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Veronica subsection Pentasepalae is a diploid-polyploid complex of ca. Here, DNA-ploidy level estimations and AFLP fingerprinting were used to determine the evolutionary history, and species boundaries were reviewed in an integrated approach including also previous data mainly morphology and sequence-based phylogenetic reconstructions. Molecular analyses were performed for individuals from 95 populations, including for the first time all taxa currently recognized within the subsection.

Phylogenetic reconstruction identified four main groups corresponding almost completely to the four clusters identified by genetic structure analyses.

Alicia Hernández

Multiple autopolyploidization events have occurred in the tetraploid V. Furthermore, our study has established the taxonomic status of taxa, for the most part recovered as monophyletic. Cryptic taxa within the group have been identified, and a new species, Veronica dalmatica, is fully described. This study highlights the implications of polyploidy in species delimitation, and illustrates the importance to conserve polyploid populations as potential sources of diversification due to evolutionary significance of genome duplications in plant evolution.

Abstract : The present study aims to contribute to a better assessment of pesticide environmental and human health here evaluated in the context of human exposure via food items risks for the estuarine system by comprehensively studying the spatial and temporal occurrence of the pesticides atrazine, azoxystrobin, bentazon, lambda-cyhalothrin, penoxsulam and terbuthylazine in the River Mondego estuary Portugal. Pesticide quantification was performed in surface water, sediment, macroalgae Ulva spp. Since intense precipitation could promote the runoff of pesticides from the surrounding agricultural fields, a single long-duration flood event was also studied in this estuarine system.

Under normal flow conditions, quantified concentrations were determined mostly during summer in agreement with the pesticide application period. Azoxystrobin presented the highest detection frequency and atrazine an herbicide used globally but banned in the EU presented the second highest frequency, thus highlighting the need to include legacy pesticides in monitoring programmes.

Pesticide concentrations in surface water determined in the present study suggest low risk to estuarine organisms. However, all the pesticides were bioacctunulated by S. Concern is also expressed about edible seaweeds, since s-triazine pesticides were found in Ulva spp. Acknowledging these concerns, developing and establishing allowable pesticide safety values for edible seaweeds and bivalves is recommended, as well as monitoring bivalve pesticide levels, using the whole animal, as a human health exposure indicator for estuarine systems.

During the studied flood event, it appears that no serious pesticide contamination has occurred in the River Mondego estuary. Abstract : Seagrass meadows form highly productive and valuable ecosystems in the marine environment. Throughout the year, seagrass meadows are exposed to abiotic and biotic variations linked to i seasonal fluctuations, ii short-term stress events such as, e.

We hypothesized that short-term stress events and small-scale disturbances may affect seagrass chance for survival in temperate latitudes. To test this hypothesis we focused on seagrass carbon reserves in the form of starch stored seasonally in rhizomes, as these have been defined as a good indicator for winter survival.

Twelve Zostera noltei meadows were monitored along a latitudinal gradient in Western Europe to firstly assess the seasonal change of their rhizomal starch content. At the end of the growing season, we observed a weak but significant linear increase of starch content along the latitudinal gradient from south to north. This agrees with the contention that such reserves are essential for regrowth after winter, which is more severe in the north. In addition, we also observed a weak but significant positive relationship between starch content at the beginning of the growing season and past winter temperatures.

This implies a lower regrowth potential after severe winters, due to diminished starch content at the beginning of the growing season. Short-term stress and disturbances may intensify these patterns, because our manipulative experiments show that when nutrient enrichment and biomass loss co-occurred at the end of the growing season, Z. In temperate zones, the capacity of seagrasses to accumulate carbon reserves is expected to determine carbon-based regrowth after winter. Therefore, processes affecting those reserves might affect seagrass resilience.

With increasing human pressure on coastal systems, short- and small-scale stress events are expected to become more frequent, threatening the resilience of seagrass ecosystems, particularly at higher latitudes, where populations tend to have an annual cycle highly dependent on their storage capacity.

Abstract : The freshwater-marine transition that characterizes an estuarine system can provide multiple entry options for invading species, yet the relative importance of this gradient in determining the functional contribution of invading species has received little attention. The ecological consequences of species invasion are routinely evaluated within a freshwater versus marine context, even though many invasive species can inhabit a wide range of salinities. We investigate the functional consequences of different sizes of Corbicula flumineaan invasive species able to adapt to a wide range of temperatures and salinityacross the freshwater-marine transition in the presence versus absence of warming.

Specifically, we characterize how C. Results showed that sediment particle reworking bioturbation tends to be influenced by size and to a lesser extent, temperature and salinity; nutrient concentrations are influenced by different interactions between all variables salinity, temperature, and size class. Our findings demonstrate the highly context-dependent nature of the ecosystem consequences of invasion and highlight the potential for species to simultaneously occupy multiple components of an ecosystem.

Recognizing of this aspect of invasibility is fundamental to management and conservation efforts, particularly as freshwater and marine systems tend to be compartmentalized rather than be treated as a contiguous unit. We conclude that more comprehensive appreciation of the distribution of invasive species across adjacent habitats and different seasons is urgently needed to allow the true extent of biological introductions, and their ecological consequences, to be fully realized.

Abstract : Information on how atrazine can affect the spatial distribution of organisms is non-existent. Firstly, guppies were exposed to an atrazine gradient in a non-forced exposure system, in which organisms moved freely among the concentrations, to assess their ability to avoid atrazine. Secondly, a chemical barrier formed by atrazine, separating two clean habitats extremities of the non-forced system , was simulated to assess whether the presence of the contaminant could prevent guppies from migrating to the other side of the system. Fish were able to avoid atrazine contamination at environmentally relevant concentrations 0.

Contamination by atrazine, besides driving the spatial distribution of fish populations, has potential to act as a chemical barrier by isolating fish populations. This study includes a novel approach to be integrated in environmental risk assessment schemes to assess high-tier contamination effects such as habitat fragmentation and population displacement and isolation. C Elsevier Ltd. Abstract : Neonicotinoids are the most prominent group of insecticides in the world and are commercialized in over countries for the control of agricultural pests mainly due to their broad-spectrum activity and versatility in application.

Though non-target soil organisms are likely to be exposed during application, there is paucity of information in scientific literature regarding their sensitivity to neonicotinoids. This study attempts to fill this gap by evaluating, under laboratory conditions, the chronic toxicity of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid and acetamiprid, through their commercial formulations CF , to the soil invertebrates Folsomia candida, Eisenia andrei and Enchytraeus crypticus.

To extrapolate from laboratory test results to field conditions, predicted environmental concentrations PECs and predicted no-effect concentrations were derived. Therefore, with the current data under standard environmental risk assessment schemes it can be considered that the risk of thiacloprid and acetamiprid to the soil compartment is unacceptable. However, further research into the effects of these substances on different organisms is required to increase the confidence in the risk assessment estimates for instance, by calculating hazardous concentrations using species sensitivity distribution curves.

Abstract : Marine Protected Areas MPAs have been established across all marine environments, though their coherence and effectiveness in protecting umbrella species remains unclear. We used a multi-model ensemble forecasting approach, on 8 years of at-sea censuses of 30 seabird species to identify candidate MPAs in the Portuguese coast, prioritizing important areas for their conservation based on their occurrence and distribution.

We overlapped the outputs generated by the Ensemble Ecological Niche Models EENMs with layers representing important environmental stressors fishing intensity, ship density and oil pollution risk , and calculated loss in conservation value using them as cost layers. Three key marine areas were identified along the Portuguese coast: For breeders, there was a key marine area encompassing the Tagus and Sado estuaries and Berlengas archipelago; for non breeders and migratory species two important areas were identified in the Northern and Southern coast.

The key marine area identified in the Northern coast is characterized by high productivity and biodiversity, and can be affected by oil pollution from the refineries and the intensive ship traffic in this area. Also, the area identified in the Southern coast of Portugal for migratory seabirds overlaps extensively with areas of high fishing activity.

Our study, combining multi-species distribution with environmental constraints induced by human activities, allowed us to assess the coherence of the Portuguese marine planning and identify candidate areas to join the Portuguese network of marine protected areas. Our results, employing data from annual at-sea surveys together with the human stressors known to affect the Portuguese coast, proved to be an extremely useful strategy to identify spatial conservation areas along the Portuguese coast as well as to access the adequacy and consistency of those areas.

Despite the constraints of this demanding approach, we are confident that our study provides a reliable strategy to inform Marine conservation efforts and management planning in similar coastal environments elsewhere, characterized by strong coastal upwelling movements. Abstract : Ivermectin is the most common endectocide used to control parasites affecting livestock. Short-term physiological and behavioural effects of ivermectin on dung beetles may have long-term consequences for beetle populations and ecosystem functioning.

Long-term effects of the use of ivermectin can be estimated by comparing dung assemblages and ecosystem functions in areas with conventional ivermectin-treated livestock and environmentally similar areas in which livestock are not treated with veterinary medical products organic farming. In this study, we investigated both short-term and long-term effects of the administration of ivermectin on the characteristics of dung beetle assemblages and the services they provided in a protected area Donana National Park, SW Spain.

