Georgian Spiders - Systematics, Ecology and Zoogeographic Analysis
- This is the first English edition of Tamara Mcheidze's monograph on the spiders of Georgia (Mcheidze 1997; in alternative transliteration: Mkheidze 1997), containing taxonomic, faunistic and ecological information on 362 spider species recorded by T. Mcheidze in Georgia between the 1920s and 1992. The English edition resembles the original text, with a preface, taxonomic comments and a part with supplementary information on the locations, a location map and an index provided by the editor.
Investigation of the biosynthesis of bacterial natural products
- Natural products (NPs) have been a rich source for pharmaceutically used anti-infectives and other drugs. However, the application of anti-infectives inevitably causes the development of resistant and multiresistant pathogens, which have to be treated with novel anti-infectives. The industrial research for novel anti-infectives has been concentrating on members of the bacterial Actinomycetales for a long time. Due to several reasons, e.g. the rediscovery of already known NPs, pharmaceutical companies abandoned their NP-research and focused on drug development based on combinatorial chemistry. However, the limited structural diversity of merely synthetic compound libraries has not been a fruitful source for bioactive compounds. Hence the discovery of novel bioactive NPs as a source for anti-infectives is still of economical and humanitarian interest and will remain to be an important branch of research in the future. One strategy to circumvent the rediscovery of bioactive NPs is the analysis of yet unexplored bacterial taxa. Based on this assumption, this work aimed at the discovery of novel NPs from the entomopathogenic bacterial genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus and other promising taxa, as well as the investigation of their biosynthesis. ...
Critical assessment of meteorological conditions and airflow connectivity during HCCT-2010
Dominik van Pinxteren
- This study presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the meteorological conditions and atmospheric flow during the Lagrangian-type "Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia 2010" experiment (HCCT-2010). HCCT-2010 was performed in September and October 2010 at Mt. Schmücke in the Thuringian forest, Germany, applying three measurements sites (upwind, in-cloud, downwind) to study physical and chemical aerosol-cloud-interactions. A Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment requires suitable cloud and particularly connected airflow conditions, i.e. representative air masses at the different measurement sites. Therefore, the present study aimed at the identification of time periods during the 6-weeks duration of the campaign, where such conditions were fulfilled and which can be used in further data examinations.
The following topics were studied in detail: (i) the general synoptic weather situations including the mesoscale flow conditions by means of a classification of advected air masses and calculation of non-dimensional flow parameters (e.g. Froude number), (ii) local meteorological conditions, including synoptic front passages, the presence of orographic or frontal cloudiness, cloud base heights and vertical stratification, and (iii) local flow conditions by means of statistical analyses using the quasi-inert trace gas ozone and selected size bins of particle number size distributions as well as SF6 tracer experiments in the campaign area. A comprehensive analyses using statistical measures such as the COD (Coefficient Of Divergence) and cross-correlation have been carried out for the first time in the context of a Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment. Suitable criteria for the aimed statistical analyses were thus developed and applied in the present study to characterise the local flow connectivity in detail.
The comprehensive examination resulted in a total of 14 so-called "Full Cloud Events" (FCE), which are shown to conform to the Lagrange-type experimental philosophy of HCCT-2010. In addition, 15 so-called "Non-Cloud Events" (NCEs) could be established, which can be used as reference cases as they provide similarly suitable flow conditions but no cloud at the summit site. Orographic cloudiness was identified for approx. one third of the FCE periods, while about two thirds were associated to synoptic fronts. The statistical flow analyses indicate the existence of a strong link between the sites during the events, particularly under constant south-westerly flow conditions, high wind speeds and slightly stable stratification. The COD analyses using continuously measured concentrations of ozone and the 49 nm diameter particle bin revealed particularly for COD values below 0.1 very consistent time series, i.e. closely linked air masses between the different sites. The cross-correlation analysis revealed under connected flow conditions typical overflow times of about 15 to 30 min between the two valley sites. Additionally, the performed SF6 tracer experiments during the campaign clearly demonstrate that under appropriate meteorological conditions a Lagrangian-type approach is valid and that the connected flow validation procedure developed in this work is suitable for identifying such conditions. Finally, an overall evaluation of the identified FCEs is presented, which provides the basis for subsequent investigations of the measured chemical and physical data during HCCT-2010.
Certolizumab pegol in rheumatoid arthritis patients with low to moderate activity: the CERTAIN double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial
Josef S. Smolen
Owen R. Davies
- This 52-week, randomised, double-blind phase IIIb study assessed efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol (CZP) as add-on therapy to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with low to moderate disease activity, and stopping therapy in patients in sustained remission.
