Major Processes (major + process)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Trophodynamic modeling of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in the Doto area, northern Japan: model description and baseline simulations

Abstract An age-structured trophodynamic model was constructed to quantitatively analyze factors affecting post-settlement mortality and growth of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in the Doto area, the main nursery ground of the Japan Pacific population. The model included (i) multiple age classes of pollock, (ii) a generic predator, (iii) fisheries, and (iv) major prey of pollock. Major processes considered were (i) recruitment, (ii) bottom-up control of somatic growth, (iii) mortality because of predation, cannibalism and fishing, (iv) size-selective prey selection, (v) temperature-dependent bioenergetics such as conversion efficiency and daily consumption rate, and (vi) production and advective supply of prey. By assuming that pollock select prey based upon both relative abundance and predator,prey size relationships, the model accurately simulated seasonal and ontogenetic variations in the diet. However considering ontogenetic segregation, the model showed that, due to cannibalism, newly recruited fish would be totally consumed within 6 months after settlement. By considering segregation (10% overlap during spring and 0.1% during other seasons), an agreement of diet between the simulation and empirical data averaged 82.7% for the different seasons and fish sizes. Euphausiids, the most important prey of pollock, suffered the highest predation impact (22.2 ± 5.3 WWg m,2 yr,1) exceeding annual production in the model domain (17.2 ± 0.1 WWg m,2 yr,1), indicating that an advective supply of prey is necessary to support the pollock population. The daily ration of pollock during spring and summer averaged at 1.2 and 0.6% BW day,1 for small (,200 mm) and large (>200 mm) pollock, respectively; this daily ration was reduced by half during autumn and winter. [source]

Drought changes phosphorus and potassium accumulation patterns in an evergreen Mediterranean forest

Summary 1Climate models predict more extreme weather in Mediterranean ecosystems, with more frequent drought periods and torrential rainfall. These expected changes may affect major process in ecosystems such as mineral cycling. However, there is a lack of experimental data regarding the effects of prolonged drought on nutrient cycling and content in Mediterranean ecosystems. 2A 6-year drought manipulation experiment was conducted in a Quercus ilex Mediterranean forest. The aim was to investigate the effects of drought conditions expected to occur over the coming decades, on the contents and concentrations of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in stand biomass, and P and K content and availability in soils. 3Drought (an average reduction of 15% in soil moisture) increased P leaf concentration by 18·2% and reduced P wood and root concentrations (30·9% and 39·8%, respectively) in the dominant tree species Quercus ilex, suggesting a process of mobilization of P from wood towards leaves. The decrease in P wood concentrations in Quercus ilex, together with a decrease in forest biomass growth, led to an overall decrease (by approximately one-third) of the total P content in above-ground biomass. In control plots, the total P content in the above-ground biomass increased 54 kg ha,1 from 1999 to 2005, whereas in drought plots there was no increase in P levels in above-ground biomass. Drought had no effects on either K above-ground contents or concentrations. 4Drought increased total soil soluble P by increasing soil soluble organic P, which is the soil soluble P not directly available to plant capture. Drought reduced the ratio of soil soluble inorganic P : soil soluble organic P by 50% showing a decrease of inorganic P release from P bound to organic matter. Drought increased by 10% the total K content in the soil, but reduced the soil soluble K by 20·4%. 5Drought led to diminished plant uptake of mineral nutrients and to greater recalcitrance of minerals in soil. This will lead to a reduction in P and K in the ecosystem, due to losses in P and K through leaching and erosion, if the heavy rainfalls predicted by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) models occur. As P is currently a limiting factor in many Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems, and given that P and K are necessary for high water-use efficiency and stomata control, the negative effects of drought on P and K content in the ecosystem may well have additional indirect negative effects on plant fitness. [source]

Chemical and physical responses to deformation in micaceous quartzites from the Tauern Window, Eastern Alps