We examined short-term dung colonization, dwelling, relocation, and disaggregation rates and the associations between these processes and the key assemblage parameters of species richness, abundance, biomass and functional diversity. Furthermore, we analysed changes in soil physical-chemical properties and processes. Short-term differences were observed in the total amount of dung relocated by dung beetles at different colonization vs. Moreover, short-term effects could also be responsible for the significant differences in dung spreading rates between sites.

Conventional use of ivermectin disrupted ecosystem functioning by affecting species richness, abundance and biomass. The decrease in diversity parameters was related to a reduction in the functional efficiency, which resulted in the long-term accumulation of dung on the ground and considerable changes in soil functionality. Abstract : Increasing climatic and anthropogenic pressures on soil ecosystems are expected to create a global patchwork of disturbance scenarios. Some regions will be strongly impacted by climate change, others by agricultural intensification, and others by both. Soil microbial communities are integral components of terrestrial ecosystems, but their responses to multiple perturbations are poorly understood.

Here, we exposed soils from sustainably- or intensively-managed grasslands in an agro-silvo-pastoral oak woodland to month-long intensified drought and flood simulation treatments in a controlled mesocosm setting. We monitored the response of the bacterial communities at the end of one month as well as during the following month of recovery.

The communities in sustainably-managed plots under all precipitation regimes were richer and more diverse than those in intensively-managed plots, and contained a lower proportion of rapidly-growing taxa. Soils from both land managements exhibited changes in bacterial community composition in response to flooding, but only intensively-managed soils were affected by drought.

The ecologies of bacteria favored by both drought and flood point to both opportunism and stress tolerance as key traits shaping the community following disturbance. Finally, the response of several taxa i. Chloracidobacteria RB41, Janthinobacterium sp. Our findings provide an in-depth view of the complexity of soil bacterial community responses to climatic and anthropogenic pressures in time, and highlight the potential of these stressors to have multiplicative effects on the soil biota.

Abstract : Sea level rise, as a consequence of climate changes, is already causing seawater intrusion in some freshwater coastal ecosystems worldwide. The increase in salinity at these freshwater coastal ecosystems may occur gradually through groundwater or abruptly through extreme weather events. Moreover, many of them are also being altered and threatened by anthropogenic activities. Accordingly, the present study aimed at assessing the multigenerational lethal and sublethal effects caused by increased salinity in six clonal lineages of the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia longispina differing in their sensitivity to lethal levels of copper.

Three specific objectives were delineated: i to compare the lethal and sublethal toxicity of sodium chloride NaCl and natural seawater SW ; ii to evaluate possible multigenerational effects after exposure to low levels of salinity, and iii to evaluate if an association exists between tolerance to lethal and sublethal levels of salinity and tolerance to metals. Overall, NaCl was found to elicit sublethal effects at lower or similar concentrations than SW, suggesting its use as a protective surrogate of SW in early phases of ecological risk assessment schemes.

Multigenerational exposure to conductivities of 0. Significant associations were found neither between lethal and sublethal endpoints nor between salinity and metals, possibly indicating the absence of common mechanisms responsible to confer metal tolerance and salt stress. However, some clonal lineages presented an inverse sensitivity to lethal levels of NaCl and of copper.

These results suggest that natural populations of D. However, over time those populations may face the occurrence of genetic erosion due to the loss of the most sensitive genotypes before or after a multigenerational exposure. Abstract : Aquatic ecotoxicity assays used to assess ecological risk assume that organisms living in a contaminated habitat are forcedly exposed to the contamination.

This assumption neglects the ability of organisms to detect and avoid contamination by moving towards less disturbed habitats, as long as connectivity exists. In fluvial systems, many environmental parameters vary spatially and thus condition organisms' habitat selection. We assessed the preference of zebra fish Danio rerio when exposed to water samples from two western Ecuadorian rivers with apparently distinct disturbance levels: Pescadillo River highly disturbed and Oro River moderately disturbed. Using a non-forced exposure system in which water samples from each river were arranged according to their spatial sequence in the field and connected to allow individuals to move freely among samples, we assayed habitat selection by D.

Fish exposed to Pescadillo River samples preferred downstream samples near the confluence zone with the Oro River. Fish exposed to Oro River samples preferred upstream waters. When exposed to samples from both rivers simultaneously, fish exhibited the same pattern of habitat selection by preferring the Oro River samples.

Given that the rivers are connected, preference for the Oro River enabled us to predict a depression in fish populations in the Pescadillo River. Although these findings indicate higher disturbance levels in the Pescadillo River, none of the physical-chemical variables measured was significantly correlated with the preference pattern towards the Oro River. Non-linear spatial patterns of habitat preference suggest that other environmental parameters like urban or agricultural contaminants play an important role in the model organism's habitat selection in these rivers.

The non-forced exposure system represents a habitat selection-based approach that can serve as a valuable tool to unravel the factors that dictate organisms' spatial distribution in connected ecosystems. Abstract : The use of antimicrobials in aquaculture is a well-known fact and merits the focus of the scientific community. In the present study, five drugs oxytetracycline, sulfadiazine, trimethoprim, oxolinic acid and flumequine were selected to assess their retention in muscle tissues from gilthead seabream Sparus aurata.

Fish were placed in L tanks at 18 degrees C, and fed for 7 days with experimental diets containing two concentrations of each antimicrobial ranging from 5. The results indicate that sulfadiazine concentrations were the highest immediately after the feeding period and decreased towards day 3. Flumequine was only detected on the first day with concentrations below the MRL Both trimethoprim and oxolinic acid concentrations were below the MRLs 3 days after the feeding period was over oxolinic acid was not detected in muscle samples at day 14 for prophylaxis and day 28 for both treatments.

Oxytetracycline residues in muscle tissues were the highest through time, with concentrations above the MRL for 7 days C-day7 of Results suggest that these antimicrobials can be present in gilthead seabream muscle samples for longer periods than previously reported, when realistic conditions are tested. With the exception of oxytetracycline, concentrations were below the MRLs established 3 days after the feeding trial was over meaning that adverse effects related to human consumption are not likely. Nevertheless, allergic reactions or resistance to antimicrobials can be developed if low concentrations of such compounds are ingested on a frequent basis, as is the case of the Mediterranean diet.

Abstract : In very fragmentary remains, the thorough inventory of skeletal elements is often impossible to accomplish. Mass has been used instead to assess the completeness of the skeleton. Two different mass-based methods of assessing skeleton completeness were tested on a sample of experimentally burned skeletons with the objective of determining which of them is more reliable. The first method was based on a simple comparison of the mass of each individual skeleton with previously published mass references. The second method was based on mass linear regressions from individual bones to estimate complete skeleton mass.

The clavicle, humerus, femur, patella, metacarpal, metatarsal and tarsal bones were used. The sample was composed of 20 experimentally burned skeletons from 10 males and 10 females with ages-at-death between 68 and 90 years old. Results demonstrated that the regression approach is more objective and more reliable than the reference comparison approach even though not all bones provided satisfactory estimations of the complete skeleton mass. The femur, humerus and patella provided the best performances among the individual bones. The estimations based on the latter had root mean squared errors RMSE smaller than g.

Results demonstrated that the regression approach is quite promising although the patella was the only reasonable predictor expected to survive sufficiently intact to a burning event at high temperatures. The mass comparison approach has the advantage of not depending on the preservation of individual bones.

Whenever bones are intact though, the application of mass regressions should be preferentially used because it is less subjective. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Abstract : Sugar beet Beta vulgaris L. Crop improvement has been developed to enhance productivity, sugar content or other breeder's desirable traits. The introgression of traits from Crop Wild Relatives CWR has been done essentially for lessening biotic stresses constraints, namely using Beta and Patellifolia species which exhibit disease resistance characteristics.

Several studies have addressed crop-to-wild gene flow, yet, for breeding programs genetic variability associated with agronomically important traits remains unexplored regarding abiotic factors. To accomplish such association from phenotype-to-genotype, screening for wild relatives occurring in habitats where selective pressures are in play i.

By selecting sugar beet CWR species based on genomic tools, rather than random variations, is a promising but still seldom explored route toward the development of improved crops. In this perspective, a viable streamline for sugar beet improvement is proposed through the use of different genomic tools by recurring to sugar beet CWRs and focusing on agronomic traits associated with abiotic stress tolerance. Overall, identification of genomic and epigenomic landscapes associated to adaptive ecotypes, along with the cytogenetic and habitat characterization of sugar beet CWR, will enable to identify potential hotspots for agrobiodiversity of sugar beet crop improvement toward abiotic stress tolerance.

Abstract : The reduced number of animals in most wild felid populations implies a loss of genetic diversity. The death of juveniles, prior to the production of mature sperm, represents a loss of potential genetic contribution to future populations. Since mouse testicular organ culture has introduced an alternative mechanism to produce sperm in vitro from immature tissue.

However, extension of this technology to other species has remained limited. We have used the domestic cat Felis catus as a model for wild felids to investigate spermatogenesis initiation and regulation, with the mouse serving as a control species. Testicular tissue fragments were cultured in control medium or medium supplemented with knockout serum replacement KSR , AlbuMax, beta-estradiol or AlbuMax plus beta-estradiol.

Contrary to expectations, and unlike results obtained in mouse controls, no germ cell differentiation could be detected. The only germ cells observed after six weeks of culture were spermatogonia regardless of the initial stage of tubule development in the donor tissue. Moreover, the number of spermatogonia decreased with time in culture in all media tested, especially in the medium supplemented with KSR, while AlbuMax had a slight protective effect.

