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Department ofBotany

No. 161
November 1996

Editor: Jane Villa-Lobos


By Bart Sbeghen

Fall is upon us and fair weather birds of the United States are leaving in droves for Mexico and Central America in search of a patch of forest in which to sit out the harsh winter until the next breeding season. Unfortunately less and less forest awaits them every year due to clearing. As little as ten percent of the original forest cover remains in some Latin American countries, so many birds have sought refuge in the next best thing: coffee farms. Traditional coffee farms to be more exact.

In traditional coffee farms the shade-tolerant coffee shrubs are grown beneath a canopy of native forest trees intermingled with fruit trees (tangerines, avocados, bananas, plantains, lemons) and other plants. A wide range of migratory birds such as tanagers, orioles, warblers, and vireos as well as year-round residents such as parrots, toucans, trogons and woodpeckers (few of which actually eat coffee berries) find this environment attractive. And little wonder as the multilayered ecosystems that result resemble pseudo-forests with coffee shrubs as the understory, fruit trees at the middle level and native hardwoods such as Mexican cedar as the canopy. This structural diversity is linked, as it often is, to species diversity in animals such as birds, invertebrates and mammals. The number of bird species supported by traditional coffee farms is sometimes only exceeded in undisturbed tropical forests.

The ecologically diverse coffee farms also benefit farmers economically by providing a variety of products for local consumption and for sale, plus some insurance if coffee prices are low. Costs for the farmers are reduced too as the virtually self-sustaining ecosystems require little or no pesticides, fungicides, irrigation or fertilizers. These are supplanted by such phenomena as natural predation of insects by the diverse animal life, a mulching leaf litter that reduces evaporation, erosion and weed growth and a protective canopy that buffers against drying winds and eroding rain.

Despite these advantages these seemingly safe havens are becoming scarce as many farmers convert to modernized coffee farms. This process started in the early 1970s as coffee farmers began to adopt modern methods that relied on new, high yield, densely packed coffee plants. These dwarf plants are usually grown in evenly spaced rows in full sun, nurtured with fertilizers and protected against attack by an array of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. The higher density of plantings and use of fertilizers results in up to four times the production per land area of traditional farms.

Seduced by the higher yields and, initially at least, willingly dismantled their traditional farms along with the overstory and replanted modern, full sun coffee plant varieties. At the same time they exposed bare soils to rain, sun and wind. The results have been increased erosion, polluted run-off, a substantial reduction in wildlife habitat, and increased exposure of workers to hazardous chemicals. These modern "technified" farms reportedly suffer significantly more soil erosion than farms with shade trees, especially on steep slopes where coffee is commonly grown in Latin America.

Overall, the conversion from shade to full sun coffee renders coffee farms as useless for wildlife as other tropical monocultures and mimics the agricultural transformation that has occurred in the production of other crops such as corn, rice and wheat.

Perhaps one way to assure the prosperity of traditional coffee farms and the biodiversity they support is to develop a market for the type of coffee they produce. If shade or bird- friendly coffee could be distinguished from coffee from technified non-shade farms (and this is easier said than done as there is a continuous graduation of degrees of shade) then consumers may be willing to pay a premium for it. This could negate the impetus for farmers to switch to full sun coffee with its higher production levels.

Several advocates of shade and organic coffee production methods such as the Organic Crop Improvement Association Inc. and the Rainforest Alliance are attempting to provide some type of classification system to allow this to happen. They were among the co-sponsors of the first Sustainable Coffee Congress organized by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center held in Washington, D.C. in September. The hope is that one day buying "shade coffee" will be like buying dolphin-free tuna.

For more information on the Congress or the Migratory Bird Center, contact: Russell Greenberg, Director, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, 3000 Block of Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008; Tel.: (202) 673-4908; Fax: (202) 673-4916.


The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) announce the second round of competition for research enhancement awards. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, applications are invited from established investigators in all fields of ecological and evolutionary biology to conduct comparative research between STRI and OTS field sites in Panama and Costa Rica. The awards will support summer salary and travel up to three years. Successful applicants are expected to apply for other sources of research support.

