Browsing by Subject "NETWORK"

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  • Laurila-Pant, Mirka; Mäntyniemi, Samu; Östman, Örjan; Olsson, Jens; Uusitalo, Laura; Lehikoinen, Annukka (2021)
    Ecological indicator approaches typically compare the prevailing state of an ecosystem component to a reference state reflecting good environmental conditions, i.e. the desirable state. However, defining the reference state is challenging due to a wide range of uncertainties related to natural variability and measurement error in data, as well as ecological understanding. This study propose a novel probabilistic approach combining historical monitoring data and ecological understanding to estimate the uncertainty associated with the boundary value of an ecological indicator between good and poor environmental states. Bayesian inference is used to estimate the epistemic uncertainty about the true state of an indicator variable during an historical reference period. This approach replaces the traditional boundary value with probability distribution, indicating the uncertainty about the boundary between environmental states providing a transparent safety margin associated with the risk of misclassification of the indicator's state. The approach is demonstrated by applying it to a time-series of an ecological status indicator, 'Abundance of coastal key fish species', included in HELCOM's Baltic Sea regional status assessment. We suggest that acknowledgement of the uncertainty behind the final classification leads to more transparent and better-informed decision-making processes.
  • Maestu, Fernando; Pena, Jose-Maria; Garces, Pilar; Gonzalez, Santiago; Bajo, Ricardo; Bagic, Anto; Cuesta, Pablo; Funke, Michael; Makela, Jyrki P.; Menasalvas, Ernestina; Nakamura, Akinori; Parkkonen, Lauri; Lopez, Maria E.; del Pozo, Francisco; Sudre, Gustavo; Zamrini, Edward; Pekkonen, Eero; Henson, Richard N.; Becker, James T.; Magnetoencephalography Int (2015)
    Synaptic disruption is an early pathological sign of the neurodegeneration of Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT). The changes in network synchronization are evident in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) at the group level, but there are very few Magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies regarding discrimination at the individual level. In an international multicenter study, we used MEG and functional connectivity metrics to discriminate MCI from normal aging at the individual person level. A labeled sample of features (links) that distinguished MCI patients from controls in a training dataset was used to classify MCI subjects in two testing datasets from four other MEG centers. We identified a pattern of neuronal hypersynchronization in MCI, in which the features that best discriminated MCI were fronto-parietal and interhemispheric links. The hypersynchronization pattern found in the MCI patients was stable across the five different centers, and may be considered an early sign of synaptic disruption and a possible preclinical biomarker for MCI/DAT. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
  • Alhilal, Ahmad Yousef; Braud, Tristan; Hui, Pan (2021)
    In recent years, the number of space exploration missions has multiplied. Such an increase raises the question of effective communication between the multitude of human-made objects spread across our solar system. An efficient and scalable communication architecture presents multiple challenges, including the distance between planetary entities, their motion and potential obstruction, the limited available payload on satellites, and the high mission cost. This paper brings together recent relevant specifications, standards, mission demonstrations, and the most recent proposals to develop a unified architecture for deep-space internetworked communication. After characterizing the transmission medium and its unique challenges, we explore the available communication technologies and frameworks to establish a reliable communication architecture across the solar system. We then draw an evolutive roadmap for establishing a scalable communication architecture. This roadmap builds upon the mission-centric communication architectures in the upcoming years towards a fully interconnected network or InterPlanetary Internet (IPN). We finally discuss the tools available to develop such an architecture in the short, medium, and long terms. The resulting architecture cross-supports space agencies on the solar system-scale while significantly decreasing space communication costs. Through this analysis, we derive the critical research questions remaining for creating the IPN regarding the considerable challenges of space communication.
