The changing global climate is having profound effects on coastal marine ecosystems around the world. Structure, functioning, and resilience, however, can vary geographically, depending on species composition, local oceanographic forcing, and other pressures from human activities and use. Understanding ecological responses to environmental change and predicting changes in the structure and functioning of whole ecosystems require large‐scale, long‐term studies, yet most studies trade spatial extent for temporal duration. We address this shortfall by integrating multiple long‐term kelp forest monitoring datasets to evaluate biogeographic patterns and rates of change of key functional groups (FG) along the west coast of North America. Analysis of data from 469 sites spanning Alaska, USA, to Baja California, Mexico, and 373 species (assigned to 18 FG) reveals regional variation in responses to both long‐term (2006–2016) change and a recent marine heatwave (2014–2016) associated with two atmospheric and oceanographic anomalies, the “Blob” and extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Canopy‐forming kelps appeared most sensitive to warming throughout their range. Other FGs varied in their responses among trophic levels, ecoregions, and in their sensitivity to heatwaves. Changes in community structure were most evident within the southern and northern California ecoregions, while communities in the center of the range were more resilient. We report a poleward shift in abundance of some key FGs. These results reveal major, ongoing region‐wide changes in productive coastal marine ecosystems in response to large‐scale climate variability, and the potential loss of foundation species. In particular, our results suggest that coastal communities that are dependent on kelp forests will be more impacted in the southern portion of the California Current region, highlighting the urgency of implementing adaptive strategies to sustain livelihoods and ensure food security. The results also highlight the value of multiregional integration and coordination of monitoring programs for improving our understanding of marine ecosystems, with the goal of informing policy and resource management in the future.
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null (Ed.)Marine multicellular organisms host a diverse collection of bacteria, archaea, microbial eukaryotes, and viruses that form their microbiome. Such host-associated microbes can significantly influence the host’s physiological capacities; however, the identity and functional role(s) of key members of the microbiome (“core microbiome”) in most marine hosts coexisting in natural settings remain obscure. Also unclear is how dynamic interactions between hosts and the immense standing pool of microbial genetic variation will affect marine ecosystems’ capacity to adjust to environmental changes. Here, we argue that significantly advancing our understanding of how host-associated microbes shape marine hosts’ plastic and adaptive responses to environmental change requires (i) recognizing that individual host–microbe systems do not exist in an ecological or evolutionary vacuum and (ii) expanding the field toward long-term, multidisciplinary research on entire communities of hosts and microbes. Natural experiments, such as time-calibrated geological events associated with well-characterized environmental gradients, provide unique ecological and evolutionary contexts to address this challenge. We focus here particularly on mutualistic interactions between hosts and microbes, but note that many of the same lessons and approaches would apply to other types of interactions.more » « less
Obeid, Iyad Selesnick (Ed.)Electroencephalography (EEG) is a popular clinical monitoring tool used for diagnosing brain-related disorders such as epilepsy . As monitoring EEGs in a critical-care setting is an expensive and tedious task, there is a great interest in developing real-time EEG monitoring tools to improve patient care quality and efficiency . However, clinicians require automatic seizure detection tools that provide decisions with at least 75% sensitivity and less than 1 false alarm (FA) per 24 hours . Some commercial tools recently claim to reach such performance levels, including the Olympic Brainz Monitor  and Persyst 14 . In this abstract, we describe our efforts to transform a high-performance offline seizure detection system  into a low latency real-time or online seizure detection system. An overview of the system is shown in Figure 1. The main difference between an online versus offline system is that an online system should always be causal and has minimum latency which is often defined by domain experts. The offline system, shown in Figure 2, uses two phases of deep learning models with postprocessing . The channel-based long short term memory (LSTM) model (Phase 1 or P1) processes linear frequency cepstral coefficients (LFCC)  features from each EEG channel separately. We use the hypotheses generated by the P1 model and create additional features that carry information about the detected events and their confidence. The P2 model uses these additional features and the LFCC features to learn the temporal and spatial aspects of the EEG signals using a hybrid convolutional neural network (CNN) and LSTM model. Finally, Phase 3 aggregates the results from both P1 and P2 before applying a final postprocessing step. The online system implements Phase 1 by taking advantage of the Linux piping mechanism, multithreading techniques, and multi-core processors. To convert Phase 1 into an online system, we divide the system into five major modules: signal preprocessor, feature extractor, event decoder, postprocessor, and visualizer. The system reads 0.1-second frames from each EEG channel and sends them to the feature extractor and the visualizer. The feature extractor generates LFCC features in real time from the streaming EEG signal. Next, the system computes seizure and background probabilities using a channel-based LSTM model and applies a postprocessor to aggregate the detected events across channels. The system then displays the EEG signal and the decisions simultaneously using a visualization module. The online system uses C++, Python, TensorFlow, and PyQtGraph in its implementation. The online system accepts streamed EEG data