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Spectral Induced Polarization spectra were carried out on 3 graphitic schists and 2 graphitic sandstones. The microstructural arrangement of graphite of two graphitic schists was studied with thin sections using transmitted and reflected light optical and electron microscopic methods. Chemical maps of selected areas confirm the presence of carbon. The complex conductivity spectra were measured in the frequency range 10 mHz to 45 kHz and in the temperature range +20°C down to -15°C. The measured spectra are fitted with a double Cole Cole complex conductivity model with one component associated with the polarization of graphite and the second component associated with the Maxwell Wagner polarization. The Cole Cole exponent and the chargeability are observed to be almost independent of temperature including in freezing conditions. The conductivity and relaxation time are dependent on the temperature in a predictable way. As long as the temperature decreases, the electrical conductivity decreases and the relaxation time increases. A finite element model is able to reproduce the observed results. In this model, we consider an intra-grain polarization mechanism for the graphite and a change of the conductivity of the background material modeled with an exponential freezing curve. One of the core sample (a black schist), very rich in graphite, appears to be characterized by a very high conductivity (approximately 30 S m-1). Two induced polarization profiles are discussed in the area of Thorens. The model is applied to the chargeability data to map the volumetric content of graphite.
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Whole body vibration and upper limb vibration (ULV), continues to gain popularity as exercise intervention for rehabilitation and sports applications. However, the fatiguing effects of indirect vibration stimulation are not yet fully understood. We investigated the effects of ULV stimulation superimposed on fatiguing isometric contractions using a purpose developed upper limb stimulation device. Thirteen healthy volunteers were exposed to both ULV superimposed to fatiguing isometric contractions (V) and isometric contractions alone- Control (C). Both Vibration (V) and Control (C) exercises were performed at 80% of the maximum voluntary contractions. The stimulation used was 30 Hz frequency of 0.4 mm amplitude. Surface-electromyographic (EMG) activity of the Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii, and Flexor Carpi Radialis were measured. EMG amplitude (EMGrms) and mean frequency (MEF) were computed to quantify muscle activity and fatigue levels. All muscles displayed significantly higher reduction in MEFs and corresponding significant increase in EMGrms with the V than the Control, during fatiguing contractions (P < 0.05). Post vibration, all muscles showed higher levels of MEFs after recovery compared to the control. Our results show that near maximal isometric fatiguing contractions superimposed on vibration stimulation lead to a higher rate of fatigue development compared to the isometric contraction alone in the upper limb muscles. Results also show higher manifestation of mechanical fatigue post treatment with vibration compared to the control. Vibration superimposed on isometric contraction not only seems to alter the neuromuscular function during fatiguing efforts by inducing higher neuromuscular load but also post vibration treatment.
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Age-specific variation in reproductive effort can affect population dynamics, and is a key component of the evolution of reproductive tactics. Late-life declines are a typical feature of variation in reproduction. However, the cause of these declines, and thus their implications for the evolution of life-history tactics, may differ. Some prior studies have shown late-life reproductive declines to be tied to chronological age, whereas other studies have found declines associated with terminal reproduction irrespective of chronological age. We investigated the extent to which declines in late life reproduction are related to chronological age, terminal reproductive attempt or a combination of both in the Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda), a small passerine bird that inhabits the temperate forest of South America. To this end we used long-term data (10 years) obtained on reproductive success (laying date, clutch size and nestling weight) of females in a Chilean population. Neither chronological age nor terminal reproductive attempt explained variation in clutch size or nestling weight, however we observed that during the terminal reproductive attempt older females tended to lay later in the breeding season and younger females laid early in the breeding season, but this was not the case when the reproductive attempt was not the last. These results suggests that both age-dependent and age-independent effects influence reproductive output and therefore that the combined effects of age and physiological condition may be more relevant than previously thought.
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In large clonal populations, several clones generally compete which results in complex evolutionary and ecological dynamics: experiments show successive selective sweeps of favorable mutations as well as long-term coexistence of multiple clonal strains. The mechanisms underlying either coexistence or fixation of several competing strains have rarely been studied altogether. Conditions for coexistence has mostly been studied by population and community ecology, while rates of invasion and fixation have mostly been studied by population genetics. In order to provide a global understanding of the complexity of the dynamics observed in large clonal populations, we develop a stochastic model where three clones compete. Competitive interactions can be intransitive and we suppose that strains enter the population via mutations or rare immigrations. We first describe all possible final states of the population, including stable coexistence of two or three strains, or the fixation of a single strain. Second, we give estimate of the invasion and fixation times of a favorable mutant (or immigrants) entering the population in a single copy. We especially show that invasion and fixation can be slower or faster when considering complex competitive interactions. Third, we explore the parameter space assuming prior distributions of reproduction, death and competitive rates and we estimate the likeliness of the possible dynamics. We especially show that when mutations can affect competitive interactions, even slightly, stable coexistence is likely. We discuss our results in the context of the evolutionary dynamics of large clonal populations.
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Climate change will decrease precipitation and increase rainfall variability in Eastern Mediterranean regions, with responses of plant communities largely uncertain. Here, we tested short-term responses of dryland plant communities to contrasting rainfall regimes using reciprocal transplants of soil and seed banks. We exposed three annual plant communities to very different climatic conditions along a steep rainfall gradient. We tested for the role of climate vs. community origin on community response and resistance. In parallel, we asked whether origin-specific climatic adaptations predict compositional shifts across climates. Due to an extreme drought, all plants in the driest climate failed to reach maturity. For the remaining two community origins, the most dry-adapted species in each community increased in dry climate and the wet-adapted species increased in wet climate. Dry community origins showed large compositional shifts while maintaining stable plant density, biomass and species richness across climates. Conversely, wet communities showed smaller compositional shifts, but larger variation in biomass and richness. This asynchrony in species abundances in response to rainfall variability could maintain structural community stability. This, in combination with seed dormancy, has the ability to delay extinction in response to climate change. However, increasing occurrence of extreme droughts may, in the long-term, lead to loss of wet-adapted species.
