[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is anticipated that extreme population events, such as extinctions and outbreaks, will become more frequent as a consequence of climate change. To evaluate the increased probability of such events, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms involved. Variation between individuals in their response to climatic factors is an important consideration, especially if microevolution is expected to change the composition of populations.
Here we present data of a willow leaf beetle species, showing high variation among individuals in oviposition rate at a high temperature (20 °C). It is particularly noteworthy that not all individuals responded to changes in temperature; individuals laying few eggs at 20 °C continued to do so when transferred to 12 °C, whereas individuals that laid many eggs at 20 °C reduced their oviposition and laid the same number of eggs as the others when transferred to 12 °C. When transferred back to 20 °C most individuals reverted to their original oviposition rate. Thus, high variation among individuals was only observed at the higher temperature. Using a simple population model and based on regional climate change scenarios we show that the probability of outbreaks increases if there is a realistic increase in the number of warm summers. The probability of outbreaks also increased with increasing heritability of the ability to respond to increased temperature.
If climate becomes warmer and there is latent variation among individuals in their temperature response, the probability for outbreaks may increase. However, the likelihood for microevolution to play a role may be low. This conclusion is based on the fact that it has been difficult to show that microevolution affect the probability for extinctions. Our results highlight the urge for cautiousness when predicting the future concerning probabilities for extreme population events.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16590. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dosimetry of small fields is important for the use of high resolution photon radiotherapy. Silicon diodes yield a high signal from a small detecting volume which makes them suitable for use in small fields and high dose gradients. Unshielded diodes used in large fields are known to give a varying dose response depending on the proportion of low energy scattered photons in the field. Response variations in small fields can be caused by both spectral variations, and disturbances of the local level of lateral electron equilibrium. We present a model that includes the effects from lack of charged particle equilibrium. The local spectra are calculated by use of fluence pencil kernels and divided into a low and a high energy component. The low energy part is treated with large cavity theory and the high energy part with the Spencer-Attix small cavity theory. Monte Carlo-derived correction factors are used to account for both the local level of electron equilibrium in the field, and deviations from this level in the silicon disk cavity. Results for field sizes ranging from 0.5 × 0.5 to 20 × 20 cm² are compared to data from full Monte Carlo simulations and measurements. The achieved dose response accuracy is for the smallest fields 1-2%, and for larger fields 0.5%. Spectral variations were of little importance for the small field response, implying that volume averaging, and to some extent interface transient effects, are of importance for use of unshielded diodes in non-equilibrium conditions. The results indicate that diodes should preferably be designed to have the thin layer of active volume padded in between inactive layers of the silicon base material.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 12/2010; 55(24):7411-23. · 2.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Silicon diodes are widely used as detectors for relative dose measurements in radiotherapy. The common manufacturing practice is to encapsulate the diodes in plastic for protection and to facilitate mounting in scanning devices. Diodes intended for use in photon fields commonly also have a shield of a high atomic number material (usually tungsten) integrated into the encapsulation to selectively absorb low-energy photons to which silicon diodes would otherwise over-response. However, new response models based on cavity theories and spectra calculations have been proposed for direct correction of the readout from unshielded (e.g., "electron") diodes used in photon fields. This raises the question whether it is correct to assume that the spectrum in a water phantom at the location of the detector cavity is not perturbed by the detector encapsulation materials. The aim of this work is to investigate the spectral effects of typical encapsulations, including shielding, used for clinical diodes.
The effects of detector encapsulation of an unshielded and a shielded commercial diode on the spectra at the detector cavity location are studied through Monte Carlo simulations with PENELOPE-2005. Variance reduction based on correlated sampling is applied to reduce the CPU time needed for the simulations.
The use of correlated sampling is found to be efficient and to not introduce any significant bias to the results. Compared to reference spectra calculated in water, the encapsulation for an unshielded diode is demonstrated to not perturb the spectrum, while a tungsten shielded diode caused not only the desired decrease in low-energy scattered photons but also a large increase of the primary electron fluence. Measurements with a shielded diode in a 6 MV photon beam proved that the shielding does not completely remove the field-size dependence of the detector response caused by the over-response from low-energy photons. Response factors of a properly corrected unshielded diode were shown to give comparable, or better, results than the traditionally used shielded diode.
Spectra calculated for photon fields in water can be directly used for modeling the response of unshielded silicon diodes with plastic encapsulations. Unshielded diodes used together with appropriate corrections can replace shielded diodes in photon dose measurements.
