Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Litter

  • grass litter
  • leaf litter
  • plant litter
  • poultry litter
  • small litter

  • Terms modified by Litter

  • litter accumulation
  • litter addition
  • litter bag
  • litter breakdown
  • litter breakdown rate
  • litter c
  • litter chemistry
  • litter cover
  • litter decay
  • litter decay rate
  • litter decomposition
  • litter decomposition rate
  • litter depth
  • litter fall
  • litter input
  • litter layer
  • litter mass
  • litter mate
  • litter n
  • litter quality
  • litter removal
  • litter sample
  • litter size
  • litter type

  • Selected Abstracts

    Organic litter: dominance over stones as a source of interrill flow roughness on low-gradient desert slopes at Fowlers Gap, arid western NSW, Australia

    David Dunkerley
    Abstract Thirty-six runoff plot experiments provide data on flow depths, speeds, and Darcy,Weisbach friction coefficients (f) on bare soil surfaces, and surfaces to which were added sufficient extra plant litter or surface stones to provide projected cover of 5, 10 and 20 per cent. Precision flow depth data were derived with a computer-controlled gantry and needle gauge for two different discharges for each plot treatment. Taking a fixed flow intensity (Reynolds number, Re = 150) for purposes of comparison shows means of f = 17·7 for bare soil surfaces, f = 11·4 for added stone treatments, and f = 23·8 for added litter treatments. Many individual values of f for stone treatments are lower than for the bare soil surface, but all litter treatments show increases in fcompared to bare soil. The lowering of f in stone treatments relates to the submerged volume that the stones occupied, and the associated concentration of flow onto a smaller part of the plot surface. This leads to locally higher flow intensities and lower frictional drag along threads of flow that the obstacles create. Litter causes higher frictional drag because the particles are smaller, and, for the same cover fraction, are 100 times more numerous and provide 20 times the edge or perimeter length. Along these edges, which in total exceed 2·5 m g,1 (equivalent to 500 m m,2 for a loading of 2 t ha,1), surface tension draws up water from between the litter particles. This reduces flow depth there, and as a consequence of the lower flow intensity, frictional drag rises. Furthermore, no clear passage remains for the establishment of flow threads. These findings apply to shallow interrill flows in which litter is largely immobile. The key new result from these experiments is that under these conditions, a 20 per cent cover of organic litter can generate interrill frictional retardation that exceeds by nearly 41 per cent that of a bare soil surface, and twice that contributed by the same cover fraction of surface stones. Even greater dominance by litter can be anticipated at the many dryland sites where litter covers exceed those tested here. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Similar breakdown rates and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages on native and Eucalyptus globulus leaf litter in Californian streams

    FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2010
    Summary 1.,Eucalyptus globulus, a tree species planted worldwide in many riparian zones, has been reported to affect benthic macroinvertebrates negatively. Although there is no consensus about the effects of Eucalyptus on aquatic macrobenthos, its removal is sometimes proposed as a means of ecological restoration. 2.,We combined the sampling of macroinvertebrates with measurement of the colonisation of leaf packs in mesh bags, to examine the effects of riparian Eucalyptus and its litter on benthic macroinvertebrates in three small streams in California, U.S.A. Each stream included one reach bordered by Eucalyptus (E-site) and a second bordered by native vegetation (N-site). 3.,The macrobenthos was sampled and two sets of litter bags were deployed at each site: one set with Eucalyptus litter (Euc-bags) and one with mixed native tree litter (Nat-bags) containing Quercus, Umbellularia, Acer and Alnus. Bags were exposed for 28, 56 and 90 days and this experiment was repeated in the autumn, winter and spring to account for effects of changing stream flow and insect phenology. 4.,Litter input (average dry mass: 950 g m,2 year,1 in E-sites versus 669 g m,2 year,1 in N-sites) was similar, although in-stream litter composition differed between E- and N-sites. Litter broke down at similar rates in Euc-bags and Nat-bags (0.0193 day,1 versus 0.0134 day,1), perhaps reflecting the refractory nature of some of the leaves of the native trees (Quercus agrifolia). 5.,Summary metrics for macroinvertebrates (taxon richness, Shannon diversity, pollution tolerance index) did not differ significantly between the E and N sites, or between Euc-bags and Nat-bags. No effect of exposure time or site was detected by ordination of the taxa sampled. However, distinct seasonal ordination clusters were observed in winter, spring and autumn, and one of the three streams formed a separate cluster. 6.,The presence of Eucalyptus was less important in explaining the taxonomic composition of the macrobenthos than either ,season' or ,stream'. Similarly, these same two factors (but not litter species) also helped explain the variation in leaf breakdown. We conclude that patches of riparian Eucalyptus and its litter have little effect on stream macrobenthos in this region. [source]

    Decomposition of litter from submersed macrophytes: the indirect effects of high [CO2]

    FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 8 2002
    1.,We grew the submersed freshwater macrophyte Vallisneria americana under controlled conditions at low and high [CO2] to produce litter with high and low tissue nitrogen concentration ([N]), respectively. We then followed mass and nitrogen dynamics in situ in this litter to test the indirect effect of [CO2] on its subsequent decomposition and colonisation by macroinvertebrates. 2.,Litter from plants grown in high CO2 initially lost mass and N at a significantly lower rate but, by day 30, both litter types had lost about 90% of mass and N. Litter [N] did not appear to govern decay rate. 3.,There was no effect of CO2 on the pattern of macroinvertebrate colonisation. 4.,The potential exists for high [CO2] to increase rates of C and N cycling and, thereby, to increase internal N loading in macrophyte-dominated shallow water ecosystems. [source]

    Enhanced litter input rather than changes in litter chemistry drive soil carbon and nitrogen cycles under elevated CO2: a microcosm study

