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Fragmentation of tropical rain forests is pervasive and results in various modifications in the ecosystem functioning such as … It has long been noticed that the colony densities of a dominant herbivore in the neotropics - leaf-cutting ant (LCA) - increase in fragmentation-related habitats like forest edges and small fragments, however the reasons for this increase are not clear. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that bottom-up control of LCA populations is less effective in fragmented compared to continuous forests and thus explains the increase in LCA colony densities in these habitats. In order to test for less effective bottom-up control, I proposed four working hypotheses. I hypothesized that LCA colonies in fragmented habitats (1) find more palatable vegetation due to low plant defences, (2) forage on few dominant species resulting in a narrow diet breadth, (3) possess small foraging areas and (4) increase herbivory rate at the colony level. The study was conducted in the remnants of the Atlantic rainforest in NE Brazil. Two fragmentation-related forest habitats were included: the edge and a 3500-ha continuous forest and the interior of the 50-ha forest fragment. The interior of the continuous forest served as a control habitat for the study. All working hypotheses can be generally accepted. The results indicate that the abundance of LCA host plant species in the habitats created by forest fragmentation along with weaker chemical defense of those species (especially the lack of terpenoids) allow ants to forage predominantly on palatable species and thus reduce foraging costs on other species. This is supported by narrower ant diet breadth in these habitats. Similarly, small foraging areas in edge habitats and in small forest fragments indicate that there ants do not have to go far to find the suitable host species and thus they save foraging costs. Increased LCA herbivory rates indicate that the damages (i.e., amount of harvested foliage) caused by LCA are more important in fragmentation-related habitats which are more vulnerable to LCA herbivory due to the high availability of palatable plants and a low total amount of foliage (LAI). (1) Few plant defences, (2) narrower ant diet breadth, (3) reduced colony foraging areas, and (4) increased herbivory rates, clearly indicate a weaker bottom-up control for LCA in fragmented habitats. Weak bottom-up control in the fragmentation-related habitats decreases the foraging costs of a LCA colony in these habitats and the colonies might use the surplus of energy resulting from reduced foraging costs to increase the colony growth, the reproduction and turnover. If correct, this explains why fragmented habitats support more LCA colonies at a given time compared to continuous forest habitats. Further studies are urgently needed to estimate LCA colony growth and turnover rates. There are indices that edge effects of forest fragmentation might be more responsible in regulating LCA populations than area or isolation effects. This emphasizes the need to conserve big forest fragments not to fall below a critical size and retain their regular shape. Weak bottom-up control of LCA populations has various consequences on forested ecosystems. I suggest a loop between forest fragmentation and LCA population dynamics: the increased LCA colony densities, along with lower bottom-up control increase LCA herbivory pressure on the forest and thus inevitably amplify the deleterious effects of fragmentation. These effects include direct consequences of leaf removal by ants and various indirect effects on ecosystem functioning. This study contributes to our understanding of how primary fragmentation effects, via the alteration of trophic interactions, may translate into higher order effects on ecosystem functions.

Territory design may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. In this paper we review the existing literature for applications of territory design problems and solution approaches for solving these types of problems. After identifying features common to all applications we introduce a basic territory design model and present in detail two approaches for solving this model: a classical location–allocation approach combined with optimal split resolution techniques and a newly developed computational geometry based method. We present computational results indicating the efficiency and suitability of the latter method for solving large–scale practical problems in an interactive environment. Furthermore, we discuss extensions to the basic model and its integration into Geographic Information Systems.

In order to optimize the acoustic properties of a stacked fiber non-woven, the microstructure of the non-woven is modeled by a macroscopically homogeneous random system of straight cylinders (tubes). That is, the fibers are modeled by a spatially stationary random system of lines (Poisson line process), dilated by a sphere. Pressing the non-woven causes anisotropy. In our model, this anisotropy is described by a one parametric distribution of the direction of the fibers. In the present application, the anisotropy parameter has to be estimated from 2d reflected light microscopic images of microsections of the non-woven. After fitting the model, the flow is computed in digitized realizations of the stochastic geometric model using the lattice Boltzmann method. Based on the flow resistivity, the formulas of Delany and Bazley predict the frequency-dependent acoustic absorption of the non-woven in the impedance tube. Using the geometric model, the description of a non-woven with improved acoustic absorption properties is obtained in the following way: First, the fiber thicknesses, porosity and anisotropy of the fiber system are modified. Then the flow and acoustics simulations are performed in the new sample. These two steps are repeatedc for various sets of parameters. Finally, the set of parameters for the geometric model leading to the best acoustic absorption is chosen.

Annual Report 2004
(2005)

Annual Report, Jahrbuch AG Magnetismus

The symplectic group of homogeneous canonical transformations is represented in the bosonic Fock space by the action of the group on the ultracoherent vectors, which are generalizations of the coherent states. The intertwining relations between this representation and the algebra of Weyl operators are derived. They confirm the identification of this representation with Bogoliubov transformations.