The combination of AlbuMax and beta-estradiol led to an increase in the area occupied by seminiferous tubules, and thus to an increase in total number of spermatogonial cells. Considering all the media combinations tested the stimulus for felid germ cell differentiation in this type of system seems to be different from the mouse.

Studies using other triggers of differentiation and tissue survival factors should be performed to pursue this technology for the genetic diversity preservation in wild felids. Abstract : Plant-parasitic nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne, known as root-knot nematodes RKN , have an important economic impact on golf course turfgrasses. The most prevalent RKN species associated with grasses are M. In , slight thickening of the roots and RKN females with unusual features were observed in turfgrass roots on golf courses in Araras, Sao Paulo state, Brazil.

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This population MgARA was maintained in the lab and studied including morphological, morphometrical, biochemical and molecular markers. Morphology and morphometry were variable and not useful for identification, although perineal pattern morphology showed highly similarity with M. Concerning to biochemical characterisation, the esterase phenotype Mg1, characterised by a very slow and fainter band, was detected in some protein homogenates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Brazilian isolate, found associated with turfgrass, grouped with M.

This is the first report of M. Abstract : Benthic nematodes are recognized as suitable organisms to provide valuable information on the potential ecological effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances in aquatic ecosystems. In addition, their relationship with community characteristics and environmental variables was studied. Nematode biomass and morphometric attributes proved to be valuable as correlate with the environmental changes associated with the Z.

These findings suggest that biomass and morphometric attributes indicate a functional adaptation of nematode communities to the new environmental conditions in the early recovery process of Z. Therefore, these traits may be used to provide complementary information to standing stocks of nematode assemblages so as to assess ecological changes over spatial and temporal scales in marine ecosystems, particularly within seagrass bed habitats. Abstract : Liver transplantation is a therapeutic regimen to treat patients with non-malignant end-stage liver diseases and malignant tumors of hepatic origin.

Most of these studies were conducted in unrealistic conditions without the potential to be translated to clinical usage. For the future clinical application of these pharmacological strategies, it is essential that a close resemblance exists between the methodology used in the animals models and real life. As such, BBR has the potential to be used as a pharmacological therapeutic strategy. Abstract : Estuaries are among the most valuable aquatic systems in terms of their services to human welfare.

They offer an ideal framework to assess multiscale processes linking climate and food web dynamics through the hydrological cycle. Resolving food web responses to climate change is fundamental to resilience management of these threatened ecosystems under global change scenarios. Here, we examined the temporal variability of the plankton food web in the Mondego Estuary, central Iberian Peninsula, over the period to The results pointed out a cascading effect from climate to plankton communities that follow a non-stationary behavior shaped by the climate variance envelope.

Concurrent changes in hydrographic processes at the regional, that is, upwelling intensity, and local, that is, estuarine hydrology, scales were driven by climatic forcing promoted by the North Atlantic Oscillation; the influence of which permeated the physical environment in the estuary affecting both autotrophic and heterotrophic communities. The most conspicuous change arose around and consisted of an obvious decrease in freshwater taxa along with a noticeable increase in marine organisms, mainly driven by gelatinous zooplankton.

The observed increase in small-sized cosmopolitan copepods, that is, Clausocalanus arcuicornis, Oithona plumifera, thermophilic species, that is, Penilia avirostris, and gelatinous zooplankton suggests a structural change in the Mondego plankton community. These results provide empirical support to the expectation that expanding climate variance changes plankton structure and functioning, likely fostering trophic interactions in pelagic food webs.

Abstract : Niche segregation between similar species will result from an avoidance of competition but also from environmental variability, including nowadays anthropogenic activities. Gulls are among the seabirds with greater behavioural plasticity, being highly opportunistic and feeding on a wide range of prey, mostly from anthropogenic origin.

Here, we analysed blood and feather stable isotopes combined with pellet analysis to investigate niche partitioning between Audouin's gull Larus audouinii and yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis breeding in sympatry at Deserta Island, southern Portugal, during and During the breeding season there was considerable overlap in the adults' diet, as their stable isotope values of blood and primary feather P1 did not differ, and their pellets were comprised mainly by marine fish species.

However, Audouin's gulls presented higher occurrences of pelagic fish, while yellow-legged gulls fed more on demersal fish, insects, and refuse. SIAR mixing models also estimated a higher proportion of demersal fish in the diet of yellow-legged gulls. We also found differences between the two gull species in chicks' feathers, suggesting that Audouin's gull adults selected prey with lower carbon isotope values to feed their young.

During both the all-year and non-breeding periods the yellow-legged gull showed a broader isotopic niche width than Audouin's gull in , and in the two gull species exhibited different isotopic niche spaces. Our study suggests that both gull species foraged in association with fisheries during the breeding season.

In this sense, a discard ban implemented under the new European Union Common Fisheries Policy may lead to a food shortage, therefore future research should closely monitor the population dynamics of Audouin's and yellow-legged gulls. Abstract : The nervous system of bivalves is bilaterally symmetrical and consists of interconnected cerebropleural, pedal and visceral ganglia, which may be partially to totally fused. We studied the microanatomy of the ganglia of Scrobicularia plana using three-dimensional 3D reconstruction.

We also examined whether intersex differences in the neural structure exist. Each type of ganglion had a characteristic 3D shape, and the cerebropleural ganglia shape was slightly asymmetrical. The visceral, pedal and cerebropleural ganglia are progressively smaller in volume, but only the pedal ganglion volume was positively correlated with the animal's length, height or width; suggesting functional implications. As to total surface area, correlations were found for the cerebropleural and visceral ganglia, but it was the visceral that consistently showed strong positive correlations with each biometric parameter.

The medulla may often penetrate the cortex and touch the capsule in areas that contrary to what might be expected are not connected with emerging nerves. Finally, we conclude that the ganglia of males and females do not show significant quantitative differences. Abstract : Human exposure to environmental contaminants is widespread. Some of these contaminants have the ability to interfere with adipogenesis, being thus considered as obesogens. Recently, obesogens have been singled out as a cause of male infertility. Sertoli cells SCs are essential for male fertility and their metabolic performance, especially glucose metabolism, is under a tight endocrine control, being essential for the success of spermatogenesis.

Herein, we studied the impact of the model obesogen tributyltin in the metabolic profile of SCs. For that, ex vivo-cultured rat SCs were exposed to increasing doses of tributyltin. SCs proliferation was evaluated by the sulforhodamine B assay and the maturation state of the cells was assessed by the expression of specific markers inhibin B and the androgen receptor by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

The proliferation of SCs was only affected in the cells exposed to the highest dose nM of tributyltin. Notably, SCs exposed to 10 nM tributyltin decreased the consumption of glucose and pyruvate, as well as the production of lactate. The decreased lactate production hampers the development of germ cells. Intriguingly, the lowest levels of tributyltin were more prone to modulate the expression of key players of the glycolytic pathway. This is the first study showing that tributyltin reprograms glucose metabolism of SCs under ex vivo conditions, suggesting new targets and mechanisms through which obesogens modulate the metabolism of SCs and thus male in fertility.

Abstract : Plantations of alien tree species may pose environmental risks associated to their spontaneous spread in areas of introduction. Eucalyptus globulus Labill. Fire has been suggested to enhance E. A better understanding of the effect of fire on the invasive potential of E. In this study, we analyse the effect of fire on the emergence and establishment of E. Fire enhanced seedling recruitment in the forested habitats studied, due to a positive effect on both seedling emergence and survival.

Seedling emergence was In shrublands, however, final seedling establishment was similar in burnt and unburnt sites. Our results demonstrate that fire can increase the invasion risk posed by E. This increased seedling recruitment in burnt areas together with the high fire-proneness of eucalypts could lead to positive feedbacks that may favour eucalypt expansion, further increasing the vulnerability of the native vegetation to colonization by this alien tree.

Abstract : Management of agricultural landscapes can influence the biodiversity and the ecological services provided by these ecosystems, such as natural biological pest control. Viticulture is a very important economic activity in most countries with Mediterranean climate, often shaping their landscapes and culture.

We hypothesized that short-term stress events and small-scale disturbances may affect seagrass chance for survival in temperate latitudes. To test this hypothesis we focused on seagrass carbon reserves in the form of starch stored seasonally in rhizomes, as these have been defined as a good indicator for winter survival.

Twelve Zostera noltei meadows were monitored along a latitudinal gradient in Western Europe to firstly assess the seasonal change of their rhizomal starch content. At the end of the growing season, we observed a weak but significant linear increase of starch content along the latitudinal gradient from south to north. This agrees with the contention that such reserves are essential for regrowth after winter, which is more severe in the north.

In addition, we also observed a weak but significant positive relationship between starch content at the beginning of the growing season and past winter temperatures. This implies a lower regrowth potential after severe winters, due to diminished starch content at the beginning of the growing season. Short-term stress and disturbances may intensify these patterns, because our manipulative experiments show that when nutrient enrichment and biomass loss co-occurred at the end of the growing season, Z.

