Ordinal Level (ordinal + level)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Phylogenetic analyses of marine sponges within the order Verongida: a comparison of morphological and molecular data

Patrick M. Erwin
Abstract. Because the taxonomy of marine sponges is based primarily on morphological characters that can display a high degree of phenotypic plasticity, current classifications may not always reflect evolutionary relationships. To assess phylogenetic relationships among sponges in the order Verongida, we examined 11 verongid species, representing six genera and four families. We compared the utility of morphological and molecular data in verongid sponge systematics by comparing a phylogeny constructed from a morphological character matrix with a phylogeny based on nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. The morphological phylogeny was not well resolved below the ordinal level, likely hindered by the paucity of characters available for analysis, and the potential plasticity of these characters. The molecular phylogeny was well resolved and robust from the ordinal to the species level. We also examined the morphology of spongin fibers to assess their reliability in verongid sponge taxonomy. Fiber diameter and pith content were highly variable within and among species. Despite this variability, spongin fiber comparisons were useful at lower taxonomic levels (i.e., among congeneric species); however, these characters are potentially homoplasic at higher taxonomic levels (i.e., between families). Our molecular data provide good support for the current classification of verongid sponges, but suggest a re-examination and potential reclassification of the genera Aiolochroia and Pseudoceratina. The placements of these genera highlight two current issues in morphology-based sponge taxonomy: intermediate character states and undetermined character polarity. [source]

Avian molecular systematics on the rebound: a fresh look at modern shorebird phylogenetic relationships

Marcel Van Tuinen
The study of avian molecular systematics currently lags behind that of mammals in several ways. Little phylogenetic resolution is observed among orders and phylogenetic studies below the ordinal level largely remain based on fast evolving mitochondrial sequences. New papers by Paton et al., Ericson et al., and Thomas et al. provide avian molecular systematics with a badly needed boost. These studies indicate that sampling more taxa and slower evolving nuclear genes yields strong phylogenetic resolution among the major shorebird (order Charadriiformes) families. The new data show surprising overall consensus and converge on certain novel clades. If correct, this newly obtained phylogenetic framework has tremendous implications for our understanding of the evolution of shorebird morphology, ecology and behaviour. [source]

The Branchiopoda (Crustacea: Anomopoda, Ctenopoda and Cyclestherida) of the rain forests of Cameroon, West Africa: low abundances, few endemics and a boreal,tropical disjunction

George Y. Chiambeng
Abstract Aim, We provide the first in-depth study of the Branchiopoda of the rain forests of Cameroon and also of the African continent. Location, Surface water environments, Cameroon. Methods, Qualitative plankton samples were collected in all types of surface water environments present, ranging from big lakes to water collected in rock crevices or fallen fruit cavities. A tow or hand-held plankton net of mesh size 100 ,m was used, and water volumes filtered were at least several m3 in large water bodies, or half to whole water volume in small water bodies. Results, We recorded 61 species (53 first records for the country), based on 700+ samples collected between September 1998 and March 2002. Anomopoda (92%) was the dominant order, followed by Ctenopoda (6.5%) and Cyclestherida (1.5%). Chydoridae (67%) was the most speciose family followed by Macrothricidae (6.5%) and Daphniidae (5%). Alona (11%) was the dominant genus followed by Chydorus (10%) and Pleuroxus (8%). Several species of Chydorinae, especially of the genus Pleuroxus, are shared with continental Eurasia,North America, but are absent from the Mediterranean and desert,steppe,savanna zones of Africa (boreal,tropical disjunction). Daphnia was absent, as in most tropical lowlands. No single species was really abundant, and a majority were rare to very rare, and of restricted occurrence within the rain forest patches. Comparing Africa, South America and Southeast Asia, we found a current total of 196 species for the combined rain forest areas, out of a world total of 500+ species. Systematic trends in richness at three taxonomic levels were the same for all continents: Anomopoda,Ctenopoda,Cyclestherida at ordinal level, Chydoridae,Daphniidae,Macrothricidae,Sididae at family level and Alona,Chydorus,Macrothrix,Diaphanosoma at genus level. Southeast Asia was richest (111 species, 14 endemics) with South America a close second (110 species, 27 endemics). Africa was the most species-poor (95 species, of which only 5 are endemics). Main conclusions, We hypothesize that the post-Miocene cooling and aridization of the world climate hit the freshwater biota of Africa particularly hard, with more extinction here than elsewhere, and little recolonization. Most extinction occurred in the savanna-desert belt, and eight disjunct boreal species (four Pleuroxus, Picripleuroxus laevis, Kurzia latissima, Alonella exigua, and Monospilus dispar) survive morphologically unchanged since pre-Pleistocene times in the Cameroon rain forest. Slow evolution thus appears typical of these cyclic parthenogenetic branchiopods in which sexual recombination occurs only at intervals. Illustrative of the same slow evolution is the fact that the two endemic cladocerans of Cameroon (Nicsmirnovius camerounensis and Bryospilus africanus) belong to tropicopolitan genera of Gondwanan age. [source]

