that gobies do not alter their movement plasticity based on environmental disturbances even though predation risk is heightened. This means that gobies exhibited host and social plasticity, but they did not exhibit movement plasticity to disturbances. I found that each mechanism of plasticity was likely responsible for a reduced recovery potential of gobies compared to their coral hosts. By combining the findings from each chapter of the thesis, I suggest that coral-fish mutualisms are highly vulnerable to climate change as fish experience barriers to recovery via host, social, and movement plasticity. Future conservation strategies should address declines in fish in order to maintain coral-fish mutualisms important for coral health

    Behavioral responses of tadpoles of Clinotarsus curtipes (Anura: Ranidae) to odor cues of dragonfly larvae

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    In aquatic environments, many prey animals, including anuran larvae, predominantly use chemical cues to assess predation risk. In such systems, a variety of chemical cues (e.g., kairomones, alarm, dietary) affect the behavioral responses of the prey tadpoles. Many anuran tadpoles are able to discriminate different chemical cues and exhibit differential antipredator behavioral responses according to the perceived risk. The behavioral responses of tadpoles of Clinotarsus curtipes to predatory larvae of the dragonfly Pantala flavescens were studied in the laboratory. The predator’s kairomones (water conditioned by a starved predator) or its diet-derived metabolites released in excreta of a predator after consumption of conspecific (C. curtipes) or heterogeneric (Indosylvirana temporalis) prey tadpoles were used to simulate predation threat. The tadpoles of C. curtipes had no behavioral response to predator kairomones. However, the tadpoles showed antipredator behavioral responses i.e., reduced swimming movements and overall time spent swimming, and had a higher burst speed in response to water-borne cues released from the excreta of predators fed both conspecific and heterogeneric prey. The antipredator behavioral responses of tadpoles were most intense in response to cues of predators fed on conspecific prey. The findings of the present study show that tadpoles of C. curtipes are capable of assessing levels of predation threat and modulating the intensity of their defense behavior in accordance with the perceived threat

    Behavioural ecology of the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and conservation tool development in a semi-wild sanctuary

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    Conservation translocations are becoming an increasingly necessary tool to stem the decline of threatened species globally. The greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) is a nationally threatened species in Australia. While bilby translocations are expected to contribute to the species’ persistence, the scarcity of information on their behaviour and ecology prevents informed-management. By intensively studying a population of bilbies both prior to, and following reintroduction, and subsequent reinforcements to a fenced sanctuary, I aimed to (1) advance knowledge of bilby behaviour and examine behaviours potentially relevant to fitness (i.e. survival and breeding success), (2) improve ecological knowledge of bilbies within understudied (temperate) climates, and (3) use this knowledge to suggest and develop effective tools for their conservation. Chapter 1 describes the current state of research in applied conservation research, and how increased behavioural data could help address some of the current knowledge gaps for bilby conservation. In Chapter 2, I examined patterns in bilby resource selection, finding that selection changed between seasons and years due to the environmental conditions and resources available. I also found that resource requirements are likely to be behavioural-state dependent and sex-specific. In Chapter 3, I constructed social networks to examine nocturnal proximity of bilbies and concurrent burrow sharing and found that associations were non-random. Expanding on this, in Chapter 4, I found that burrow sharing was likely to help describe breeding strategies, as males strongly avoided other males, and mixed-sex dyads exhibited kin-avoidance when mate choice was more limited. In Chapter 5, I developed a test to screen personality traits in bilbies, finding links between male response to handling and relative breeding success post-release. Lastly, in Chapter 6, I described a method to collect detailed movement data on the bilby, and discussed some of the practical and animal welfare constraints for its application. My thesis provides new insights into the behavioural ecology of the bilby with potential implications for future management of the species. With further translocations necessary for long-term persistence of the bilby, this research is highly relevant to current and future management of this ecologically important species, with potential applications to other similarly at-risk species
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