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1.Clinical Validity and Reliability of the Malay Language Translations of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Questionnaire and Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia Questionnaire in a Primary Care Setting

Author:Vadivelu, S;Ma, ZF;Ong, EW;Hassan, N;Hassan, NFHN;Aziz, SHSA;Kueh, YC;Lee, YY

Source:DIGESTIVE DISEASES,2019,Vol.37

Abstract:Background: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Questionnaire (GERDQ) and Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia Questionnaire (QOLRAD) are reliable tools for evaluation of GERD. Aim: We aimed to test validity and reliability of Malay language translations of GERDQ and QOLRAD in a primary care setting. Methods: The questionnaires were first translated into the Malay language (GERDQ-M and QOLRAD-M). Patients from primary care clinics with suspected GERD were recruited to complete GERDQ-M, QOLRAD-M, and Malay-translated 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36 or SF36-M), and underwent endoscopy and 24-h pH-impedance test. Results: A total of 104 (mean age 47.1 years, women 51.9%%) participants were enrolled. The sensitivity and specificity for GERDQ-M cut-off score >= 8 were 90.2 and 77.4%%, respectively. Based on this cut-off score, 54.7%% had a high probability of GERD diagnosis. GERD-M score >= 8 vs. <8 was associated with erosive esophagitis (p < 0.001), hiatus hernia (p = 0.03), greater DeMeester score (p = 0.001), and Zerbib scores for acid refluxes (p < 0.001) but not non-acid refluxes (p = 0.1). Mean total scores of QOLRAD-M and SF-36-M were correlated (r = 0.74, p < 0.001). GERDQ-M = 8, erosive esophagitis, and DeMeester >= 14.72 were associated with impaired QOLRAD-M in all domains (all p < 0.02) but this was not seen with SF-36. Conclusions: GERDQ-M and QOLRAD-M are valid and reliable tools applicable in a primary care setting. (C) 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel

2.The effects of the bioanode on the microbial community and element profile in paddy soil

Author:Williamson, G;Chen, Z

Source:ENVIRONMENTAL ARSENIC IN A CHANGING WORLD (AS2018),2018,Vol.

Abstract:In paddy soil the reductive dissolution of iron oxide and the availability of organic matter plays an important role in arsenic release under anaerobic conditions. Microbial fuel cells have been shown to reduce organic matter (OM) content and the rate in which this occurs strongly relate to the external resistance applied. In this study we investigated the effects of bioanode operating at different external resistance on the paddy soil microbial community and iron and arsenic concentration. The results show that MFC can be used to reduce soil pore water iron and arsenic concentration and the extent in which this occurs depend on the external resistance applied. The MFC is able to mitigate arsenic release by decreasing organic matter availability. Furthermore, our finding shows that external resistance had a significant influence on the bacterial community composition that develop on the bioanode however only had minimal effect on the community of the bulk soil. These findings suggest that the sMFC can influence the iron and arsenic concentration by reducing OM content and the microbial community that develop in the bioanode vicinity.

3.Macroinvertebrate drift-benthos trends in a regulated river

Author:Tonkin, JD;Death, RG

Source:FUNDAMENTAL AND APPLIED LIMNOLOGY,2013,Vol.182

Abstract:Downstream drift plays a fundamental role in the spatial distribution and community structure of lotic macroinvertebrates. We sampled both benthic and drifting macroinvertebrates at 15 sites, in three sections of river with varying flow alteration along the Tongariro River, New Zealand. Our objectives were to examine whether (i) benthic and drift density were linearly related throughout the river, (ii) the presence of dams affected the propensity of macroinvertebrates to drift, and (iii) drift propensity was related to benthic periphyton biomass or natural longitudinal patterns down the river. More taxa were collected from the drift than the benthos, although drift and benthic samples were generally taxonomically similar, despite some structural differences. Nonetheless, differences were evident between the major groups when assessing density and relative abundance links between the benthos and drift. The presence of dams did not affect the propensity of macroinvertebrates to drift on the whole, nor was propensity affected by periphyton biomass or distance from source. These results suggest that although altered periphyton biomass in downstream sections in the Tongariro River is altering the composition of benthic and drifting macroinvertebrates, drift propensity is unaffected. However, some deviations from linear relationships between benthic and drift density are evident suggesting these links may be taxon specific.

