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Barcelona, Spain

Perez de Val B.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Vidal E.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Lopez-Soria S.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Marco A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 7 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2016

Vaccination of domestic animals has emerged as an alternative long-term strategy for the control of tuberculosis (TB). A trial under field conditions was conducted in a TB-free goat herd to assess the safety of the Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine. Eleven kids and 10 milking goats were vaccinated with BCG. Bacterial shedding and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) responses were monitored throughout the study. Comprehensive pathological examination and mycobacterial culture of target tissues were performed.BCG vaccine strain was only isolated from the draining lymph node of the injection site of a kid euthanized at week 8 post-vaccination. The remaining animals were euthanized at week 24. Six out of 20 showed small granulomas at the injection site. BCG shedding was not detected in either faeces or in milk throughout the study. All vaccinated kids showed BCG-induced IFN-γ responses at week 8 post-vaccination.BCG vaccination of goats showed no lack of biological safety for the animals, environment and public health, and local adverse reactions were negligible. © 2016.

Palazon S.,Ramaderia | Melero Y.,University of Barcelona | Gomez A.,TRAGSATEC | Lopez De Luzuriaga J.,Asociacion Vison Europeo | And 2 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2012

Abstract Human intervention is the main cause of the decline of the Critically Endangered European mink Mustela lutreola. In this study we analysed the main causes of direct human-caused mortality of the species in Spain. A total of 47 mortality records were obtained for the period 1950-1989, and 145 for 1990-2008. There was temporal variation in the cause of death, with trapping and shooting being the most common causes of mortality in 1950-1989 and road-kills in 1990-2008. In the case of road-kills there was variation related to road type. Males were more affected by road-kills than females, especially during the mating season when they range more widely. Our results indicate that there has been a change in human social behaviour and in people's awareness of the species, with a reduction in European mink captured and shot but an increase in mortality on roads. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

Boixadera J.,Ramaderia | Boixadera J.,University of Lleida | Poch R.M.,University of Lleida | Lowick S.E.,University of Bern | Balasch J.C.,University of Lleida
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Wind-blown sandy and silty deposits were formed during the late Quaternary in the NE Iberian Peninsula. They are the most significant in the West Mediterranean region, together with those described in the Tagus River basin (Iberian South Subplateau), forming small scattered patches across parts of the SE Ebro Depression and SW Catalan Mediterranean Range. Two major depositional environments are distinguished. The first (largest) outcrop covers the lower Ebro reaches on the SE border of the Ebro Depression, the Prelitoral Coastal Range and the Móra d'Ebre Basin. A second outcrop, to the north, consists of a few patches scattered over a wide amphitheatre surrounding the western tributaries of the Segre River, from the wind-exposed Segrià platforms to the Almenara Range in its northernmost part. They consist of highly sorted fine sands and silts, 1-12m thick (though most typically 3-4m thick), and coarser than typical loess. They are highly uniform, lack any sedimentary structures and are pale ochre. The deposits are calcareous (30-45% CaCO3), basic to alkaline and with some soluble salts. Five selected sequences of primary loess (namely Mas de l'Alerany, Tivissa, Guiamets, Batea and Almenara) were studied to ascertain deposit characteristics and soil development. All sections show a consistent vertical granulometric variability that may be attributed to wind intensity changes, and hinders the recognition of spatial particle size distribution. Pedogenesis is mostly related to calcium carbonate redistribution, which accumulates as nodules, large rhizocretions or biogenic calcite. Secondary gypsum (Batea and Almenara sequences) is probably related to primary gypsum blown from the source areas that was redistributed by leaching and precipitation at the bottom of the profiles. In a few places (Mas de l'Alerany outcrop) a fersialitic, rubefacted-recalcified soil indicates the presence of an older generation of loess. While the dominant WNW winds and particle coarseness suggest that the loess originates from nearby alluvial fans and fluvial plains, the presence of gypsum and Mg anomalies may be evidence of more distant sources of the Central Ebro Depression and Ondara-Corb alluvial fans. Optical Stimulated Luminiscence (OSL) ages for the more recent deposits (Guiamets, Batea, Almenara) are between 18 and 34ka, while the old Mas de l'Alerany sequence is more than 115ka. These ages indicate loess deposition during the last cold phases of the Quaternary and with pedogenesis occuring during warm interglacial periods. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Moreno-Opo R.,Ministry of Agriculture | Afonso I.,MUSIA | Jimenez J.,Institute of Research in Game Resources CSIC | Fernandez-Olalla M.,Technical University of Madrid | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007) within a before-after controlimpact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic siteoccupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management intervention in ecological and economic terms may be to balance the impact of mesocarnivores on capercaillies through the recovery of apex predators. © 2015 Moreno-Opo et al.

Riera S.,Seminary of Prehistoric Studies and Research | Vila S.,UdL | Esteban I.,University of Barcelona | Albert R.M.,University of Barcelona | Llop J.M.,Ramaderia
Catena | Year: 2015

A large part of Les Garrigues (Western Catalonia) is occupied by stone terraces (locally known as bancals) that were built up in the 18th century. Some soil surveys of the area noted the presence of buried, thick A horizons with a well developed crumb structure and darker colour than the present-day A horizons. The objective of this study was to determine the conditions of the soil cover both at the time of the formation of these buried soils and at the onset of terracing.The climate is semi-arid and the landscape is defined by platforms and flat-bottomed valleys. Four profiles were described from both slope and valley-floor terraces and sampled for analyses. A buried Ahb horizon appears at various depths between 40 and 180. cm, with thicknesses ranging from 35 to 160. cm, probably due to earthworks since this depends on the position of the profile within the terrace. Many of these buried soils would correspond to Phaeozems: they are identified by an Ahb having low values and chromas (usually 4 or less), a structure due to faunal activity (100% of the structural forms related to fauna either in the form of empty or infilled channels, vermic qualifier), and an organic matter content that is 1.7-3.3%, which is higher but not significantly different than the SOM content of the present day topsoils. P (Olsen) is 1-6. ppm.The present soils are non-saline and highly calcareous (> 40%), they show some calcium carbonate redistribution in the form of pseudomycelia, and biogenic calcite. Charcoal is present in some of these buried horizons, together with small ceramic fragments. These buried horizons have several common micromorphological features: a spongy, highly porous structure due to high faunal activity, frequent silt cappings, charcoal fragments, and biogenic carbonates (queras). In some cases the biogenic calcite has undergone dissolution and reprecipitated as micrite. Pollen assemblages of the buried horizons reveal a large forest cover mainly of oaks and pines, which is also corroborated by the occurrence of Quercus phytoliths; but the presence of pollen of some deciduous crops (such as cereals, Vitis vinifera and Olea europaea.) at the top of the sequences points to a Upper Holocene origin of these soils. The results from the charcoal study support the presence of perennial Quercus and pines as well as shrubs in the period when the terraces were built.The available information about present day similar soils indicates that the formation of these horizons took place under a moister, milder climate in the past, compared with the present one in the study area. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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