Results for: “Nature”
|David M. Armstrong||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
Historical—Mammals are vertebrate animals with hair. Mammals arose from the therapsid reptiles in the Triassic period, over 200 million years ago. Earliest mammals mostly were small animals and they probably were of relatively little importance in the ecosystems of their day. In the Triassic period, the ruling reptiles (the archosaurs, commonly called “dinosaurs”) were beginning to dominate the land and shallow seas, a position they would occupy for over 100 million years. During the Age of Reptiles, mammals remained obscure and relatively unimportant, all the while honing the adaptations that are the hallmarks of the mammalian grade of organization. Toward the end of the Cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago) the vast majority of archosaurs became extinct. Today they are survived only by the crocodiles and their kin (and a specialized side branch, the birds). Mammals seized upon the demise of ruling reptiles and diversified rapidly, rising quickly to a dominant position on the land and assuming an important role in freshwater and marine communities as well. Because of this dominance, the Cenozoic era, the past 65 million years, is aptly termed the Age of Mammals.See All Chapters
|Ricardo Rozzi and collaborators||University of North Texas Press|
SCIENTIFIC BIRD NAMES
102See All Chapters
|Rick A. Adams||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
Endophytic Fungi in Asymptomatic Vitis vinifera
L. and their Effects on Plasmopara viticola
S. Burruano,* V. Mondello and G. Conigliaro
Department Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, University of Palermo,
Most plants, or probably all, live in symbiosis with several organisms or organism communities. Among these, fungal endophytes, which influence the number and diversity of other associated organisms (such as pathogenic bacteria or fungi, nematodes, phytophagous insects) can have a major impact on host plant ecology and fitness (Kobayashi and Palumbo, 2000; Omacini et al., 2001; Ragazzi et al.,
2004; Schultz and Boyle, 2005; Reininger and Sieber, 2013; Suryanarayanan,
2013; Vázquez-de-aldana et al., 2013; Aschehoug et al., 2014). Originally, endophytic fungi were classified into two main groups – clavicipitaceous and non- clavicipitaceous – according to their phylogeny and life characteristics. Clavicipitaceous endophytes were reported as inhabiting various grasses, and non-clavicipitaceous endophytes as found in asymptomatic tissues of many land plants from different ecosystems (Sherwood and Carroll, 1974; Carroll, 1988; Stone et al., 2004).See All Chapters
|Tom Szaky||Berrett-Koehler Publishers||ePub|
© Kasia Bialasiewicz/Shutterstock.com
In nature the waste of organisms is typically spread out in small quantities over a wide area. Unlike humans, animals in nature don’t head to the same spot every time they have to poop. They don’t preserve their dead, place them in caskets, and later bury them in designated areas. And they certainly don’t have any garbage, let alone put it all into a big pile.
When outputs are mixed together as they are in a landfill, it is harder for them to become useful inputs. Putting even useful outputs into the garbage will render them useless outputs. While this is partly because they will not naturally decompose in a landfill, it is also because it is very hard to recycle a soda bottle (#1 plastic) when it is squashed together with a banana, a yogurt cup (#5 plastic), and a used rag.
Any one of these outputs could be recycled or composted individually. A soda bottle could be melted down into plastic, as could a yogurt cup. A banana could be composted, and a rag could be shredded and made into paper or new fabric.See All Chapters
|Jr John O Whitaker||Indiana University Press||ePub|
Caves in Indiana (Figure 9.1) are confined for the most part to the Escarpment section of the Shawnee Hills Natural Region and the Mitchell Karst Plain section of the Highland Rim Natural Region, with a small area in the Muscatatuck Flats and Canyons section of the Bluegrass Natural Region (see Map 1.7; Map 9.1). Outside of the karst areas, the groundwater that occurs throughout Indiana in glacial and alluvial plains is also significant. The saturated interstices of the associated soils comprise significant subterranean habitats with simple, but interesting, communities of obligate species. Overall, Indiana is inhabited by a diverse and highly endemic assemblage of obligate subterranean invertebrates (Table I-1). Even greater diversity is exhibited by the group of animals that are non-obligate cavernicoles (cave inhabitants). Peck and Lewis (1978) authored the axiom that the cave fauna of a region potentially include the entire surface fauna, since anything can fall into a hole. That notwithstanding, a list of some of the more significant facultative cavernicoles of Indiana is presented in Table I-2.See All Chapters
Forest Management and Species
Composition: A Historical Approach in Lorraine, France
Département de Géographie, Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France
Almost all of France’s forest ecosystems bear the mark of centuries of human activities. Some human ‘disturbances’ are obvious in the landscape, such as many archaeological remains; others, including some kinds of forest stands, are recognizable only to
forest specialists. In some very natural- looking woodland, many of the marks left by human activities are so discreet as to be almost unnoticed, and history, geography and other disciplines rely on several types of archives to understand them.
