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Changes in a West Indian Bird Community Since the Late Pleistocene

Description

Aim
To establish a chronology for late Quaternary avian extinction, extirpation and persistence in the Bahamas, thereby testing the relative roles of climate change and human impact as causes of extinction.
Location
Great Abaco Island (Abaco), Bahamas, West Indies.
Methods

Aim
To establish a chronology for late Quaternary avian extinction, extirpation and persistence in the Bahamas, thereby testing the relative roles of climate change and human impact as causes of extinction.
Location
Great Abaco Island (Abaco), Bahamas, West Indies.
Methods
We analysed the resident bird community as sampled by Pleistocene (> 11.7 ka) and Holocene (< 11.7 ka) fossils. Each species was classified as extinct (lost globally), extirpated (gone from Abaco but persists elsewhere), or extant (still resident on Abaco). We compared patterns of extinction, extirpation and persistence to independent estimates of climate and sea level for glacial (late Pleistocene) and interglacial (Holocene) times.
Results
Of 45 bird species identified in Pleistocene fossils, 25 (56%) no longer occur on Abaco (21 extirpated, 4 extinct). Of 37 species recorded in Holocene deposits, 15 (14 extirpated, 1 extinct; total 41%) no longer exist on Abaco. Of the 30 extant species, 12 were recovered as both Pleistocene and Holocene fossils, as were 9 of the 30 extirpated or extinct species. Most of the extinct or extirpated species that were only recorded from Pleistocene contexts are characteristic of open habitats (pine woodlands or grasslands); several of the extirpated species are currently found only where winters are cooler than in the modern or Pleistocene Bahamas. In contrast, most of the extinct or extirpated species recorded from Holocene contexts are habitat generalists.
Main conclusions
The fossil evidence suggests two main times of late Quaternary avian extirpation and extinction in the Bahamas. The first was during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition (PHT; 15–9 ka) and was fuelled by climate change and associated changes in sea level and island area. The second took place during the late Holocene (< 4 ka, perhaps primarily < 1 ka) and can be attributed to human impact. Although some species lost during the PHT are currently found where climates are cooler and drier than in the Bahamas today, a taxonomically and ecologically diverse set of species persisted through that major climate change but did not survive the past millennium of human presence.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-03-01

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Long-Term Effects of the keepin' it REAL Model Program in Mexico: Substance Use Trajectories of Guadalajara Middle School Students

Description

In the face of rising rates of substance use among Mexican youth and rapidly narrowing gender differences in use, substance use prevention is an increasingly urgent priority for Mexico. Prevention interventions have been implemented in Mexico but few have been

In the face of rising rates of substance use among Mexican youth and rapidly narrowing gender differences in use, substance use prevention is an increasingly urgent priority for Mexico. Prevention interventions have been implemented in Mexico but few have been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness. This article presents the long term effects of a Mexico-based pilot study to test the feasibility of a linguistically specific (Mexican Spanish) adapted version of keepin’ it REAL, a school-based substance abuse prevention model program. University affiliated researchers from Mexico and the US collaborated on the study design, program implementation, data collection, and analysis. Students and their teachers from two middle schools (secundarias) in Guadalajara participated in this field trial of Mantente REAL (translated to Spanish). The schools were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. The sample of 431 students reported last 30 day substance use at three times (one pretest and two posttests). Changes in substance use behaviors over time were examined using growth curve models. Long term desired intervention effects were found for alcohol and marijuana use but not for cigarettes. The intervention effects were greater for girls than for boys in slowing the typical developmental increase over time in alcohol use. Marijuana effects were based on small numbers of users and indicate a need for larger scale studies. These findings suggest that keepin’ it REAL is a promising foundation for cultural program adaptation efforts to create efficacious school-based universal prevention interventions for middle school students in Mexico.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-04-01

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Resource Consumption, Sustainability, and Cancer

Description

Preserving a system’s viability in the presence of diversity erosion is critical if the goal is to sustainably support biodiversity. Reduction in population heterogeneity, whether inter- or intraspecies, may increase population fragility, either decreasing its ability to adapt effectively to

