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    Environmental factors driving the abundance of Philaenus spumarius in mesomediterranean habitats of Corsica (France)

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    Life history strategies among soil bacteria—dichotomy for few, continuum for many

    Data were analyzed from samples collected, processed, and published previously [21, 25, 29] and have been summarized here. The present analysis, which consisted of sequence data processing, the calculation of taxon-specific isotopic signatures, and subsequent analyses, reflects original work.Sample collection and isotope incubationTo generate experimental data, three replicate soil samples were collected from the top 10 cm of plant-free patches in four ecosystems along the C. Hart Merriam elevation gradient in Northern Arizona. From low to high elevation, these sites are located in the following environments: desert grassland (GL; 1760 m), piñon-pine juniper woodland (PJ; 2020 m), ponderosa pine forest (PP; 2344 m), and mixed conifer forest (MC; 2620 m). Soil samples were air-dried for 24 h at room temperature, homogenized, and passed through a 2 mm sieve before being stored at 4 °C for another 24 h. This produced three distinct but homogenous soil samples from each of the four ecosystems that were subject to experimental treatments. Three treatments were applied to bring soils to 70% water-holding capacity: water alone (control), water with glucose (C treatment; 1000 µg C g−1 dry soil), or water with glucose and a nitrogen source (CN treatment; [NH4]2SO4 at 100 µg N g−1 dry soil). To track growth through isotope assimilation, both 18O-enriched water (97 atom %) and 13C-enriched glucose (99 atom %) were used. In all treatments isotopically heavy samples were paired with matching “light” samples that received water with a natural abundance isotope signatures. For 18O incubations, this design resulted in three soil samples per ecosystem per treatment (across four ecosystems and three treatments, n = 36) while 13C incubations were limited to only C and CN treatments (n = 24). Previous analyses suggest that three replicates is sufficient to detect growth of 10 atom % 18O in microbial DNA with a power of 0.6 and a growth of 5 atom % 18O with a power of 0.3 (12 and 6 atom % respectively for 13C) [30]. All soils were incubated in the dark for one week. Following incubation, soils were frozen at −80 °C for one week prior to DNA extraction.Quantitative stable isotope probingThe procedure of qSIP (quantitative stable isotope probing) is described here but has been applied to these samples as previously published [17, 21, 25]. DNA extraction was performed on soils using a DNeasy PowerSoil HTP 96 Kit (MoBio Laboratories, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and following manufacturer’s protocol. Briefly, 0.25 g of soils from each sample were carefully added to deep, 96-well plates containing zirconium dioxide beads and a cell lysis solution with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and shaken for 20 min. Following cell lysis, supernatant was collected and centrifuged three times in fresh 96-well plates with reagents separating DNA from non-DNA organic and inorganic materials. Lastly, DNA samples were collected on silica filter plates, rinsed with ethanol and eluted into 100 µL of a 10 mM Tris buffer in clean 96-well plates. To quantify the degree of 18O or 13C isotope incorporation into bacterial DNA (excess atom fraction or EAF), the qSIP protocol [31] was used, though modified slightly as reported previously [21, 24, 32]. Briefly, microbial growth was quantified as the change in DNA buoyant density due to incorporation of the 18O or 13C isotopes through the method of density fractionation by adding 1 µg of DNA to 2.6 mL of saturated CsCl solution in combination with a gradient buffer (200 mM Tris, 200 mM KCL, 2 mM EDTA) in a 3.3 mL OptiSeal ultracentrifuge tube (Beckman Coulter, Fullerton, CA, USA). The solution was centrifuged to produce a gradient of increasingly labeled (heavier) DNA in an Optima Max bench top ultracentrifuge (Beckman Coulter, Brea, CA, USA) with a Beckman TLN-100 rotor (127,000 × g for 72 h) at 18 °C. Each post-incubation sample was thus converted from a continuous gradient into approximately 20 fractions (150 µL) using a modified fraction recovery system (Beckman Coulter). The density of each fraction was measured with a Reichart AR200 digital refractometer (Reichert Analytical Instruments, Depew, NY, USA). Fractions with densities between 1.640 and 1.735 g cm−3 were retained as densities outside this range generally did not contain DNA. In all retained fractions, DNA was cleaned and purified using isopropanol precipitation and the abundance of bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies was quantified with qPCR using primers specific to bacterial 16S rRNA genes (Eub 515F: AAT GAT ACG GCG ACC ACC GAG TGC CAG CMG CCG CGG TAA, 806R: CAA GCA GAA GAC GGC ATA CGA GGA CTA CVS GGG TAT CTA AT). Triplicate reactions were 8 µL consisting of 0.2 mM of each primer, 0.01 U µL−1 Phusion HotStart II Polymerase (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA), 1× Phusion HF buffer (Thermo Fisher Scientific), 3.0 mM MgCl2, 6% glycerol, and 200 µL of dNTPs. Reactions were performed on a CFX384 Touch Real-Time PCR Detection System (Bio-Rad, Hercules, CA, USA) under the following cycling conditions: 95 °C at 1 min and 44 cycles at 95 °C (30 s), 64.5 °C (30 s), and 72 °C (1 min). Separate from qPCR, retained sample-fractions were subject to a similar amplification step of the 16S rRNA gene V4 region (515F: GTG YCA GCM GCC GCG GTA A, 806R: GGA CTA CNV GGG TWT CTA AT) in preparation for sequencing with the same reaction mix but differing cycle conditions – 95 °C for 2 min followed by 15 cycles at 95 °C (30 s), 55 °C (30 s), and 60 °C (4 min). The resulting 16S rRNA gene V4 amplicons were sequenced on a MiSeq sequencing platform (Illumina, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA). DNA sequence data and sample metadata have been deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive under the project ID PRJNA521534.Sequence processing and qSIP analysisIndependently from previous publications, we processed raw sequence data of forward and reverse reads (FASTQ) within the QIIME2 environment [33] (release 2018.6) and denoised sequences within QIIME2 using the DADA2 pipeline [34]. We clustered the remaining sequences into amplicon sequence variants (ASVs, at 100% sequence identity) against the SILVA 138 database [35] using a pre-trained open-reference Naïve Bayes feature classifier [36]. We removed samples with less than 3000 sequence reads, non-bacterial