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Savanna B Williams
One of the major benefits to a provider beginning or joining an accountable care organization (ACO) is the potential for achieving shared savings from the Medicare Shared Savings Program. This essay provides a strategic plan for ACO participants to maximize their shared savings through a physician-led structure and the creation of a high-value referral network. Physician-led ACOs are generally more flexible than those affiliated with a hospital and can implement more effective cost-saving initiatives, focus more intently on lowering the cost of delivering primary care, and achieve higher shared saving rates...
July 2016: Journal of Healthcare Management / American College of Healthcare Executives
Khanyisile Mdladla, Edgar Farai Dzomba, Farai Catherine Muchadeyi
Expansion of goat improvement programs requires exploration of the factors that influence the production system and breeding initiatives. Characterization of goat breeds or populations is crucial in providing information on prevalent goat types and their attributes and may suffice as a guideline on conservation, development, and selection for improved productivity. This study investigated the existing village goat production system and phenotypic diversity of the different village populations from four South African provinces...
February 1, 2017: Tropical Animal Health and Production
Eleanor Shadwell, Edmund February
BACKGROUND: In arid systems with no surface water, deep boreholes in ephemeral river beds provide for humans and animals. With continually increasing infrastructure development for tourism in arid wildlife parks such as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in southern Africa, we ask what effects increased abstraction may have on large trees. Large trees in arid savannas perform essential ecosystem services by providing food, shade, nesting sites and increased nutrients for many other plant and animal species and for this are regarded as keystone species...
2017: PeerJ
Xuehai Fei, Yanqiang Jin, Yiping Zhang, Liqing Sha, Yuntong Liu, Qinghai Song, Wenjun Zhou, Naishen Liang, Guirui Yu, Leiming Zhang, Ruiwu Zhou, Jing Li, Shubin Zhang, Peiguang Li
Savanna ecosystems play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. However, there is a gap in our understanding of carbon fluxes in the savanna ecosystems of Southeast Asia. In this study, the eddy covariance technique (EC) and the biometric-based method (BM) were used to determine carbon exchange in a savanna ecosystem in Southwest China. The BM-based net ecosystem production (NEP) was 0.96 tC ha(-1) yr(-1). The EC-based estimates of the average annual gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) were 6...
February 1, 2017: Scientific Reports
Bianca V M Berneck, Ariovaldo A Giaretta, Reuber A Brandão, Carlos A G Cruz, Célio F B Haddad
The genus Aplastodiscus includes 14 nominal species in four monophyletic groups with occurrence in the Atlantic Forest and Brazilian Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna) of South America. A recent study reviewed the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the genus and suggested a third species for the Aplastodiscus perviridis Group. Herein, on the basis of morphology and advertisement call, we describe this species and test its monophyly. The new species is the only Aplastodiscus with endemic occurrence in the Cerrado Biome...
2017: ZooKeys
Davi Rodrigo Rossatto, Augusto Cesar Franco
The assessment of leaf strategies has been a common theme in ecology, especially where multiple sources of environmental constraints (fire, seasonal drought, nutrient-poor soils) impose a strong selection pressure towards leaf functional diversity, leading to inevitable tradeoffs among leaf traits, and ultimately to niche segregation among coexisting species. As diversification on leaf functional strategies is dependent on integration at whole plant level, we hypothesized that regardless of phylogenetic relatedness, leaf trait functional syndromes in a multivariate space would be associated with the type of growth form...
January 25, 2017: Oecologia
Aisling P Devine, Robbie A McDonald, Tristan Quaife, Ilya M D Maclean
Savanna ecosystems are an integral part of the African landscape and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people. Woody encroachment in savannas is a widespread phenomenon but its causes are widely debated. We review the extensive literature on woody encroachment to help improve understanding of the possible causes and to highlight where and how future scientific efforts to fully understand these causes should be focused. Rainfall is the most important determinant of maximum woody cover across Africa, but fire and herbivory interact to reduce woody cover below the maximum at many locations...