Applications will be accepted until 31 December. Proposals are limited to five pages of text. The text should outline the significance of the scientific issue being addressed by the research, briefly describe the proposed methods, and emphasize the importance of the cross-site comparison for this issue. Previous research performed by the PI at any of the sites should also be highlighted. In addition, each proposal should include a brief summary of the project (one paragraph), a budget, a budget justification approved by the home institution of the PI, a timetable, a full CV, a conflict of interest statement and an indication of what other sources of funds are in place or will be sought. Address inquiries to: Education Office, Smithsonian Institution, Apdo. 2072, Balboa, Ancon, Panama or Unit 0948, APO AA 34002-0948 USA.

Proposals are also invited for comparative research between OTS sites in Costa Rica and Smithsonian Tropical Research Intitute sites in Panama. Awards will support summer salary and travel for up to three years for scientists at any level and range up to $2,000 for graduate students and up to $5,000 for postdocs and senior scientists. Researchers who have data from one site may apply to study the comparative site. Travel to and from sites, station fees, and minor equipment can be funded. Application instructions and guidelines for use of fellowship funds can be obtained from the North American Office, Attention Dr. Shaun Bennett. Send proposals to Box 90633, Durham, NC 27708- 0633 by 31 December 1996.


January 6-11, 1997. The II Southern Connection congress, "Southern Temperate Biota and Ecosystems: Past, Present and Future", organized by Universidad de Chile and Universidad Austral de Chile, will be held in Valdivia, Chile. Southern Connection has rapidly become the most important venue for interchange and the discussion of biological research in temperate ecosystems in the southern hemisphere. The congress will be organized around special conferences, symposium topics, contributed papers, and special sessions on the science- development-policy interface.

The main themes to be treated in the congress are: 1) history of the southern continents and their biota--the past; 2) ecosystem composition, structure and dynamics--the present; and 3) perspectives for conservation and sustainability--the future.

For information and registration forms, contact: Dr. Mary T. Kalin Arroyo, President, II Southern Connection Congress; Tel.: 56 (2) 678-7331; Fax: 56 (2) 271-9171; E-mail:

January 13-18, 1997. The Northern Indian Ocean Sea Turtle workshop and strategic planning meeting will take place in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India under the auspices of the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. The objectives of the workshop are to improve networking and communication among regional biologists, conservationists and managers; provide training in research and management; and develop a regional conservation strategy for sea turtles.

For more information, contact: Dr. P. Mohanty-Hejmadi, Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar, Sambalpur 768019, Orissa.


The Video Project's recent catalog lists several multimedia programs on endangered species and biodiversity. The Rainforest: Zooguides is an easy to use multimedia reference that explores the ecology, peoples, animals, plants and resources of rainforests worldwide. The CD-ROM covers the causes and effects of rainforest destruction and investigates why these regions should be saved. The program includes over 400 photographas and 60 minutes of video clips as well as full color maps. It is available for $59.95. Encyclopedia of U.S. Endangered Species = F1 is a comprehensive reference guide to more than 700 species legally classified as endangered or theatened in the United States. This CD-ROM features illustrated reports, text, and locator maps on each species, including their legal status, origin and population. Over 3,500 color photos illustrate the reports. Cost is $49.95.

Endangered , produced by the National Wildlife Federation, is a 30 minute video which provides an introduction to the reasons thousands of species in the United States are endangered, the importance of protecting nature's diversity, and how the Endangered Species Act works. An action guide is also included for $29.95. All can be ordered from: The Video Project, 200 Estates Drive, Ben Lomond, CA 95005; Toll-free 1-800-4- PLANET; Tel.: (408) 336-0160; Fax: (408) 336-2168.


The editors of The Green Disk have released the latest version of their very popular Guide to Environmental Computing . Version 1.2 of the guide contains over 1,100 listings of World Wide Web Sites, listservs, online databases, bulletin board services, software, educational programs, CD-ROMs and datasets. Also included are articles on green computing, listings of service providers, books, conferences, workshops and much more. The guide is international in scope and ranges from highly technical and specialized listings to more general sources of environmental learning and research. The guide is published on disk only in Mac and IBM formats, so it is keyword searchable and updated easily. The cost is $20, plus $5 shipping and handling. Orders can be taken online with VISA/MC, or print/download the order form at Mailing address is The Green Disk, P.O. Box 32224, Washington, DC 20007; Tel./Fax toll-free 1-888-GRN-DISK; Outside North America: 1 (207) 655- 5472.

The Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, announces the publication of the third edition of the International Directory of Primatology. The purpose of the directory is to enhance communication among organizations and individuals involved in primate research, conservation and education. The 391-page spiral bound directory is divided into five organizational sections and four indexes. The organizational sections cover: 1) geographically arranged programs, foundations, conservation agencies and sanctuaries; 2) field studies; 3) groups involved with nonhuman primate population management; 4) professional primate societies; and 5) major information resources in the field.

Copies are available in the USA for $25 each, or from other countries for $35 each via book rate, $40 for air mail to Canada and Mexico, or $50 for air mail outside of North America. Prices include postage and handling. Foreign orders should enclose payment with order. Credit cards cannot be accepted. Checks should be made payable to: Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center and sent to: Larry Jacobsen, IDP Coordinator, Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center Library, 1220 Capitol Court, Madison, WI 53715-1299; Tel.: (608) 263-3512; Fax: (608) 265- 4729; E-mail:


The School for Field Studies (SFS), the largest private educational institution in the United States devoted exclusively to environmental field studies, has two positions open - rainforest resource specialist and field director. The rainforest resource specialist will be located at the SFS Center for Rainforest Studies in Australia. Qualifications are: Ph.D. or Masters with at least 4 years of applied, work/living experience in Australia or similar ecosystem working in restoration and forest ecology, in tropical rainforest, wildlife, and landscape management ecology, and in working with alternate forest management models in the context of sustainable development integrating soical and resource components. The candidate should also have done at least 2 years teaching at the undergraduate level with full course responsibility; a demonstrated commitment to conservation; experience working with applied conservation/management issues; proven leadership skills; and the desire to educate motivated students.

Faculty positions are residential and require faculty to live on site with students. Programs are offered to 32 students for semester and summer programs. Salary is US$25,000 (A$32,000); room and board are provided. To apply send a CV and a detailed letter explaining skills and experience to: Australia Search, The School for Field Studies, 16 Broadway, Beverly, MA 01915; Tel.: (508) 922-7200, ext. 304; Fax: (508) 927-5127.

The full time director will serve as an educator/administrator focusing on watershed management and coastal zone issues and be based at the Center for Coastal Studies, British Columbia, Canada. The director will be responsible for leading a team of 3 faculty to teach an integrated academic program. Qualifications are: Ph.D. in environmental education, forestry, coastal zone management, resource management, regional planning, international development, or directly relevant field; 5 years administrative experience in an equivalent or related position; and three years teaching experience emphasizing curriculum integration and field experience. Proven staff supervision experience is required. To apply send a detailed letter explaining experience, management.


Adis, J. and Latif, M. 1996. Amazonian arthropods respond to El Nino. Biotropica 28(3): 403-407.

Aguilar, S. 1996. Ethnobotanical value of plants to the Las Pavas community. Inside CTFS Summer: 12. (Center for Tropical Forest Science; Barro Colorado Island, Panama)

Anon. 1996. Backward course for Zaire River? People & the Planet 5(3): 26-27.

Anon. 1996. The bad news ... ZooGoer 25(5): 30. (White abalone endangered, California and Baja California)

Anon. 1996. The closer you look. The Nature Conservancy News 20(3): 5. (Tiny, rare creatures inhabit some District of Columbia springs)

Anon. 1996. Finally, water! Int. Wildlife 26(5): 22- 27. (Kalahari Desert)

Anon. 1996. The first forest dynamics plot. Inside CTFS Summer: 5. (Center for Tropical Forest Science; Barro Colorado Island, Panama)

Anon. 1996. Habitat restoration at Pilot Serpentine Barren Preserve. The Nature Conservancy News 20(3): 3.

Anon. 1996. Notes from a roundtable on biodiversity conservation in the former Soviet Union. Russian Conservation News 8: 30-32. (A summary of some of the presentations made by participants from various parts of the former Soviet Union)

Anon. 1996. Rare wetland protected in Kent County: preserving Delmarva bays. The Nature Conservancy News 20(3): 1. (Golts Pond)

Atkinson, G. and Hamilton, K. 1996. Accounting for progress: indicators for sustainable development. Environment 38(7): 16-20, 40-44.

