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Tropical Conservation Science
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.692
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1940-0829 - ISSN (Online) 1940-0829
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1174 journals]
  • Diversity and Genetic Structure of Dicksonia navarrensis (Dicksoniaceae)
           Populations in the Mexican Sierra Madre Oriental

    • Authors: José Luis Reyes-Ortiz, Pablo Octavio-Aguilar, Lauro López-Mata, Arturo Sánchez-González
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsDicksonia navarrensis is a species of tree fern at risk of extinction, distributed in the montane cloud forest (MCF) of the Americas from the central region of Mexico to Ecuador. In Mexico, populations of this species grow in primary vegetation of the MCF, in a matrix with a high degree of fragmentation and under threat of disappearance.MethodsIn the present study, the diversity and genetic structure of seven populations of D. navarrensis that are distributed in the cloud forest of the Sierra Madre Oriental were evaluated, with both standard laboratory and statistical analysis techniques, using 11 microsatellites developed for the genus Dicksonia.ResultsA total of 33 alleles were found. Genetic diversity differed between populations, and some presented low heterozygosity. Using assignment tests, three genetic groups were identified, associated with the geographical distribution of the populations; those from the north maintain connectivity with each other but diverge highly from the populations in the south, probably due to processes of isolation by distance (local environment), genetic drift, and natural selection.ConclusionThe northernmost population, which is more isolated from the rest, has a broader genetic reservoir, which can be useful for maintaining the genetic diversity of the species. In the other populations, with less genetic diversity, the introduction of individuals and/or the dispersion of spores is important, to maintain and increase the genetic variability that they still possess, but which could disappear in a short time if their habitat continues to deteriorate at a high degree.Implications for ConservationThe results obtained provide basic information that can be used in management and conservation plans, because the populations with the greatest genetic diversity and the possible processes that are influencing the genetic structure of the species were identified.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-09-20T05:31:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221128539
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • People’s Knowledge and Perceptions Towards Bee–Pollinators in the
           Southern Highlands, Tanzania: Conservation Implications and Strategies

    • Authors: Fredrick Ojija, Cecilia Leweri
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and research aimsBees are important pollinators of flowering wild plants and agricultural crops that contribute significantly towards food security, improving people’s livelihoods, and maintaining genetic diversity in plant communities. However, the decline of the bee population due to anthropogenic changes and limited knowledge of bees is threatening bee diversity, particularly in sub–Saharan Africa. Negative perceptions, that is, fear and disgust, are common emotions that lead to a lack of support for bee conservation. Understanding local people’s perceptions is vital as it can help in bee conservation decision making and proper protection actions.MethodsWe conducted the study in the Mbeya and Songwe regions of Tanzania to assess the knowledge and perception of local people about bee–pollinators and conservation using a structured questionnaireResultsWe found that the majority of respondents (91%) have heard about bees (χ2 = 6275, p < 0.001) and their conservation initiatives (71%), and about 84% of respondents consider bees to be important (χ2 = 168.9, p = 0.001). Moreover, Apis mellifera had the highest identification rate, with 52.7% of respondents. A binary logistic model revealed that respondents' knowledge of bee–pollinators and pollination is not influenced by their age (except for respondents aged 15–18 years, p = 0.012) and education level. While 74% of respondents claimed to be afraid of bees, 79% stated that bees are dangerous to humans. The most common cause is personal experience with bee stings. Poor farm management practices, for example, use of fire and deforestation, were noted by 79% of respondents as the most human activities threatening bee–pollinators.ConclusionOverall, the respondents were more familiar with A. mellifera compared to non–Apis bee species.Implications for conservationThus, we suggest that implementation of pollinator management programs is vital to ensure their survival and reduce the perceived threat by dispelling myths and encouraging interest in bees.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-09-20T04:17:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221126696
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Is Beekeeping Commercially and Environmentally viable' an assessment
           of the adoption of hanging frame beehives in semi-Arid Area of central
           Tanzania

