Low-head dam impoundments modify local habitat and alter fish assemblages; however, to our knowledge, the pattern of how fish assemblages in the impoundments relate to local habitat, tributary position, and dam characteristics is still unclear. We used data collected in 62 impoundments created by low-head dams in headwater streams of the Qingyi River, China, to examine relationships between fish assemblages and local habitat, tributary position, and dam characteristics. We also assessed the relative importance of the three groups of factors in determining fish species richness and composition. Linear regression models showed that fish species richness was related to substrate heterogeneity, confluence link, and dam number upstream. Redundancy analysis showed that fish species compositions were influenced by substrate heterogeneity, confluence link, dam height, dam numbers upstream and downstream. Overall, dam characteristics were more important in affecting fish species richness but less important in determining fish species composition than local habitat (i.e., substrate heterogeneity) and tributary position. Our results suggest that low-head dam may affect fish species richness in impoundments by modifying local habitat and constraining fish movement, and the relative abundances of those fish species may depend more on species habitat presences and stream size than on impoundment size and number.
Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal's body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity.
Brooding is a major breeding investment of parental birds during the early nestling stage, and has important effects on the development and survival of nestlings. Investigating brooding behavior can help to understand avian breeding investment strategies. From January to June in 2013 and 2014, we studied the brooding behaviors of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China. We analyzed the relationships between parental diurnal brooding duration and nestling age, brood size, temperature, relative breeding season, time of day and nestling frequencies during brooding duration. Results showed that female and male long-tailed tit parents had different breeding investment strategies during the early nestling stage. Female parents bore most of the brooding investment, while male parents performed most of the nestling feedings. In addition, helpers were not found to brood nestlings at the two cooperative breeding nests. Parental brooding duration was significantly associated with the food delivered to nestlings (F=86.10, df=1, 193.94, P<0.001), and was longer when the nestlings received more food. We found that parental brooding duration declined significantly as nestlings aged (F=5.99, df=1, 50.13, P=0.018). When nestlings were six days old, daytime parental brooding almost ceased, implying that longtailed tit nestlings might be able to maintain their own body temperature by this age. In addition, brooding duration was affected by both brood size (F=12.74, df=1, 32.08, P=0.001) and temperature (F=5.83, df=1, 39.59, P=0.021), with it being shorter in larger broods and when ambient temperature was higher.
The effects of osmotic pressure, temperature and stocking density on medusae survival of Craspedacusta sowerbii were examined. The medusae were shown to be sensitive to the variations of osmotic pressure. And the survival time was <90 h at 34 mOsm/L and it declined rapidly with rising osmotic pressure. The peak survival time of >200 h was recorded at 0.2 mOsm/L. Comparing with 27℃ and 32℃ treatments, 23℃ treatment yielded lower activities at a range of 8-13/min. However, there was a longer survival time. A non-linear relationship existed between survival time and stocking density. Lower density resulted in larger body size. And sexual reproduction resumed after breeding for >22 days. Newly-formed polyps and medusae appeared subsequently but only in the higher-density groups of 10, 14 and 18 ind./L. It suggested that the number of newly-formed polyps and medusae was highly dependent on stocking density. That is, a higher stocking density produced more organisms. However, newly-formed medusae died within one month and none grew a diameter of >5 mm.
Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF-1R) is an important regulator of monocytes/macrophages (MO/MΦ). Although several CSF-1R genes have been identified in teleosts, the precise role of CSF- 1R in ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) remains unclear. In this study, we characterized the CSF-1R homologue from P. altivelis, and named it PaCSF-1R. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree analysis showed that PaCSF-1R was most closely related to that of Japanese ricefish (Oryzias latipes). Tissue distribution and expression analysis showed that the PaCSF-1R transcript was mainly expressed in the head kidney-derived MO/MΦ, spleen, and head kidney, and its expression was significantly altered in various tissues upon Vibrio anguillarum infection. After PaCSF-1R neutralization for 48 h, the phagocytic activity of MO/MΦ was significantly decreased, suggesting that PaCSF-1R plays a role in regulating the phagocytic function of ayu MO/MΦ.
Six main mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages have been described in minnow (Zacco platypus) samples obtained from northern, western and southern China. Perdices et al. (2004) predicted that further sampling of other tributaries might discover more lineages of this species. In this study, we collected 26 Zacco platypus individuals in the Huangshan area of eastern China and determined the cytochrome b (cytb) sequence variations. Combined with reported data in GenBank, we identified ten matrilines (Zacco A-J) in a total of 169 samples, with relatively high molecular divergence found among them. The Huangshan population had the greatest genetic variation among all sampled regions and hosted six of the ten matrilines. Our results highlight the significance of the Huangshan area for the conservation of Zacco platypus.
The World Health Organization has declared the present Zika virus epidemic to be a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’. The virus appears to have spread from Thailand to French Polynesia in 2013, and has since infected over a million people in the countries of South and Central America. In most cases the infection is mild and transient, but the virus does appear to be strongly neurotropic and the presumptive cause of both birth defects in fetuses and Guillain-Barré syndrome in some adults. In this paper, the techniques and utilities developed in the study of mitochondrial DNA were applied to the Zika virus. As a result, it is possible to show in a simple manner how a phylogenetic tree may be constructed and how the mutation rate of the virus can be measured. The study showed the mutation rate to vary between 12 and 25 bases a year, in a viral genome of 10272 bases. This rapid mutation rate will enable the geographic spread of the epidemic to be monitored easily and may also prove useful in assisting the identification of preventative measures that are working, and those that are not.
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