January 23, 2017: Oecologia
Jacqueline S Lima, Mariana P C Telles, Lázaro J Chaves, Matheus S Lima-Ribeiro, Rosane G Collevatti
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cyclic glaciations were frequent throughout the Quaternary and this affected species distribution and population differentiation worldwide. The present study reconstructed the demographic history and dispersal routes of Eugenia dysenterica lineages and investigated the effects of Quaternary climate change on its spatial pattern of genetic diversity. METHODS: A total of 333 individuals were sampled from 23 populations and analysed by sequencing four regions of the chloroplast DNA and the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear DNA...
January 23, 2017: Annals of Botany
Savanna M Tierney, David P Sheppard, Victoria M Kordovski, Marika P Faytell, Gunes Avci, Steven Paul Woods
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) occur in approximately 50% of HIV-infected individuals, yet available diagnostic criteria yield varying prevalence rates. This study examined the frequency, reliability, and sensitivity to everyday functioning problems of three HAND diagnostic criteria (DSM-5, Frascati, Gisslén). Participants included 361 adults with HIV disease and 199 seronegative adults. Neurocognitive status as defined by each of the three diagnostic systems was determined via a comprehensive neuropsychological battery...
January 20, 2017: Journal of Neurovirology
Dawood Hattas, Peter F Scogings, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
The growth differentiation balance hypothesis (GDBH) provides a framework that predicts a trade-off between costs of secondary metabolites (SMs) relative to the demand for photosynthate by growth. However, this hypothesis was developed using empirical evidence from plant species in northern boreal and temperate systems, leaving its applicability to species under different abiotic and biotic conditions questionable and generalizations problematic. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the GDBH explains allocation to SMs in the deciduous African savanna woody species C...
January 14, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Bradley A Pickens, Jeffrey F Marcus, John P Carpenter, Scott Anderson, Paul J Taillie, Jaime A Collazo
A landscape-scale perspective on restoration ecology has been advocated, but few studies have informed restoration with landscape metrics or addressed broad-scale threats. Threats such as urban growth may affect restoration effectiveness in a landscape context. Here, we studied longleaf pine savanna in the rapidly urbanizing southeastern United States where a habitat-specialist bird, Bachman's sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis), is closely associated with savanna vegetation structure and frequent fire. Our objectives were to construct a species distribution model for Bachman's sparrow, determine the relationship between fire and urbanization, quantify the urban growth effect (2010-2090), identify potential restoration areas, and determine the interaction between restoration potential and urban growth by 2050...
January 12, 2017: Journal of Environmental Management
Ademir Sergio Ferreira de Araujo, Walderly Melgaço Bezerra, Vilma Maria Dos Santos, Sandra Mara Barbosa Rocha, Nilza da Silva Carvalho, Maria do Carmo Catanho Pereira de Lyra, Marcia do Vale Barreto Figueiredo, Ângela Celis de Almeida Lopes, Vania Maria Maciel Melo
The Cerrado biome in the Sete Cidades National Park, an Ecological Reserve in Northeastern Brazil, has conserved its native biodiversity and presents a variety of plants found in other savannas in Brazil. Despite this finding the soil microbial diversity and community structure are poorly understood. Therefore, we described soil bacterial diversity and distribution along a savanna vegetation gradient taking into account the prevailing environmental factors. The bacterial composition was retrieved by sequencing a fragment of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene...
January 6, 2017: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
Grace K Charles, Lauren M Porensky, Corinna Riginos, Kari E Veblen, Truman P Young
Wild herbivores and livestock share the majority of rangelands worldwide, yet few controlled experiments have addressed their individual, additive, and interactive impacts on ecosystem function. While ungulate herbivores generally reduce standing biomass, their effects on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) can vary by spatial and temporal context, intensity of herbivory, and herbivore identity and species richness. Some evidence indicates that moderate levels of herbivory can stimulate aboveground productivity, but few studies have explicitly tested the relationships among herbivore identity, grazing intensity, and ANPP...
January 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Emerson M Vieira, Nícholas F de Camargo, Paul F Colas, Juliana F Ribeiro, Ariovaldo P Cruz-Neto
The temporal activity of animals is an outcome of both biotic and abiotic factors, which may vary along the geographic range of the species. Therefore, studies conducted with a species in different localities with distinct features could elucidate how animals deal with such factors. In this study, we used live traps equipped with timing devices to investigate the temporal activity patterns of the didelphid Gracilinanus agilis in two dry-woodland areas of the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado). These areas were located about 660 km apart, one in Central Brazil and the other in Southeastern Brazil...
