Browsing by Author "Getz, Wayne M."
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- ItemConsumer-resource dynamics : quantity, quality, and allocation(Public Library of Science, 2011-01-20) Getz, Wayne M.; Owen-Smith, NormanBackground: The dominant paradigm for modeling the complexities of interacting populations and food webs is a system of coupled ordinary differential equations in which the state of each species, population, or functional trophic group is represented by an aggregated numbers-density or biomass-density variable. Here, using the metaphysiological approach to model consumer-resource interactions, we formulate a two-state paradigm that represents each population or group in a food web in terms of both its quantity and quality. Methodology and Principal Findings: The formulation includes an allocation function controlling the relative proportion of extracted resources to increasing quantity versus elevating quality. Since lower quality individuals senesce more rapidly than higher quality individuals, an optimal allocation proportion exists and we derive an expression for how this proportion depends on population parameters that determine the senescence rate, the per-capita mortality rate, and the effects of these rates on the dynamics of the quality variable. We demonstrate that oscillations do not arise in our model from quantity-quality interactions alone, but require consumer-resource interactions across trophic levels that can be stabilized through judicious resource allocation strategies. Analysis and simulations provide compelling arguments for the necessity of populations to evolve quality-related dynamics in the form of maternal effects, storage or other appropriate structures. They also indicate that resource allocation switching between investments in abundance versus quality provide a powerful mechanism for promoting the stability of consumer-resource interactions in seasonally forcing environments. Conclusions/Significance: Our simulations show that physiological inefficiencies associated with this switching can be favored by selection due to the diminished exposure of inefficient consumers to strong oscillations associated with the wellknown paradox of enrichment. Also our results demonstrate how allocation switching can explain observed growth patterns in experimental microbial cultures and discuss how our formulation can address questions that cannot be answered using the quantity-only paradigms that currently predominate. © 2011 Getz, Owen-Smith.
- ItemPositive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African buffalo : a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomaly(PLoS, 2014-11-05) Van Hooft, Pim; Greyling, Ben J.; Getz, Wayne M.; Van Helden, Paul D.; Zwaan, Bas J.; Bastos, Armanda D. SAlthough generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important implications for our understanding not only of the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of sex-ratio distorters and suppressors, but also of the functioning of deleterious and sexually-antagonistic alleles, and their impact on population viability.
- ItemThe potential impact of male circumcision on HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa(Public Library of Science -- PLoS, 2006-07) Williams, Brian G.; Lloyd-Smith, James O.; Gouws, Eleanor; Hankins, Catherine; Getz, Wayne M.; Hargrove, John; De Zoysa, Isabelle; Dye, Christopher; Auvert, BertranBackground A randomized controlled trial (RCT) has shown that male circumcision (MC) reduces sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by 60% (32% 76%; 95% CI) offering an intervention of proven efficacy for reducing the sexual spread of HIV. We explore the implications of this finding for the promotion of MC as a public health intervention to control HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods and Findings Using dynamical simulation models we consider the impact of MC on the relative prevalence of HIV in men and women and in circumcised and uncircumcised men. Using country level data on HIV prevalence and MC, we estimate the impact of increasing MC coverage on HIV incidence, HIV prevalence, and HIV-related deaths over the next ten, twenty, and thirty years in sub-Saharan Africa. Assuming that full coverage of MC is achieved over the next ten years, we consider three scenarios in which the reduction in transmission is given by the best estimate and the upper and lower 95% confidence limits of the reduction in transmission observed in the RCT. MC could avert 2.0 (1.1 3.8) million new HIV infections and 0.3 (0.1 0.5) million deaths over the next ten years in sub-Saharan Africa. In the ten years after that, it could avert a further 3.7 (1.9 7.5) million new HIV infections and 2.7 (1.5 5.3) million deaths, with about one quarter of all the incident cases prevented and the deaths averted occurring in South Africa. We show that a) MC will increase the proportion of infected people who are women from about 52% to 58%; b) where there is homogenous mixing but not all men are circumcised, the prevalence of infection in circumcised men is likely to be about 80% of that in uncircumcised men; c) MC is equivalent to an intervention, such as a vaccine or increased condom use, that reduces transmission in both directions by 37%. Conclusions This analysis is based on the result of just one RCT, but if the results of that trial are confirmed we suggest that MC could substantially reduce the burden of HIV in Africa, especially in southern Africa where the prevalence of MC is low and the prevalence of HIV is high. While the protective benefit to HIV-negative men will be immediate, the full impact of MC on HIV-related illness and death will only be apparent in ten to twenty years.