This contribution focuses on the early modern period to the present, and aims to show how the implementation of different silvicultural systems led to important,
e ither intentional or unintentional, chan ges in forest composition. We concentrate on the better documented regions of northeast France, and specifically on the Lorraine region. Here, historical research has been carried out for more than a century and a half thanks to the establishment of the School of Forestry at Nancy in L orraine in 1824.See All Chapters
|Ken W Kramer||Texas A&M University Press||ePub|
Mary Ellen Whitworth
AS I sit on the banks of Buffalo Bayou waiting for the bats to emerge at Waugh Street Bridge, it is hard to imagine that this bayou was once the source of drinking water for the city of Houston. Early settlers pumped the springs dry, polluted the bayou, and logged the beautiful magnolias that lined the banks. Today, during dry weather, the sediment-laden flow is mostly treated wastewater effluent.
Yet a canoe trip down this bayou still reveals its hidden beauty. Although rare, a few large forested tracts remain, such as those at Memorial Park and St. Mary’s Seminary. These provide much-needed habitat for the variety of birds and mammals that depend on the bayou. Pines and oaks line the remaining banks, which are still subject to severe erosion. As the bayou winds through downtown, thanks to the work of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the banks have been “laid back” and planted to add beauty and protection. The water quality still does not meet state standards for protecting the health of people recreating in the water, but it is good enough to support a wide variety of fish and bottom-dwelling organisms. Raccoons, possums, armadillos, rabbits, coyotes, and alligators have all been spotted on the banks.See All Chapters
|Don Hunter||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
E V G E N I Y P. K A S H K A R O V
KYRGYZSTAN— The author recounts incredible up-close encounters with two snow leopards that become a salubrious memory.
As a kid growing up in Novokuznetsk, Siberia, whenever I got sick my mother would tell me that if I concentrated on the happy days of my life, good health would return more quickly. As an adult, I enjoy good health most of the time, but when I do get sick I fall back on my mother’s remedy of long ago. If I were to get sick today, my thoughts would turn to two remarkably happy days in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kirgizia. Just thinking about those days as I write this brings a smile to my face and lightens my heart.
Each winter for more than a decade I would take a field expedition into the heart of this range, which lies north and west of the Taklamakan Desert and borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. As a scientist with the Academy of Science of Kirgizia, my job was to monitor the “key area”—about 1,000 square miles of the central Tien Shan, a unique region that represents the three distinct biogeographical zones of the entire range and exemplifies the diverse habitat of the charismatic snow leopard (irbis in Mongolian and Russian). The northern key area resembles Siberia—marginal snow leopard habitat. The middle key area is habitat for bighorn sheep such as argali and looks similar to the Eastern Pamir Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau—poor snow leopard habitat. Finally, the inner key area—especially the Sarychat-Irtash-Uchkul River basin, with abundant grazing for wintering domestic livestock and habitat for ibex and mountain sheep—constitutes good snow leopard habitat. From our surveys, we found that densities of snow leopard and its prey were higher here than in any other region of the Tien Shan.See All Chapters
|Kenneth J. Schoon||Quarry Books||ePub|
The South Shore got its start in life in 1903 as an East Chicago streetcar line. In 1906–1908, the company constructed a well-engineered interurban electric rail line from Chicago through the dunes to South Bend and built a (pre-NIPSCO) generating station in Michigan City to provide its electricity.
