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  1. Abstract

    Many savannas are experiencing increased cover of trees and shrubs, resulting in reduced herbaceous productivity, shifts in savanna functional structure and potential reductions in ecotourism. Clearing woody plants has been suggested as an effective management strategy to mitigate these effects and restore these systems to an open state with higher rates of grass production and herbivory. This study investigated the effectiveness of repeated shrub clearing as a tool to mitigate bush encroachment in a semi‐arid savanna in southern Africa.

    We present data from a 7‐year experiment in the Mthimkhulu Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park, South Africa.Colophospermum mopanestems and resprouting shoots were basally cut 2–3 times per year (2015–2022) in three pairs of treatment and control plots of 60 × 60 m. We monitored changes in soil moisture, grass biomass and herbivore activity via dung counts. We assessedC. mopanephysiological responses to repeated cutting using non‐structural carbohydrates and stable water isotopes to infer changes to energy storage and functional rooting depth, respectively.

    The cleared treatment had higher soil moisture and grass biomass than the control treatment. Dung counts showed impala and buffalo visited the cleared treatment more frequently than the control treatment.

    Repeated cutting had limited effects onC. mopanesurvival in the first 2–3 years after initial clearing, but 80% of individuals were dead after 7 years. Repeatedly cutC. mopanehad lower belowground starch concentrations and used water from shallower soil depths thanC. mopanein control plots.

    Synthesis and applications. Repeated cutting increased soil moisture availability and grass biomass, and attracted charismatic grazing herbivores. While more costly than once‐off clearing methods, this practice created more employment opportunities for a neighbouring rural community. Transforming portions of the ecosystem to a grass‐dominated state may increase ecotourism potential through improved game viewing in open systems.

     
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  2. Abstract

    Declining Arctic sea ice is increasing polar bear land use. Polar bears on land are thought to minimize activity to conserve energy. Here, we measure the daily energy expenditure (DEE), diet, behavior, movement, and body composition changes of 20 different polar bears on land over 19–23 days from August to September (2019–2022) in Manitoba, Canada. Polar bears on land exhibited a 5.2-fold range in DEE and 19-fold range in activity, from hibernation-like DEEs to levels approaching active bears on the sea ice, including three individuals that made energetically demanding swims totaling 54–175 km. Bears consumed berries, vegetation, birds, bones, antlers, seal, and beluga. Beyond compensating for elevated DEE, there was little benefit from terrestrial foraging toward prolonging the predicted time to starvation, as 19 of 20 bears lost mass (0.4–1.7 kg•day−1). Although polar bears on land exhibit remarkable behavioral plasticity, our findings reinforce the risk of starvation, particularly in subadults, with forecasted increases in the onshore period.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Multifunctional platforms that can dynamically modulate their color and appearance have attracted attention for applications as varied as displays, signaling, camouflage, anti-counterfeiting, sensing, biomedical imaging, energy conservation, and robotics. Within this context, the development of camouflage systems with tunable spectroscopic and fluorescent properties that span the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared spectral regions has remained exceedingly challenging because of frequently competing materials and device design requirements. Herein, we draw inspiration from the unique blue rings of theHapalochlaena lunulataoctopus for the development of deception and signaling systems that resolve these critical challenges. As the active material, our actuator-type systems incorporate a readily-prepared and easily-processable nonacene-like molecule with an ambient-atmosphere stability that exceeds the state-of-the-art for comparable acenes by orders of magnitude. Devices from this active material feature a powerful and unique combination of advantages, including straightforward benchtop fabrication, competitive baseline performance metrics, robustness during cycling with the capacity for autonomous self-repair, and multiple dynamic multispectral operating modes. When considered together, the described exciting discoveries point to new scientific and technological opportunities in the areas of functional organic materials, reconfigurable soft actuators, and adaptive photonic systems.

     
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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 11, 2024
  7. Abstract

    Activity‐based protein profiling (ABPP) is a chemical proteomic method for investigating functional states of proteins in native biological settings. By quantifying changes in probe binding states of active and regulatory protein sites, ABPP reveals functional information on protein regulation and can be configured in competitive settings to determine global selectivity profiles of tool compounds and drugs in lysates, cells, and animals. Chemical probes used for ABPP analyses can target protein families with conserved enzymatic or structural features or can broadly profile the proteome using electrophiles with reactivity towards functional groups on amino acid side chains. The latter approach has provided insights to protein sites involved in allosteric regulation and non‐enzymatic functions. This review introduces quantitative ABPP workflows and discusses electrophilic groups used for ABPP profiling of functional sites in the proteome with an emphasis on tyrosine residues.

     
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