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1.
Accid Anal Prev ; 141: 105540, 2020 Apr 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32304868

RESUMO

Increased cycling uptake can improve population health, but barriers include real and perceived risks. Crash risk factors are important to understand in order to improve safety and increase cycling uptake. Many studies of cycling crash risk are based on combining diverse sources of crash and exposure data, such as police databases (crashes) and travel surveys (exposure), based on shared geography and time. When conflating crash and exposure data from different sources, the risk factors that can be quantified are only those variables common to both datasets, which tend to be limited to geography (e.g. countries, provinces, municipalities) and a few general road user characteristics (e.g. gender and age strata). The Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project was a prospective cohort study that collected both crash and exposure data from seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Örebro, Rome, Vienna and Zürich). The goal of this research was to use data from the PASTA project to quantify exposure-adjusted crash rates and model adjusted crash risk factors, including detailed sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes about transportation, neighbourhood built environment features and location by city. We used negative binomial regression to model the influence of risk factors independent of exposure. Of the 4,180 cyclists, 10.2 % reported 535 crashes. We found that overall crash rates were 6.7 times higher in London, the city with the highest crash rate, relative to Örebro, the city with the lowest rate. Differences in overall crash rates between cities are driven largely by crashes that did not require medical treatment and that involved motor-vehicles. In a parsimonious crash risk model, we found higher crash risks for less frequent cyclists, men, those who perceive cycling to not be well regarded in their neighbourhood, and those who live in areas of very high building density. Longitudinal collection of crash and exposure data can provide important insights into individual differences in crash risk. Substantial differences in crash risks between cities, neighbourhoods and population groups suggest there is great potential for improvement in cycling safety.

2.
BMC Public Health ; 19(1): 51, 2019 Jan 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30630441

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Urban form interventions can result in positive and negative impacts on physical activity, social participation, and well-being, and inequities in these outcomes. Natural experiment studies can advance our understanding of causal effects and processes related to urban form interventions. The INTErventions, Research, and Action in Cities Team (INTERACT) is a pan-Canadian collaboration of interdisciplinary scientists, urban planners, and public health decision makers advancing research on the design of healthy and sustainable cities for all. Our objectives are to use natural experiment studies to deliver timely evidence about how urban form interventions influence health, and to develop methods and tools to facilitate such studies going forward. METHODS: INTERACT will evaluate natural experiments in four Canadian cities: the Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver, British Columbia; the All Ages and Abilities Cycling Network in Victoria, BC; a new Bus Rapid Transit system in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and components of the Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2020 in Montreal, Quebec, a plan that includes urban form changes initiated by the city and approximately 230 partnering organizations. We will recruit a cohort of between 300 and 3000 adult participants, age 18 or older, in each city and collect data at three time points. Participants will complete health and activity space surveys and provide sensor-based location and physical activity data. We will conduct qualitative interviews with a subsample of participants in each city. Our analysis methods will combine machine learning methods for detecting transportation mode use and physical activity, use temporal Geographic Information Systems to quantify changes to urban intervention exposure, and apply analytic methods for natural experiment studies including interrupted time series analysis. DISCUSSION: INTERACT aims to advance the evidence base on population health intervention research and address challenges related to big data, knowledge mobilization and engagement, ethics, and causality. We will collect ~ 100 TB of sensor data from participants over 5 years. We will address these challenges using interdisciplinary partnerships, training of highly qualified personnel, and modern methodologies for using sensor-based data.


Assuntos
Planejamento Ambiental , Estudos de Avaliação como Assunto , Exercício Físico , Saúde Pública , População Urbana , Adolescente , Adulto , Colúmbia Britânica , Cidades , Estudos de Coortes , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Humanos , Análise de Séries Temporais Interrompida , Quebeque , Projetos de Pesquisa , Saskatchewan , Participação Social , Inquéritos e Questionários , Transportes
3.
BMJ Open ; 8(1): e019130, 2018 01 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29358440