J. Selverstone
Abstract Micaceous quartzites from a subvertical shear zone in the Tauern Window contain abundant quartz clasts derived from dismembered quartz-tourmaline veins. Bulk plane strain deformation affected these rocks at amphibolite facies conditions. Shape changes suggest net shortening of the clasts by 11,64%, with a mean value of 35%. Quartz within the clasts accommodated this strain largely via dislocation creep processes. On the high-stress flanks of the clasts, however, quartz was removed via solution mass transfer (pressure solution) processes; the resulting change in bulk composition allowed growth of porphyroblastic staurolite + chlorite ± kyanite on the clast flanks. Matrix SiO2 contents decrease from c. 83 wt% away from the clasts to 49,58% in the selvages on the clast flanks. The chemical changes are consistent with c. 70% volume loss in the high-stress zones. Calculated shortening values within the clast flanks are similar to the volume-loss estimates, and are greatly in excess of the shortening values calculated from the clasts themselves. Flow laws for dislocation creep versus pressure solution imply large strain-rate gradients and/or differential stress gradients between the matrix and the clast selvages. In a rock containing a large proportion of semirigid clasts, weakening within the clast flanks could dominate rock rheology. In our samples, however, weakening within the selvages was self limiting: (1) growth of strong staurolite porphyroblasts in the selvages protected remaining quartz from dissolution; and (2) overall flattening of the quartz clasts probably decreased the resolved shear stress on the flanks to values near those of the matrix, which would have reduced the driving force for solution-transfer creep. Extreme chemical changes nonetheless occurred over short distances. The necessity of maintaining strain compatibility may lead to significant localized dissolution in rocks containing rheologic heterogeneities, and overall weakening of the rocks may result. Solution-transfer creep may be a major process whereby weakening and strain localization occur during deep-crustal metamorphism of polymineralic rocks. [source]

Hudson Strait ice streams: a review of stratigraphy, chronology and links with North Atlantic Heinrich events

BOREAS, Issue 1 2003
John T. Andrews
We review the literature on the occupation of Hudson Strait (800 km long by 90 km wide) by late Quaternary ice streams, and the importance of Hudson Strait as the major source for sediments associated with the North Atlantic Heinrich (H-) events. Glacial erosion of the Paleozoic outcrop on the floor of Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay resulted in the export of detrital carbonate-rich sediments to ice-proximal locations on the slope and floor of the NW Labrador Sea, mainly in meltwater and turbidite plumes, and to ice distal sites thousands of kilometres away largely as iceberg-rafted detritus (IRD). Erosion of bedrock from the Precambrian Superior and Churchill provenances of the Canadian Shield is also indicated by the isotopic analyses of sediments. The major late Quaternary H-events (H-4, H-2 and H-1) are represented in southeast Baffin Island slope sediments as detrital carbonate-rich intervals up to 40 cm in thickness and appear to represent flow along the axis of the Strait. However, the late marine isotope stage #3 event, H-3 (,27 ka), and a younger event (H-0, ,11 ka), are not as dominant in the sedimentary record and probably represent a different glaciological regime with flow across Hudson Strait from eastern Ungava-Labrador. The freezing-on of sediments by supercooling in the rise from the 900 m deep Eastern Basin to the 400 m sill is proposed as the source of the abundant carbonate-rich glaciomarine sediments some 250 km from the outcrop in Eastern Basin. Sediment transport by meltwater and turbidity currents was the major process during H-events in ice-proximal settings. IRD was not a key diagnostic process at sites fronting Hudson Strait. A key feature in the instability of this ice stream might be the great depth (600 m) at the shelf break, and the deep basin, which lies seaward of the outer Hudson Strait sill. [source]

Sphingosine kinase 1 gene transfer reduces postoperative peritoneal adhesion in an experimental model

Q. Guo
Background: Recovery of the surgically damaged mesothelial cell layer is a major process in reducing postoperative peritoneal adhesions. Sphingosine kinase (SPK) 1 is a signalling molecule involved in the regulation of proliferation and migration of various cell types. This study determined the effect of SPK-1 gene transfer on the recovery of damaged mesothelial cells and on peritoneal adhesion formation after surgery. Methods: Rat mesothelial cells were isolated and characterized by their expression of cytokeratin and vimentin. Their migration was determined by scratch wound motility assay. Cellular SPK-1 activity was measured by [,- 32P]adenosine 5,-triphosphate incorporation. Wistar rats underwent laparotomy with subsequent caecum or uterine horn abrasion. Rats were randomized to either SPK-1 gene (Ad-SPK-1) transfer or control groups. The animals were killed 14 days after operation and peritoneal adhesions were graded. Results: Adenovirus-mediated SPK-1 gene transfer increased the cellular SPK-1 activity of mesothelial cells, leading to enhanced migration. Median adhesion scores were significantly lower in the Ad-SPK-1 group than in controls in both rat caecum (0·98 versus 2·60; P < 0·001) and rat uterine horn (0·28 versus 1·83; P < 0·001) models. Conclusion: Adenovirus-mediated SPK-1 gene transfer promotes recovery of the surgically damaged mesothelial cell layer and prevents postoperative peritoneal adhesion formation. Copyright © 2007 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Preserving organelle vitality: peroxisomal quality control mechanisms in yeast

