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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Temperature and biodiversity changes occur in concert, but their joint effects on ecological stability of natural food webs are unknown. Here, we assess these relationships in 19 planktonic food webs. We estimate stability as structural stability (using the volume contraction rate) and temporal stability (using the temporal variation of species abundances). Warmer temperatures were associated with lower structural and temporal stability, while biodiversity had no consistent effects on either stability property. While species richness was associated with lower structural stability and higher temporal stability, Simpson diversity was associated with higher temporal stability. The responses of structural stability were linked to disproportionate contributions from two trophic groups (predators and consumers), while the responses of temporal stability were linked both to synchrony of all species within the food web and distinctive contributions from three trophic groups (predators, consumers, and producers). Our results suggest that, in natural ecosystems, warmer temperatures can erode ecosystem stability, while biodiversity changes may not have consistent effects.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Species functional traits can influence pathogen transmission processes, and consequently affect species' host status, pathogen diversity, and community‐level infection risk. We here investigated, for 143 European waterbird species, effects of functional traits on host status and pathogen diversity (subtype richness) for avian influenza virus at species level. We then explored the association between functional diversity and HPAI H5Nx occurrence at the community level for 2016/17 and 2021/22 epidemics in Europe. We found that both host status and subtype richness were shaped by several traits, such as diet guild and dispersal ability, and that the community‐weighted means of these traits were also correlated with community‐level risk of H5Nx occurrence. Moreover, functional divergence was negatively associated with H5Nx occurrence, indicating that functional diversity can reduce infection risk. Our findings highlight the value of integrating trait‐based ecology into the framework of diversity–disease relationship, and provide new insights for HPAI prediction and prevention.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  4. We report the synthesis of Ge1−ySny films containing 6%–13% Sn directly on Si(100) for monolithic integration applications, circumventing the use of conventional Ge-buffer layers. The films are produced in a gas source molecular epitaxy chamber at ultralow temperatures of 185–210 °C and a pressure of 10−5 Torr by the reactions of pure vapor Ge4H10 and SnD4 or SnH4 without carrier gases. Very small amounts of Si, incorporated via the Si4H10 precursor, can be used to improve the structural properties. All samples were characterized by XRD, RBS, IR-ellipsometry, AFM, and TEM, indicating the formation of monocrystalline single-phase films with relatively low defectivity and flat surfaces. A notable highlight is that the residual strains of the alloy layers are much lower compared to those grown on Ge buffers and can be further reduced by rapid thermal annealing without decomposition, indicating that growth on bare silicon should produce bulklike, high Sn content alloys that cannot be accessed using Ge buffers. N-type analogs of the above samples doped with phosphorus were also produced using P(SiH3)3 as the in situ dopant precursor. The results collectively illustrate the potential of our chemistry-based method to generate good quality Ge1−ySny layers directly on large area Si wafers bypassing Ge buffers that typically lead to complications such as multiple hetero-interfaces and epitaxial breakdown at high Sn concentrations. 
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  5. Abstract Silver nanoparticles (NPs) are extensively used in electronic components, chemical sensors, and disinfection applications, in which many of their properties depend on particle size. However, control over silver NP size and morphology still remains a challenge for many synthesis techniques. In this work, we demonstrate the surfactant-free synthesis of silver NPs using a low-pressure inductively coupled nonthermal argon plasma. Continuously forming droplets of silver nitrate (AgNO 3 ) precursor dissolved in glycerol are exposed to the plasma, with the droplet residence time being determined by the precursor flow rate. Glycerol has rarely been studied in plasma-liquid interactions but shows favorable properties for controlled NP synthesis at low pressure. We show that the droplet residence time and plasma power have strong influence on NP properties, and that improved size control and particle monodispersity can be achieved by pulsed power operation. Silver NPs had mean diameters of 20 nm with geometric standard deviations of 1.6 under continuous wave operation, which decreased to 6 nm mean and 1.3 geometric standard deviation for pulsed power operation at 100 Hz and 20% duty cycle. We propose that solvated electrons from the plasma and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation induced electrons produced in glycerol are the main reducing agents of Ag + , the precursor for NPs, while no significant change of chemical composition of the glycerol solvent was detected. 
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  6. Abstract

    The stability and resilience of the Earth system and human well-being are inseparably linked1–3, yet their interdependencies are generally under-recognized; consequently, they are often treated independently4,5. Here, we use modelling and literature assessment to quantify safe and just Earth system boundaries (ESBs) for climate, the biosphere, water and nutrient cycles, and aerosols at global and subglobal scales. We propose ESBs for maintaining the resilience and stability of the Earth system (safe ESBs) and minimizing exposure to significant harm to humans from Earth system change (a necessary but not sufficient condition for justice)4. The stricter of the safe or just boundaries sets the integrated safe and just ESB. Our findings show that justice considerations constrain the integrated ESBs more than safety considerations for climate and atmospheric aerosol loading. Seven of eight globally quantified safe and just ESBs and at least two regional safe and just ESBs in over half of global land area are already exceeded. We propose that our assessment provides a quantitative foundation for safeguarding the global commons for all people now and into the future.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 6, 2024
  7. The dynamical behavior of broken symmetric coupled cavity lasers is theoretically investigated. The frequency response of this class of lasers is obtained using small signal analysis under direct modulation. Our model predicts a modulation bandwidth enhancement as a broken symmetric laser, operating in the parity-time (PT) symmetry and non-PT symmetry domains. This theoretical prediction is numerically examined in a laser system based on an InGaAs quantum dot platform. Our results clearly show that in these structures, in addition to the injection current, the gain-loss contrast can be used as a new degree of freedom in order to control the characteristic poles of the frequency response function.

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  8. All species have an environmental niche, and despite technological advances, humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia, human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by a major mode around ∼11 °C to 15 °C mean annual temperature (MAT). Supporting the fundamental nature of this temperature niche, current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same conditions, and the same optimum has been found for agricultural and nonagricultural economic output of countries through analyses of year-to-year variation. We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more over the coming 50 y than it has moved since 6000 BP. Populations will not simply track the shifting climate, as adaptation in situ may address some of the challenges, and many other factors affect decisions to migrate. Nevertheless, in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a MAT >29 °C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth’s land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara. As the potentially most affected regions are among the poorest in the world, where adaptive capacity is low, enhancing human development in those areas should be a priority alongside climate mitigation. 
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