    • Authors: Charles Felix Chami, Emma Teresa Liwenga, Catherine Aloyce Masao
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      In Tanzania, beekeeping contributes to the natural ecosystem growth and livelihood of rural poor people. This activity provides income and ensures food security as generated from bee products. This paper explores adoption of hanging frame beehives and its implications for livelihoods and forest conservation in the Chemba district, Dodoma region. Data was collected through interviews and Focus group discussions using structured and unstructured questionnaires. Quantitative and qualitative information were analysed through a statistical package SPSS version 16 and content analysis. The research revealed that 37.9% of the beekeepers obtain an average income of above 50,000 (21.57 USD) Tshs per year from using hanging frame beehives and 36% of other beekeepers obtain less than 50,000 (21.57 USD) Tshs per year from using log beehives. The average income from beekeeping indicates that the communities are not yet receiving reasonable income to emphasise the activity as a main source of income. Furthermore, traditional beekeeping has remained a preferred technique, thus jeopardising the forest ecosystems around the areas. Implying that adoption of hanging frame beehives is still to ensure forest conservation. The study recommends that the government, in collaboration with private stakeholders, should plan to improve beekeeping by introducing improved beehives that can be affordable to rural communities and ensure forest conservation.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-09-08T05:37:03Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221125393
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Perceptions on Barn Owls and Their Use in Rodent Control: A Case Study of
           Hwange District

    • Authors: Lovelater Sebele, Peter Mundy, Hervé Fritz, Chloé Guerbois
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research Aims:Myths and beliefs shape the relationships that people have with different species. They lead to the protection of revered species and the persecution of negatively viewed species. In some instances, people fear these species resulting in a failure to tap into their benefits. This study investigates the possibility of using Barn Owls, a species largely linked to traditional beliefs, as a biological control for rodent pests.Methods:Data was collected through a questionnaire survey. Chi-square tests were used to assess the links between socio-demographic variables and the people’s attitude towards the use of owls in rodent control. A Generalised Linear Model was used to investigate the influence of the distance of the homestead from a protected area on their perceptions of owls.Results:Although most respondents acknowledged that they had a rodent problem, 41% would not use owls for their control. More females than males did not want to use owls for fear of being labelled as witches, whilst males felt owls were good for rodent control and ecosystem balance. Level of education and age did not influence people’s perceptions. People living closer to a protected area embraced the use of owls in rodent control and village of origin influenced perception of owls. Most teenagers displayed the same attitude towards owls as their mothers.Conclusion:Gender and parental influence play a role in influencing the perceptions of the community on owls. There is need to further investigate the factors within a village which influence perceptions on owls.Implications for ConservationCultural beliefs should be considered in conservation as the belief in witchcraft transcends age and education. There is need for conservation efforts to focus on improving ecological literacy of target groups to improve the conservation of feared species.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-08-19T02:35:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221120175
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Not Just an Issue in Forested Regions: Investigating the Consumption and
           Trade of Pangolins in a Forest-Savannah Mosaic Area of Cameroon

    • Authors: Alain D. T. Mouafo, Daniel J. Ingram, Valery A. Binda, Itoe Constantine N. Ngwayi, Theodore B. Mayaka
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and research aimsCameroon hosts three species of pangolins and has recently been identified as a hub of pangolin trafficking. However, information on threats to pangolins needed to guide conservation efforts remains scarce, notably on consumption and trade patterns, and the prevalence of individuals trading pangolins. Local communities sharing the same habitats with pangolins can provide such information, which is useful to better target interventions.MethodsBased on a snowball sampling approach and using interview surveys in 20 villages surrounding Mbam et Djerem National Park, we investigated the consumption of pangolins and its drivers, parts sold, selling prices, places sold and buyers, and employed the nominative technique to estimate the percentage of people within the surveyed population engaged in selling pangolins.ResultsOur results showed that both giant and white-bellied pangolins are locally consumed, mainly for their taste, and traded for meat and scales. Distance to the capital city Yaoundé, ethnolinguistic group, and education significantly affected the likelihood of consuming or trading white-bellied and giant pangolins. Selling and prices of giant pangolin meat and scales were significantly affected by distance to Yaoundé. The prevalence of people selling white-bellied and giant pangolins were higher in Tibati and Yoko compared to other municipalities.Implications for conservationOverall, our study provided information necessary for effective law enforcement and research-oriented decision-making for pangolin conservation. We recommend the establishment of consumption reduction campaigns focusing on taste preference, investigation of the impacts of the newly constructed national road on pangolin supply chains and trafficking, and increasing the involvement of local communities in the management process of Mbam et Djerem National Park.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-08-05T05:45:27Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221114845
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Fruit Availability Influences Forest Elephant Habitat Use in a Human
           Dominated Landscape, Campo-Ma’an, Southern Cameroon

