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  1. Alvarado, A Sanchez (Ed.)
    Abstract G protein-coupled receptors play broad roles in development and stem cell biology, but few roles for G protein-coupled receptor signaling in complex tissue regeneration have been uncovered. Planarian flatworms robustly regenerate all tissues and provide a model with which to explore potential functions for G protein-coupled receptor signaling in somatic regeneration and pluripotent stem cell biology. As a first step toward exploring G protein-coupled receptor function in planarians, we investigated downstream signal transducers that work with G protein-coupled receptors, called heterotrimeric G proteins. Here, we characterized the complete heterotrimeric G protein complement in Schmidtea mediterranea for the first time and found that 7 heterotrimeric G protein subunits promote regeneration. We further characterized 2 subunits critical for regeneration, Gαq1 and Gβ1-4a, finding that they promote the late phase of anterior polarity reestablishment, likely through anterior pole-produced Follistatin. Incidentally, we also found that 5 G protein subunits modulate planarian behavior. We further identified a putative serotonin receptor, gcr052, that we propose works with Gαs2 and Gβx2 in planarian locomotion, demonstrating the utility of our strategy for identifying relevant G protein-coupled receptors. Our work provides foundational insight into roles of heterotrimeric G proteins in planarian biology and serves as a useful springboard toward broadening our understanding of G protein-coupled receptor signaling in adult tissue regeneration. 
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  2. Few fires are known to have burned the tundra of the Arctic Slope north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. A total of 90 fires between 1969 and 2022 are known. Because fire has been rare, old burns can be detected by the traces of thermokarst and distinct vegetation they leave in otherwise uniform tundra, which are visible in aerial photograph archives. Several prehistoric tundra burns have been found in this way. Detection of tundra fires in this sparsely populated and remote area has been historically inconsistent and opportunistic, relying on reports by aircraft pilots. Fire reports have been logged into an administrative database which, out of necessity, has been used to scientifically evaluate changes in the fire regime. To improve the consistency of the record, we completed a systematic search of Landsat Collection 2 for the Brooks Range Foothills ecoregion over the period 1972–2022. We found 57 unrecorded tundra burns, about 41% of the total, which now numbers 138. Only 15% and 33% of all fires appear in MODIS and VIIRS satellite-borne thermal anomaly products, respectively. The fire frequency in the first 37 years of the record is 0.89 y−1 for natural ignitions that spread ≥10 ha. Frequency in the last 13 years is 2.5 y−1, indicating a nearly three-fold increase in fire frequency. 
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  3. Urban grasslands cover large land areas in human-dominated landscapes, but little is known about how these landscapes cycle carbon (C). In this study, we examine turfgrass biomass and productivity at thirty-three urban grassland sites within the Gwynns Fall watershed (Baltimore, MD). These sites are characteristic of residential conditions in the region and were selected to provide contrasts in urban ecosystem structure (density of coarse vegetation and built structures) as well as historical (pre-development) land use. Aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) was measured as the sum of clipping production plus stubble, thatch, and moss production. This work provides context for understanding the impact of urban expansion on regional ecosystem C dynamics and identifies specific needs related to standardized methods for measuring turfgrass ANPP in urban grassland systems. 
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