lineages, and global singletons and doubletons. We converted ASV sequencing abundances in each fraction to the number of 16S rRNA gene copies per gram dry soil based on qPCR abundances and the known amount of dry soil equivalent added to the initial extraction. This allowed us to express absolute population densities, rather than relative abundances. Across all replicates, we identified 114 543 unique bacterial ASVs.We calculated the 18O and 13C excess atom fraction (EAF) for each bacterial ASV using R version 4.0.3 [37] and data.table [38] with custom scripts available at https://www.github.com/bramstone/. Negative enrichment values were corrected using previously published methods [17]. ASVs that appeared in less than two of the three replicates of an ecosystem-treatment combination (n = 3) and less than three density fractions within those two replicates were removed to avoid assigning spurious estimates of isotope enrichment to infrequent taxa. Any ASVs filtered out of one ecosystem-treatment group were allowed to be present in another if they met the frequency threshold. Applying these filtering criteria, we limited our analysis towards 3759 unique bacterial ASVs which accounted for a small proportion of the total diversity but represented 68.0% of all sequence reads, and encompassed most major bacterial groups (Supplementary Fig. 1).Analysis of life history strategies and nutrient responseAll statistical tests were conducted in R version 4.0.3 [37]. We assessed the ability of phylum-level assignment of life history strategy to predict growth in response to C and N addition, as proxied by the incorporation of heavy isotope during DNA replication [39, 40]. Phylum-level assignments (Table 1) were based on the most frequently observed behavior of lineages with a representative phylum (or subphylum) as compiled previously [23]. We averaged 18O EAF values of bacterial taxa for each treatment and ecosystem and then subtracted the values in control soils from values in C-amended soils to determine C response (∆18O EAFC) and from the 18O EAF of bacteria in CN-amended soils to determine C and N response (Δ18O EAFCN). Because an ASV must have a measurable EAF in both the control and treatment for a valid Δ18O EAF to be calculated, we were only able to resolve the nutrient response for 2044 bacterial ASVs – 1906 in response to C addition and 1427 in response to CN addition.We used Gaussian finite mixture modeling, as implemented by the mclust R package [41], to demarcate plausible multi-isotopic signatures for oligotrophs and copiotrophs. For each treatment, we calculated average per-taxon 13C and 18O EAF values. To compare both isotopes directly, we divided 18O EAF values by 0.6 based on the estimate that this value (designated as µ) represents the fraction of oxygen atoms in DNA derived from the 18O-water, rather than from 16O within available C sources [42]. Two mixture components, corresponding to oligotrophic and copiotrophic growth modes, were defined using the Mclust function using ellipsoids of equal volume and shape. We observed several microorganisms with high 18O enrichment but comparatively low 13C enrichment, potentially indicating growth following the depletion of the added glucose, and that were reasonably clustered as oligotrophs in our mixture model.We tested how frequently mixture model clustering of each microorganism’s growth (based on average 18O–13C EAF in a treatment) could predict its growth across replicates (n = 12 in each treatment—although individual). We applied the treatment-level mixture models defined above to the per-taxon isotope values in each replicate, recording when a microorganism’s life history strategy in a replicate agreed with the treatment-level cluster, and when it didn’t. We used exact binomial tests to test whether the number of “successes” (defined as a microorganism being grouped in the same life history category as its treatment-level cluster) was statistically significant. To account for type I error across all individual tests (one per ASV per treatment), we adjusted P values in each treatment using the false-discovery rate (FDR) method [43].To determine the extent that life history categorizations may be appropriately applied at finer levels of taxonomic resolution, we constructed several hierarchical linear models using the lmer function in the nlme package version 3.1-149 [44]. To condense growth information from both isotopes into a single analysis, 18O and 13C EAF values were combined into a single variable using principal components analysis separately for each treatment. Across the C and CN treatments, the first principal component (PC1) was able to explain – respectively – 86% and 91% of joint variation of 18O and 13C EAF values. In all cases, we applied PC1 as the response variable and treated taxonomy and ecosystem as random model terms to limit the potential of pseudo-replication to bias significance values. We used likelihood ratio analysis and Akaike information criterion (AIC) values to compare models where life history strategy was determined based on observed nutrient responses at different taxonomic levels (Eq. 1) against a model with the same random terms but without any life history strategy data (Eq. 2). Separate models were applied to each treatment. To reduce model overfitting, we removed families represented by fewer than three bacterial ASVs as well as phyla represented by only one order. In addition, we removed bacterial ASVs with unknown taxonomic assignments (following Morrissey et al. [21]). This limited our analysis to 1 049 ASVs in the C amendment and 984 in the CN amendment.$${{{{{rm{PC}}}}}}{1}_{{18{{{{{rm{O}}}}}} – 13{{{{{rm{C}}}}}}}}sim {{{{{rm{strategy}}}}}} + 1|{{{{{rm{phylum}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{class}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{order}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{family}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{genus}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{eco}}}}}}$$
    (1)
    $${{{{{rm{PC}}}}}}{1}_{{18{{{{{rm{O}}}}}} – 13{{{{{rm{C}}}}}}}}sim 1 + 1|{{{{{rm{phylum}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{class}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{order}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{family}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{genus}}}}}}/{{{{{rm{eco}}}}}}$$
    (2)
    Here, life history strategy was defined at each taxonomic level using the mixture models above and based on the mean 18O and 13C EAF values of each bacterial lineage (Supplemental Fig. 2). We compared these models with the no-strategy model (Eq. 2) directly using likelihood ratio testing. More

