College of Science and Engineering Recent publications in Science and Engineering

Recent publications in Science and Engineering

Sloan, Sean, Campbell, Mason, Alamgir, Mohammed, Egerton, Jayden, Ishida, Yoko, Senn, Nicole, Huther, Jaime, and Laurance, William F. (2019) Hidden challenges for conservation and development along the Trans-Papuan economic corridor. Environmental Science & Policy, 92. pp. 98-106.
The island of New Guinea harbours one of the world’s largest tracts of intact tropical forest, with 41% of its land area in Indonesian Papua (Papua and Papua Barat Provinces). Within Papua, the advent of a 4000-km ‘development corridor’ reflects a national agenda promoting primary-resource extraction and economic integration. Papua, a resource frontier containing vast forest and mineral resources, increasingly exhibits new conservation and development dynamics suggestive of the earlier frontier development phases of other Indonesian regions. Local environmental and social considerations have been discounted in the headlong rush to establish the corridor and secure access to natural resources. Peatland and forest conversion are increasingly extensive within the epicentres of economic development. Deforestation frontiers are emerging along parts of the expanding development corridor, including within the Lorentz World Heritage Site. Customary land rights for Papua’s indigenous people remain an afterthought to resource development, fomenting conditions contrary to conservation and sustainable development. A centralised development agenda within Indonesia underlies virtually all of these changes. We recommend specific actions to address the environmental, economic, and socio-political challenges of frontier development along the Papuan corridor.

Pirrota, Vanessa, Grech, Alana, Jonsen, Ian D., Laurance, William F., and Harcourt, Robert G. (2019) Consequences of global shipping traffic for marine giants. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17 (1). pp. 39-47.
Shipping routes in the ocean are analogous to terrestrial roads, in that they are regularly used thoroughfares that concentrate the movement of vessels between multiple locations. We applied a terrestrial road ecology framework to examine the ecological impacts of increased global shipping on "marine giants" (ie great whales, basking sharks [Cetorhinus maximus], and whale sharks [Rhincodon typus]). This framework aided in identifying where such "marine roads" and marine giants are likely to interact and the consequences of those interactions. We also reviewed known impacts of shipping routes on these species, and then applied the road ecology framework to detect unknown and potentially threatening processes. In the marine environment, such a framework can be used to incorporate knowledge of existing shipping impacts into management practices, thereby reducing the detrimental effects of future expansion of shipping routes on marine giants.

Barrios-Garrido, H., Wildermann, N., Diedrich, A., and Hamann, M. (2019) Conflicts and solutions related to marine turtle conservation initiatives in the Caribbean basin: identifying new challenges. Ocean and Coastal Management, 171. pp. 19-27.
Conflicts among and between local, national, regional and international stakeholders involved in marine turtle conservation are increasing. Often, they arise because of different socio-economic backgrounds of the people or groups involved. Here, we identified and assessed the conservation-based conflicts occurring in 24 of the 39 Caribbean countries, including their frequency, level of severity, number of stakeholders' groups involved, the degree to which they hinder conservation goals, and potential solutions. Using a cross-sectional social survey, we evaluated the presence and details of conservation conflicts provided by 72 respondents. The respondents included conservation-based project leaders, researchers, people involved in policy-based decision-making, conservation volunteers (community-based conservation groups), and species experts with experience working on marine turtle conservation programs in the Caribbean. The respondents identified 136 conflicts, and we grouped them into 16 different categories. The most commonly mentioned causes of conflicts were: 1) the ‘lack of enforcement by local authorities to support conservation-based legislation or programs’ (18%); 2) ‘legal consumption of turtles by one sector of community clashing the conservation aspirations of other sectors of community (14%); and 3) ’variable enforcement of legislation to limit/prohibit use across range states of the species (10%). From our data it is also apparent that illicit activities in the region are also likely to impact the future success of conservation or monitoring based projects and programs. Overall, an exhaustive review was carried out, and the potential solutions were gathered. Due to the level of severity (physical violence) that some conflicts have reached, achieving solutions will be challenging without mediation, mutual cooperation around shared values, and adaptive management arrangements. Achieving this will require combinations of bottom up and top down collaborative governance approaches.