Dicotyledonous wood anatomy and the APG system of angiosperm classification

The recently proposed classification by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) of angiosperms based on monophyletic groups as recognized mainly by molccular analysis is used here to discuss wood anatomical diversity patterns at the ordinal level. The APG orders are compared with the most recent ,classical' orders as listed in the second edition of 7 h e Plant Book for ,improved' or ,deteriorated' wood anatomical coherence. Although homoplasy in wood anatomical characters, largely due to ecoloqical adaptations, limits the value of wood anatomy at higher levels of classification, many families and orders tend to have characteristic combinations of microscopic wood features. Out of the 29 APG dicot orders, seven (Aquifoliales, Cucurbitales, Gentianales, Geraniales, Myrtales, Sapindales, Saxifragales) show an increase in wood anatomical homogeneity relative to their ,classical' predecessors; four APG dicot orders (Apiales, Ericales, Fabales, and Rosales) show a drcrrase, although within the orders several suprafamilial subclades are homogeneous. For the remaining 18 orders. wood anatomical diversity remains about the same as in previous classfications or the APG ordinal composition is almost identical to the ,classical' composition. The results support the value of both molecular markers and wood anatomical characters in phylogenetic classification. Because the ,classical' ordinal classifications have been partly inspired by wood anatomical information, one might have expected a ?greater wood anatomical coherence in them than in the largely molecularly delimited APG orders if wood anatomy did not provide significant phylogenetic sisgnals at higher taxonomic levels. The reverse appears to be the case. Among the wood anatomical characters included in the comparison, vestured intervessel pits, large and simple ray parenchyma pits, and sometimes also wide and tall rays appear to characterize orders. Some orders tend to be characterized by a combination of ,primitive' features in the Baileyan sense: scalariform perforations, fibres with distinctly bordered pits, apotracheal parenchyma, and heterocellular rays. This raises the question as to whethcr in thcsc cladcs this entire combination of characteristics should not he viewrd as synapomorphic rather than symplesiomorphic. [source]

Mantophasmatodea and phylogeny of the lower neopterous insects

CLADISTICS, Issue 3 2005
Matthew D. Terry
Polyneoptera is a name sometimes applied to an assemblage of 11 insect orders comprising the lower neopterous or "orthopteroid" insects. These orders include familiar insects such as Orthoptera (grasshoppers), Blattodea (roaches), Isoptera (termites) (Mantodea) praying mantises, Dermaptera (earwigs), Phasmatodea (stick insects), Plecoptera (stoneflies), as well as the more obscure, Embiidina (web-spinners), Zoraptera (angel insects) and Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers). Many of these insect orders exhibit a high degree of morphological specialization, a condition that has led to multiple phylogenetic hypotheses and little consensus among investigators. We present a phylogenetic analysis of the polyneopteran orders representing a broad range of their phylogenetic diversity and including the recently described Mantophasmatodea. These analyses are based on complete 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, Histone 3 DNA sequences, and a previously published morphology matrix coded at the ordinal level. Extensive analyses utilizing different alignment methodologies and parameter values across a majority of possible ranges were employed to test for sensitivity of the results to ribosomal alignment and to explore patterns across the theoretical alignment landscape. Multiple methodologies support the paraphyly of Polyneoptera, the monophyly of Dictyoptera, Orthopteroidea (sensu Kukalova-Peck; i.e. Orthoptera + Phasmatodea + Embiidina), and a group composed of Plecoptera + Dermaptera + Zoraptera. Sister taxon relationships between Embiidina + Phasmatodea in a group called "Eukinolabia", and Dermaptera + Zoraptera ("Haplocercata") are also supported by multiple analyses. This analysis also supports a sister taxon relationship between the newly described Mantophasmatodea, which are endemic to arid portions of southern Africa, and Grylloblattodea, a small order of cryophilic insects confined to the north-western Americas and north-eastern Asia, in a group termed "Xenonomia". This placement, coupled with the morphological disparity of the two groups, validates the ordinal status of Mantophasmatodea. The Willi Hennig Society 2005. [source]

Association Between Cognitive Function and Social Support with Glycemic Control in Adults with Diabetes Mellitus

Toru Okura MD
OBJECTIVES: To examine whether cognitive impairment in adults with diabetes mellitus is associated with worse glycemic control and to assess whether level of social support for diabetes mellitus care modifies this relationship. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis. SETTING: The 2003 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Mail Survey on Diabetes and the 2004 wave of the HRS. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 50 and older with diabetes mellitus in the United States (N=1,097, mean age 69.2). MEASUREMENTS: Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level; cognitive function, measured with the 35-point HRS cognitive scale (HRS-cog); sociodemographic variables; duration of diabetes mellitus; depressed mood; social support for diabetes mellitus care; self-reported knowledge of diabetes mellitus; treatments for diabetes mellitus; components of the Total Illness Burden Index related to diabetes mellitus; and functional limitations. RESULTS: In an ordered logistic regression model for the three ordinal levels of HbA1c (<7.0, 7.0,7.9, ,8.0 mg/dL), respondents with HRS-cog scores in the lowest quartile had significantly higher HbA1c levels than those in the highest cognitive quartile (adjusted odds ratio=1.80, 95% confidence interval=1.11,2.92). A high level of social support for diabetes mellitus care modified this association; for respondents in the lowest cognitive quartile, those with high levels of support had significantly lower odds of having higher HbA1c than those with low levels of support (1.11 vs 2.87, P=.02). CONCLUSION: Although cognitive impairment was associated with worse glycemic control, higher levels of social support for diabetes mellitus care ameliorated this negative relationship. Identifying the level of social support available to cognitively impaired adults with diabetes mellitus may help to target interventions for better glycemic control. [source]

Applying the Liu-Agresti Estimator of the Cumulative Common Odds Ratio to DIF Detection in Polytomous Items

Randall D. Penfield
Liu and Agresti (1996) proposed a Mantel and Haenszel-type (1959) estimator of a common odds ratio for several 2 J tables, where the J columns are ordinal levels of a response variable. This article applies the Liu-Agresti estimator to the case of assessing differential item functioning (DIF) in items having an ordinal response variable. A simulation study was conducted to investigate the accuracy of the Liu-Agresti estimator in relation to other statistical DIF detection procedures. The results of the simulation study indicate that the Liu-Agresti estimator is a viable alternative to other DIF detection statistics. [source]