The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Ecological and Environmental Phenomena
The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.
Conservation of Natural Resources
The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.
One of the three domains of life (the others being Eukarya and ARCHAEA), also called Eubacteria. They are unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which generally possess rigid cell walls, multiply by cell division, and exhibit three principal forms: round or coccal, rodlike or bacillary, and spiral or spirochetal. Bacteria can be classified by their response to OXYGEN: aerobic, anaerobic, or facultatively anaerobic; by the mode by which they obtain their energy: chemotrophy (via chemical reaction) or PHOTOTROPHY (via light reaction); for chemotrophs by their source of chemical energy: CHEMOLITHOTROPHY (from inorganic compounds) or chemoorganotrophy (from organic compounds); and by their source for CARBON; NITROGEN; etc.; HETEROTROPHY (from organic sources) or AUTOTROPHY (from CARBON DIOXIDE). They can also be classified by whether or not they stain (based on the structure of their CELL WALLS) with CRYSTAL VIOLET dye: gram-negative or gram-positive.
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
Woody, usually tall, perennial higher plants (Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, and some Pterophyta) having usually a main stem and numerous branches.
The salinated water of OCEANS AND SEAS that provides habitat for marine organisms.
The study of the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of organisms which inhabit the OCEANS AND SEAS.
Oceans and Seas
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Physiological processes and properties of BACTERIA.
The study of microorganisms living in a variety of environments (air, soil, water, etc.) and their pathogenic relationship to other organisms including man.
Remains, impressions, or traces of animals or plants of past geological times which have been preserved in the earth's crust.
Large natural streams of FRESH WATER formed by converging tributaries and which empty into a body of water (lake or ocean).
A chain of islands, cays, and reefs in the West Indies, lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. It is an independent state, called also the Commonwealth of the Bahamas or the Bahama Islands. The name likely represents the local name Guanahani, itself of uncertain origin. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p106 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p45)
RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
The contents included in all or any segment of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT.
Animate or inanimate sources which normally harbor disease-causing organisms and thus serve as potential sources of disease outbreaks. Reservoirs are distinguished from vectors (DISEASE VECTORS) and carriers, which are agents of disease transmission rather than continuing sources of potential disease outbreaks.
Community of tiny aquatic PLANTS and ANIMALS, and photosynthetic BACTERIA, that are either free-floating or suspended in the water, with little or no power of locomotion. They are divided into PHYTOPLANKTON and ZOOPLANKTON.
The unconsolidated mineral or organic matter on the surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.
Plant Physiological Phenomena
The physiological processes, properties, and states characteristic of plants.
Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
A climate which is typical of equatorial and tropical regions, i.e., one with continually high temperatures with considerable precipitation, at least during part of the year. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Non-native organisms brought into a region, habitat, or ECOSYSTEM by human activity.
Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular algae. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; HAPTOPHYTA; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.
Changes in biological features that help an organism cope with its ENVIRONMENT. These changes include physiological (ADAPTATION, PHYSIOLOGICAL), phenotypic and genetic changes.
Marine, freshwater, or terrestrial mollusks of the class Gastropoda. Most have an enclosing spiral shell, and several genera harbor parasites pathogenic to man.
Multicellular, eukaryotic life forms of kingdom Plantae (sensu lato), comprising the VIRIDIPLANTAE; RHODOPHYTA; and GLAUCOPHYTA; all of which acquired chloroplasts by direct endosymbiosis of CYANOBACTERIA. They are characterized by a mainly photosynthetic mode of nutrition; essentially unlimited growth at localized regions of cell divisions (MERISTEMS); cellulose within cells providing rigidity; the absence of organs of locomotion; absence of nervous and sensory systems; and an alternation of haploid and diploid generations.
Members of the group of vascular plants which bear flowers. They are differentiated from GYMNOSPERMS by their production of seeds within a closed chamber (OVARY, PLANT). The Angiosperms division is composed of two classes, the monocotyledons (Liliopsida) and dicotyledons (Magnoliopsida). Angiosperms represent approximately 80% of all known living plants.
