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Farrant A.R.,British Geological Survey | Smith C.J.M.,University of Bristol | Noble S.R.,British Geological Survey | Simms M.J.,Holywood Co. | Richards D.A.,University of Bristol
Journal of Quaternary Science | Year: 2014

The British Isles have been affected by as many as 30 glaciations during the Quaternary. However, the evidence for pre-Devensian glaciations in upland regions is scarce. Understanding the extent and timing of earlier upland glaciations is essential for modelling the long-term evolution and sensitivity of the British Ice Sheet. Caves, being protected from surface erosion and weathering, can preserve evidence of earlier glaciations in the form of speleothem and sediment archives. The ~70-km-long Ogof Draenen cave system in South Wales, UK, contains multiple cave levels related to changes in the surface topography and drainage during the past 0.5 Ma. The cave contains evidence of massive influxes of sediment that were sufficient to choke the cave and alter the underground drainage. Analysis of the cave sediments, passage morphology and geometry suggests the cave once acted as a subterranean glacial spill-way before being overridden by ice. Speleothem U-series data demonstrate that this sediment influx occurred before Marine Isotope State (MIS) 9, probably during the Anglian glaciation (MIS 12). Evidence from Ogof Draenen indicates the impact of subsequent glaciations on the landscape evolution of the region was minimal and that much of the surface topography dates from the Anglian. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

RUFFELL A.,Queens University of Belfast | SIMMS M.J.,Holywood Co. | WIGNALL P.B.,University of Leeds
Geological Magazine | Year: 2015

From 1989 to 1994 a series of papers outlined evidence for a brief episode of climate change from arid to humid, and then back to arid, during the Carnian Stage of the late Triassic Epoch. This time of climate change was compared to marine and terrestrial biotic changes, mainly extinction and then radiation of flora and fauna. Subsequently termed, albeit incorrectly, the Carnian Pluvial Event (CPE) by successive authors, interest in this episode of climatic change has increased steadily, with new evidence being published as well as several challenges to the theory. The exact nature of this humid episode, whether reflecting widespread precipitation or more local effects, as well as its ultimate cause, remains equivocal. Bed-by-bed sampling of the Carnian in the Southern Alps (Dolomites) shows the episode began with a negative carbon isotope excursion that lasted for only part of one ammonoid zone (A. austriacum). However, that the Carnian Humid Episode represents a significantly longer period, both environmentally and biotically, is irrefutable. The evidence is strongest in the European, Middle Eastern, Himalayan, North American and Japanese successions, but not always so clear in South America, Antarctica and Australia. The eruption of the Wrangellia Large Igneous Province and global warming (causing increased evaporation in the Tethyan and Panthalassic oceans) are suggested as causes for the humid episode. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 Source

Edwards C.J.,Trinity College Dublin | Edwards C.J.,University of Oxford | Soulsbury C.D.,University of Bristol | Soulsbury C.D.,University of Lincoln | And 11 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2012

Quaternary climatic fluctuations have had profound effects on the phylogeographic structure of many species. Classically, species were thought to have become isolated in peninsular refugia, but there is limited evidence that large, non-polar species survived outside traditional refugial areas. We examined the phylogeographic structure of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), a species that shows high ecological adaptability in the western Palaearctic region. We compared mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region) from 399 modern and 31 ancient individuals from across Europe. Our objective was to test whether red foxes colonised the British Isles from mainland Europe in the late Pleistocene, or whether there is evidence that they persisted in the region through the Last Glacial Maximum.We found red foxes to show a high degree of phylogeographic structuring across Europe and, consistent with palaeontological and ancient DNA evidence, confirmed via phylogenetic indicators that red foxes were persistent in areas outside peninsular refugia during the last ice age. Bayesian analyses and tests of neutrality indicated population expansion. We conclude that there is evidence that red foxes from the British Isles derived from central European populations that became isolated after the closure of the landbridge with Europe. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Regan E.,Trinity College Dublin | Regan E.,Waterford Institute of Technology | Nelson B.,Holywood Co. | McCormack S.,Teagasc | And 2 more authors.
Biology and Environment | Year: 2010

The insects are the most diverse organisms on this planet and play an essential role in ecosystem functioning, yet we know very little about them. In light of the Convention on Biological Diversity, this paper summarises the known insect species numbers for Ireland and questions whether this is a true refl ection of our insect diversity. The total number of known species for Ireland is 11,422. Using species accumulation curves and a comparison with the British fauna, this study shows that the Irish list is incomplete and that the actual species number is much higher. However, even with a reasonable knowledge of the species in Ireland, insects are such speciose, small, and inconspicuous animals that it is diffi cult to assess species loss. It is impossible to know at one point in time the number of insect species in Ireland and, although it is useful to summarise the known number of species, it is essential that biodiversity indicators, such as the Red List Index, are developed. © Royal Irish Academy. Source

Hearst C.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute | Hearst C.,Bt Inc. | Mccollum G.,Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory | Nelson D.,Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Plants Research | Year: 2010

An evidence-based scientific scrutiny of Irish traditional medicines for their antimicrobial potency is urgently required for combating antibiotic resistant common nosocomial pathogens. We now report our seminal findings on the major constituents including terpenes identified in native, historically significant herbal medicinal plant Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) flower and elder berry in particular and their concomitant strong antimicrobial effects exhibited on various nosocomial pathogens notably upon methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA, recognised globally as a clinically significant pathogen, associated with skin and soft tissue infections. © 2010 Academic Journals. Source

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