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  • Thomas, T. M.; Granatosky, M. C.; Bourque, J. R.; Krysko, K. L.; Moler, P. E.; Gamble, T.; Suarez, E.; Leone, E.; Enge, K. M.; Roman, J. (Zootaxa, 2014
      The Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a large, aquatic turtle limited to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Previous molecular analyses using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggested that Macrochelys exhibits significant genetic variation across its range that includes three distinct genetic assemblages (western, central, and eastern = Suwannee). However, no taxonomic revision or morphological analyses have been conducted previously. In this study, we test previous hypotheses of distinct geographic assemblages by examining morphology, reanalyzing phylogeo-graphic genetic structure, and estimating divergence dating among lineages in a coalescent framework using Bayesian inference. We reviewed the fossil record and discuss phylogeographic and taxonomic implications of the existence of three distinct evolutionary lineages. We measured cranial (n= 145) and post-cranial (n= 104) material on field-captured individuals and museum specimens. We analyzed 420 base pairs (bp) of mitochondrial DNA sequence data for 158 Macrochelys. We examined fossil Macrochelys from ca. 15-16 million years ago (Ma) to the present to better assess historical distributions and evaluate named fossil taxa. The morphological and molecular data both indicate significant geographical variation and suggest three species-level breaks among genetic lineages that correspond to previously hypothesized genetic assemblages. The holotype of Macrochelys temminckii is from the western lineage. Therefore, we describe two new species as Macrochelys apalachicolae sp. nov. from the central lineage and Macrochelys suwanniensis sp. nov. from the eastern lineage (Suwannee River drainage). Our estimates of divergence times suggest that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of M. temminckii (western) and M. apalachicolae (central) existed 3.2-8.9 Ma during the late Miocene to late Pliocene, whereas M. temminckii-M. apalachicolae and M. suwanniensis last shared a MRCA 5.5-13.4 Ma during the mid-Miocene to early Pliocene. Examination of fossil material revealed that the fossil taxon M. floridana is actually a large Chelydra. Our taxonomic revision of Macrochelys has conservation and management implications in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
  • Kobos, P. H.; Erickson, J. D.; Drennen, T. E. (Energy Policy, 2006
      This paper analyzes the relationship between current renewable energy technology costs and cumulative production, research, development and demonstration expenditures, and other institutional influences. Combining the theoretical framework of 'learning by doing' and developments in 'learning by searching' with the fields of organizational learning and institutional economics offers a complete methodological framework to examine the underlying capital cost trajectory when developing electricity cost estimates used in energy policy planning models. Sensitivities of the learning rates for global wind and solar photovoltaic technologies to changes in the model parameters are tested. The implications of the results indicate that institutional policy instruments play an important role for these technologies to achieve cost reductions and further market adoption. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Conte, M.; Nelson, E.; Carney, K.; Fissore, C.; Olwero, N.; Plantinga, A.; Stanley, W.; Ricketts, T. (Oxford University Press, New York.New York, 2011
  • Burgess, N.; D'Amico Hales, J.; Underwood, E.; Dinerstein, E.; Olsen, D.; Schipper, J.; Ricketts, T.; Itoua, I.; Newman, K. (Island Press, Washington, D. C..Washington, D. C., 2004
      As part of a global effort to identify those areas where conservation measures are needed most urgently, World Wildlife Fund has assembled teams of scientists to conduct ecological assessments of all five continents. Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar is the latest contribution, presenting in a single volume the first comprehensive assessment of biodiversity patterns, threats to biodiversity, and resulting conservation priorities across the African continent and its islands. Looking at biodiversity and threats in terms of biological units rather than political units, the book offers a comprehensive examination of African biodiversity across all biomes and multiple taxonomic groups. In addition to the seven main chapters, the book includes twenty essays by regional experts that provide more depth on key issues, as well as nine detailed appendixes that present summary data used in the analyses, specific analytical methodologies, and a thorough text description for each of Africa's 119 terrestrial ecoregions. Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar provides a blueprint for conservation action and represents an unparalleled guide for investments and activities of conservation agencies and donor organizations.