    • Authors: Isaac B. Djoko, Robert B. Weladji, Alys Granados, Patrick Paré, Guillaume Body
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimAfrican forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are critically endangered yet research on factors influencing their resource use is limited in Central Africa. We assessed the influence of fruit availability, land use types, and anthropogenic activity on forest elephant presence and relative abundance in the southwest part of the Campo-Ma’an Technical Operational Unit (CMTOU) to better understand elephant habitat use in human dominated systems and inform elephant management strategies.MethodsWe used 17 camera trap stations and surveyed 17 line transects to monitor forest elephant presence and relative abundance as a function of fruit availability, tree species richness, and land use types. Our study area spanned a gradient of human disturbance and included a National Park (NP), Forest Management Unit (FMU), and Community Land (CL).ResultsForest elephants were more likely to occur in areas with increased fruit availability and tree species richness. Also, the likelihood of their presence was higher in CL than in FMU and NP. Elephant relative abundance was negatively affected by human activities such as hunting and logging. The relationship between elephant relative abundance and fruit availability was stronger in CL and NP as compared to the FMU. Elephant relative abundance was higher during the rainy season.ConclusionForest elephant habitat use was positively affected by fruit availability across land use types, and negatively affected by human activities in the southwest part of the CMTOU.Implications for ConservationContinued monitoring of elephant responses to food availability in CMTOU is warranted to track changes in elephant habitat use. Knowledge of the distribution of fruiting trees consumed by forest elephants may allow managers to predict hotspots of habitat use, and to therefore develop effective management strategies.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-08-04T07:06:42Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221117053
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • The First Ex-Situ Germination and Dispersal Mechanisms of the Rare,
           Critically Endangered Tree, Pleodendron costaricense

    • Authors: Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya, Marvin López Morales, Leonardo Álvarez-Alcázar, Andrew Whitworth
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research aimsThe extinction of relict and rare tree species is accelerated by habitat loss and climate change. Pleodendron costaricense is a critically endangered tree, with only four mature individuals known in Southern Pacific Costa Rica. With the discovery of three additional trees, we set out to learn more about P. costaricense’s natural history and attempt the first successful germination.MethodsWe collected fruits from two trees and carried out preliminary germination trials in a nursery at the study site. We also used camera traps in one of the fruiting mother-trees to understand natural dispersal mechanisms of the species.ResultsAlthough plagued by excessive levels of invertebrate predation, we were able to germinate and produce 59 saplings ready for restoration planting. Five mammal species were detected on the camera traps feeding on the fruits, along with one primate potentially using the fruits as a topical medicine.ConclusionP. costaricense can be propagated ex-situ, potentially with greater success using stimulating hormones. To improve production rates, future efforts should focus on the protection of germinating seeds and saplings from seed predators. We also identified numerous potential natural mammalian seed dispersers, mostly in the family Procyonidae.Implications for ConservationGiven the propagation knowledge we have developed, the active restoration efforts of the saplings by Osa Conservation to help increase population numbers, and the strict protection of the two fruiting mother trees, there is now the possibility to attain a positive conservation outcome for this critically endangered species.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-06-21T11:10:05Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221104572
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Impact of Productive Activities on Forest Cover Change in the Calakmul
           Biosphere Reserve Region: Evidence and Research Gaps

    • Authors: Jovanka Špirić, Mariana Vallejo, M. Isabel Ramírez
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsHuman activities seeking to satisfy various needs have resulted in deforestation and other forest cover change processes. The Natural Protected Areas are among the most efficient instruments to contain forest loss. The compensation from conservation is not sufficient to compete with land uses with higher economic rent, such as timber extraction and food production. This study summarizes the evidence and identifies research gaps on forest processes caused by productive activities in Mexico’s Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.MethodsWe systematically reviewed the scientific literature investigating forest processes caused by the productive activities in the Calakmul, including the transition zone. We calculated the frequencies of codes on forest processes and productive activities in the entire sample (53), evaluated each code’s significance in the qualitative synthesis and interpretation, and summarized the measurements of forest processes considering only the primary studies (46).ResultsDeforestation was the most commonly investigated process. Traditional agriculture initially caused deforestation, while livestock and conventional agriculture became more dominant recently with the agricultural intensification policies. Few articles investigated forest degradation experiencing a steady increase from fallow shortening and selective logging. Also, few studies identified forest recovery resulting from long fallows and core zone delimitation. No publications evaluated the forest cover impact of sustainable initiatives.ConclusionThe tendency to quantify deforestation on a regional scale masks presence of other forest processes. The rural development programs in Calakmul did not include the environmental perspective, while participation in sustainable initiatives was low. The understanding of productive activities at the local level will allow differentiation of the long-term from temporary forest dynamic.Implications for ConservationTo assure resilient and inclusive growth in Calakmul, the reduced-impact logging, sustainable agricultural intensification, improved fallows, and beekeeping should be supported with monetary resources that cover the transaction costs of unsustainable livestock breeding and industrial agriculture.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-06-14T10:04:43Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221105712
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Changes in Ecosystem Service Values in Response to the Planting of
           Eucalyptus and Acacia Species in the Gilgel Abay Watershed, Northwest
           Ethiopia

