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Uncoupling protein1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue was discovered earlier as the main uncoupling source of respiration. We describe the basic facts and a modest contribution of our group to the area of research on mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. After defining the terms uncoupling, leak, proton-mediated uncoupling, we discuss the assumption that due to its low abundance, uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) can provide only mild uncoupling, i.e. can decrease the proton motive force by several mV only. A fatty acid cycling mechanism is described as a plausible explanation for the protonophoretic function of all uncoupling proteins together with our experiments supporting it. A speculation for the phylogenesis of all uncoupling proteins can be deduced by estimated UCP2 content in several tissues, and details of its activation are explained on the basis of our experiments. In the present study a solubilization and refolding method for UCP2 from inclusion bodies was developed and characterized. As it was known and also demonstrated from previous experiments on UCP1 that fatty acids are substrates, we used the same procedure to study the function of UCP2. Utilizing spin-labelled fatty acids (SLFA) for our experiments we demonstrated the binding of fatty acids to UCP2, and the competition of other natural fatty acids like oleic acid, palmitic acid, arachidonic acid and eicosatrienoic acid to the preformed complex emphasizes the presence of a fatty acid binding site for mitochondrial UCP2. The findings were observed by EPR spectroscopy where the highly immobilized spectra with presence of spin-labelled fatty acid eventually end up as free spin label spectra with a particular concentration of the natural fatty acid added to the UCP2 bound with spin-labelled fatty acid. This fits in significantly with the earlier findings of UCP1 and also leads to assumption of functional explanation about the physiological relevance between the uncoupling proteins functions. The present study, in which representative and sensitive parameters for EPR spectroscopy were established, at the same time describes the concentration effects of fatty acids upon the protein bound with spin-labelled fatty acids which are much of importance in comparison to physiological levels, being in the micromolar range (µM) as compared with milli molar (mM) as for UCP1 previously. In appropriate examples, different fatty acids are used and compared with competitors like alkylsulfonates also emphasizing the function of the protein. And the studies with the effect of nucleotides inhibition demonstrate that there exists a putative binding site for fatty acids. Much significance lies in demonstration with the spin-labelled-ATP studies where competition of ATP to the protein bound to spin-labelled ATP explains about the inhibition effect of nucleotides on the UCP2. So the present study applies different methods for the functional characterization of UCP2. The studies of natural fatty acids and alkylsulfonates with UCP2 bound to spin-labelled fatty acid, and study of nucleotide inhibition on UCP2 are closely related and give the much awaited answer to the question of functional similarities between UCP1 and UCP2. This supports the discussion of many groups which predict the functional similarity between these two proteins based upon sequence homology. Also many attempts have been reported in literature to explain the physiological functional relevance where by this present study can also be added to as we now suppose from the present conclusions of our experiments.

In contrast to the spatial motion setting, the material motion setting of continuum mechanics is concerned with the response to variations of material placements of particles with respect to the ambient material. The material motion point of view is thus extremely prominent when dealing with defect mechanics to which it has originally been introduced by Eshelby more than half a century ago. Its primary unknown, the material deformation map is governed by the material motion balance of momentum, i.e. the balance of material forces on the material manifold in the sense of Eshelby. Material (configurational) forces are concerned with the response to variations of material placements of 'physical particles' with respect to the ambient material. Opposed to that, the common spatial (mechanical) forces in the sense of Newton are considered as the response to variations of spatial placements of 'physical particles' with respect to the ambient space. Material forces as advocated by Maugin are especially suited for the assessment of general defects as inhomogeneities, interfaces, dislocations and cracks, where the material forces are directly related to the classical J-Integral in fracture mechanics, see also Gross & Seelig. Another classical example of a material - or rather configurational - force is emblematized by the celebrated Peach-Koehler force, see e.g. the discussion in Steinmann. The present work is mainly divided in four parts. In the first part we will introduce the basic notions of the mechanics and numerics of material forces for a quasi-static conservative mechanical system. In this case the internal potential energy density per unit volume characterizes a hyperelastic material behaviour. In the first numerical example we discuss the reliability of the material force method to calculate the vectorial J-integral of a crack in a Ramberg-Osgood type material under mode I loading and superimposed T-stresses. Secondly, we study the direction of the single material force acting as the driving force of a kinked crack in a geometrically nonlinear hyperelastic Neo-Hooke