RESUMO

INTRODUCTION: Bicycling is promoted as a transportation and population health strategy globally. Yet bicycling has low uptake in North America (1%-2% of trips) compared with European bicycling cities (15%-40% of trips) and shows marked sex and age trends. Safety concerns due to collisions with motor vehicles are primary barriers.To attract the broader population to bicycling, many cities are making investments in bicycle infrastructure. These interventions hold promise for improving population health given the potential for increased physical activity and improved safety, but such outcomes have been largely unstudied. In 2016, the City of Victoria, Canada, committed to build a connected network of infrastructure that separates bicycles from motor vehicles, designed to attract people of 'all ages and abilities' to bicycling.This natural experiment study examines the impacts of the City of Victoria's investment in a bicycle network on active travel and safety outcomes. The specific objectives are to (1) estimate changes in active travel, perceived safety and bicycle safety incidents; (2) analyse spatial inequities in access to bicycle infrastructure and safety incidents; and (3) assess health-related economic benefits. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study is in three Canadian cities (intervention: Victoria; comparison: Kelowna, Halifax). We will administer population-based surveys in 2016, 2018 and 2021 (1000 people/city). The primary outcome is the proportion of people reporting bicycling. Secondary outcomes are perceived safety and bicycle safety incidents. Spatial analyses will compare the distribution of bicycle infrastructure and bicycle safety incidents across neighbourhoods and across time. We will also calculate the economic benefits of bicycling using WHO's Health Economic Assessment Tool. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study received approval from the Simon Fraser University Office of Research Ethics (study no. 2016s0401). Findings will be disseminated via a website, presentations to stakeholders, at academic conferences and through peer-reviewed journal articles.


Assuntos
Ciclismo/estatística & dados numéricos , Cidades , Meio Ambiente , Transportes/economia , Adolescente , Adulto , Idoso , Canadá , Estudos Transversais , Feminino , Promoção da Saúde/economia , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Projetos de Pesquisa , Análise Espacial , Inquéritos e Questionários , Adulto Jovem
4.
Accid Anal Prev ; 111: 101-108, 2018 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29195128

RESUMO

Many cities are making significant financial investments in cycling infrastructure with the aim of making cycling safer for riders of all ages and abilities. Methods for evaluating cycling safety tend to summarize average change for a city or emphasize change on a single road segment. Few spatially explicit approaches are available to evaluate how patterns of safety change throughout a city due to cycling infrastructure investments or other changes. Our goal is to demonstrate a method for monitoring changes in the spatial-temporal distribution of cycling incidents across a city. Using cycling incident data provided by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, we first compare planar versus network constrained kernel density estimation for visualizing incident intensity across the street network of Vancouver, Canada. Second, we apply a change detection algorithm explicitly designed for detecting statistically significant change in kernel density estimates. The utility of network kernel density change detection is demonstrated through the comparison of cycling incident densities following the construction of two cycle tracks in the downtown core of Vancouver. The methods developed and demonstrated for this study provide city planners, transportation engineers and researchers a means of monitoring city-wide change in the intensity of cycling incidents following enhancements to cycling infrastructure or other significant changes to the transportation network.


Assuntos
Acidentes de Trânsito , Ciclismo , Cidades , Planejamento Ambiental , Segurança , Transportes , População Urbana , Colúmbia Britânica , Engenharia , Humanos , Seguro , Investimentos em Saúde
5.
Accid Anal Prev ; 103: 65-71, 2017 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28384490

RESUMO

Real and perceived concerns about cycling safety are a barrier to increased ridership in many cities. Many people prefer to bike on facilities separated from motor vehicles, such as multiuse trails. However, due to underreporting, cities lack data on bike collisions, especially along greenways and multiuse paths. We used a crowdsourced cycling incident dataset (2005-2016) from BikeMaps.org for the Capital Regional District (CRD), BC, Canada. Our goal was to identify design characteristics associated with unsafe intersections between multiuse trails and roads. 92.8% of mapped incidents occurred between 2014 and 2016. We extracted both collision and near miss incidents at intersections from BikeMaps.org. We conducted site observations at 32 intersections where a major multiuse trail intersected with roads. We compared attributes of reported incidents at multiuse trail-road intersections to those at road-road intersections. We then used negative binomial regression to model the relationship between the number of incidents and the infrastructure characteristics at multiuse trail-road intersections. We found a higher proportion of collisions (38%, or 17/45 total reports) at multiuse trail-road intersections compared to road-road intersections (23%, or 62/268 total reports). A higher proportion of incidents resulted in an injury at multiuse trail-road intersections compared to road-road intersections (33% versus 15%). Cycling volumes, vehicle volumes, and trail sight distance were all associated with incident frequency at multiuse trail-road intersections. Supplementing traditional crash records with crowdsourced cycling incident data provides valuable evidence on cycling safety at intersections between multiuse trails and roads, and more generally, when conflicts occur between diverse transportation modes.