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    Spider mites avoid caterpillar traces to prevent intraguild predation

    All the materials followed relevant institutional and national guidelines and legislation.MitesWe used a T. kanzawai population collected from trifoliate orange trees (Poncirus trifoliata [L.] Raf.) in 2018 in Kyoto, Japan, and a T. urticae population collected from chrysanthemum plants (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) in 1998 in Nara, Japan. These populations were reared on adaxial surfaces of kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) primary leaves, which were pressed onto water-saturated cotton in Petri dishes (90 mm diameter, 14 mm depth). The water-saturated cotton served as a barrier to prevent mites from escaping. The dishes were maintained at 25 °C, 50% relative humidity, and a 16L:8D photoperiod. All experiments were conducted under these conditions. We only used mated adult females (i.e., the dispersal stage) of T. kanzawai or T. urticae mites.CaterpillarsWe used caterpillars of four lepidopteran species: Bombyx mori L., P. Xuthus, Spodoptera litura Fabricius and T. oldenlandiae. We collected eggs and larvae of T. oldenlandiae from C. japonica in 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, and reared them on C. japonica leaves until pupation. Theretra oldenlandiae shares Vitaceae host plants with T. kanzawai and T. urticae8,15. We collected eggs and larvae of P. xuthus from Ptelea trifoliata in 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, and reared them on Citrus unshiu Markov. leaves until pupation. Papilio. xuthus and T. kanzawai share P. trifoliata as a host plant in Kyoto (Kinto, personal observation).We obtained commercial populations of the B. mori Kinshu × Showa strain (Ueda-sanshu Co., Ltd, Nagano, Japan) or the w1-pnd strain. We reared B. mori larvae on an artificial diet produced at the Kyoto Institute of Technology. Although T. kanzawai use Morus alba, a food plant for the B. mori strain, the mite and the strain never encounter one another in the wild, because the B. mori strain has been domesticated for hundreds of years.We obtained a sub-cultured population of S. litura from the Kyoto Institute of Technology. We reared first to fourth instars of S. litura on an artificial diet (Insecta LFM, Nosan Insect Materials, Kanagawa, Japan), while final instars were fed P. vulgaris leaves. Because S. litura feeds on various wild and cultivated plants22,23, it may share some host plants with T. kanzawai and T. urticae, both of which also feed on many host plant species8,9,10.We reared caterpillars of T. oldenlandiae, P. xuthus, and S. litura in 900 mL transparent plastic cups and caterpillars of B. mori in transparent plastic containers (140 × 220 × 35 mm). All caterpillars were maintained under the same laboratory conditions described above.PlantsWe used several parts of P. vulgaris plants in the following experiments. This species is a preferred food for both mite species16,17 and S. litura24, but the other three caterpillar species do not feed on it (Kinto, personal observation). We thus used P. vulgaris rather than shared host plants, because some caterpillars and mites (T. urticae and P. xuthus, for example) do not share any host plant.Avoidance of caterpillar traces on leaf surfaces by spider mitesTo examine whether spider mites avoid settling on host plant surfaces bearing caterpillar traces, we conducted dual-choice tests using paired adjacent leaf squares with and without caterpillar traces. We did not use whole plants because, in practice, it was difficult to induce caterpillar traces on whole plants. We used two spider mite species (T. kanzawai and T. urticae) and four caterpillar species (T. oldenlandiae, P. xuthus, B. mori, and S. litura). We cut a 10 × 20 mm leaf piece from a fully expanded primary kidney bean leaf and then cut the piece into two equal squares (10 × 10 mm). To introduce caterpillar traces to one square, we arranged them on a separate piece of paper towel on water-saturated cotton. This procedure was necessary because the caterpillars used were larger than individual leaf squares. Then we placed a fourth or final instar caterpillar on the squares and induced the caterpillar to walk across every leaf square three times (Fig. 1a). We carefully removed all caterpillar-produced silk threads from the squares. Within 30 min, we arranged the square (trace +) to touch against the other square (trace −) on water-saturated cotton in a Petri dish. Subsequently, a 2- to 4-day-old mated adult female of T. kanzawai or T. urticae was introduced onto a pointed piece of Parafilm in contact with both leaf edges using a fine brush (Fig. 1a). We recorded the leaf square onto which the mite had settled at 2 h after its introduction, as preliminary observations confirmed that all females would settle on a particular leaf within that period. Each female mite and pair of leaf squares were used only once. All tests described below were conducted between 13:00 and 17:00 h, when adult female spider mites actively disperse by walking. There were 14 replicates using traces of T. oldenlandiae, 48 of P. xuthus, 20 of B. mori, and 26 of S. litura for T. kanzawai, as well as 18, 32, 16, and 47, respectively, for T. urticae. Data were subjected to two-tailed binomial tests with the common null hypothesis that a spider mite would settle on the two squares with equal probability (i.e., 0.5).Figure 1(a) Procedure used to observe avoidance of caterpillar traces by spider mites. (b) Experimental setup used to observe avoidance of B. mori traces on plant stems by T. kanzawai. (c) Experimental setup used to observe avoidance of B. mori trace extracts by T. kanzawai.Full size imageDuration of B. mori trace avoidance by T. kanzawai
