This growing collection consists of scholarly works authored by ASU-affiliated faculty, students, and community members, and it contains many open access articles. ASU-affiliated authors are encouraged to Share Your Work in KEEP.

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Size Matters: Assessing Optimum Soil Sample Size for Fungal and Bacterial Community Structure Analyses Using High Throughput Sequencing of rRNA Gene Amplicons

Description

We examined the effect of different soil sample sizes obtained from an agricultural field, under a single cropping system uniform in soil properties and aboveground crop responses, on bacterial and

We examined the effect of different soil sample sizes obtained from an agricultural field, under a single cropping system uniform in soil properties and aboveground crop responses, on bacterial and fungal community structure and microbial diversity indices. DNA extracted from soil sample sizes of 0.25, 1, 5, and 10 g using MoBIO kits and from 10 and 100 g sizes using a bead-beating method (SARDI) were used as templates for high-throughput sequencing of 16S and 28S rRNA gene amplicons for bacteria and fungi, respectively, on the Illumina MiSeq and Roche 454 platforms. Sample size significantly affected overall bacterial and fungal community structure, replicate dispersion and the number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) retrieved. Richness, evenness and diversity were also significantly affected. The largest diversity estimates were always associated with the 10 g MoBIO extractions with a corresponding reduction in replicate dispersion. For the fungal data, smaller MoBIO extractions identified more unclassified Eukaryota incertae sedis and unclassified glomeromycota while the SARDI method retrieved more abundant OTUs containing unclassified Pleosporales and the fungal genera Alternaria and Cercophora. Overall, these findings indicate that a 10 g soil DNA extraction is most suitable for both soil bacterial and fungal communities for retrieving optimal diversity while still capturing rarer taxa in concert with decreasing replicate variation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-06-02

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Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

Description

Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas,

Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. A total of 370 individual mammals representing three genera and eight species were captured in 4,800 trap nights from winter 2011 to spring 2012. A multi-response permutation procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance and biomass by season and treatment. Rodent abundance, biomass, and richness were greater at AWS compared to control sites. Patterns of abundance and biomass were driven by the desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus) which was the most common capture and two times more numerous at AWS compared to controls. Vegetation characteristics, explored using principal components analysis, were similar between AWS and controls. Two species that prefer vegetation structure, Bailey’s pocket mouse (C. baileyi) and white-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula), had greater abundances and biomass near AWS and were associated with habitat having high cactus density. Although small mammals do not drink free-water, perhaps higher abundances of some species of desert rodents at AWS could be related to artificial structure associated with construction or other resources. Compared to the 30-year average of precipitation for the area, the period of our study occurred during a dry winter. During dry periods, perhaps AWS provide resources to rodents related to moisture.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-11-10

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The geography of hotspots of rarity-weighted richness of birds and their coverage by Natura 2000

Description

A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented

A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented by conservation actions such as protected areas (PAs). We aimed to identify high-priority areas for conservation, expressed as hotpots of rarity-weighted richness (HRR)–sites that efficiently represent species–for birds across EU countries, and to explore whether HRR are well represented by the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 is an evolving network of PAs that seeks to conserve biodiversity through the persistence of the most patrimonial species and habitats across Europe. This network includes Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), where the latter regulated the designation of Special Protected Areas (SPA). Distribution maps for 416 bird species and complementarity-based approaches were used to map geographical patterns of rarity-weighted richness (RWR) and HRR for birds. We used species accumulation index to evaluate whether RWR was efficient surrogates to identify HRRs for birds. The results of our analysis support the proposition that prioritizing sites in order of RWR is a reliable way to identify sites that efficiently represent birds. HRRs were concentrated in the Mediterranean Basin and alpine and boreal biogeographical regions of northern Europe. The cells with high RWR values did not correspond to cells where Natura 2000 was present. We suggest that patterns of RWR could become a focus for conservation biogeography. Our analysis demonstrates that identifying HRR is a robust approach for prioritizing management actions, and reveals the need for more conservation actions, especially on HRR.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-05

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NifH-Harboring Bacterial Community Composition across an Alaskan Permafrost Thaw Gradient

Description

Since nitrogen (N) is often limiting in permafrost soils, we investigated the N[subscript 2]-fixing genetic potential and the inferred taxa harboring those genes by sequencing nifH gene fragments in samples