Assuntos
Acidentes de Trânsito/estatística & dados numéricos , Ciclismo/estatística & dados numéricos , Crowdsourcing/métodos , Segurança , Adolescente , Adulto , Ciclismo/lesões , Canadá , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Cidades , Planejamento Ambiental , Feminino , Humanos , Lactente , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Veículos Automotores/estatística & dados numéricos , Adulto Jovem
6.
Environ Res ; 156: 190-200, 2017 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28359039

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Harmful algal blooms produce paralytic shellfish toxins that accumulate in the tissues of filter feeding shellfish. Ingestion of these toxic shellfish can cause a serious and potentially fatal condition known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The coast of British Columbia is routinely monitored for shellfish toxicity, and this study uses data from the monitoring program to identify spatiotemporal patterns in shellfish toxicity events and their relationships with environmental variables. METHODS: The dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium produces the most potent paralytic shellfish toxin, saxitoxin (STX). Data on all STX measurements were obtained from 49 different shellfish monitoring sites along the coast of British Columbia for 2002-2012, and monthly toxicity events were identified. We performed hierarchical cluster analysis to group sites that had events in similar areas with similar timing. Machine learning techniques were used to model the complex relationships between toxicity events and environmental variables in each group. RESULTS: The Strait of Georgia and the west coast of Vancouver Island had unique toxicity regimes. Out of the seven environmental variables used, toxicity in each cluster could be described by multivariable models including monthly sea surface temperature, air temperature, sea surface salinity, freshwater discharge, upwelling, and photosynthetically active radiation. The sea surface salinity and freshwater discharge variables produced the strongest univariate models for both geographic areas. CONCLUSIONS: Applying these methods in coastal regions could allow for the prediction of shellfish toxicity events by environmental conditions. This has the potential to optimize biotoxin monitoring, improve public health surveillance, and engage the shellfish industry in helping to reduce the risk of PSP.


Assuntos
Dinoflagelados/fisiologia , Meio Ambiente , Proliferação Nociva de Algas , Saxitoxina/análise , Água do Mar/análise , Frutos do Mar , Animais , Colúmbia Britânica , Análise por Conglomerados , Aprendizado de Máquina
7.
Nat Commun ; 7: 12491, 2016 08 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27572157

RESUMO

Human occupation is usually associated with degraded landscapes but 13,000 years of repeated occupation by British Columbia's coastal First Nations has had the opposite effect, enhancing temperate rainforest productivity. This is particularly the case over the last 6,000 years when intensified intertidal shellfish usage resulted in the accumulation of substantial shell middens. We show that soils at habitation sites are higher in calcium and phosphorous. Both of these are limiting factors in coastal temperate rainforests. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) trees growing on the middens were found to be taller, have higher wood calcium, greater radial growth and exhibit less top die-back. Coastal British Columbia is the first known example of long-term intertidal resource use enhancing forest productivity and we expect this pattern to occur at archaeological sites along coastlines globally.


Assuntos
Atividades Humanas , Floresta Úmida , Solo/química , Thuja/fisiologia , Colúmbia Britânica , Cálcio/química , Fósforo/química , Ondas de Maré , Fatores de Tempo
8.
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol ; 26(6): 554-565, 2016 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25805255

RESUMO

Radon is a carcinogenic radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium. Accumulation of radon in residential structures contributes to lung cancer mortality. The goal of this research is to predict residential radon vulnerability classes for the province of British Columbia (BC) at aggregated spatial units. Spatially referenced indoor radon concentration data were partitioned into low, medium, and high classes of radon vulnerability. Radon vulnerability classes were then linked to environmental and housing data derived from existing geospatial datasets. A Balanced Random Forests algorithm was used to model environmental predictors of indoor radon vulnerability and values at un-sampled locations across BC. A model was generated and evaluated using accuracy, precision, and kappa statistics. The influence of predictor variables was investigated through variable importance and partial dependence plots. The model performed 34% better than a random classifier. Increased probabilities of high vulnerability were associated with cold and dry winters, close proximity to major river systems, and fluvioglacial and colluvial soil parent materials. The Kootenays and Columbia-Shuswap regions were most at risk. Here, we present a novel method for predictive radon mapping that is broadly applicable to regions throughout the world.