Balmford, A., Mace, M. and Leader-Williams, N. 1996. Designing the ark: setting priorities for captive breeding. Conservation Biology 10(3): 719-727.

Barrows, C. 1996. An ecological model for the protection of a dune ecosystem. Conservation Biology 10(3): 888-891.

Barry, D. and Oelschlaeger, M. 1996. A science for survival: values and conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10(3): 905-911. Begossi, A. 1996. Use of ecological methods in ethnobotany: diversity indices. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 280-289.

Bradstock, R., Bedward, M., Scott, J. and Keith, D. 1996. Simulation of the effect of spatial and temporal variation in fire regimes on the population viability of a Banksia species. Conservation Biology 10(3): 776-784.

Briggs, J. 1996. Tropical diversity and conservation. Conservation Biology 10(3): 713-718.

Bustamante, J. 1996. Population viability analysis of captive and released bearded vulture populations. Conservation Biology 10(3): 822-831. (Europe)

Cannon, J. 1996. Whooping crane recovery: a case study in public and private cooperation in the conservation of endangered species. Conservation Biology 10(3): 813-821.

Chen, J., Franklin, J. and Lowe, J. 1996. Comparison of abiotic and structurally defined patch patterns in a hypothetical forest landscape. Conservation Biology 10(3): 854-862.

Comerford, S. 1996. Medicinal plants of two Mayan healers from San Andres, Peten, Guatemala. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 327- 336.

Cowling, R., Rundel, P., Lamont, B., Arroyo, M. and Arianoustou, M. 1996. Plant diversity in mediterranean-climate regions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 11(9): 362-366.

Deinichenko, P. 1996. A biodiversity atlas of northern Eurasia. Russian Conservation News 8: 26-27.

Dowler, R. and Carroll, D. 1996. The endemic rodents of Isla Fernandina: population status and conservation issues. Noticias de Galapagos 57: 8-13.

Eichenberg, T. and Ryan, B. 1996. CMC fights to protect Florida beaches for sea turtles. Marine Conservation News 8(3): 7. (Center for Marine Conservation)

Ellis, A. and Potvin, C. 1996. Global change and tropical forests: photosynthetic responses of trees to elevated CO2. Inside CTFS Summer: 10. (Center for Tropical Forest Science; Barro Colorado Island, Panama)

Feil, J. 1996. Fruit production of Attalea colenda (Arecaceae) in coastal Ecuador - an alternative oil resource? Econ. Bot. 50(3): 300-309.

Ford, B. 1996. Status of deerberry, Vaccinium stamineum L. (Ericaceae), in Canada. Rhodora 97(891): 255-263. (Rare in Canada)

Formozov, N. 1996. Jankowski's bunting and the free economic zone. Russian Conservation News 8: 33. (Emberiza jankowskii)

Gautier, D. 1996. Ficus (Moraceae) as part of agrarian systems in the Bamileke region (Cameroon). Econ. Bot. 50(3): 318-326.

Goryachkin, S. and Merzly, V. 1996. The Russian north: forests and people of Pinezhski reserve. Russian Conservation News 8: 8-9.

Hambler, C. and Speight, M. 1996. Extinction rates in British nonmarine invertebrates since 1900. Conservation Biology 10(3): 892-896.

Hay, A. and Taylor, S. 1996. A new species of Typhonium Schott (Araceae - Areae) from the Northern Territory, with notes on the conservation status of two Areae endemic to the Tiwi Islands. Telopea 6(4): 563-568. (Australia)

Hedrick, P. 1996. Bottleneck(s) or metapopulation in cheetahs. Conservation Biology 10(3): 897-899.

Hegde, R., Suryaprakash, L., Achoth, L. and Bawa, K. 1996. Extraction of non-timber forest products in the forests of Biligiri Rangan Hills, India. 1. Contribution to rural income. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 243-251.