    Abstract Elevated CO2 has been shown to stimulate plant productivity and change litter chemistry. These changes in substrate availability may then alter soil microbial processes and possibly lead to feedback effects on N availability. However, the strength of this feedback, and even its direction, remains unknown. Further, uncertainty remains whether sustained increases in net primary productivity will lead to increased long-term C storage in soil. To examine how changes in litter chemistry and productivity under elevated CO2 influence microbial activity and soil C formation, we conducted a 230-day microcosm incubation with five levels of litter addition rate that represented 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.4 and 1.8 × litterfall rates observed in the field for aspen stand growing under control treatments at the Aspen FACE experiment in Rhinelander, WI, USA. Litter and soil samples were collected from the corresponding field control and elevated CO2 treatment after trees were exposed to elevated CO2 (560 ppm) for 7 years. We found that small decreases in litter [N] under elevated CO2 had minor effects on microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen and dissolved inorganic nitrogen. Increasing litter addition rates resulted in linear increase in total C and new C (C from added litter) that accumulated in whole soil as well as in the high density soil fraction (HDF), despite higher cumulative C loss by respiration. Total N retained in whole soil and in HDF also increased with litter addition rate as did accumulation of new C per unit of accumulated N. Based on our microcosm comparisons and regression models, we expected that enhanced C inputs rather than changes in litter chemistry would be the dominant factor controlling soil C levels and turnover at the current level of litter production rate (230 g C m,2 yr,1 under ambient CO2). However, our analysis also suggests that the effects of changes in biochemistry caused by elevated CO2 could become significant at a higher level of litter production rate, with a trend of decreasing total C in HDF, new C in whole soil, as well as total N in whole soil and HDF. [source]

    Electron Transport System (ETS) Activity in Alder Leaf Litter in Two Contrasting Headwater Streams

    Tadeusz Fleituch
    Abstract Decomposition rates, carbon and nitrogen concentrations and respiration electron transport (ETS) activity in alder leaf litter were examined by bag exposition method in two contrasting 2nd order streams. Oberer Seebach, Austria (alpine, limestone, karstic) and Goscibia, Poland (sub mountain, flysh) contrasted in catchment geology, channel hydrology, thermal regime and water chemistry. Despite differences in water temperature, the breakdown rates did not show statistical differences. However, the C:N ratio in alder leaf litter varied significantly between two sites. The potential ETS activity was significantly higher in the colder Goscibia and weakly related to stream thermal regimes. The effect of temperature on ETS of alder leaves was not the dominating factor. It was masked by variation of other factors like stream chemistry and the contribution of fine sediments, which are related to stream morphology and channel hydrology. (© 2007 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Influence of Inorganic Substrata Size, Leaf Litter and Woody Debris Removal on Benthic Invertebrates Resistance to Floods in Two Contrasting Headwater Streams

    J. Bosco Imbert
    Abstract We studied the influence of inorganic substrata size, leaf litter and woody debris removal on the resistance of benthic invertebrates to floods in two contrasting forested headwater streams of the Agüera basin (northern Spain): Cuchillo stream (stream bed dominated by cobbles and pebbles) and Salderrey stream (stream bed dominated by bedrock and boulders). Generally, floods had a greater effect on benthic invertebrates resistance in the Salderrey stream, apparently due to the high presence of loose substrata overlaying bedrock and the higher scouring of sediment in this stream. Unlike Salderrey stream total number of individuals of Simuliidae, Echinogammarus tarragonensis and Protonemura spp. in riffles greatly increased at the reach scale in the Cuchillo stream after two floods, suggesting that Cuchillo was more retentive than Salderrey. A positive relationship between substrata size and invertebrate resistance to floods was found in the Cuchillo stream but not in the Salderrey stream. It appears that the flood disturbances in the Salderrey stream were too strong to find an increase in resistance as substrata size increased. Invertebrate resistance on leaf litter and resistance predictability were also higher in the Cuchillo stream; the former result suggests that retention of leaf packs was greater in the Cuchillo stream. The lack of a statistically significant effect of woody debris removal may imply that the composition and stability of inorganic substrata have more influence on invertebrate resistance to floods than woody debris at the reach scale in these headwater streams dominated by relatively stable substrata. (© 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Structure of biological soil crust communities in Callitris glaucophylla woodlands of New South Wales, Australia

    Wendy A. Thompson
    Abstract: Question: What is the nature of the relationships between cover, diversity and abundance of biological soil crusts, cover and diversity of vascular plants, and annual rainfall, soil texture and forestry practices in Callitris glaucophylla woodlands? Location: Arid and semi-arid Callitris glaucophylla -domi-nated woodlands of eastern Australia. Methods: We documented soil crust-forming mosses, lichens and liverworts at 83 woodland sites along a gradient of declining rainfall. Linear and non-linear regression were used to examine relationships between soil crust species and attributes of vascular plant communities, and a similarity matrix (species abundance X sites) was subjected to Non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS), and Analysis of Similarities (ANOSIM) to show the degree of association between groups of taxa, and soil texture, rainfall classes and forestry practices. Results: We collected 86 taxa. Mosses were dominated by the family Pottiaceae, and lichens were dominated by squamulose forms. Average annual rainfall was highly correlated with soil crust community composition, and loamy soils supported a greater cover and diversity of taxa compared with sandy soils. Increases in tree cover were associated with significant, though weak, increases in abundance, but not diversity, of crusts. Crusts tended to be more diverse in areas that (1) had a sparse cover of ground-storey plants; (2) were relatively stable - as indicated by the proportion of perennial and/or native plants; (3) had more stable soil surfaces; and (4) were unlogged. Litter cover, overstorey thinning, and livestock grazing had no appreciable effect on crust diversity or cover. Conclusions: Callitris glaucophylla woodlands provide substantial habitat for soil crust organisms, and the dense tree cover and closed canopies of Callitris do not appear to have a major influence on the structure of biological crust communities. Unlike other woodland systems, relatively few patches would be required to reserve a high diversity of crust species. [source]

    Do non-additive effects on decomposition in litter-mix experiments result from differences in resource quality between litters?