In temperate zones, the capacity of seagrasses to accumulate carbon reserves is expected to determine carbon-based regrowth after winter. Therefore, processes affecting those reserves might affect seagrass resilience. With increasing human pressure on coastal systems, short- and small-scale stress events are expected to become more frequent, threatening the resilience of seagrass ecosystems, particularly at higher latitudes, where populations tend to have an annual cycle highly dependent on their storage capacity.

Abstract : The freshwater-marine transition that characterizes an estuarine system can provide multiple entry options for invading species, yet the relative importance of this gradient in determining the functional contribution of invading species has received little attention. The ecological consequences of species invasion are routinely evaluated within a freshwater versus marine context, even though many invasive species can inhabit a wide range of salinities.

We investigate the functional consequences of different sizes of Corbicula flumineaan invasive species able to adapt to a wide range of temperatures and salinityacross the freshwater-marine transition in the presence versus absence of warming. Specifically, we characterize how C. Results showed that sediment particle reworking bioturbation tends to be influenced by size and to a lesser extent, temperature and salinity; nutrient concentrations are influenced by different interactions between all variables salinity, temperature, and size class.

Our findings demonstrate the highly context-dependent nature of the ecosystem consequences of invasion and highlight the potential for species to simultaneously occupy multiple components of an ecosystem. Recognizing of this aspect of invasibility is fundamental to management and conservation efforts, particularly as freshwater and marine systems tend to be compartmentalized rather than be treated as a contiguous unit. We conclude that more comprehensive appreciation of the distribution of invasive species across adjacent habitats and different seasons is urgently needed to allow the true extent of biological introductions, and their ecological consequences, to be fully realized.

Abstract : Information on how atrazine can affect the spatial distribution of organisms is non-existent. Firstly, guppies were exposed to an atrazine gradient in a non-forced exposure system, in which organisms moved freely among the concentrations, to assess their ability to avoid atrazine. Secondly, a chemical barrier formed by atrazine, separating two clean habitats extremities of the non-forced system , was simulated to assess whether the presence of the contaminant could prevent guppies from migrating to the other side of the system.

Fish were able to avoid atrazine contamination at environmentally relevant concentrations 0. Contamination by atrazine, besides driving the spatial distribution of fish populations, has potential to act as a chemical barrier by isolating fish populations. This study includes a novel approach to be integrated in environmental risk assessment schemes to assess high-tier contamination effects such as habitat fragmentation and population displacement and isolation.

C Elsevier Ltd. Abstract : Neonicotinoids are the most prominent group of insecticides in the world and are commercialized in over countries for the control of agricultural pests mainly due to their broad-spectrum activity and versatility in application. Though non-target soil organisms are likely to be exposed during application, there is paucity of information in scientific literature regarding their sensitivity to neonicotinoids. This study attempts to fill this gap by evaluating, under laboratory conditions, the chronic toxicity of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid and acetamiprid, through their commercial formulations CF , to the soil invertebrates Folsomia candida, Eisenia andrei and Enchytraeus crypticus.

To extrapolate from laboratory test results to field conditions, predicted environmental concentrations PECs and predicted no-effect concentrations were derived. Therefore, with the current data under standard environmental risk assessment schemes it can be considered that the risk of thiacloprid and acetamiprid to the soil compartment is unacceptable. However, further research into the effects of these substances on different organisms is required to increase the confidence in the risk assessment estimates for instance, by calculating hazardous concentrations using species sensitivity distribution curves.

Abstract : Marine Protected Areas MPAs have been established across all marine environments, though their coherence and effectiveness in protecting umbrella species remains unclear. We used a multi-model ensemble forecasting approach, on 8 years of at-sea censuses of 30 seabird species to identify candidate MPAs in the Portuguese coast, prioritizing important areas for their conservation based on their occurrence and distribution. We overlapped the outputs generated by the Ensemble Ecological Niche Models EENMs with layers representing important environmental stressors fishing intensity, ship density and oil pollution risk , and calculated loss in conservation value using them as cost layers.

Three key marine areas were identified along the Portuguese coast: For breeders, there was a key marine area encompassing the Tagus and Sado estuaries and Berlengas archipelago; for non breeders and migratory species two important areas were identified in the Northern and Southern coast. The key marine area identified in the Northern coast is characterized by high productivity and biodiversity, and can be affected by oil pollution from the refineries and the intensive ship traffic in this area.

Also, the area identified in the Southern coast of Portugal for migratory seabirds overlaps extensively with areas of high fishing activity. Our study, combining multi-species distribution with environmental constraints induced by human activities, allowed us to assess the coherence of the Portuguese marine planning and identify candidate areas to join the Portuguese network of marine protected areas.

Our results, employing data from annual at-sea surveys together with the human stressors known to affect the Portuguese coast, proved to be an extremely useful strategy to identify spatial conservation areas along the Portuguese coast as well as to access the adequacy and consistency of those areas. Despite the constraints of this demanding approach, we are confident that our study provides a reliable strategy to inform Marine conservation efforts and management planning in similar coastal environments elsewhere, characterized by strong coastal upwelling movements.

Abstract : Ivermectin is the most common endectocide used to control parasites affecting livestock. Short-term physiological and behavioural effects of ivermectin on dung beetles may have long-term consequences for beetle populations and ecosystem functioning. Long-term effects of the use of ivermectin can be estimated by comparing dung assemblages and ecosystem functions in areas with conventional ivermectin-treated livestock and environmentally similar areas in which livestock are not treated with veterinary medical products organic farming.

In this study, we investigated both short-term and long-term effects of the administration of ivermectin on the characteristics of dung beetle assemblages and the services they provided in a protected area Donana National Park, SW Spain. We examined short-term dung colonization, dwelling, relocation, and disaggregation rates and the associations between these processes and the key assemblage parameters of species richness, abundance, biomass and functional diversity. Furthermore, we analysed changes in soil physical-chemical properties and processes. Short-term differences were observed in the total amount of dung relocated by dung beetles at different colonization vs.

Moreover, short-term effects could also be responsible for the significant differences in dung spreading rates between sites. Conventional use of ivermectin disrupted ecosystem functioning by affecting species richness, abundance and biomass. The decrease in diversity parameters was related to a reduction in the functional efficiency, which resulted in the long-term accumulation of dung on the ground and considerable changes in soil functionality.

Abstract : Increasing climatic and anthropogenic pressures on soil ecosystems are expected to create a global patchwork of disturbance scenarios. Some regions will be strongly impacted by climate change, others by agricultural intensification, and others by both. Soil microbial communities are integral components of terrestrial ecosystems, but their responses to multiple perturbations are poorly understood. Here, we exposed soils from sustainably- or intensively-managed grasslands in an agro-silvo-pastoral oak woodland to month-long intensified drought and flood simulation treatments in a controlled mesocosm setting.

We monitored the response of the bacterial communities at the end of one month as well as during the following month of recovery. The communities in sustainably-managed plots under all precipitation regimes were richer and more diverse than those in intensively-managed plots, and contained a lower proportion of rapidly-growing taxa. Soils from both land managements exhibited changes in bacterial community composition in response to flooding, but only intensively-managed soils were affected by drought.

The ecologies of bacteria favored by both drought and flood point to both opportunism and stress tolerance as key traits shaping the community following disturbance. Finally, the response of several taxa i. Chloracidobacteria RB41, Janthinobacterium sp. Our findings provide an in-depth view of the complexity of soil bacterial community responses to climatic and anthropogenic pressures in time, and highlight the potential of these stressors to have multiplicative effects on the soil biota.

Abstract : Sea level rise, as a consequence of climate changes, is already causing seawater intrusion in some freshwater coastal ecosystems worldwide. The increase in salinity at these freshwater coastal ecosystems may occur gradually through groundwater or abruptly through extreme weather events. Moreover, many of them are also being altered and threatened by anthropogenic activities.

Accordingly, the present study aimed at assessing the multigenerational lethal and sublethal effects caused by increased salinity in six clonal lineages of the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia longispina differing in their sensitivity to lethal levels of copper. Three specific objectives were delineated: i to compare the lethal and sublethal toxicity of sodium chloride NaCl and natural seawater SW ; ii to evaluate possible multigenerational effects after exposure to low levels of salinity, and iii to evaluate if an association exists between tolerance to lethal and sublethal levels of salinity and tolerance to metals.

Overall, NaCl was found to elicit sublethal effects at lower or similar concentrations than SW, suggesting its use as a protective surrogate of SW in early phases of ecological risk assessment schemes. Multigenerational exposure to conductivities of 0. Significant associations were found neither between lethal and sublethal endpoints nor between salinity and metals, possibly indicating the absence of common mechanisms responsible to confer metal tolerance and salt stress.

However, some clonal lineages presented an inverse sensitivity to lethal levels of NaCl and of copper. These results suggest that natural populations of D. However, over time those populations may face the occurrence of genetic erosion due to the loss of the most sensitive genotypes before or after a multigenerational exposure. Abstract : Aquatic ecotoxicity assays used to assess ecological risk assume that organisms living in a contaminated habitat are forcedly exposed to the contamination.

This assumption neglects the ability of organisms to detect and avoid contamination by moving towards less disturbed habitats, as long as connectivity exists. In fluvial systems, many environmental parameters vary spatially and thus condition organisms' habitat selection. We assessed the preference of zebra fish Danio rerio when exposed to water samples from two western Ecuadorian rivers with apparently distinct disturbance levels: Pescadillo River highly disturbed and Oro River moderately disturbed. Using a non-forced exposure system in which water samples from each river were arranged according to their spatial sequence in the field and connected to allow individuals to move freely among samples, we assayed habitat selection by D.

