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      Radiological dose reconstruction for birds reconciles outcomes of Fukushima with knowledge of dose-effect relationships

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          Abstract

          We reconstructed the radiological dose for birds observed at 300 census sites in the 50-km northwest area affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant over 2011–2014. Substituting the ambient dose rate measured at the census points (from 0.16 to 31 μGy h −1) with the dose rate reconstructed for adult birds of each species (from 0.3 to 97 μGy h −1), we confirmed that the overall bird abundance at Fukushima decreased with increasing total doses. This relationship was directly consistent with exposure levels found in the literature to induce physiological disturbances in birds. Among the 57 species constituting the observed bird community, we found that 90% were likely chronically exposed at a dose rate that could potentially affect their reproductive success. We quantified a loss of 22.6% of the total number of individuals per increment of one unit log 10-tansformed total dose (in Gy), over the four-year post-accident period in the explored area. We estimated that a total dose of 0.55 Gy reduced by 50% the total number of birds in the study area over 2011–2014. The data also suggest a significant positive relationship between total dose and species diversity.

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          The adaptive significance of maternal effects

          T Mousseau (1998)
          Recently, the adaptive significance of maternal effects has been increasingly recognized. No longer are maternal effects relegated as simple `troublesome sources of environmental resemblance' that confound our ability to estimate accurately the genetic basis of traits of interest. Rather, it has become evident that many maternal effects have been shaped by the action of natural selection to act as a mechanism for adaptive phenotypic response to environmental heterogeneity. Consequently, maternal experience is translated into variation in offspring fitness.
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            The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly

            The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. Here we show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.
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              Effects of sample size and intraspecific variation in phylogenetic comparative studies: a meta-analytic review.

              Comparative analyses aim to explain interspecific variation in phenotype among taxa. In this context, phylogenetic approaches are generally applied to control for similarity due to common descent, because such phylogenetic relationships can produce spurious similarity in phenotypes (known as phylogenetic inertia or bias). On the other hand, these analyses largely ignore potential biases due to within-species variation. Phylogenetic comparative studies inherently assume that species-specific means from intraspecific samples of modest sample size are biologically meaningful. However, within-species variation is often significant, because measurement errors, within- and between-individual variation, seasonal fluctuations, and differences among populations can all reduce the repeatability of a trait. Although simulations revealed that low repeatability can increase the type I error in a phylogenetic study, researchers only exercise great care in accounting for similarity in phenotype due to common phylogenetic descent, while problems posed by intraspecific variation are usually neglected. A meta-analysis of 194 comparative analyses all adjusting for similarity due to common phylogenetic descent revealed that only a few studies reported intraspecific repeatabilities, and hardly any considered or partially dealt with errors arising from intraspecific variation. This is intriguing, because the meta-analytic data suggest that the effect of heterogeneous sampling can be as important as phylogenetic bias, and thus they should be equally controlled in comparative studies. We provide recommendations about how to handle such effects of heterogeneous sampling. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                16 November 2015
                2015
                : 5
                : 16594
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Pôle Radioprotection, Environnement, Déchets, Crise, PRP-ENV/SERIS, Cadarache , Bâtiment 159, BP3, F-13115 Saint Paul lez Durance Cedex, France
                [2 ]Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen , Rolighedsvej 26 DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
                [3 ]Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina , Columbia, SC 29208, USA
                [4 ]Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, CNRS UMR 8079, Université Paris-Sud , Bâtiment 362, F-91405 Orsay Cedex, France
                Author notes
                Article
                srep16594
                10.1038/srep16594
                4645120
                26567770
                68227f5e-2fe4-46b8-8448-b7948b300044
                Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                History
                : 07 July 2015
                : 15 October 2015
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