4.Light attenuation - a more effective basis for the management of fine suspended sediment than mass concentration?

Author:Davies-Colley, RJ;Ballantine, DJ;Elliott, SH;Swales, A;Hughes, AO;Gall, MP

Source:WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,2014,Vol.69

Abstract:Fine sediment continues to be a major diffuse pollution concern with its multiple effects on aquatic ecosystems. Mass concentrations (and loads) of fine sediment are usually measured and modelled, apparently with the assumption that environmental effects of sediment are predictable from mass concentrations. However, some severe impacts of fine sediment may not correlate well with mass concentration, notably those related to light attenuation by suspended particles. Light attenuation per unit mass concentration of suspended particulate matter in waters varies widely with particle size, shape and composition. Data for suspended sediment concentration, turbidity and visual clarity (which is inversely proportional to light beam attenuation) from 77 diverse New Zealand rivers provide valuable insights into the mutual relationships of these quantities. Our analysis of these relationships, both across multiple rivers and within individual rivers, supports the proposition that light attenuation by fine sediment is a more generally meaningful basis for environmental management than sediment mass. Furthermore, optical measurements are considerably more practical, being much cheaper (by about four-fold) to measure than mass concentrations, and amenable to continuous measurement. Mass concentration can be estimated with sufficient precision for many purposes from optical surrogates locally calibrated for particular rivers.

5.Nitrogen addition increases sexual reproduction and improves seedling growth in the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis

Author:Gao, S;Wang, JF;Knops, JMH;Wang, J

Source:BMC PLANT BIOLOGY,2020,Vol.20

Abstract:Background: The Eurasian steppe is an important vegetation type characterized by cold, arid and nitrogen poor conditions. At the Eastern edge, including in the Songnen grassland, the vegetation is dominated by Leymus chinensis (henceforth L. chinensis) and is increasing threatened by elevated anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. L. chinensis is a perennial grass that mainly reproduces vegetatively and its sexual reproduction is limited. However, sexual reproduction plays an important role influencing colonization after large disturbances. To develop an understanding of how elevated nitrogen deposition changes the plant community structure and functioning we need a better understanding how sexual reproduction of L. chinensis changes with nitrogen enrichment. Here we report on a field experiment where we added 10 g N m(-2) yr(-1) and examined changes in seed traits, seed germination and early seedling growth. Results: Nitrogen addition increased seed production by 79%%, contributing to this seed increases were a 28%% increase in flowering plant density, a 40%% increase in seed number per plant and a 11%% increase in seed weight. Seed size increased with a 42%% increase in large seeds and a 49%% decrease in the smallest seed size category. Seed germination success improved by 10%% for small seeds and 18%% for large seeds. Combined, the increased in seed production and improved seed quality doubled the potential seed germination. Subsequent seedling above and below-ground biomass also significantly increased. Conclusions: All aspects of L. chinensis sexual reproduction increased with nitrogen addition. Thus, L. chinensis competitive ability may increase when atmospheric nitrogen deposition increases, which may further reduce overall plant diversity in the low diversity Songnen grasslands.

6.Supernatural Explanatory Models of Health and Illness and HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Use Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in China

Author:Pan, SW;Smith, MK;Carpiano, RM;Fu, HY;Ong, JJ;Huang, WT;Tang, WM;Tucker, JD

Source:INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE,2020,Vol.27

Abstract:Background In China, men who have sex with men (MSM) shoulder a disproportionate HIV burden. Early initiation and adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) will be critical to reversing the HIV epidemic in China, but ART usage remains suboptimal among MSM diagnosed with HIV. One understudied but potentially important factor underpinning suboptimal ART usage is personal belief in supernatural explanatory models of health and illness (supernatural explanatory models). This study examines associations between beliefs in supernatural explanatory models and ART usage among MSM in China. Method In 2017, an online survey was distributed nationwide throughout China by gay community-based organizations. Eligible study participants were self-identified MSM between 16 and 30 years old who had tested positive for HIV and who had seen a doctor in the last 2 years. Beliefs in supernatural explanatory models were measured using a three-item scale developed specifically for the Chinese population (range, 3-15). Results Of 73 participants, the majority were currently using ART (83.6%%) and 42.5%% expressed some endorsement of belief in supernatural explanatory models. However, among 21 participants with the strongest belief in supernatural explanatory models, prevalence of current ART usage was 61.9%%. Stronger belief in supernatural explanatory models was significantly associated with lower likelihood of current ART usage (adjusted odds ratio = 0.52; 95%% confidence interval = 0.13-0.75). Conclusion Belief in supernatural explanatory models may be a powerful predictor of ART usage among MSM living with HIV in China. Further studies are needed to corroborate these findings and elucidate mechanisms of association.

