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    ABSTRACT: Fleas associated with small mammals from seven localities from northern and central Chile were assessed. We captured 352 small mammals belonging to 12 species from which we obtained 675 fleas belonging to 15 different species. The most frequently captured flea species were Neotyphloceras crassispina crassispina (n = 198) and N. chilensis (n = 175). High values of flea species richness and diversity were found in Fray Jorge National Park (NP), a north-central Chilean site, whereas the highest values of mean abundance (MA) and prevalence were found in three diverse sites that include Los Molles River, a high altitude site located in north-central Chile, Fray Jorge NP and Dichato, in south-central Chile. On the other hand, high values of flea richness and diversity were found on two rodent species, Abrothrix olivacea and A. longipilis, whereas the highest values of MA and prevalence were found on Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, A. longipilis and Phyllotis xanthopygus. A total of three new host recordings, nine new localities and nine new host species and locality recordings are reported. Also, this study represents the first known record of Tetrapsyllus (Tetrapsyllus) comis in Chile and the first ecological analysis of Neotyphloceras chilensis.
    Medical and Veterinary Entomology 03/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The variety of pathways for the introduction of a species into the medical collection of traditional communities has led many researchers to question the processes of selection and the use of these resources. A better comprehension of these processes will allow us to understand the cultural dynamics that are related to traditional medical practices, as well as to provide us with new ways in which to facilitate the exploration of natural products. This study aims to test the predictive power of the plant apparency hypothesis as it relates to medicinal plant selection by the rural communities of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest in northeast Brazil. Initially, a survey of the medicinal plants used by these communities was conducted using semistructured interviews. Subsequently, data on the life strategies and the habits of each species were collected. More detailed data on the specific plant parts indicated in interviews were also collected. A phytochemical screening for seven classes of chemical compounds was carried out to test the predictions of the plant apparency hypothesis. The medicinal plants from the Caatinga (especially those that are considered to be trees in habit) have a strong ability to accumulate quantitative compounds, and these species are most likely to be plants with significant biological activity related to these compounds; the medicinal plants from the Atlantic Forest, on the other hand, tend to have a high occurrence of qualitative compounds, especially in herbaceous life forms. It was concluded that the plant apparency hypothesis does not adequately explain the selection of medicinal plants in the two environments studied. Our findings highlight some important implications for bioprospecting that need to be further tested experimentally, and through systematic studies, in different regions.
    Pharmaceutical Biology 08/2011; 49(8):864-73. · 1.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Water Framework Directive (WFD) strengthened the need for the protection and enhancement of Ecological Quality Status (EQS) in water bodies of EU Member States. However, in terms of the EQS assessment, there is a lack of detailed studies that assess the consequences of dredging, especially concerning macrobenthic communities. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the EQS assessment, as important need to WFD, based on diversity and ecological quality indices after dredging activity. Data was collected in Mondego estuary, Portugal, between October 2007 and November 2008, within and around the area to be dredged (3 ha): one dredging occasion and ten sampling dates along one year. Physicalechemical changes were examined. The relative performance of Margalef, ShannoneWienner, AMBIeAZTI Marine Biotic Index and the multimetric BAT eBenthic Assessment Tool (BAT) were analyzed before and after dredging. In the first days, dredging increased the share of fine and coarse sand sediment and had changed TSS, POM and SOM, affecting the macrofauna assemblages. Two months after the dredging, the number of taxa, density, diversity and ecological indices showed similar values to pre-dredging conditions and one year later the number of species and density values almost duplicated. However, the macrofauna composition and structure were still significantly different in relation to pre-dredging and the biomass values did not return to the original values. Nevertheless, BAT was sensitive to the changes that occurred in the area, showing that the system recovered to pre-dredging values after one year, in terms of EQS. The present work reinforced the robustness of BAT as an accurate ecological quality assessment tool.
    Ocean & Coastal Management 02/2013; 72:80-92. · 1.60 Impact Factor