material. In the second part we focus on material forces in the case of geometrically nonlinear thermo-hyperelastic material behaviour. Therefore we adapt the theory and numerics to a transient coupled problem, and elaborate the format of the Eshelby stress tensor as well as the internal material volume forces induced by the gradient of the temperature field. We study numerically the material forces in a bimaterial bar under tension load and the time dependent evolution of material forces in a cracked specimen. The third part discusses the material force method in the case of geometrically nonlinear isotropic continuum damage. The basic equations are similar to those of the thermo-hyperelastic problem but we introduce an alternative numerical scheme, namely an active set search algorithm, to calculate the damage field as an additional degree of freedom. With this at hand, it is an easy task to obtain the gradient of the damage field which induces the internal material volume forces. Numeric examples in this part are a specimen with an elliptic hole with different semi-axis, a center cracked specimen and a cracked disc under pure mode I loading. In the fourth part of this work we elaborate the format of the Eshelby stress tensor and the internal material volume forces for geometrically nonlinear multiplicative elasto-plasticity. Concerning the numerical implementation we restrict ourselves to the case of geometrically linear single slip crystal plasticity and compare here two different numerical methods to calculate the gradient of the internal variable which enters the format of the internal material volume forces. The two numerical methods are firstly, a node point based approach, where the internal variable is addressed as an additional degree of freedom, and secondly, a standard approach where the internal variable is only available at the integration points level. Here a least square projection scheme is enforced to calculate the necessary gradients of this internal variable. As numerical examples we discuss a specimen with an elliptic inclusion and an elliptic hole respectively and, in addition, a crack under pure mode I loading in a material with different slip angles. Here we focus on the comparison of the two different methods to calculate the gradient of the internal variable. As a second class of numerical problems we elaborate and implement a geometrically linear von Mises plasticity with isotropic hardening. Here the necessary gradients of the internal variables are calculated by the already mentioned projection scheme. The results of a crack in a material with different hardening behaviour under various additional T-stresses are given.

This thesis deals with modeling aspects of generalized Newtonian and of non-Newtonian fluids, as well as with development and validation of algorithms used in simulation of such fluids. The main contribution in the modeling part are the introduction and analysis of a new model for the generalized Newtonian fluids, where constitutive equation is of an algebraic form. Distinction between shear and extensional viscosities leads to anisotropic viscosity model. It can be considered as a natural extension of the well known (isotropic viscosity) Carreau model, which deals only with shear viscosity properties of the fluid. The proposed model takes additionally into account extensional viscosity properties. Numerical results show that the anisotropic viscosity model gives much better agreement with experimental observations than the isotropic one. Another contribution of the thesis consists of the development and analysis of robust and reliable algorithms for simulation of generalized Newtonian fluids. For such fluids the momentum equations are strongly coupled through mixed derivatives appearing in the viscous term (unlike the case of Newtonian fluids). It is shown in this thesis, that a careful treatment of those derivatives is essential in deriving robust algorithms. A modification of a standard SIMPLE-like algorithm is given, where all the viscous terms from the momentum equations are discretized in an implicit manner. Moreover, it is shown that a block diagonal preconditioner to the viscous operator is good enough to be used in simulations. Furthermore, different solution techniques, namely projection type methods (consists of solving momentum equations and pressure correction equation) and fully coupled methods (momentum and continuity equations are solved together), are compared. It is shown, that explicit discretization of the mixed derivatives lead to stability problems. Further, analytical estimates of eigenvalue distribution for three different preconditioners, applied to the transformed system arising after discretization and linearization of the momentum and continuity equations, are provided. We propose to apply a block Gauss-Seidel preconditioner to the transformed system. The analysis shows, that this preconditioner is able to cluster eigenvalues around unity independent of the transformation step. It is not the case for other preconditioners applied to the transformed system as discussed in the thesis. The block Gauss-Seidel preconditioner has also shown the best behavior (among all preconditioners discussed in the thesis) in numerical experiments. Further contribution consists of comparison and validation of numerical algorithms applied in simulations of non-Newtonian fluids modeled by time integral constitutive equations. Numerical results from simulations of dilute polymer solutions, described by the integral Oldroyd B model, have shown very good quantitative agreement with the results obtained by differential Oldroyd B counterpart in 4:1 planar contraction domain at low Weissenberg numbers. In this case, the Weissenberg number is changed by