natural environments
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2022 ◽  
pp. 074873042110694
Miguel F. Perea ◽  
Daniel A. Perdomo ◽  
Zenaida A. Corredor ◽  
Mario González ◽  
Hugo Hernandez-Fonseca ◽  

A robust body of evidence has demonstrated that the lunar cycle plays an important role in the reproduction of fish living in natural environments. However, little is known about the influence of the moon on tilapia reproductive activity in intensive fish farming systems. This study aims to evaluate the influence of the lunar cycle on the reproductive performance of tilapias in an intensive outdoor tropical production system in Latin America. Records of two tilapia strains (Nile tilapia [ Oreochromis niloticus; n = 75] and Red tilapia [ Oreochromis spp.; n = 1335]) reared in concrete tanks in a commercial fish farm were analyzed. Over a 3-year period, 60,136 captures were made in intervals of 12 to 14 days and 6,600 females were manually spawned. The number of females spawned and the volume of eggs collected from each tank ( n = 9) were recorded. Data was analyzed by the general linear model and means were compared by least squares means method. A very slight or no variation was observed when the lunar cycle was split into two halves (crescent and waning). The proportions of females spawned and the volume of eggs per spawned female and per female in the tank varied considerably across the eight periods of the lunar cycle, with greater values in the waning than in the crescent phase. A significantly greater proportion of tilapia spawned and yielded more eggs around the full moon than around the new moon and remaining days of the lunar cycle. The moon cycle affected the reproductive activity of tilapia, which were more reproductively active around the full moon and most of the waning phase.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-42
Xiaojun Zhu ◽  
Jingong Cai ◽  
Feng Liu ◽  
Qisheng Zhou ◽  
Yue Zhao ◽  

In natural environments, organic-clay interactions are strong and cause organo-clay composites (a combination between organic matter [OM] and clay minerals) to be one of the predominant forms for OM occurrence, and their interactions greatly influence the hydrocarbon (HC) generation of OM within source rocks. However, despite occurring in nature, dominating the OM occurrence, and having unique HC generation ways, organo-clay composites have rarely been investigated as stand-alone petroleum precursors. To improve this understanding, we have compared the Rock-Eval pyrolysis parameters derived from more than 100 source rocks and their corresponding <2 μm clay-sized fractions (representing organo-clay composites). The results show that all of the Rock-Eval pyrolysis parameters in bulk rocks are closely positively correlated with those in their clay-sized fractions, but in clay-sized fractions the quality of OM for HC generation is poorer, in that the pyrolysable organic carbon levels and hydrogen index values are lower, whereas the residual organic carbon levels are higher than those in bulk rocks. Being integrated with the effects of organic-clay interactions on OM occurrence and HC generation, our results suggest that organo-clay composites are stand-alone petroleum precursors for HC generation occurring in source rocks, even if the source rocks exist in great varieties in their attributes. Our source material for HC generation comprehensively integrates the original OM occurrence and HC generation behavior in natural environments, which differs from kerogen and is much closer to the actual source material of HC generation in source rocks, and it calls for further focus on organic-mineral interactions in studies of petroleum systems.

Diogo Freitas-Souza ◽  
André Batista Nobile ◽  
Fernanda Dotti do Prado ◽  
Érica Alves Serrano ◽  
Felipe Pontieri Lima ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Ashleigh N. Shields ◽  
Elise Taylor ◽  
Jessica R. Welch

Abstract Background Current research has found dramatic changes in the lives of those with eating disorders (EDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We build on existing research to investigate the long-term effects and adaptations that people with EDs have faced due to COVID-19 related changes. Method We collected 234 posts from three separate time periods from the subreddit r/EatingDisorders and analyzed them using thematic analysis. The posts were examined for initial patterns, and then those concepts were grouped into themes to reveal the authentic experiences of people living with EDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results Initially, we found “lack of control” and “familial influences (loved ones seeking support)” emerge as themes within our broader data set throughout all three timeframes. There were additional themes that were present in only one or two of the collection periods. These themes consisted of “symptom stress,” “technical stresses and concerns,” and “silver linings.” Conclusions Our analysis shows that people with EDs have fought significantly during the pandemic. Initially, the (lack of) control and routine in their lives has caused symptoms to become more challenging, while being forced to move back home also caused significant stress. However, concerns transformed as the pandemic progressed, resulting in new pressures causing people to exhibit novel ED symptoms or relapse altogether. Also notable is the relatively few COVID-specific posts as the pandemic progressed, suggesting that people have accepted COVID as their “new normal” and begun to build resilience to the challenges associated. These are vital factors for clinicians to consider as they begin taking existing and new patients, particularly as face-to-face treatment options become a possibility again. Plain English Summary Existing research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the lives of people who live with eating disorders in various ways. First, the pandemic has placed barriers on the path to recovery by limiting coping mechanism (and sometimes removing them altogether) and changing their relationships with food and the people in their lives. Second, the pandemic has forced treatment options to change since ED patients can no longer seek treatment face-to-face. Finally, there have been unexpected benefits to the pandemic, such as allowing individuals time to slow down and focus on their mental health. Previous studies examined individuals in clinical contexts rather than in their natural environments. We explored an online forum for people with eating disorders for the various themes that were discussed at three points over the period of March 2020-December 2020 and found that many people with EDs report worsening symptoms or relapse. However, we also noted that, compared to the beginning of the pandemic, people seemed to be less frequently asking for support during the third data collection period, implying an adaptation to the “new normal” of life in a pandemic. We conclude with a discussion of the findings.