Assuntos
Poluentes Radioativos do Ar/análise , Poluição do Ar em Ambientes Fechados/análise , Radônio/análise , Poluentes Radioativos do Solo/análise , Colúmbia Britânica , Bases de Dados Factuais , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Habitação , Humanos , Modelos Teóricos , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Estações do Ano
9.
Front Public Health ; 3: 253, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26636055

RESUMO

Alcohol consumption often leads to elevated rates of violence yet alcohol access policies continue to relax across the globe. Our review establishes the extent alcohol policy can moderate violent crime through alcohol availability restrictions. Results were informed from comprehensive selection of peer-reviewed journals from 1950 to October 2015. Our search identified 87 relevant studies on alcohol access and violence conducted across 12 countries. Seventeen studies included quasi-control design, and 23 conducted intervention analysis. Seventy-one (82%) reported a significant relationship between alcohol access and violent offenses. Alcohol outlet studies reported the greatest percentage of significant results (93%), with trading hours (63%), and alcohol price following (58%). Results from baseline studies indicated the effectiveness of increasing the price of commonly consumed alcohol, restricting the hours of alcohol trading, and limiting the number of alcohol outlets per region to prevent violent offenses. Unclear are the effects of tax reductions, restriction of on-premises re-entry, and different outlet types on violent crime. Further, the generalization of statistics over broad areas and the low number of control/intervention studies poses some concern for confounding or correlated effects on study results, and amount of information for local-level prevention of interpersonal violence. Future studies should focus on gathering longitudinal data, validating models, limiting crime data to peak drinking days and times, and wherever possible collecting the joint distribution between violent crime, intoxication, and place. A greater uptake of local-level analysis will benefit studies comparing the influence of multiple alcohol establishment types by relating the location of a crime to establishment proximity. Despite, some uncertainties particular studies showed that even modest policy changes, such as 1% increases in alcohol price, 1 h changes to closing times, and limiting establishment densities to <25 outlets per postal code substantively reduce violent crime.

10.
BMC Public Health ; 15: 1144, 2015 Nov 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26584618

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: There is no safe concentration of radon gas, but guideline values provide threshold concentrations that are used to map areas at higher risk. These values vary between different regions, countries, and organizations, which can lead to differential classification of risk. For example the World Health Organization suggests a 100 Bq m(-3)value, while Health Canada recommends 200 Bq m(-3). Our objective was to describe how different thresholds characterized ecological radon risk and their visual association with lung cancer mortality trends in British Columbia, Canada. METHODS: Eight threshold values between 50 and 600 Bq m(-3) were identified, and classes of radon vulnerability were defined based on whether the observed 95(th) percentile radon concentration was above or below each value. A balanced random forest algorithm was used to model vulnerability, and the results were mapped. We compared high vulnerability areas, their estimated populations, and differences in lung cancer mortality trends stratified by smoking prevalence and sex. RESULTS: Classification accuracy improved as the threshold concentrations decreased and the area classified as high vulnerability increased. Majority of the population lived within areas of lower vulnerability regardless of the threshold value. Thresholds as low as 50 Bq m(-3) were associated with higher lung cancer mortality, even in areas with low smoking prevalence. Temporal trends in lung cancer mortality were increasing for women, while decreasing for men. CONCLUSIONS: Radon contributes to lung cancer in British Columbia. The results of the study contribute evidence supporting the use of a reference level lower than the current guideline of 200 Bq m(-3) for the province.