  • Bertsekas, Dimitri P.; Yu, Huizhen (2011)
  • Keronen, Petri; Reissell, Anni; Chevallier, Frederic; Siivola, Erkki; Pohja, Toivo; Hiltunen, Veijo; Hatakka, Juha; Aalto, Tuula; Rivier, Leonard; Ciais, Philippe; Jordan, Armin; Hari, Pertti; Viisanen, Yrjo; Vesala, Timo (2014)
  • Raij, Tuukka T.; Riekki, Tapani J. J.; Rikandi, Eva; Mäntylä, Teemu; Kieseppä, Tuula; Suvisaari, Jaana (2018)
    Delusion is the most characteristic symptom of psychosis, occurring in almost all first-episode psychosis patients. The motivational salience hypothesis suggests delusion to originate from the experience of abnormal motivational salience. Whether the motivation-related brain circuitries are activated during the actual delusional experience remains, however, unknown. We used a forced-choice answering tree at random intervals during functional magnetic resonance imaging to capture delusional and non-delusional spontaneous experiences in patients with first-episode psychosis (n = 31) or clinical high-risk state (n = 7). The motivation-related brain regions were identified by an automated meta-analysis of 149 studies. Thirteen first-episode patients reported both delusional and non-delusional spontaneous experiences. In these patients, delusional experiences were related to stronger activation of the ventral striatum in both hemispheres. This activation overlapped with the most strongly motivation-related brain regions. These findings provide an empirical link between the actual delusional experience and the motivational salience hypothesis. Further use and development of the present methods in localizing the neurobiological basis of the most characteristic symptoms may be useful in the search for etiopathogenic pathways that result in psychotic disorders.
  • Wioland, Hugo; Guichard, Berengere; Senju, Yosuke; Myram, Sarah; Lappalainen, Pekka; Jegou, Antoine; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume (2017)
    Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins contribute to cytoskeletal dynamics by promoting rapid actin filament disassembly. In the classical view, ADF/cofilin sever filaments, and capping proteins block filament barbed ends whereas pointed ends depolymerize, at a rate that is still debated. Here, by monitoring the activity of the three mammalian ADF/cofilin isoforms on individual skeletal muscle and cytoplasmic actin filaments, we directly quantify the reactions underpinning filament severing and depolymerization from both ends. We find that, in the absence of monomeric actin, soluble ADF/cofilin can associate with bare filament barbed ends to accelerate their depolymerization. Compared to bare filaments, ADF/cofilin-saturated filaments depolymerize faster from their pointed ends and slower from their barbed ends, resulting in similar depolymerization rates at both ends. This effect is isoform specific because depolymerization is faster for ADF-than for cofilin-saturated filaments. We also show that, unexpectedly, ADF/cofilin-saturated filaments qualitatively differ from bare filaments: their barbed ends are very difficult to cap or elongate, and consequently undergo depolymerization even in the presence of capping protein and actin monomers. Such depolymerizing ADF/cofilin-decorated barbed ends are produced during 17% of severing events. They are also the dominant fate of filament barbed ends in the presence of capping protein, because capping allows growing ADF/cofilin domains to reach the barbed ends, thereby promoting their uncapping and subsequent depolymerization. Our experiments thus reveal how ADF/cofilin, together with capping protein, control the dynamics of actin filament barbed and pointed ends. Strikingly, our results propose that significant barbed-end depolymerization may take place in cells.
  • Cremonini, Roberto; Moisseev, Dmitri; Venkatachalam, Chandrasekar (2016)
    High-spatial-resolution weather radar observations are of primary relevance for hydrological applications in urban areas. However, when weather radars are located within metropolitan areas, partial beam blockages and clutter by buildings can seriously affect the observations. Standard simulations with simple beam propagation models and digital elevation models (DEMs) are usually not able to evaluate buildings' contribution to partial beam blockages. In recent years airborne laser scanners (ALSs) have evolved to the state-of-the-art technique for topographic data acquisition. Providing small footprint diameters (10-30 cm), ALS data allow accurate reconstruction of buildings and forest canopy heights. Analyzing the three weather C-band radars located in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, Finland, the present study investigates the benefits of using ALS data for quantitative estimations of partial beam blockages. The results obtained applying beam standard propagation models are compared with stratiform 24 h rainfall accumulation to evaluate the effects of partial beam blockages due to constructions and trees. To provide a physical interpretation of the results, the detailed analysis of beam occultations is achieved by open spatial data sets and open-source geographic information systems.