2022 ◽  
Vol 3 ◽  
Vitalii Starchenko

A fundamental understanding of mineral precipitation kinetics relies largely on microscopic observations of the dynamics of mineral surfaces exposed to supersaturated solutions. Deconvolution of tightly bound transport, surface reaction, and crystal nucleation phenomena still remains one of the main challenges. Particularly, the influence of these processes on texture and morphology of mineral precipitate remains unclear. This study presents a coupling of pore-scale reactive transport modeling with the Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian approach for tracking evolution of explicit solid interface during mineral precipitation. It incorporates a heterogeneous nucleation mechanism according to Classical Nucleation Theory which can be turned “on” or “off.” This approach allows us to demonstrate the role of nucleation on precipitate texture with a focus at micrometer scale. In this work precipitate formation is modeled on a 10 micrometer radius particle in reactive flow. The evolution of explicit interface accounts for the surface curvature which is crucial at this scale in the regime of emerging instabilities. The results illustrate how the surface reaction and reactive fluid flow affect the shape of precipitate on a solid particle. It is shown that nucleation promotes the formation of irregularly shaped precipitate and diminishes the effect of the flow on the asymmetry of precipitation around the particle. The observed differences in precipitate structure are expected to be an important benchmark for reaction-driven precipitation in natural environments.

2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 372
Ayman Nassar ◽  
Alfonso Torres-Rua ◽  
Lawrence Hipps ◽  
William Kustas ◽  
Mac McKee ◽  

Understanding the spatial variability in highly heterogeneous natural environments such as savannas and river corridors is an important issue in characterizing and modeling energy fluxes, particularly for evapotranspiration (ET) estimates. Currently, remote-sensing-based surface energy balance (SEB) models are applied widely and routinely in agricultural settings to obtain ET information on an operational basis for use in water resources management. However, the application of these models in natural environments is challenging due to spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and complexity in the number of vegetation species existing within a biome. In this research effort, small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) data were used to study the influence of land surface spatial heterogeneity on the modeling of ET using the Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB) model. The study area is the San Rafael River corridor in Utah, which is a part of the Upper Colorado River Basin that is characterized by arid conditions and variations in soil moisture status and the type and height of vegetation. First, a spatial variability analysis was performed using a discrete wavelet transform (DWT) to identify a representative spatial resolution/model grid size for adequately solving energy balance components to derive ET. The results indicated a maximum wavelet energy between 6.4 m and 12.8 m for the river corridor area, while the non-river corridor area, which is characterized by different surface types and random vegetation, does not show a peak value. Next, to evaluate the effect of spatial resolution on latent heat flux (LE) estimation using the TSEB model, spatial scales of 6 m and 15 m instead of 6.4 m and 12.8 m, respectively, were used to simplify the derivation of model inputs. The results indicated small differences in the LE values between 6 m and 15 m resolutions, with a slight decrease in detail at 15 m due to losses in spatial variability. Lastly, the instantaneous (hourly) LE was extrapolated/upscaled to daily ET values using the incoming solar radiation (Rs) method. The results indicated that willow and cottonwood have the highest ET rates, followed by grass/shrubs and treated tamarisk. Although most of the treated tamarisk vegetation is in dead/dry condition, the green vegetation growing underneath resulted in a magnitude value of ET.

