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Savanna M Tierney, Steven Paul Woods, Michael Weinborn, Romola S Bucks
OBJECTIVES: Apathy is common in older adults and has been linked to adverse health outcomes. The current study examined whether apathy contributes to problems managing activities of daily living (ADLs) and lower quality of life (QoL) in older adults. METHOD: Participants included 83 community-dwelling older adults. Apathy was assessed using a composite of the self and family-rating scales from the Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale (FrSBe). A knowledgeable informant completed the Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire (ADLQ), and participants completed the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQol) scale...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Steven Ger Nyanjom, Cyrus Tare, Fred Wamunyokoli, George Fredrick Obiero
Tsetse flies (Glossina) are vectors of African trypanosomiasis. Olfaction plays a critical role in Glossina behavior, including larviposition, feeding, and reproduction. Odorant receptors (ORs) are important in insect chemoreception as they bind volatile odorants and transport them to olfactory receptor neurons to elicit behavioral response. To better understand Glossina chemoreception, we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction to examine the expression levels of ORs in female and male Glossina morsitans morsitans Wiedemann, 1850 (Diptera: Glossinidae) antennae and legs...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Medical Entomology
Monica Leitner, Andrew B Davies, Catherine L Parr, Paul Eggleton, Mark P Robertson
Woody encroachment can lead to a complete switch from open habitats to dense thickets, and has the potential to greatly alter the biodiversity and ecological functioning of grassy ecosystems across the globe. Plant litter decomposition is a critical ecosystem process fundamental to nutrient cycling and global carbon dynamics, yet little is known about how woody encroachment might alter this process. We compared grass decay rates of heavily encroached areas with adjacent non-encroached open areas in a semi-arid South African savanna using litterbags that allowed or excluded invertebrates...
March 8, 2018: Global Change Biology
Jeferson Carneiro, Iracilda Sampaio, José de Sousa E Silva-Júnior, Izeni Farias, Tomas Hrbek, Alcides Pissinatti, Ronylson Silva, Antônio Martins-Junior, Jean Boubli, Stephen Francis Ferrari, Horacio Schneider
The titi monkeys belong to a genus of New World primates endemic to South America, which were recently reclassified in three genera (Cheracebus, Plecturocebus and Callicebus). The genus Callicebus, which currently includes five species, is endemic to eastern Brazil, occurring in the Caatinga, Savanna, and Atlantic Forest biomes. In the present study, we investigated the validity of these species and inferred their phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and biogeographic patterns based on the molecular analysis of a concatenated sequence of 11 mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers, derived from 13 specimens...
March 2, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Ayansina Ayanlade, Maren Radeny, John F Morton, Tabitha Muchaba
This paper examines drought characteristics as an evidence of climate change in two agro-climatic zones of Nigeria and farmers' climate change perceptions of impacts and adaptation strategies. The results show high spatial and temporal rainfall variability for the stations. Consequently, there are several anomalies in rainfall in recent years but much more in the locations around the Guinea savanna. The inter-station and seasonality statistics reveal less variable and wetter early growing seasons and late growing seasons in the Rainforest zone, and more variable and drier growing seasons in other stations...
February 27, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Savanna L Carson, Kate Perkins, Maura R Reilly, Myung-Shin Sim, Su-Ting T Li
BACKGROUND: Residency program leaders are required to support resident well-being, but often do not receive training in how to do so. OBJECTIVE: Determine frequency in which program leadership provides support for resident well-being, comfort in supporting resident well-being, and factors associated with need for additional training in supporting resident well-being. METHODS: National cross-sectional web-based survey of pediatric program directors, associate program directors, and coordinators in June 2015, on their experience supporting resident well-being...
February 27, 2018: Academic Pediatrics
Caitlin E Moore, Jason Beringer, Randall J Donohue, Bradley Evans, Jean-François Exbrayat, Lindsay B Hutley, Nigel J Tapper
Tree-grass savannas are a widespread biome and are highly valued for their ecosystem services. There is a need to understand the long-term dynamics and meteorological drivers of both tree and grass productivity separately in order to successfully manage savannas in the future. This study investigated the interannual variability (IAV) of tree and grass gross primary productivity (GPP) by combining a long-term (15 year) eddy covariance flux record and model estimates of tree and grass GPP inferred from satellite remote sensing...