Assuntos
Neoplasias Pulmonares/epidemiologia , Radônio/normas , Radônio/toxicidade , Colúmbia Britânica/epidemiologia , Ecologia , Feminino , Humanos , Neoplasias Pulmonares/mortalidade , Masculino , Valores de Referência , Risco , Fatores Sexuais , Fumar/epidemiologia
11.
Mov Ecol ; 3: 38, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26527378

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The study of inter-individual interactions (often termed spatial-temporal interactions, or dynamic interactions) from remote tracking data has focused primarily on identifying the presence of such interactions. New datasets and methods offer opportunity to answer more nuanced questions, such as where on the landscape interactions occur. In this paper, we provide a new approach for mapping areas of spatial-temporal overlap in wildlife from remote tracking data. The method, termed the joint potential path area (jPPA) builds from the time-geographic movement model, originally proposed for studying human movement patterns. RESULTS: The jPPA approach can be used to delineate sub-areas of the home range where inter-individual interaction was possible. Maps of jPPA regions can be integrated with existing geographic data to explore landscape conditions and habitat associated with spatial temporal-interactions in wildlife. We apply the jPPA approach to simulated biased correlated random walks to demonstrate the method under known conditions. The jPPA method is then applied to three dyads, consisting of fine resolution (15 minute sampling interval) GPS tracking data of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) collected in Oklahoma, USA. Our results demonstrate the ability of the jPPA to identify and map jPPA sub-areas of the home range. We show how jPPA maps can be used to identify habitat differences (using percent tree canopy cover as a habitat indicator) between areas of spatial-temporal overlap and the overall home range in each of the three deer dyads. CONCLUSIONS: The value of the jPPA approach within current wildlife habitat analysis workflows is highlighted along with its simple and straightforward implementation and interpretation. Given the current emphasis on remote tracking in wildlife movement and habitat research, new approaches capable of leveraging both the spatial and temporal information content contained within these data are warranted. We make code (in the statistical software R) for implementing the jPPA approach openly available for other researchers.

12.
PLoS One ; 10(9): e0139344, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26418016

RESUMO

Modelling the relationship between alcohol consumption and crime generates new knowledge for crime prevention strategies. Advances in data, particularly data with spatial and temporal attributes, have led to a growing suite of applied methods for modelling. In support of alcohol and crime researchers we synthesized and critiqued existing methods of spatially and quantitatively modelling the effects of alcohol exposure on crime to aid method selection, and identify new opportunities for analysis strategies. We searched the alcohol-crime literature from 1950 to January 2014. Analyses that statistically evaluated or mapped the association between alcohol and crime were included. For modelling purposes, crime data were most often derived from generalized police reports, aggregated to large spatial units such as census tracts or postal codes, and standardized by residential population data. Sixty-eight of the 90 selected studies included geospatial data of which 48 used cross-sectional datasets. Regression was the prominent modelling choice (n = 78) though dependent on data many variations existed. There are opportunities to improve information for alcohol-attributable crime prevention by using alternative population data to standardize crime rates, sourcing crime information from non-traditional platforms (social media), increasing the number of panel studies, and conducting analysis at the local level (neighbourhood, block, or point). Due to the spatio-temporal advances in crime data, we expect a continued uptake of flexible Bayesian hierarchical modelling, a greater inclusion of spatial-temporal point pattern analysis, and shift toward prospective (forecast) modelling over small areas (e.g., blocks).


Assuntos
Consumo de Bebidas Alcoólicas , Bebidas Alcoólicas/estatística & dados numéricos , Crime/estatística & dados numéricos , Estatística como Assunto/métodos , Humanos , Modelos Estatísticos
13.
Front Public Health ; 3: 53, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25870852