Wismer, Sharon, Tebbett, Sterling B., Streit, Robert P., and Bellwood, David R. (2019) Spatial mismatch in fish and coral loss following 2016 mass coral bleaching. Science of the Total Environment, 650. pp. 1487-1498.
Record-breaking temperatures between 2015 and 2016 led to unprecedented pan-tropical bleaching of scleractinian corals. On the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the effects were most pronounced in the remote, northern region, where over 90% of reefs exhibited bleaching. Mass bleaching that results in widespread coral mortality represents a major disturbance event for reef organisms, including reef fishes. Using 133 replicate 1 m(2) quadrats, we quantified short-term changes in coral communities and spatially associated reef fish assemblages, at Lizard Island, Australia, in response to the 2016 mass bleaching event. Quadrats were spatially matched, permitting repeated sampling of fish and corals in the same areas: before, during and 6 months after mass bleaching. As expected, we documented a significant decrease in live coral cover. Subsequent decreases in fish abundance were primarily driven by coral-associated damselfishes. However, these losses, were relatively minor (37% decrease), especially compared to the magnitude of Acropora loss (>95% relative decrease). Furthermore, at a local, 1 m(2) scale, we documented a strong spatial mismatch between fish and coral loss. Post-bleaching fish losses were not highest in quadrats that experienced the greatest loss of live coral. Nor were fish losses associated with a proliferation of cyanobacteria. Several sites did, however, exhibit increases in fish abundance suggesting substantial spatial movements. These results challenge common assumptions and emphasize the need for caution when ascribing causality to observed patterns of fish loss at larger spatial scales. Our results highlight the potential for short-term resilience to climate change, in fishes, through local migration and habitat plasticity. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hein, Margaux Y., Birtles, Alastair, Willis, Bette L., Gardiner, Naomi, Beeden, Roger, and Marshall, Nadine A. (2019) Coral restoration: socio-ecological perspectives of benefits and limitations. Biological Conservation, 229. pp. 14-25.
Coral restoration is increasingly used globally as a management tool to minimize accelerating coral reef degradation resulting from climate change. Yet, the science of coral restoration is still very focused on ecological and technical considerations, impeding the understanding of how coral restoration can be used to improve reef resilience in the context of socio-ecological systems. Here, we visited four well-established coral restoration projects in different regions of the world (Thailand, Maldives, Florida Keys, and US Virgin Islands), and conducted key-informant interviews to characterize local stakeholder's perceptions of the key benefits and limitations associated with restoration efforts. Our results reveal that perceptions around coral reef restoration encompass far more than ecological considerations, and include all four dimensions of sustainability: ecological, social, economic, and governance, suggesting that effective coral restoration should be guided by the principles of sustainability science. Socio-cultural benefits were the most frequently mentioned (72.4% of all respondents), while technical problems were the most common theme for limitations of coral restoration efforts (58.3% of the respondents). Participants also revealed some key points likely to improve the outcomes of coral restoration efforts such as the need to better embrace socio-cultural dimensions in goal setting, evaluate ecological outcomes more broadly, secure long-term funding and improve management and logistics of day to day practices. While we identify several important limitations of coral reef restoration, particularly around amateur workforces and limited involvement of local communities, our results suggest that coral restoration can be used as a powerful conservation education tool to provide hope, enhance agency, promote stewardship and strengthen coral reef conservation strategies.

Maxwell, Stephen J., Dekkers, Aart M., Rymer, Tasmin L., and Congdon, Bradley C. (2019) Laevistrombus Abbott 1960 (Gastropoda: Strombidae): Indian and southwest Pacific species. Zootaxa, 4555 (4). pp. 491-506.
Here we evaluate the taxonomy of the marine gastropod genus Laevistrombus Abbott, 1960 and determine that there are five extant species within this genus, three of which occur in the southwest Pacific. Comparative analyses of this complex have been problematic due to the lack of designated type material. Therefore, we present the type material for L. canarium Linnaeus, 1758; L. taeniatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1834; and L. vanikorensis Quoy & Gaimard, 1834. Current taxonomy has L. vanikorensis absorbed within the L. canarium complex. L. taeniatus is generally held to be a synonym of L. turturella Röding, 1789. We demonstrate that both L. taeniatus and L. vanikorensis are distinct species and reinstate both to species level. Our revision also notes the significant variability in early teleoconch structure within the geographic range of L. vanikorensis, and highlights the need for a greater revision of Laevistrombus, given the diversity in early teleoconch morphology present in southwest Pacific species.