    • Authors: Ermias Debie, Mesfin Anteneh
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Plantation of Eucalyptus and Acacia species emerges as a promising alternative in the tropics in a scenario of high demand for provisional and regulating ecosystem services. The research aimed to characterize the spatiotemporal dynamics of ecosystem service values in response to planting practices of Eucalyptus and Acacia species in the Gilgel Abay watershed, Northwest Ethiopia. The threshold values of NDVI were employed to classify land-use/covers using cloud-free satellite imagery data in 1984, 1998, 2013, and 2021. The benefit transfer method of modified value coefficient was used to estimate ecosystem service values (ESVs) of the study watershed. Total ESV decreased from 1984 to 1998 due to the expansion of cultivated land at the expense of natural forests, shrubs, and grasslands. As food production increased, performance levels of climate regulation, erosion control, and nutrient cycle declined. In contrast, the service values of erosion control, climate regulation, and nutrient cycles were the major contributors to the overall increase in ESV from 1998 to 2021. This was caused by expanding Acacia and Eucalyptus species plantation at the expense of cultivated land in the watershed. The research revealed a trade-off relationship between provisional and other ecosystem services, such as regulating and supporting ecosystem service values in response to land-use system transformation. As a result, it is suggested that synergistic interactions between regulating, provisional, and supporting ecosystem service values be developed by merging plantation and cultivated land. Maintaining the right proportions of degraded plantations, protected natural forests, farmlands, and wetland ecosystems can be the most effective way to provide optimal multiple ecosystem services.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-06-13T11:41:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221108928
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Do Buffer Zone Programs Improve Local Livelihoods and Support Biodiversity
           Conservation' The Case of Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal

    • Authors: Thakur Silwal, Bishnu P. Devkota, Prabin Poudel, Mark Morgan
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research Aims: Buffer zone programs aim to reduce park-people conflicts by improving local livelihoods through integrated conservation and development activities. A case study was conducted at Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal from 2002–2016 to examine some buffer zone initiatives.Methods: Focus group discussions (n = 7), key informant interviews (n = 14), and field observations were performed in accordance with the IUCN Framework for Assessing Management Effectiveness of Protected Areas 2006 and WWF´s Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management 2006.Results: A total of 99 buffer zone activities were identified, including a variety of construction activities such as hydroelectric projects, trails, schools, and monasteries. Park funds were allocated mainly for community development and social welfare (42%), and less on conservation and conflict management (22%). For example, traditional “Nawa” animal rearing practices, feral dog control, and mitigation of wildlife damages to crops and livestock were overlooked.Conclusion: Support gained from the buffer zone program to address livelihoods of needy households who suffer from wildlife damages was lacking, despite legal provisions for compensation (e.g. crop damages caused by jharal). This should not occur at the expense of wildlife conservation and if it does, it will diminish the original intent of buffer zones.Implications for Conservation: Although most of the local communities were positive about buffer zone programs and activities, there was a dire need to incorporate “Nawa” practices, wildlife damage compensation schemes, and feral dog controls. This study suggests to update policies that focus on conflict management.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-06-06T04:27:26Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221106670
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Age and Fieldwork Experience Increase Brazilian University Students’
           Ability to Identify Wild Mammals