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Objective Our study objectives were to identify factors associated with new-onset epilepsy and refractory epilepsy among older adult stroke survivors and to evaluate the receipt of diagnostic care and mortality for participants who developed epilepsy. Methods We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study using linked, administrative health care databases. The Ontario Stroke Registry was used to identify patients 67 years and older who were hospitalized for a stroke at a designated stroke center in Ontario, Canada, between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2009, and were previously free of epilepsy. Multivariable Fine–Gray hazard models were used to examine risk factors of epilepsy and refractory epilepsy, accounting for the competing risk of death. Results Among 19,138 older adults hospitalized for a stroke, 210 (1.1%) developed epilepsy and 27 (12.9%) became refractory to antiepileptic drugs. Within 1 year of epilepsy diagnosis, 24 (11.4%) patients were assessed with EEG and 19 (9.0%) with MRI. In multivariable analysis, younger age and thrombolysis receipt significantly increased epilepsy risk. Lesser stroke severity and anticoagulant medication receipt also significantly increased epilepsy risk; however, these effects decreased over time. Younger age and female sex were the only risk factors of refractory epilepsy. In the 5 years following epilepsy diagnosis, 97 (46.2%) participants died of any cause. Conclusions Older adult stroke survivors are less likely to develop epilepsy and pharmacologically refractory epilepsy. An estimated 86.6% of deaths among older adult stroke survivors with new-onset epilepsy are attributed to causes other than stroke or epilepsy.
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Heritable genetic variation is necessary for populations to evolve in response to anthropogenic climate change. However, antagonistic genetic correlations among traits may constrain the rate of adaptation, even if substantial genetic variation exists. We examine potential genetic responses to selection by comparing multivariate genetic variance-covariances of traits and fitness (multivariate Robertson-Price identities) across different environments in a reciprocal transplant experiment of the forb Boechera stricta in the Rocky Mountains. By transplanting populations into four common gardens arrayed along an elevational gradient, and exposing populations to control and snow removal treatments, we simulated future and current climates and snowmelt regimes. Genetic variation in flowering and germination phenology declined in plants moved downslope to warmer, drier sites, suggesting that these traits may have a limited ability to evolve under future climates. Simulated climate change via snow removal altered the strength of selection on flowering traits, but we found little evidence that genetic correlations among traits are likely to affect the rate of adaptation to climate change. Overall, our results suggest that climate change may alter the evolutionary potential of B. stricta, but reduced expression of genetic variation may be a larger impediment to adaptation than constraints imposed by antagonistic genetic correlations.
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We reassessed whether two parapatric non-sister Australian honeyeater species (Aves: Meliphagidae), varied and mangrove honeyeaters (Gavicalis versicolor and G. fasciogularis, respectively), that diverged from a common ancestor c. 2.5 Mya intergrade in the Townsville area of north-eastern Queensland. Consistent with a previous specimenbased study, by using genomics methods we show one-way gene flow for autosomal but not Z-linked markers from varied into mangrove honeyeaters. Introgression barely extends south of the area of parapatry in and around the city of Townsville. While demonstrating the long-term porosity of species boundaries over several million years, our data also suggest a clear role of sex chromosomes in maintaining reproductive isolation.
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Cottage cheese disease is caused by microsporidian parasites that infect a wide range of animal populations. Despite its potential to affect economically important activities, the spatial patterns of prevalence of this disease are still not well understood. Here, we analyze the occurrence of the microsporidian Areospora rohanae in populations of the king crab Lithodes santolla over ca. 800 km of the southeastern Pacific shore. In winter 2011, conical pots were deployed between 50 and 200 m depth to capture crabs of a wide range of sizes. The infection was widely distributed along the region, with a mean prevalence of 16 %, and no significant association between prevalence and geographic location was detected. Males, females, and ovigerous females showed similar prevalence values of 16.5 (13 – 18.9), 15 (9.2 – 15), and 16.7 % (10 – 19 %), respectively. These patterns of prevalence were consistent across crab body sizes, despite the ontogenetic and sex-dependent variations in feeding behavior and bathymetric migrations previously reported for king crabs. This study provided the first report of the geographic distribution of A. rohanae infecting southern king crabs.
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The North Sea is one of the most extensively studied marine regions of the world. Hence, large amounts of molecular data for species identification are available in public repositories, and expectations to find numerous new species in this well-known region are rather low. However, molecular reference data for harpacticoid copepods from this area in particular but also for this group in general is scarce. By assessing COI barcodes and MALDI-TOF mass spectra for this group of small crustaceans, it was discovered that there is a huge unknown diversity in this area. In total, COI sequences for 548 specimens from 115 species of harpacticoid copepods are presented. Over 19% of these were new to science and ten MOTUs were found to be part of cryptic species complexes. MALDI-TOF mass spectra were assessed for 622 specimens from 75 species. Because results were in concordance with species delimitation by COI barcoding and also enabled recognition of possible cryptic species, the discriminative power of this technique for biodiversity assessments is highlighted. Findings imply, species diversity in this group may be largely underestimated and total species number can be expected to be much higher than previously assumed.
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