Preserving a system’s viability in the presence of diversity erosion is critical if the goal is to sustainably support biodiversity. Reduction in population heterogeneity, whether inter- or intraspecies, may increase population fragility, either decreasing its ability to adapt effectively to environmental changes or facilitating the survival and success of ordinarily rare phenotypes. The latter may result in over-representation of individuals who may participate in resource utilization patterns that can lead to over-exploitation, exhaustion, and, ultimately, collapse of both the resource and the population that depends on it. Here, we aim to identify regimes that can signal whether a consumer–resource system is capable of supporting viable degrees of heterogeneity. The framework used here is an expansion of a previously introduced consumer–resource type system of a population of individuals classified by their resource consumption. Application of the Reduction Theorem to the system enables us to evaluate the health of the system through tracking both the mean value of the parameter of resource (over)consumption, and the population variance, as both change over time. The article concludes with a discussion that highlights applicability of the proposed system to investigation of systems that are affected by particularly devastating overly adapted populations, namely cancerous cells. Potential intervention approaches for system management are discussed in the context of cancer therapies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-02-01

Obligate herbivory in an ancestrally carnivorous lineage: the giant panda and bamboo from the perspective of nutritional geometry

Description

Herbivores face various nutritional challenges in their life cycles, challenges that may become increasingly acute under ongoing environmental changes.
Here, focusing on calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen, we used nutritional geometry to analyse individual-based data on foraging and extraction efficiencies, and

Herbivores face various nutritional challenges in their life cycles, challenges that may become increasingly acute under ongoing environmental changes.
Here, focusing on calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen, we used nutritional geometry to analyse individual-based data on foraging and extraction efficiencies, and combined these with data on reproduction and migratory behaviour to understand how a large herbivorous carnivore can complete its life cycle on a narrow and seemingly low quality bamboo diet.
Behavioural results showed that pandas during the year switched between four main food categories involving the leaves and shoots of two bamboo species available. Nutritional analysis suggests that these diet shifts are related to the concentrations and balances of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Notably, successive shifts in range use and food type corresponded with a transition to higher concentrations and/or a more balanced intake of these multiple key constituents.
Our study suggests that pandas obligatorily synchronize their seasonal migration and reproduction with the disjunct nutritional phenologies of two bamboo species. This finding has potentially important implications for habitat conservation for this species and, more generally, draws attention to the need for understanding the nutritional basis of food selection in devising management plans for endangered species.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-01-01

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Early-Type Galaxies at Intermediate Redshift Observed With Hubble Space Telescope WFC3: Perspectives on Recent Star Formation

Description

We present an analysis of the stellar populations of 102 visually selected early-type galaxies (ETGs) with spectroscopic redshifts (0.35 ≲ z ≲ 1.5) from observations in the Early Release Science program with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the

We present an analysis of the stellar populations of 102 visually selected early-type galaxies (ETGs) with spectroscopic redshifts (0.35 ≲ z ≲ 1.5) from observations in the Early Release Science program with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We fit one- and two-component synthetic stellar models to the ETGs UV-optical-near-IR spectral energy distributions and find that a large fraction (∼40%) are likely to have experienced a minor (fYC ≲ 10% of stellar mass) burst of recent (tYC ≲ 1 Gyr) star formation. The measured age and mass fraction of the young stellar populations do not strongly trend with measurements of galaxy morphology. We note that massive (M > 1010.5M☼) recent star-forming ETGs appear to have larger sizes. Furthermore, high-mass, quiescent ETGs identified with likely companions populate a distinct region in the size-mass parameter space, in comparison with the distribution of massive ETGs with evidence of recent star formation (RSF). We conclude that both mechanisms of quenching star formation in disk-like ETGs and (gas-rich, minor) merger activity contribute to the formation of young stars and the size-mass evolution of intermediate redshift ETGs. The number of ETGs for which we have both HST WFC3 panchromatic (especially UV) imaging and spectroscopically confirmed redshifts is relatively small, therefore, a conclusion about the relative roles of both of these mechanisms remains an open question.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-12-01

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Controlling Surface Defects and Photophysics in TiO2 Nanoparticles

Description

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and catalytic activity, still remains controversial. Detailed understanding of surface defect structures may help explain reactivity and overall materials performance in a wide range of applications. In this work we address the solubility problem and surface defects control on TiO2 nanoparticles. We report the synthesis and characterization of ∼4 nm TiO2 anatase spherical nanoparticles that are soluble and stable in a wide range of organic solvents and water. By controlling the temperature during the synthesis, we are able to tailor the density of defect states on the surface of the TiO2 nanoparticles without affecting parameters such as size, shape, core crystallinity, and solubility. The morphology of both kinds of nanoparticles was determined by TEM. EPR experiments were used to characterize the surface defects, and transient absorption measurements demonstrate the influence of the TiO2 defect states on photoinduced electron transfer dynamics.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-11-13