    OIKOS, Issue 2 2003
    Victoria C. Smith
    Differences in resource quality between litter species have been postulated to explain why litter-mixtures may decompose at a different rate to that which would be predicted from single species litters (termed ,non-additive effects'). In particular, positive, non-additive effects of litter-mixing on decomposition have been explained by differences in initial nitrogen concentration between litter species. This interpretation is confounded because litter species that differ in nitrogen content also differ by a number of other resource quality attributes. Thus, to investigate whether initial nitrogen concentration does account for positive, non-additive effects of litter-mixing, we mixed grass litters that differed in initial nitrogen concentration but not species or structural plant part identity, and then followed mass loss from the litter-mixes over time. We used the litterbag technique and three grass species for which a gradient of four distinct initial nitrogen concentrations had been generated. We produced all no- to four-mix compositions of litter qualities for each species. Litter from different species was never mixed. Contrary to what would be predicted, we found that when litters of the same species but with different initial nitrogen concentrations were mixed, that negative, non-additive effects on decomposition were generally observed. In addition, we found that once mixed, increasing litter quality richness from two to four mixtures had no significant, non-additive effect on decomposition. Litter quality composition explained little of the experimental variation when compared to litter quality richness, and different compositions generally behaved in the same manner. Our findings challenge the commonly held assumption that differences in nitrogen concentration between plant species are responsible for positive, non-additive effects of litter-mixing on decomposition. [source]

    Evaluation of Risk from Using Poultry Litter to Remediate and Reuse Contaminated Estuarine Sediments

    REMEDIATION, Issue 4 2001
    Edwin Barth
    The availability of heavy metals in contaminated sediment evaluated for beneficial reuse, before and after chemical amendment, was evaluated using poultry manure as the amendment. The dredged sediment was only slightly contaminated with heavy metals. Availability tests on the amended sediment showed an increase in heavy metals, most likely because of poultry feed amendments passed to the manure. There would be difficulty finding one chemical amendment to reduce the availability of a number of heavy metals because the metals exhibit different chemical properties. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [source]

    Variation in litter under individual tree crowns: Implications for scattered tree ecosystems

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    Abstract In forest ecosystems litter is usually assessed in terms of the average amount produced by the canopy. In scattered tree ecosystems this approach is problematic because the canopy is discontinuous and the spatial arrangement of litter highly variable. We addressed this problem by quantifying the spatial variation in litter load and litter composition associated with individual trees in a Eucalyptus melliodora , Eucalyptus blakelyi woodland. Litter was sampled under crowns and in grassland adjacent to 10 E. blakelyi and 10 E. melliodora trees ranging in diameter at breast height (dbh) from 14 to 129 cm. A total of 302 L samples were collected from these trees, at distances ranging from 0 to 42 m from main stem. The sampled litter loads ranged from 0.02 to 109.3 t ha,1 and were significantly higher under tree crowns than in grassland for litter and each component of litter (leaves, bark, fine twigs, coarse twigs). In particular, the mean litter load under tree crowns (12.5 t ha,1) was an order of magnitude higher than the mean litter load in grassland (1.27 t ha,1). There was a significant (P = 0.0103) positive relationship between mean litter load under the tree crown and dbh, indicating larger trees produced more litter per unit area of ground than smaller trees. Generalized Linear Modelling produced highly significant (P < 0.0001) models predicting the spatial variation in litter load and litter composition in terms of distance from main stem and dbh. Our models demonstrate gradients in litter load and composition under tree crowns. These gradients were most pronounced for the large trees in our study. The disproportionate input of litter and variety of litter components associated with large trees in our study supports their keystone role in scattered tree ecosystems and highlights the need to maintain these structures in agricultural landscapes. [source]

    Occasional intraguild predation structuring small mammal assemblages: the marsupial Didelphis aurita in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
    Abstract The didelphid marsupial, Didelphis aurita, is suggested as an intraguild predator and as key-species in small mammal assemblages of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. The field experiments required to test this hypothesis are complex to implement, but the recent revival of regression methods offers a viable alternative. Here we use the dynamic and static regression methods to determine the importance of D. aurita as a competitor and intraguild predator. Capture,recapture data from two localities in the Rio de Janeiro State were used, Garrafão (municipality of Guapimirim), a coastal forest of the Serra do Mar, and Barra de Maricá, a costal sand dune vegetation. Population and microhabitat variables were monitored from April 1997 to April 2003 in Garrafão, and from January 1986 to July 1990 in Barra de Maricá. Microhabitat variables were related to Canopy, Plant, Litter and Rock covers, Obstruction from 0 to 1.5 m, and Number of logs. Exploitation competition was tested by the dynamic method, which models the effects of D. aurita on the per capita growth rate of a species. Interference by predation or competition was tested by the static method, where the abundance of D. aurita at trap stations was regressed against the abundance of other small mammals, after removal of any variation associated with microhabitat factors. Exploitation competition was not detected, but the interference of D. aurita was pervasive, affecting all small mammals studied in the two localities. The clear avoidance of D. aurita by all small mammals tested in two localities of different physiognomies indicates that it functions as an intraguild predator, even if actual predation by D. aurita is an occasional event. [source]

    Are tree trunks habitats or highways?

    A comparison of oribatid mite assemblages from hoop-pine bark, litter
    Abstract Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) are among the most diverse and abundant inhabitants of forest soil and litter, but also have species-rich assemblages on bark and in the canopies of trees. It is unclear whether the trunk of a tree acts simply as a ,highway' for movement of mites into and out of the canopy, or whether the trunk has a distinctive acarofauna. We compare oribatid assemblages from the trunk bark of hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) with those from litter collected beneath the same trees. A 1.0 by 0.5 m area of bark was sampled from three trees at each of five sites using a knockdown insecticide. A 1-L sample of leaf litter was collected as close as possible to the base of each sampled tree. Mites were extracted using Tullgren funnels, identified to genus and morphospecies, and counted. Assemblages were almost 100% distinct, with only one oribatid morphospecies (Pseudotocepheus sp.) collected from both litter and bark. Litter had a higher taxon richness than bark in total and per sample, but oribatids made up a greater percentage of the acarofauna in the bark samples. We had expected that the more consistent physical substrate of bark would be reflected in greater similarity of oribatid faunas on trunks than in litter; however, the opposite proved to be the case. We conclude that hoop-pine trunks are habitats rather than highways for oribatid mites. Based on the observed higher turnover among bark faunas, tree trunks may represent habitat islands whose colonisation by particular oribatid species is more stochastic than that of the more continuous ,sea' of litter. [source]