Marchese, Gioele, Fitzgibbon, Quinn P., Trotter, Andrew J., Carter, Chris G., Jones, Clive M., and Smith, Gregory G. (2019) The influence of flesh ingredients format and krill meal on growth and feeding behaviour of juvenile tropical spiny lobster Panulirus ornatus. Aquaculture, 499. pp. 128-139.
One of the main challenges for spiny lobster aquaculture is the successful development of formulated feeds that are attractive, readily consumed by lobsters and promote optimal growth and survival. In a 54-day growth trial, we investigated the performance of four moist formulated feeds containing A) non-homogenised flesh ingredients; B) fish meal only; C) 10% krill meal; or D) homogenised flesh ingredients; and a reference diet of shucked blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) flesh, on growth, nutritional condition and feeding behaviour of juvenile tropical spiny lobster (Panulirus ornatus) reared either communally or individually. Growth and survival achieved by lobsters fed mussel were significantly higher than all other treatments. However, lobsters fed the formulated feed containing 10% krill meal (treatment C) and reared communally had a significantly higher growth, survival and feeding performance when compared to the formulated feeds with inclusion of non-homogenised and homogenised flesh ingredients (treatments A and D). The highest levels of feed interaction and pellet consumption among the formulated feeds were also recorded for treatment C. We demonstrated that the inclusion of krill meal in formulated feeds provides a benefit when compared to the inclusion of the flesh ingredients. Flesh ingredient format (homogenised or non-homogenised) had no effect on growth performance of lobsters, suggesting that the process of homogenisation of flesh ingredients does not provide any benefit in promoting feed consumption. Furthermore, time-series photography analysis trials showed that all the formulated feeds only promoted a feeding response within the first 2-3 h post-feeding, whereas mussel retained its attractiveness throughout the feeding period. These results suggest that the prolonged attractiveness remains an impediment for formulated feed performance in lobster culture. The present study also showed that growth performance and feeding response were higher in lobsters reared communally than individually. As observed in other spiny lobster species, it is likely that social interactions in communal housing may have provided cues that stimulated feeding responses and promoted higher growth rates.

Gomes, Giana Bastos, Hutson, Kate S., Domingos, Jose A., Infante Villamil, Sandra, Huerlimann, Roger, Miller, Terrence L., and Jerry, Dean (2019) Parasitic protozoan interactions with bacterial microbiome in a tropical fish farm. Aquaculture, 502. pp. 196-201.
The bacterial microbiome is an important component of any aquaculture environment. The interaction between the bacterial microbiome and other microorganisms (e.g. parasites, viruses, or other bacteria) in aquaculture systems can prevent or contribute to disease outbreaks. This study characterised the bacterial composition associated with the abundance of a ciliated protozoan parasite, Chilodonella hexasticha, in gills and freshwater ponds of barramundi, Lates calcarifer, farm in tropical Queensland, Australia, over one year. An environmental DNA (eDNA) approach was used to estimate the abundance of C. hexasticha (copies/μl) in water through SSUrDNA gene qPCR and the relative abundance of bacterial species in water and fish gills through 16S rRNA V3 and V4 metabarcoding. The overall bacterial community diversity, dominated by Actinobacteria (42%), Proteobacteria (28%), Bacteroidetes (10%) and Cyanobacteria (6%), was stable among ponds over the study period (p > .05). Of those that could be identified to species, Flavobacterium columnare, Veillonella dispar and Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus abundance correlated with both high C. hexasticha levels in pond water and high observed fish mortalities (p < .05). Results also revealed significantly higher levels of F. columnare, B. bacteriovorus,Plesiomonas shigelloides, Prostecobactor debontii and Oxalobacter formigenes (p < .05) in gills of fish with high infection levels of C. hexasticha compared to fish with no detected parasite infection. This study demonstrated, for the first time, a link between increased parasitic ciliate abundance, bacterial composition and fish mortalities in a freshwater aquaculture environment and the application of eDNA to investigate pathogen, host and environment interactions.