    To examine whether the effects of caterpillar traces on spider mite avoidance decline over time, we used T. kanzawai mites and B. mori caterpillars. We used B. mori because populations can be easily maintained over many generations. We prepared bean leaf squares with B. mori traces in the same manner descried above and preserved the traced square on water-saturated cotton for 0 h (n = 30), 24 h (n = 29), 48 h (n = 28), or 72 h (n = 28). Then we arranged the square (trace +) to lie in close proximity to the control square (trace −) that had been preserved for the same periods of time. Then we compared the avoidance response of T. kanzawai females in the same manner described above.Avoidance of B. mori traces on plant stems by T. kanzawai
    To examine whether T. kanzawai females avoid walking along plant stems bearing caterpillar traces, we used Y-shaped kidney bean stems (Fig. 1b). We cut symmetric bean plants ca. 15 days after sowing from their base and inserted them perpendicularly into a 5 mL glass bottle filled with water and wet cotton. To induce caterpillar traces on one branch of the stem, we allowed a silkworm to crawl from the branching point to the far end of one branch three times for each stem (n = 20). Then we introduced a T. kanzawai adult female at a release point 35 mm below the branch point (Fig. 1b). We recorded the branch along which the female walked to the far end. Each female mite and each Y-shaped stem were used only once. The numbers of females were compared using binomial tests in the same manner described above.Avoidance of B. mori trace extracts by T. kanzawai
    To extract chemical traces of caterpillar, we introduced 10 third instar B. mori to a glass Petri dish (120 mm diameter, 60 mm depth). After 1 h, we removed all caterpillars and washed the inside bottom of the dish with 1.0 mL acetone. We replicated the procedure twice using different individuals to combine all extracts and to acquire enough extract for the following experiment.To examine avoidance of B. mori trace extracts by T. kanzawai females, we conducted dual-choice experiments using T-shaped pathways of filter paper (35 × 35 mm; width, 2 mm; Fig. 1c). Using disposable micropipettes (Drummond Scientific Co., PA, USA), 1.75 caterpillar equivalents (i.e., 60 µL) of acetone extract were applied to an alternately selected branch (17.5 mm long) of each pathway (i.e., 0.10 caterpillar equivalent/mm), with control acetone applied to the other branch. We applied each solution dropwise at the junction point to minimize mixing. After evaporating the solvent from those pathways, we perpendicularly suspended them (Fig. 1c) and introduced an adult female mite at 2 days post-maturation onto the bottom of each pathway using a fine brush and recorded the branch along which the female first walked to the far end. Each female mite and each T-shaped filter paper were used only once, with 19 replicates. Each female mite made a choice within 10 min. The avoidance response of T. kanzawai was analysed in the same manner described above.Indirect effects of B. mori traces on T. kanzawai via plantsTo determine whether B. mori traces on plants indirectly affect the performance of T. kanzawai on plants, we introduced 70–80 randomly selected quiescent female deutonymphs of T. kanzawai onto kidney bean leaf disks. Immediately after synchronized adult emergence, we introduced the same number of adult males to allow mating; the detailed procedure is described elsewhere25. After 24 h, we transferred the females singly onto 10 × 10 mm bean leaf squares with or without B. mori traces prepared as described above. Because the number of eggs laid within a certain period is considered the most sensitive performance index of spider mite females26,27, any plant-mediated indirect interaction, such as defence induction in response to caterpillar traces, should result in lower egg numbers laid by the test females. We counted the eggs laid on the leaf squares 24 h after their introduction. One female that laid no eggs during the 24 h period (n = 1, trace +) was excluded from the analysis. We obtained 33 and 36 replicates for the trail+ and trail– conditions, respectively. We compared the numbers of eggs laid on leaves with and without B. mori traces using a generalized linear model with a Poisson error distribution using the SAS 9.22 software (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA).EthicsThis article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals. More

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    Tamarixia radiata global distribution to current and future climate using the climate change experiment (CLIMEX) model

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    Fieldwork: how to gain access to research participants

    Anna Lena Bercht interviewed fishers in Lofoten, Norway, to assess how climate change was affecting their livelihoods.Credit: Anna Lena Bercht

