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Gainesville, FL, United States

Borges S.L.,University of Maryland University College | Borges S.L.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Vyas N.B.,U.S. Geological Survey | Christman M.C.,MCC Statistical Consulting LLC
Environmental Management | Year: 2014

Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma ChE activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE pesticide exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins (Turdus migratorius) and gray catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species that are most appropriate. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Kennedy V.S.,University of Cambridge | Breitburg D.L.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | Christman M.C.,MCC Statistical Consulting LLC | Luckenbach M.W.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Shellfish Research | Year: 2011

A century-long decline of the fishery for the Eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791) in Maryland and Virginia stimulated numerous efforts by federal, state, and nongovernmental agencies to restore oyster populations, with limited success. To learn from recent efforts, we analyzed records of restoration and monitoring activities undertaken between 1990 and 2007 by 12 such agencies. Of the 1,037 oyster bars (reefs, beds, or grounds) for which we obtained data, 43% experienced both restoration and monitoring, with the remaining experiencing either restoration or monitoring only. Restoration activities involved adding substrate (shell), transplanting hatchery or wild seed (juvenile oysters), bar cleaning, and bagless dredging. Of these, substrate addition and transplanting seed were common actions, with bar cleaning and bagless dredging relatively uncommon. Limited monitoring efforts, a lack of replicated postrestoration sampling, and the effects of harvest on some restored bars hinders evaluations of the effectiveness of restoration activities. Future restoration activities should have clearly articulated objectives and be coordinated among agencies and across bars, which should also be off limits to fishing. To evaluate restoration efforts, experimental designs should include replication, quantitative sampling, and robust sample sizes, supplemented by pre-and postrestoration monitoring. Source

Dahl W.J.,University of Florida | Ford A.L.,University of Florida | Coppola J.A.,University of Florida | Lopez D.,University of Florida | And 7 more authors.
Beneficial Microbes | Year: 2016

The aim of the studies was to determine the effects of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate supplementation on faecal Lactobacillus spp., with and without a probiotic supplement, in healthy adults. Study 1 comprised of a randomised, double-blind, crossover design; participants (n=15) received 2 capsules/d of 250 mg elemental calcium as calcium carbonate (Ca1) and calcium phosphate (Ca2) each for 2-week periods, with 2-week baseline and washout periods. Study 2 was a randomised, double-blind, crossover design; participants (n=17) received 2 capsules/d of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 (probiotic) alone, the probiotic with 2 capsules/d of Ca1, and probiotic with 2 capsules/d of Ca2 each for 2-week periods with 2-week baseline and washout periods. In both studies, stools were collected during the baseline, intervention and washout periods for Lactobacillus spp. quantification and qPCR analyses. Participants completed daily questionnaires of stool frequency and compliance. In Study 1, neither calcium supplement influenced viable counts of resident Lactobacillus spp., genome equivalents of lactic acid bacteria or stool frequency. In Study 2, faecal Lactobacillus spp. counts were significantly enhanced from baseline when the probiotic was administered with Ca2 (4.83±0.30, 5.79±0.31) (P=0.02), but not with Ca1 (4.98±0.31) or with the probiotic alone (5.36±0.31, 5.55±0.29) (not significant). Detection of L. helveticus R0052 and L. rhamnosus R0011 was significantly increased with all treatments, but did not differ among treatments. There were no changes in weekly stool frequency. Calcium phosphate co-administration may increase gastrointestinal survival of orally-administered Lactobacillus spp. © 2015 Wageningen Academic Publishers. Source

Langkamp-Henken B.,University of Florida | Rowe C.C.,University of Florida | Ford A.L.,University of Florida | Christman M.C.,University of Florida | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2015

Acute psychological stress is positively associated with a cold/flu. The present randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effect of three potentially probiotic bacteria on the proportion of healthy days over a 6-week period in academically stressed undergraduate students (n 581) who received Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis R0033, Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 or placebo. On each day, participants recorded the intensity (scale: 0 = not experiencing to 3 = very intense) for nine cold/flu symptoms, and a sum of symptom intensity >6 was designated as a day of cold/flu. B. bifidum resulted in a greater proportion of healthy days than placebo (P≤0.05). The percentage of participants reporting ≥1 d of cold/flu during the 6-week intervention period was significantly lower with B. bifidum than with placebo (P<0.05). There were no effects of B. infantis or L. helveticus compared with placebo on either outcome. A predictive model accounted for influential characteristics and their interactions on daily reporting of cold/flu episodes. The proportion of participants reporting a cold on any given day was lower at weeks 2 and 3 with B. bifidum and B. infantis than with placebo for the average level of stress and the most commonly reported number of hours of sleep. Daily intake of bifidobacteria provides benefit related to cold/flu outcomes during acute stress. © The Authors 2015. Source

Pineiro S.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Chauhan A.,Florida A&M University | Berhane T.-K.,Florida A&M University | Berhane T.-K.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | And 16 more authors.
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2013

The predatory Bacteriovorax are Gram-negative bacteria ubiquitous in saltwater systems that prey upon other Gram-negative bacteria in a similar manner to the related genus Bdellovibrio. Among the phylogenetically defined clusters of Bacteriovorax, cluster V has only been isolated from estuaries suggesting that it may be a distinct estuarine phylotype. To assess this hypothesis, the spatial and temporal distribution of cluster V and other Bacteriovorax phylogenetic assemblages along the salinity gradient of Chesapeake Bay were determined. Cluster V was expected to be found in significantly greater numbers in low to moderate salinity waters compared to high salinity areas. The analyses of water and sediment samples from sites in the bay revealed cluster V to be present at the lower salinity and not high salinity sites, consistent with it being an estuarine phylotype. Cluster IV had a similar distribution pattern and may also be specifically adapted to estuaries. While the distribution of clusters V and IV were similar for salinity, they were distinct on temperature gradients, being found in cooler and in warmer temperatures, respectively. The differentiation of phylotype populations along the salinity and temporal gradients in Chesapeake Bay revealed distinct niches inhabited by different phylotypes of Bacteriovorax and unique estuarine phylotypes. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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