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Urban ecology

Ashley Jane Riner, Jaime L Rudd, Deana L Clifford, Brian L Cypher, Janet E Foley, Patrick Foley
The San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica Merriam (Carnivora, Canidae)) is an endangered small carnivore endemic to the San Joaquin Valley of California. Commercial and agricultural land expansion has contributed to the species' decline and invasion of more cosmopolitan species, providing means for potential ecological shifts in disease vector and host species. Fleas are common ectoparasites that can serve as important indicators of cross-species interactions and disease risk. We compared flea load and species composition on kit foxes inhabiting urban and nonurban habitats to determine how urbanization affects flea diversity and potential disease spillover from co-occurring species...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Medical Entomology
Marco Helbich, Derek de Beurs, Mei-Po Kwan, Rory C O'Connor, Peter P Groenewegen
Background: Natural outdoor environments, such as green spaces (ie, grass, forests, or parks), blue spaces (ie, visible bodies of fresh or salt water), and coastal proximity, have been increasingly shown to promote mental health. However, little is known about how and the extent to which these natural environments are associated with suicide mortality. Our aim was to investigate whether the availability of green space and blue space within people's living environments and living next to the coast are protective against suicide mortality...
March 2018: Lancet. Planetary Health
Congyan Wang, Kun Jiang, Jiawei Zhou, Bingde Wu
Soil nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities (SNB) can increase the level of available soil N via biological N-fixation to facilitate successful invasion of several invasive plant species (IPS). Meanwhile, landscape heterogeneity can greatly enhance regional invasibility and increase the chances of successful invasion of IPS. Thus, it is important to understand the soil micro-ecological mechanisms driving the successful invasion of IPS in heterogeneous landscapes. This study performed cross-site comparisons, via metagenomics, to comprehensively analyze the effects of Solidago canadensis invasion on SNB in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems...
March 12, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Ana Carolina Lima Cavaletti, Célia Pereira Caldas, Kenio Costa de Lima
OBJECTIVES: To identify the diseases that lead older persons to hospitalizations in the public health system in the state of Rio de Janeiro and, through a study of spatial distribution among hospitalization rates of the municipal districts, discuss the social contexts involved in the hospitalization of the elderly. METHODS: An ecological cross-sectional study using secondary data from the Brazilian hospital information system from the period 2009 to 2015 was performed...
March 12, 2018: Value in Health Regional Issues
Katharina Heider, Juan Miguel Rodriguez Lopez, Jürgen Scheffran
Due to the availability of Web 2.0 technologies, volunteered geographic information (VGI) is on the rise. This new type of data is available on many topics and on different scales. Thus, it has become interesting for research. This article deals with the collective potential of VGI and remote sensing to detect peri-urbanization in the conservation zone of Mexico City. On the one hand, remote sensing identifies horizontal urban expansion, and on the other hand, VGI of ecological complaints provides data about informal settlements...
March 14, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Stephanie M Topp, Chanda Mwamba, Anjali Sharma, Njekwa Mukamba, Laura K Beres, Elvin Geng, Charles B Holmes, Izukanji Sikazwe
BACKGROUND: Failure to keep people living with HIV engaged in life-long care and treatment has serious implications for individual and population-level health. Nested within a four-province study of HIV care and treatment outcomes, we explored the dynamic role of social and service-related factors influencing retention in HIV care in Zambia. METHODS: From a stratified random sample of 31 facilities, eight clinics were selected, one urban and one rural from each province...
2018: PloS One
Yan Dong-Mei, Shi Gui-Hong, Li Huai-Ju, Zhang Chong-Xing, Wei Dong-Dong, Liu Bo
OBJECTIVE: To understand the ecological habits of Culex pipiens pallens in Shandong Province in winter. METHODS: From December 2015 to January 2016, the overwintering conditions of Cx. pipiens pallens were investigated in Shandong Province. RESULTS: In Shandong Province, in rural districts, the overwintering places of Cx. pipiens pallens were basements, wells and caves; and in urban areas, they were air raid shelters, holes of city walls, sewers and flower cellars...