changing the relaxation time. However, contrary to the differential Oldroyd B model, the integral one allows to perform stable simulations also in the range of high Weissenberg numbers. Moreover, very good agreement with experimental observations has been achieved. Simulations of concentrated polymer solutions (polystyrene and polybutadiene solutions), modeled by the integral Doi Edwards model, supplemented by chain length fluctuations, have shown very good qualitative agreement with the results obtained by its differential approximation in 4:1:4 constriction domain. Again, much higher Weissenberg numbers can be achieved when the integral model is used. Moreover, very good quantitative results with experimental data of polystyrene solution for the first normal stress difference and shear viscosity defined here as the quotient of a shear stress and a shear rate. Finally, comparison of the two methods used for approximating the time integral constitutive equation, namely Deformation Field Method (DFM) and Backward Lagrangian Particle Method (BLPM), is performed. In BLPM the particle paths are recalculated at every time step of the simulations, what has never been tried before. The results have shown, that in the considered geometries both methods give similar results.

The primary object of this work is the development of a robust, accurate and efficient time integrator for the dynamics of flexible multibody systems. Particularly a unified framework for the computational dynamics of multibody systems consisting of mass points, rigid bodies and flexible beams forming open kinematic chains or closed loop systems is developed. In addition, it aims at the presentation of (i) a focused survey of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism for dynamics, (ii) five different methods to enforce constraints with their respective relations, and (iii) three alternative ways for the temporal discretisation of the evolution equations. The relations between the different methods for the constraint enforcement in conjunction with one specific energy-momentum conserving temporal discretisation method are proved and their numerical performances are compared by means of theoretical considerations as well as with the help of numerical examples.

The validity of formulas w.r.t. a specification over first-order logic with a semantics based on all models is semi-decidable. Therefore, we may implement a proof procedure which finds a proof for every valid formula fully automatically. But this semantics often lacks intuition: Some pathological models such as the trivial model may produce unexpected results w.r.t. validity. Instead, we may consider just a class of special models, for instance, the class of all data models. Proofs are then performed using induction. But, inductive validity is not semi-decidable -- even for first-order logic. This theoretical drawback manifests itself in practical limitations: There are theorems that cannot be proved by induction directly but only generalizations can be proved. For their definition, we may have to extend the specification. Therefore, we cannot expect to prove interesting theorems fully automatically. Instead, we have to support user-interaction in a suitable way. In this thesis, we aim at developing techniques that enhance automatic proof control of (inductive) theorem provers and that enable user-interaction in a suitable way. We integrate our new proof techniques into the inductive theorem prover QuodLibet and validate them with various case studies. Essentially, we introduce the following three proof techniques: -We integrate a decision procedure for linear arithmetic into QuodLibet in a close way by defining new inference rules that perform the elementary steps of the decision procedure. This allows us to implement well-known heuristics for automatic proof control. Furthermore, we are able to provide special purpose tactics that support the manual speculation of lemmas if a proof attempt gets stuck. The integration improves the ability of the theorem prover to prove theorems automatically as well as its efficiency. Our approach is competitive with other approaches regarding efficiency; it provides advantages regarding the speculation of lemmas. -The automatic proof control searches for a proof by applying inference rules. The search space is not only infinite, but grows dramatically with the depth of the search. In contrast to this, checking and analyzing performed proofs is very efficient. As the search space also has a high redundancy, it is reasonable to reuse subproofs found during proof search. We define new notions for the contribution of proof steps to a proof. These notions enable the derivation of pruned proofs and the identification of superfluous subformulas in theorems. A proof may be reused in two ways: upward propagation prunes a proof by eliminating superfluous proof steps; sideward reuse closes an open proof obligation by replaying an already found proof. -For interactive theorem provers, it is essential not only to prove automatically as many lemmas as possible but also to restrict proof search in such a way that the proof process stops within a reasonable amount of time. We introduce different markings in the goals to be proved and the lemmas to be applied to restrict proof search in a flexible way: With a forbidden marking, we can simulate well-known approaches for applying conditional lemmas. A mandatory marking provides a new heuristics which is inspired by local contribution of proof steps. With obligatory and generous markings, we can fine-tune the degree of efficiency and extent of proof search manually. With an elaborate case study, we show the benefits of the different techniques, in particular the synergetic effect of their combination.