  • Vroomans, Renske M. A.; Hogeweg, Paulien; ten Tusscher, Kirsten H. W. J. (2018)
    BackgroundSegmentation, the subdivision of the major body axis into repeated elements, is considered one of the major evolutionary innovations in bilaterian animals. In all three segmented animal clades, the predominant segmentation mechanism is sequential segmentation, where segments are generated one by one in anterior-posterior order from a posterior undifferentiated zone. In vertebrates and arthropods, sequential segmentation is thought to arise from a clock-and-wavefront-type mechanism, where oscillations in the posterior growth zone are transformed into a segmental prepattern in the anterior by a receding wavefront. Previous evo-devo simulation studies have demonstrated that this segmentation type repeatedly arises, supporting the idea of parallel evolutionary origins in these animal clades. Sequential segmentation has been studied most extensively in vertebrates, where travelling waves have been observed that reflect the slowing down of oscillations prior to their cessation and where these oscillations involve a highly complex regulatory network. It is currently unclear under which conditions this oscillator complexity and slowing should be expected to evolve, how they are related and to what extent similar properties should be expected for sequential segmentation in other animal species.ResultsTo investigate these questions, we extend a previously developed computational model for the evolution of segmentation. We vary the slope of the posterior morphogen gradient and the strength of gene expression noise. We find that compared to a shallow gradient, a steep morphogen gradient allows for faster evolution and evolved oscillator networks are simpler. Furthermore, under steep gradients, damped oscillators often evolve, whereas shallow gradients appear to require persistent oscillators which are regularly accompanied by travelling waves, indicative of a frequency gradient. We show that gene expression noise increases the likelihood of evolving persistent oscillators under steep gradients and of evolving frequency gradients under shallow gradients. Surprisingly, we find that the evolutions of oscillator complexity and travelling waves are not correlated, suggesting that these properties may have evolved separately.ConclusionsBased on our findings, we suggest that travelling waves may have evolved in response to shallow morphogen gradients and gene expression noise. These two factors may thus also be responsible for the observed differences between different species within both the arthropod and chordate phyla.
  • Jiu, Yaming; Lehtimaki, Jaakko; Tojkander, Sari; Cheng, Fang; Jäälinoja, Harri; Liu, Xiaonan; Varjosalo, Markku; Eriksson, John E.; Lappalainen, Pekka (2015)
    The actin cytoskeleton and cytoplasmic intermediate filaments contribute to cell migration and morphogenesis, but the interplay between these two central cytoskeletal elements has remained elusive. Here, we find that specific actin stress fiber structures, transverse arcs, interact with vimentin intermediate filaments and promote their retrograde flow. Consequently, myosin-II-containing arcs are important for perinuclear localization of the vimentin network in cells. The vimentin network reciprocally restricts retrograde movement of arcs and hence controls the width of flat lamellum at the leading edge of the cell. Depletion of plectin recapitulates the vimentin organization phenotype of arc-deficient cells without affecting the integrity of vimentin filaments or stress fibers, demonstrating that this cytoskeletal crosslinker is required for productive interactions between vimentin and arcs. Collectively, our results reveal that plectin-mediated interplay between contractile actomyosin arcs and vimentin intermediate filaments controls the localization and dynamics of these two cytoskeletal systems and is consequently important for cell morphogenesis.