    Effects of sex chromosome aneuploidy on male sexual behavior

    J. H. Park
    Incidence of sex chromosome aneuploidy in men is as high as 1:500. The predominant conditions are an additional Y chromosome (47,XYY) or an additional X chromosome (47,XXY). Behavioral studies using animal models of these conditions are rare. To assess the role of sex chromosome aneuploidy on sexual behavior, we used mice with a spontaneous mutation on the Y chromosome in which the testis-determining gene Sry is deleted (referred to as Y,) and insertion of a Sry transgene on an autosome. Dams were aneuploid (XXY,) and the sires had an inserted Sry transgene (XYSry). Litters contained six male genotypes, XY, XYY,, XXSry, XXY,Sry, XYSry and XYY,Sry. In order to eliminate possible differences in levels of testosterone, all of the subjects were castrated and received testosterone implants prior to tests for male sex behavior. Mice with an additional copy of the Y, chromosome (XYY,) had shorter latencies to intromit and achieve ejaculations than XY males. In a comparison of the four genotypes bearing the Sry transgene, males with two copies of the X chromosome (XXSry and XXY,Sry) had longer latencies to mount and thrust than males with only one copy of the X chromosome (XYSry and XYY,Sry) and decreased frequencies of mounts and intromissions as compared with XYSry males. The results implicate novel roles for sex chromosome genes in sexual behaviors. [source]

    Inherited myopathy of great Danes

    A. Lujan Feliu-Pascual
    A hereditary, non-inflammatory myopathy occurring in young great Danes with distinctive histological features in muscle biopsy specimens is reviewed. Onset of clinical signs is usually before one year of age and both sexes are affected. Clinical signs are characterised by exercise intolerance, muscle wasting, and an exercise-induced tremor. Although most affected dogs have a severe form of the disease, occasional dogs may have a less pronounced form and survive into adulthood with an acceptable quality of life. Litters containing affected puppies are born to clinically unaffected parents, and an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance is likely. All recorded cases have had fawn or brindle coat coloration. Elevated serum creatinine kinase concentrations and spontaneous electrical activity in skeletal muscles are frequently found. While originally reported (Targett and others 1994) as a central core myopathy in this breed, the histochemical characteristics of the distinct cytoarchitectural structures differ from those of the well-characterised central core myopathy in human beings. In fact, these structures differ from any known myopathy in human beings and likely represents a unique non-inflammatory myopathy affecting dogs. Until this myopathy is characterised further, the name inherited myopathy in great Danes is suggested. [source]

    Zinc Supplementation at the Time of Ethanol Exposure Ameliorates Teratogenicity in Mice

    ALCOHOLISM, Issue 1 2003
    Luke C. Carey
    Background: We have previously demonstrated that ethanol teratogenicity in mice is related to the maternal expression of metallothionein (MT), a zinc (Zn)-binding protein. Ethanol induces maternal liver MT, which causes plasma Zn concentrations to decrease as Zn moves into the liver. During pregnancy it is suggested that this change decreases fetal Zn supply and contributes to abnormal development. Here we investigated whether maternal Zn supplementation at the time of ethanol exposure reduces teratogenicity. Methods: Mice were injected with 25% ethanol (0.015 ml/g intraperitoneally at 0 and 4 hr) and ZnSO4 (2.5 ,gZn/g subcutaneously at 0 hr) and were killed over 16 hr to ascertain changes in plasma Zn. Plasma Zn concentrations peaked at 2 hr, where levels were 5-fold normal and then returned toward normal over 14 hr. Pregnant mice were treated in a similar manner on gestation day 8 with saline, saline + Zn, ethanol + Zn, or ethanol alone, and fetal abnormalities were assessed on gestation day 18. Results: External abnormalities were most prevalent in offspring from dams treated with ethanol. Zn treatment at the time of ethanol exposure reduced the incidence of fetal abnormalities to basal levels. Litters from dams treated with ethanol + Zn contained more fetuses and fewer fetal resorption sites compared with those from ethanol-treated dams. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that Zn supplementation at the time of ethanol exposure significantly negates the deleterious effects of ethanol on the fetus. [source]

    Causes and consequences of aggregation by neonatal tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus, Elapidae)

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
    Abstract Although snakes traditionally have been regarded as asocial animals, recent studies have revealed complex interactions among neonatal snakes and their mothers. We noticed frequent aggregation by captive neonatal Australian elapids (tiger snakes, Notechis scutatus), and conducted simple experiments to clarify the proximate causation of, and potential consequences of, aggregative behaviour. Litters of neonates exhibited statistically significant aggregation (clustering) in empty containers, especially if the test area was subjected to rapid cooling. Aggregation was most pronounced inside shelter-sites, and familiar shelters (i.e. containing scent cues from the litter) attracted snakes more than did novel (unscented) shelters. Snakes in larger aggregations cooled more slowly (reflecting their higher combined mass and thus, thermal inertia) and higher body temperatures facilitated neonatal locomotor performance, retreat-site location and anti-predator tactics. Plausibly, aggregation in neonatal tiger snakes (and other reptiles) functions to retard cooling rates, with the result that the young snakes are better able to evade or repel attacks by predators. [source]

    Heart changes in 17-day-old fetuses of diabetic ICR (Institute of Cancer Research) mothers: Improvement with maternal immune stimulation

    Juan Claudio Gutierrez
    ABSTRACT Maternal diabetes mellitus is associated with increased fetal teratogenesis, including cardiovascular defects. Non-specific maternal immune stimulation with Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) or interferon gamma (IFN,) has been associated with protection against birth malformations. Using a diabetic mouse model, late-gestation fetal heart and great vessel morphology were analyzed. Four groups of mice were used: non-diabetic females as a control group, hyperglycemic females induced by streptozotocin as a diabetic group, and diabetic females injected either with FCA or IFN,. At day 17 of gestation, females were euthanized and one fetus was arbitrarily selected per litter for fixation and sectioning. Treatment-induced changes in cardiac development were assessed from digital images of serial sections taken at standardized levels in the thorax. One-way parametric and non-parametric ANOVA and ordinal logistic regression were performed to compare the difference among groups (P < 0.05). Maternal hyperglycemia altered morphology of the late-gestation fetal mouse heart by causing ventricular chamber dilation, sectional myocardial reduction, and an increase in transversal aortic area. FCA protected the fetal heart from cavitary dilation in diabetic mothers. FCA and IFN, protected the fetal heart against reduction of myocardial area, and ascending thoracic aorta dilation. Consequences of late gestation heart chamber dilation and myocardial reduction are not yet known. Maternal immune stimulation partially protected against these developmental defects by mechanisms that remain unclear. [source]