The study provides insights into the dynamic processes of vascular epiphyte vegetation in two host tree species of lowland forest in Panama. Further, a novel approach is presented to examine the possible role of host tree identity in the structuring of vascular epiphyte communities: For three locally common host tree species (Socratea exorrhiza, Marila laxiflora, Perebea xanthochyma) we created null models of the expected epiphyte assemblages assuming that epiphyte colonization reflected random distribution of epiphytes in the forest. In all three tree species, abundances of the majority of epiphyte species (69 – 81 %) were indistinguishable from random, while the remaining species were about equally over- or underrepresented compared to their occurrence in the entire forest plot. Permutations based on the number of colonized trees (reflecting observed spatial patchiness) yielded similar results. Finally, a Canonical Correspondence Analysis also confirmed host-specific differences in epiphyte assemblages. In spite of pronounced preferences of some epiphytes for particular host trees, no epiphyte species was restricted to a single host. We conclude that the epiphytes on a given tree species are not simply a random sample of the local species pool, but there are no indications of host specificity either. To determine the qualitative and quantitative long-term changes in the vascular epiphyte assemblage of the host tree Socratea exorrhiza, in the lowland forest of the San Lorenzo Crane Plot, we followed the fate of the vascular epiphyte assemblage on 99 individuals of this palm species, in three censuses over the course of five years. The composition of the epiphyte assemblage changed little during the course of the study. While the similarity of epiphyte vegetation decreased on single palm individuals through time, the similarity analyzed over all palms increased. Even well-established epiphyte individuals experienced high mortality with only 46 % of the originally mapped individuals surviving the following five years. We found a positive correlation between host tree size and epiphyte richness and detected higher colonization rates of epiphytes per surface area on larger trees. Epiphyte assemblages on single Socratea exorrhiza trees were highly dynamic while the overall composition of the epiphyte vegetation on the host tree species in the study plot was rather stable. We suggest that higher recruitment rates due to localized seed dispersal by already established epiphytes on larger palms promote the colonization of epiphytes on larger palms. Given the known growth rates and mortality rates of the host tree species, the maximum time available for colonization and reproduction of epiphytes on a given Socratea exorrhiza tree is estimated to be about 60 years. Changes in the epiphyte vegetation of c. 1000 individuals of the host tree species Annona glabra at Barro Colorado Island over the course of eight year were documented by means of repeated censuses. Considerable increase in the abundance of the dominating epiphyte species and ongoing colonization of the host tree species suggests that the epiphyte vegetation has not reached a steady state in the maximal 80 years since the establishment of the host tree. Epiphyte species composition as a whole was rather stable. We disentangled the relationship between epiphyte colonization and tree size/available time for colonization with the finding that tree size explained only a low proportion of colonization while other factors like connectivity to dispersal source and time explain may explain a larger part. Epiphyte populations are patchily distributed and examined species exhibit properties of a metapopulation with asynchronous local population growth, high local population turnover, a positive relationship between regional occurrence and patch population size, and negatively correlated relationship between extinction and patch occupancy. The documented metapopulation processes highlight the importance of not colonized suitable habitat for the conservation of epiphytes.

