Publications by authors named "Jacqueline M Potts"

7 Publications

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Pathways linking biodiversity to human health: A conceptual framework.

Environ Int 2021 May 6;150:106420. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Ecosystem Services, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany; German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Puschstraße 4, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; Institute of Biodiversity, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Dornburger Straße 159, 07743 Jena, Germany.

Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, research into how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, a better mechanistic understanding of the range of pathways through which biodiversity can influence human health is needed. These pathways relate to both psychological and social processes as well as biophysical processes. Building on evidence from across the natural, social and health sciences, we present a conceptual framework organizing the pathways linking biodiversity to human health. Four domains of pathways-both beneficial as well as harmful-link biodiversity with human health: (i) reducing harm (e.g. provision of medicines, decreasing exposure to air and noise pollution); (ii) restoring capacities (e.g. attention restoration, stress reduction); (iii) building capacities (e.g. promoting physical activity, transcendent experiences); and (iv) causing harm (e.g. dangerous wildlife, zoonotic diseases, allergens). We discuss how to test components of the biodiversity-health framework with available analytical approaches and existing datasets. In a world with accelerating declines in biodiversity, profound land-use change, and an increase in non-communicable and zoonotic diseases globally, greater understanding of these pathways can reinforce biodiversity conservation as a strategy for the promotion of health for both people and nature. We conclude by identifying research avenues and recommendations for policy and practice to foster biodiversity-focused public health actions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106420DOI Listing
May 2021

Decline in atmospheric sulphur deposition and changes in climate are the major drivers of long-term change in grassland plant communities in Scotland.

Environ Pollut 2018 Apr 21;235:956-964. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK.

The predicted long lag time between a decrease in atmospheric deposition and a measured response in vegetation has generally excluded the investigation of vegetation recovery from the impacts of atmospheric deposition. However, policy-makers require such evidence to assess whether policy decisions to reduce emissions will have a positive impact on habitats. Here we have shown that 40 years after the peak of SO emissions, decreases in SO are related to significant changes in species richness and cover in Scottish Calcareous, Mestrophic, Nardus and Wet grasslands. Using a survey of vegetation plots across Scotland, first carried out between 1958 and 1987 and resurveyed between 2012 and 2014, we test whether temporal changes in species richness and cover of bryophytes, Cyperaceae, forbs, Poaceae, and Juncaceae can be explained by changes in sulphur and nitrogen deposition, climate and/or grazing intensity, and whether these patterns differ between six grassland habitats: Acid, Calcareous, Lolium, Nardus, Mesotrophic and Wet grasslands. The results indicate that Calcareous, Mesotrophic, Nardus and Wet grasslands in Scotland are starting to recover from the UK peak of SO deposition in the 1970's. A decline in the cover of grasses, an increase in cover of bryophytes and forbs and the development of a more diverse sward (a reversal of the impacts of increased SO) was related to decreased SO deposition. However there was no evidence of a recovery from SO deposition in the Acid or Lolium grasslands. Despite a decline in NO deposition between the two surveys we found no evidence of a reversal of the impacts of increased N deposition. The climate also changed significantly between the two surveys, becoming warmer and wetter. This change in climate was related to significant changes in both the cover and species richness of bryophytes, Cyperaceae, forbs, Poaceae and Juncaceae but the changes differed between habitats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2017.12.086DOI Listing
April 2018

Evaluating the use of in-situ turbidity measurements to quantify fluvial sediment and phosphorus concentrations and fluxes in agricultural streams.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Dec 27;607-608:391-402. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK.

Accurate quantification of suspended sediments (SS) and particulate phosphorus (PP) concentrations and loads is complex due to episodic delivery associated with storms and management activities often missed by infrequent sampling. Surrogate measurements such as turbidity can improve understanding of pollutant behaviour, providing calibrations can be made cost-effectively and with quantified uncertainties. Here, we compared fortnightly and storm intensive water quality sampling with semi-continuous turbidity monitoring calibrated against spot samples as three potential methods for determining SS and PP concentrations and loads in an agricultural catchment over two-years. In the second year of sampling we evaluated the transferability of turbidity calibration relationships to an adjacent catchment with similar soils and land cover. When data from nine storm events were pooled, both SS and PP concentrations (all in log space) were better related to turbidity than they were to discharge. Developing separate calibration relationship for the rising and falling limbs of the hydrograph provided further improvement. However, the ability to transfer calibrations between adjacent catchments was not evident as the relationships of both SS and PP with turbidity differed both in gradient and intercept on the rising limb of the hydrograph between the two catchments. We conclude that the reduced uncertainty in load estimation derived from the use of turbidity as a proxy for specific water quality parameters in long-term regulatory monitoring programmes, must be considered alongside the increased capital and maintenance costs of turbidity equipment, potentially noisy turbidity data and the need for site-specific prolonged storm calibration periods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.013DOI Listing
December 2017

Assessing recovery from acidification of European surface waters in the year 2010: evaluation of projections made with the MAGIC model in 1995.