Eda Bener Aksam
Abstract Cellular proteins and organelles such as peroxisomes are under continuous quality control. Upon synthesis in the cytosol, peroxisomal proteins are kept in an import-competent state by chaperones or specific proteins with an analogous function to prevent degradation by the ubiquitin,proteasome system. During protein translocation into the organelle, the peroxisomal targeting signal receptors (Pex5, Pex20) are also continuously undergoing quality control to enable efficient functioning of the translocon (RADAR pathway). Even upon maturation of peroxisomes, matrix enzymes and peroxisomal membranes remain subjected to quality control. As a result of their oxidative metabolism, peroxisomes are producers of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may damage proteins and lipids. To counteract ROS-induced damage, yeast peroxisomes contain two important antioxidant enzymes: catalase and an organelle-specific peroxiredoxin. Additionally, a Lon-type protease has recently been identified in the peroxisomal matrix, which is capable of degrading nonfunctional proteins. Finally, cellular housekeeping processes keep track of the functioning of peroxisomes so that dysfunctional organelles can be quickly removed via selective autophagy (pexophagy). This review provides an overview of the major processes involved in quality control of yeast peroxisomes. [source]

Assessing the sources and magnitude of diurnal nitrate variability in the San Joaquin River (California) with an in situ optical nitrate sensor and dual nitrate isotopes

Summary 1.,We investigated diurnal nitrate (NO3,) concentration variability in the San Joaquin River using an in situ optical NO3, sensor and discrete sampling during a 5-day summer period characterized by high algal productivity. Dual NO3, isotopes (,15NNO3 and ,18ONO3) and dissolved oxygen isotopes (,18ODO) were measured over 2 days to assess NO3, sources and biogeochemical controls over diurnal time-scales. 2.,Concerted temporal patterns of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations and ,18ODO were consistent with photosynthesis, respiration and atmospheric O2 exchange, providing evidence of diurnal biological processes independent of river discharge. 3.,Surface water NO3, concentrations varied by up to 22% over a single diurnal cycle and up to 31% over the 5-day study, but did not reveal concerted diurnal patterns at a frequency comparable to DO concentrations. The decoupling of ,15NNO3 and ,18ONO3 isotopes suggests that algal assimilation and denitrification are not major processes controlling diurnal NO3, variability in the San Joaquin River during the study. The lack of a clear explanation for NO3, variability likely reflects a combination of riverine biological processes and time-varying physical transport of NO3, from upstream agricultural drains to the mainstem San Joaquin River. 4.,The application of an in situ optical NO3, sensor along with discrete samples provides a view into the fine temporal structure of hydrochemical data and may allow for greater accuracy in pollution assessment. [source]

Mechanisms by which inflammation may increase intestinal cancer risk in inflammatory bowel disease

Pamela M. O'Connor PhD
Abstract Patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are at increased risk of developing intestinal cancers via mechanisms that remain incompletely understood. However, chronic inflammation and repeated events of inflammatory relapse in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) expose these patients to a number of signals known to have tumorigenic effects including persistent activation of the nuclear factor-,B and cyclooxygenase-2/prostaglandin pathways, release of proinflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-, and interleukin-6, and enhanced local levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. These inflammatory signals can contribute to carcinogenesis via 3 major processes: 1) by increasing oxidative stress, which promotes DNA mutagenesis thus contributing to tumor initiation; 2) by activating prosurvival and antiapoptotic pathways in epithelial cells, thereby contributing to tumor promotion; and 3) by creating an environment that supports sustained growth, angiogenesis, migration, and invasion of tumor cells, thus supporting tumor progression and metastasis. The present review integrates clinical and basic research observations in an attempt to provide a comprehensive understanding of how inflammatory processes may contribute to intestinal cancer development in IBD patients. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2010) [source]

REVIEW: Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming

Lochran W. Traill
Summary 1.,We review the mechanisms behind ecosystem functions, the processes that facilitate energy transfer along food webs, and the major processes that allow the cycling of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and use case studies to show how these have already been, and will continue to be, altered by global warming. 2.,Increased temperatures will affect the interactions between heterotrophs and autotrophs (e.g. pollination and seed dispersal), and between heterotrophs (e.g. predators-prey, parasites/pathogens-hosts), with generally negative ramifications for important ecosystem services (functions that provide direct benefit to human society such as pollination) and potential for heightened species co-extinction rates. 3.,Mitigation of likely impacts of warming will require, in particular, the maintenance of species diversity as insurance for the provision of basic ecosystem services. Key to this will be long-term monitoring and focused research that seek to maintain ecosystem resilience in the face of global warming. 4.,We provide guidelines for pursuing research that quantifies the nexus between ecosystem function and global warming. These include documentation of key functional species groups within systems, and understanding the principal outcomes arising from direct and indirect effects of a rapidly warming environment. Localized and targeted research and monitoring, complemented with laboratory work, will determine outcomes for resilience and guide adaptive conservation responses and long-term planning. [source]

