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Avigdor Abelson, Benjamin S Halpern, Daniel C Reed, Robert J Orth, Gary A Kendrick, Michael W Beck, Jonathan Belmaker, Gesche Krause, Graham J Edgar, Laura Airoldi, Eran Brokovich, Robert France, Nadav Shashar, Arianne de Blaeij, Noga Stambler, Pierre Salameh, Mordechai Shechter, Peter A Nelson
Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science...
February 1, 2016: Bioscience
Jessi L Smith, Ian M Handley, Alexander V Zale, Sara Rushing, Martha A Potvin
Workforce homogeneity limits creativity, discovery, and job satisfaction; nonetheless, the vast majority of university faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are men. We conducted a randomized and controlled three-step faculty search intervention based in self-determination theory aimed at increasing the number of women faculty in STEM at one US university where increasing diversity had historically proved elusive. Results show that the numbers of women candidates considered for and offered tenure-track positions were significantly higher in the intervention groups compared with those in controls...
November 1, 2015: Bioscience
David W McCauley, Margaret F Docker, Steve Whyard, Weiming Li
Lampreys, one of the two surviving groups of ancient vertebrates, have become important models for study in diverse fields of biology. Lampreys (of which there are approximately 40 species) are being studied, for example, (a) to control pest sea lamprey in the North American Great Lakes and to restore declining populations of native species elsewhere; (b) in biomedical research, focusing particularly on the regenerative capability of lampreys; and (c) by developmental biologists studying the evolution of key vertebrate characters...
November 1, 2015: Bioscience
John F Hernandez Nopsa, Gregory J Daglish, David W Hagstrum, John F Leslie, Thomas W Phillips, Caterina Scoglio, Sara Thomas-Sharma, Gimme H Walter, Karen A Garrett
Wheat is at peak quality soon after harvest. Subsequently, diverse biota use wheat as a resource in storage, including insects and mycotoxin-producing fungi. Transportation networks for stored grain are crucial to food security and provide a model system for an analysis of the population structure, evolution, and dispersal of biota in networks. We evaluated the structure of rail networks for grain transport in the United States and Eastern Australia to identify the shortest paths for the anthropogenic dispersal of pests and mycotoxins, as well as the major sources, sinks, and bridges for movement...
October 1, 2015: Bioscience
Andrew T Nottingham, Jeanette Whitaker, Benjamin L Turner, Norma Salinas, Michael Zimmermann, Yadvinder Malhi, Patrick Meir
The temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition in tropical forests will influence future climate. Studies of a 3.5-kilometer elevation gradient in the Peruvian Andes, including short-term translocation experiments and the examination of the long-term adaptation of biota to local thermal and edaphic conditions, have revealed several factors that may regulate this sensitivity. Collectively this work suggests that, in the absence of a moisture constraint, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is regulated by the chemical composition of plant debris (litter) and both the physical and chemical composition of preexisting SOM: higher temperature sensitivities are found in litter or SOM that is more chemically complex and in SOM that is less occluded within aggregates...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Patrick Meir, Tana E Wood, David R Galbraith, Paulo M Brando, Antonio C L Da Costa, Lucy Rowland, Leandro V Ferreira
Many tropical rain forest regions are at risk of increased future drought. The net effects of drought on forest ecosystem functioning will be substantial if important ecological thresholds are passed. However, understanding and predicting these effects is challenging using observational studies alone. Field-based rainfall exclusion (canopy throughfall exclusion; TFE) experiments can offer mechanistic insight into the response to extended or severe drought and can be used to help improve model-based simulations, which are currently inadequate...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Erin L Kurten, Walter P Carson
Using a decade-long exclosure experiment in Panama, we tested the hypothesis that ground-dwelling vertebrate herbivores and seed predators are crucial determinants of tropical tree diversity and abundance within the understory. Our exclosure experiment is a community-level test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Therefore, we predicted that vertebrate exclusion would (a) increase plant densities and (b) lower richness, diversity, and evenness. Excluding vertebrates caused a 38%-46% increase in plant densities, which, in contrast to our predictions, caused species richness to increase by 12%-15%...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Lesley Evans Ogden
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Jennifer K Carah, Jeanette K Howard, Sally E Thompson, Anne G Short Gianotti, Scott D Bauer, Stephanie M Carlson, David N Dralle, Mourad W Gabriel, Lisa L Hulette, Brian J Johnson, Curtis A Knight, Sarah J Kupferberg, Stefanie L Martin, Rosamond L Naylor, Mary E Power
The liberalization of marijuana policies, including the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, is sweeping the United States and other countries. Marijuana cultivation can have significant negative collateral effects on the environment that are often unknown or overlooked. Focusing on the state of California, where by some estimates 60%-70% of the marijuana consumed in the United States is grown, we argue that (a) the environmental harm caused by marijuana cultivation merits a direct policy response, (b) current approaches to governing the environmental effects are inadequate, and...