  • Pers, Tune H.; Karjalainen, Juha M.; Chan, Yingleong; Westra, Harm-Jan; Wood, Andrew R.; Yang, Jian; Lui, Julian C.; Vedantam, Sailaja; Gustafsson, Stefan; Esko, Tonu; Frayling, Tim; Speliotes, Elizabeth K.; Boehnke, Michael; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Fehrmann, Rudolf S. N.; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Franke, Lude; Genetic Invest ANthropometric Trai; Kaprio, Jaakko (2015)
    The main challenge for gaining biological insights from genetic associations is identifying which genes and pathways explain the associations. Here we present DEPICT, an integrative tool that employs predicted gene functions to systematically prioritize the most likely causal genes at associated loci, highlight enriched pathways and identify tissues/cell types where genes from associated loci are highly expressed. DEPICT is not limited to genes with established functions and prioritizes relevant gene sets for many phenotypes.
  • Wiedensohler, A.; Andrade, M.; Weinhold, K.; Müller, T.; Birmili, W.; Velarde, F.; Moreno, Adam; Forno, R.; Sanchez, M. F.; Laj, P.; Ginot, P.; Whiteman, D. N.; Krejci, R.; Sellegri, K.; Reichler, T. (2018)
    Urban development, growing industrialization, and increasing demand for mobility have led to elevated levels of air pollution in many large cities in Latin America, where air quality standards and WHO guidelines are frequently exceeded. The conurbation of the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto is one of the fastest growing urban settlements in South America with the particularity of being located in a very complex terrain at a high altitude. As many large cities or metropolitan areas, the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto and the Altiplano region are facing air quality deterioration. Long-term measurement data of the equivalent black carbon (eBC) mass concentrations and particle number size distributions (PNSD) from the Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory Chacaltaya (CHC; 5240 m a.s.l., above sea level) indicated a systematic transport of particle matter from the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto to this high altitude station and subsequently to the lower free troposphere. To better understand the sources and the transport mechanisms, we conducted eBC and PNSDs measurements during an intensive campaign at two locations in the urban area of La Paz/El Alto from September to November 2012. While the airport of El Alto site (4040 m a.s.l.) can be seen as representative of the urban and Altiplano background, the road site located in Central La Paz (3590 m a.s.l.) is representative for heavy traffic-dominated conditions. Peaks of eBC mass concentrations up to 5 mu g m(-3) were observed at the El Alto background site in the early morning and evening, while minimum values were detected in the early afternoon, mainly due to thermal convection and change of the planetary boundary layer height. The traffic-related eBC mass concentrations at the road site reached maximum values of 10-20 mu g m(-3). A complete traffic ban on the specific Bolivian Day of Census (November 21, 2012) led to a decrease of eBC below 1 mu g m(-3) at the road site for the entire day. Compared to the day before and after, particle number concentrations decreased by a factor between 5 and 25 over the particle size range from 10 to 800 nm, while the submicrometer particle mass concentration dropped by approximately 80%. These results indicate that traffic is the dominating source of BC and particulate air pollution in the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto. In general, the diurnal cycle of eBC mass concentration at the Chacaltaya observatory is anti-correlated to the observations at the El Alto background site. This pattern indicates that the traffic-related particulate matter, including BC, is transported to higher altitudes with the developing of the boundary layer during daytime. The metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto seems to be a significant source for BC of the regional lower free troposphere. From there, BC can be transported over long distances and exert impact on climate and composition of remote southern hemisphere.
  • Franks, V. R.; Andrews, C. E.; Ewen, J. G.; McCready, M.; Parker, K. A.; Thorogood, R. (2020)
    Reintroductions, essential to many conservation programmes, disrupt both abiotic and social environments. Despite growing recognition that social connections in animals might alter survival (e.g. social transmission of foraging skills, or transmission of disease), there has thus far been little focus on the consequences of social disruption during reintroductions. Here we investigate if moving familiar social groups may help a threatened species to adjust to its new environment and increase post-release survival. For a reintroduction of 40 juvenile hihi Notiomystis cincta (a threatened New Zealand passerine), we observed social groups before and after translocation to a new site and used social network analysis to study three levels of social change: overall group structure, network associations and individual sociality. We also tested alternate translocation strategies where birds were kept temporarily in aviaries in either a familiar group, or where their prior association was mixed. Although social structure remained similar among juveniles that remained at the source site, we detected significant changes in translocated birds at both the group- and individual- level post-release. However, our holding treatments did not affect these social bonds so we remain unable to maintain or manipulate social groups during translocation. Crucially, there was a small tendency for translocated juveniles that gained more associates during re-assortment of social groups to be more likely to survive their first year post-release. We suggest that prior sociality may not be important during translocations, but rather individuals that are most able to adapt and form associations at a new site are most likely to be the surviving founders of reintroduced populations.