By then called the Chicago, Lake Shore, and South Bend Railway, the line made much of the dunes easily accessible. Residents of Chicago and northwest Indiana could now easily take a morning train to Tremont in the dunes and be back home in time for dinner. Although it has carried both freight and passengers, it is passenger service that has made this railroad, known for years as just the South Shore, the defining railroad of the Calumet Area.
In the 1920s, there were sixteen thousand miles of interurban railroad in the United States and the Lake Shore electric line was one of the fastest. Nevertheless, it soon lost passengers as automobiles became more common. Samuel Insull, president of Chicago Edison Company, purchased the railroad in 1925 at a foreclosure sale and renamed it the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad. Besides improving service, he created an innovative marketing program that included newsletters and the now well-known poster series. Twenty-five new cars with plush seats, bathrooms, separate smoking compartments, and windows that let in fresh air were purchased in 1926 from the Pullman Company. Ridership increased so fast that the next year Insull ordered twenty more cars.See All Chapters
|Don Hunter||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
P E T E R M A T T H I E S S E N
NEPAL—The author shares a day in his epic odyssey of spirit to the Land of Dolpo, an enclave of true Tibetan Buddhist culture and mountain home of the elusive snow leopard. On this day he revels in the up-close observation of blue sheep, the snow leopard’s favorite prey. It is another day of not seeing a snow leopard, yet day’s end brings a satisfying, unexplained contentment. (Reprinted from The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.)
The last fortnight has been clear and warm, day after day, but early this morning there were wisps of cloud, which could mean a change in weather. On these last mornings, just an hour after sunrise, sun and moon are in perfect equilibrium above the snows to east and west. High cirrus in the north, seen yesterday, foretold a drop in temperature: it is 12 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. The wind on Sonido Mountain has a hard bite in it, and the lizards have withdrawn into the earth.
From sunrise to sundown I move with the Shey herd, which has been joined in recent days by the band of rams. The herd is up at snowline, to the eastward; this Somdo summit must be close to 17,000 feet. Climbing, I traverse the slopes with my zigzag technique, stopping and stooping and otherwise signaling to the browsing sheep that I am but a harmless dung-seeker, like other Homo sapiens of their acquaintance. By the time I arrive at snowline they have started to lie down; I reach a lookout knoll perhaps 150 yards away. The animals will feed again in the midmorning, then rest through the noon lull, then feed intermittently until sundown.See All Chapters
|Jr John O Whitaker||Indiana University Press||ePub|
Exotic and invasive species are a big conservation problem of our time, a consequence of habitat disturbance, global trade and travel, and the relentless tendency of any species to reproduce to the utmost when given the opportunity (as first pointed out in 1859 by Charles Darwin, who described examples of exotic species explosions in The Origin of Species). Since 1800, many organisms have entered or been brought into Indiana and established viable populations. Undoubtedly, many others have entered the state and failed to establish, though this is rarely documented.
There are about 800 exotic plant species in Indiana, including some highly detrimental invasives; the most troublesome are indicated in Table P-14. Two important exotics are garlic mustard (Figure 13.1) and purple loosestrife (Figure 13.2). The percentage of exotics among the state’s vascular plants (approximately 29%) is much higher than for any of the animal groups treated here. Exotic species have been introduced from foreign lands by intentional means, e.g., bringing in plant materials for food, building materials, medicine, ornamental use, etc., and unintentionally, such as weed seeds transported in soil or crop seed mixes. Regardless of the source, some exotics are having a tremendous, negative environmental and economic impact on the state.See All Chapters
|Cara Blessley Lowe||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
DAVID C. STONER
Utah—An expedition on the Green River leads this biologist and explorer through the heart of red rock cougar country, revealing the ecological subtleties of canyons and plateaus that the golden cats roam.
The tawny cougar seems born of rock, this rock in this canyon.… One easily imagines a cougar on a ledge above the river… a creature indistinguishable from the canyon, too distant to reveal the story of summer on the river, reflected back to us in its green-gold eyes.