February 28, 2018: Global Change Biology
Eleftheria Palkopoulou, Mark Lipson, Swapan Mallick, Svend Nielsen, Nadin Rohland, Sina Baleka, Emil Karpinski, Atma M Ivancevic, Thu-Hien To, R Daniel Kortschak, Joy M Raison, Zhipeng Qu, Tat-Jun Chin, Kurt W Alt, Stefan Claesson, Love Dalén, Ross D E MacPhee, Harald Meller, Alfred L Roca, Oliver A Ryder, David Heiman, Sarah Young, Matthew Breen, Christina Williams, Bronwen L Aken, Magali Ruffier, Elinor Karlsson, Jeremy Johnson, Federica Di Palma, Jessica Alfoldi, David L Adelson, Thomas Mailund, Kasper Munch, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Michael Hofreiter, Hendrik Poinar, David Reich
Elephantids are the world's most iconic megafaunal family, yet there is no comprehensive genomic assessment of their relationships. We report a total of 14 genomes, including 2 from the American mastodon, which is an extinct elephantid relative, and 12 spanning all three extant and three extinct elephantid species including an ∼120,000-y-old straight-tusked elephant, a Columbian mammoth, and woolly mammoths. Earlier genetic studies modeled elephantid evolution via simple bifurcating trees, but here we show that interspecies hybridization has been a recurrent feature of elephantid evolution...
February 26, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Melinda Smale, Amidou Assima, Alpha Kergna, Véronique Thériault, Eva Weltzien
Uptake of improved sorghum varieties in the Sudan Savanna of West Africa has been limited, despite the economic importance of the crop and long-term investments in sorghum improvement. One reason why is that attaining substantial yield advantages has been difficult in this harsh, heterogeneous growing environment. Release in Mali of the first sorghum hybrids in Sub-Saharan Africa that have been developed primarily from local germplasm has the potential to change this situation. Utilizing plot data collected in Mali, we explain the adoption of improved seed with an ordered logit model and apply a multivalued treatment effects model to measure impacts on farm families, differentiating between improved varieties and hybrids...
January 2018: Food Policy
Yanqiang Jin, Jing Li, Chenggang Liu, Yuntong Liu, Yiping Zhang, Liqing Sha, Zhe Wang, Qinghai Song, Youxing Lin, Ruiwu Zhou, Aiguo Chen, Peiguang Li, Xuehai Fei, John Grace
The potential impact of drought on the carbon balance in plants has gained great attention. Non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) dynamics have been suggested as an important trait reflecting carbon balance under drought conditions. However, NSC dynamics under drought and the response mechanisms of NSC to drought remain unclear, especially in water-limited savanna ecosystems. A precipitation exclusion experiment was performed to simulate different drought intensities in a savanna ecosystem in Yuanjiang valley in southwestern China...
February 21, 2018: Tree Physiology
Bert Wuyts, Alan R Champneys, Joanna I House
This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15519.
February 21, 2018: Nature Communications
Rafael N Carvalho
Paradiscocyrtus neglectus Mello-Leitão, 1927 is here redescribed and for the first time illustrated. A neotype is proposed to clarify the taxonomic status of this species and to differentiate it from the other two species of Paradiscocyrtus and related genera (e.g., Discocyrtus). Two junior synonyms of this species, currently allocated in Discocyrtus Holmberg, 1876 are here detected. This harvestman is endemic from areas above 2000 meters of altitude, occurring in the Campos Rupestres montane savannas terrestrial eco-region in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...
February 16, 2018: Comptes Rendus Biologies
Frances L Forrest, Thomas W Plummer, Ryan L Raaum
The current study describes a new method of mandibular ecological morphology (ecomorphology). Three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3D GM) was used to quantify mandibular shape variation between extant bovids with different feeding preferences. Landmark data were subjected to generalized Procrustes analysis (GPA), principal components analysis (PCA), and discriminant function analysis (DFA). The PCA resulted in a continuum from grazers to browsers along PC1 and DFA classified 88% or more of the modern specimens to the correct feeding category...