RESUMO

There are many public health benefits to cycling, such as chronic disease reduction and improved air quality. Real and perceived concerns about safety are primary barriers to new ridership. Due to limited forums for official reporting of cycling incidents, lack of comprehensive data is limiting our ability to study cycling safety and conduct surveillance. Our goal is to introduce BikeMaps.org, a new website developed by the authors for crowd-source mapping of cycling collisions and near misses. BikeMaps.org is a global mapping system that allows citizens to map locations of cycling incidents and report on the nature of the event. Attributes collected are designed for spatial modeling research on predictors of safety and risk, and to aid surveillance and planning. Released in October 2014, within 2 months the website had more than 14,000 visitors and mapping in 14 countries. Collisions represent 38% of reports (134/356) and near misses 62% (222/356). In our pilot city, Victoria, Canada, citizens mapped data equivalent to about 1 year of official cycling collision reports within 2 months via BikeMaps.org. Using report completeness as an indicator, early reports indicate that data are of high quality with 50% being fully attributed and another 10% having only one missing attribute. We are advancing this technology, with the development of a mobile App, improved data visualization, real-time altering of hazard reports, and automated open-source tools for data sharing. Researchers and citizens interested in utilizing the BikeMaps.org technology can get involved by encouraging citizen mapping in their region.

14.
J Anim Ecol ; 83(5): 1216-33, 2014 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24428545

RESUMO

Wildlife scientists continue to be interested in studying ways to quantify how the movements of animals are interdependent - dynamic interaction. While a number of applied studies of dynamic interaction exist, little is known about the comparative effectiveness and applicability of available methods used for quantifying interactions between animals. We highlight the formulation, implementation and interpretation of a suite of eight currently available indices of dynamic interaction. Point- and path-based approaches are contrasted to demonstrate differences between methods and underlying assumptions on telemetry data. Correlated and biased correlated random walks were simulated at a range of sampling resolutions to generate scenarios with dynamic interaction present and absent. We evaluate the effectiveness of each index at identifying different types of interactive behaviour at each sampling resolution. Each index is then applied to an empirical telemetry data set of three white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) dyads. Results from the simulated data show that three indices of dynamic interaction reliant on statistical testing procedures are susceptible to Type I error, which increases at fine sampling resolutions. In the white-tailed deer examples, a recently developed index for quantifying local-level cohesive movement behaviour (the di index) provides revealing information on the presence of infrequent and varying interactions in space and time. Point-based approaches implemented with finely sampled telemetry data overestimate the presence of interactions (Type I errors). Indices producing only a single global statistic (7 of the 8 indices) are unable to quantify infrequent and varying interactions through time. The quantification of infrequent and variable interactive behaviour has important implications for the spread of disease and the prevalence of social behaviour in wildlife. Guidelines are presented to inform researchers wishing to study dynamic interaction patterns in their own telemetry data sets. Finally, we make our code openly available, in the statistical software R, for computing each index of dynamic interaction presented herein.


Assuntos
Comportamento Animal , Cervos/fisiologia , Animais , Animais Selvagens/fisiologia , Modelos Estatísticos , Comportamento Social , Software , Comportamento Espacial , Telemetria , Fatores de Tempo
15.
Conserv Physiol ; 2(1): cou043, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27293664

RESUMO

Metrics used to quantify the condition or physiological states of individuals provide proactive mechanisms for understanding population dynamics in the context of environmental factors. Our study examined how anthropogenic disturbance, habitat characteristics and hair cortisol concentrations interpreted as a sex-specific indicator of potential habitat net-energy demand affect the body condition of grizzly bears (n = 163) in a threatened population in Alberta, Canada. We quantified environmental variables by modelling spatial patterns of individual habitat use based on global positioning system telemetry data. After controlling for gender, age and capture effects, we assessed the influence of biological and environmental variables on body condition using linear mixed-effects models in an information theoretical approach. Our strongest model suggested that body condition was improved when patterns of habitat use included greater vegetation productivity, increased influence of forest harvest blocks and oil and gas well sites, and a higher percentage of regenerating and coniferous forest. However, body condition was negatively affected by habitat use in close proximity to roads and in areas where potential energetic demands were high. Poor body condition was also associated with increased selection of parks and protected areas and greater seasonal vegetation productivity. Adult females, females with cubs-of-year, juvenile females and juvenile males were in poorer body condition compared with adult males, suggesting that intra-specific competition and differences in habitat use based on gender and age may influence body condition dynamics. Habitat net-energy demand also tended to be higher in areas used by females which, combined with observed trends in body condition, could affect reproductive success in this threatened population. Our results highlight the importance of considering spatiotemporal variability in environmental factors and habitat use when assessing the body condition of individuals. Long-term and large-scale monitoring of the physiological state of individuals provides a more comprehensive approach to support management and conservation of species at risk.