7.Elevated serum uric acid, hyperuricaemia and dietary patterns among adolescents in mainland China

Author:Zhou, H;Ma, ZF;Lu, YM;Du, YY;Shao, J;Wang, LY;Wu, Q;Pan, BY;Zhu, WX;Zhao, QH;Wei, H

Source:JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM,2020,Vol.33

Abstract:Background: Elevated serum uric acid concentrations have been associated with metabolic syndrome. However, only limited information is available on the prevalence of hyperuricaemia in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of our cross-sectional study was to study the prevalence of hyperuricaemia and dietary patterns in adolescents aged 13-16 years living in Yangzhou, China. Methods: Adolescents were asked to complete a 20-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and provide an overnight fasting finger-prick sample. Principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used to derive the dietary patterns that might be associated with high uric acid concentrations. Results: A total of 1070 adolescents were recruited. Of these, 53.6%% (n = 574) were females, and 58.5%% (n = 625) were within the normal body mass index (BMI) range. The males had a significantly higher serving size and frequency in their weekly food consumption, including meat, poultry, Chinese cereal staple foods and Western-style fast foods, than the females (all p < 0.02). The overall mean serum uric acid concentration and prevalence of hyperuricaemia were 368.6 +/- 114.5 mu mol/L and 37.9%%, respectively. The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was 4.633 times greater among the participants who were overweight and obese than among those who were underweight. On the other hand, the prevalence of hyperuricaemia was 0.694 times lower among the participants who had normal weight than those who were underweight. Conclusions: The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was relatively high in Chinese adolescents. The prevention of hyperuricaemia measures should be strengthened in adolescents to effectively control for obesity and gout, which tend to persist into adulthood.

8.Bifidobacterium infantis M-63 improves mental health in victims with irritable bowel syndrome developed after a major flood disaster

Author:Ma, ZF;Yusof, N;Hamid, N;Lawenko, RM;Mohammad, WMZW;Liong, MT;Sugahara, H;Odamaki, T;Xiao, J;Lee, YY

Source:BENEFICIAL MICROBES,2019,Vol.10

Abstract:Individuals in a community who developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after major floods have significant mental health impairment. We aimed to determine if Bifidobacterium infantis M-63 was effective in improving symptoms, psychology and quality of life measures in flood-affected individuals with IBS and if the improvement was mediated by gut microbiota changes. Design was non-randomised, open-label, controlled before-and-after. Of 53 participants, 20 with IBS were given B. infantis M-63 (1x10(9) cfu/sachet/day) for three months and 33 were controls. IBS symptom severity scale, hospital anxiety and depression scale, SF-36 Questionnaire, hydrogen breath testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and stools for 16S rRNA metagenomic analysis were performed before and after intervention. 11 of 20 who were given probiotics (M-63) and 20 of 33 controls completed study as per-protocol. Mental well-being was improved with M-63 vs controls for full analysis (P=0.03) and per-protocol (P=0.01) populations. Within-group differences were observed for anxiety and bodily pain (both P=0.04) in the M-63 per-protocol population. Lower ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes was observed with M-63 vs controls (P=0.01) and the lower ratio was correlated with higher post-intervention mental score (P=0.04). B. infantis M-63 is probably effective in improving mental health of victims who developed IBS after floods and this is maybe due to restoration of microbial balance and the gut-brain axis. However, our conclusion must be interpreted within the context of limited sample size.