January 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Andrea K Turkalo, Peter H Wrege, George Wittemyer
African forest elephants face severe threats from illegal killing for ivory and bushmeat and habitat conversion. Due to their cryptic nature and inaccessible range, little information on the biology of this species has been collected despite its iconic status. Compiling individual based monitoring data collected over 20 years from the Dzanga Bai population in Central African Republic, we summarize sex and age specific survivorship and female age specific fecundity for a cohort of 1625 individually identified elephants...
2018: PloS One
Chantel E Markle, Gillian Chow-Fraser, Patricia Chow-Fraser
Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework...
2018: PloS One
Diego F E Escobar, Fernando A O Silveira, Leonor Patricia C Morellato
Background and Aims: The relationship between fruiting phenology and seed dispersal syndrome is widely recognized; however, the interaction of dormancy classes and plant life-history traits in relation to fruiting phenology and seed dispersal is understudied. Here we examined the relationship between fruiting season and seed dormancy and how this relationship is modulated by dormancy classes, dispersal syndromes, seed mass and seed moisture content in a Brazilian savanna (cerrado). Methods: Dormancy classes (non-dormancy and physical, morphological, morphophysiological, physiological and physiophysical dormancy) of 34 cerrado species were experimentally determined...
February 7, 2018: Annals of Botany
Savanna Wingate, Eveleen Sng, Paul D Loprinzi
Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent, if any, that the association between socio-ecological parameters and physical activity may be influenced by common method bias (CMB). Methods: This study took place between February and May of 2017 at a Southeastern University in the United States. A randomized controlled experiment was employed among 119 young adults.Participants were randomized into either group 1 (the group we attempted to minimize CMB)or group 2 (control group). In group 1, CMB was minimized via various procedural remedies,such as separating the measurement of predictor and criterion variables by introducing a time lag (temporal; 2 visits several days apart), creating a cover story (psychological), and approximating measures to have data collected in different media (computer-based vs...
2018: Health Promotion Perspectives
K Mdladla, E F Dzomba, F C Muchadeyi
In Africa, extensively raised livestock populations in most smallholder farming communities are exposed to harsh and heterogeneous climatic conditions and disease pathogens that they adapt to in order to survive. Majority of these livestock species, including goats, are of non-descript and uncharacterized breeds and their response to natural selection presented by heterogeneous environments is still unresolved. This study investigated genetic diversity and its association with environmental and geographic conditions in 194 South African indigenous goats from different geographic locations genotyped on the Illumina goat SNP50K panel...
February 9, 2018: Heredity
Jill D Pruetz
OBJECTIVES: I report on the nocturnal behavior of Fongoli chimpanzees in a savanna mosaic during different seasons and lunar phases and test the hypothesis that hot daytime temperatures influence activity at night. I predicted that apes would be more active at night during periods of greater lunar illuminosity given diurnal primates' lack of visual specializations for low-light conditions and in dry season months when water scarcity exacerbated heat stress. MATERIALS AND METHODS: I observed chimpanzees for 403 hrs on 40 nights between 2007 and 2013 and categorized their activity as social, movement, or vocalization...
February 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Yong Zhou, Thomas W Boutton, X Ben Wu, Cynthia L Wright, Anais L Dion
In resource-limited savannas, the distribution and abundance of fine roots play an important role in acquiring essential resources and structuring vegetation patterns and dynamics. However, little is known regarding the three-dimensional distribution of fine roots in savanna ecosystems at the landscape scale. We quantified spatial patterns of fine root density to a depth of 1.2 m in a subtropical savanna landscape using spatially specific sampling. Kriged maps revealed that fine root density was highest at the centers of woody patches, decreased towards the canopy edges, and reached lowest values within the grassland matrix throughout the entire soil profile...
February 6, 2018: Oecologia
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