16.
Ecol Appl ; 23(4): 888-903, 2013 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23865238

RESUMO

British Columbia (BC), Canada, has a diverse landscape that provides breeding habitat for > 300 avian species, and the recent development of the BC Breeding Bird Atlas data set presents key information for exploring the landscape conditions which lead to biological richness. We used the volunteer-collected raw breeding bird evidence data set to analyze the effects of sampling biases on spatial distribution of observed breeding bird species and implemented regression tree analysis (Random Forests) to examine the influence of productivity, ambient energy, and habitat heterogeneity on independently measured breeding bird richness. Results indicated that total breeding species richness is correlated with total survey effort (alpha < 0.001). By stratifying species richness by survey effort, we observed that ambient energy is the top-ranked environmental predictor of breeding bird richness across BC, which, when used in combination with a number of other environmental variables, explains -40% of the variation in richness. Using our modeled relationships, we predicted breeding bird species richness in the areas of BC not presently surveyed between three and six hours. The majority of the productive Boreal Plains, the southern portion of the Taiga Plains region, the lowlands of the Southern and Central Interior, along the Rocky Mountain Trench, and the coastal areas of the Georgia Depression are predicted to have the highest categories of breeding richness (35-57 unique species). Our results support ongoing species diversity gradient research, which identifies ambient energy as an important factor influencing species diversity distributions in the Northern Hemisphere. By linking breeding bird richness to environmental data derived from remotely sensed data and systematically collected climate data, we demonstrate the potential to monitor shifts in ambient energy as a surrogate for vertebrate habitat condition affecting population levels. By analyzing the influence of survey effort on species richness metrics, we also highlight the need to consider adding attributes to the raw breeding bird data set to describe observer experience, such as hours or seasons spent surveying, and provide survey dates to allow greater flexibility for removing survey bias. These additions can increase the utility of atlas data for species richness studies useful for conservation planning.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Aves/fisiologia , Reprodução/fisiologia , Animais , Colúmbia Britânica , Demografia , Modelos Biológicos
17.
PLoS One ; 8(12): e83768, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24386273

RESUMO

Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We characterized spatial variability in male and female HCC point data using kernel density estimation and quantified variable influence on spatial patterns of male and female HCC stress surfaces using random forests. Separate models were developed for regions inside and outside of parks and protected areas to account for substantial differences in anthropogenic activity and disturbance within the study area. Variance explained in the random forest models ranged from 55.34% to 74.96% for males and 58.15% to 68.46% for females. Predicted HCC levels were higher for females compared to males. Generally, high spatially continuous female HCC levels were associated with parks and protected areas while low-to-moderate levels were associated with increased anthropogenic disturbance. In contrast, male HCC levels were low in parks and protected areas and low-to-moderate in areas with increased anthropogenic disturbance. Spatial variability in gender-specific HCC levels reveal that the type and intensity of external stressors are not uniform across the landscape and that male and female grizzly bears may be exposed to, or perceive, potential stressors differently. We suggest observed spatial patterns of long-term stress may be the result of the availability and distribution of foods related to disturbance features, potential sexual segregation in available habitat selection, and may not be influenced by sources of mortality which represent acute traumas. In this wildlife system and others, conservation and management efforts can benefit by understanding spatial- and gender-based stress responses to landscape conditions.


Assuntos
Análise Espacial , Estresse Fisiológico , Ursidae/fisiologia , Alberta , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Feminino , Cabelo/metabolismo , Hidrocortisona/metabolismo , Masculino , Modelos Estatísticos , Análise de Regressão , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Estatísticas não Paramétricas , Fatores de Tempo , Ursidae/metabolismo
18.
Environ Monit Assess ; 185(4): 3057-79, 2013 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22832845