    I remember February 2011, when, in the Chinese megacity of Guangzhou, an older man finally overcame his scepticism about being interviewed and invited me to sit down next to him on a stone bench under a shady tree. I held my notebook on my lap, and we sat on either side of a translator and talked about his life and world for more than two hours. It was one of the most informative and revealing interviews that I had done during my fieldwork in the city.
    Making it in the megacity
    One of the most fundamental challenges in qualitative fieldwork is gaining access to research participants. This is often time-consuming and labour-intensive, particularly when the topic requires in-depth methods and addresses a sensitive subject.Advice that goes beyond the usual recommendations of establishing relationships with gatekeepers, ensuring anonymity for interviewees and relying on the snowball sampling technique (in which one research participant suggests further ones) is rare. In this light, I’m happy to share some simple, but often neglected, examples from my qualitative fieldwork in the lively Guangzhou (where I worked for 12 months)1 and on the remote, Arctic island chain of Lofoten, Norway (done over 4 months)2, that might offer some inspiration and encouragement.I have a background in human geography, and did my PhD on experiences of stress, coping and resilience among the Chinese population of Guangzhou in the face of the city’s rapid urbanization. I travelled there five times to help to establish research cooperation with Chinese scholars, make field observations, select a case-study site and interview locals. I, together with other PhD students, stayed in a typical Chinese high-rise apartment in a neighbourhood that wasn’t a common choice for expatriates. Living side-by-side with the locals gave us a perfect opportunity to experience genuine everyday life and Chinese culture.My first postdoctoral project after my PhD brought me to Lofoten, where I looked at psychological barriers to climate adaptation in small-scale coastal fisheries. I went to Lofoten twice. On my first visit, I travelled across the whole archipelago by bus for one month to get a profound overview of the fishing villages and local living conditions, and to conduct first interviews. During my second visit, I stayed for a total of three months in rental locations near fishing harbours, and conducted more extensive interviews.In both China and Norway, I used in-depth interviews to learn about the challenges that people face. I asked people about unemployment, about the possibility of being forced to move elsewhere and about how climate change might affect their livelihoods. This required a sensitive and thoughtful approach to ‘getting invited’ into people’s lives. In Guangzhou, German- and English-speaking Chinese students assisted me as translators (and interpreters, when needed). On Lofoten, I conducted the interviews myself in English.There are two ways to access research participants: physical access, which refers to the ability of the researcher to get in direct face-to-face contact with people, and mental access. Successful mental access means that interlocutors open up about why they think, feel and behave as they do. Physical access is a necessary condition for mental access; however, in my experience, both are equally valuable.

    Chinese interviewees in Guangzou shared their feelings about the rapid urbanization of their city.Credit: Anna Lena Bercht