Since nitrogen (N) is often limiting in permafrost soils, we investigated the N[subscript 2]-fixing genetic potential and the inferred taxa harboring those genes by sequencing nifH gene fragments in samples taken along a permafrost thaw gradient in an Alaskan boreal soil. Samples from minimally, moderately and extensively thawed sites were taken to a depth of 79 cm to encompass zones above and below the depth of the water table. NifH reads were translated with frameshift correction and 112,476 sequences were clustered at 5% amino acid dissimilarity resulting in 1,631 OTUs. Sample depth in relation to water table depth was correlated to differences in the NifH sequence classes with those most closely related to group I nifH-harboring Alpha- and Beta-Proteobacteria in higher abundance above water table depth while those related to group III nifH-harboring Delta Proteobacteria more abundant below. The most dominant below water table depth NifH sequences, comprising 1/3 of the total, were distantly related to Verrucomicrobia-Opitutaceae. Overall, these results suggest that permafrost thaw alters the class-level composition of N[subscript 2]-fixing communities in the thawed soil layers and that this distinction corresponds to the depth of the water table. These nifH data were also compared to nifH sequences obtained from a study at an Alaskan taiga site, and to those of other geographically distant, non-permafrost sites. The two Alaska sites were differentiated largely by changes in relative abundances of the same OTUs, whereas the non-Alaska sites were differentiated by the lack of many Alaskan OTUs, and the presence of unique halophilic, sulfate- and iron-reducing taxa in the Alaska sites.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-11-24

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Evaluating β Diversity as a Surrogate for Species Representation at Fine Scale

Description

Species turnover or β diversity is a conceptually attractive surrogate for conservation planning. However, there has been only 1 attempt to determine how well sites selected to maximize β diversity

Species turnover or β diversity is a conceptually attractive surrogate for conservation planning. However, there has been only 1 attempt to determine how well sites selected to maximize β diversity represent species, and that test was done at a scale too coarse (2,500 km[superscript 2] sites) to inform most conservation decisions. We used 8 plant datasets, 3 bird datasets, and 1 mammal dataset to evaluate whether sites selected to span β diversity will efficiently represent species at finer scale (sites sizes < 1 ha to 625 km[superscript 2]). We used ordinations to characterize dissimilarity in species assemblages (β diversity) among plots (inventory data) or among grid cells (atlas data). We then selected sites to maximize β diversity and used the Species Accumulation Index, SAI, to evaluate how efficiently the surrogate (selecting sites for maximum β diversity) represented species in the same taxon. Across all 12 datasets, sites selected for maximum β diversity represented species with a median efficiency of 24% (i.e., the surrogate was 24% more effective than random selection of sites), and an interquartile range of 4% to 41% efficiency. β diversity was a better surrogate for bird datasets than for plant datasets, and for atlas datasets with 10-km to 14-km grid cells than for atlas datasets with 25-km grid cells. We conclude that β diversity is more than a mere descriptor of how species are distributed on the landscape; in particular β diversity might be useful to maximize the complementarity of a set of sites. Because we tested only within-taxon surrogacy, our results do not prove that β diversity is useful for conservation planning. But our results do justify further investigation to identify the circumstances in which β diversity performs well, and to evaluate it as a cross-taxon surrogate.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-03-04

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Are human embryos Kantian persons?: Kantian considerations in favor of embryonic stem cell research

Description

One argument used by detractors of human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR) invokes Kant's formula of humanity, which proscribes treating persons solely as a means to an end, rather than

One argument used by detractors of human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR) invokes Kant's formula of humanity, which proscribes treating persons solely as a means to an end, rather than as ends in themselves. According to Fuat S. Oduncu, for example, adhering to this imperative entails that human embryos should not be disaggregated to obtain pluripotent stem cells for hESCR. Given that human embryos are Kantian persons from the time of their conception, killing them to obtain their cells for research fails to treat them as ends in themselves.
This argument assumes two points that are rather contentious given a Kantian framework. First, the argument assumes that when Kant maintains that humanity must be treated as an end in itself, he means to argue that all members of the species Homo sapiens must be treated as ends in themselves; that is, that Kant regards personhood as co-extensive with belonging to the species Homo sapiens. Second, the argument assumes that the event of conception is causally responsible for the genesis of a Kantian person and that, therefore, an embryo is a Kantian person from the time of its conception.
In this paper, I will present challenges against these two assumptions by engaging in an exegetical study of some of Kant's works. First, I will illustrate that Kant did not use the term "humanity" to denote a biological species, but rather the capacity to set ends according to reason. Second, I will illustrate that it is difficult given a Kantian framework to denote conception (indeed any biological event) as causally responsible for the creation of a person. Kant ascribed to a dualistic view of human agency, and personhood, according to him, was derived from the supersensible capacity for reason. To argue that a Kantian person is generated due to the event of conception ignores Kant's insistence in various aspects of his work that it is not possible to understand the generation of a person qua a physical operation. Finally, I will end the paper by drawing from Allen Wood's work in Kantian philosophy in order to generate an argument in favor of hESCR.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2008-01-31