—ELLEN MELOY, RAVEN’S EXILE
Rising abruptly from the floor of the San Rafael Desert are the Book Cliffs, named for the dark red striations horizontally running through the formation. When the sun is at low angles, the cliffs convey an image of a giant book resting on its side. From the south, the lower cliffs form an impenetrable wall of rock resembling a fortress capped with sandstone turrets.
These cliffs are but one of several prominent layers within a larger geologic structure called the Tavaputs Plateau. Collectively, these layers form an arc between the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and the Grand Mesa of Colorado, acting as a biogeographic corridor—an uninterrupted expanse of montane and subalpine plant communities ecologically connecting the Great Basin to the Rocky Mountains. The corridor helps to maintain demographic and genetic connectivity between populations of mesic-adapted species in an otherwise contiguous desert. Resembling a two-legged table, it is not a mountain range per se but more of a tilted escarpment; the skeletal remains of a wetter time now oddly juxtaposed on a dry continent. Small gullies, hardly noticeable at first, quickly turn into major canyons, and flat plains narrow to ridges that dead-end four thousand feet above the desert floor. It is this pattern of beginning at the top and working down that characterizes sandstone country. Here, erosion is constant but, like the shape of the land, tends to be punctuated rather than continuous. Erosion is to the landscape as peer review is to the scientific method: a process that results in longevity not through an eruptive force but by whittling away the alternatives that do not hold up to scrutiny or time.See All Chapters
High-temperature Stress in Plants:
Consequences and Strategies for
Protecting Photosynthetic Machinery
Anjana Jajoo1,* and Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev2,3,4,*
School of Life Sciences, Devi Ahilya University, Indore India; 2Controlled
Photobiosynthesis Laboratory, Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of
Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 3Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Russian
Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russia; 4Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
The increasing temperature of the Earth is a very significant consequence of present climatic conditions. High temperature may lead to reduced plant growth and limited crop yield. Photosynthesis is a key phenomenon that contributes substantially to the growth and development of the plant. At the same time, it is one of the most susceptible metabolic processes to any kind of environmental stress. The process of photosynthesis involves various components, such as photosynthetic pigments and photosystems, the electron transport system and CO2 reduction pathways, and any damage at any level caused by a stress may reduce the overall photosynthetic capacity or efficiency of a plant. In this chapter we describe in detail the high-temperature-induced damage to pigments, photosystems and the components of the electron transport chain; alteration in the activities of various enzymes of carbon-reduction pathways and in the properties of thylakoid membranes; production of reactive oxygen species and heat-shock proteins; and regulation of the genes involved in the mechanism of photosynthesis, particularly in agricultural plants.See All Chapters
|David M. Armstrong||University Press of Colorado||ePub|
Horses, tapirs, rhinos, asses, and zebras constitute the order Perissodactyla, the odd-toed ungulates. Perissodactyls were a diverse and dominant group during the early and mid-Tertiary, ranging across North America, Eurasia, and Africa. The fossil history was reviewed by Hooker (2005) and K. Rose (2006). Nine of the 12 recognized families are extinct and the natural distribution of the remaining wild species is now restricted to parts of Asia, southeastern Europe, Africa, the East Indies, and parts of South and Central America. Disappearance of ancient perissodactyls generally coincided with expansion of the even-toed ungulates, the artiodactyls. Domestic horses (Equus caballus) and asses (E. asinus) have been introduced locally in various parts of the world, including Colorado and other western states, where feral herds have become established.
Perissodactyls are called ungulates because they stand on hooves, or ungules (a stance termed unguligrade), or on digits (digitigrade), and they exhibit significant loss or modification of the metacarpal and metatarsal bones, most notably an increase in length. There has been reduction in the number of digits. Most members of the order have only 1 or 3 weight-bearing toes, and remaining toes are broader than those of artiodactyls. Tapirs are the exception to this “oddtoed” formula, as their forefeet have 4 digits, although the outermost is reduced in size; the hindfeet have 3 functional digits. In all perissodactyls the main axis of the foot passes through the third and longest digit, a condition termed mesaxonic. In equids, only the ancestral third (middle) digit is functional. The history of the evolution of the foot in the perissodactyls is well preserved in the fossil record.See All Chapters