Consider a cooling process described by a nonlinear heat equation. We are interested to recover the initial temperature from temperature measurements which are available on a part of the boundary for some time. Up to now even for the linear heat equation such a problem has been usually studied as a nonlinear ill-posed operator equation, and regularization methods involving Frechet derivatives have been applied. We propose a fast derivative-free iterative method. Numerical results are presented for the glass cooling process, where nonlinearity appears due to radiation.

Under physiological conditions oxygen is constantly being converted to reactive oxygen intermediates, in mitochondria, peroxisomes, cytochrome p450 systems, macrophages, neutrophils and in plasma membranes. These reactive oxygen species (ROS) are toxic and therefore alter cell integrity leading to cell damage. To protect itself against this toxic effect of ROS, living systems have developed defence systems that scavenge ROS formation. These systems include some enzymes, transporting proteins and small antioxidant molecules for instance vitamin C and E. This thesis describes a study on the antioxidant chemistry and activity of vitamin C in vivo and in vitro systems using ESR spectroscopy. Also, a new method was designed to label ascorbic acid with a fluorescent marker. Moreover, some important criteria were considered for the evaluation and quantification of ascorbyl radicals in human blood plasma using two types of ESR spectrometers.

In this dissertation a model of melt spinning (by Doufas, McHugh and Miller) has been investigated. The model (DMM model) which takes into account effects of inertia, air drag, gravity and surface tension in the momentum equation and heat exchange between air and fibre surface, viscous dissipation and crystallization in the energy equation also has a complicated coupling with the microstructure. The model has two parts, before onset of crystallization (BOC) and after onset of crystallization (AOC) with the point of onset of crystallization as the unknown interface. Mathematically the model has been formulated as a Free boundary value problem. Changes have been introduced in the model with respect to the air drag and an interface condition at the free boundary. The mathematical analysis of the nonlinear, coupled free boundary value problem shows that the solution of this problem depends heavily on initial conditions and parameters which renders the global analysis impossible. But by defining a physically acceptable solution, it is shown that for a more restricted set of initial conditions if a unique solution exists for IVP BOC then it is physically acceptable. For this the important property of the positivity of the conformation tensor variables has been proved. Further it is shown that if a physically acceptable solution exists for IVP BOC then under certain conditions it also exists for IVP AOC. This gives an important relation between the initial conditions of IVP BOC and the existence of a physically acceptable solution of IVP AOC. A new investigation has been done for the melt spinning process in the framework of classical mechanics. A Hamiltonian formulation has been done for the melt spinning process for which appropriate Poisson brackets have been derived for the 1-d, elongational flow of a viscoelastic fluid. From the Hamiltonian, cross sectionally averaged balance mass and momentum equations of melt spinning can be derived along with the microstructural equations. These studies show that the complicated problem of melt spinning can also be studied under the framework of classical mechanics. This work provides the basic groundwork on which further investigations on the dynamics of a fibre could be carried out. The Free boundary value problem has been solved numerically using shooting method. Matlab routines have been used to solve the IVPs arising in the problem. Some numerical case studies have been done to study the sensitivity of the ODE systems with respect to the initial guess and parameters. These experiments support the analysis done and throw more light on the stiff nature and ill posedness of the ODE systems. To validate the model, simulations have been performed on sets of data provided by the company. Comparison of numerical results (axial velocity profiles) has been done with the experimental profiles provided by the company. Numerical results have been found to be in excellent agreement with the experimental profiles.

In modern geoscience, understanding the climate depends on the information about the oceans. Covering two thirds of the Earth, oceans play an important role. Oceanic phenomena are, for example, oceanic circulation, water exchanges between atmosphere, land and ocean or temporal changes of the total water volume. All these features require new methods in constructive approximation, since they are regionally bounded and not globally observable. This article deals with methods of handling data with locally supported basis functions, modeling them in a multiscale scheme involving a wavelet approximation and presenting the main results for the dynamic topography and the geostrophic flow, e.g., in the Northern Atlantic. Further, it is demonstrated that compressional rates of the occurring wavelet transforms can be achieved by use of locally supported wavelets.

In this work we introduce a new bandlimited spherical wavelet: The Bernstein wavelet. It possesses a couple of interesting properties. To be specific, we are able to construct bandlimited wavelets free of oscillations. The scaling function of this wavelet is investigated with regard to the spherical uncertainty principle, i.e., its localization in the space domain as well as in the momentum domain is calculated and compared to the well-known Shannon scaling function. Surprisingly, they possess the same localization in space although one is highly oscillating whereas the other one shows no oscillatory behavior. Moreover, the Bernstein scaling function turns out to be the first bandlimited scaling function known to the literature whose uncertainty product tends to the minimal value 1.