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The role of ambiguity tolerance in career decision making

Description

The role of ambiguity tolerance in career decision making was examined in a sample of college students (n = 275). Three hypotheses were proposed regarding the direct prediction of ambiguity

The role of ambiguity tolerance in career decision making was examined in a sample of college students (n = 275). Three hypotheses were proposed regarding the direct prediction of ambiguity tolerance on career indecision, the indirect prediction of ambiguity tolerance on career indecision through environmental and self explorations, and the moderation effect of ambiguity tolerance on the link of environmental and self explorations with career indecision. Results supported the significance of ambiguity tolerance with respect to career indecision, finding that it directly predicted general indecisiveness, dysfunctional beliefs, lack of information, and inconsistent information, and moderated the prediction of environmental exploration on inconsistent information. The implications of this study are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-08-01

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Strain-engineered direct-indirect band gap transition and its mechanism in two-dimensional phosphorene

Description

Recently fabricated two-dimensional phosphorene crystal structures have demonstrated great potential in applications of electronics. In this paper, strain effect on the electronic band structure of phosphorene was studied using first-principles

Recently fabricated two-dimensional phosphorene crystal structures have demonstrated great potential in applications of electronics. In this paper, strain effect on the electronic band structure of phosphorene was studied using first-principles methods including density functional theory (DFT) and hybrid functionals. It was found that phosphorene can withstand a tensile stress and strain up to 10 N/m and 30%, respectively. The band gap of phosphorene experiences a direct-indirect-direct transition when axial strain is applied. A moderate −2% compression in the zigzag direction can trigger this gap transition. With sufficient expansion (+11.3%) or compression (−10.2% strains), the gap can be tuned from indirect to direct again. Five strain zones with distinct electronic band structure were identified, and the critical strains for the zone boundaries were determined. Although the DFT method is known to underestimate band gap of semiconductors, it was proven to correctly predict the strain effect on the electronic properties with validation from a hybrid functional method in this work. The origin of the gap transition was revealed, and a general mechanism was developed to explain energy shifts with strain according to the bond nature of near-band-edge electronic orbitals. Effective masses of carriers in the armchair direction are an order of magnitude smaller than that of the zigzag axis, indicating that the armchair direction is favored for carrier transport. In addition, the effective masses can be dramatically tuned by strain, in which its sharp jump/drop occurs at the zone boundaries of the direct-indirect gap transition.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-08-04

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PERMANENCE OF A GENERAL DISCRETE-TIME TWO-SPECIES-INTERACTION MODEL WITH NONLINEAR PER-CAPITA GROWTH RATES

Description

The per-capita growth rate of a species is influenced by density-independent, positive and negative density-dependent factors. These factors can lead to nonlinearity with a consequence that species may process multiple

The per-capita growth rate of a species is influenced by density-independent, positive and negative density-dependent factors. These factors can lead to nonlinearity with a consequence that species may process multiple nontrivial equilibria in its single state (e.g., Allee effects). This makes the study of permanence of discrete-time multi-species population models very challenging due to the complex boundary dynamics. In this paper, we explore the permanence of a general discrete-time two-species-interaction model with nonlinear per-capita growth rates for the first time. We find a simple sufficient condition for guaranteeing the permanence of the system by applying and extending the ecological concept of the relative nonlinearity to estimate systems' external Lyapunov exponents. Our method allows us to fully characterize the effects of nonlinearities in the per-capita growth functions and implies that the fluctuated populations may devastate the permanence of systems and lead to multiple attractors. These results are illustrated with specific two species competition and predator-prey models with generic nonlinear per-capita growth functions. Finally, we discuss the potential biological implications of our results.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10

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Radiative corrections to chiral separation effect in QED

Description

We calculate the leading radiative corrections to the axial current in the chiral separation effect in dense QED in a magnetic field. Contrary to the conventional wisdom suggesting that the

We calculate the leading radiative corrections to the axial current in the chiral separation effect in dense QED in a magnetic field. Contrary to the conventional wisdom suggesting that the axial current should be exactly fixed by the chiral anomaly relation and is described by the topological contribution on the lowest Landau level in the free theory, we find in fact that the axial current receives nontrivial radiative corrections. The direct calculations performed to the linear order in the external magnetic field show that the nontrivial radiative corrections to the axial current are provided by the Fermi surface singularity in the fermion propagator at nonzero fermion density.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013