    Susceptibility of a Northern Hardwood Forest to Exotic Earthworm Invasion

    Acer saccharum; Bosque Nacional Ottawa; lombrices invasoras; Sylvania Wilderness Area; uso del suelo Abstract:,Numerous exotic earthworm species are colonizing northern hardwood forests of North America, where no native earthworms exist. Upon invasion, earthworms have been shown to alter the surface soil environment and plant populations and communities. We sought to identify land-use factors in the Ottawa National Forest (ONF), Michigan (U.S.A.), that contribute to earthworm invasion in forest dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) so that the susceptibility to additional colonization could be evaluated. We sampled earthworm communities in Sylvania Wilderness Area, a unique old-growth hardwood forest, and nonwilderness sites influenced by recreational fishing, recent timber harvesting, or roads. All the nonwilderness sites contained one to five species of exotic earthworms. In contrast, only 50% of wilderness sites contained exotic earthworms, all of a single species. Nonwilderness sites also had thinner litter and duff layers, higher soil C and N content, and higher nitrogen mineralization potentials than Sylvania sites. Two central differences between Sylvania and nonwilderness sites were that all nonwilderness sites were in close contact with roads and had a history of timber harvest, whereas these factors were not present in Sylvania Wilderness Area. Using average rates of colonization, we constructed two geographic information system models to estimate the percentage of sugar maple on the ONF falling within a theoretical 100-year invasion distance of roads and of second-growth sugar maple as relative indices of susceptibility to invasion. Both models indicated high susceptibility to invasion, with 91.7% and 98.9% of sugar maple habitat falling within a theoretical 100-year invasion distance of roads or historical harvests, respectively. Resumen:,Numerosas especies de lombrices exóticas están colonizando los bosques boreales, en los que previamente no existían lombrices terrestres nativas. Por encima de la invasión, se ha demostrado que las lombrices alteran el ambiente superficial del suelo, así como a las comunidades y poblaciones de plantas. Tratamos de identificar factores de uso del suelo en el Bosque Nacional Ottawa (BNO), Michigan, E. U. A., que contribuyen a la invasión de lombrices en bosques dominados por arces (Acer saccharum Marsh.), para poder evaluar la susceptibilidad a futuras invasiones. Muestreamos comunidades de lombrices en Sylvania Wilderness Area, un bosque maduro único, y en sitios no silvestres influenciados por pesca deportiva, cosecha reciente de madera o caminos. Todas las áreas no silvestres contenían 1 - 5 especies de lombrices exóticas. En contraste, solo 50% de los sitios silvestres contenían lombrices exóticas, todas de una sola especie. Los sitios no silvestres también tenían capas de hojarasca y de mantillo más delgadas, mayor contenido de C y N del suelo y mayor potencial de mineralización del nitrógeno que los sitios en Sylvania. Dos diferencias centrales entre Sylvania y los sitios no silvestres fueron que estos estaban en contacto cercano con caminos y tenían una historia de cosecha de madera, mientras que estos factores no estuvieron presentes en Sylvania Wilderness Area. Utilizando tasas promedio de colonización, construimos dos modelos de sistemas de información geográfica para estimar el porcentaje de arces en el BNO que queda a una distancia teórica de invasión en 100 años; con caminos y arce de crecimiento secundario como índices relativos de susceptibilidad a la invasión. Ambos modelos indicaron alta susceptibilidad a la invasión, con 91.7% y 98.9% del hábitat de arce dentro de la distancia teórica de invasión en 100 años o con cosechas históricas, respectivamente. [source]

    Prescribed Burning to Restore Mixed-Oak Communities in Southern Ohio: Effects on Breeding- Bird Populations

    Vanessa L. Artman
    We studied the effects of repeated burning (1,4 years of annual burning) and recovery (1 year after burning,) on the breeding bird community. Burning resulted in incremental but temporary reductions in the availability of leaf litter, shrubs, and saplings, but it did not affect trees, snags, or understory vegetation cover. Of 30 bird species monitored, 4 were affected negatively and 2 were affected positively by burning. Population densities of Ovenbirds ( Seiurus aurocapillus), Worm-eating Warblers ( Helmitheros vermivorus), and Hooded Warblers ( Wilsonia citrina) declined incrementally in response to repeated burning and did not recover within 1 year after burning, suggesting a lag time in response to the changes in habitat conditions. Densities of Northern Cardinals ( Cardinalis cardinalis) fluctuated among years in the control units, but remained low in the burned units. Densities of American Robins ( Turdus migratorius) and Eastern Wood-Pewees ( Contopus virens) increased in response to burning, but these increases were apparent only after several years of repeated burning. In general, burning resulted in short-term reductions in the suitability of habitat for ground- and low-shrub-nesting birds, but it improved habitat for ground- and aerial-foraging birds. Overall, there were no changes in the composition of the breeding-bird community. Total breeding bird population levels were also unaffected by burning. Our results suggest that prescribed burning applied on a long-term basis or across large spatial scales is likely to have adverse effects on ground- and low-shrub-nesting bird species, but other changes in the composition of the breeding-bird community are likely to be minimal as long as the closed-canopy forest structure is maintained within the context of prescribed burning. Resumen: Se está reintroduciendo fuego artificialmente en los bosque del sur de Ohio para determinar su efectividad para restaurar y mantener comunidades de bosques mixtos de encino ( Quercus spp.). Estudiamos los efectos de quemas repetidas (1,4 años de quema anual,) y de recuperación (1 año después de la quema) sobre la comunidad de aves reproductivas. La quema resultó en reducciones temporales en la disponibilidad de hojarasca, arbustos y renuevos, pero no afectó a los árboles, tocones o la cubierta vegetal del sotobosque. De 30 especies de aves monitoredas, 4 fueron afectadas negativamente por la quema y 2 fueron afectadas positivamente. Las densidades de población de Seiurus aurocapillus, de Helmitheros vermivorus y de Wilsonia citrina declinaron incrementalmente en respuesta a quemas repetidas y no se recuperaron en un año después de la quema, sugiriendo un retraso en el tiempo de respuesta a los cambios en las condiciones del hábitat. Las densidades de Cardinalis cardinalis fluctuaron entre años en las unidades control, pero permanecieron bajas en las unidades quemadas. Las densidades de Turdus migratorius y de Contopus virens aumentaron en respuesta a la quema, pero estos incrementos fueron evidentes sólo hasta varios años después de quemas repetidas. En general, en el corto plazo la quema resultó en reducciones en la calidad del hábitat para aves que anidan sobre el suelo y en arbustos bajos, pero mejoró el hábitat para aves que forrajean en el suelo y el aire. En general, no hubo cambios en la composición de la comunidad de aves reproductivas. Los niveles totales de poblaciones de aves reproductivas tampoco fueron afectados por la quema. Nuestros resultados sugieren la posibilidad de que la quema prescrita aplicada a largo plazo o en escalas espaciales grandes tenga efectos adversos sobre especies de aves que anidan sobre el suelo y en arbustos bajos, pero la posibilidad de cambios en la composición de la comunidad de aves reproductivas es mínima. [source]