2022 ◽  
Sonja Sudimac ◽  
Vera Sale ◽  
Simone Kühn

Since living in cities is associated with an increased risk for mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression and schizophrenia, it is essential to understand how exposure to urban and natural environments affects mental health and the brain. It has been shown that the amygdala is more activated during a stress task in urban compared to rural dwellers. However, no study so far has examined the causal effects of natural and urban environments on stress-related brain mechanisms. To address this question, we conducted an intervention study to investigate changes in stress-related brain regions as an effect of a one-hour walk in an urban (busy street) vs. natural environment (forest). Brain activation was measured in 63 healthy participants, before and after the walk, using a fearful faces task. Our findings reveal that amygdala activation decreases after the walk in nature, whereas it remains stable after the walk in an urban environment. These results suggest that going for a nature walk can have salutogenic effects for stress-related brain regions, and consequently, it may act as a preventive measure against mental strain and potentially disease. Given the rapidly increasing urbanization, the present results aim to influence urban planning to create more accessible green areas and to adapt urban environments in a way that will be beneficial for citizens’ mental health.

2022 ◽  
Yongrong Qiu ◽  
David A Klindt ◽  
Klaudia P Szatko ◽  
Dominic Gonschorek ◽  
Larissa Hoefling ◽  

Neural system identification aims at learning the response function of neurons to arbitrary stimuli using experimentally recorded data, but typically does not leverage coding principles such as efficient coding of natural environments. Visual systems, however, have evolved to efficiently process input from the natural environment. Here, we present a normative network regularization for system identification models by incorporating, as a regularizer, the efficient coding hypothesis, which states that neural response properties of sensory representations are strongly shaped by the need to preserve most of the stimulus information with limited resources. Using this approach, we explored if a system identification model can be improved by sharing its convolutional filters with those of an autoencoder which aims to efficiently encode natural stimuli. To this end, we built a hybrid model to predict the responses of retinal neurons to noise stimuli. This approach did not only yield a higher performance than the stand-alone system identification model, it also produced more biologically-plausible filters. We found these results to be consistent for retinal responses to different stimuli and across model architectures. Moreover, our normatively regularized model performed particularly well in predicting responses of direction-of-motion sensitive retinal neurons. In summary, our results support the hypothesis that efficiently encoding environmental inputs can improve system identification models of early visual processing.

2022 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Laura W. Ploughe ◽  
Lauchlan H. Fraser

The global use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) in natural environments has accelerated rapidly over the last few decades, resulting in significant social and environmental consequences. As the demand, use, and promotion of light-duty ORVs like all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, four-wheel drive trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) increases in remote wilderness, the landscape is becoming fragmented into disorganized and destructive networks of trails and roads. Substantial ecological impacts to a wide range of ecosystem structures and functions will likely result from ORV activity. Applying a global systematic review, we examine 105 publications about plant, soil, and wildlife responses to ORV traffic in different habitats to help guide the direction of future research, monitoring programs, and mitigation efforts. Most studies investigated impacts to animals, followed by soils, then vegetative responses. Soil studies primarily focused on physical impacts to the soil (i.e., compaction, erosion, rut depth), but some studies suggest that soil chemical and biological properties may also be impacted by ORV traffic. The literature on plant responses to ORV activities primarily explored vegetation loss, although impacts on the plant community were also investigated. Animal studies investigated impacts of ORV use on invertebrates, mammals, birds, and to a lesser extent reptiles/amphibians, including population-level, community-level, and behavioral responses. Overall, research on environmental impacts of ORV traffic is biased to coastal and desert ecosystems in the northern hemisphere (primarily in the US), often does not address mechanisms that may produce ecological impacts (e.g., intensity of vehicular disturbance and ecosystem- or species-specific sensitivity to ORV activities), and frequently focused on short-term responses. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms that cause the different responses of soil, plant, and animals to ORVs over the long-term in a broad range of ecosystems to support real-time management and conservation efforts.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Shi-Chen Zhu ◽  
Hong-Xiang Zheng ◽  
Wen-Shen Liu ◽  
Chang Liu ◽  
Mei-Na Guo ◽  

Much effort has been made to remediate the degraded mine lands that bring severe impacts to the natural environments. However, it remains unclear what drives the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem functions, making the restoration of these fragile ecosystems a big challenge. The interactions among plant species, soil communities, and abiotic conditions, i.e., plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs), significantly influence vegetation development, plant community structure, and ultimately regulate the recovery of ecosystem multi-functionality. Here, we present a conceptual framework concerning PSFs patterns and potential mechanisms in degraded mine lands. Different from healthy ecosystems, mine lands are generally featured with harsh physical and chemical properties, which may have different PSFs and should be considered during the restoration. Usually, pioneer plants colonized in the mine lands can adapt to the stressful environment by forming tolerant functional traits and gathering specific soil microbial communities. Understanding the mechanisms of PSFs would enhance our ability to predict and alter both the composition of above- and below-ground communities, and improve the recovery of ecosystem functions in degraded mine lands. Finally, we put forward some challenges of the current PSFs study and discuss avenues for further research in the ecological restoration of degraded mine lands.

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