Eurich, J.G., Matley, J.K., Baker, R., McCormick, M.I., and Jones, G.P. (2019) Stable isotope analysis reveals trophic diversity and partitioning in territorial damselfishes on a low-latitude coral reef. Marine Biology, 166 (2).
Investigating the niche overlap of ecologically similar species can reveal the mechanisms that drive spatial partitioning in high-diversity systems. Understanding how food resources are used and whether the diets of neighboring species are different are particularly important when considering the coexistence and functional role of species. Territorial damselfish on coral reefs are considered to be herbivores that defend algal mats from other food competitors. However, this guild contains numerous small species whose functional role and dietary diversification is poorly understood. Here, the relationships between diet and spatial distribution of seven intermediate-sized territorial damselfishes at Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea (5°30'S, 150°05'E) were investigated. These species partition habitat across three reef zones with distinct patterns of fine-scale distribution. It was predicted that neighboring species partition food resources with minimal dietary overlap. Examination of isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen delineated three distinct feeding strategies: pelagic, reef-based, and an intermediate group feeding on both prey types. None of the species appear to be strict herbivores. Adjacent species exhibited high–intermediate trophic niche partitioning when examining pelagic versus reef-based production sources, with two species previously described as benthic herbivores exhibiting pelagic feeding. The study demonstrates that diet reinforces the patterns of spatial partitioning and coexistence among ecologically similar damselfishes. These findings add to a growing view that interspecific differences among similar species are lost when categorizing species into broad functional classifications, and that previous studies suggesting that territorial damselfish are strictly reef-based feeders may not be applicable in all systems or for all species.

Baker, Ronald, Barnett, Adam, Bradley, Michael, Abrantes, Katya, and Sheaves, Marcus (2019) Contrasting seascape use by a coastal fish assemblage: a multi-method approach. Estuaries and Coasts, 42 (1). pp. 292-307.
Understanding the range of habitats needed to complete life-cycles is essential for the effective conservation and management of species. We combined otolith microchemistry, acoustic tracking, and underwater video to determine patterns of seascape use by an assemblage of tropical snappers, including two little-known species of high economic importance, the Papuan black bass (Lutjanus goldiei) and spot-tail snapper (Lutjanus fuscescens). All species appeared to have marine larval phases, and post-settlement distributions broadly overlapped across the coastal seascape. However, species and life stages were distributed along a gradient from freshwater to coastal waters. Lutjanus fuscescens is primarily a freshwater species post-settlement, but larger individuals move into brackish estuaries and even coastal waters at times. Lutjanus goldiei appear to recruit to low salinity or freshwater areas. Larger individuals tend to have home-ranges centred on brackish estuaries, while making regular movements into both coastal waters and freshwater. Lutjanus argentimaculatus also ranged widely from fresh to coastal waters, but juveniles were most common in the saline parts of estuaries. Ontogenetic shifts by L. argentimaculatus were similar to those reported from other regions, despite vast differences in the spatial proximity of seascape components. The wide-ranging seascape movements of our target species highlight the importance of maintaining effective connectivity between marine, estuarine, and freshwaters in the region to maintain ecosystem function and support sustainable sport fisheries. The combined approaches resolved some of the ambiguities of individual methods and provide a powerful approach to understanding seascape use by coastal fishes.

Abu Sharib, Ahmed S.A.A., Maurice, Ayman E., Abd El-Rahman, Yasser M., Sanislav, Ioan V., Schulz, Bernhard, Bakhit, Bottros R., and UNSPECIFIED (2019) Neoproterozoic arc sedimentation, metamorphism and collision: evidence from the northern tip of the Arabian-Nubian Shield and implication for the terminal collision between East and West Gondwana. Gondwana Research, 66. pp. 13-42.
In the Wadi Um Had area, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt, NE-trending metapelitic and molasse-type successions are exposed. The metasediments bear the geochemical signature of a first depositional cycle in two distinct continental island arc settings that derived from incipiently-to moderately-weathered intermediate to felsic sources under generally warm and humid conditions. The metapelitic succession records three distinct episodes of metamorphism, M1–M3, whereas the molasse-type succession records only the last metamorphic episode, M3. M1/D1 records an amphibolite facies tectono-metamorphic event that has been dated at 625 ± 5 Ma, whereas M2/D2 records a greenschist facies subduction-related event. Collision of the two domains during a NE–SW shortening D3, culminated in formation of the macroscopic NW–SE-trending folds. D2 and D3 correlate with the gneiss-forming event, which is constrained at <609 Ma, and doming of the nearby Meatiq gneiss dome, respectively. M3 is a hornblende hornfels facies thermal metamorphism related to the intrusion of the post-orogenic, Neoproterozoic (596.3 Ma) Um Had granite. This study records, for the first time, a tectono-metamorphic phase predating the gneiss-forming event in the Meatiq gneiss dome, and pushes the boundary of the Late Ediacaran terminal collision between East and West Gondwana to ≤600 Ma.