9.Plant phenotypic functional composition effects on soil processes in a semiarid grassland

Author:Medina-Roldan, E;Huber-Sannwald, E;Arredondo, JT

Source:SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY,2013,Vol.66

Abstract:Our knowledge of plant functional group effects on ecosystem processes is relatively well established, but we know much less on how changes in plant phenotypic composition affect ecosystem functioning (i.e., phenotypic functional composition). Understanding phenotypic functional composition (PFC) is relevant in plant communities strongly dominated by a few keystone species, since alteration of phenotypic composition of these species might be a mechanisms by which land management practices such as grazing impact on ecosystem functioning. Here, we report results from a field experiment where we manipulated PFC of Bouteloua gracilis (Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths, a keystone species in the semiarid shortgrass steppe. B. gracilis' PFC was altered by using plant genetic lines which expressed consistently either high or low leaf tissue lignin content (LC), a plant trait known to affect soil biogeochemical processes. High-LC lines came from an area subjected to low grazing intensities, whereas low-LC lines came from an area historically overgrazed. Additionally, those plant genetic lines expressing high LC also expressed high dry matter content and vice versa. We established experimental plots with High (only high-LC plants), Low (only low-LC plants), and mixed (both high- and low- LC plants, BHL) LC genetic lines; and measured selected soil processes after the application of a small water pulse. We hypothesised that those soil processes related to microbial activity and nitrogen cycling would be higher in Low plots in comparison with High and BHL plots. Phenotypic functional composition did not affect most of our soil processes including ammonium and nitrate concentrations (inorganic N), microbial activity, potential ammonium mineralization, and microbial profiles of substrate utilization). Nonetheless, we observed a general response to the water pulse so that soil inorganic N increased, but soil water content and soil microbial activity decreased 48 h after the pulse application. This general response suggests that fractions of the soil microbial community with different soil moisture optima mineralise N-rich substrates. Overall, lack of response to plant phenotypic functional composition suggests that grazing effects on soil biogeochemical processes in the shortgrass steppe are not directly mediated through how grazing affects the phenotypic functional composition of B. gracilis. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

10.High Baseline CD4 Counts and Antiretroviral Therapy Cessation

Author:Pan, SW;Shen, ZY;Xing, H;Ruan, YH;Shao, YM

Source:CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES,2018,Vol.67

11.Goji Berries as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Their Molecular Mechanisms of Action

Author:Ma, ZF;Zhang, HX;Teh, SS;Wang, CW;Zhang, YT;Hayford, F;Wang, LY;Ma, T;Dong, ZH;Zhang, Y;Zhu, YF

Source:OXIDATIVE MEDICINE AND CELLULAR LONGEVITY,2019,Vol.2019

Abstract:Goji berries (Lycium fruits) are usually found in Asia, particularly in northwest regions of China. Traditionally, dried goji berries are cooked before they are consumed. They are commonly used in Chinese soups and as herbal tea. Moreover, goji berries are used for the production of tincture, wine, and juice. Goji berries are high antioxidant potential fruits which alleviate oxidative stress to confer many health protective benefits such as preventing free radicals from damaging DNA, lipids, and proteins. Therefore, the aim of the review was to focus on the bioactive compounds and pharmacological properties of goji berries including their molecular mechanisms of action. The health benefits of goji berries include enhancing hemopoiesis, antiradiation, antiaging, anticancer, improvement of immunity, and antioxidation. There is a better protection through synergistic and additive effects in fruits and herbal products from a complex mixture of phytochemicals when compared to one single phytochemical.

12.Sulfur Redox Cycling Dependent Abiotic Ferrihydrite Reduction by a Desulfitobacterium hafniense

Author:Li, GX;Chen, XP;Wang, XN;Chen, Z;Bao, P

Source:ACS EARTH AND SPACE CHEMISTRY,2018,Vol.2

Abstract:Biogeochemical interactions of iron and sulfur drive their cycles in many environments, which makes understanding the mechanism of sulfur redox cycling dependent abiotic iron(III) reduction by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) particularly important. Here, we present a newly isolated Desulfitobacterium hafniense strain DH with the potential of reducing sulfate, sulfite, thiosulfate, and elemental sulfur from a paddy soil. Strain DH cannot enzymatically reduce ferrihydrite, but it can abiotically reduce ferrihydrite through extracellular electron transfer with biogenic sulfide or other sulfur compounds acting as electron shuttles. Sulfite, elemental sulfur, and thiosulfate, the oxidation products of sulfide, complete the sulfur cycle between ferrihydrite and strain DH. The presence of strain DH at the ferrihydrite surface results in mineral dissolution and secondary mineralization. Proteomic analysis revealed that the expression level of sulfur reduction functional protein DsrC and a thiosulfate reductase in the sulfide/ferrihydrite amendment group was 1.79 and 1.99 times higher, respectively, than in the sulfide-only amendment setup. On the other hand, the protein expression level of DsrAB showed no significant variation. A number of carbon metabolism enzymes, including succinate dehydrogenase (2.46 fold), fumarate reductase (2.64 fold), acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase (2.64 fold) and phosphoenolpyruvate synthase (3.4 fold), were up-regulated significantly due to the stimulation of released ferrous ion that was generated during the sulfur redox cycling dependent abiotic ferrihydrite reduction process. This result confirms the important role of DsrC and thiosulfate reductase in sulfur redox cycling dependent abiotic ferrihydrite reduction. Sulfur redox cycling dependent abiotic iron oxide reduction mediated by SRB might be a widespread process in the environment.