    • Authors: André Bastos da Silva, Francisco Arlan de Sales, Luciana Nobre de Abreu Ferreira, Juliana Ramos de Andrade, Wedson de Medeiros Silva Souto, Clarissa Gomes Reis Lopes
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      A lack of engagement with the natural environment can reduce awareness of issues surrounding environmental and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, to increase students’ awareness, science teachers should develop activities related to biodiversity, bringing students into closer connection with the natural environment. This study evaluated the ability of 115 Brazilian university students’ to identify native and alien wild mammals. Patterns in university students’ ability to identify species were predicted by a combination of variables (university-level, age, gender, experience linked to countryside, family farming, fishing, and hunting). Students correctly identified alien mammals more frequently than native mammals. We found distinct groups of species in function of students’ experience (university-level, age group, fishing, and hunting). In addition, we found that the correct identification of native species was mainly associated with older male students who go regularly to the countryside, and participate in activities linked to farming, fishing, and hunting. Our findings support those from previous studies that show fieldwork classes are essential to increase the contact of an increasingly urbanized society with the local natural environment. We suggest that inclusion of fieldwork is necessary for the development of university students’ awareness regarding the richness of native mammal species and consequently, the importance of their conservation.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-05-31T10:16:05Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829211017365
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Impacts of Dams on Freshwater Turtles: A Global Review to Identify
           Conservation Solutions

    • Authors: Andrea Bárcenas-García, Fernanda Michalski, William H. Morgan, Rebecca K. Smith, William J. Sutherland, James P. Gibbs, Darren Norris
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsDams impact freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. Freshwater turtles are at direct and indirect risk due to changes caused by damming including the loss of terrestrial and aquatic nesting habitats, changes to food availability, and blocking movement. Effective management of these impacts requires robust evidence in order to gain an understanding of conservation solutions that work.MethodsWe reviewed the global scientific literature that evaluated the impact of dams on freshwater turtles, and carried out additional searches of literature published in seventeen languages for studies evaluating actions to mitigate dam impacts.ResultsThe search produced 47 published articles documenting dam impacts on 30 freshwater turtle species from seven families (Chelidae, Chelydridae, Emydidae, Geoemydidae, Kinosternidae, Podocnemididae, and Trionychidae) in 13 countries. Few studies were found from Europe and Asia and none from Africa. Most studies were from temperate latitudes, where studies focused more on adults and less threatened species compared with tropical latitudes. More than half of the studies (57%, n = 27) suggested actions to help mitigate dam impacts. Yet, only five studies (three temperate and two tropical) documented the effect of interventions (dam removal, flow management, artificial pond maintenance and community-based action).ConclusionThese findings demonstrate a serious lack of documented evidence evaluating mitigation actions for dam impacts on freshwater turtles.Implications for ConservationThis lack of evidence reinforces the importance of strengthening and maintaining robust long-term studies needed to develop effective and adaptive conservation actions for this group of threatened vertebrates particularly in tropical regions.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T01:14:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221103709
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • A Review of Habitat and Distribution of Common Stingless Bees and
           Honeybees Species in African Savanna Ecosystems

    • Authors: Jeremiah Chakuya, Edson Gandiwa, Never Muboko, Victor K. Muposhi
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsGlobally, concerns over a decline in insect pollinator abundance have been raised. Although bees were noted to be key pollinating agents for approximately 52 of the leading 115 global food commodities, they are currently exposed to risks ranging from a variety of diseases and environmental threats emanating from changes in land use, farming practices and climate change. The study reviewed the habitat and distribution of common stingless bees and honeybees species in African savanna ecosystems. The review focused mainly on (i) profiling stingless bee and honeybee species, habitat and distribution within African savanna ecosystems and (ii) assessing factors affecting stingless bees and honeybees in habitat selection within the savanna ecosystem.MethodsA meta-synthesis of existing literature with a qualitative orientation was used for the review process and 90 published documents were consulted between 1970 and 2021.ResultsThe review findings indicated that there are 19 stingless bee species and 13 subspecies of Apis mellifera found in Africa. The A. mellifera scutellata and A. mellifera adansonii were reported to be widely distributed across the African savanna ecosystem.ConclusionThe migration and swarming of bees play a pivotal role in the general stingless bees and honey bees distribution within the savanna ecosystem.Implications for ConservationThe persistence of stingless bees and honeybees within savanna ecosystems depends on the adoption of the best conservation policies derived from economic and ecological services associated with bee conservation.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-05-03T04:31:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221099623
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Red List and Vulnerability Assessment of the Páramo Vascular Flora in the
           Nevados Natural National Park (Colombia)

