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  • Author or Editor: S.-F. Li x
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Small-scale vegetation patterns are frequently the results of plant-plant interactions such as facilitation and competition. Facilitation should be particularly pronounced when both abiotic and biotic stresses are high, but few studies were conducted in such habitats. In heavily-grazed pastures on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, an area with both high abiotic stress and strong biotic disturbance, we made relevés of herb species both beneath and outside canopies of three shrub species (Spiraea alpina, Sibiraea angustata and Potentilla fruticosa) differing in palatability and canopy structure. Herb species richness (S), pooled cover (PC) of all species, number of flowering species (FS) and number of inflorescences of all species (IN) were greater outside than beneath the shrub canopies. Evenness (J), in contrast, was smaller outside, while Shannon’s diversity index (H) was the same. Differences in S and J between plots beneath and outside the shrub canopies were greater in the case of P. fruticosa than in the cases of S. angustata and S. alpina, but differences in PC, FS or IN did not depend on the shrub species. Among the common species (frequency ≥6), 47–85% were equally frequent beneath and outside the shrubs, 13–39% were more frequent outside and 3–13% were more frequent beneath the shrubs. For the rarest species (frequency < 6), however, more species occurred beneath than outside the shrubs. The ordination diagram showed a clear separation between the relevés outside and beneath the shrubs and a gradient from P. fruticosa via S. alpina to S. angustata, accompanied by a distinct decrease in the extent of the difference between the vegetation beneath and outside the shrub canopies. In conclusion, the three shrub species facilitated some species in the herb layer and each shrub species had a specific impact, related to its canopy structure and palatability but also to the grazing pressure, which was greater around the P. fruticosa shrubs than around S. alpina and S. angustata.

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Conducting polyaniline/Cobaltosic oxide (PANI/Co3O4) composites were synthesized for the first time, by in situ deposition technique in the presence of hydrochloric acid (HCl) as a dopant by adding the fine grade powder (an average particle size of approximately 80 nm) of Co3O4 into the polymerization reaction mixture of aniline. The composites obtained were characterized by infrared spectra (IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The composition and the thermal stability of the composites were investigated by TG-DTG. The results suggest that the thermal stability of the composites is higher than that of the pure PANI. The improvement in the thermal stability for the composites is attributed to the interaction between PANI and nano-Co3O4.

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The thermal decomposition characteristics of1,7-diazido-2,4,6-trinitrazaheptane (DATH) and multi-component systems containing DATH were studied by using DSC, TG and DTG techniques. Three –NO2 groups in the DATH molecule break away first from the main chain when DATH is heated up to 200C. Following this process, the azido groups and the residual molecule decompose rapidly to release a great deal of heat within a short time. In the multi-component systems, DATH undergoes a strong interaction with the binder of the double-base propellant and a weak interaction with RDX. The burning rates of the two propellants were determined by using a Crawford bomb. The results showed that the burning rate rises by about 19–66% when 23.5%DATH is substituted for RDX in a minimum smoke propellant. Meanwhile, the N2 level in the combustion gases is enhanced, which is valuable for a reduction of the signal level of the solid propellant.

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This work discusses thermal behavior of Ni/MH battery with experimental methods. The present work not only provides a new way to get more exactly parameters and thermal model, but also concentrates on thermal behavior in discharging period. With heat generation rate gained by experiments with microcalorimeter, heat transport equations are set up and solved. The solutions are compared with experiment results and used to understand the reactions inside the battery. Experiments with microcalorimeter provide more reliable data to create precise thermal model.

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AP/HTPB based composite propellants with additives such as ammonium oxalate (AO), mixture of ammonium oxalate and strontium carbonate (SC) was investigated by burning rate, TG-DTG and FTIR experiments. The results show that the burning rates of these propellants are decreased significantly. TG-DTG experiments indicate that decomposition temperatures of AP with these additives are increased. Furthermore, the activation energy of the decomposition reaction of AP is also increased in the presence of AO or AO/SC. These results show that AO or AO/SC restrains the decomposition of AP. The burning rates of these propellants are decreased. The burning rate temperature sensitivity of AP/HTPB based propellants is reduced significantly by the addition of AO or AO/SC. But the effect of AO is less than that of AO/SC. AO/SC is better effect to reduce temperature sensitivity and at the same time, to reduce pressure exponent. The reduced heat release at the burning surface of AP/HTPB/AO is responsible for the reduced temperature sensitivity. Synergetic action is probably produced between AO and SC within AP/HTPB based propellants in the pressure range tested. This synergetic effect causes the heat release to reduce and the burning surface temperature to increase. Moreover, it makes the net exothermal reaction of condensed phase become little dependent on T0. Thus, the burning rate temperature sensitivity is reduced.

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The refinement of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) from Hippophae rhamnoides L. seed oil was carried out by molecular distillation (MD) using response surface methodology (RSM). A central composite rotate design was used in order to optimize the experimental parameters: distilling temperature and feed flow. The optimal MD conditions were determined and the quadratic response surfaces were drawn from the mathematical models. The results suggested that the distilling temperature and feed flow significantly affected both the UFA content and oil yield in the two models. The optimum conditions for refining UFA were: distilling temperature 107.5 °C and feed flow 1 ml min−1. Optimal values predicted by RSM for the UFA content and oil yield were 82.38% and 62.59%, respectively. Close agreement between experimental and predicted values was obtained.

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The thermal mechanical properties and degradation behaviors were studied on fibers prepared from two high-performance, heterocyclic polymers, poly(p-phenylenebenzobisthiazole) (PBZT) and poly(p-phenylenebenzobisoxazole) (PBZO). Our research demonstrated that these two fibers exhibited excellent mechanical properties and outstanding thermal and thermo-oxidative stability. Their long-term mechanical tensile performance at high temperatures was found to be critically associated with the stability of the C—O or C—S linkage at the heterocyclic rings on these polymers' backbones. PBZO fibers with the C—O linkages displayed substantially higher thermal stability compared to PBZT containing C—S linkages. High resolution pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry provided the information of the pyrolyzates' compositions and distributions as well as their relationships with the structures of PBZT and PBZO. Based on the analysis of the compositions and distributions of all pyrolyzates at different temperatures, it was found that the thermal degradation mechanisms for both of these heterocyclic polymers were identical. Kevlar®-49 fibers were also studied under the same experimental conditions in order to make a comparison of thermo-oxidative stability and long-term mechanical performance at high temperatures with PBZO and PBZT fibers. The data of two high-performance aromatic polyimide fibers were also included as references.

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This study was designed to test the hypothesis that a medium-term simulated microgravity by tail-suspension (SUS) induces hypertrophic and atrophic changes in the common carotid artery and abdominal aorta with their innermost smooth muscle (SM) layers being most profoundly affected. The second purpose was to elucidate whether vascular local renin-angiotensin system (L-RAS) plays an important role in the differential remodeling of the two kinds of large arteries by examining the gene and protein expression of angiotensinogen (A O ) and angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) and their localization in the vessel wall. The results showed that SUS induced an increase in the media thickness of the common carotid artery due to hypertrophy of the four SM layers and a decrease in the total cross-sectional area of the nine SM layers of the abdominal aorta without significant change in its media thickness. Irrespective of the nature of remodeling, the most prominent changes were in the innermost layers. Immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, Western blot, and real time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that SUS induced an up- and down-regulation in A O and AT1R expression in the common carotid artery and abdominal aorta, respectively. In conclusion, our findings have demonstrated some special features in the structural adaptation of large elastic arteries due to a medium-term simulated microgravity.

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