August 1, 2015: Bioscience
MikoŁaj P Zaborowski, Leonora Balaj, Xandra O Breakefield, Charles P Lai
The release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, is a phenomenon shared by many cell types as a means of communicating with other cells and also potentially removing cell contents. The cargo of EVs includes the proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and membrane receptors of the cells from which they originate. EVs released into the extracellular space can enter body fluids and potentially reach distant tissues. Once taken up by neighboring and/or distal cells, EVs can transfer functional cargo that may alter the status of recipient cells, thereby contributing to both physiological and pathological processes...
August 1, 2015: Bioscience
Scott Carver, James N Mills, Cheryl A Parmenter, Robert R Parmenter, Kyle S Richardson, Rachel L Harris, Richard J Douglass, Amy J Kuenzi, Angela D Luis
Understanding the environmental drivers of zoonotic reservoir and human interactions is crucial to understanding disease risk, but these drivers are poorly predicted. We propose a mechanistic understanding of human-reservoir interactions, using hantavirus pulmonary syndrome as a case study. Crucial processes underpinning the disease's incidence remain poorly studied, including the connectivity among natural and peridomestic deer mouse host activity, virus transmission, and human exposure. We found that disease cases were greatest in arid states and declined exponentially with increasing precipitation...
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
Enrico Di Minin, Tuuli Toivonen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
Sabina Leonelli, Rachel A Ankeny
How effectively communities of scientists come together and co-operate is crucial both to the quality of research outputs and to the extent to which such outputs integrate insights, data and methods from a variety of fields, laboratories and locations around the globe. This essay focuses on the ensemble of material and social conditions that makes it possible for a short-term collaboration, set up to accomplish a specific task, to give rise to relatively stable communities of researchers. We refer to these distinctive features as repertoires, and investigate their development and implementation across three examples of collaborative research in the life sciences...
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
James C Russell, John G Innes, Philip H Brown, Andrea E Byrom
Eradications of invasive species from over 1000 small islands around the world have created conservation arks, but to truly address the threat of invasive species to islands, eradications must be scaled by orders of magnitude. New Zealand has eradicated invasive predators from 10% of its offshore island area and now proposes a vision to eliminate them from the entire country. We review current knowledge of invasive predator ecology and control technologies in New Zealand and the biological research, technological advances, social capacity and enabling policy required...
May 1, 2015: Bioscience
Lisa M Komoroske, Sarah O Hameed, Amber I Szoboszlai, Amanda J Newsom, Susan L Williams
The National Science Foundation and other funding agencies are increasingly requiring broader impacts in grant applications to encourage US scientists to contribute to science education and society. Concurrently, national science education standards are using more inquiry-based learning (IBL) to increase students' capacity for abstract, conceptual thinking applicable to real-world problems. Scientists are particularly well suited to engage in broader impacts via science inquiry outreach, because scientific research is inherently an inquiry-based process...
March 1, 2015: Bioscience
José Sarukhán, Tania Urquiza-Haas, Patricia Koleff, Julia Carabias, Rodolfo Dirzo, Exequiel Ezcurra, Sergio Cerdeira-Estrada, Jorge Soberón
Decisionmakers need updated, scientifically sound and relevant information to implement appropriate policy measures and make innovative commitments to halt biodiversity loss and improve human well-being. Here, we present a recent science-based synthesis on the biodiversity and ecosystem services of Mexico, intended to be a tool for policymakers. We describe the methodological approach used to undertake such an assessment and highlight the major findings. Organized into five volumes and originally written in Spanish (Capital Natural de México), it summarizes the available knowledge on the components, structure, and functioning of the biodiversity of Mexico; the threats and trajectories of anthropogenic impact, together with its conservation status; and the policies, institutions, and instruments available for its sustainable management...
February 1, 2015: Bioscience
Richard A Stillman, Steven F Railsback, Jarl Giske, Uta Berger, Volker Grimm
Ecologists urgently need a better ability to predict how environmental change affects biodiversity. We examine individual-based ecology (IBE), a research paradigm that promises better a predictive ability by using individual-based models (IBMs) to represent ecological dynamics as arising from how individuals interact with their environment and with each other. A key advantage of IBMs is that the basis for predictions-fitness maximization by individual organisms-is more general and reliable than the empirical relationships that other models depend on...
February 1, 2015: Bioscience
Dustin B Thoman, Elizabeth R Brown, Andrew Z Mason, Allen G Harmsen, Jessi L Smith
Understanding how cultural values influence undergraduate students' science research experiences and career interest is important in efforts to broaden participation and to diversify the biomedical research workforce. The results from our prospective longitudinal study demonstrated that underrepresented minority student (URM) research assistants who see the altruistic value of conducting biomedical research feel more psychologically involved with their research over time, which, in turn, enhances their interest in pursuing a scientific research career...
February 1, 2015: Bioscience
Patricia A Soranno, Kendra S Cheruvelil, Kevin C Elliott, Georgina M Montgomery
Although there have been many recent calls for increased data sharing, the majority of environmental scientists do not make their individual data sets publicly available in online repositories. Current data-sharing conversations are focused on overcoming the technological challenges associated with data sharing and the lack of rewards and incentives for individuals to share data. We argue that the most important conversation has yet to take place: There has not been a strong ethical impetus for sharing data within the current culture, behaviors, and practices of environmental scientists...
January 1, 2015: Bioscience
Kevin C Elliott, David B Resnik
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 1, 2015: Bioscience
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