Holm, Robert J., Tapster, Simon, Jelsma, Hielke A., Rosenbaum, Gideon, and Mark, Darren F. (2019) Tectonic evolution and copper-gold metallogenesis of the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands region. Ore Geology Reviews, 104. pp. 208-226.
Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are in one of the most prospective regions for intrusion-related mineral deposits. However, because of the tectonic complexity of the region and the lack of comprehensive regional geological datasets, the link between mineralization and the regional-scale geodynamic framework has not been understood. Here we present a new model for the metallogenesis of the region based on a synthesis of recent studies on the petrogenesis of magmatic arcs and the history of subduction zones throughout the region, combined with the spatio-temporal distribution of intrusion-related mineral deposits, and six new deposit ages. Convergence at the Pacific-Australia plate boundary was accommodated, from at least 45 Ma, by subduction at the Melanesian trench, with related Melanesian arc magmatism. The arrival of the Ontong Java Plateau at the trench at ca. 26 Ma resulted in cessation of subduction, immediately followed by formation of Cu-Au porphyry-epithermal deposits (at 24-20 Ma) throughout the Melanesian arc. Late Oligocene to early Miocene tectonic reorganization led to initiation of subduction at the Pocklington trough, and onset of magmatism in the Maramuni arc. The arrival of the Australian continent at the Pocklington trough by 12 Ma resulted in continental collision and ore deposit formation (from 12 to 6 Ma). This is represented by Cu-Au porphyry deposits in the New Guinea Orogen, and epithermal Au systems in the Papuan Peninsula. From 6 Ma, crustal delamination in Papua New Guinea, related to the prior Pocklington trough subduction resulted in adiabatic mantle melting with emplacement of diverse Cu and Au porphyry and epithermal deposits within the Papuan Fold and Thrust Belt and Papuan Peninsula from 6 Ma to the present day. Subduction at the New Britain and San Cristobal trenches from ca. 10 Ma resulted in an escalation in tectonic complexity and the onset of microplate tectonics in eastern Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. This is reflected in the formation of diverse and discrete geodynamic settings for mineralization within the recent to modern arc setting, primarily related to upper plate shortening and extension and the spatial relationship to structures within the subducting slab.

Alamgir, Mohammed, Campbell, Mason J., Sloan, Sean, Suhardiman, Ali, Supriatna, Jatna, and Laurance, William F. (2019) High-risk infrastructure projects pose imminent threats to forests in Indonesian Borneo. Scientific Reports, 9. pp. 1-10.
Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) sustains ~37 million hectares of native tropical forest. Numerous large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at promoting land-development activities are planned or ongoing in the region. However, little is known of the potential impacts of this new infrastructure on Bornean forests or biodiversity. We found that planned and ongoing road and rail-line developments will have many detrimental ecological impacts, including fragmenting large expanses of intact forest. Assuming conservatively that new road and rail projects will influence only a 1 km buffer on either side, landscape connectivity across the region will decline sharply (from 89% to 55%) if all imminently planned projects proceed. This will have particularly large impacts on wide-ranging, rare species such as rhinoceros, orangutans, and elephants. Planned developments will impact 42 protected areas, undermining Indonesian efforts to achieve key targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. New infrastructure will accelerate expansion in intact or frontier regions of legal and illegal logging and land colonization as well as illicit mining and wildlife poaching. The net environmental, social, financial, and economic risks of several imminent projects—such as parallel border roads in West, East, and North Kalimantan, new Trans-Kalimantan road developments in Central Kalimantan and North Kalimantan, and freeways and rail lines in East Kalimantan—could markedly outstrip their overall benefits. Such projects should be reconsidered in light of rigorous cost-benefit frameworks.