Fish exposed to Pescadillo River samples preferred downstream samples near the confluence zone with the Oro River. Fish exposed to Oro River samples preferred upstream waters. When exposed to samples from both rivers simultaneously, fish exhibited the same pattern of habitat selection by preferring the Oro River samples.

Given that the rivers are connected, preference for the Oro River enabled us to predict a depression in fish populations in the Pescadillo River. Although these findings indicate higher disturbance levels in the Pescadillo River, none of the physical-chemical variables measured was significantly correlated with the preference pattern towards the Oro River.

Non-linear spatial patterns of habitat preference suggest that other environmental parameters like urban or agricultural contaminants play an important role in the model organism's habitat selection in these rivers. The non-forced exposure system represents a habitat selection-based approach that can serve as a valuable tool to unravel the factors that dictate organisms' spatial distribution in connected ecosystems. Abstract : The use of antimicrobials in aquaculture is a well-known fact and merits the focus of the scientific community. In the present study, five drugs oxytetracycline, sulfadiazine, trimethoprim, oxolinic acid and flumequine were selected to assess their retention in muscle tissues from gilthead seabream Sparus aurata.

Fish were placed in L tanks at 18 degrees C, and fed for 7 days with experimental diets containing two concentrations of each antimicrobial ranging from 5. The results indicate that sulfadiazine concentrations were the highest immediately after the feeding period and decreased towards day 3. Flumequine was only detected on the first day with concentrations below the MRL Both trimethoprim and oxolinic acid concentrations were below the MRLs 3 days after the feeding period was over oxolinic acid was not detected in muscle samples at day 14 for prophylaxis and day 28 for both treatments.

Oxytetracycline residues in muscle tissues were the highest through time, with concentrations above the MRL for 7 days C-day7 of Results suggest that these antimicrobials can be present in gilthead seabream muscle samples for longer periods than previously reported, when realistic conditions are tested. With the exception of oxytetracycline, concentrations were below the MRLs established 3 days after the feeding trial was over meaning that adverse effects related to human consumption are not likely.

Nevertheless, allergic reactions or resistance to antimicrobials can be developed if low concentrations of such compounds are ingested on a frequent basis, as is the case of the Mediterranean diet. Abstract : In very fragmentary remains, the thorough inventory of skeletal elements is often impossible to accomplish. Mass has been used instead to assess the completeness of the skeleton. Two different mass-based methods of assessing skeleton completeness were tested on a sample of experimentally burned skeletons with the objective of determining which of them is more reliable.

The first method was based on a simple comparison of the mass of each individual skeleton with previously published mass references. The second method was based on mass linear regressions from individual bones to estimate complete skeleton mass. The clavicle, humerus, femur, patella, metacarpal, metatarsal and tarsal bones were used. The sample was composed of 20 experimentally burned skeletons from 10 males and 10 females with ages-at-death between 68 and 90 years old. Results demonstrated that the regression approach is more objective and more reliable than the reference comparison approach even though not all bones provided satisfactory estimations of the complete skeleton mass.

The femur, humerus and patella provided the best performances among the individual bones. The estimations based on the latter had root mean squared errors RMSE smaller than g. Results demonstrated that the regression approach is quite promising although the patella was the only reasonable predictor expected to survive sufficiently intact to a burning event at high temperatures.

The mass comparison approach has the advantage of not depending on the preservation of individual bones. Whenever bones are intact though, the application of mass regressions should be preferentially used because it is less subjective. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Abstract : Sugar beet Beta vulgaris L. Crop improvement has been developed to enhance productivity, sugar content or other breeder's desirable traits. The introgression of traits from Crop Wild Relatives CWR has been done essentially for lessening biotic stresses constraints, namely using Beta and Patellifolia species which exhibit disease resistance characteristics.

Several studies have addressed crop-to-wild gene flow, yet, for breeding programs genetic variability associated with agronomically important traits remains unexplored regarding abiotic factors. To accomplish such association from phenotype-to-genotype, screening for wild relatives occurring in habitats where selective pressures are in play i. By selecting sugar beet CWR species based on genomic tools, rather than random variations, is a promising but still seldom explored route toward the development of improved crops.

In this perspective, a viable streamline for sugar beet improvement is proposed through the use of different genomic tools by recurring to sugar beet CWRs and focusing on agronomic traits associated with abiotic stress tolerance. Overall, identification of genomic and epigenomic landscapes associated to adaptive ecotypes, along with the cytogenetic and habitat characterization of sugar beet CWR, will enable to identify potential hotspots for agrobiodiversity of sugar beet crop improvement toward abiotic stress tolerance.

Abstract : The reduced number of animals in most wild felid populations implies a loss of genetic diversity. The death of juveniles, prior to the production of mature sperm, represents a loss of potential genetic contribution to future populations. Since mouse testicular organ culture has introduced an alternative mechanism to produce sperm in vitro from immature tissue. However, extension of this technology to other species has remained limited. We have used the domestic cat Felis catus as a model for wild felids to investigate spermatogenesis initiation and regulation, with the mouse serving as a control species.

Testicular tissue fragments were cultured in control medium or medium supplemented with knockout serum replacement KSR , AlbuMax, beta-estradiol or AlbuMax plus beta-estradiol. Contrary to expectations, and unlike results obtained in mouse controls, no germ cell differentiation could be detected. The only germ cells observed after six weeks of culture were spermatogonia regardless of the initial stage of tubule development in the donor tissue. Moreover, the number of spermatogonia decreased with time in culture in all media tested, especially in the medium supplemented with KSR, while AlbuMax had a slight protective effect.

The combination of AlbuMax and beta-estradiol led to an increase in the area occupied by seminiferous tubules, and thus to an increase in total number of spermatogonial cells. Considering all the media combinations tested the stimulus for felid germ cell differentiation in this type of system seems to be different from the mouse.

Studies using other triggers of differentiation and tissue survival factors should be performed to pursue this technology for the genetic diversity preservation in wild felids. Abstract : Plant-parasitic nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne, known as root-knot nematodes RKN , have an important economic impact on golf course turfgrasses. The most prevalent RKN species associated with grasses are M. In , slight thickening of the roots and RKN females with unusual features were observed in turfgrass roots on golf courses in Araras, Sao Paulo state, Brazil.

This population MgARA was maintained in the lab and studied including morphological, morphometrical, biochemical and molecular markers. Morphology and morphometry were variable and not useful for identification, although perineal pattern morphology showed highly similarity with M. Concerning to biochemical characterisation, the esterase phenotype Mg1, characterised by a very slow and fainter band, was detected in some protein homogenates.

Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Brazilian isolate, found associated with turfgrass, grouped with M. This is the first report of M. Abstract : Benthic nematodes are recognized as suitable organisms to provide valuable information on the potential ecological effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances in aquatic ecosystems.

In addition, their relationship with community characteristics and environmental variables was studied. Nematode biomass and morphometric attributes proved to be valuable as correlate with the environmental changes associated with the Z. These findings suggest that biomass and morphometric attributes indicate a functional adaptation of nematode communities to the new environmental conditions in the early recovery process of Z.

Therefore, these traits may be used to provide complementary information to standing stocks of nematode assemblages so as to assess ecological changes over spatial and temporal scales in marine ecosystems, particularly within seagrass bed habitats. Abstract : Liver transplantation is a therapeutic regimen to treat patients with non-malignant end-stage liver diseases and malignant tumors of hepatic origin. Most of these studies were conducted in unrealistic conditions without the potential to be translated to clinical usage. For the future clinical application of these pharmacological strategies, it is essential that a close resemblance exists between the methodology used in the animals models and real life.

As such, BBR has the potential to be used as a pharmacological therapeutic strategy. Abstract : Estuaries are among the most valuable aquatic systems in terms of their services to human welfare. They offer an ideal framework to assess multiscale processes linking climate and food web dynamics through the hydrological cycle. Resolving food web responses to climate change is fundamental to resilience management of these threatened ecosystems under global change scenarios.

Here, we examined the temporal variability of the plankton food web in the Mondego Estuary, central Iberian Peninsula, over the period to The results pointed out a cascading effect from climate to plankton communities that follow a non-stationary behavior shaped by the climate variance envelope. Concurrent changes in hydrographic processes at the regional, that is, upwelling intensity, and local, that is, estuarine hydrology, scales were driven by climatic forcing promoted by the North Atlantic Oscillation; the influence of which permeated the physical environment in the estuary affecting both autotrophic and heterotrophic communities.

The most conspicuous change arose around and consisted of an obvious decrease in freshwater taxa along with a noticeable increase in marine organisms, mainly driven by gelatinous zooplankton. The observed increase in small-sized cosmopolitan copepods, that is, Clausocalanus arcuicornis, Oithona plumifera, thermophilic species, that is, Penilia avirostris, and gelatinous zooplankton suggests a structural change in the Mondego plankton community.

These results provide empirical support to the expectation that expanding climate variance changes plankton structure and functioning, likely fostering trophic interactions in pelagic food webs. Abstract : Niche segregation between similar species will result from an avoidance of competition but also from environmental variability, including nowadays anthropogenic activities.

