40 Works

On the Believable Benefits of Low Inflation

Christopher Ragan
This paper reviews the existing theoretical and empirical literature addressing the benefits of low inflation. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a set of benefits in which a monetary authority can have genuine confidence. I argue that the current state of economic research—both empirical and theoretical—provides little basis for believing in significant observable benefits of low inflation such as an increase in the growth rate of real GDP. Moreover, what observable benefits do exist...

Electronic Transactions as High-Frequency Indicators of Economic Activity

John W. Galbraith & Greg Tkacz
Since the advent of standard national accounts data over 60 years ago, economists have traditionally relied on monthly or quarterly data supplied by central statistical agencies for macroeconomic modelling and forecasting. However, technological advances of the past several years have resulted in new high-frequency data sources that could potentially provide more accurate and timely information on the current level of economic activity. In this paper we explore the usefulness of electronic transactions as real-time indicators...

Data from: Vertebrate scavenging dynamics differ between carnivore and herbivore carcasses in the northern boreal forest

Michael Peers, Sean Konkolics, Yasmine Majchrzak, Allyson Menzies, Emily Studd, Rudy Boonstra, Stan Boutin & Clayton Lamb
Vertebrate scavenging can impact food web dynamics, but our understanding of this process stems predominantly from monitoring herbivore carrion and extrapolating results across carcass types. Recent evidence suggests carnivores may avoid intraguild scavenging to reduce parasite transmission. If this behavior is widespread across diverse ecosystems, estimation of nutrient cycling and community scavenging rates are likely biased to a currently unknown degree. We examined whether the time to initiate scavenging, carcass persistence, or the richness of...

Sexual maturity in Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Paul Béziers & Alexandre Roulin
The age at first reproduction can significantly impact fitness. We investigated the possible source of variation in the age at first reproduction (“sexual maturity”) and its consequences for lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of barn owls. This raptor is sexually dimorphic for two melanin-based plumage traits shown to covary with sex-specific behaviour and physiology. We observed that females were sexually mature earlier than males, an effect that depended on the colour of their...

Data from: Habitat disturbance alters color contrast and the detectability of cryptic and aposematic frogs

James Barnett, Brandon Varela, Ben Jennings, David Lesbarrères, Jonathan Pruitt & David Green
Animals use color both to conceal and signal their presence, with patterns that match the background, disrupt shape recognition, or highlight features important for communication. The forms that these color patterns take are responses to the visual systems that observe them and the environments within which they are viewed. Increasingly, however, these environments are being affected by human activity. We studied how pattern characteristics and habitat change may affect the detectability of three frog color...

Supplement: Multicenter validated detection of focal cortical dysplasia using deep learning

Ravnoor S Gill, Hyo M Lee, Benoit Caldairou, Seok-Jun Hong, Carmen Barba, Francesco Deleo, Ludovico D’Incerti, Vanessa C Mendes Coelho, Matteo Lenge, Mira Semmelroch, Dewi Schrader, Fabrice Bartolomei, Maxime Guye, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Horst Urbach, Kyoo Ho Cho, Fernando Cendes, Renzo Guerrini, Graeme Jackson, R Edward Hogan, Neda Bernasconi & Andrea Bernasconi
Objective. To test the hypothesis that a multicenter-validated computer deep learning algorithm detects MRI-negative focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). Methods. We used clinically acquired 3D T1-weighted and 3D FLAIR MRI of 148 patients (median age, 23 years [range, 2-55]; 47% female) with histologically verified FCD at nine centers to train a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) classifier. Images were initially deemed as MRI-negative in 51% of cases, in whom intracranial EEG determined the focus. For risk...

Fast Radio Burst Community Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 12

Emily Petroff & Shami Chatterjee

Progressive neurochemical abnormalities in cognitive and motor subgroups of ALS: a prospective multicentre study

Daniel Ta, Abdullah Ishaque, Ojas Srivastava, Chris Hanstock, Peter Seres, Dean Eurich, Collin Luk, Hannah Briemberg, Richard Frayne, Angela Genge, Simon Graham, Lawrence Korngut, Lorne Zinman & Sanjay Kalra
Objective: To evaluate progressive cerebral degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by assessing alterations in N-acetylaspartate (NAA) ratios in the motor and prefrontal cortex within clinical subgroups of ALS. Methods: Seventy-six ALS patients and 59 healthy controls were enrolled a prospective, longitudinal, multicenter study in the Canadian ALS Neuroimaging Consortium (CALSNIC). Participants underwent serial clinical evaluations and MRS at baseline, 4 and 8 months using a harmonized protocol across 5 centers. NAA ratios were quantified...