An animal or plant species in danger of extinction. Causes can include human activity, changing climate, or change in predator/prey ratios.
Insects of the family Formicidae, very common and widespread, probably the most successful of all the insect groups. All ants are social insects, and most colonies contain three castes, queens, males, and workers. Their habits are often very elaborate and a great many studies have been made of ant behavior. Ants produce a number of secretions that function in offense, defense, and communication. (From Borror, et al., An Introduction to the Study of Insects, 4th ed, p676)
Inland bodies of still or slowly moving FRESH WATER or salt water, larger than a pond, and supplied by RIVERS and streams.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and Eukarya), formerly called Archaebacteria under the taxon Bacteria, but now considered separate and distinct. They are characterized by: (1) the presence of characteristic tRNAs and ribosomal RNAs; (2) the absence of peptidoglycan cell walls; (3) the presence of ether-linked lipids built from branched-chain subunits; and (4) their occurrence in unusual habitats. While archaea resemble bacteria in morphology and genomic organization, they resemble eukarya in their method of genomic replication. The domain contains at least four kingdoms: CRENARCHAEOTA; EURYARCHAEOTA; NANOARCHAEOTA; and KORARCHAEOTA.
A widely distributed order of perching BIRDS, including more than half of all bird species.
Geographic Information Systems
RNA, Ribosomal, 18S
Slender-bodies diurnal insects having large, broad wings often strikingly colored and patterned.
One of the Indian Ocean Islands off the southeast coast of Africa. Its capital is Antananarivo. It was formerly called the Malagasy Republic. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1500, its history has been tied predominantly to the French, becoming a French protectorate in 1882, a French colony in 1896, and a territory within the French union in 1946. The Malagasy Republic was established in the French Community in 1958 but it achieved independence in 1960. Its name was changed to Madagascar in 1975. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p714)
Instinctual patterns of activity related to a specific area including ability of certain animals to return to a given place when displaced from it, often over great distances using navigational clues such as those used in migration (ANIMAL MIGRATION).
The flow of water in enviromental bodies of water such as rivers, oceans, water supplies, aquariums, etc. It includes currents, tides, and waves.
The continent lying around the South Pole and the southern waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It includes the Falkland Islands Dependencies. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p55)
A set of statistical methods used to group variables or observations into strongly inter-related subgroups. In epidemiology, it may be used to analyze a closely grouped series of events or cases of disease or other health-related phenomenon with well-defined distribution patterns in relation to time or place or both.
The cat family in the order CARNIVORA comprised of muscular, deep-chested terrestrial carnivores with a highly predatory lifestyle.
Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.
In evolutionary theory, overlapping geographic distribution of diverging species. In sympatric GENETIC SPECIATION, genetic diversion occurs without geographic separation.
A subclass of cartilaginous fish comprising the SHARKS; rays; skates (SKATES (FISH);), and sawfish. Elasmobranchs are typically predaceous, relying more on smell (the olfactory capsules are relatively large) than sight (the eyes are relatively small) for obtaining their food.
The non-genetic biological changes of an organism in response to challenges in its ENVIRONMENT.
DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic
Techniques for standardizing and expediting taxonomic identification or classification of organisms that are based on deciphering the sequence of one or a few regions of DNA known as the "DNA barcode".
A plant genus of the family FABACEAE. The gums and tanning agents obtained from Acacia are called GUM ARABIC. The common name of catechu is more often used for Areca catechu (ARECA).
The act of feeding on plants by animals.
A group of elongate elasmobranchs. Sharks are mostly marine fish, with certain species large and voracious.
The systematic surveying, mapping, charting, and description of specific geographical sites, with reference to the physical features that were presumed to influence health and disease. Medical topography should be differentiated from EPIDEMIOLOGY in that the former emphasizes geography whereas the latter emphasizes disease outbreaks.
The study of aquatic life inhabiting bodies of water, including growth, morphology, physiology, genetics, distribution, and interactions with other organisms and the environment. It includes MARINE HYDROBIOLOGY.
