Browsing by Subject "MIXED-EFFECTS MODELS"

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  • DiLeo, Michelle F.; Rico, Yessica; Boehmer, Hans Juergen; Wagner, Helene H. (2017)
    Ecological connectivity networks have been proposed as an efficient way to reconnect communities in fragmented landscapes. Yet few studies have evaluated if they are successful at enhancing actual functional connectivity (i.e. realized dispersal or gene flow) of focal species, or if this enhanced connectivity is enough to maintain genetic diversity and fitness of plant populations. Here we test the efficacy of an ecological connectivity network implemented in southern Germany since 1989 to reconnect calcareous grassland fragments through rotational shepherding. We genotyped 1449 individuals from 57 populations and measured fitness-related traits in 10 populations of Puisatilla vulgaris, a flagship species of calcareous grasslands in Europe. We tested if the shepherding network explained functional connectivity in P. vulgaris and if higher connectivity translated to higher genetic diversity and fitness of populations. We found that population-specific F-st was lowest in populations that had high connectivity within the shepherding network, and that well-connected populations within the network had significantly higher genetic diversity than ungrazed and more isolated grazed populations. Moreover, genetic diversity was significantly positively correlated with both seed set and seed mass. Together our results suggest that the implementation of an ecological shepherding network is an effective management measure to maintain functional connectivity and genetic diversity at the landscape scale for a calcareous grassland specialist. Populations with reduced genetic diversity would likely benefit from inclusion, or better integration into the ecological connectivity network. Our study demonstrates the often postulated but rarely tested sequence of positive associations between connectivity, genetic diversity, and fitness at the landscape scale, and provides a framework for testing the efficacy of ecological connectivity networks for focal species using molecular genetic tools.
  • Gerber, Nina; Kokko, Hanna; Ebert, Dieter; Booksmythe, Isobel (2018)
    The timing of sex in facultatively sexual organisms is critical to fitness, due to the differing demographic consequences of sexual versus asexual reproduction. In addition to the costs of sex itself, an association of sex with the production of dormant life stages also influences the optimal use of sex, especially in environments where resting eggs are essential to survive unfavourable conditions. Here we document population dynamics and the occurrence of sexual reproduction in natural populations of Daphnia magna across their growing season. The frequency of sexually reproducing females and males increased with population density and with decreasing asexual clutch sizes. The frequency of sexually reproducing females additionally increased as population growth rates decreased. Consistent with population dynamic models showing that the opportunity cost of sexual reproduction (foregoing contribution to current population growth) diminishes as populations approach carrying capacity, we found that investment in sexual reproduction was highest when asexual population growth was low or negative. Our results support the idea that the timing of sex is linked with periods when the relative cost of sex is reduced due to low potential asexual growth at high population densities. Thus, a combination of ecological and demographic factors affect the optimal timing of sexual reproduction, allowing D. magna to balance the necessity of sex against its costs.
  • Harjunen, Ville Johannes; Spape, Michiel; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas (2018)
    Receiving a touch or smile increases compliance in natural face-to-face settings. It has been unclear, however, whether a virtual agent's touch and smile also promote compliance or whether there are individual differences in proneness to nonverbal persuasion. Utilizing a multimodal virtual reality, we investigated whether touch and smile promoted compliance to a virtual agent's requests and whether receiver's personality modulated the effects. Compliance was measured using the ultimatum game, in which participants were asked to either reject or accept an agent's monetary offers. Decision-making data were accompanied by offer-related cardiac responses, both of which were analyzed as a function of expression (anger, neutral, and happiness), touch (visuo-tactile, visual, no touch), and three personality traits: behavioral inhibition/activation system sensitivity (BIS/BAS) and justice sensitivity. People accepted unfair offers more often if the agents smiled or touched them. The effect of touch was more enhanced in those with low justice sensitivity and BAS, whereas facial expressions affected those with high BIS the most. Unfair offers amplified the cardiac response, but this effect was not dependent on nonverbal cues. Together, the results suggest that virtual nonverbal behaviors of virtual agents increase compliance and that there is substantial interindividual variation in proneness to persuasion.
  • Huttunen, Heta; Hero, Matti; Lääperi, Mitja; Känsäkoski, Johanna; Swan, Heikki; Hirsch, Joel A.; Miettinen, Päivi J.; Raivio, Taneli (2018)
    Objective: Two missense mutations in KCNQ1, an imprinted gene that encodes thealpha subunit of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv7.1, cause autosomal dominant growth hormone deficiency and maternally inherited gingival fibromatosis. We evaluated endocrine features, birth size, and subsequent somatic growth of patients with long QT syndrome 1 (LQT1) due to loss-of-function mutations in KCNQ1. Design: Medical records of 104 patients with LQT1 in a single tertiary care center between 1995 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Methods: Clinical and endocrine data of the LQT1 patients were included in the analyses. Results: At birth, patients with a maternally inherited mutation (n = 52) were shorter than those with paternal inheritance of the mutation (n = 29) (birth length, -0.70 +/- 1.1 SDS vs. -0.2 +/- 1.0 SDS, P <0.05). Further analyses showed, however, that only newborns (n = 19) of mothers who had received beta blockers during pregnancy were shorter and lighter at birth than those with paternal inheritance of the mutation (n = 29) (-0.89 +/- 1.0 SDS vs. -0.20 +/- 1.0 SDS, P <0.05; and 3,173 +/- 469 vs. 3,515 +/- 466 g, P <0.05). Maternal beta blocker treatment during the pregnancy was also associated with lower cord blood TSH levels (P = 0.011) and significant catch-up growth during the first year of life (.0.08 SDS/month, P = 0.004). Later, childhood growth of the patients was unremarkable. Conclusion: Loss-of-function mutations in KCNQ1 are not associated with abnormalities in growth, whereas maternal beta blocker use during pregnancy seems to modify prenatal growth of LQT1 patients-a phenomenon followed by catch-up growth after birth.
  • Andersson, Noora; Piha, Markus; Meller, Kalle; Välimäki, Kaisa; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2018)
    Animal body reserves are often linked with demographic parameters such as breeding success and survival. During breeding season individuals face a trade-off between maintaining body reserves and investing in reproduction. Factors influencing the body reserves of species during breeding season are poorly understood. In this study, we used long-term trapping data from Finnish Constant Effort Sites program to evaluate the impact of sex, migration behaviour, and weather on body reserve index (BRI) of old and young birds during breeding season in 20 species. Our main interest was to study how variation in weather conditions influences the BRI of breeding passerine birds. Weather variables did not explain BRI of adults. However, we found that BRI of young birds was weakly negatively connected with mean temperature, but this may have low biological importance. BRI of adult males increased towards the end of August, but female BRI showed a seasonal decline throughout June and July. Breeding females face the peak in physiological stress later thanmales, probably because females lay eggs, and often invest more in incubation and brood rearing thanmales. The seasonal decline caused females to have lower BRI thanmales at the end of the breeding season. This can cause females to be less prepared for the approaching autumnmigration thanmales. Our findings suggest that there are sex-specific changes in BRI during the breeding season, whichmay have carryover effects on other life history events.