- Mobile Air Quality Studies (MAQS) - an international project (2010)
- Due to an increasing awareness of the potential hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws, rules and guidelines have recently been implemented globally. In this respect, numerous studies have addressed traffic-related exposure to particulate matter using stationary technology so far. By contrast, only few studies used the advanced technology of mobile exposure analysis. The Mobile Air Quality Study (MAQS) addresses the issue of air pollutant exposure by combining advanced high-granularity spatial-temporal analysis with vehicle-mounted, person-mounted and roadside sensors. The MAQS-platform will be used by international collaborators in order 1) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to road structure, 2) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to traffic density, 3) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to weather conditions, 4) to compare exposure within vehicles between front and back seat (children) positions, and 5) to evaluate "traffic zone"- exposure in relation to non-"traffic zone"-exposure. Primarily, the MAQS-platform will focus on particulate matter. With the establishment of advanced mobile analysis tools, it is planed to extend the analysis to other pollutants including including NO2, SO2, nanoparticles, and ozone.
- Die Quellfauna der hessischen Mittelgebirgsregion : Besiedlungsstrukturen, Anpassungsmechanismen und Habitatbindung der Makroinvertebraten am Beispiel von Quellen aus dem Rheinischen Schiefergebirge und der osthessischen Buntsandsteinlandschaft (1998)
- Transcriptional down-regulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (2013)
- Background: Tobacco is a leading environmental factor in the initiation of respiratory diseases and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family members are involved in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases and SOCS-3 has been shown to play an important role in the regulation, onset and maintenance of airway allergic inflammation indicating that SOCS-3 displays a potential therapeutic target for anti-inflammatory respiratory drugs development. Since chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also characterized by inflammatory changes and airflow limitation, the present study assessed the transcriptional expression of SOCS-3 in COPD. Methods: Real-time PCR was performed to assess quantitative changes in bronchial biopsies of COPD patients in comparison to unaffected controls. Results: SOCS-3 was significantly down-regulated in COPD at the transcriptional level while SOCS-4 and SOCS-5 displayed no change. Conclusions: It can be concluded that the presently observed inhibition of SOCS-3 mRNA expression may be related to the dysbalance of cytokine signaling observed in COPD.
- A phylogeographic break and bioacoustic intraspecific differentiation in the Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher) (Aves: Passeriformes, Phylloscopidae) (2014)
- Background: According to current taxonomy only three out of 27 Sinohimalayan leaf warbler species (Phylloscopidae) are considered genetically uniform across their entire breeding range along the Southeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher) being one of them. Because marked differentiation among Himalayan and Chinese populations has been recently demonstrated for a number of Phylloscopus species (or sister species) we investigated the intraspecific variation of a mitochondrial gene, songs and morphology of P. pulcher in a phylogeographic approach. Methods: We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b, reconstructed haplotype networks and analyzed DNA polymorphism among Himalayan and Chinese populations. We measured time and frequency parameters of two distinct song types and analyzed among population-differentiation in a principal component analysis and a discriminant analysis. We also compared measurements of body size dimensions taken from museum specimens. Results: The mitochondrial haplotype network (cytb) was divided into two distinct clusters corresponding to geographic origin of samples. Pairwise genetic distances among Himalayan and Chinese mtDNA lineages account for 1.3% which coincides with Pleistocene lineage separation at roughly 650,000 years ago. Genetic diversity is slightly higher in the Chinese part of the species’ range with respect to haplotype and nucleotide diversity while the less diversified Himalayan population lineage shows signs of recent range expansion. The vocal repertoire of P. pulcher comprises two distinct verse types that are combined with short interspersed click notes to long continuous song displays. Trill verse types showed significant differences among regions in almost all measured frequency and time parameters: Chinese males displayed more rapid and more broad-banded trills at a lower pitch. In contrast, warbling verse types showed a distinctively different structure among regions: Himalayan songs consisted of repeated syllables while Chinese songs comprised repetitions of single, long and strongly modulated elements. Subtle morphological differences among specimens from the two study regions could only be confirmed for plumage coloration but not for metric characters. Conclusions: Based on the genetic and bioacoustic distinctiveness of Chinese Buff-barred Warbler populations, we recommend that the name Phylloscopus pulcher vegetus Bangs, 1913 should be re-validated for this taxon.
- Evolution of leaf warbler songs (Aves: Phylloscopidae) (2015)
- Songs in passerine birds are important for territory defense and mating. Speciation rates in oscine passerines are so high, due to cultural evolution, that this bird lineage makes up half of the extant bird species. Leaf warblers are a speciose Old-World passerine family of limited morphological differentiation, so that songs are even more important for species delimitation. We took 16 sonographic traits from song recordings of 80 leaf warbler taxa and correlated them with 15 potentially explanatory variables, pairwise, and in linear models. Based on a well-resolved molecular phylogeny of the same taxa, all pairwise correlations were corrected for relatedness with phylogenetically independent contrasts and phylogenetic generalized linear models were used. We found a phylogenetic signal for most song traits, but a strong one only for the duration of the longest and of the shortest element, which are presumably inherited instead of learned. Body size of a leaf warbler species is a constraint on song frequencies independent of phylogeny. At least in this study, habitat density had only marginal impact on song features, which even disappeared through phylogenetic correction. Maybe most leaf warblers avoid the deterioration through sound propagation in dense vegetation by singing from exposed perches. Latitudinal (and longitudinal) extension of the breeding ranges was correlated with most song features, especially verse duration (longer polewards and westwards) and complexity (lower polewards). Climate niche or expansion history might explain these correlations. The number of different element types per verse decreases with elevation, possibly due to fewer resources and congeneric species at higher elevations.