January 8, 2018: Zhongguo Xue Xi Chong Bing Fang Zhi za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Schistosomiasis Control
Sadie J Ryan, Anna M Stewart-Ibarra, Eunice Ordóñez-Enireb, Winnie Chu, Julia L Finkelstein, Christine A King, Luis E Escobar, Christina Lupone, Froilan Heras, Erica Tauzer, Egan Waggoner, Tyler G James, Washington B Cárdenas, Mark Polhemus
Cholera emergence is strongly linked to local environmental and ecological context. The 1991-2004 pandemic emerged in Perú and spread north into Ecuador's El Oro province, making this a key site for potential re-emergence. Machala, El Oro, is a port city of 250,000 inhabitants, near the Peruvian border. Many livelihoods depend on the estuarine system, from fishing for subsistence and trade, to domestic water use. In 2014, we conducted biweekly sampling for 10 months in five estuarine locations, across a gradient of human use, and ranging from inland to ocean...
March 10, 2018: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Sofía Pestoni, Federico Javier Degrange, Claudia Patricia Tambussi, María Manuela Demmel Ferreira, Germán Alfredo Tirao
The cranio-mandibular complex is an important structure involved in food capture and processing. Its morphology is related to the nature of the food item. Jaw muscles enable the motion of this complex and their study is essential for functional and evolutionary analysis. The present study compares available behavioral and dietary data obtained from the literature with novel results from functional morphological analyses of the cranio-mandibular complex of the Guira cuckoo (Guira guira) to understand its relationship with the zoophagous trophic habit of this species...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Hye-Jin Kim, Hanbyul Kim, Jin Ju Kim, Nu Ri Myeong, Taeyune Kim, Taehun Park, Eunjoo Kim, Ji-Yei Choi, Johnhwan Lee, Susun An, Woo Jun Sul
Given the higher incidence of skin diseases in more urbanized populations and its association with the skin microbiome, we questioned how the skin microbiome differed depending on the degree of urbanization. Skin microbiomes of 231 healthy subjects in five large cities in China varied mainly with environment and socioeconomic status of the cities in question. The differences among microbiomes could be explained by the predominantly niche-based assembly of microbial communities, which was supported by a dominance test, β-null deviation, and edge-length abundance distribution...
March 2018: Science Advances
David J Páez, Olivier Restif, Peggy Eby, Raina K Plowright
Bats provide important ecosystem services such as pollination of native forests; they are also a source of zoonotic pathogens for humans and domestic animals. Human-induced changes to native habitats may have created more opportunities for bats to reside in urban settings, thus decreasing pollination services to native forests and increasing opportunities for zoonotic transmission. In Australia, fruit bats ( Pteropus spp. flying foxes) are increasingly inhabiting urban areas where they feed on anthropogenic food sources with nutritional characteristics and phenology that differ from native habitats...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Leone M Brown, Richard J Hall
Anthropogenic landscape features such as urban parks and gardens, landfills and farmlands can provide novel, seasonally reliable food sources that impact wildlife ecology and distributions. In historically migratory species, food subsidies can cause individuals to forgo migration and form partially migratory or entirely sedentary populations, eroding a crucial benefit of migration: pathogen avoidance through seasonal abandonment of transmission sites and mortality of infected individuals during migration. Since many migratory taxa are declining, and wildlife populations in urban areas can harbour zoonotic pathogens, understanding the mechanisms by which anthropogenic resource subsidies influence infection dynamics and the persistence of migration is important for wildlife conservation and public health...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Kai Fang, Qifeng Zhang, Huajun Yu, Yutao Wang, Liang Dong, Lei Shi
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are limited in their ability to measure progress towards environmental sustainability especially at the city level. The aim of this paper is to provide insights into an integrated assessment of urban sustainability, with emphasis on the significance of the maintenance of natural capital stocks. The use of water and land as critical natural capital in Guiyang, a southeast city in China was investigated by bringing together the ecological footprint (EF), water footprint (WF) and corresponding capacity indicators into an improved three-dimensional (i3D) model...