  • Murata, Tomohiro; Katayama, Kan; Oohashi, Toshitaka; Jahnukainen, Timo; Yonezawa, Tomoko; Sado, Yoshikazu; Ishikawa, Eiji; Nomura, Shinsuke; Tryggvason, Karl; Ito, Masaaki (2016)
    Alport syndrome is caused by mutations in the genes encoding alpha 3, alpha 4, or alpha 5 (IV) chains. Unlike X-linked Alport mice, alpha 5 and alpha 6 (IV) chains are detected in the glomerular basement membrane of autosomal recessive Alport mice, however, the significance of this finding remains to be investigated. We therefore generated mice lacking both alpha 3 and alpha 6 (IV) chains and compared their renal function and survival with Col4a3 knockout mice of 129 x 1/Sv background. No significant difference was observed in the renal function or survival of the two groups, or when the mice were backcrossed once to C57BL/6 background. However, the survival of backcrossed double knockout mice was significantly longer than that of the mice of 129 x 1/Sv background, which suggests that other modifier genes were involved in this phenomenon. In further studies we identified two Alport patients who had a homozygous mutation in intron 46 of COL4A4. The alpha 5 and alpha 6 (IV) chains were focally detected in the glomerular basement membrane of these patients. These findings indicate that although a5 and a6 (IV) chains are induced in the glomerular basement membrane in autosomal recessive Alport syndrome, their induction does not seem to play a major compensatory role.
  • Smeds, Eero; Vanhatalo, Sampsa; Piitulainen, Harri; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Jousmaki, Veikko; Hari, Riitta (2017)
    Objective: Somatosensory evoked potentials have high prognostic value in neonatal intensive care, but their recording from infants is challenging. Here, we studied the possibility to elicit cortical responses in newborns by simple passive hand movements. Methods: We examined 13 newborns (postnatal age 1-46 days) during clinically indicated 19-channel electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in the neonatal intensive care unit; EEG indications included birth asphyxia and suspected epileptic seizures. The experimenter moved the infant's wrist or fingers at 1 or 2 Hz for 5-10 min, separately on both sides. We measured movement kinematics with an accelerometer attached to the infant's hand and computed coherence between the EEG and acceleration signals (corticokinematic coherence, CKC). Results: Statistically significant CKC (amplitude 0.020-0.511) with characteristic scalp topography was observed in all infants at twice the movement frequency. CKC was contralaterally dominant on the central scalp (median laterality index 0.48 for right-hand and -0.63 for left-hand movements). Conclusions: Passive movements elicit cortical responses that can be readily observed in clinical EEG recordings from newborns in the intensive-care environment. (C) 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
  • Ye, Lingling; Wang, Xin; Lyu, Munan; Siligato, Riccardo; Eswaran, Gugan; Vainio, Leo; Blomster, Tiina; Zhang, Jing; Mähönen, Ari Pekka (2021)
    During primary growth, plant tissues increase their length, and as these tissues mature, they initiate secondary growth to increase thickness.(1) It is not known what activates this transition to secondary growth. Cytokinins are key plant hormones regulating vascular development during both primary and secondary growth. During primary growth of Arabidopsis roots, cytokinins promote procambial cell proliferation(2,3) and vascular patterning together with the hormone auxin.(4-7) In the absence of cytokinins, secondary growth fails to initiate.(8) Enhanced cytokinin levels, in turn, promote secondary growth.(8,9) Despite the importance of cytokinins, little is known about the downstream signaling events in this process. Here, we show that cytokinins and a few downstream LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN (LBD) family of transcription factors are rate limiting components in activating and further promoting secondary growth in Arabidopsis roots. Cytokinins directly activate transcription of two homologous LBD genes, LBD3 and LBD4. Two other homologous LBDs, LBD1 and LBD11, are induced only after prolonged cytokinin treatment. Our genetic studies revealed a two stage mechanism downstream of cytokinin signaling: while LBD3 and LBD4 regulate activation of secondary growth, LBD1, LBD3, LBD4, and LBD11 together promote further radial growth and maintenance of cambial stem cells. LBD overexpression promoted rapid cell growth followed by accelerated cell divisions, thus leading to enhanced secondary growth. Finally, we show that LBDs rapidly inhibit cytokinin signaling. Together, our data suggest that the cambium-promoting LBDs negatively feed back into cytokinin signaling to keep root secondary growth in balance.