Medical Physics 11/2010; 37(11):6055-60. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Silicon diodes have good spatial resolution, which makes them advantageous over ionization chambers for dosimetry in fields with high dose gradients. However, silicon diodes overrespond to low-energy photons, that are more abundant in scatter which increase with large fields and larger depths. We present a cavity-theory-based model for a general response function for silicon detectors at arbitrary positions within photon fields. The model uses photon and electron spectra calculated from fluence pencil kernels. The incident photons are treated according to their energy through a bipartition of the primary beam photon spectrum into low- and high-energy components. Primary electrons from the high-energy component are treated according to Spencer-Attix cavity theory. Low-energy primary photons together with all scattered photons are treated according to large cavity theory supplemented with an energy-dependent factor K(E) to compensate for energy variations in the electron equilibrium. The depth variation of the response for an unshielded silicon detector has been calculated for 5 x 5 cm(2), 10 x 10 cm(2) and 20 x 20 cm(2) fields in 6 and 15 MV beams and compared with measurements showing that our model calculates response factors with deviations less than 0.6%. An alternative method is also proposed, where we show that one can use a correlation with the scatter factor to determine the detector response of silicon diodes with an error of less than 3% in 6 MV and 15 MV photon beams.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 09/2009; 54(20):6135-50. · 2.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern radiotherapy steadily utilizes more of the available degrees of freedom provided by radiotherapy equipment, raising the need for the dosimetric methods to deliver reliable measurements for situations where the spectral properties of the radiation field may also vary. A kernel-based superposition method is presented for which the spectra from any field modulation can be instantly calculated, thus facilitating the determination of dosimetric quantities at arbitrary locations. A database of fluence pencil kernels describing the fluence resulting from point monodirectional monoenergetic beams incident onto a water phantom has been calculated with the PENELOPE-2005 Monte Carlo package. Spectra calculated by means of the kernels are presented for various 6 MV fields. The spectra have been used to investigate depth and lateral variations of water-to-air stopping-power ratios. Results show that the stopping-power ratio decreases with depth, and that this effect is more pronounced for small fields. These variations are clearly connected to spectral variations. For a 10 x 10 cm(2) field, the difference between the stopping-power ratio at 2.5 cm depth and 30 cm depth is less than 0.3% while for a 0.3 x 0.3 cm(2) field this difference is 0.7%. Ratios outside the field were found to be sensitive to the collimator leakage spectral variations.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 08/2008; 53(16):4231-47. · 2.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract 1 Willows are frequently attacked and defoliated by adult leaf beetles (Phratora vulgatissima L.) early in the season and the plants are then attacked again when new larvae emerge. The native willow Salix cinerea has previously been shown to respond to adult grazing by producing new leaves with an increased trichome density. Subsequent larval feeding was reduced on new leaves. This type of induced plant response may reduce insect damage and could potentially be utilized for plant protection in agricultural systems.2 Here, we investigated if the willow species most commonly used for biomass production in short rotation coppice, Salix viminalis, also responds to adult beetle grazing by increasing trichome density. Larval performance and feeding behaviour on plants previously exposed to adult beetles was compared with that on undefoliated control plants in a greenhouse.3 We found an overall decrease in trichome density within all the plants (i.e. trichome density was lower on new leaves compared to that for older basal leaves on S. viminalis). However, leaves of beetle defoliated plants had a higher trichome density compared to control plants. Larval growth and feeding was not affected by this difference between treatments. Larvae appeared to remove trichomes when feeding on S. viminalis, a behaviour that might explain the lack of difference between treatments.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The natural enemies attacking eggs (and young larvae) of the willow leaf beetle Phratora vulgatissima were identified in the field. Three heteropterans were common natural enemies. The mirid Orthotylus marginalis was the most abundant and had an intermediate consumption rate in the lab, whereas the mirid Closterotomus fulvomaculatus was the least abundant but had the highest consumption rate. The anthocorid Anthocoris nemorum was intermediate in abundance but had the lowest consumption rate. However, the experimental situation (in petridish or on shoot) affected the ranking of the predators and illustrates behavioral differences. The anthocorid was very mobile and could be characterized as a run and eat predator, whereas the mirids were less mobile and behaved to a find and stay principle. Possible consequences of interspecific variation in behavior, from a biological control perspective, are discussed.
Journal of Insect Behavior 10/2003; 16(6):747-764. · 0.90 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1 The effect of defoliation by larvae of the leaf beetle Phratora vulgatissima on current-year stem wood production of resprouting Salix viminalis was investigated for two years. Adjacent subplots with varying levels of defoliation within one large willow plantation in south Sweden were studied in the two years.2 High defoliation levels reduced stem wood production by an average of 32 and 39% in the two years, respectively.3 Medium defoliation levels reduced stem wood production by 16% in one year. In the other year, the stem wood production of medium-defoliated stools did not differ significantly from stools exposed to low defoliation, i.e. there was full compensatory growth.4 The main difference between the year with compensatory growth and the one without was that overall productivity was higher in the year with compensation. This finding forms the basis for a mechanistic model by which compensation could be accomplished. We propose that the major contribution to full compensation comes from an increased growth among intermediate-sized shoots of medium-defoliated stools relative to the corresponding shoots in stools exposed to low defoliation.