    Compared with Lofoten, it took longer to get physical access to local inhabitants in China. Presumably, this was because of the language barrier and reliance on translators, as well as cultural differences. Trust is considered a central tenet in Chinese relationships, and time and effort are needed to let it grow. During my time in Guangzhou, I occasionally benefited from being a foreigner: people were touched that someone from abroad showed genuine interest in their well-being. In Lofoten, fishers appreciated talking to a social scientist instead of a natural scientist who would have mainly asked questions about fishing quotas and catch volume.My advice for other social scientists hoping to gain access to research participants falls into those two categories.How to get good physical accessUse local public transport. Using local public transport creates many unexpected opportunities to bump into people, get into conversations and gain relevant information. For example, while waiting at a bus stop in Lofoten, I came across an art-gallery owner from a fishing village. He wondered why I was travelling out of the peak tourism season. I ended up with an invitation to his gallery, where he introduced me to two retired fishers whom he had also invited. Without the gallerist and his proactive networking, I probably would not have been given the chance to interview these two very informative and engaging fishers.In a metro station in Guangzhou, a toddler kept staring at me and tried to touch my light hair. This small interaction led me to chat to the toddler’s father, who recommended that I talk to a local teacher to learn more about the area’s history. His advice opened up important insights into urban-restructuring processes that I would have missed otherwise.
    Nine ‘brain food’ tips for researchers
    Use local media. In Norway, a journalist was at the harbour to get first-hand information on the year’s cod catch, when he saw me interviewing fishers. He became curious and eager to learn more about my work. In the end, he wrote an article about my research, which was published a few days later across Lofoten. His article was a door-opener for me.People recognized me from my photo in the article and contacted me to tell me about their lives and the cod fisheries. They also invited me on their vessels and put me in touch with other key informants.Change your workplace. During fieldwork, a workplace is often needed for interview transcription, literature research and interim data analysis. Moving the workplace outside wherever you are staying during a field trip allows you to immerse yourself in the daily lives of local people and interact with them more easily. For me, such agile ‘mini-office’ locations were cafes, public libraries and picnic tables. In this way, I was able to recruit interview partners on the spot.How to create deeper mental accessWear appropriate outfits. First impressions count, always. Researchers are judged not only on what they say and how they say it, but also on how they look. Certain clothes, such as those with a political slogan or religious symbol, have certain meanings and connotations. Depending on the context and whom you talk to, your appearance could promote or impede making connections and building rapport. For instance, whereas my practical ‘outdoorsy’ get-dirty outfit was appropriate for interviews on fishing vessels, a modest appearance (non-branded clothes and a simple style) was useful in rural areas of Guangzhou.Show respect. Just like in any other relationship, respect and humility play a crucial part in building a trustworthy interviewer–interviewee relationship. Showing respect can be subtly embedded in conversations in many ways, including in the content of questions and the manner in which they are asked. When interviewees started to close down when asked about painful issues, such as underemployment or loss of identity, I upheld their privacy, comfort and security by not probing when given an evasive answer. Instead, I changed the interview focus and, when appropriate, cautiously reapproached the sensitive issue by using interview techniques such as roleplaying. Interviewees were asked to put themselves in the position of someone else, such as a spatial planner or politician, and assess the issue at hand from this perspective. Taking such an imaginary role can help to make the interviewees feel more secure and face pain more openly.Be humble. Having a modest view of yourself is essential to communicate at eye level with people. As a scientist, you can easily fall into the trap of thinking that your thoughts and concepts are somehow more valuable because you are well-educated and established. However, you are the one asking questions — and the interviewees, whether they are fishers, farmers or homeless people, often know more about many things than you do. Being aware of this is an expression of humility. I let the interviewees know that they were the local experts and I was the foreign learner.Use small talk. Small talk — including non-verbal communication, such as smiling, or connective gestures, for example handing out a handkerchief or offering some tea — has an essential bonding function. Talking about ‘safe’ topics can help the interviewee to overcome the feelings of otherness, newness and discomfort that can emerge in an interview, and fosters social cohesiveness. This can help to counteract the asymmetrical power relationship between the researcher (who asks) and the researched (who answers). For example, before substantive questioning, I created shared experiences by talking about last night’s storm or the world cod-fishing championship, which takes place every year in Lofoten. This took the relationship to a greater level of intimacy and togetherness — which small talk after finishing the interview can strengthen. I remember joking about my stamina for eating properly with chopsticks to one interviewee.Use self-disclosure. Revealing selected information about yourself and sharing your own thoughts with interlocutors can help to create and reaffirm a sphere of confidentiality and trust. Fishers in Norway would, for instance, often ask “What interested you in Lofoten coastal fisheries?” or “Why do you ask me and not the scientists from Tromsø University?” I answered such questions honestly, which assisted in creating a more balanced relationship, encouraging the interviewees to address sensitive subjects more openly and readily.Change interview sites. In several interviews, I found that the answers given tended to depend on where the interview was held and which identity that site evoked for the interviewee. For example, a fisher did not talk about climate-change concerns on his fishing vessel (any concern was masked by his existential fear of losing his livelihood as a coastal fisher), but he later that day freely discussed his worries in his home. Changing the interview site can be a helpful technique to access hidden thoughts and feelings.Above all, be realistic. You will probably make mistakes; I regretted not dressing warmly enough on a fishing vessel in Arctic weather. Locals will find you amusing, weird or impolite. They will keep out of your way, and you will never know why. And they will terminate interviews prematurely with no excuse. And that’s all right. In the end, fieldwork is a combination of planning, resources, time, skills, hard work, commitment, headache, joy — and luck. Learn from your mistakes, and accept the things you cannot change. More

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    Bagarius bagarius, and Eichhornia crassipes are suitable bioindicators of heavy metal pollution, toxicity, and risk assessment

    Analytical method validationThe results of the precision study with relative standard deviation (RSD), and accuracy are shown in Table 1. Through the precision study we found the value of RSD as less than 5%. Moreover, accuracy was done with percent recovery experiments. The results showed that the percentage recoveries for spiked samples were in the range of 95.7–103.7%.Table 1 Shows percent (%) recovery and relative standard deviation.Full size tablePhysicochemical properties and water quality indexThe investigations of the water quality properties of the Narora channel are shown in Table 2. The temperature, TDS, turbidity, and alkalinity were within the standards of the country18 and WHO19 (taken from UNEPGEMS). While pH and dissolved oxygen (D.O) were above the recommended standards indicating poor water quality. Moreover, the detected heavy metals were in the following order Ni  > Fe  > Cd  > Zn  > Cr  > Cu  > Mn. Among these heavy metals Mn, Cu, and Zn were within the recommended limits whereas Cr, Fe, Ni, and Cd were crossing the limits18 contributing to the poor quality. Furthermore, the WQI calculation will give more insights into the overall quality of water as it explains the combined effect of several physicochemical properties12. Its calculation is done simply by converting numerous variables of water quality into a single number12,20. In addition to this, WQI simplifies all the data and helps in clarifying water quality issues by combining the complex data and producing a score that shows the status of water quality2,12,21. The WQI classifies water quality status into five groups such as if WQI  Cu  > Zn  > Fe  > Zn  > Ni  > Cr from root to stalk; and Mn  > Cd  > Zn  > Cu  > Fe  > Ni  > Cr from stalk to leaves.Table 5 Heavy metal concentrations in Eichhornia crassipes (mg/kg.dw).Full size tableFigure 3MPI values in E. crassipes.Full size imageTable 6 Bioaccumulation factor (BAF), transfer factor (TF), and mobility factor (MF) in plant E. crassipes.Full size tableThese factors BAF, TF, and MF are utilized to monitor the level of anthropogenic pollution in plants and their surrounding medium2,15,32,34,35. BAF shows the concentrations of heavy metals bioaccumulated by plants from the water. If the BAF  > 1 it indicates hyperaccumulation36. So, in the present study, all the concerned heavy metals were hyperaccumulated in the plant. The TF elucidates the capability of the plant to translocate the accumulated metals to its other parts. The roots of E. crassipes showed the highest translocation capacity for Ni (1.57) as well as Zn (1.30) to other parts. If the value of TF exceeds 1, then it represents the high accumulation efficiency37,38, therefore, plants will be considered as the hyperaccumulators for the Ni and Zn. Although the Cd was the highest accumulated metal in the plant, it could have been because of its may be because of its low TF. Whereas, TF values lower than 1 for Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Cd pointed out that this plant’s roots act as a non-hyperaccumulator for these heavy metals. Furthermore, the highest MF values were depicted for Mn in both cases which reflects that E. crassipes can suitably be used for phytoextraction of Mn as well as for Cd, Zn, Fe, Ni, and Cu. The BAF, TF, and MF of Cr are low in the present study, which implies that roots are limiting the Cr. Moreover, if the BAF ≤ 1.00 then it shows the capability of absorption only rather than accumulation36,37. In addition, if the values of BAF, TF, and MF exceed 1, plants can also work for phytoextraction. Furthermore, if the BAF  > 1 and TF  More