Tropical geometry is a rather new field of algebraic geometry. The main idea is to replace algebraic varieties by certain piece-wise linear objects in R^n, which can be studied with the aid of combinatorics. There is hope that many algebraically difficult operations become easier in the tropical setting, as the structure of the objects seems to be simpler. In particular, tropical geometry shows promise for application in enumerative geometry. Enumerative geometry deals with the counting of geometric objects that are determined by certain incidence conditions. Until around 1990, not many enumerative questions had been answered and there was not much prospect of solving more. But then Kontsevich introduced the moduli space of stable maps which turned out to be a very useful concept for the study of enumerative geometry. A well-known problem of enumerative geometry is to determine the numbers N_cplx(d,g) of complex genus g plane curves of degree d passing through 3d+g-1 points in general position. Mikhalkin has defined the analogous number N_trop(d,g) for tropical curves and shown that these two numbers coincide (Mikhalkin's Correspondence Theorem). Tropical geometry supplies many new ideas and concepts that could be helpful to answer enumerative problems. However, as a rather new field, tropical geometry has to be studied more thoroughly. This thesis is concerned with the ``translation'' of well-known facts of enumerative geometry to tropical geometry. More precisely, the main results of this thesis are: - a tropical proof of the invariance of N_trop(d,g) of the position of the 3d+g-1 points, - a tropical proof for Kontsevich's recursive formula to compute N_trop(d,0) and - a tropical proof of Caporaso's and Harris' algorithm to compute N_trop(d,g). All results were derived in joint work with my advisor Andreas Gathmann. (Note that tropical research is not restricted to the translation of classically well-known facts, there are actually new results shown by means of tropical geometry that have not been known before. For example, Mikhalkin gave a tropical algorithm to compute the Welschinger invariant for real curves. This shows that tropical geometry can indeed be a tool for a better understanding of classical geometry.)

For the last decade, optimization of beam orientations in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has been shown to be successful in improving the treatment plan. Unfortunately, the quality of a set of beam orientations depends heavily on its corresponding beam intensity profiles. Usually, a stochastic selector is used for optimizing beam orientation, and then a single objective inverse treatment planning algorithm is used for the optimization of beam intensity profiles. The overall time needed to solve the inverse planning for every random selection of beam orientations becomes excessive. Recently, considerable improvement has been made in optimizing beam intensity profiles by using multiple objective inverse treatment planning. Such an approach results in a variety of beam intensity profiles for every selection of beam orientations, making the dependence between beam orientations and its intensity profiles less important. This thesis takes advantage of this property to accelerate the optimization process through an approximation of the intensity profiles that are used for multiple selections of beam orientations, saving a considerable amount of calculation time. A dynamic algorithm (DA) and evolutionary algorithm (EA), for beam orientations in IMRT planning will be presented. The DA mimics, automatically, the methods of beam's eye view and observer's view which are recognized in conventional conformal radiation therapy. The EA is based on a dose-volume histogram evaluation function introduced as an attempt to minimize the deviation between the mathematical and clinical optima. To illustrate the efficiency of the algorithms they have been applied to different clinical examples. In comparison to the standard equally spaced beams plans, improvements are reported for both algorithms in all the clinical examples even when, for some cases, fewer beams are used. A smaller number of beams is always desirable without compromising the quality of the treatment plan. It results in a shorter treatment delivery time, which reduces potential errors in terms of patient movements and decreases discomfort.

Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and cyanobacteria are an ecological important part of the perennial landcover of many arid and semiarid regions (Belnap et al. 2001a), (Büdel 2002). In many arid and hyperarid areas BSCs form the only perennial "vegetation cover" largely due to their extensive resistance to drought (Lange et al. 1975). For the Central Namib Desert (Namibia), BSCs consisting of extraordinary vast lichen communities were recently mapped and classified into six morphological classes for a coastal area of 350 km x 60 km. Embedded into the project "BIOTA" (www.biota-africa.org) financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research the study was undertaken in the framework of the PhD thesis by Christoph Schultz. Some of these lichen communities grouped together in so called "lichen fields" have already been studied concerning their ecology and diversity in the past (Lange et al. 1994), (Loris & Schieferstein 1992), (Loris et al. 2004), (Ullmann & Büdel 2001a), (Wessels 1989). Multispectral LANDSAT 7 ETM+ and LANDSAT 5 TM satellite imagery was utilized for an unitemporal supervised classification as well as for the establishment of a monitoring based on a combined retrospective supervised classification and change detection approach (Bock 2003), (Weiers et al. 2003). Results comprise the analysis of the mapped distribution of lichen communities for the Central Namib Desert as of 2003 as well as reconstructed distributions for the years 2000, 1999, 1992 and 1991 derived from retrospective supervised classification. This allows a first monitoring of the disturbance, destruction and recovery of the lichen communities in these arid environments including the analysis of the major abiotic processes involved. Further analysis of these abiotic processes is key for understanding the influence of Namib lichen communities on overall aeolian and water induced erosion rates, nutrient cycles, water balance and pedogenic processes (Belnap & Gillette 1998), (Belnap et al. 2001b), (Belnap 2001c), (Evans & Lange 2001), (McKenna Neumann & Maxwell 1999). In order to aid the understanding of these processes SRTM digital elevation model data as well as climate data sets were used as reference. Good correlation between geomorphological form elements as well as hydrological drainage system and the disturbance patterns derived from individual post classification change comparisons between the timeframes could be observed. Conjoined with the climate data sets sporadic foehn-like windstorms as well as extraordinary precipitation events were identified to largely affect the distribution patterns of lichen communities. Therefore the analysis and monitoring of the diversity, distribution and spatiotemporal change of Central Namib BSCs with the means of Remote Sensing and GIS applications proof to be important tools to create further understanding of desertification and degradation processes in these arid regions.