    • Authors: Francisco Camacho, Gwendolyn Peyre
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and research aims. The Andean páramo is renowned for its unique biodiversity and sensitivity to environmental threats. However, vulnerability assessments remain scarce, which hinders our capacity to prioritize and apply efficient conservation measures. To this end, we established the Red List of the páramo vascular flora from the Nevados National Natural Park and proposed conservation strategies for its threatened species. Methods. We performed International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessments by evaluating Criterion B, including sub-criteria B1–Extent of Occurrence and B2–Area of Occupancy, and using a systematic geographic-ecological approach for conditions a (Location analysis) and b (Continuing decline). We then executed a Conservation Gap Analysis to prioritize species for in-situ and/or ex-situ conservation. Results. Summing our 233 evaluated species with previous assessments, we completed the Red List of 262 páramo species and encountered 3% Threatened (7 VU, one EN), 44% Not Threatened (65 LC, 50 NT), and 53% Data Deficient. We acknowledged Lupinus ruizensis as Endangered and Aequatorium jamesonii, Carex jamesonii, Elaphoglossum cuspidatum, Miconia latifolia, Miconia alborosea, Pentacalia gelida, and Themistoclesia mucronata as Vulnerable. Conclusion. The eight threatened species should be included as target species in the PNN Nevados management plan 2023–2028 and regarded as national conservation priorities. Implications for Conservation. We recommend in-situ conservation for Medium-Priority species A. jamesonii, E. cuspidatum, and T. mucronata with thorough monitoring, paired with sub-population transfers for High-Priority species C. jamesonii. For the endemic L. ruizensis and P. gelida, we suggest combined in-situ/ex-situ strategies taking advantage of national germoplasm collections, like the seed bank of the Bogotá Botanical Garden José Celestino Mutis.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-04-21T08:22:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221086958
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Effects of Ultraviolet Exposure on the Tropical Fungi Aspergillus
           carbonarius and Aspergillus japonicus: Survival, Amylase Production, and
           Thermostability

    • Authors: Thiago M. Pasin, Eliano A. Moreira, Vivian M. Benassi, Paula V. D. Spencer, Nalu T. A. Peres, Mariana Cereia, Maria de Lourdes T. M. Polizeli
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsAlthough fundamental to tropical forest biodiversity, fungi have been largely neglected in conservation research. To examine the fungal response to increased ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation, we analyzed UVC radiation effects on the survival, growth, and amylase activity of Aspergillus carbonarius and Aspergillus japonicus.MethodsA. carbonarius (strain URM 7305) and A. japonicus (URM 7270) were exposed to UVC (254 nm) for different periods, and morphological changes were compared to the control.ResultsSurvival capacity and growth decreased after 10 min of exposure in A. carbonarius and after 25 min in A. japonicus. After 40 min, amylase activity decreased (A. carbonarius: 35.8%; A. japonicus: 30.3%). Amylase thermostability at 60°C was lower in UVC-exposed strains (T50 15 min) compared to controls (A. japonicus, 45 min; A. carbonarius, 30 min). However, the protein amount remained stable in all UVC-treated strains. Contamination by other fungi was observed in the UVC-exposed strains, confirming competitive strength loss in both species. This was not observed in the controls due to secondary metabolite production, which increased their competitive fitness.ConclusionWe provide new information about UVC’s adverse effects on the survival and enzyme production of A. carbonarius and A. japonicus, which could mean a loss of species essential for proper soil functioning and biodiversity.Implications for conservationExperimental manipulation of biochemical and physiological reactions advances fungal conservation beyond distributional data. The experimental evidence supports previous studies, suggesting that the increased UV radiation caused by climate change may drastically affect fungal biochemistry and physiology.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-04-20T02:05:54Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221092638
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Spatiotemporal Coexistence of Mesopredators and Their Prey in a Defaunated
           Neotropical Rainforest

    • Authors: José Juan Flores-Martínez, Rosamond Coates, Víctor Sánchez-Cordero, Jesús Alejandro Ríos-Solís, Beatriz Carely Luna-Olivera, Marcelino Ramírez-Ibáñez, Mario C. Lavariega
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and Research AimsForest loss and fragmentation have a negative impact on large-sized predators and prey, whose populations are reduced or extirpated locally. We explored the spatiotemporal coexistence of the mesopredators (< 15 kg) coyote, ocelot, and white-nosed coati, with their potential prey (< 15 kg) Mexican agouti, lowland paca, and collared peccary in a defaunated rainforest.MethodsWe used two-species occupancy-detection models between mesopredators and their potential prey, overlap index of circular models, and latency time measurements to evaluate temporal and spatial segregation and habitat use of species.ResultsPresence of ocelot and coyote was influenced by an increase in the detectability and occupancy of the Mexican agouti. Among most mesopredator–prey species pairs, the correlation for both the capture rates at camera-trap stations and the 1-hr intervals were mainly moderate or low. Some mesopredator–prey species pairs showed low or inverse correlations suggesting species avoidance. The Mexican agouti exhibited a significant negative correlation with the presence of mesopredators. The coyote and ocelot showed a positive correlation with their use of low use trails by people.ConclusionsSpatiotemporal tolerance was observed among mesopredator omnivores and prey herbivores. High temporal overlap of ocelots and potential prey (lowland paca) was observed compared to other tropical forests holding large-sized predators, suggesting behavioral shifts for increasing mesopredator–prey encounters. Furthermore, mesopredator coexistence was mediated by a displacement in the temporal peaks of activity and spatial segregation among species.Implications for ConservationDefaunated tropical forests need protection to ensure the conservation of remaining species and their ecological interactions.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-04-01T11:33:06Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221084261
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Multi-Dimensional Social Capital and Farmer’s Willingness to Participate
           in Environmental Governance