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    Urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods bore fruit for health and food system resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral restrictions were imposed, after which various health problems were reported in many countries45,46. The pandemic has also increased food insecurity worldwide; consequently, panic buying has been observed in many countries, including Japan47. However, even in such situations, we found that diversity in local food access, ranging from self-cultivation to direct-to-consumer sales, was significantly associated with health and food security variables. Specifically, our results revealed the following five key discussion points.Urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods bore fruit for health and food system resilience. However, the magnitude of its contribution differed depending on the type of urban agricultureThe results of this study showed that those who grew food by themselves at allotment farms and home gardens had significantly better subjective well-being and physical activity levels than those who did not. This result is in line with previous studies conducted during times free from the impact of infectious disease pandemics38,39,40. The use of direct sales was not related to subjective well-being but was significantly associated with physical activity. The reason might be that farm stand users tend to live in areas with farmland and travel to purchase fruits and vegetables at farm stands on foot or by bicycle. This result is consistent with that of a previous study demonstrating that the food environment in neighborhoods is an important component in promoting physical activity17.Our results also showed that those who grew food by themselves at allotment farms and those who purchased local foods at farm stands were significantly less anxious about the availability of fresh food both during the state of emergency and in the future than their counterparts. In contrast, home garden users showed significant differences only for the state of emergency. This result might be due to the differences in the size and yield of cultivation at allotment farms and home gardens. One lot in allotment farms in Tokyo can produce as much as or more than the average annual vegetable consumption per household in Japan48. However, home gardens are generally smaller and produce limited fresh foods for consumption, which may have influenced food security concerns.As in other countries, Japan imports much food from overseas and is deeply integrated into the large-scale global food system. However, as shown in this study, urban agriculture in Japanese suburbs forms small-scale, decentralized, and community-based local food systems. This multilayered food system can complement the disruptions and shortages of the global system when various problems occur for climatic, sociopolitical, or other reasons, such as pandemics. In fact, our empirical evidence suggests that urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods, particularly allotment farms and direct-to-consumer sales at farm stands, contributed to the mitigation of food security concerns in neighborhood communities. This means that urban agriculture could enhance the resilience of the urban food system at a time when the global food system has been disrupted due to a pandemic. This validates recent discussions about the potential of urban agriculture to facilitate food system resilience10. Furthermore, our findings imply that the types of urban agriculture employed matter in determining the degree of contribution to food system resilience.To summarize the overall results, urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods bore fruit for health and food system resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, different types of urban agriculture exhibited varying associations with health and resilience. Allotment farms were positively related to all of the following: subjective well-being, physical activity, and food security concerns, both during the state of emergency and in the future. Home gardens were positively related to subjective well-being, physical activity, and food security concerns only during the state of emergency. Farm stands were positively related to physical activity and food security concerns both during the state of emergency and in the future.These differences may be due to the characteristics of the respective spaces. It is suggested that this diversity of urban agriculture has led to different types of people benefiting from various kinds of urban agriculture. Allotment farms were found to be associated with high subjective well-being, physical activity, and food security, but they may not be feasible for those who do not have enough physical strength because users are responsible for cultivating their lots, which measure 10–30 square meters40. In contrast, home gardens can be created even by those who are not confident in their physical strength. In fact, our study showed that women and older people engaged in home gardening more than men and younger people. In addition, direct-to-consumer sales at farm stands are the easiest way to obtain local fresh foods for those who do not have the time and space for allotment farms and home gardens. The need for urban agriculture has been argued in many countries2,3. However, little attention has been paid to its scale, accessibility, and diversity. Our study suggests that it is worthwhile to create diverse food production spaces within walkable neighborhoods while considering the diversity of people who access these spaces.Compared to other urban greenery and food retailers, the benefits of urban agriculture on subjective well-being and food security could be greaterCompared to the use of other urban green spaces, including urban parks, our results indicated that self-cultivation at allotment farms and home gardens was more strongly associated with subjective well-being. Previous studies have offered limited perspectives on the differences among various types of urban green spaces33. Our study further suggests that urban parks, allotment farms, and home gardens are differently associated with human health. However, as the reason was not determined, further research is needed.Furthermore, compared to other food retailers, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, and co-op deliveries, allotment farms and farm stands were more strongly associated with less anxiety about fresh food availability in the future. The availability of local fresh foods within walkable neighborhoods might have mitigated food security concerns because residents could grow food by themselves or directly observe farmers’ production processes, which may have made the difference from purchasing at places where the food systems were not visible.Flexibility in work style might promote urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoodsThere was an association between work style—working from home—and access to local food. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (https://www.mhlw.go.jp/english), 52% of Tokyo office workers worked from home during the first emergency declaration. Long commute times and high train congestion rates have been a problem in Tokyo suburbs, but remote workers have gained more time at and around their homes by reducing their commute times, increasing their opportunities to access local food in their walkable neighborhoods. Those who worked from home sought outdoor activities for refreshment and exercise and used a variety of urban green spaces during the pandemic49. Allotment farms and home gardens might be used as such urban green spaces. This result is consistent with previous studies assessing the characteristics of Canadian gardeners during the COVID-19 pandemic28,30.Until now, urban planners and policymakers have rarely taken work style into account. However, the flexibility of work styles and work hours may bring new insights; for example, those who work from home may become important players in urban agriculture. It has been pointed out that cities have a large hidden potential for urban agriculture by cultivating underused lands50. Our study suggests that such underused lands could be converted into productive urban landscapes for remote workers to engage in farming or gardening in between jobs as a hobby or as a side business.Food equity might be improved by urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoodsLocal fresh food is generally considered more expensive than junk food in high-income countries, creating social issues of food inequity. Therefore, past discussions on urban agriculture and food security have focused primarily on low-income households in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas24,25,26.In contrast, our study covered people from all income groups and found no statistically significant relationship between access to local food and income. This finding might be due to two urban cultural backgrounds regarding local food in Tokyo, that is, accessibility and affordability. First, residential segregation by income levels is not noteworthy in Tokyo and people from various income brackets live mixed in the same neighborhoods51. Therefore, most urban residents living in the suburbs have geographically equitable opportunities to access local foods. Second, local foods sold at farm stands are affordable. Prices are almost the same or cheaper than buying food at food retailers. While prices increase because of middleman margins related to shipping in the wholesale market, such increases are unnecessary when selling directly to consumers at farm stands. In addition, the allotment farm lots are not expensive to rent, particularly those operated by local municipalities (Supplementary Note 1).These two backgrounds make local fresh food physically and economically accessible to consumers of all income levels, resulting in food equity. This is particularly important because the concept of food system resilience includes the equitability perspective27.The integration of urban agriculture into walkable neighborhoods is a fruitful wayWhile the current discussion on walkable neighborhoods does not emphasize urban agriculture, our evidence indicated its effectiveness. The concept of walkable neighborhoods (e.g., the 15-min city model) stresses the decarbonization benefit of limiting vehicle travel, as well as the health benefits of promoting walking and cycling13,14,15,16. In addition, our research indicated that urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods benefited health and well-being by increasing recreational outdoor opportunities to neighborhood communities, including remote workers. It also contributed to food system resilience by providing local foods to all people, including low-income households, when the global food system was disrupted due to the pandemic. Furthermore, recent studies on urban agriculture reported the decarbonization benefit of reducing carbon footprints in food production and distribution7,8. Small-scale and community-based urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods might especially bring this benefit because neighborhood communities travel to farms on foot or by bicycle, which means almost no emission by distribution. While urban green spaces have various health benefits32,33,34,35, urban agriculture also contributes to food system resilience as well as carbon emission reduction, which makes it unique.Urban agriculture was once considered a failure of urban planning in Japan because it symbolized uncontrolled sprawl. This is analogous to the Western view, as urban agriculture was once considered the ultimate oxymoron1. However, our empirical evidence suggests that the urban‒rural mixture at neighborhood scales is a reasonable urban form that contributes to the resilience of the urban food system and to the health and well-being of neighborhood communities. It is no longer a failure of urban planning but a legacy of urban sprawl in the current urban context.Our study showed that integrating urban agriculture into walkable neighborhoods is a fruitful way of creating healthier cities and developing more resilient urban food systems during times of uncertainty. In cities where there is no farmland in intraurban areas, it would be considered effective to utilize underused spaces such as vacant lots and rooftops as productive urban landscapes. In growing cities where urban areas are still expanding, it would be advantageous to conserve agricultural landscapes within their urban fabrics. Our study could provide referential insights and robust evidence for urban policy to integrate urban agriculture into walkable neighborhoods.This study has potential limitations, including the timing of the survey and the measurement method that was utilized. We conducted the survey between June 4 and 8, 2020, just after the end of the first declaration of a state of emergency by the Japanese government. During this period, the main cultivation activities were planting and growing, and the harvest was just beginning. This seasonal constraint may have influenced the results. Because the survey was conducted during the pandemic, we used subjective methods to measure health and well-being status. However, the results might be different using objective methods52, thus further research is necessary. In addition, a longitudinal study is needed to determine whether the trends observed in this study were specific to the emergency period or whether they will persist after the COVID-19 pandemic. More

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    Elevated alpha diversity in disturbed sites obscures regional decline and homogenization of amphibian taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity

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