RESUMO

Ecosystem classifications map an area into relatively homogenous units for environmental research, monitoring, and management. However, their effectiveness is rarely tested. Here, three classifications are (1) defined and characterized for Canada along summertime productivity (moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) and wintertime snow conditions (special sensor microwave/imager snow water equivalent), independently and in combination, and (2) comparatively evaluated to determine the ability of each classification to represent the spatial and environmental patterns of alternative schemes, including the Canadian ecozone framework. All classifications depicted similar patterns across Canada, but detailed class distributions differed. Class spatial characteristics varied with environmental conditions within classifications, but were comparable between classifications. There was moderate correspondence between classifications. The strongest association was between productivity classes and ecozones. The classification along both productivity and snow balanced these two sets of variables, yielding intermediate levels of association in all pairwise comparisons. Despite relatively low spatial agreement between classifications, they successfully captured patterns of the environmental conditions underlying alternate schemes (e.g., snow classes explained variation in productivity and vice versa). The performance of ecosystem classifications and the relevance of their input variables depend on the environmental patterns and processes used for applications and evaluation. Productivity or snow regimes, as constructed here, may be desirable when summarizing patterns controlled by summer- or wintertime conditions, respectively, or of climate change responses. General purpose ecosystem classifications should include both sets of drivers. Classifications should be carefully, quantitatively, and comparatively evaluated relative to a particular application prior to their implementation as monitoring and assessment frameworks.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Biodiversidade , Meio Ambiente , Estações do Ano
19.
Spat Spatiotemporal Epidemiol ; 3(2): 151-62, 2012 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22682441

RESUMO

In this article we present a Bayesian Markov model for investigating environmental spread processes. We formulate a model where the spread of a disease over a heterogeneous landscape through time is represented as a probabilistic function of two processes: local diffusion and random-jump dispersal. This formulation represents two mechanisms of spread which result in highly peaked and long-tailed distributions of dispersal distances (i.e., local and long-distance spread), commonly observed in the spread of infectious diseases and biological invasions. We demonstrate the properties of this model using a simulation experiment and an empirical case study - the spread of mountain pine beetle in western Canada. Posterior predictive checking was used to validate the number of newly inhabited regions in each time period. The model performed well in the simulation study in which a goodness-of-fit statistic measuring the number of newly inhabited regions in each time interval fell within the 95% posterior predictive credible interval in over 97% of simulations. The case study of a mountain pine beetle infestation in western Canada (1999-2009) extended the base model in two ways. First, spatial covariates thought to impact the local diffusion parameters, elevation and forest cover, were included in the model. Second, a refined definition for translocation or jump-dispersal based on mountain pine beetle ecology was incorporated improving the fit of the model. Posterior predictive checks on the mountain pine beetle model found that the observed goodness-of-fit test statistic fell within the 95% posterior predictive credible interval for 8 out of 10 years. The simulation study and case study provide evidence that the model presented here is both robust and flexible; and is therefore appropriate for a wide range of spread processes in epidemiology and ecology.


Assuntos
Teorema de Bayes , Fenômenos Ecológicos e Ambientais , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Análise Espaço-Temporal , Animais , Canadá , Besouros , Simulação por Computador
20.
PLoS One ; 6(9): e24833, 2011.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21949763

RESUMO

Surveillance systems tracking health patterns in animals have potential for early warning of infectious disease in humans, yet there are many challenges that remain before this can be realized. Specifically, there remains the challenge of detecting early warning signals for diseases that are not known or are not part of routine surveillance for named diseases. This paper reports on the development of a hidden Markov model for analysis of frontline veterinary sentinel surveillance data from Sri Lanka. Field veterinarians collected data on syndromes and diagnoses using mobile phones. A model for submission patterns accounts for both sentinel-related and disease-related variability. Models for commonly reported cattle diagnoses were estimated separately. Region-specific weekly average prevalence was estimated for each diagnoses and partitioned into normal and abnormal periods. Visualization of state probabilities was used to indicate areas and times of unusual disease prevalence. The analysis suggests that hidden Markov modelling is a useful approach for surveillance datasets from novel populations and/or having little historical baselines.


Assuntos
Doenças Transmissíveis/veterinária , Cadeias de Markov , Modelos Biológicos , Zoonoses/epidemiologia , Animais , Bovinos , Doenças dos Bovinos/epidemiologia , Doenças Transmissíveis/epidemiologia , Simulação por Computador , Surtos de Doenças , Geografia , Humanos , Vigilância da População , Sri Lanka/epidemiologia
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