Gulls are among the seabirds with greater behavioural plasticity, being highly opportunistic and feeding on a wide range of prey, mostly from anthropogenic origin. Here, we analysed blood and feather stable isotopes combined with pellet analysis to investigate niche partitioning between Audouin's gull Larus audouinii and yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis breeding in sympatry at Deserta Island, southern Portugal, during and During the breeding season there was considerable overlap in the adults' diet, as their stable isotope values of blood and primary feather P1 did not differ, and their pellets were comprised mainly by marine fish species.

However, Audouin's gulls presented higher occurrences of pelagic fish, while yellow-legged gulls fed more on demersal fish, insects, and refuse. SIAR mixing models also estimated a higher proportion of demersal fish in the diet of yellow-legged gulls. We also found differences between the two gull species in chicks' feathers, suggesting that Audouin's gull adults selected prey with lower carbon isotope values to feed their young.

During both the all-year and non-breeding periods the yellow-legged gull showed a broader isotopic niche width than Audouin's gull in , and in the two gull species exhibited different isotopic niche spaces. Our study suggests that both gull species foraged in association with fisheries during the breeding season. In this sense, a discard ban implemented under the new European Union Common Fisheries Policy may lead to a food shortage, therefore future research should closely monitor the population dynamics of Audouin's and yellow-legged gulls.

Abstract : The nervous system of bivalves is bilaterally symmetrical and consists of interconnected cerebropleural, pedal and visceral ganglia, which may be partially to totally fused. We studied the microanatomy of the ganglia of Scrobicularia plana using three-dimensional 3D reconstruction.

We also examined whether intersex differences in the neural structure exist. Each type of ganglion had a characteristic 3D shape, and the cerebropleural ganglia shape was slightly asymmetrical. The visceral, pedal and cerebropleural ganglia are progressively smaller in volume, but only the pedal ganglion volume was positively correlated with the animal's length, height or width; suggesting functional implications.

As to total surface area, correlations were found for the cerebropleural and visceral ganglia, but it was the visceral that consistently showed strong positive correlations with each biometric parameter. The medulla may often penetrate the cortex and touch the capsule in areas that contrary to what might be expected are not connected with emerging nerves. Finally, we conclude that the ganglia of males and females do not show significant quantitative differences.

Abstract : Human exposure to environmental contaminants is widespread. Some of these contaminants have the ability to interfere with adipogenesis, being thus considered as obesogens. Recently, obesogens have been singled out as a cause of male infertility. Sertoli cells SCs are essential for male fertility and their metabolic performance, especially glucose metabolism, is under a tight endocrine control, being essential for the success of spermatogenesis. Herein, we studied the impact of the model obesogen tributyltin in the metabolic profile of SCs.

For that, ex vivo-cultured rat SCs were exposed to increasing doses of tributyltin. SCs proliferation was evaluated by the sulforhodamine B assay and the maturation state of the cells was assessed by the expression of specific markers inhibin B and the androgen receptor by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The proliferation of SCs was only affected in the cells exposed to the highest dose nM of tributyltin. Notably, SCs exposed to 10 nM tributyltin decreased the consumption of glucose and pyruvate, as well as the production of lactate.

The decreased lactate production hampers the development of germ cells. Intriguingly, the lowest levels of tributyltin were more prone to modulate the expression of key players of the glycolytic pathway. This is the first study showing that tributyltin reprograms glucose metabolism of SCs under ex vivo conditions, suggesting new targets and mechanisms through which obesogens modulate the metabolism of SCs and thus male in fertility.

Abstract : Plantations of alien tree species may pose environmental risks associated to their spontaneous spread in areas of introduction. Eucalyptus globulus Labill. Fire has been suggested to enhance E. A better understanding of the effect of fire on the invasive potential of E. In this study, we analyse the effect of fire on the emergence and establishment of E. Fire enhanced seedling recruitment in the forested habitats studied, due to a positive effect on both seedling emergence and survival. Seedling emergence was In shrublands, however, final seedling establishment was similar in burnt and unburnt sites.

Our results demonstrate that fire can increase the invasion risk posed by E. This increased seedling recruitment in burnt areas together with the high fire-proneness of eucalypts could lead to positive feedbacks that may favour eucalypt expansion, further increasing the vulnerability of the native vegetation to colonization by this alien tree. Abstract : Management of agricultural landscapes can influence the biodiversity and the ecological services provided by these ecosystems, such as natural biological pest control.

Viticulture is a very important economic activity in most countries with Mediterranean climate, often shaping their landscapes and culture. Grape production is affected by a number of pests and diseases, and farmers use prophylactic and response-driven pesticides to control these pests. Here we quantified the main biotic causes of crop losses in four grape castes, two red Touriga Nacional and Baga and two white Arinto and Chardonnay , and evaluated the potential effect of native biodiversity to provide biotic resistance to pest outbreaks and grape losses.

Specifically, the diversity and abundance of bird and insect communities in these vineyards were quantified and divided into functional guilds pest, neutral or auxiliary , to test whether these natural communities hold the potential to naturally control grape pests biotic resistance hypothesis under normal vineyard management including pesticide application regimes. A potential association between distance to the vineyard edge and grape losses was also evaluated. Grape color did not influence losses caused by insect pests, but birds showed a preference for red castes.

The caste Baga was also more vulnerable to losses caused by fungi. Despite their low impact on grape production, most insects and birds detected in the six vineyards were pests, which entails a potentially low level of biotic resistance in this highly managed agricultural ecosystem. Further research is necessary to fully evaluate the role of functional biodiversity in vineyards, particularly if alternative production processes, such as organic farming, can increase the potential of native biodiversity to protect against grape losses from pests under lower regimes of chemical spraying.

Whilst the morpho-functional disorders induced by excessive UV irradiation are well-known, it remains unclear how this irradiation modulates the metabolome, and which metabolic shifts improve plants' tolerance to UV-B. In this study, we use an important Mediterranean crop, Olea europaea, to decipher the impacts of enhanced UV-B radiation on the physiological performance and lipophilic metabolite profile. Young olive plants cv. The interplay between physiology and metabolomics suggests some innate ability of these plants to tolerate moderate UV-B doses 6.

Also their tolerance to higher doses This is the first study demonstrating photosynthetic changes and lipophilic metabolite adjustments in olive leaves under moderate and high UV-B doses. Thus, determining the mechanisms that lead to human hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction might contribute to improving the outcome of liver transplantation.

Next, we highlight various pharmacological therapeutic strategies that could be applied, and discuss their relationship to relevant mitochondrion-related processes and targets.

Top 10 Gran Canaria (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides)

Abstract : Spartina patens is a highly dispersed halophytic grass invader in Mediterranean marshes. It is also characterized by having a high degree of resistance to salinity, one of the main drivers of plant zonation in salt marshes. Nevertheless, the physiological basis behind the extreme resistance of S. In the present work, we aimed to study how membrane fatty acid remodeling could contribute to the resistance of this plant to salt. He could never have guessed how venerated that image of her would become. A statue of the Madonna was enshrined in a small church in the centre of Teror.

The original church has been replaced twice, and has gradually grown into the huge edifice we see today. It is an important site for pilgrims wishing to worship the Virgin, and there is an annual two-day festival combining religious devotion with earthly fun. This culminates in an evening procession on 8 September in which locals offer fresh produce to their patron saint.

The two most recognizable rocks, Nublo and Bentayga, were considered holy ground by the Guanches. Now sparsely populated, the region has maintained local traditions more than any other part of the island. Top 10 Features View from the Mirador Degollada Becerra Enjoy a picnic in the mountains at one of the cabildo local government sites.

You can also camp here, as long as you get permission. Offerings and sacrifices were probably made here. The largest is the Cueva del Guayre. Making a frog out of La Rana, the monolith closest to Roque Nublo, requires a little more effort. In February, a series of fiestas marks the blossoming of the almond trees.

Look around the simple 19thcentury church, enjoy the remarkable views, and pay a visit to the cavechapel before a warming lunch. The locale has an odd mix of donkey rides, stalls, a taxidermy museum, and two superb restaurants. Hikers can choose from three treks of varying lengths and levels. The three-hour circuit from La Culata is outstanding, if a little strenuous. Adrenaline-junkies relish the climb up the m ft Roque Nublo. Millions of years of explosive eruptions and erosion gave rise to the awe-inspiring Caldera de Tejeda. After a particularly violent explosion, the centre of the volcano sank, leaving a crater 18 km 11 miles wide.

The emblematic rocks crowning the crater are the result of five million years of erosion. Grateful for the tip, locals named the gaping hole after the Dutchman. The perfectly formed crater covers ha acres , and gained protected status in Sample cheap traditional favourites here. The road to the peak is closed from 10pm—8am daily. Caldera With a diameter of m 2, ft and an average depth of m ft , Bandama is the largest recent crater on the island. Details of the last eruption remain vague, but vulcanologists agree that Bandama expelled its fiery heart once and for all around 5, years ago. Flora The crater is a haven for endemic flora.

Buildings Disused A threshing floor and a wine press dating back to the 18th century are among the abandoned structures within the crater. Founded in , the par course is open to non-members only on weekday mornings. A clear path leads down from behind the bar on the road to La Atalaya. Volcanic Farming Restaurant Perched precariously on the north face of the mountain is a restaurant serving local and French cuisine. The view of Las Palmas is unrivalled. These man-made grottos house dwellings, an extensive grain store and unique rock engravings.