13.Landscape effects on pollinator communities and pollination services in small-holder agroecosystems

Author:Zou, Y;Bianchi, FJJA;Jauker, F;Xiao, HJ;Chen, JH;Cresswell, J;Luo, SD;Huang, JK;Deng, XZ;Hou, LL;van der Werf, W

Source:AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT,2017,Vol.246

Abstract:Pollination by insects is key for the productivity of many fruit and non-graminous seed crops, but little is known about the response of pollinators to landscapes dominated by small-holder agriculture. Here we assess the relationships between landscape context, pollinator communities (density and diversity) and pollination of oilseed rape in 18 landscapes with proportions of small-holder farming ranging from 10%% to 70%% in southern China. To quantify the contribution of pollinators to oilseed rape yield, we manipulated pollinator access in a focal oilseed rape field in each landscape using open and closed cages. The pollinator communities in the focal fields were sampled using pan traps. The abundance of wild pollinators increased significantly with the proportion of cultivated land, but the diversity of the wild pollinator communities declined. The responses of pollinator abundance and diversity to cultivated land were best explained at scales of around 1000 m. The abundance of the unmanaged honey bee Apis cerana was positively associated with the proportion of cultivated land, whereas the abundance of the managed A. mellifera was not. A pollination services index (PSI) was calculated by comparing the reproductive investment in seeds between plants with or without pollinator access. PSI was positively correlated with wild pollinator abundance, but not with the abundance of honeybee species. PSI was also not significantly correlated with the area proportion of cultivated land. Our results indicate that crop dominated landscapes with numerous small fields supported an abundant, but relatively species poor bee community that delivered pollination services to oilseed rape. Conservation of (semi-)natural habitats, however, is important for maintaining the diversity of wild pollinators.

14.Wildlife trade: ban orientalism

Author:Pagani-Nunez, E

Source:NATURE,2020,Vol.579

15.Environmental context for late Holocene human occupation of the South Wellesley Archipelago, Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia

Author:Moss, P;Mackenzie, L;Ulm, S;Sloss, C;Rosendahl, D;Petherick, L;Steinberger, L;Wallis, L;Heijnis, H;Petchey, F;Jacobsen, G

Source:QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL,2015,Vol.385

Abstract:A 2400 year record of environmental change is reported from a wetland on Bentinck Island in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. Three phases of wetland development are identified, with a protected coastal setting from ca. 2400 to 500 years ago, transitioning into an estuarine mangrove forest from ca. 500 years ago to the 1940s, and finally to a freshwater swamp over the past +60 years. This sequence reflects the influence of falling sea-levels, development of a coastal dune barrier system, prograding shorelines, and an extreme storm (cyclone) event. In addition, there is clear evidence of the impacts that human abandonment and resettlement have on the island's fire regimes and vegetation. A dramatic increase in burning and vegetation thickening was observed after the cessation of traditional Indigenous Kaiadilt fire management practices in the 1940s, and was then reversed when people returned to the island in the 1980s. In terms of the longer context for human occupation of the South Wellesley Archipelago, it is apparent that the mangrove phase provided a stable and productive environment that was conducive for human settlement of this region over the past 1000 years. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.