  • Voigt, B.; Troy, A.; Miles, B.; Reiss, A. (2009
      This paper describes the implementation of a land use and transportation modeling framework developed for Chittenden County, Vermont, to test for differences in modeled output when employing a dynamically linked travel demand model (TDM) versus an assumption of static regional accessibilities over time. With the use of the land use model UrbanSim, two versions of a 40-year simulation for the county, one with a TDM and one without, were compared. In the first version, UrbanSim was integrated with the TransCAD four-step TDM; this allowed regional accessibilities to be recalculated at regularly scheduled intervals. In the second version, TransCAD was used to compute year 2000 accessibilities; these values were held constant for the duration of the model run. The results indicated some significant differences in the modeled outputs. In particular, although centrally located traffic analysis zones (TAZs) reveal relatively little difference between the two models, the differential within peripheral TAZs is both more pronounced and more heterogeneous. The pattern displayed suggests that some peripheral TAZs have higher modeled development with a TDM because the TDM accounts for the increased proximity of destinations, thereby making them amenable to development. Meanwhile, some peripheral TAZs have lower modeled development with a TDM because they already have good accessibility (e.g., access via Interstate), but the model without the TDM does not account for increased congestion.
  • Severtson, D. J.; Vatovec, C. (Journal of Health Communication, 2012
      Theory-based research is needed to understand how maps of environmental health risk information influence risk beliefs and protective behavior. Using theoretical concepts from multiple fields of study including visual cognition, semiotics, health behavior, and learning and memory supports a comprehensive assessment of this influence. The authors report results from 13 cognitive interviews that provide theory-based insights into how visual features influenced what participants saw and the meaning of what they saw as they viewed 3 formats of water test results for private wells (choropleth map, dot map, and a table). The unit of perception, color, proximity to hazards, geographic distribution, and visual salience had substantial influences on what participants saw and their resulting risk beliefs. These influences are explained by theoretical factors that shape what is seen, properties of features that shape cognition (preattentive, symbolic, visual salience), information processing (top-down and bottom-up), and the strength of concrete compared with abstract information. Personal relevance guided top-down attention to proximal and larger hazards that shaped stronger risk beliefs. Meaning was more local for small perceptual units and global for large units. Three aspects of color were important: preattentive "incremental risk" meaning of sequential shading, symbolic safety meaning of stoplight colors, and visual salience that drew attention. The lack of imagery, geographic information, and color diminished interest in table information. Numeracy and prior beliefs influenced comprehension for some participants. Results guided the creation of an integrated conceptual framework for application to future studies. Ethics should guide the selection of map features that support appropriate communication goals.
  • Bateman, I. J.; Fisher, B.; Fitzherbert, E.; Glew, D.; Naidoo, R. (Oryx, 2010
      Increasing demand for cooking oil and biofuels has made palm oil, > 80% of which is grown in South-east Asia, the dominant globally traded vegetable oil However, this region is host to some of the world's most biodiverse and threatened tropical forests Strategic engagement with commercial operations is increasingly recognized to be an essential part of the solution for raising funds for conservation initiatives, raising consumer consciousness and potentially stemming environmental degradation Linking market incentives towards conservation is also of critical importance because it is becoming widely recognized that conservation needs to begin to address the wider countryside (outside protected areas) where human-wildlife interactions are frequent and impacts are large. Using the Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae as both a threatened species in its own right and emblematic for wider species diversity, we show that western consumers are willing to pay a significant premium for products using palm oil grown in a manner that reduces impacts on such species. Results suggest that the price premium associated with a 'tiger-friendly' accreditation may provide a useful additional tool to raise conservation funds and, within the right institutional context, serve as an inducement to address the problem of habitat and species loss
  • Stephens, J. C. (Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-Climate Change, 2014
      Government investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a large and expensive fossil-fuel subsidy with a low probability of eventual societal benefit. Within the tight resource constrained environments that almost all governments are currently operating in, it is irresponsible to sustain this type of subsidy. CCS has been promoted as a bridging' technology to provide CO2 reductions until non-fossil-fuel energy is ramped up. But the past decade of substantial government investment and slow progress suggests that the challenges are many, and it will take longer to build the CCS bridge than to shift away from fossil-fuels. Optimism about the potential of CCS is based primarily on research on technical feasibility, but very little attention has been paid to the societal costs of governments perpetuating fossil-fuels or to the sociopolitical requirements of long-term regulation of CO2 stored underground. Deep systemic change is needed to alter the disastrous global fossil-fuel trajectory. Government investment in CCS and other fossil-fuel technologies must end so that the distraction and complacency of the false sense of security such investments provide are removed. Instead of continuing to invest billions in CCS, governments should invest more aggressively in technologies, policies, and initiatives that will accelerate a smooth transition to non-fossil-fuel-based energy systems. We need to divest from perpetuating a fossil-fuel infrastructure, and invest instead in social and technical changes that will help us prepare to be more resilient in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable future. WIREs Clim Change 2014, 5:169-173. doi: 10.1002/wcc.266 Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. For further resources related to this article, please visit the .