2017: PloS One
Derek E Lee, Bernard M Kissui, Yustina A Kiwango, Monica L Bond
In long-distance migratory systems, local fluctuations in the predator-prey ratio can exhibit extreme variability within a single year depending upon the seasonal location of migratory species. Such systems offer an opportunity to empirically investigate cyclic population density effects on short-term food web interactions by taking advantage of the large seasonal shifts in migratory prey biomass.We utilized a large-mammal predator-prey savanna food web to evaluate support for hypotheses relating to the indirect effects of "apparent competition" and "apparent mutualism" from migratory ungulate herds on survival of resident megaherbivore calves, mediated by their shared predator...
December 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Germán Baldi, Marcos Texeira, Francisco Murray, Esteban G Jobbágy
The dry subtropics are subject to a rapid expansion of crops and pastures over vast areas of natural woodlands and savannas. In this paper, we explored the effect of this transformation on vegetation productivity (magnitude, and seasonal and long-term variability) along aridity gradients which span from semiarid to subhumid conditions, considering exclusively those areas with summer rains (>66%). Vegetation productivity was characterized with the proxy metric "Enhanced Vegetation Index" (EVI) (2000 to 2012 period), on 6186 natural and cultivated sampling points on five continents, and combined with a global climatology database by means of additive models for quantile regressions...
2016: PloS One
Patrick Roberts, Nicole Boivin, Julia Lee-Thorp, Michael Petraglia, Jay Stock
Tropical forests constitute some of the most diverse and complex terrestrial ecosystems on the planet. From the Miocene onward, they have acted as a backdrop to the ongoing evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, and provided the cradle for the emergence of early hominins, who retained arboreal physiological adaptations at least into the Late Pliocene. There also now exists growing evidence, from the Late Pleistocene onward, for tool-assisted intensification of tropical forest occupation and resource extraction by our own species, Homo sapiens...
November 2016: Evolutionary Anthropology
Juan Lapuente, Thurston C Hicks, K Eduard Linsenmair
Over a 6 month period during the dry season, from the end of October 2014 to the beginning of May 2015, we studied tool use behavior of previously unstudied and non-habituated savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) living in the Comoé National Park, Ivory Coast (CI). We analyzed all the stick tools and leaf-sponges found that the chimpanzees used to forage for ants, termites, honey, and water. We found a particular behavior to be widespread across different chimpanzee communities in the park, namely, dipping for water from tree holes using sticks with especially long brush-tip modifications, using camera traps, we recorded adults, juveniles, and infants of three communities displaying this behavior...
December 21, 2016: American Journal of Primatology
Jacques Gignoux, Souleymane Konaté, Gaëlle Lahoreau, Xavier Le Roux, Guillaume Simioni
The forest-savanna ecotone may be very sharp in fire-prone areas. Fire and competition for light play key roles in its maintenance, as forest and savanna tree seedlings are quickly excluded from the other ecosystem. We hypothesized a tradeoff between seedling traits linked to fire resistance and to competition for light to explain these exclusions. We compared growth- and survival-related traits of two savanna and two forest species in response to shading and fire in a field experiment. To interpret the results, we decomposed our broad hypothesis into elementary tradeoffs linked to three constraints, biomass allocation, plant architecture, and shade tolerance, that characterize both savanna and adjacent forest ecosystems...
December 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
John-Baptist S N Naah, Reginald T Guuroh
Recording local ecological knowledge (LEK) is a useful approach to understanding interactions of the complex social-ecological systems. In spite of the recent growing interest in LEK studies on the effects of climate and land use changes, livestock mobility decisions and other aspects of agro-pastoral systems, LEK on forage plants has still been vastly under-documented in the West African savannas. Using a study area ranging from northern Ghana to central Burkina Faso, we thus aimed at exploring how aridity and socio-demographic factors drive the distributional patterns of forage-related LEK among its holders...
March 1, 2017: Journal of Environmental Management
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