To reach them, follow the start of the hiking route but take the path to your left after leaving the cobbled road. Golf Hotel Bandama With fine views of the crater, the hotel below is perfectly situated for a relaxing break. Rooms are simple but cosy. Setting up home in the bottom of a volcanic crater may seem like a strange idea, and hoping to farm the land even stranger.

The fact, though, is that this environment provides the perfect conditions for cultivation, particularly of vines. Avoid in wet conditions. In addition to its great natural beauty, this fascinating area has an important cultural heritage, and harbours unique flora and fauna. The small local troglodyte population dwells in cave-homes and strives to maintain a way of life that has been lost elsewhere on the island. In keeping with the local theme, the restaurants are based in man-made caves scattered along the ravine, with chairs and tables carved out of the rock. Visit midweek to avoid the crowds competing for tables.

Allow a full day to explore the ravine properly. There is information on mummification, farming, the rare flora to be found in the ravine, and even how to build a cave-home. Guanche Settlements Densely inhabited before the Conquest see p34 , the Barranco de Guayadeque is littered with caves, both natural and man-made. The finest, Cuevas Muchas, contains houses, a grain store, and burial sites.

No-one knows when the hermitage was set up, but the crucifix appears to date from just after the Conquest. There are also areas set up for barbecues above so, if you fancy one, buy some charcoal and sausages and join the locals. A peek through an open door is likely to reveal a television and even a fitted kitchen. The finest of several short walks skirts the Caldera de los Marteles.

Ask in the museum for a walks map. Flora and Fauna Among 80 species of flora, there are two plants found nowhere else in the world. The road comes to an abrupt halt at this small farming village above. Follow the cobbled path from here for a tour of rural Gran Canaria. Artenara, Agaete, Arguineguin, Tocodoman and Tenteniguada are amongst the multitude of names whose origins pre-date the Conquest.

Alas, most of their meanings are lost; one of the few exceptions is Guayadeque. The lack of major maritime traffic has allowed the enchanting harbour, with its uniform low, white-and-blue houses, to retain its charm. Today it is important as the main departure point for Tenerife. Hundreds of visitors pass through the village, but it merits more than a cursory glance through the bus window en route to the ferry.

Nowadays, the revellers come as much for the street party as for the tradition of beating the ocean with pine branches. Better still, you could ask around to see if anyone has room on his boat for an extra fisherman. Or just sip a coffee and watch the local fishermen repairing their nets in the harbour.

Scuba diving is popular around the cliffs near Dedo de Dios, while surfers prefer Punta de las Viejas, just north of the port. Today, only a small reproduction of the tombs can be viewed here. The Spanish conquerors also launched their assault on Tenerife from this port. Later on, Puerto de las Nieves underwent periods of alternate ruin and prosperity, as trade with America ebbed and flowed.

Volcanic Like all of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is volcanic in origin and first emerged from the ocean 15 million years ago. A second spurt of volcanic activity created the northeast of the island 11 million years later. Happily, the volcanoes have been extinct for 3, years. Though he had successfully taken Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, he could not overcome the tough Canarios. The northern 2, BC. Others believe chief, Tenesor Semidan, they were Vikings, or even was captured, baptized, and Atlanteans!

With the discovery enlisted in the Spanish cause. It was the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. In , Franco came to power and decades of Fascist rule began in Spain, only ending with his death in Most, however, made for the Caribbean islands and Venezuela. The wine and cochineal food colouring trades went the same way and, by the end of the 19th century, things were looking desperate, rekindling the mass exodus to Latin America. The defensive wall surrounding Las Palmas did little to protect it when Sir Francis Drake attacked in , though he failed to defeat the locals. A more successful day assault by Dutch corsair Pieter Van Der Does devastated the capital in , and scores of churches and other historical buildings were sacked and burnt.

Salvation arrived in the s in the form of mass construction, and tomato plantations were soon giving way to high-rise hotels. Rather than somewhere to escape from, Gran Canaria has now become a favoured destination for immigrants. Room, Drawing Museo de los Patronos de la Virgen This room fronting the town square contains some fine antique furniture and portraits. Today it is preserved as a museum, complete with period furniture and paintings.

There is also a patio and a small chapel see p The building is brought to life by its varied temporary exhibitions by Spanish, African and Latin-American artists see p Casa Panchito, Ecomuseo La Atalaya Visit the cave-home and workshop of a master of traditional pottery, and see a side of Canarian life that is all but lost. Ecomuseo Workshop, Casa Panchito Enter the primitive workshop of the ceramics maestro for an insight into Guanche pottery.

Neo-Classical styles. Check out the pila verde green font , allegedly where the natives were baptized when the Spanish first took over. Inside, a countless times, this immense Flemish altarpiece, among the basilica has drawn numerous most precious works of art in the pilgrims since the 16th century Canary Islands, outshines the see pp22— A supreme example of Canarian Neo-Classical architecture, it has the air of a cathedral rather than a church. Although started in , the church was not completed until Ermita la Cuevita, Artenara The patron saint of cyclists resides in this small rock-face chapel see p Its altarpiece, sculptures, paintings and stained-glass windows create an atmosphere akin to that of an art gallery see p Cueva In , a local farmer stumbled across this painted cave, uncovering probably the most important archeological find — and certainly the finest set of aboriginal paintings — in the whole archipelago.

Efforts are being made to open the cave to the public, but until then, a fine reproduction is on show in the Museo Canario, Las Palmas see pp12— This is the most remarkable man-made cave on Gran Canaria and therefore in the archipelago. A clear path marks the route around the site see p Tufia This settlement is unusual as it has examples of both types of aboriginal home common to the island: cave dwellings, and the low stone houses unique to Gran Canaria.

The coastal caves once inhabited by Guanches now house 21st-century troglodytes, but the stone constructions are still in their original state.

Evaluating the performance of species richness estimators: sensitivity to sample grain size

Dominating the scene is an immense tagoror, where the elders would meet to make decisions see p For years, experts believed it to be a convent, but it is now widely agreed that the caves were used to store grain see p Some sites are open to the public, but others require special permission from the cabildo council. Tel: ext Look out for the different styles of tomb, particularly the circular towers, which were almost certainly the last resting-place of aboriginal aristocracy. Some of the etchings seem to depict fertility symbols, a common theme in pre-Hispanic Canarian culture.

There are even some alphabetical inscriptions, linked to the North African LibicBerber peoples see p Look out for the great spotted woodpecker see p Admire the changing vegetation as you reach the highest waterfall, an easy walk that takes you through willow trees and olive groves. You might also spot some rare plants unique to the island. Access to the ravine is via Lomo Magullo.

Stroll through this lost world of vegetation, of a kind almost wiped out in Europe in the last Ice Age. Myrtle, willow and heather flourish alongside the many laurel species see p In the Top 10 Local Fauna Canarian! Canarian Skink Gran Chalcides sexlineatus These small lizards scurry off when humans approach. In winter, small waterfalls trickle down the cliffs, further enhancing their beauty. Dendrocopos major Black and white, with a flash of orange feathers. Endangered, but seen in the pine forests. There is also a well-equipped picnic area and camp site here, though you will need a permit from the cabildo council to make use of the latter see p Curlew Stone Burhinus oedicnemus The stone curlew has its home in the northern ravines, where its habitat is now under threat.

Maspalomas This is an unrivalled place to sunbathe, bordered by the dazzling dunes see pp18— Imposing cliffs back the m yds of fine dark sand, blocking the sun until the early afternoon. Bear in mind you can only reach the beach at low tide. Calm waters border the black sand beach, split into three sections by rocky outcrops.

A sand has no amenities. To get there, park at Further south, the reef the camp site west of ends and surfers take Pasito Blanco, head for advantage of the the stony beach and breaks. If you prefer to take a vertiginous path Las Canteras stay dry, take a gentle to the left. Backed by rocky west coast.

The only way towering cliffs, the black sand to get there is a challenging and pebbles are lapped by a calm two—hour hike from Tasartico, or stretch of ocean. Though easy to reach, this east-coast beach is often deserted, as the majority of holidaymakers prefer the guaranteed good weather further south. Watch the planes take off and land at the nearby airport, or contemplate the aboriginal ruins at Tufia see p A favourite with locals, the calm waters are perfect for those with children.

From the GC2 heading west, take the exit after km 29, then keep heading left through the tomato plantations. Always check locally to ensure that routes are safe or, better still, join an organized group. Roque Nublo alone boasts 12 routes, while Ayacata is another top spot more suited to beginners. Beginners can try a tandem jump without worrying about steering.

Since the climate is mild year-round, the sport is becoming a major draw. Most courses are to be found in the south, although the prestigious Real Club de Golf see p27 is just outside of Las Palmas, next to the Caldera de Bandama. See the craggy west, the lush north, or the southern resorts. Juan The talented Primera Liga midfielder has won more than 40 international caps. Cycling in the south of the island Canyoning If you want to get to know parts of the island untouched by most visitors, take an excursion that includes hiking through dense vegetation and lowering yourself into rocky clefts.

