Mediterranean forests are especially prone to fire, a periodic disturbance that affects all the ecosystem components in different ways. Gathering knowledge on the particular responses and rate of recovery of multiple ecosystem components following a wildfire is crucial to reliably evaluate its consequences on biodiversity. Using eight sampling transects, we studied the changes in four ecosystem components (topsoil, plants, carabids, and staphylinids) during three years after a spring wildfire in a Quercus pyrenaica forest; and compared them with the surrounding unburnt forest (hereafter control). We found great variety of responses to fire suggesting each component may deal with this recurring disturbance via different adaptations, and that the time spent to recover to pre-disturbance conditions depends on the group of focus. Topsoil characteristics were highly variable and minor differences were found between burnt and control transects. Plant community was considerably affected by fire but rapidly recovered exceeding the control forest in species richness and cover, partly due to proliferation of annual herbs. However, plant species composition differed between burnt and control forests during the whole study period. Carabid beetles were more abundant and richer in species in the burnt forest, thanks to the arrival of seed predators favoured by post-fire drier and warmer conditions. Staphylinid beetle composition differed between control and burnt transects during the whole period, although their abundance was strongly variable. Distinct post-fire plant, carabid and staphylinid species composition suggests scattered low-intensity wildfires in this region may help to maintain habitat heterogeneity benefiting biodiversity at the landscape scale.
A comparison of the results obtained using the classical methods with those of the API 20 Strep system was carried out in identifying 24 enterococci strains isolated from San Simón cow's milk cheese, a traditional Spanish variety. The results of both identification systems coincided exactly in 9 strains (37.5% of the strains studied). In one strain the results obtained using the classical methods did not coincide with those using the API 20 Strep method. 3 strains (12.5%) could not be identified using the API 20 Strep system. However, 11 strains (45%), that remained doubtful between both species E. faecalis and E. faecium on the basis of the classical methods, were identified using the API 20 Strep system. The API 20 Strep system does not include some biochemical tests of importance in identifying of foodborne enterococci and could not identify the atypical strains of Enterococcus. Moreover, this system is adapted to the identification of enterococci of clinical origin and their database does not include some species common in foods. However, it could have an application in combination with the classical methods in order to carry out a reasonably rapid and reliable identification of enterococci related to cheese.
The effect of processing parameters on microencapsulation of oregano essential with maltodextrin:gum arabic using a disk atomiser spray-dryer was evaluated. By means of response surface methodology, the feed flow rate and inlet air temperature were optimised. Powder yield, moisture content, essential oil retention, and antioxidant activity of microparticles were evaluated. The best conditions to produce microencapsulated oregano essential oil were 0.6 L h−1 for feed flow rate and 200 °C for inlet air temperature. With this combination a microencapsulated powder with 89.8% powder yield, 2.1% moisture content, 92.1% essential oil retention, 76 s solubilisation time, 12.9 g of water/100 g of dry matter, 0.3371 g mL−1 bulk density, 0.5826 g mL−1 tapped density, and 8.2 μm of average particle size was produced. The microencapsulation of oregano essential oil preserves the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of its bioactive compounds.
The aim of this research was to assess the total antioxidant activity (TAA) of lipophilic (Lextr) and hydrophilic (Hextr) tomato extracts using in vitro chemical tests and cell-based assays, focusing on possible synergistic actions between tomato antioxidants. Both Hextr and Lextr were HPLC analysed for their carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and ascorbic acid contents. For the evaluation of TAA, extracts were assayed alone or in combination using in vitro chemical tests (TEAC, FRAP) and cell-based (CAA) assays using human hepatoma (HepG2) and human histiocytic lymphoma (U937) cells. The only carotenoid detected in Lextr was lycopene, while a mixture of phenolic compounds (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and rutin) was identified in Hextr. Ascorbic acid was not found either in Hextr or in Lextr. Upon extract combination (1:1, v/v), the FRAP assay revealed additive action between Lextr and Hextr, whilst a slight synergistic action was observed in TAA as measured by the TEAC assay. Synergistic action was better revealed when TAA was analysed using either U937 or HepG2 cells. This could be explained by the presence of a multiphase media (cell membrane and extra- and intracellular media) that might facilitate the distribution and interaction of antioxidants with different polarities and different mechanisms of action.