Liu, JiaJia, Lindenmayer, David B., Yang, Wenjing, Ren, Yuan, Campbell, Mason J., Wu, Chuping, Luo, Yangqing, Zhong, Lei, and Yu, Mingjian (2019) Diversity and density patterns of large old trees in China. Science of the Total Environment, 655. pp. 255-262.
Large old trees are keystone ecological structures that provide vital ecosystem services to humans. However, there are few large-scale empirical studies on patterns of diversity and density of large old trees in human-dominated landscapes. We present the results of the first nationwide study in China to investigate the patterns of diversity and density of large old trees in human-dominated landscapes. We collated data on 682,730 large trees ≥100 years old from 198 Chinese regions to quantify tree species diversity, tree density and maximum tree age patterns. We modelled the effects of natural environmental variables (e.g. climate and topography) and anthropogenic variables (e.g. human population density and city age) on these measures. We found a low density of large old trees across study regions (0.36 trees/km2), and large variation in species richness among regions (ranging from 1 to 232 species). More than 95% of trees were <500 years old. The best fit models showed that: (1) Species diversity (species richness adjusted by region size) was positively associated with mean annual rainfall and city age; (2) Density of clustered trees, which are mostly remnants of ancient woods, was negatively influenced by human population density and rural population (% of total population). In contrast, the density of scattered trees, which are mostly managed by local people, was positively correlated with mean annual rainfall and human population density. To better protect large old trees in cities and other highly-populated areas, conservation policy should protect ancient wood remnants, mitigate the effects environmental change (e.g. habitat fragmentation), minimize the negative effects of human activities (e.g. logging), and mobilize citizens to participate in conservation activities (e.g. watering trees during droughts).

Laurance, William F. (2019) Climate change is killing off Earth’s little creatures. The Conversation.
But a global review of insect research has found another casualty: 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. It confirms what many have been suspecting: in Australia and around the world, arthropods – which include insects, spiders,centipedes and the like — appear to be in trouble.

Cornelis, Jari, Nordberg, Eric J., and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2019) Antipredator behaviour of invasive geckos in response to chemical cues from snakes. Ethology, 125 (1). pp. 57-63.
Antipredator behaviours and the ability to appropriately assess predation risk contribute to increased fitness. Predator avoidance can be costly; however, so we expect prey to most strongly avoid predators that pose the greatest risk (i.e., prey should show threat sensitivity). For invasive species, effectively assessing the relative risk posed by predators in the new environment may help them establish in new environments. We examined the antipredator behaviour of introduced Asian house geckos, Hemidactylus frenatus (Schlegel), by determining if they avoided shelters scented with the chemical cues of native predatory snakes (spotted pythons, Antaresia maculosa [Peters]; brown tree snakes, Boiga irregularis [Merrem]; common tree snakes, Dendrelaphis punctulata [Grey]; and carpet pythons, Morelia spilota [Lacepede]). We also tested if Asian house geckos collected from vegetation vs. anthropogenic substrates (buildings) responded differently to the chemical cues of predatory snakes. Asian house geckos did not show a generalised antipredator response, that is, they did not respond to the chemical cues of all snakes in the same way. Asian house geckos avoided the chemical cues of carpet pythons more strongly than those of other snake species, providing some support for the threat-sensitivity hypothesis. There was no difference in the antipredator behaviour of Asian house geckos collected from buildings vs. natural vegetation, suggesting that individuals that have invaded natural habitats have not changed their antipredator behaviour compared to urban individuals. Overall, we found some evidence indicating Asian house geckos are threat-sensitive to some Australian predacious snakes.

Mukul, Sharif A., Alamgir, Mohammed, Sohel, Md. Shawkat I., Pert, Petina L., Herbohn, John, Turton, Stephen M., Khan, Md. Saiful I., Munim, Shifath Ahmed, Reza, A.H.M. Ali, and Laurance, William F. (2019) Combined effects of climate change and sea-level rise project dramatic habitat loss of the globally endangered Bengal tiger in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. Science of the Total Environment, 663. pp. 830-840.
The Sundarbans, in southern coastal Bangladesh, is the world's largest surviving mangrove habitat and the last stronghold of tiger adapted to living in a mangrove ecosystem. Using MaxEnt (maximum entropy modeling), current distribution data, land-use/land cover and bioclimatic variables, we modeled the likely future distribution of the globally endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We used two climatic scenarios (i.e., RCP6.0 and RCP8.5) developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide projections of suitable habitats of Bengal tigers in 2050 and 2070. We also combined projected sea-level rise for the area in our models of future species distributions. Our results suggest that there will be a dramatic decline in suitable Bengal tiger habitats in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. Other than various aspects of local climate, sea-level rise is projected to have a substantial negative impact on Bengal tiger habitats in this low-lying area. Our model predicts that due to the combined effect of climate change and sea-level rise, there will be no suitable Bengal tiger habitat remaining in the Sundarbans by 2070. Enhancing terrestrial protected area coverage, regular monitoring, law enforcement, awareness-building among local residents among the key strategies needed to ensure long-term survival and conservation of the Bengal tiger in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