    • Authors: Yuxin Wang, Wenjing Qu, Lan Zheng, Mei Yao
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      BackgroundThe construction and development of formal institutions has been lagging behind in rural areas of China for decades, so the role of social capital is particularly important. In the context of China’s implementation of the rural revitalization strategy, considering the impact of social capital on farmers’ willingness to participate in environmental governance is profitable to the improvement of rural human settlement environment and the increase in the implementation efficiency of relevant policies.MethodsBased on the micro-data of villages in Anhui Province, this paper uses the logit model to explore the effects of social capital of trust, network, and norm on farmers’ willingness to participate in environmental governance.ResultsThe results show that both network social capital and norm social capital have a significant effect on farmers’ willingness to participate in environmental governance, and the marginal effect of network social capital is greater than that of norm social capital. After controlling both social network and social norm, however, the effect of social trust is not evident. With the improvement in farmers’ schooling level and income level, the impact of social network and social norms on farmers’ willingness to participate become gradually insignificant, and social capital appears to be “the capital of the poor.”ConclusionGiven the above results, we can improve the willingness of farmers to participate in the village environmental governance and lay a solid foundation for the improvement of rural human settlement environment by cultivating village trust, broadening social network, and creating a social custom of mutual benefit.Implications for ConservationEffective environmental governance is an important measure to achieve sustainable development goals. Farmers’ willingness to participate in environmental governance plays a significant role in improving the effectiveness of rural environmental governance. Accordingly, the study of how social capital affects farmers’ willingness to participate provides not only valuable enlightenment for rural environmental governance and protection, but also a long path for sustainable development and biodiversity protection.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-03-30T04:47:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221084562
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Live Fences as Refuges of Wild and Useful Plant Diversity: Their Drivers
           and Structure in Five Elevation Contrast Sites of Veracruz, Mexico

    • Authors: Gregoria Zamora Pedraza, Sergio Avendaño-Reyes, Rosamond Coates, Jorge Antonio Gómez Díaz, Maite Lascurain, Graciela García-Guzmán, Juan Carlos López-Acosta
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and ResearchOne noteworthy element found throughout the tropical anthropogenic mosaic is the live fence, which is established within agricultural matrices and its structure within the landscape retains ecological processes, but few are recognized as elements of biological and cultural conservation.MethodsIn this study, we have researched plant diversity and anthropic management of live fences in five sites surrounded by contrasting vegetation references: Tropical evergreen forest; tropical deciduous forest; cloud forest; and pine–oak and pine forests. We recorded the type of management by interviews with peasants. We established thirty 2 × 50 m transects within each site and sampled two strata: trees and saplings. Also, we documented seed dispersal mechanism, life form, local use, and origin of each species. Importance Value Index and diversity metrics were estimated for each site.Results253 plant species were registered (181 genera/74 families). While fences associated with the tropical deciduous forest showed the greatest species richness (109 species), the pine forest fences showed the lowest richness (21 species). Zoochory was the main type of seed dispersal mechanism.ConclusionsIndependent to the site and the altitude, the configuration of living fences is structured by three processes: the selection of the initial trees, the availability of the arrival of zoochory species, and the tolerance of the owners for the plant species.Implications for ConservationBased on our results, live fences can be considered important tools for landscape management in Mexico.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-03-27T07:24:09Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221078489
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Rhododendron
           longipedicellatum, an Endangered Species