  • Icay, Katherine; Liu, Chengyu; Hautaniemi, Sampsa (2018)
    Background and objective : High-throughput measurement technologies have triggered a rise in large-scale cancer studies containing multiple levels of molecular data. While there are a number of efficient methods to analyze individual data types, there are far less that enhance data interpretation after analysis. We present the R package Director, a dynamic visualization approach to linking and interrogating multiple levels of molecular data after analysis for clinically meaningful, actionable insights. Methods : Sankey diagrams are traditionally used to represent quantitative flows through multiple, distinct events. Regulation can be interpreted as a flow of biological information through a series of molecular interactions. Functions in Director introduce novel drawing capabilities to make Sankey diagrams robust to a wide range of quantitative measures and to depict molecular interactions as regulatory cascades. The package streamlines creation of diagrams using as input quantitative measurements identifying nodes as molecules of interest and paths as the interaction strength between two molecules. Results: Director's utility is demonstrated with quantitative measurements of candidate microRNA-gene networks identified in an ovarian cancer dataset. A recent study reported eight miRNAs as master regulators of signature genes in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The Sankey diagrams generated with data from this study furthers interpretation of the miRNAs' roles by revealing potential co-regulatory behavior in the extracellular matrix (ECM). An additional analysis identified 32 genes differentially expressed between good and poor prognosis patients in four significant pathways (FDR Conclusion : We have demonstrated a visualization approach suitable for implementation in an analysis workflow, linking multiple levels of molecular data to gain novel perspective on candidate biomarkers in a complex disease. The diagrams are dynamic, easily replicable, and rendered locally as HTML files to facilitate sharing. The R package Director is simple to use and widely available on all operating systems through Bioconductor (http://bioconductor.org/packages/Director) and GitHub (http://kzouchka.github.io/Director). (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
  • Salo, Karita S.-T.; Mutanen, Tuomas P.; Vaalto, Selja M. I.; Ilmoniemi, Risto J. (2020)
    The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) is commonly applied for studying the effective connectivity of neuronal circuits. The stimulation excites neurons, and the resulting TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) are recorded with EEG. A serious obstacle in this method is the generation of large muscle artifacts from scalp muscles, especially when frontolateral and temporoparietal, such as speech, areas are stimulated. Here, TMS–EEG data were processed with the signal-space projection and source-informed reconstruction (SSP–SIR) artifact-removal methods to suppress these artifacts. SSP–SIR suppressed muscle artifacts according to the difference in frequency contents of neuronal signals and muscle activity. The effectiveness of SSP–SIR in rejecting muscle artifacts and the degree of excessive attenuation of brain EEG signals were investigated by comparing the processed versions of the recorded TMS–EEG data with simulated data. The calculated individual lead-field matrix describing how the brain signals spread on the cortex were used as simulated data. We conclude that SSP–SIR was effective in suppressing artifacts also when frontolateral and temporoparietal cortical sites were stimulated, but it may have suppressed also the brain signals near the stimulation site. Effective connectivity originating from the speech-related areas may be studied even when speech areas are stimulated at least on the contralateral hemisphere where the signals were not suppressed that much.