The varied terrain of the island makes it an ideal place for both novices and experienced canyoners. The less committed head for the high peaks by bus and free-wheel back. Join an organized group tour or just hire your own bike. Top 10 Canarian Sports Stars windsurfing star has long lived on the island, and he was world champion from through to Surfing Few European destinations offer such good surf, a fact made clear by the number of blondstreaked enthusiasts in search of the perfect wave. Schools operate in the south of the island, while the rougher northern coast has more appeal for experts.

Marine species from Europe, Africa and even the Caribbean mingle here, and the high number of shipwrecks adds extra interest. The season is from April to October, though enthusiasts can be catered for all year round. There are centres in Las Palmas, Maspalomas and Amadores. The school Gran Canaria is a here takes those starting out superb snorkelling destination.

The best deep-sea trips are out of Puerto Rico, where tuna, marlin and swordfish abound in summer. Shark Angel The most commonly sighted shark, often mistaken for a ray due to its flat body. On the other hand, do not expect warm seas, as this is the Atlantic. The south and east coasts are generally safe, though currents and strong waves plague the north and west.

If you fancy a dip in the north, head for one of the natural pools see page Top 10 Underwater Encounters of this fish is a familiar but pleasing sight on any dive. Fishing, Puerto de las Nieves Boat Trips Charter a luxury yacht, gaze down into the ocean from a glass-bottomed boat, or live it up on a booze cruise. Beginners can get started at Playa de las Canteras, while the more adventurous may like to join a tour of the southern coast, stopping off at normally inaccessible beaches. Frequent on deeper dives. Scorpion-fish Numerous species of this spiky fish swim in the Canarian seas, usually favouring rocky areas.

Shipwrecks Ships have been sinking off these shores ever since ports were built, so there are wrecks aplenty sprinkled around the coast. The road is one-way. A clear path leads you along the lush ravine, where a stream trickles throughout the year. As well as appealing to lovers of flora, the hike rewards all with its impressive finale: a series of ever-higher waterfalls. Allow about three hours for this outand-back walk. Stop off in Playa de la Aldea for a seafood lunch before turning inland. The Moorish village of Veneguera warrants a stop.

As the vegetation changes from pine to laurel, keep an eye out for rare native flora such as houseleeks. Overhead, kestrels, blackcaps and blue tits vie for space. The walk takes seven hours and ends at Cruz Grande, but you could break for the night at Los Cercados.

Tenerife a Pie: Anaga - El Bosque Encantado

Take the path leading from km 49 of the GC65, then keep left at all forks. While here, visit the dazzling La Sorrueda reservoir. Look over the pine forest, Artenara, Tenerife and sometimes even La Gomera. Palmitos The Chamoriscan ravine provides a marvellous setting for this tropical paradise, home to primates, reptiles and countless exotic birds. Try to catch one of the regular shows featuring bike-riding parrots and enormous birds of prey.

Calmer options include the aquarium, butterfly house and a large walk-through birdcage. If you fancy getting wet without straying too far from your hotel, there are smaller parks in Puerto Rico and Maspalomas. Map C5. Friday night is barbecue night, when parents can enjoy the saloon and dancing girls, while the children are treated to a lasso show.

Evaluating the performance of species richness estimators: sensitivity to sample grain size

There are centres in San Mateo and Maspalomas. Favourites include the flight simulator, TV studio and Imax cinema. There is also a science-themed play area for the smallest visitors, aged 3—6 years see pp36, Kids can take a donkey ride while parents shop. Sun Use suncream of SPF 20 or higher and keep kids inside in the middle of the day. Sightseeing Unders often get half- price entry, and under-fives go free. Ask about family tickets. Beaches Avoid the north coast and head for the calm waters off Las Canteras and Arguineguin.

There are over crocodiles, tropical and Canarian fish, other reptiles, tarantulas, a parrot show and a family of tigers. Holiday World Holiday World, Maspalomas Carousels, bumper cars and a mini roller coaster should keep the kids amused. Younger children often go free and a cot is usually gratis. Restaurants Canarians love kids, although upmarket places may be wary of accepting them, especially in the evening.

Shops open until 2am for late-night gift-buying, and there are parties in the streets and makeshift bars of Triana. Traditional costume is obligatory as merrymakers play the timple a small guitar and dance as their ancestors did. Local food and drink are dished out freely, so this is a great time for a visit. The party Juan Carnaval culminates with the Revellers leap bonfires burial of the sardine, a and toss oranges into bizarre spectacle with mock the ocean against a backdrop of mourners weeping because their fireworks. Celebrated with gusto fun has ended for another year. Strangely good fun.

Exhibitions, fundraisers and a big street parade to promote equal rights. Try the marinated olives and pan de millo sweet yellow cornbread. Along with locally-grown fruit and vegetables, there are first-rate cheeses and fresh bread. Get a handmade wooden toy for the little ones and a well-crafted walking stick to help you hike in the hills. Recently, more modern stallholders have started selling items such as clothes, toys and cheap electrical goods. Stop for refreshments in one of the makeshift bars set up for the occasion and watch the folkdancing display.

The local speciality, embroidery, is on sale alongside tablecloths, serviettes, blankets and craftwork from other islands. Pottery The only Guanche tradition to have survived is hand-crafted ceramics. A few artisans still make it by hand. Visit the big chain stores, or the craft shop in Parque de la Era de Verdugo.

Introduction

The embroidered tablecloths are particularly fine. Vera Aloe The healing plant grows in abundance on the island, so Gran Canaria is a great place to stock up on cosmetics made from its extracts. The interior is lavishly decked out in finest Renaissance style, setting it apart from other buildings in the capital. A small dragontree marks the picturesque 17th-century structure, with its superlative balcony.

Completed in the early 20th century, the building is topped by an elegant dome. Dating back to the 16th century, the low, whitewashed house is topped by a red-tiled roof. The water mill on the road to Artenara is still in working order and now boasts a delightful casa rural. In the s, several houses were joined and remodelled in finest Neo-Canarian style, creating a home for the Christopher Columbus museum see pp8—9.

A series of tunnels connects the rooms, all hewn out of the mountainside. The emphasis is on hearty meals at good prices. All the Canarian favourites feature, such as a superb ropa vieja. Alongside kid meat, rabbit and carajacas chopped liver in a tasty sauce , there are some more familiar choices, such as fresh fish, grilled vegetables, and locally produced cheeses.

The desserts are famous among the locals. Desserts include the local huevos mole, an exceedingly sweet take on meringue. Try also the fluffy croquettes, or choose something incorporating the excellent local cheeses. Ropa Originally a way to use up leftovers, this tasty chickpea garbanzo stew is now a firm favourite among Canarios.

Arrugadas Papas The ubiquitous side order: small potatoes boiled in their skins in very salty water. Mojo Spicy sauces, heavy on garlic, once used to hide the taste of bad food. The red sauce usually goes with meat and potatoes, while the green version accompanies fish. Probably the only food surviving from Guanche times, and something of an acquired taste. The rustic interior is welcoming, especially in winter. Try the sweet blood-sausage croquettes, a house speciality and much tastier than they sound. The name is also given to a cake with the same ingredients.

It combines local food with Spanish and international favourites. Stunning views accompany the tasty meals. The potaje is recommended. All Canarians have their own recipe. Bizcocho Light, fluffy sponge cake, or sometimes a crispy version. Early development was slow, but the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the increase in maritime traffic, and finally the construction of the port, guaranteed success as a trading hub.

Traditionally dressed Moroccan men suck on hookah pipes while South Americans and northern Europeans socialize nearby. Around Las Palmas as good as this: 3 km 2 miles of fine sand, sandwiched between a wide promenade and the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Surfers congregate at the southern end, an area known as La Cicer. The sand here is black, but moving northward it gets ever more golden, and the sea, protected by the broad reef, takes on the appearance of a lake. An excellent way to see the whole city in a day.

The bustling docks give the city its cosmopolitan feel, as Russian and Korean sailors rub shoulders with European cruise passengers. Construction of the Neo-Canarian building housing the gallery was a joint project by the artist and his architect brother Miguel. Unfortunately, pirate attacks in the 16th century destroyed much of the original hamlet set up after the Conquest, but there is still plenty to see. Balconies prevail, be they the uneven wooden-box-like designs favoured in Canarian architecture or the more ornate wrought-iron versions typical of Modernist buildings.

This is a good preparation for those who may be visiting Guanche sites around the island see pp12— Pass the impressive stone archway of the Jesuit lglesia de San Francisco de Borja as you make your way to the must-see Museo Canario.


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There are two superb restaurants here, Cho Zacarias and Casa Montesdeoca; or for a cheap lunch, head to the busy Mercado de Vegueta. Here you can jump on a guagua to cross the city, unless you relish the idea of an hourlong stroll along the promenade. Plazoleta de Farray is a popular square for a coffee, beer or a plate of tapas. His charming childhood home in Triana is now a museum.

Wander up the mountain for a superlative view of the isthmus. Their speciality is pottery, but you will also find foodstuffs, aloe vera products and embroidered goods. Foie gras, fine cheeses and the best hams complement the local liquors. Although most titles are in Spanish, a few have been translated into other European languages for those who want to delve deeper.

They also do a decent line in ceramics. Plays are always in Spanish, but there are live music events as well, and a wonderful restaurant serving creative cuisine.