16.Dryas aeolian landforms in Arctic deflationary tundra, central Spitsbergen

Author:Borysiak, J;Pleskot, K;Rachlewicz, G

Source:POLISH POLAR RESEARCH,2020,Vol.41

Abstract:Aeolian activity is common on ice free areas in regions with permafrost occurrence. Sparse high-Arctic tundra vegetation. modifying surface air flow and sediments transport, influences the generation of individual landforms and their assemblages. Observations were carried in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), characterized by quasi-continental polar climate conditions with dry summers and common existence of winds velocities above loamy-sandy sediments transportation threshold. Dryas aeolian landforms created from aeolian material trapped by Dryas octopetala dwarf shrub were diagnosed. Main morphogenetic plants are accompanied by Saxifraga oppositifolia and Bistorta vivipara, rounded out with biological soil crust. Small size of semi-circular and semi-elliptic limns (0.25-0.85 m(2)) is related to low type of D. octopetala slowly growing on raised marine terraces. Aeolian sediments are characterised by low level of organic matter content. They exhibit diversified mineralogical composition resulting from variable petrography of source glacial and fluvioglacial covers. Eightpetal mountain avens are a dendroflora species composing phytocoenoses of plant communities related to the end stages of biocoenotic succession. Presented data indicate the reference environmental state for any research on plant cover response in the environment of aeolian activity during climate change.

17.Anthropogenic stressors affect fungal more than bacterial communities in decaying leaf litter: A stream mesocosm experiment

Author:Juvigny-Khenafou, NPD;Zhang, YX;Piggott, JJ;Atkinson, D;Matthaei, CD;Van Bael, SA;Wu, NC

Source:SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT,2020,Vol.716

Abstract:Despite the progress made in environmental microbiology techniques and knowledge, the succession and functional changes of the microbial community under multiple stressors are still poorly understood. This is a substantial knowledge gap as microbial communities regulate the biogeochemistry of stream ecosystems. Our study assessed the structural and temporal changes in stream fungal and bacterial communities associated with decomposing leaf litter under a multiple-stressor scenario. We conducted a fully crossed 4-factor experiment in 64 flow-through mesocosms fed by a pristine montane stream (21 days of colonisation, 21 days of manipulations) and investigated the effects of nutrient enrichment, flow velocity reduction and sedimentation after 2 and 3 weeks of stressor exposure. We used high-throughput sequencing and metabarcoding techniques (16S and 18S rRNA genes) to identify changes in microbial community composition. Our results indicate that (1) shifts in relative abundances of the pre-existing terrestrial microbial community, rather than changes in community identity, drove the observed responses to stressors; (2) changes in relative abundances within the microbial community paralleled decomposition rate patterns with time; (3) both fungal and bacterial communities had a certain resistance to stressors, as indicated by relatively minor changes in alpha diversity or multivariate community structure; (4) overall, stressor interactions were more common than stressor main effects when affecting microbial diversity metrics or abundant individual genera; and (5) stressor effects on microbes often changed from 2 weeks to 3 weeks of stressor exposure, with several response patterns being reversed. Our study suggests that future research should focus more on understanding the temporal dynamics of fungal and bacterial communities and how they relate to ecosystem processes to advance our under- standing of the mechanisms associated with multiple-stressor interactions. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

18.Rhinophore bio-inspired stretchable and programmable electrochemical sensor

Author:Wang, SQ;Qu, CY;Liu, L;Li, LH;Li, T;Qin, SJ;Zhang, T

Source:BIOSENSORS & BIOELECTRONICS,2019,Vol.142

Abstract:Rhinophore, a bio-chemical sensory organ with soft and stretchable/retractable features in many marine molluscs species, exhibits tunable chemosensory abilities in terms of far/near-field chemical detection and molecules' source orientation. However, existing artificial bio-chemical sensors cannot provide tunable modality sensing. Inspired by the anatomical units (folded sensory epithelium) and the functions of a rhinophore, this work introduces a stretchable electrochemical sensor that offers a programmable electro-catalytic performance towards glucose based on the fold/unfold regulation of the gold nanomembrane on an elastic fiber. Geometrical design rationale and covalent bonding strategy are used to realize the robust mechanical and electrical stability of this stretchable bionic sensor. Electrochemical tests demonstrated that the sensitivities of the as-prepared bionic sensor exhibit a linear relationship with its strain states from 0%% to 150%%. Bio-inspired sensory functions are tested by regulating the strain of the bionic sensor. The sensor achieves a sensitivity of 195.4 mu A mM(-1) in a low glucose concentration range of 8-206 mu M at 150%% strain for potentially far-field chemical detection, and a sensitivity of 14.2 mu A mM(-1) in a high concentration range of 10-100 mM at 0%% strain for near-field chemical detection. Moreover, the bionic sensor performs the detection while extending its length can largely enhance the response signal, which is used to distinguish the molecules' source direction. This proposed bionic sensor can be useful in wearable devices, robotics and bionics applications which require diverse modality sensing and smart chemical tracking system.