    Use of Premontane Moist Forest and Shade Coffee Agroecosystems by Army Ants in Western Panama

    Dina L. Roberts
    Behavioral and distributional studies of these two species have been confined largely to humid lowland forest. We conducted intensive systematic area searches at elevations between 1200 and 1800 m in western Panama to assess the distribution of both species in intact premontane moist forest, shade coffee plantations, and sun coffee plantations. Both species were repeatedly observed in forest, shade coffee plantations close to forest, and shade coffee plantations distant from forest. Neither species was observed in sun coffee plantations. We believe that retention of certain forest-like characteristics in the traditional shade coffee farm contributes to the persistence of these forest organisms in modified landscapes. Large canopy trees not only provide shade that buffers temperature extremes but also supply the ground layer with regular inputs of leaf litter and coarse woody debris from fallen trunks. Both E. burchelli and L. praedator hunt in leaf litter, and E. burchelli uses coarse woody debris as nesting sites ( bivouacs). There were significantly fewer potential bivouacs available in sun coffee plantations than in forest and shade coffee habitats. Also, litter depth was less in sun coffee than in forest and shade coffee. Our results provide the first evidence that shade coffee plantations can provide additional habitat for E. burchelli and L. praedator, top predators of the leaf litter arthropod community. E. burchelli and L. praedator act as critical links between swarm-attendant bird species and leaf-litter arthropods, providing an easily exploited food resource that would otherwise be unavailable for many birds. Continued conversion of shade coffee plantations to sun coffee plantations could have negative effects on army ants and associated biodiversity. Resumen: Las hormigas arrierras Neotropicales, Eciton burchelli y Labidus praedator ( Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ecitoninae) son especies que requieren de extensas áreas de hábitat para cazar. Los estudios conductuales y de la distribución de estas especies se han realizado principalmente en bosques húmedos en tierras bajas. Desarrollamos búsquedas sistemáticas intensivas en elevaciones entre 1200 y 1800 msnm en Panama occidental para determinar la distribución de ambas especies en bosque húmedo premontano intacto, en plantaciones de café con y sin sombra. Las dos especies fueron observadas recurrentemente en bosque y en plantaciones de café de sombra cercanos y lejanos al bosque. Consideramos que la retención de ciertas características del bosque en las plantaciones de café de sombra contribuye a la persistencia de estos organismos de bosque en ambientes modificados. Los árboles no solo proporcionan sombra que amortigua la temperatura, sino que proporcionan hojarasca y restos leñosos de troncos caídos. Tanto E. burchelli como L. praedator cazan en la hojarasca, E. burchelli utiliza restos leñosos para anidar (vivaques). Encontramos significativamente menos vivaques en plantaciones de café sin sombra al compararlos con bosque y plantaciones de café con sombra. Asimismo, la profundidad de la capa de hojarasca fue menor en plantaciones de café sin sombra en comparación con bosque y plantaciones de café con sombra. Nuestros resultados proporcionan la primera evidencia de que las plantaciones con sombra proporcionan hábitat adicional para E. burchelli y L. praedator, depredadores de la comunidad de artrópodos en la hojarasca. E. burchelli y L. praedator actúan como eslabones críticos entre especies de aves que se alimentan de hormigas y los artrópodos de la hojarasca, proporcionando un recurso alimenticio fácilmente explotado que de otra manera no estaría disponible para muchas aves. La continua transformación de plantaciones de café con sombra a plantaciones sin sombra pudiera tener efectos negativos sobre las hormigas arrieras y la biodiversidad asociada. [source]

    Olfactory preference for own mother and litter in 1-day-old rabbits and its impairment by thermotaxis

    Jessica Serra
    Abstract We investigated the ability of rabbit pups to display preferences towards various elements of their postnatal environment during the stage of confinement in the nest. Subjects were submitted to a two-choice test during the first week after birth to assess if they could detect and discriminate between does, litters of pups, or nesting materials of the same developmental stage. On D1 and D7, pups were attracted to any lactating doe, litter, or nest when compared to an empty compartment. When two stimuli were opposed, pups preferred their own nest to an alien one on D1 and D7 but not their mother nor their siblings when opposed to alien does or pups. However, additional tests indicated that this lack of preference for kin conspecifics resulted from a predominant attraction to thermal cues over individual odors. Indeed, pups were strongly attracted to a warm compartment (37°C) than to a cooler one (20°C) and once thermal cues were controlled for in the testing situation, the pups were specifically attracted to odors of their own mother's hair and of their siblings. No preference was observed towards the mother's uterine secretions. In conclusion, pups can recognize olfactory cues emanating from their mother and their siblings the day after birth. The preference for nesting materials would reflect in major part the combined attraction to maternal and sibling odors present in the nest. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 50: 542,553, 2008. [source]

    Advantages of mixed effects models over traditional ANOVA models in developmental studies: A worked example in a mouse model of fetal alcohol syndrome