Environ Sci Technol 2014 Nov 3;48(22):13280-8. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

The James Hutton Institute , Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, U.K.

In 1999 we used the MAGIC (Model of Acidification of Groundwater In Catchments) model to project acidification of acid-sensitive European surface waters in the year 2010, given implementation of the Gothenburg Protocol to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). A total of 202 sites in 10 regions in Europe were studied. These forecasts can now be compared with measurements for the year 2010, to give a "ground truth" evaluation of the model. The prerequisite for this test is that the actual sulfur and nitrogen deposition decreased from 1995 to 2010 by the same amount as that used to drive the model forecasts; this was largely the case for sulfur, but less so for nitrogen, and the simulated surface water [NO3(-)] reflected this difference. For most of the sites, predicted surface water recovery from acidification for the year 2010 is very close to the actual recovery observed from measured data, as recovery is predominantly driven by reductions in sulfur deposition. Overall these results show that MAGIC successfully predicts future water chemistry given known changes in acid deposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es502533cDOI Listing
November 2014

Spatial and temporal ecology of Scots pine ectomycorrhizas.

New Phytol 2010 May 25;186(3):755-68. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

School of Biological Sciences, Plant and Soil Science, University of Aberdeen, St Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK.

Spatial analysis was used to explore the distribution of individual species in an ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal community to address: whether mycorrhizas of individual ECM fungal species were patchily distributed, and at what scale; and what the causes of this patchiness might be. Ectomycorrhizas were extracted from spatially explicit samples of the surface organic horizons of a pine plantation. The number of mycorrhizas of each ECM fungal species was recorded using morphotyping combined with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing. Semivariograms, kriging and cluster analyses were used to determine both the extent and scale of spatial autocorrelation in species abundances, potential interactions between species, and change over time. The mycorrhizas of some, but not all, ECM fungal species were patchily distributed and the size of patches differed between species. The relative abundance of individual ECM fungal species and the position of patches of ectomycorrhizas changed between years. Spatial and temporal analysis revealed a dynamic ECM fungal community with many interspecific interactions taking place, despite the homogeneity of the host community. The spatial pattern of mycorrhizas was influenced by the underlying distribution of fine roots, but local root density was in turn influenced by the presence of specific fungal species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03204.xDOI Listing
May 2010

Changes in fungal community composition in response to vegetational succession during the natural regeneration of cutover peatlands.

Microb Ecol 2007 Oct 21;54(3):508-22. Epub 2007 Apr 21.

The Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK.

Despite the importance of peatlands as a major store of sequestered carbon and the role of fungi in releasing sequestered C, we know little about the community structure of fungi in peatlands. We investigated these across a gradient of naturally regenerating peatland vegetation using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and clone libraries of fragments of the fungal rRNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Significant changes in the fungal community structure of peat samples at different stages of regeneration were observed, which relate to the composition of the vegetation recolonizing these sites. Cloning and sequence analysis also demonstrated a potential shift in the relative abundance of the main fungal phyla. Some of the clones identified to genus level were highly related to fungi known to play a role in the degradation of plant litter or wood in similar ecosystems and/or form mycorrhizal associations. In addition, several fungal isolates highly related to peat clones were obtained, and their enzymic capacity to degrade structural plant tissues was assessed. Together, these results suggest that the fungal community composition of peat may be an important indicator of the status of regeneration and potential carbon sequestration of cutover peatlands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00248-007-9220-7DOI Listing
October 2007

A rapid microtiter plate method to measure carbon dioxide evolved from carbon substrate amendments so as to determine the physiological profiles of soil microbial communities by using whole soil.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2003 Jun;69(6):3593-9

Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom.

Sole-carbon-source tests (Biolog), designed to identify bacteria, have become very popular for metabolically fingerprinting soil microbial communities, despite disadvantages associated with the use of carbon source profiles that primarily select for fast-growing bacteria. In this paper we describe the use of an alternative method that combines the advantages of the Biolog community-level physiological profile (CLPP) method, in which microtiter-based detection plates are used, with the ability to measure carbon dioxide evolution from whole soil. This method facilitates measurement over short periods of time (4 to 6 h) and does not require the extraction and culturing of organisms. Deep-well microtiter plates are used as test wells into which soil is placed. The apparatus to fill the deep-well plates and interface it with a second removable detection plate is described. Two detection systems, a simple colorimetric reaction in absorbent alkali and scintillation counting with radioactive carbon sources, are described. The methods were compared to the Biolog-CLPP system by using soils under different vegetation types and soil treated with wastewater sludge. We aimed to test the hypothesis that using whole soil would have specific advantages over using extracts in that more immediate responses to substrates could be obtained that would reflect activity rather than growth. The whole-soil method was more rapid and gave earlier detection of C source use. Also, the metabolic fingerprints obtained could discriminate between sludge treatments.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC161481PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aem.69.6.3593-3599.2003DOI Listing
June 2003