Multi-annual spatial and numeric dynamics of the white-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala in southern Europe: seasonality, density dependence and climatic variability

Summary 1A statistical model is developed for the globally threatened white-headed duck during its regional expansion throughout Spain from 1980 to 2000; the model estimates the relative intrinsic, climatic and stochastic effects on population fluctuations and spatial expansion on several time-scales. Facing the current lack of knowledge on the nature and consequences of regulation for waterfowl populations, this type of study seems timely. 2A measure of population density accounting for the spatial patchiness of the population was constructed for breeding and wintering counts. No relationship was found between spatial and numeric dynamics, which suggests different mechanisms for both dynamical patterns. 3Although a lagged non-linear climatic effect during the period of chick rearing enhanced numeric brood recruitment through a cohort effect, in the short term brood production appeared to decrease with increasing population density, despite a long-term exponential numeric growth. 4Both wintering population density and rainfall during post-nuptial moult exerted a positive effect on subsequent spatial expansion during breeding, which suggest a major role for social interactions during wintering and wetlands availability on spatial dynamics. 5Altogether, the results suggest that seasonality, density-dependence and climatic forcing are all major processes in the spatio-temporal dynamics of the white-headed duck. Ignoring the relative biotic and abiotic effects and their temporal scale of interaction on population dynamics might thus yield misleading conclusions on the factors affecting the short- and long-term abundance of waterfowl populations. [source]

Collagen Metabolism Is Markedly Altered in the Hypertrophic Cartilage of Growth Plates from Rats with Growth Impairment Secondary to Chronic Renal Failure

Jesús Álvarez
Abstract Skeletal growth depends on growth plate cartilage activity, in which matrix synthesis by chondrocytes is one of the major processes contributing to the final length of a bone. On this basis, the present work was undertaken to ascertain if growth impairment secondary to chronic renal insufficiency is associated with disturbances of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the growth plate. By combining stereological and in situ hybridization techniques, we examined the expression patterns of types II and X collagens and collagenase-3 in tibial growth plates of rats made uremic by subtotal nephrectomy (NX) in comparison with those of sham-operated rats fed ad libitum (SAL) and sham-operated rats pair-fed with NX (SPF). NX rats were severely uremic, as shown by markedly elevated serum concentrations of urea nitrogen, and growth retarded, as shown by significantly decreased longitudinal bone growth rates. NX rats showed disturbances in the normal pattern of chondrocyte differentiation and in the rates and degree of substitution of hypertrophic cartilage with bone, which resulted in accumulation of cartilage at the hypertrophic zone. These changes were associated with an overall decrease in the expression of types II and X collagens, which was especially marked in the abnormally extended zone of the hypertrophic cartilage. Unlike collagen, the expression of collagenase-3 was not disturbed severely. Electron microscopic analysis proved that changes in gene expression were coupled to alterations in the mineralization as well as in the collagen fibril architecture at the hypertrophic cartilage. Because the composition and structure of the ECM have a critical role in regulating the behavior of the growth plate chondrocytes, results obtained are consistent with the hypothesis that alteration of collagen metabolism in these cells could be a key process underlying growth retardation in uremia. [source]

Materials and Energy Flow Analysis of Paper Consumption in the United Kingdom, 1987-2010

Erik Sundin
Summary This article presents the results of a life-cycle materials and energy flow analysis for the pulp and paper cycle in the United Kingdom. Material flows are reconstructed for the period be-tween 1987 and 1996 for all major processes associated with the paper cycle, and system energy requirements are calculated over this period using the best available data. Attention is drawn to the import dependence of U.K. paper demand, and the significant energy requirements associated with upstream forestry processes. The historical trend analysis is then used to model possible future developments in materials and energy consumption until 2010 under a variety of assumptions about process technology improvements, wastepaper utilization rates, and changing demand trends. The results indicate that policy options to increase recycling yield some energy benefits, but these are small by comparison with the benefits to be gained by reducing consumption of paper and improving process technology. The structure of the electricity supply industry in the United Kingdom means that global energy benefits could also be achieved by increasing the contribution from imported pulp. [source]