  • Pellissier, V.; Schmucki, R.; Pe'er, G.; Aunins, A.; Brereton, T.M.; Brotons, L.; Carnicer, J.; Chodkiewicz, T.; Chylarecki, P.; del Moral, J.C.; Escandell, V.; Evans, D.; Foppen, R.; Harpke, A.; Heliölä, J.; Herrando, S.; Kuussaari, M.; Kühn, E.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lindström, Å.; Moshøj, C.M.; Musche, M.; Noble, D.; Oliver, T.H.; Reif, J.; Richard, D.; Roy, D.B.; Schweiger, O.; Settele, J.; Stefanescu, C.; Teufelbauer, N.; Touroult, J.; Trautmann, S.; van Strien, A.J.; van Swaay, C.A.M.; van Turnhout, C.; Vermouzek, Z.; Voříšek, P.; Jiguet, F.; Julliard, R. (2020)
    ABSTRACT The European Union's Natura 2000 (N2000), is one of the largest international networks of protected areas. One of its aims is to secure the status of a pre-determined set of (targeted) bird and butterfly species. However, also non-target species may benefit from N2000. We evaluated how the terrestrial component of this network relates to the abundance of non-targeted, more common bird and butterfly species using data from long-term volunteer-based monitoring programs in 9,602 sites for birds and 2,001 sites for butterflies. In almost half of the 155 bird species assessed, and particularly among woodland specialists, abundance increased with the proportion of N2000 sites in the landscape. The corresponding positive relationship was found for 27 of the 104 butterfly species, although most of these species were generalists. These positive relationships disappeared for most of the species when land-cover covariates were taken into account, hinting that land-cover is a primary factor defining the positive effects of the N2000 network. The increase in abundance with N2000 was correlated with the specialization index for bird species, but not for butterfly species. Although the N2000 network supports higher abundance of a large spectrum of species, the low number of specialist butterfly species showing a positive association stresses the need to implement management plan improving the quality of habitats of N2000 areas potentially harboring openland butterfly specialists. For a better understanding of the processes involved, we advocate for a standardized collection of data on N2000 sites. Article impact statement: Across Europe the abundance of a majority of nontarget birds and a quarter of nontarget butterflies increased with Natura 2000 coverage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
  • Fung, Pak L.; Zaidan, Martha A.; Timonen, Hilkka; Niemi, Jarkko V.; Kousa, Anu; Kuula, Joel; Luoma, Krista; Tarkoma, Sasu; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kulmala, Markku; Hussein, Tareq (2021)
    Air quality prediction with black-box (BB) modelling is gaining widespread interest in research and industry. This type of data-driven models work generally better in terms of accuracy but are limited to capture physical, chemical and meteorological processes and therefore accountability for interpretation. In this paper, we evaluated different white-box (WB) and BB methods that estimate atmospheric black carbon (BC) concentration by a suite of observations from the same measurement site. This study involves data in the period of 1st January 2017–31st December 2018 from two measurement sites, from a street canyon site in Mäkelänkatu and from an urban background site in Kumpula, in Helsinki, Finland. At the street canyon site, WB models performed (R² = 0.81–0.87) in a similar way as the BB models did (R² = 0.86–0.87). The overall performance of the BC concentration estimation methods at the urban background site was much worse probably because of a combination of smaller dynamic variability in the BC values and longer data gaps. However, the difference in WB (R²= 0.44–0.60) and BB models (R² = 0.41–0.64) was not significant. Furthermore, the WB models are closer to physics-based models, and it is easier to spot the relative importance of the predictor variable and determine if the model output makes sense. This feature outweighs slightly higher performance of some individual BB models, and inherently the WB models are a better choice due to their transparency in the model architecture. Among all the WB models, IAP and LASSO are recommended due to its flexibility and its efficiency, respectively. Our findings also ascertain the importance of temporal properties in statistical modelling. In the future, the developed BC estimation model could serve as a virtual sensor and complement the current air quality monitoring.