    • Authors: Yurong Cao, Yongpeng Ma, Zhenghong Li, Xiongfang Liu, Detuan Liu, Suping Qu, Hong Ma
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Rhododendron longipedicellatum is an endangered species endemic to southeastern Yunnan, China. Assessment of genetic variation is critical for protecting endangered species. Therefore, we used EST-SSR markers to analyze the genetic characteristics of R. longipedicellatum. The results revealed high genetic diversity at the species level (He = 0.559, NA = 9.529) and within populations (He = 0.507, NA = 5.910) and moderate genetic differentiation between populations (FST = 0.083). In addition, more genetic variation existed within populations (91.25%) compared with variation among populations (8.75%). The STRUCTURE analysis showed that 150 individuals from five existing populations could best be divided into two genetic groups. At the population level, the neighbor-joining (NJ) tree and principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) analyses also divided them into two groups. In addition, Bottleneck analyses using the Two-Phase Model (TPM) and Stepwise Mutation Model (SMM) as well as the Garza-Williamson Index revealed widespread signatures of bottleneck events. These results provide vital information for scientifically formulating conservation strategies for the endangered R. longipedicellatum.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-03-03T03:02:29Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221078112
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Implications on the Use of the Phylogenetic Species Concept in the Risk
           Categories Assignment: The Case of the Birds of Mexico

    • Authors: Alejandra Galindo-Cruz, Francisco Javier Sahagún-Sánchez, Octavio Rojas-Soto
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and AimsConservation efforts require a rational basis for taxa prioritization; it is essential to recognize the evolutionary independence of units, typically recognized as species. Because different criteria on species limits lead to different conservation assessment priorities, conceptual problems limit the possibility to accurately assess the conservation status that species are undergoing to protect them effectively.MethodsWe analyze the implications of using the phylogenetic species concept (PSC) in the risk categories determination, based on the analysis of the Mexican endemic avifauna. We modeled the potential distribution areas with the MaxEnt algorithm for those species that have had or could be susceptible to taxonomic updates based on the PSC.ResultsOf the 93 studied species, 68 were highly restricted, and 23 have high scores according to the evaluation of the Partners In Flight conservation status, so they can be considered species with high vulnerability or risk of extinction. Additionally, based on the recognition of several allopatric populations as independent phylogenetic species, 45% are susceptible to reconsideration of their risk categories due to a decrease in the extent of areas where they are potentially distributed.Implications for ConservationThe use of a taxonomic perspective focused on the phylogenetic relationship of the different populations would directly impact the definition of risk categories, particularly for those endemic or restricted distribution evolutionary units for which there is usually very little information available and which, undoubtedly, are the ones that most need to be studied and, particularly, protected.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-02-25T10:43:27Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221080975
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
  • Presence And Temporal Activities Of Serrated Hinged Terrapin (Pelusios
           sinuatus) And Marsh Terrapin (Pelomedusa galeata) In KwaZulu-Natal, South
           Africa, Assessed Using Telemetry

    • Authors: Cormac Price, Matthew J Burnett, Gordon O’Brien, Colleen T Downs
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 15, Issue , January-December 2022.
      Background and AimsFor the first time in Africa, two freshwater turtle species (hereafter terrapin) presence and temporal activity in their habitats were investigated using radio telemetry.MethodsTelemeter tags were attached to Pelusios sinuatus (n = 10) at Ndumo Reserve and Pelomedusa galeata (n = 10) at Tala Reserve. Pelusios sinuatus tagged individuals were monitored between August–December 2016 at Ndumo, while P. galeata individuals were monitored between November 2017–July 2018 at Tala. Sensors on the tag determined the tag temperature and temporal activity. We examined both species' frequency distributions of inactivity to time of day. Activity trends for both species in comparison with ambient temperature and tag temperature were analyzed.ResultsTags showed individuals presence or absence as detected by fixed remote networks at the study sites. Tagged P. sinuatus in Ndumo disappeared after a flood without returning after the flood receded. Both species were diurnal, with P. galeata showing a greater ability to maintain tag temperature above ambient temperature in the first 10 h of a day than P. sinuatus. Climatic data, including ambient temperature, rainfall, and wind, were retrieved from weather stations. The most significant climatic variable that affected activity was ambient temperature. Rainfall also showed a significant effect, but wind showed no significant effect.Implications for ConservationThis method can become a valuable tool for long-term remote monitoring of other semi-aquatic reptiles in wetlands that are increasingly under anthropogenic and climatic pressure. Thus, its implications for conservation are significant.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2022-02-02T03:54:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829221074241
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2022)
       
 
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