19.Trait dependent roles of environmental factors, spatial processes and grazing pressure on lake phytoplankton metacommunity

Author:Guo, K;Wu, NC;Wang, C;Yang, DG;He, YF;Luo, JB;Chai, Y;Duan, M;Huang, XF;Riis, T

Source:ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS,2019,Vol.103

Abstract:Using metacommunity theory to understand the mechanisms shaping community structure is a promising framework that has been widely applied to ecological research. In lakes, the spatial pattern of phytoplankton assemblages depends on the relative importance of environmental conditions, spatial processes, and biotic interactions (e.g., grazing pressure), but the inclusion of the latter two factors was often overlooked. We tested how these three factors contributed to phytoplankton community composition in a shallow lake by separating the responses of taxonomic and trait compositions (i.e., nine species traits groups) of phytoplankton in Lake Changhu, China. Our results indicated that the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton assemblages in Lake Changhu are mainly determined by environmental factors (7.6 +/- 1.3%%), followed by spatial processes (4.7 +/- 1.0%%) and grazing pressure (2.9 +/- 0.5%%). However, for the nine species traits groups, relative influences of environmental, spatial and grazing factors were trait specific, suggesting that different mechanisms were responsible for community composition supporting the potential advantages of using traits in water quality assessment. More specifically, some traits (e.g., large cell size and filamentous) may be excellent candidates for biomonitoring in lakes as they are predominantly driven by environmental factors (12.4%% and 17.2%% for large cell size and filamentous respectively), while other traits (e.g., unicellular and non-motile) are controlled largely by spatial processes or grazing and may not be suitable as bio-indicators. We also advocate inclusion of biotic factors (e.g., grazing pressure) in community studies, since we have found relatively weak but unneglectable effects of grazing on structuring phytoplankton community (2.9 +/- 0.5%% for taxonomic composition while 3.1 +/- 4.1%% for trait composition). In general, our findings suggest that a combination of metacommunity theory and the use of traits provide a useful framework for assessing driving factors structuring phytoplankton community in lakes, and such framework can be very useful for future lake bioassessment and management efforts.

20.The Chord-Normalized Expected Species Shared (CNESS)-distance represents a superior measure of species turnover patterns

Author:Zou, Y;Axmacher, JC

Source:METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION,2020,Vol.11

Abstract:Measures of beta-diversity characterizing the difference in species composition between samples are commonly used in ecological studies. Nonetheless, commonly used dissimilarity measures require high sample completeness, or at least similar sample sizes between samples. In contrast, the Chord-Normalized Expected Species Shared (CNESS) dissimilarity measure calculates the probability of collecting the same set of species in random samples of a standardized size, and hence is not sensitive to completeness or size of compared samples. To date, this index has enjoyed limited use due to difficulties in its calculation and scarcity of studies systematically comparing it with other measures. Here, we developed a novel R function that enables users to calculate ESS (Expected Species Shared)-associated measures. We evaluated the performance of the CNESS index based on simulated datasets of known species distribution structure, and compared CNESS with more widespread dissimilarity measures (Bray-Curtis index, Chao-Sorensen index, and proportionality-based Euclidean distances) for varying sample completeness and sample sizes. Simulation results indicated that for small sample size (m) values, CNESS chiefly reflects similarities in dominant species, while selecting large m values emphasizes differences in the overall species assemblages. Permutation tests revealed that CNESS has a consistently low CV (coefficient of variation) even where sample completeness varies, while the Chao-Sorensen index has a high CV particularly for low sampling completeness. CNESS distances are also more robust than other indices with regards to undersampling, particularly when chiefly rare species are shared between two assemblages. Our results emphasize the superiority of CNESS for comparisons of samples diverging in sample completeness and size, which is particularly important in studies of highly mobile and species-rich taxa where sample completeness is often low. Via changes in the sample size parameter m, CNESS furthermore cannot only provide insights into the similarity of the overall distribution structure of shared species, but also into the differences in dominant and rare species, hence allowing additional, valuable insights beyond the capability of more widespread measures.
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