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Lonsdaleite is faulted and twinned cubic diamond and does not exist as a discrete material

Description

Lonsdaleite, also called hexagonal diamond, has been widely used as a marker of asteroidal impacts. It is thought to play a central role during the graphite-to-diamond transformation, and calculations suggest that it possesses mechanical properties superior to diamond. However, despite

Lonsdaleite, also called hexagonal diamond, has been widely used as a marker of asteroidal impacts. It is thought to play a central role during the graphite-to-diamond transformation, and calculations suggest that it possesses mechanical properties superior to diamond. However, despite extensive efforts, lonsdaleite has never been produced or described as a separate, pure material. Here we show that defects in cubic diamond provide an explanation for the characteristic d-spacings and reflections reported for lonsdaleite. Ultrahigh-resolution electron microscope images demonstrate that samples displaying features attributed to lonsdaleite consist of cubic diamond dominated by extensive {113} twins and {111} stacking faults. These defects give rise to nanometre-scale structural complexity. Our findings question the existence of lonsdaleite and point to the need for re-evaluating the interpretations of many lonsdaleite-related fundamental and applied studies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-11-01

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Polarization Effects of GaN and AlGaN: Polarization Bound Charge, Band Bending, and Electronic Surface States

Description

GaN-based devices are currently limited by reliability issues such as gate leakage and current collapse, where the mechanisms responsible for degradation are closely related to the electronic surface state configuration. Therefore, understanding the electronic surface state configuration of GaN-based materials

GaN-based devices are currently limited by reliability issues such as gate leakage and current collapse, where the mechanisms responsible for degradation are closely related to the electronic surface state configuration. Therefore, understanding the electronic surface state configuration of GaN-based materials will help improve device performance. Since GaN has an inherent polarization, these materials are also subject to a bound polarization charge, which influences the electronic state configuration. In this study, the surface band bending of N-face GaN, Ga-face GaN, and Ga-face AlGaN was measured with x-ray photoemission spectroscopy after various cleaning steps to investigate the effects of the polarization. Despite the different surface bound charge on these materials, similar band bending was observed regardless of the magnitude or direction of the charge. Specifically, the band bending varied from −0.1 eV to 0.9 eV on these samples, which supported the models of a Fermi level pinning state at ∼0.4 eV to 0.8 eV below the conduction band. Based on available literature, we suggest this pinning state is indirectly evident of a nitrogen vacancy or gallium-dangling bond.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-12-01

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Exposure to maternal distress in childhood and cortisol activity in young adulthood

Description

Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal

Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal distress during late childhood (9–12 years) and adolescence (15–19 years) and cortisol response in offspring in young adulthood (24–28 years). Data were collected from 51 recently divorced mothers and their children across 15 years. Higher maternal distress during late childhood was associated with lower total cortisol independent of levels of maternal distress in adolescence or young adulthood. Maternal distress during adolescence marginally predicted blunted cortisol when distress in childhood was low. Findings suggest that blunted cortisol activity in young adulthood may be a long-term consequence of exposure to maternal distress earlier in development.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-11-01

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Predicting Sympathy and Prosocial Behavior From Young Children's Dispositional Sadness

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine whether dispositional sadness predicted children's prosocial behavior and if sympathy mediated this relation. Constructs were measured when children (n = 256 at time 1) were 18, 30, and 42 months old. Mothers and

The purpose of this study was to examine whether dispositional sadness predicted children's prosocial behavior and if sympathy mediated this relation. Constructs were measured when children (n = 256 at time 1) were 18, 30, and 42 months old. Mothers and non-parental caregivers rated children's sadness; mothers, caregivers, and fathers rated children's prosocial behavior; sympathy (concern and hypothesis testing) and prosocial behavior (indirect and direct, as well as verbal at older ages) were assessed with a task in which the experimenter feigned injury. In a panel path analysis, 30-month dispositional sadness predicted marginally higher 42-month sympathy; in addition, 30-month sympathy predicted 42-month sadness. Moreover, when controlling for prior levels of prosocial behavior, 30-month sympathy significantly predicted reported and observed prosocial behavior at 42 months. Sympathy did not mediate the relation between sadness and prosocial behavior (either reported or observed).

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-01-01