Origin of evolutionary novelty: Examples from limbs

Neil H. Shubin
Abstract Classic hypotheses of vertebrate morphology are being informed by new data and new methods. Long nascent issues, such as the origin of tetrapod limbs, are being explored by paleontologists, molecular biologists, and functional anatomists. Progress in this arena will ultimately come down to knowing how macroevolutionary differences between taxa emerge from the genetic and phenotypic variation that arises within populations. The assembly of limbs over developmental and evolutionary time offers examples of the major processes at work in the origin of novelties. Recent comparative developmental analyses demonstrate that many of the mechanisms used to pattern limbs are ancient. One of the major consequences of this phenomenon is parallelism in the evolution of anatomical structures. Studies of both the fossil record and intrapopulational variation of extant populations reveal regularities in the origin of variation. These examples reveal processes acting at the level of populations that directly affect the patterns of diversity observed at higher taxonomic levels. J. Morphol. 252:15,28, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Timothy growth in Scandinavia: combining quantitative information and simulation modelling

M. Höglind
Summary Timothy (Phleum pratense) is the most widely grown sown grass species for silage and hay production in the Nordic countries; it is also common in many other areas with a cold maritime climate. Research on timothy has identified many environmental factors and plant characteristics that determine timothy growth. However, much of the literature that analyses timothy growth presents only qualitative estimates of the importance of the different growth-determining factors. Here we present a review of quantitative information on timothy. Moreover, we analyse to what extent this quantitative information is sufficient to permit the construction of a simple process-based model of timothy growth. We then use such a model to identify the major growth-determining factors. Simulations with the model showed that the major processes to be elucidated in future research on timothy are tillering dynamics and the formation and loss of leaves from tillers. We conclude that a combination of literature review and analysis by means of simulation modelling, such as we attempted here, is an effective approach to identify and prioritize research goals. [source]

The effects of transition on the distribution of income in China

A study decomposing the GINI coefficient for 198
Using two large samples for 1988 and 1995 we decompose the Gini coefficient of household income according to type of income with the purpose of analyzing reasons for the rapid increase of inequality. The results show that the change in relative size of money income and its changed profile are found to be the major processes behind the rapid increase of income inequality in rural China. Changes in housing allocation and an increased number of retirees in combination with higher benefits have made inequality increase in urban China and in China as a whole. JEL classification: D31, P27. [source]

Astroglial structures in the zebrafish brain,

Larissa Grupp
Abstract To understand components shaping the neuronal environment we studied the astroglial cells in the zebrafish brain using immunocytochemistry for structural and junctional markers, electron microscopy including freeze fracturing, and probed for the water channel protein aquaporin-4. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and glutamine synthetase (GS) showed largely overlapping immunoreactivity: GFAP in the main glial processes and GS in main processes and smaller branches. Claudin-3 immunoreactivity was spread in astroglial cells along their major processes. The ventricular lining was immunoreactive for the tight-junction associated protein ZO-1, in the telencephalon located on the dorsal, lateral, and medial surface due to the everting morphogenesis. In the tectum, subpial glial endfeet were also positive for ZO-1. Correspondingly, electron microscopy revealed junctional complexes between subpial glial endfeet. However, in freeze-fracture analysis tight junctional strands were not found between astroglial membranes, either in the optic tectum or in the telencephalon. Occurrence of aquaporin-4, the major astrocytic water channel in mammals, was demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and immunocytochemistry in tectum and telencephalon. Localization of aquaporin-4 was not polarized but distributed along the entire radial extent of the cell. Interestingly, their membranes were devoid of the orthogonal arrays of particles formed by aquaporin-4 in mammals. Finally, we investigated astroglial cells in proliferative areas. Brain lipid basic protein, a marker of early glial differentiation but not GS, were present in some proliferation zones, whereas cells lining the ventricle were positive for both markers. Thus, astroglial cells in the zebrafish differ in many aspects from mammalian astrocytes. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:4277,4287, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

A birth-to-death view of mRNA from the RNA recognition motif perspective,

Terri Goss Kinzy
Abstract RNA binding proteins are a large and varied group of factors that are the driving force behind post-transcriptional gene regulation. By analogy with transcription factors, RNA binding proteins bind to various regions of the mRNAs that they regulate, usually upstream or downstream from the coding region, and modulate one of the five major processes in mRNA metabolism: splicing, polyadenylation, export, translation and decay. The most abundant RNA binding protein domain is called the RNA Recognition Motif (RRM)1. It is probably safe to say that an RRM-containing protein is making some contact with an mRNA throughout its existence. The transcriptional counterpart would likely be the histones, yet the multitude of specific functions that are results of RRM based interactions belies the universality of the motif. This complex and diverse application of a single protein motif was used as the basis to develop an advanced graduate level seminar course in RNA:protein interactions. The course, utilizing a learner-centered empowerment model, was developed to dissect each step in RNA metabolism from the perspective of an RRM containing protein. This provided a framework to discuss the development of specificity for the RRM for each required process. [source]