METHODS:Patients were randomised 1:1 to CZP (400 mg at weeks 0, 2 and 4, then 200 mg every 2 weeks) or placebo (every 2 weeks) plus current non-biologic DMARDs. At week 24, patients who achieved the primary endpoint of Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) remission at both weeks 20 and 24 stopped study treatment and continued in the study until week 52.
RESULTS: Of 194 patients (CZP=96; placebo=98), >90% had moderate disease activity at baseline. Significantly more CZP patients met the primary endpoint than placebo patients (week 20 and 24 CDAI remission rates: 18.8% vs 6.1%; p≤0.05). At week 24, 63.0% vs 29.7% of CZP versus placebo patients (p<0.001) achieved LDA. Disease activity score (ESR) based on 28-joint count and Simplified Disease Activity Index remission rates were also significantly higher with CZP versus placebo (19.8% vs 3.1%; p≤0.01 and 14.6% vs 4.1%; p≤0.05). CZP patients reported improvements in physical function versus placebo (mean Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability-Index change from baseline: CZP, -0.25 vs placebo, -0.03; p≤0.01). During the period following withdrawal of CZP or placebo, only 3/17 prior CZP patients and 2/6 prior placebo patients maintained CDAI remission until week 52, but CZP reinstitution allowed renewed improvement. Adverse and serious adverse event rates were comparable between CZP and placebo groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Addition of CZP to non-biologic DMARDs is an effective treatment in RA patients with predominantly moderate disease activity, allowing low-disease activity or remission to be reached in a majority of the patients. However, the data suggest that CZP cannot be withdrawn in patients achieving remission.
Genetic diversity and geneflow between Arctic and Antarctic populations of the lichen Cetraria aculeata along the Andes and the Rocky Mountains
Fernando Fernández Mendoza
- Lichens are present in most land ecosystems, frequently occupying habitats where few other organisms are able to survive. Their contribution to the ecosystems in terms of biomass and ground cover increases with latitude and altitude, being, together with bryophytes, the most conspicuous component of alpine and polar landscapes. Whereas some polar lichens have reduced distributions and are restricted to high latitudes, most of them have very wide distributional ranges, which oven extend over several climatic regions. Many of them are common to Polar Regions of both hemispheres, a distributional pattern that has been denominated as bipolar, antitropical or amphitropical. Bipolar distributions are not exclusive to lichens, but common to many groups of organisms. The bipolar element in lichens is exceptional as it includes a large number of species, while in most other land organisms it includes genera or families but very seldom species.
In this dissertation I use the bipolar lichen Cetraria aculeata to give a first insight into the phylogeography of this biogeographic element in lichens. I discuss how and when the disjunct distribution of C. aculeata came to be, and try to partial out the roles that historical and ecological processes played in shaping its distribution.
Sampling was designed to cover a wide geographic extension. The main e"ort was made to collect in boreal, temperate and tropical mountain ranges in North and South America, as well to include Mediterranean populations in which specimens with deviant morphologies are observed.
I found that Cetraria aculeata forms a genetically congruent taxon. Although whether it should include C. muricata remains unsolved, I excluded all specimens identified as the latter from our analyses. Thee populations of both algal and fungal symbionts have a strong geographic structure. The study of the lichen fungus suggested that the species originated in the Eurasian continent and later expanded to acquire its current distribution during the Pleistocene. The results showed that all American populations originated from an ancestral population, more similar to the extant Arctic populations than to the Mediterranean ones.
The comparison between the structure of fungal and algal populations showed a high degree of coherence between them. However, the similarity in photobiont use between Arctic and Antarctic populations suggests that photobiont use responds not only to a history of codispersal in vegetative propagula, but it is also a result of a selective process related to climate. Since this climatic pattern of similarity is also found in the community of Alphaproteobacteria associated with C. aculeata, we concluded that lichens might be able to accommodate or to respond to different environmental conditions by selectively associating with different symbiotic partners.
Lastly, we found the Mediterranean populations of C. aculeata to be genetically differentiated in algal and fungal symbionts from the rest of the populations. While we found no grounds to believe that the overgrown morphs encountered in the region are due to the association with different algal lineages, I believe that a switch in photobiont use might be responsible for the pattern of genetic isolation encountered. Furthermore, I suggest that the Mediterranean and bipolar C. aculeata could be two different species, since both are ecologically, genetically and at least in part morphologically divergent.