The control on the CO2 coming from soil handling, makes necessary the introduction of new methodologies that inform about the capacity of the soil
as a carbon sink and about the carbon decay. It can be performed through the microbial growth yield efficiency concept by
calorimetry and enthalpy balances. Here it is examined the sensitivity of these indicators to two metal layering phosphates,
AZP [(NH)4Zn2(PO)4(HPO)4] and AIP [(NH)4Fe(PO)4H2O] to assess about their soil impact. Both compounds caused metabolic changes on soil microbial biomass when compared to appropriated
references indicating that the proposed methodology is sensitive to different inorganic sources of microbial growth.
A university may be considered as having dimension-specific prestige in a scientific field (e.g., physics) when a particular bibliometric research performance indicator exceeds a threshold value. But a university has multidimensional prestige in a field of study only if it is influential with respect to a number of dimensions. The multidimensional prestige of influential fields at a given university takes into account that several prestige indicators should be used for a distinct analysis of the influence of a university in a particular field of study. After having identified the multidimensionally influential fields of study at a university their prestige scores can be aggregated to produce a summary measure of the multidimensional prestige of influential fields at this university, which satisfies numerous properties. Here we use this summary measure of multidimensional prestige to assess the comparative performance of Spanish Universities during the period 2006–2010.
ZnxMg1-xFe2O4 mixed oxide spinels (x=0.0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0) were prepared by conventional solid state reaction method. Bulk and surface characterization of these ferrites were carried out by different techniques. The ratios Zn/Fe and Mg/Fe determined by PIXE and AAS were nearly as expected from the synthesis mixture, i.e. following the substitution model. XRD shows only a spinel structure (fcc) with increasing lattice parameter as x increases from 0 to 1. The bulk ratios of tetrahedral to octahedral sites occupied by Fe cations measured by NGR are in good agreement with the theoretical bulk stoichiometry. LEIS results indicate a Mg substitution by Fe cations at the surface. Only octahedral sites are proposed at the surface. The transition from inverse to normal spinel was follow through NGR-spectra occurring at x=0.4.
In arid and semi-arid ecosystems, the presence of woody neighbours affects the existence of several herbaceous species by modifying critical aspects of the environment (e.g., soil humidity, nutrient content or light availability) beneath their canopies. Herbaceous species growing in the understory of
may be distinct from those in open areas due to litter fall, light interception and changes in nutrient availability. We suggest that the overall effect of woody neighbours on herbaceous layer diversity may vary with the scale focus of analysis. To examine this hypothesis, we collected data on the abundance of herbaceous species in open pineland forests of the central Iberian Peninsula (Spain) using sample quadrats of 0.5 m × 0.5 m distributed beneath, at the edge, and outside the canopy of pines in a landscape composed of dunes and plains. The results of CCA ordination revealed significant spatial segregation of herbaceous species reflecting the occurrence of pines and dunes in the landscape. Nested ANOVA disclosed markedly lower species richness beneath the pines, particularly in the dune sites. Species richness partitioning showed higher pine-induced heterogeneity than expected from the sample-based randomized model, leading to significantly increased species richness at the patch level. Hence, the outcome of pine-induced effects on the herbaceous plant diversity is scale-dependent, negative if we focus on separate communities, but positive if the scale focus is extended to whole patches comprising the sum of communities beneath, at the edge, and outside pine tree canopies. These results emphasize the necessity of using various scale perspectives to clarify the different ways in which pines and other woody nurse species affect structure of herbaceous communities in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems.
The thermal behaviour of 6-amino-5-formyluracil (HFU), 6-amino-1-methyl-5-formyluracil (1-MFU), 6-amino-3-methyl-5-formyluracil (3-HFU) and 6-amino-1,3-dimethyl-5-formyluracil (HDFU) is described. Only HDFU is shown to contain crystallization water. Dehydration and fusion enthalpy values have been calculated from the DSC curves. Likewise, the thermal behaviour of new complexes obtained by reaction between the above pyrimidine derivatives and Ni(II), Cu(II) and Pd(II) ions is reported.