A French overseas department on the northeast coast of South America. Its capital is Cayenne. It was first settled by the French in 1604. Early development was hindered because of the presence of a penal colony. The name of the country and the capital are variants of Guyana, possibly from the native Indian Guarani guai (born) + ana (kin), implying a united and interrelated race of people. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p418 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p195)
Differential and non-random reproduction of different genotypes, operating to alter the gene frequencies within a population.
Any of numerous winged hymenopterous insects of social as well as solitary habits and having formidable stings.
A genus of mosquitoes (CULICIDAE) that are known vectors of MALARIA.
A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from the weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice. It refers also to a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface, such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1689)
The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.
Large, robust forms of brown algae (PHAEOPHYCEAE) in the order Laminariales. They are a major component of the lower intertidal and sublittoral zones on rocky coasts in temperate and polar waters. Kelp, a kind of SEAWEED, usually refers to species in the genera LAMINARIA or MACROCYSTIS, but the term may also be used for species in FUCUS or Nereocystis.
A phylum of small sessile aquatic animals living as small tufted colonies. Some appear like hydroids or corals, but their internal structure is more advanced. Most bryozoans are matlike, forming thin encrustations on rocks, shells, or kelp. (Storer & Stebbins, General Zoology, 6th ed, p443)
Plant Physiological Processes
Physiological functions characteristic of plants.
A plant family of the order Orchidales, subclass Liliidae, class Liliopsida (monocotyledons). All orchids have the same bilaterally symmetrical flower structure, with three sepals, but the flowers vary greatly in color and shape.
The monitoring of the level of toxins, chemical pollutants, microbial contaminants, or other harmful substances in the environment (soil, air, and water), workplace, or in the bodies of people and animals present in that environment.
The class Insecta, in the phylum ARTHROPODA, whose members are characterized by division into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They are the dominant group of animals on earth; several hundred thousand different kinds having been described. Three orders, HEMIPTERA; DIPTERA; and SIPHONAPTERA; are of medical interest in that they cause disease in humans and animals. (From Borror et al., An Introduction to the Study of Insects, 4th ed, p1)
Environments or habitats at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and truly aquatic systems making them different from each yet highly dependent on both. Adaptations to low soil oxygen characterize many wetland species.
The science, art or practice of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock.
Ocular Physiological Processes
A huge subclass of mostly marine CRUSTACEA, containing over 14,000 species. The 10 orders comprise both planktonic and benthic organisms, and include both free-living and parasitic forms. Planktonic copepods form the principle link between PHYTOPLANKTON and the higher trophic levels of the marine food chains.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Influenza in Birds
Large herbivorous tropical American lizards.
The reproductive organs of plants.
Communicable Diseases, Emerging
RNA, Ribosomal, 28S
A plant genus of subsucculent annual or perennial plants in the family BALSAMINACEAE, order Geraniales.
A kingdom of eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms that live parasitically as saprobes, including MUSHROOMS; YEASTS; smuts, molds, etc. They reproduce either sexually or asexually, and have life cycles that range from simple to complex. Filamentous fungi, commonly known as molds, refer to those that grow as multicellular colonies.
Colony Count, Microbial
Enumeration by direct count of viable, isolated bacterial, archaeal, or fungal CELLS or SPORES capable of growth on solid CULTURE MEDIA. The method is used routinely by environmental microbiologists for quantifying organisms in AIR; FOOD; and WATER; by clinicians for measuring patients' microbial load; and in antimicrobial drug testing.
A genus in the family FELIDAE comprising felines with long legs, ear tufts, and a short tail.
A theorem in probability theory named for Thomas Bayes (1702-1761). In epidemiology, it is used to obtain the probability of disease in a group of people with some characteristic on the basis of the overall rate of that disease and of the likelihood of that characteristic in healthy and diseased individuals. The most familiar application is in clinical decision analysis where it is used for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.
Degree of saltiness, which is largely the OSMOLAR CONCENTRATION of SODIUM CHLORIDE plus any other SALTS present. It is an ecological factor of considerable importance, influencing the types of organisms that live in an ENVIRONMENT.