    Patricia E. Wainwright
    Abstract Developmental studies in animals often violate the assumption of statistical independence of observations due to the hierarchical nature of the data (i.e., pups cluster by litter, correlation of individual observations over time). Mixed effect modeling (MEM) provides a robust analytical approach for addressing problems associated with hierarchical data. This article compares the application of MEM to traditional ANOVA models within the context of a developmental study of prenatal ethanol exposure in mice. The results of the MEM analyses supported the ANOVA results in showing that a large proportion of the variability in both behavioral score and brain weight could be explained by ethanol. The MEM also identified that there were significant interactions between ethanol and litter size in relation to behavioral scores and brain weight. In addition, the longitudinal modeling approach using linear MEM allowed us to model for flexible weight gain over time, as well as to provide precise estimates of these effects, which would be difficult in repeated measures ANOVA. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 49: 664,674, 2007. [source]

    Foster mother care but not prenatal morphine exposure enhances cocaine self-administration in young adult male and female rats

    I. Vathy
    Abstract The present study was designed to investigate cocaine self-administration in adult male and female rats exposed prenatally to morphine. Pregnant dams were injected two times a day with either saline, analgesic doses of morphine or no drug at all (controls) on gestation Days 11,18. One day after birth, litters were cross-fostered such that control dams were paired with one another and their litters were crossed; saline- and morphine-treated dams were paired and half of each saline litter was crossed with half of each morphine litter. Thus, each mother (control, saline, and morphine) raised half of her own and half of the adopted litter. At the age of 60 days, males and females were trained first to lever press for sucrose pellets and then for cocaine. Once the lever-pressing behavior was learned and baseline level of this activity was established, animals received a cocaine (.5 mg/kg per infusion) reward for each correct response on the active lever during the next 9-day session. The data demonstrate that adult control, saline- and morphine-exposed male rats self-administer cocaine at a similar rate independent of their prenatal treatment. Adult female rats self-administer cocaine at a higher rate than male rats. Further, saline- and morphine-exposed females in diestrus self-administer more than females in proestrus phase of the estrous cycle, while control females show no such differences. In addition, fostering induces increase in cocaine self-administration in all groups of male rats regardless of prenatal drug exposure. In females, the only fostering-induced increase is in prenatally saline-exposed female rats raised by morphine-treated foster mother. Thus, our results suggest that the prenatal drug exposure does not induce changes in lever-pressing behavior for cocaine reward in adult male and female rats, but it sensitizes the animals to postnatal stimuli such as gonadal hormones and/or rearing conditions that result in increased drug self-administration. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 49: 463-473, 2007. [source]

    Effects of neonatal novelty exposure on sexual behavior, fear, and stress-response in adult rats

    Fernando Benetti
    Abstract Environmental stimuli in early life may result in permanent behavioral and physiological changes. Present study evaluated the effects of exposing pups to a novel environment on behaviors (open-field test and sexual behavior) and prolactin stress-responses in adult male rats. Half of a litter was daily removed outside (OUT) from the nest and stimulated by handling for 3 min, while the other half remained inside (IN) the nest and was also handled for the same period during the first 10 days postpartum. Maternal behavior after all the pups were returned to the nest was not different between IN and OUT littermates. In adulthood, OUT males showed increased general and central locomotion activity in the open-field test, reduced sexual behavior, and attenuated prolactin secretion in response to restraint stress compared with the IN littermates. The repeated exposition of rat pups to a novel environment is a causal factor for the long-lasting behavioral and endocrine changes. The premature exposition of the pup to unfamiliar environments decreases fear and stress-response, and also reduces sexual behavior. We suggest that the absence of the odor of the mother may be crucial to explain the effects detected in adulthood. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 49: 258,264, 2007. [source]

    Effects of the presence of the father on pup development in California mice (Peromyscus californicus)

    Mauro L. Vieira
    Abstract Pup development and behavior in California mice were studied in litters housed with single mothers, or with fathers and mothers living together. Behavior of pups was recorded during a 15-min session every 2 days from 10 to 30 days of age. Physical contact, locomotion, grooming, and physical development indicators were recorded. It was found that the physical contact between siblings was greater and there was a tendency to have more contact between pup and either parent in the group in which the father was present. Finally, it was noted that the presence of the father did not affect either the first appearance of pup behavior during development or physical growth. In conclusion, the results indicate that the presence of the father had a greater influence on social contact between the different members of the litter than on pup behavioral development and physical growth. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 42: 246,251, 2003. [source]

    Maternally separated rats show deficits in maternal care in adulthood

    Vedran Lovic
    Abstract Although there is considerable research on the phenomenology, neuroendocrinology, neuroanatomy, and sensory control of maternal behavior, little is known about the influences of early postnatal and postweaning experiences on the development of maternal behavior. The purpose of this study was to assess how early life separation from the mother rat affects development of the offspring's juvenile and adult maternal behavior. From postnatal Days 1 to 17, 3 female rats within each litter were separated (SEP) from the mother and the rest of the litter for 5 hr daily while 3 of their sisters were not maternally separated (NSEP). On postnatal Day 21, all subjects were weaned and randomly assigned to one of three juvenile conditions. One female from both SEP and NSEP groups was either isolated (I), given a social conspecific (S), or given 1- to 4-day-old pups (P) for 5 consecutive days. Maternal behavior of SEP and NSEP animals was assessed and recorded on each of the 5 days. Once all animals reached adulthood, they were mated, gave birth, and were assessed for their maternal behavior. We found that the effects of maternal separation on juvenile maternal-like behaviors were minimal. On the other hand, maternal separation reduced adult maternal licking and crouching over pups. In addition, there was a significant interaction between postnatal and juvenile experience on maternal crouching in maternal animals. These results are discussed in terms of the variety of possible behavioral, endocrine, and neurochemical mechanisms that mediate the effects of early life experiences on adult maternal behavior. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 39: 19,33, 2001 [source]