sampled at 250 Hz as input. The system begins processing the EEG signal by applying a TCP montage . Depending on the type of the montage, the EEG signal can have either 22 or 20 channels. To enable the online operation, we send 0.1-second (25 samples) length frames from each channel of the streamed EEG signal to the feature extractor and the visualizer. Feature extraction is performed sequentially on each channel. The signal preprocessor writes the sample frames into two streams to facilitate these modules. In the first stream, the feature extractor receives the signals using stdin. In parallel, as a second stream, the visualizer shares a user-defined file with the signal preprocessor. This user-defined file holds raw signal information as a buffer for the visualizer. The signal preprocessor writes into the file while the visualizer reads from it. Reading and writing into the same file poses a challenge. The visualizer can start reading while the signal preprocessor is writing into it. To resolve this issue, we utilize a file locking mechanism in the signal preprocessor and visualizer. Each of the processes temporarily locks the file, performs its operation, releases the lock, and tries to obtain the lock after a waiting period. The file locking mechanism ensures that only one process can access the file by prohibiting other processes from reading or writing while one process is modifying the file . The feature extractor uses circular buffers to save 0.3 seconds or 75 samples from each channel for extracting 0.2-second or 50-sample long center-aligned windows. The module generates 8 absolute LFCC features where the zeroth cepstral coefficient is replaced by a temporal domain energy term. For extracting the rest of the features, three pipelines are used. The differential energy feature is calculated in a 0.9-second absolute feature window with a frame size of 0.1 seconds. The difference between the maximum and minimum temporal energy terms is calculated in this range. Then, the first derivative or the delta features are calculated using another 0.9-second window. Finally, the second derivative or delta-delta features are calculated using a 0.3-second window . The differential energy for the delta-delta features is not included. In total, we extract 26 features from the raw sample windows which add 1.1 seconds of delay to the system. We used the Temple University Hospital Seizure Database (TUSZ) v1.2.1 for developing the online system . The statistics for this dataset are shown in Table 1. A channel-based LSTM model was trained using the features derived from the train set using the online feature extractor module. A window-based normalization technique was applied to those features. In the offline model, we scale features by normalizing using the maximum absolute value of a channel  before applying a sliding window approach. Since the online system has access to a limited amount of data, we normalize based on the observed window. The model uses the feature vectors with a frame size of 1 second and a window size of 7 seconds. We evaluated the model using the offline P1 postprocessor to determine the efficacy of the delayed features and the window-based normalization technique. As shown by the results of experiments 1 and 4 in Table 2, these changes give us a comparable performance to the offline model. The online event decoder module utilizes this trained model for computing probabilities for the seizure and background classes. These posteriors are then postprocessed to remove spurious detections. The online postprocessor receives and saves 8 seconds of class posteriors in a buffer for further processing. It applies multiple heuristic filters (e.g., probability threshold) to make an overall decision by combining events across the channels. These filters evaluate the average confidence, the duration of a seizure, and the channels where the seizures were observed. The postprocessor delivers the label and confidence to the visualizer. The visualizer starts to display the signal as soon as it gets access to the signal file, as shown in Figure 1 using the “Signal File” and “Visualizer” blocks. Once the visualizer receives the label and confidence for the latest epoch from the postprocessor, it overlays the decision and color codes that epoch. The visualizer uses red for seizure with the label SEIZ and green for the background class with the label BCKG. Once the streaming finishes, the system saves three files: a signal file in which the sample frames are saved in the order they were streamed, a time segmented event (TSE) file with the overall decisions and confidences, and a hypotheses (HYP) file that saves the label and confidence for each epoch. The user can plot the signal and decisions using the signal and HYP files with only the visualizer by enabling appropriate options. For comparing the performance of different stages of development, we used the test set of TUSZ v1.2.1 database. It contains 1015 EEG records of varying duration. The any-overlap performance  of the overall system shown in Figure 2 is 40.29% sensitivity with 5.77 FAs per 24 hours. For comparison, the previous state-of-the-art model developed on this database performed at 30.71% sensitivity with 6.77 FAs per 24 hours . The individual performances of the deep learning phases are as follows: Phase 1’s (P1) performance is 39.46% sensitivity and 11.62 FAs per 24 hours, and Phase 2 detects seizures with 41.16% sensitivity and 11.69 FAs per 24 hours. We trained an LSTM model with the delayed features and the window-based normalization technique for developing the online system. Using the offline decoder and postprocessor, the model performed at 36.23% sensitivity with 9.52 FAs per 24 hours. The trained model was then evaluated with the online modules. The current performance of the overall online system is 45.80% sensitivity with 28.14 FAs per 24 hours. Table 2 summarizes the performances of these systems. The performance of the online system deviates from the offline P1 model because the online postprocessor fails to combine the events as the seizure probability fluctuates during an event. The modules in the online system add a total of 11.1 seconds of delay for processing each second of the data, as shown in Figure 3. In practice, we also count the time for loading the model and starting the visualizer block. When we consider these facts, the system consumes 15 seconds to display the first hypothesis. The system detects seizure onsets with an average latency of 15 seconds. Implementing an automatic seizure detection model in real time is not trivial. We used a variety of techniques such as the file locking mechanism, multithreading, circular buffers, real-time event decoding, and signal-decision plotting to realize the system. A video demonstrating the system is available at: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/nsf_pfi_tt/resources/videos/realtime_eeg_analysis/v2.5.1/video_2.5.1.mp4. The final conference submission will include a more detailed analysis of the online performance of each module. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Research reported in this publication was most recently supported by the National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation award number IIP-1827565 and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (PA CURE). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of any of these organizations. REFERENCES  A. Craik, Y. He, and J. L. Contreras-Vidal, “Deep learning for electroencephalogram (EEG) classification tasks: a review,” J. Neural Eng., vol. 16, no. 3, p. 031001, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-2552/ab0ab5.  A. C. Bridi, T. Q. Louro, and R. C. L. Da Silva, “Clinical Alarms in intensive care: implications of alarm fatigue for the safety of patients,” Rev. Lat. Am. Enfermagem, vol. 22, no. 6, p. 1034, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1590/0104-1169.3488.2513.  M. Golmohammadi, V. Shah, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Deep Learning Approaches for Automatic Seizure Detection from Scalp Electroencephalograms,” in Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology: Emerging Trends in Research and Applications, 1st ed., I. Obeid, I. Selesnick, and J. Picone, Eds. New York, New York, USA: Springer, 2020, pp. 233–274. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36844-9_8.  “CFM Olympic Brainz Monitor.” [Online]. Available: https://newborncare.natus.com/products-services/newborn-care-products/newborn-brain-injury/cfm-olympic-brainz-monitor. 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Many research and monitoring networks in recent decades have provided publicly available data documenting environmental and ecological change, but little is known about the status of efforts to synthesize this information across networks. We convened a working group to assess ongoing and potential cross‐network synthesis research and outline opportunities and challenges for the future, focusing on the US‐based research network (the US Long‐Term Ecological Research network, LTER) and monitoring network (the National Ecological Observatory Network, NEON). LTER‐NEON cross‐network research synergies arise from the potentials for LTER measurements, experiments, models, and observational studies to provide context and mechanisms for interpreting NEON data, and for NEON measurements to provide standardization and broad scale coverage that complement LTER studies. Initial cross‐network syntheses at co‐located sites in the LTER and NEON networks are addressing six broad topics: how long‐term vegetation change influences C fluxes; how detailed remotely sensed data reveal vegetation structure and function; aquatic‐terrestrial connections of nutrient cycling; ecosystem response to soil biogeochemistry and microbial processes; population and species responses to environmental change; and disturbance, stability and resilience. This initial study offers exciting potentials for expanded cross‐network syntheses involving multiple long‐term ecosystem processes at regional or continental scales. These potential syntheses could provide a pathway for the broader scientific community, beyond LTER and NEON, to engage in cross‐network science. These examples also apply to many other research and monitoring networks in the US and globally, and can guide scientists and research administrators in promoting broad‐scale research that supports resource management and environmental policy.
Extensive ecological research has investigated extreme climate events or long‐term changes in average climate variables, but changes in year‐to‐year (interannual) variability may also cause important biological responses, even if the mean climate is stable. The environmental stochasticity that is a hallmark of climate variability can trigger unexpected biological responses that include tipping points and state transitions, and large differences in weather between consecutive years can also propagate antecedent effects, in which current biological responses depend on responsiveness to past perturbations. However, most studies to date cannot predict ecological responses to rising variance because the study of interannual variance requires empirical platforms that generate long time series. Furthermore, the ecological consequences of increases in climate variance could depend on the mean climate in complex ways; therefore, effective ecological predictions will require determining responses to both nonstationary components of climate distributions: the mean and the variance. We introduce a new design to resolve the relative importance of, and interactions between, a drier mean climate and greater climate variance, which are dual components of ongoing climate change in the southwestern United States. The Mean × Variance Experiment (MVE) adds two novel elements to prior field infrastructure methods: (1) factorial manipulation of variance together with the climate mean and (2) the creation of realistic, stochastic precipitation regimes. Here, we demonstrate the efficacy of the experimental design, including sensor networks and PhenoCams to automate monitoring. We replicated MVE across ecosystem types at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert biome as a central component of the Sevilleta Long‐Term Ecological Research Program. Soil sensors detected significant treatment effects on both the mean and interannual variability in soil moisture, and PhenoCam imagery captured change in vegetation cover. Our design advances field methods to newly compare the sensitivities of populations, communities, and ecosystem processes to climate mean × variance interactions.