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  1. Quantitative estimates of particle size in estuaries and shelf areas are important to understand ocean ecology and biogeochemistry. Particle size can be characterized qualitatively from satellite observations of ocean color. As a typical marginal sea, the Yellow River Delta (YRD) with the Bohai Sea experiences a complex hydrodynamic environment. Here, we attempt to quantify the particle size distribution (PSD) slope (ξ) based on its relationship with the particle backscattering exponent from Sentinel-3A/B OLCI. The PSD slope, ξ displays temporal and spatial variability in the YRD with the Bohai Sea. Its value varies between 3 and 4, and typically exceeds 5 in offshore areas. The lowest value of ξ occurs in the winter, indicating the presence of fine inorganic particles in the water, while high values are attained in the spring, when phytoplankton blooms increase the particle size. ξ decreases near the river mouth because of the large sediment-laden discharge debouching into the sea. We detected a slight increase in ξ when turbid waters were present in the period 2016–2022. Environmental factors, such as sea surface temperature, sea surface wave height, and wind, may control particle size and ξ in the long term. Inorganic suspended particle matter is derived along the YRD using the magnitude of ξ. The mean inorganic suspended particle matter area in winter approaches 23,900 km2 when ξ < 4.6. This study thoroughly characterizes variations in ξ in the YRD with the Bohai Sea and clarifies the contributions of driving factors from human activities and climate change.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Reversible phenotypic flexibility allows organisms to better match phenotypes to prevailing environmental conditions and may produce fitness benefits. Costs and constraints of phenotypic flexibility may limit the capacity for flexible responses but are not well understood nor documented. Costs could include expenses associated with maintaining the flexible system or with generating the flexible response. One potential cost of maintaining a flexible system is an energetic cost reflected in the basal metabolic rate (BMR), with elevated BMR in individuals with more flexible metabolic responses. We accessed data from thermal acclimation studies of birds where BMR and/or Msum(maximum cold-induced metabolic rate) were measured before and after acclimation, as a measure of metabolic flexibility, to test the hypothesis that flexibility in BMR (ΔBMR), Msum(ΔMsum), or metabolic scope (Msum − BMR; ΔScope) is positively correlated with BMR. When temperature treatments lasted at least three weeks, three of six species showed significant positive correlations between ΔBMR and BMR, one species showed a significant negative correlation, and two species showed no significant correlation. ΔMsumand BMR were not significantly correlated for any species and ΔScope and BMR were significantly positively correlated for only one species. These data suggest that support costs exist for maintaining high BMR flexibility for some bird species, but high flexibility in Msumor metabolic scope does not generally incur elevated maintenance costs.

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  4. Abstract

    Animal‐sourced hydrogels, such as collagen, are widely used as extracellular‐matrix (ECM) mimics in tissue engineering but are plagued with problems of reproducibility, immunogenicity, and contamination. Synthetic, chemically defined hydrogels can avoid such issues. Despite the abundance of collagen in the ECM, synthetic collagen hydrogels are extremely rare due to design challenges brought on by the triple‐helical structure of collagen. Sticky‐ended symmetric self‐assembly (SESSA) overcomes these challenges by maximizing interactions between the strands of the triple helix, allowing the assembly of collagen‐mimetic peptides (CMPs) into robust synthetic collagen nanofibers. This optimization, however, also minimizes interfiber contacts. In this work, symmetric association states for the SESSA of short CMPs to probe their increased propensity for interfiber association are modelled. It is found that 33‐residue CMPs not only self‐assemble through sticky ends, but also form hydrogels. These self‐assemblies behave with remarkable consistency across multiple scales and present a clear link between their triple‐helical architecture and the properties of their hydrogels. The results show that SESSA is an effective and robust design methodology that enables the rational design of synthetic collagen hydrogels.

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