Life insurance demand under health shock risk
Lorenz S. Schendel
- This paper studies the life cycle consumption-investment-insurance problem of a family. The wage earner faces the risk of a health shock that significantly increases his probability of dying. The family can buy term life insurance with realistic features. In particular, the available contracts are long term so that decisions are sticky and can only be revised at significant costs. Furthermore, a revision is only possible as long as the insured person is healthy. A second important and realistic feature of our model is that the labor income of
the wage earner is unspanned. We document that the combination of unspanned labor income and the stickiness of insurance decisions reduces the insurance demand significantly. This is because an income shock induces the need to reduce the insurance coverage, since premia become less affordable. Since such a reduction is costly and families anticipate these potential costs, they buy less protection at all ages. In particular, young families stay away from life insurance markets altogether.
A new species of the genus Onychopygia Beier (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae) from Guatemala
Oscar J. Cadena-Castañeda
- A new species of the genus Onychopygia Beier, 1962 Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae) from the northern slopes of Los Cuchumatanes Mountains, Huehuetenango, Guatemala is described and illustrated. The morphological differences and peculiarities between O. panamensis Beier, 1962 and O. brachyptera n. sp. are discussed. The finding of this new taxon extends considerably into entral America our previous knowledge on the distribution of the Eucocconotini tribe. Finally we provide a revised taxonomic key to the Eucocconotini tribe.
New Species of Phyllophaga Harris (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) from northeastern Mexico
Robert E. Woodruff
- Three new species of Phyllophaga are described from northeastern Mexico: P. (s.str.) gramma n. sp. from grasslands near Monterrey city, state of Nuevo Leon; P. (s.str.) jeanmathieui n. sp. from mixed forests of Sierra Chipinque, Nuevo Leon; and P. (Listrochelus) pinophilus n. sp. from pine-oak forests of mountains in Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. Illustrations of diagnostic structures and comments about the relations of each species are provided.
First record of soybean as a host plant of a subspecies of the eastern tailed-blue, Cupido comyntas comyntas (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
Louis S. Hesler
- Cupido comyntas (Godart), the eastern tailed-blue, is a legume-feeding caterpillar native to North America. One of its three subspecies, Cupido comyntas comyntas (Godart), is distributed over the eastern half of the United States and southeastern Canada. This subspecies was recorded for the first time feeding on cultivated soybean. Caterpillars fed upon soybean at various developmental stages, ranging from seedlings to podded plants, in several fields within a 5-km radius in Brookings County, South Dakota, from July 1 – 25, 2013. Feeding was confined to leaves, and no pod damage was observed. The caterpillars occurred at relatively low densities that were unlikely to have affected yield of soybean crops. An early maturity soybean line, H007Y12, had a lower incidence of C. comyntas comyntas caterpillars than a relatively later maturity line, H19Y11. Butterflies of C. comyntas comyntas were observed feeding from soybean flowers on multiple dates in July and early August. As the geographic distribution of C. comyntas comyntas considerably overlaps the area where soybean is grown, entomologists should watch for and document any additional infestation of soybean by these caterpillars.
Zoogeography of mole crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) in the West Indies
J. Howard Frank
Earl D. McCoy
- Four species of mole crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) are known from the West Indies: Neocurtilla hexadactyla (Perty), Scapteriscus abbreviatus Scudder, S. didactylus (Latreille), and S. imitatus Nickle and Castner. All are adventive (not native). We document their distributions in West Indian islands/countries by use of records from the literature and examination of specimens. Scapteriscus abbreviatus has been suggested to have arrived in, and been transported about the West Indies in ship ballast (immigration). Based on records of arrival in various parts of the West Indies and the species’ inability to fly, this suggestion seems reasonable. Scapteriscus imitatus pparently was released in Puerto Rico as a result of mistaken identification (introduction – arriving with assistance from humans – although inadvertent), and has not expanded its range in the West Indies. Although the principal mode of dispersal for the other two species also has been suggested to be ship ballast, we present an alternative based on flight which would seem at least equally as plausible. We suggest that S. didactylus could have dispersed by flight from South America through the Lesser Antilles; likewise N. hexadactyla probably from the Yucatan Peninsula to Cuba, and from South America northward through the Lesser Antilles, in at least some localities assisted by wind. Our zoogeographical alternative, if correct, means that the natural range expansions of these latter two species began very long ago and without human assistance – they were not introduced recently to the West Indies.