    Effectiveness of grass strips in trapping suspended sediments from runoff

    Chengzhong Pan
    Abstract Little information is available concerning the performance of grass strips for erosion control from steep cropland. An experiment was conducted on 5-m-long grass strips with slopes of 3°,15° that were subjected to silt laden runoff and simulated rainfall, to investigate the sediment trapping processes. The grass strips had three treatments including intact grass control (C), no litter (dead grass material covering the soil surface was removed) (NL), and no litter or leaves (only 2,3,cm grass stems and roots were reserved) (NLL). Generally the grass strips had a high effectiveness in trapping sediment from steep cropland runoff. Sediment trapping efficiency (STE) decreased with increasing slope gradient, and even for a 15° slope, STE was still more than 40%. Most sediment deposited in the backwater region before each grass strips. The removal of grass litter or/and leaves had no significant influence on STE. The sediment median size (D50) in inflow was greater than that in outflow, and the difference (,D50) decreased with increasing slope. A positive power relationship between STE and ,D50 can be obtained. Grass strips were more effective in trapping sediments coarser than 10 or 25,µm, but sediments finer than 1,µm were more readily removed from runoff than particles in the range of 2 to approximately 10,µm. Grass litter had less influence on flow velocity than leaves because the deposited sediment partially covered the litter layer. Mean flow velocity and its standard deviation were negatively correlated with STE, and they can help make good estimation of STE. Results from this study should be useful in planting and managing forage grass to effectively conserve soil loss by runoff from steep slopes on the Loess Plateau of China. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Runoff and soil loss under individual plants of a semi-arid Mediterranean shrubland: influence of plant morphology and rainfall intensity

    E. Bochet
    Abstract The influence of plant morphology and rainfall intensity on soil loss and runoff was determined at the plant scale for three representative species of a semi-arid patchy shrubland vegetation of east Spain, representing contrasting canopy structures and plant phenologies (Rosmarinus officinalis, Anthyllis cytisoides and Stipa tenacissima). Twenty-seven microplots of less than 1 m2, each containing one single plant, were built to quantify runoff volume and sediment yield under the canopies of the three species. Runoff and rates of soil loss measured in these plots under natural rainfall conditions were compared with control microplots built in the bare inter-plant areas. Precipitation was automatic-ally recorded and rainfall intensity calculated over a two-year period. Results indicated that individual plants played a relevant role in interrill erosion control at the microscale. Compared with a bare soil surface, rates of soil loss and runoff reduction varied strongly depending on the species. Cumulative soil loss was reduced by 94·3, 88·0 and 30·2 per cent, and cumulative runoff volume was reduced by 66·4, 50·8 and 18·4 per cent under the Rosmarinus, Stipa and Anthyllis canopies, respectively, compared with a bare surface. Anthyllis was significantly less efficient than the two other species in reducing runoff volume under its canopy. Differences between species could only be identified above a rainfall intensity threshold of 20 mm h,1. The different plant morphologies and plant compon-ents explained the different erosive responses of the three species. Canopy cover played a major role in runoff and soil loss reduction. The presence of a second layer of protection at the soil surface (litter cover) was fundamental for erosion control during intense rainfall. Rainfall intensity and soil water status prior to rainfall strongly influenced runoff and soil loss rates. The possible use of these species in restoration programmes of degraded areas is discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The role of vegetation patterns in structuring runoff and sediment fluxes in drylands

    Juan Puigdefábregas
    Abstract The dynamics of vegetation-driven spatial heterogeneity (VDSH) and its function in structuring runoff and sediment fluxes have received increased attention from both geomorphological and ecological perspectives, particularly in arid regions with sparse vegetation cover. This paper reviews the recent findings in this area obtained from field evidence and numerical simulation experiments, and outlines their implications for soil erosion assessment. VDSH is often observed at two scales, individual plant clumps and stands of clumps. At the patch scale, the local outcomes of vegetated patches on soil erodibility and hydraulic soil properties are well established. They involve greater water storage capacity as well as increased organic carbon and nutrient inputs. These effects operate together with an enhanced capacity for the interception of water and windborne resources, and an increased biological activity that accelerates breakdown of plant litter and nutrient turnover rates. This suite of relationships, which often involve positive feedback mechanisms, creates vegetated patches that are increasingly different from nearby bare ground areas. By this way a mosaic builds up with bare ground and vegetated patches coupled together, respectively, as sources and sinks of water, sediments and nutrients. At the stand scale within-storm temporal variability of rainfall intensity controls reinfiltration of overland flow and its decay with slope length. At moderate rainfall intensity, this factor interacts with the spatial structure of VDSH and the mechanism of overland flow generation. Reinfiltration is greater in small-grained VDSH and topsoil saturation excess overland flow. Available information shows that VDSH structures of sources and sinks of water and sediments evolve dynamically with hillslope fluxes and tune their spatial configurations to them. Rainfall simulation experiments in large plots show that coarsening VDSH leads to significantly greater erosion rates even under heavy rainfall intensity because of the flow concentration and its velocity increase. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Organic litter: dominance over stones as a source of interrill flow roughness on low-gradient desert slopes at Fowlers Gap, arid western NSW, Australia

    David Dunkerley
    Abstract Thirty-six runoff plot experiments provide data on flow depths, speeds, and Darcy,Weisbach friction coefficients (f) on bare soil surfaces, and surfaces to which were added sufficient extra plant litter or surface stones to provide projected cover of 5, 10 and 20 per cent. Precision flow depth data were derived with a computer-controlled gantry and needle gauge for two different discharges for each plot treatment. Taking a fixed flow intensity (Reynolds number, Re = 150) for purposes of comparison shows means of f = 17·7 for bare soil surfaces, f = 11·4 for added stone treatments, and f = 23·8 for added litter treatments. Many individual values of f for stone treatments are lower than for the bare soil surface, but all litter treatments show increases in fcompared to bare soil. The lowering of f in stone treatments relates to the submerged volume that the stones occupied, and the associated concentration of flow onto a smaller part of the plot surface. This leads to locally higher flow intensities and lower frictional drag along threads of flow that the obstacles create. Litter causes higher frictional drag because the particles are smaller, and, for the same cover fraction, are 100 times more numerous and provide 20 times the edge or perimeter length. Along these edges, which in total exceed 2·5 m g,1 (equivalent to 500 m m,2 for a loading of 2 t ha,1), surface tension draws up water from between the litter particles. This reduces flow depth there, and as a consequence of the lower flow intensity, frictional drag rises. Furthermore, no clear passage remains for the establishment of flow threads. These findings apply to shallow interrill flows in which litter is largely immobile. The key new result from these experiments is that under these conditions, a 20 per cent cover of organic litter can generate interrill frictional retardation that exceeds by nearly 41 per cent that of a bare soil surface, and twice that contributed by the same cover fraction of surface stones. Even greater dominance by litter can be anticipated at the many dryland sites where litter covers exceed those tested here. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]