Adaptation across geographic ranges is consistent with strong selection in marginal climates and legacies of range expansion

Megan Bontrager, Takuji Usui, Julie Lee-Yaw, Daniel Anstett, Haley Branch, Anna Hargreaves, Christopher Muir & Amy Angert
Every species experiences limits to its geographic distribution. Some evolutionary models predict that populations at range edges are less well-adapted to their local environments due to drift, expansion load, or swamping gene flow from the range interior. Alternatively, populations near range edges might be uniquely adapted to marginal environments. In this study, we use a database of transplant studies that quantify performance at broad geographic scales to test how local adaptation, site quality, and population...

Biodiversity-productivity relationships are key to nature-based climate solutions

Akira Mori, Laura Dee, Andrew Gonzalez, Haruka Ohashi, Jane Cowles, Alexandra Wright, Michel Loreau, Yann Hautier, Tim Newbold, Peter Reich, Tetsuya Matsui, Wataru Takeuchi, Kei-Ichi Okada, Rupert Seidl & Forest Isbell
The global impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked but the feedbacks between them are rarely assessed. Areas with greater tree diversity tend to be more productive, providing a greater carbon sink, and biodiversity loss could reduce these natural C sinks. Here, we quantify how tree and shrub species richness could affect biomass production at biome, national and regional scales. We find that greenhouse gas mitigation could help maintain tree diversity and thereby...

Data from: Chemical defense and tonic immobility in early life stages of the Harlequin cabbage bug, Murgantia histrionica (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)

Eric Guerra-Grenier, Rui Liu, John T. Arnason & Thomas N. Sherratt
Antipredation strategies are important for the survival and fitness of animals, especially in more vulnerable life stages. In insects, eggs and early juvenile stages are often either immobile or unable to rapidly flee and hide when facing predators. Understanding what alternative antipredation strategies they use, but also how those change over development time, is required to fully appreciate how species have adapted to biotic threats. Murgantia histrionica is a stink bug, conspicuously colored from egg...

Multiple cropping alone does not improve year-round food security among smallholders in rural India

Pinki Mondal, Ruth DeFries, Jessica Clark, Nicole Flowerhill, , Aurélie Harou, Shauna Downs & Jessica Fanzo
Achieving and maintaining food and nutrition security is an important Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), especially in countries with largely vulnerable population with high occurrence of hunger and malnutrition. By studying a small-scale agricultural system in India, we aim to understand the current state of dietary diversity and food insecurity among the farmer communities. The study landscape has witnessed a steady rise in multiple cropping along with irrigation over the last two decades. Whether this multiple...

The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea level rise from Antartica

Robert M. DeConto, David Pollard, Richard B. Alley, Isabella Velicogna, Edward Gasson, Natalya Gomez, Shaina Sadai, Alan Condron, Daniel M. Gilford, Erica L. Ashe, Robert E. Kopp, Dawei Li & Andrea Dutton

Fast Radio Burst Community Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 11

Emily Petroff & Shami Chatterjee

Individual fish infection data from metapopulation epidemics used to calculate resistance, tolerance and competence

Christina Tadiri, Gregor Fussmann & Marilyn Scott
Host competence, defined as the likelihood that a host will transmit infection, may be affected by an individual’s resistance to infection and its ability to withstand damage caused by infection (tolerance). Host competence may therefore be one of the most important factors to impact host-parasite dynamics, yet the relationships among resistance, tolerance, and competence are poorly understood. The objective of the present study was to determine whether individual host resistance (ability to resist or minimize...

Maps of forest-smallholder homesteads in the Chaco at 10x10km² spatial resolution (1985-2015)

Christian Levers, Alfredo Romero-Muñoz, Matthias Baumann, Teresa De Marzo, Pedro David Fernández, Nestor Ignacio Gasparri, Gregorio Ignacio Gavier-Pizarro, Yann Le Polain De Waroux, María Piquer-Rodríguez, Asunción Semper-Pascual & Tobias Kuemmerle
The data contained in the three ZIP files represents the following information on smallholder homestead distribution and dynamics across the Gran Chaco ecoregion: - presence of smallholder homesteads for target years in five-year intervals between 1985 and 2015 [% per grid cell] - net loss of smallholder homesteads between five-year intervals between 1985 and 2015 [% per grid cell] - net gain of smallholder homesteads between five-year intervals between 1985 and 2015 [% per grid...

Biophysical models unravel associations between glucocorticoids and thermoregulatory costs across avian species

Juan Rubalcaba & Blanca Jimeno
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are metabolic hormones that regulate physiological and behavioural responses to environmental change and mediate homeostasis maintenance in vertebrates. Despite the assumption that GCs covary with energy metabolism, we yet lack a mechanistic understanding of how environmental factors such as temperature modulate GC variation through their effect on organismal energy balance. In particular, the mechanisms linking temperature-dependent metabolic rate and GCs at broad spatial scales and across species remain poorly investigated. Here we used...

