The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea is one of the most invasive species in freshwater aquatic ecosystems. The rapid growth, earlier sexual maturity, short life span, high fecundity and its association with human activities makes C. fluminea a non-indigenous invasive species likely to colonize new environments. This species, originally distributed in Asiatic ecosystems, is now a common inhabitant of American and European freshwater habitats. The present paper reviews the information related to the life cycle, ecology and potential ecological and economic impacts caused by C. fluminea in the invaded habitats. Furthermore, this paper also proposed future works that may be implemented in order to increase our general knowledge about the ecology of this bivalve.
Page 2 of 46 A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t 2 Retrofitting of existing buildings offers significant opportunities for improving occupants' comfort and well-being, reducing global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This is being considered as one of the main approaches to achieve sustainability in the built environment at relatively low cost and high uptake rates. Although a wide range of retrofit technologies is readily available, methods to identify the most suitable set of retrofit actions for particular projects are still a major technical and methodological challenge. This paper presents a multi-objective optimization model using genetic algorithm (GA) and artificial neural network (ANN) to quantitatively assess technology choices in a building retrofit project. This model combines the rapidity of evaluation of ANNs with the optimization power of GAs. A school building is used as a case study to demonstrate the practicability of the proposed approach and highlight potential problems that may arise. The study starts with the individual optimization of objective functions focusing on building's characteristics and performance: energy consumption, retrofit cost, and thermal discomfort hours. Then a multi-objective optimization model is developed to study the interaction between these conflicting objectives and assess their trade-offs.
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate risk factors for physical disability at the moment of leprosy diagnosis. Methods: This is a retrospective, descriptive and exploratory investigation of 19,283 patients with leprosy, registered in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, between 2000 and 2005. Results: The risk of Grade 2 disability was 16.5-fold higher in patients with lepromatous leprosy, and 12.8-fold higher in patients presenting the borderline form, compared to patients presenting indeterminate leprosy. The occurrence of more than one thickened nerve increased the odds of a patient developing Grade 2 disability, 8.4-fold. Age <15 years, multibacillary leprosy and no formal education presented 7.0, 5.7 and 5.6 odds of developing physical disability, respectively. Conclusions: These factors should be considered as strong prognostic indicators in the development of physical disability at diagnosis.
BackgroundAmbient air quality monitoring is a governmental duty that is widely carried out in order to detect non-biological (“chemical”) components in ambient air, such as particles of < 10 µm (PM10, PM2.5), ozone, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. These monitoring networks are publicly funded and air quality data are open to the public. The situation for biological particles that have detrimental effects on health, as is the case of pollen and fungal spores, is however very different. Most pollen and spore monitoring networks are not publicly funded and data are not freely available. The information regarding which biological particle is being monitored, where and by whom, is consequently often not known, even by aerobiologists themselves. This is a considerable problem, as local pollen data are an important tool for the prevention of allergic symptoms.ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to review pollen monitoring stations throughout the world and to create an interactive visualization of their distribution.MethodsThe method employed to collect information was based on: (a) a review of the recent and historical bibliography related to pollen and fungal spore monitoring, and (b) personal surveys of the managers of national and regional monitoring networks. The interactive application was developed using the R programming language.ResultsWe have created an inventory of the active pollen and spore monitoring stations in the world. There are at least 879 active pollen monitoring stations in the world, most of which are in Europe (> 500). The prevalent monitoring method is based on the Hirst principle (> 600 stations). The inventory is visualised as an interactive and on-line map. It can be searched, its appearance can be adjusted to the users’ needs and it is updated regularly, as new stations or changes to those that already exist can be submitted online.ConclusionsThe map shows the current situation of pollen and spore monitoring and facilitates collaboration among those individuals who are interested in pollen and spore counts. It might also help to improve the monitoring of biological particles up to the current level employed for non-biological components.
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