Nigenda-Morales, Sergio F., Gompper, Matthew E., Valenzuela-Galván, David, Lay, Anna R., Kapheim, Karen M., Hass, Christine, Booth-Binczik, Susan D., Binczik, Gerald A., Hirsch, Ben T., McColgin, Maureen, Koprowski, John L., McFadden, Katherine, Wayne, Robert K., and Koepfli, Klaus-Peter (2019) Phylogeographic and diversification patterns of the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica): evidence for south-to-north colonization of North America. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 131. pp. 149-163.
White-nosed coatis (Nasua narica) are widely distributed throughout North, Central, and South America, but the patterns of temporal and spatial diversification that have contributed to this distribution are unknown. In addition, the biogeographic history of procyonid species in the Americas remains contentious. Using sequences from three mitochondrial loci (Cytochrome b, NAHD5 and 16S rRNA; 2201 bp) and genotypes from 11 microsatellite loci, we analyzed genetic diversity to determine phylogeographic patterns, genetic structure, divergence times, and gene flow among Nasua narica populations throughout the majority of the species' range. We also estimated the ancestral geographic range of N. narica and other procyonid species. We found a high degree of genetic structure and divergence among populations that conform to five evolutionarily significant units. The most southerly distributed population (Panama) branched off much earlier (similar to 3.8 million years ago) than the northern populations (< 1.2 million years ago). Estimated gene flow among populations was low and mostly northwards and westwards. The phylogeographic patterns within N. narica are associated with geographic barriers and habitat shifts likely caused by Pliocene-Pleistocene climate oscillations. Significantly, our findings suggest the dispersal of N. narica was south-to-north beginning in the Pliocene, not in the opposite direction during the Pleistocene as suggested by the fossil record, and that the most recent common ancestor for coati species was most likely distributed in South or Central America six million years ago. Our study implies the possibility that the diversification of Nasua species, and other extant procyonid lineages, may have occurred in South America.

Yang, Yibo, Ma, Yongkui, Xiang, Wei, Gu, Xuemai, and Zhao, Honglin (2018) Joint optimization of energy consumption and packet scheduling for mobile edge computing in cyber-physical networks. IEEE Access, 6. pp. 15576-15586.
Due to advances in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, mobile devices have become an inseparable part of human life.The limited executing capabilities of mobile devices along with constrained energy remain barriers in front of this expectation. To address these challenges, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) is considered a promising computing model to offer computing ability to mobile users in fifth-generation (5G) networks. In this paper, we jointly create an optimization problem to minimize the combination of energy cost and packet congestion. By adopting a Promoted-by-probability (PBP) scheme, we efficiently control packet congestion of different priority packets transmitted to MEC. An improved krill herd metaheuristic optimization algorithm is presented to obtain optimal results for minimizing the total overhead of MEC in terms of energy consumption and queuing congestion. The evaluation study demonstrates that our proposal performs efficiently in terms of energy consumption and execution delay.

de Oliveira Roque, Fabio, Uehara-Prado, Marcio, Valente-Neto, Francisco, Ochoa-quintero, Jose, Ribeiro, Katia Torres, Martins, Marlucia Bonifacio, Gonçalves de Lima, Marcelo, Souza, Franco L., Fischer, Erich, Lopes da Silva Jr., Urbano, Ishida, Françoise Yoko, Gray-Spence, Andrew, Pinto, João Onofre Pereira, Ribeiro, Danilo Bandini, de Araujo Martins, Clarissa, Renaud, Pierre Cyril, Pays, Oliver, and Magnusson, William (2018) A network of monitoring networks for evaluating biodiversity conservation effectiveness in Brazilian protected areas. Perspectives in ecology and conservation, 16 (4). pp. 177-185.
The necessity to create national to global-scale biodiversity monitoring systems as part of assessing progress toward biodiversity agendas presents a challenge for signatory countries. This is a brief review of ongoing Brazilian national initiatives that would allow the construction of a general biomonitoring network scheme in protected areas; with additional focus on linking independent monitoring schemes.We discuss some key aspects needed to include monitoring schemes under a single framework that will lead to better evaluation of pressure–state–response indicators for managing biodiversity at several scales; and we point out the potential of embracing citizen science and participatory monitoring to quantify some aspects within those schemes.

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