  • Stephens, Jennie C.; Graham, Amanda C. (Journal of Cleaner Production, 2010
      A large and growing body of research examining sustainability in higher education has emerged in the past decade. This literature is dominated by empirical and descriptive studies of specific approaches and individual initiatives, but lacks a cohesive research agenda and is not yet supported by strong theoretical underpinnings. This paper contributes to the advancement of this emerging field by exploring the theoretical framework of transition management (TM), a multi-scale, multi-actor, process-oriented approach and analytical framework to understand and promote change in social systems. The TM framework provides guidance toward informing and prioritizing future empirical research in this important emerging field. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Seguino, Stephanie (GÉNEROS-Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, 2013
  • Schaafsma, M.; Morse-Jones, S.; Posen, P.; Swetnam, R. D.; Balmford, A.; Bateman, I. J.; Burgess, N. D.; Chamshama, S. A. O.; Fisher, B.; Green, R. E.; Hepelwa, A. S.; Hernandez-Sirvent, A.; Kajembe, G. C.; Kulindwa, K.; Lund, J. F.; Mbwambo, L.; Meilby, H.; Ngaga, Y. M.; Theilade, I.; Treue, T.; Vyamana, V. G.; Turner, R. K. (Ecological Economics, 2012
      Mapping the distribution of the quantity and value of forest benefits to local communities is useful for forest management, when socio-economic and conservation objectives may need to be traded off. We develop a modelling approach for the economic valuation of annual Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) extraction at a large spatial scale, which has 4 main strengths: (1) it is based on household production functions using data of actual household behaviour, (2) it is spatially sensitive, using a range of explanatory variables related to socio-demographic characteristics, population density, resource availability and accessibility, (3) it captures the value of the actual flow rather than the potential stock, and (4) it is generic and can therefore be up-scaled across non-surveyed areas. We illustrate the empirical application of this approach in an analysis of charcoal production in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, using a dataset comprising over 1100 observations from 45 villages. The total flow of charcoal benefits is estimated at USD 14 million per year, providing an important source of income to local households, and supplying around 11% of the charcoal used in Dar es Salaam and other major cities. We discuss the potential and limitations of up-scaling micro-level analysis for NTFP valuation. Crown Copyright (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Roman, J. (Harvard University, Cambridge, U.K.., 2003
  • Garibaldi, L. A.; Bartomeus, I.; Bommarco, R.; Klein, A. M.; Cunningham, S. A.; Aizen, M. A.; Boreux, V.; Garratt, M. P. D.; Carvalheiro, L. G.; Kremen, C.; Morales, C. L.; Schuepp, C.; Chacoff, N. P.; Freitas, B. M.; Gagic, V.; Holzschuh, A.; Klatt, B. K.; Krewenka, K. M.; Krishnan, S.; Mayfield, M. M.; Motzke, I.; Otieno, M.; Petersen, J.; Potts, S. G.; Ricketts, T. H.; Rundlof, M.; Sciligo, A.; Sinu, P. A.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Taki, H.; Tscharntke, T.; Vergara, C. H.; Viana, B. F.; Woyciechowski, M. (Journal of Applied Ecology, 2015
      Understanding the relationships between trait diversity, species diversity and ecosystem functioning is essential for sustainable management. For functions comprising two trophic levels, trait matching between interacting partners should also drive functioning. However, the predictive ability of trait diversity and matching is unclear for most functions, particularly for crop pollination, where interacting partners did not necessarily co-evolve. World-wide, we collected data on traits of flower visitors and crops, visitation rates to crop flowers per insect species and fruit set in 469 fields of 33 crop systems. Through hierarchical mixed-effects models, we tested whether flower visitor trait diversity and/or trait matching between flower visitors and crops improve the prediction of crop fruit set (functioning) beyond flower visitor species diversity and abundance. Flower visitor trait diversity was positively related to fruit set, but surprisingly did not explain more variation than flower visitor species diversity. The best prediction of fruit set was obtained by matching traits of flower visitors (body size and mouthpart length) and crops (nectar accessibility of flowers) in addition to flower visitor abundance, species richness and species evenness. Fruit set increased with species richness, and more so in assemblages with high evenness, indicating that additional species of flower visitors contribute more to crop pollination when species abundances are similar.Synthesis and applications. Despite contrasting floral traits for crops world-wide, only the abundance of a few pollinator species is commonly managed for greater yield. Our results suggest that the identification and enhancement of pollinator species with traits matching those of the focal crop, as well as the enhancement of pollinator richness and evenness, will increase crop yield beyond current practices. Furthermore, we show that field practitioners can predict and manage agroecosystems for pollination services based on knowledge of just a few traits that are known for a wide range of flower visitor species. Despite contrasting floral traits for crops world-wide, only the abundance of a few pollinator species is commonly managed for greater yield. Our results suggest that the identification and enhancement of pollinator species with traits matching those of the focal crop, as well as the enhancement of pollinator richness and evenness, will increase crop yield beyond current practices. Furthermore, we show that field practitioners can predict and manage agroecosystems for pollination services based on knowledge of just a few traits that are known for a wide range of flower visitor species. Editor's Choice