Introductory gestures before songbird vocal displays are shaped by learning and biological predispositions

Raghav Rajan, Shikha Kalra, Vishruta Yawatkar, Logan James & Jon Sakata
Numerous animal displays begin with introductory gestures. For example, lizards start their head-bobbing displays with introductory push-ups and many songbirds begin their vocal displays by repeating introductory notes (INs) before producing their learned song. Among songbirds, the acoustic structure and the number of INs produced before song vary considerably between individuals in a species. While similar variation in songs between individuals is a result of learning, whether variation in INs are also due to learning...

Data from: The role of behavioural flexibility in primate diversification

Maria Creighton, Dan Greenberg, Simon Reader & Arne Mooers
Identifying the factors that influence species diversification is fundamental to our understanding of the evolutionary processes underlying extant biodiversity. Behavioural innovation, coupled with the social transmission of new behaviours, has been proposed to increase rates of evolutionary diversification, as novel behaviours expose populations to new selective regimes. Thus, it is believed that behavioural flexibility may be important in driving evolutionary diversification across animals. We test this hypothesis within the primates, a taxonomic group with considerable...

Adaptation and competition in deteriorating environments

Romana Limberger & Gregor Fussmann
Evolution might rescue populations from extinction in changing environments. Using experimental evolution with microalgae, we investigated if competition influences adaptation to an abiotic stressor, and vice versa, if adaptation to abiotic change influences competition. In a first set of experiments, we propagated monocultures of five species with and without increasing salt stress for ~180 generations. When assayed in monoculture, two of the five species showed signatures of adaptation, that is, lines with a history of...

Frequency of biologically-defined AD in relation to age, sex, APOEε4 and cognitive impairment in a prospective cohort study

Joseph Therriault, Tharick Pascoal, Andrea Benedet, Jaime Fernandez-Arias, Tina Wang, Gleb Berzgin, Min Su Kang, Firoza Lussier, Mira Chamoun, Melissa Savard, Cecile Tissot, Gassan Massarweh, Jean-Paul Soucy, Paolo Vitali, Paramita Saha-Chaudhuri, Serge Gauthier & Pedro Rosa-Neto
Objective: To assess the frequency of biologically-defined Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in relation to age, sex and APOEε4, as well as rates of discordance between clinically- and biologically defined AD. Methods: We assessed cognitively unimpaired (CU) elderly (n=166), amnestic MCI (n=77) and probable AD dementia (n=62) subjects who underwent evaluation by dementia specialists and neuropsychologists in addition to amyloid-PET with [18F]AZD4694 and tau-PET with [18F]MK6240. Individuals were grouped according to their AD biomarker profile. Positive predictive...

Food availability and long-term predation risk interactively affect antipredator response

Shotaro Shiratsuru, Yasmine Majchrzak, Michael Peers, Emily Studd, Allyson Menzies, Rachael Derbyshire, Murray Humphries, Charles Krebs, Dennis Murray & Stan Boutin
Food availability and temporal variation in predation risk are both important determinants of the magnitude of antipredator responses, but their effects have rarely been examined simultaneously, particularly in wild prey. Here, we determine how food availability and long-term predation risk affect antipredator responses to acute predation risk by monitoring the foraging response of free-ranging snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) to an encounter with a Canada lynx Lynx canadensis) in Yukon, Canada, over 4 winters (from 2015-2016...

Data from: Shale-hosted biota from the Dismal Lakes Group in Arctic Canada supports an early Mesoproterozoic diversification of eukaryotes

Corentin C. Loron, Galen P. Halverson, Robert H. Rainbird, Tom Skulski, Elizabeth C. Turner & Emmanuelle J. Javaux
The Mesoproterozoic is an important era for the development of eukaryotic organisms in oceans. The earliest unambiguous eukaryotic microfossils are reported in late Paleoproterozoic shales from China and Australia. During the Mesoproterozoic, eukaryotes diversified in taxonomy, metabolism and ecology, with the advent of eukaryotic photosynthesis, osmotrophy, multicellularity, and predation. Despite these biological innovations, their fossil record is scarce before the late Mesoproterozoic. Here, we document an assemblage of organic-walled microfossils from the 1590-1270 Ma Dismal...

Tariffs and the Exchange Rate: Evidence from Twitter

Dmitry Matveev & Francisco Ruge-Murcia
"US commercial policy during the presidency of Donald Trump led to renewed interest in the macroeconomic effects of trade tariffs. It has become common to use tariffs and other restrictions on international trade in an attempt to boost the domestic economy. One factor affecting the impact of tariffs is the response of local currency after tariffs are imposed. The effects of tariff changes can be eased or overturned if the local currency appreciates and prevents...

How Far Can Forecasting Models Forecast? Forecast Content Horizons for Some Important Macroeconomic Variables

John W. Galbraith & Greg Tkacz
For stationary transformations of variables, there exists a maximum horizon beyond which forecasts can provide no more information about the variable than is present in the unconditional mean. Meteorological forecasts, typically excepting only experimental or exploratory situations, are not reported beyond this horizon; by contrast, little generally accepted information about such maximum horizons is available for economic variables. The authors estimate such content horizons for a variety of economic variables, and compare these with the...

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