March 9, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Elson Asevedo, Carolina Ziebold, Elton Diniz, Ary Gadelha, Jair Mari
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This was a retrospective ecological study to examine the relationship between suicide rates and economic indicators in large Brazilian urban centers. Data on macroeconomic indicators (GDP and unemployment rates) and suicide rates of the largest Brazilian cities were collected from January 2006 to December 2015. RECENT FINDINGS: Six cities were included in the study: Porto Alegre in the South, Recife and Salvador in the Northeast, and Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the Southeast region...
March 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychiatry
Wei Fu, Xingyuan He, Sheng Xu, Wei Chen, Yan Li, Bo Li, Lili Su, Qin Ping
Ground-level ozone (O3 ) pollution has been widely concerned in the world, particularly in the cities of Asia, including China. Elevated O3 concentrations have potentially influenced growth and nutrient cycling of trees in urban forest. The decomposition characteristics of urban tree litters under O3 exposure are still poorly known. Ginkgo biloba is commonly planted in the cities of northern China and is one of the main tree species in the urban forest of Shenyang, where concentrations of ground-level O3 are very high in summer...
2018: PeerJ
Katherine L Campbell, Aleksandra Babiarz, Yan Wang, Nicholas A Tilton, Maureen M Black, Erin R Hager
OBJECTIVE: To identify home environment factors associated with toddler dietary behaviours using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). DESIGN: Home environment and toddler's diet were assessed by mothers through EMA (random beeps over ≤8 d and a brief survey). Dietary outcomes were fruit/vegetable consumption, eating episode ('snack' v. 'meal') and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Home environment factors included interacting with mother, eating alone/with others, eating in a high chair/chair at the table, watching television and movement/translocation...
March 12, 2018: Public Health Nutrition
Liyin Qu, Hong Huang, Fang Xia, Yuanyuan Liu, Randy A Dahlgren, Minghua Zhang, Kun Mei
Heavy metal pollution is a major concern in China because of its serious effects on human health. To assess potential human health and ecological risks of heavy metal pollution, concentration data for seven heavy metals (As, Pb, Cd, Cr, Hg, Cu, Zn) from 14 sites spanning the rural-urban interface of the Wen-Rui Tang River watershed in southeast China were collected from 2000 to 2010. The heavy metal pollution index (HPI), hazard index (HI) and carcinogenic risk (CR) metrics were used to assess potential heavy metal risks...
March 8, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Gregory D Kearney, Ronny A Bell
The geographic position and high level of poverty in the southeastern United States are significant risk factors that contribute to the region's high vulnerability to climate change. The goal of this study was to evaluate beliefs and perceptions of global warming among those living in poverty in the poorest counties in the southeastern United States. Results from this project may be used to support public health efforts to increase climate-related messaging to vulnerable and underserved communities. This was an ecological study that analyzed public opinion poll estimates from previously gathered national level survey data (2016)...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: JPHMP
Simone Miranda da Costa, José Luís Passos Cordeiro, Elizabeth Ferreira Rangel
BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis represents an important public health problem in Brazil. The continuous process of urbanization and expansion of human activities in forest areas impacts natural habitats, modifying the ecology of some species of Leishmania, as well as its vectors and reservoirs and, consequently, changes the epidemiological pattern that contributes to the expansion of American cutaneous leishmaniasis in Brazil. Here, we discuss Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) whitmani, the main vector of ACL, transmitting two dermotropic Leishmania species including Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (V...
March 7, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Carla Lancelotti
Ancient civilisations depended heavily on natural fuel resources for a wide array of activities, and this had an impact on such resources that can be traced in the archaeological record. At its urban apex, the populations of the Indus Civilisation (2600-1900 BC) produced a wide range of objects and crafts, several of which involved highly specialised pyrotechnology. In the wake of increasing aridity and a period of weakened monsoon rainfall that affected South Asia from 2100 BC, these activities potentially put pressure on the natural resource base that may have had to be counterbalanced by differentiation in fuel use...
2018: PloS One
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