  • Rizzo, Donna M; Dewoolkar, Mandar M; Hayden, Nancy J (Springer, Cambridge, U.K.., 2013
      The practice of engineering, especially the design process, involves many aspects beyond just the technical and includes such critical components as engineering ethics, sustainability and transferable skills such as communication, leadership and mentoring. Engineering educators often struggle with how to best incorporate these nontechnical aspects within their curricula. Service learning offers an opportunity to do this. The disconnect is that students often view engineering as only the technical number crunching and these other nontechnical components as less important. We report on the assessment of student written reflections across two very different service-learning engineering design projects for the purpose of evaluating student attitudes about these service-learning experiences and to assess their awareness and appreciation of transferable-skills development. In the spirit of service-learning pedagogy, we divided the contents of the written reflections into three categories – academic enhancement, civic engagement and personal growth skills. The commonality across both courses centered on academic enhancements and the value of transferable skills (i.e., leadership, teamwork, negotiation skills, mentoring, scheduling, verbal and written communication skills). Assessments show our current service-learning pedagogy improves students’ understanding of the importance of written and oral presentation skills. However, as of yet, many students do not consider leadership, negotiation skills, design setbacks, scheduling and mentoring skills to be part of “real” engineering.
  • Alvez, J. P.; Fo, A. L. S.; Farley, J. C.; Erickson, J. D.; Mendez, V. E. (Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 2014
      The production of ecosystem goods and services has increased significantly in the last 100 years, while the capacity of ecosystems to generate supporting and regulating services has decreased. In this context, agriculture and livestock production have become major concerns. At the same time, livestock, particularly dairy cows, play a key role and can serve to improve ecosystems, production, and rural livelihoods. We randomly selected and conducted semistructural interviews with 61 dairy family farmers from four cooperatives in the Encosta da Serra Geral Region of the Atlantic rainforest in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The goal was to analyze their production and viewpoints about environmental variables after adopting management-intensive grazing (MIG). The overall results showed that when farmers changed from semi-confinement and continuous grazing to MIG they perceived improvements in production, livelihoods, and ecosystem services. Moreover, according to farmers' insights, MIG could be a tool to increase water and soil quality, animal health, alleviate poverty, and complement Brazilian conservation efforts.
  • Ali, S. (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.New Haven, CT, 2009
  • Mendez, V. E.; Gliessman, S. R.; Gilbert, G. S. (Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 2007
      Conservation of tropical biodiversity in agricultural landscapes has become more important as the area covered by natural ecosystems decreases. We analyzed the effects of local livelihoods, cooperative types, and selected biophysical variables (elevation, slope, percent shade, distance to the forest, coffee density, and coffee age) on tree biodiversity in shade coffee cooperatives of El Salvador. Tree inventories from 51 quadrats in coffee cooperatives included 2743 individuals from 46 families and 123 identified tree species. Species richness and tree diameters differed among some cooperatives, with greater richness associated with greater stein density; other biophysical variables had little impact on diversity. The amount of shade in the coffee plantations differed among cooperatives, particularly in the wet season. Of the tree species reported in a recent study of a neighboring forest and in the cooperatives (N = 227 species combined), 16% were present at both sites. The three coffee plantations shared 35% of total species reported from all cooperatives. Our research shows that the number of tree species found in a coffee plantation increases with the density of shade trees included in the system. In turn, agroecological management, as influenced by farmer livelihood strategies and cooperative types, directly affects shade canopy composition. Important factors to take into account are the types of farmer organizations present, the cost of maintaining species of conservation concern, and the potential benefits that conservation could bring to the livelihood strategies of farm households. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Cayuela, L.; Gálvez-Bravo, L.; Pérez Pérez, R.; de Albuquerque, F. S.; Golicher, D. J.; Zahawi, R. A.; Ramírez-Marcial, N.; Garibaldi, C.; Field, R.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; González-Espinosa, M.; Balvanera, P.; Castillo, M. Á.; Figueroa-Rangel, B. L.; Griffith, D. M.; Islebe, G. A.; Kelly, D. L.; Olvera-Vargas, M.; Schnitzer, S. A.; Velázquez, E.; Williams-Linera, G.; Brewer, S. W.; Camacho-Cruz, A.; Coronado, I.; de Jong, B.; del Castillo, R.; Granzow-de la Cerda, Í.; Fernández, J.; Fonseca, W.; Galindo-Jaimes, L.; Gillespie, T. W.; González-Rivas, B.; Gordon, J. E.; Hurtado, J.; Linares, J.; Letcher, S. G.; Mangan, S. A.; Meave, J. A.; Méndez, E. V.; Meza, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Peterson, C. J.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, V.; Snarr, K. A.; Tun Dzul, F.; Valdez-Hernández, M.; Viergever, K. M.; White, D. A.; Williams, J. N.; Bonet, F. J.; Zamora, R. (2012
      Biodiversity research and conservation efforts in the tropics are hindered by the lack of knowledge of the assemblages found there, with many species undescribed or poorly known. Our initiative, the Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET), aims to address this problem by assembling georeferenced data from a wide range of sources, making these data easily accessible and easily queried, and promoting data sharing. The database (GIVD ID NA-00-002) currently comprises ca. 50,000 tree records of ca. 5,000 species (230 in the IUCN Red List) from >2,000 forest plots in 11 countries. The focus is on trees because of their pivotal role in tropical forest ecosystems (which contain most of the world's biodiversity) in terms of ecosystem function, carbon storage and effects on other species. BIOTREE-NET currently focuses on southern Mexico and Central America, but we aim to expand coverage to other parts of tropical America. The database is relational, comprising 12 linked data tables. We summarise its structure and contents. Key tables contain data on forest plots (including size, location and date(s) sampled), individual trees (including diameter, when available, and both recorded and standardised species name), species (including biological traits of each species) and the researchers who collected the data. Many types of queries are facilitated and species distribution modelling is enabled. Examining the data in BIOTREE-NET to date, we found an uneven distribution of data in space and across biomes, reflecting the general state of knowledge of the tropics. More than 90% of the data were collected since 1990 and plot size varies widely, but with most less than one hectare in size. A wide range of minimum sizes is used to define a 'tree'. The database helps to identify gaps that need filling by further data collection and collation. The data can be publicly accessed through a web application at http://portal.biotreenet.com. Researchers are invited and encouraged to contribute data to BIOTREE-NET.
  • Keller, C.K.; O'Brien, R.; Havig, J.R.; Smith, J.L.; Bormann, B.T.; Wang, D. (Ecosystems, 2006
      The hydrochemical signatures of forested ecosystems are known to be determined by a timevariant combination of physical-hydrologic, geochemical, and biologic processes. We studied subsurface potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and nitrate (NO3) in an experimental red -pine mesocosm to determine how trees affect the behavior of these nutrients in soil water, both during growth and after a harvest disturbance. Solution chemistry was monitored for 2 years at the end of a 15-year period of tree growth, and then for 3 more years after harvest and removal of aboveground biomass. Concentrations were characterized by three distinct temporal patterns that we ascribe to changes in solute generation mechanisms. Prior to harvest, K soilwater concentrations were relatively uniform with depth, whereas Ca soil-water concentrations doubled with depth. Nitrate concentrations were below detection in soil water and discharge (drainage) water. Plant uptake and water/nutrient cycling exerted strong control during this interval. During the 1st year after harvest, K concentrations tripled in shallow soil water, relative to preharvest levels, and showed a strong seasonal peak in discharge that mimicked soil temperature. Summer soil temperatures and annual water flux also increased. Decomposition of labile litter, with complete nitrogen (N) immobilization, characterized this interval. In the third interval (years 2 and 3 after harvest), decomposition shifted from N to carbon (C) limitation, and Ca and NO3 concentrations in discharge spiked to nearly 200 and 400 lM, respectively. Relatively stable ionic strength and carbonate chemistry in discharge, throughout the study period, indicate that carbonic-acid weathering was sustained by belowground decomposition long after the harvest. This stable chemical weathering regime, along with the persistence of N limitation for a long period after disturbance, may be characteristic of early-phase primary-successional systems.

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