Discontinuities can appear in different fields of mechanics. Some examples where discontinuities arise are more obvious such as the formation of cracks. Other sources of discontinuities are less apparent such as interfaces between different materials. Furthermore continuous fields with steep gradients can also be considered as discontinuous fields. This work aims at the inclusion of arbitrary discontinuities within the finite element method. Although the finite element method is the most sophisticated numerical tool in modern engineering, the inclusion of discontinuities is still a challenging task. Traditionally within finite the framework of FE methods discontinuities are modeled explicitely by the construction of the mesh. Thus, when a fixed mesh is used, the position of the discontinuity is prescribed by the location of interelement boundaries and not by the physical situation. The simulation of crack growth requires a frequent adaption of the mesh and that can be a difficult and computationally expensive task. Thus a more flexible numerical approach is needed which leads to the mesh-independent representation of the discontinuity. A challenging field where the accurate description of discontinuities is of vital importance is the modeling of failure in engineering materials. The load capacity of a structure is limited by the material strength. If the load limit is exceeded failure zones arise and increase. Representative examples of failure mechanisms are are cracks in brittle materials or shear bands in metals or soils. Failure processes are often accompanied by a strain softening material behaviour (decreasing load carrying capacity with increasing strain at a material point). It is known that the inclusion of strain softening material behaviour within a continuum description requires regularization techniques to preserve the well- posedness of the governing equations. One possibility is the consideration of non-local or gradient terms in the constitutive equations but these approaches require a sufficiently fine discretization in the localization zone, which leads to a high numerical effort. If the extent of the failure zone and the failure process to the point of the development of discrete cracks is considered it seems reasonable to include strong discontinuities. In the framework of fracture mechanics the inclusion of displacement jumps is intuitively comprehensible. However, the modeling of localized failure processes demands the consideration of inelastic material behaviour. Cohesive zone models represent an approach which is especially suited for the incorporation within the finite element framework. It is supposed that cohesive tractions are transmitted between the discontinuity surfaces. These tractions are constitutively prescribed by a phenomenological traction separation law and thus allow for the modeling of different inelastic mechanisms, like micro-crack evolution, initiation of voids, plastic flow or crack bridging. The incorporation of a displacement discontinuity in combination with a cohesive traction separation law leads to a sound model to describe failure processes and crack propagation. Another area where the existence of discontinuities is not as obvious is the occurence of material interfaces, inclusions or holes. The accurate modeling of such internal interfaces is important to predict the mechanical behaviour of components. The present discontinuity is of different nature: the displacement field is continuous but there is a jump in the strains, which is denoted by the expression weak discontinuity. Usually in FE methods material interfaces are taken into account by the mesh construction. But if the structure exhibits multiple inclusions of complex geometry it can be advantageous if the interface does not have to be meshed. And when we look at at problems where the interface moves with time, e. g. phase transformation, the mesh-independent modeling of the weak discontinuities naturally holds major advantages. The greatest challenge in the modeling of discontinuities is their incorporation into numerical methods. The focus of the present work is the development, analysis and application of a finite element approach to model mesh-independent discontinuities. The method shall be robust and flexible to be applicable to both, strong and weak discontinuities.