Heppell, S. and Crowder, L. 1996. Analysis of a fisheries model for harvest of hawskbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Conservation Biology 10(3): 874-880. (Cuba)

Hernandez, A. 1996. Structure and composition of a semi- deciduous forest in Panama. Inside CTFS Summer: 7. (Center for Tropical Forest Science; Barro Colorado Island, Panama)

Higuchi, H., Ozaki, K., Fujita, G., Minton, J., Ueta, M., Soma, M. and Mita, N. 1996. Satellite tracking of white-naped crane migration and the importance of the Korean demilitarized zone. Conservation Biology 10(3): 806-812.

Hunter, M. 1996. Benchmarks for managing ecosystems: are human activities natural? Conservation Biology 10(3): 695- 697.

Laurance, W. and Laurance, S. 1996. Responses of five arboreal marsupials to recent selective logging in tropical Australia. Biotropica 28(3): 310-322.

Lev-Yadun, S., Artzy, M., Marcus, E. and Stidsing, R. 1996. Wood remains from Tel Nami, a Middle Bronze IIa and Late Bronze IIb port, local exploitation of trees and Levantine cedar trade. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 310-317.

Ligon, J. and Stacey, P. 1996. Land use, lag times and the detection of demographic change: the case of the acorn woodpecker. Conservation Biology 10(3): 840-846.

Loo de Lao, S. 1996. Management of a large database during a recensus. Inside CTFS Summer: 6. (Center for Tropical Forest Science; Barro Colorado Island, Panama)

Lum, S., Ercelawn, A. and Kong, L. 1996. Singapore's tropical forests and beyond. Inside CTFS Summer: 14. (Center for Tropical Forest Science)

Mamedova, N. 1996. Saving game birds in Turkmenistan. Russian Conservation News 8: 25.

Mason, D. 1996. Responses of Venezuelan understory birds to selective logging, enrichment strips, and vine cutting. Biotropica 28(3): 296-309.

Mauchamp, A. 1996. Scalesia atractyloides: one bite from extinction. Noticias de Galapagos 57: 24-25. (Endemic to Santiago) Mauchamp, A. and Munoz, M. 1996. A Kudzu alert in Galapagos: the urgent need for quarantine. Noticias de Galapagos 57: 22- 23.

Menner, A. 1996. Exploration, protection and the transformation of minds by the Ryazan Laboratory on Environmental Problems. Russian Conservation News 8: 28-29.

Miller, M. and Nudds, T. 1996. Prairie landscape change and flooding in the Mississippi River valley. Conservation Biology 10(3): 847-853.

Mills, L., Hayes, S., Baldwin, C., Wisdom, M., Citta, J., Mattson, D. and Murphy, K. 1996. Factors leading to different viability predictions for a grizzly bear data set. Conservation Biology 10(3): 863-873.

Morell, V. 1996. Lost chimps. Int. Wildlife 26(5): 12-21. (Africa)

Murali, K., Shankar, U., Shaanker, R., Ganeshaiah, K. and Bawa, K. 1996. Extraction of non-timber forest products in the forests of Biligiri Rangan Hills, India. 2. Impact of NTFP extraction on regeneration, population structure, and species composition. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 252-269.

Nash, J. 1996. Wrecking the reefs. Time 148(16): 60- 62. (Coral reefs threatened globally)

Palmer, T. 1996. The good news... ZooGoer 25(5): 30. (Reintroduction of whooping cranes in Florida) carrying capacity for nectar-feeding bats on Curacao. Conservation Biology 10(3): 769-775.

Pinard, M. and Putz, F. 1996. Retaining forest biomass by reducing logging damage. Biotropica 28(3): 278-295.

Ponomarenko, S. and Ponomarenko, E. 1996. The ecological consequences of modern land reform: problems and new opportunities. Russian Conservation News 8: 21-22.

Putz, F. and Viana, V. 1996. Biological challenges for certification of tropical timber. Biotropica 28(3): 323- 330.

Raxworthy, C. and Nussbaum, R. 1996. Montane amphibian and reptile communities in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 10(3): 750-756.

Richards, C. and Leberg, P. 1996. Temporal changes in allele frequencies and a population's history of severe bottlenecks. Conservation Biology 10(3): 832-839.

Rodriguez, F. 1996. Waorani hunting and harvesting practices in Ecuador. Inside CTFS Summer: 3-4. (Center for Tropical Forest Science)

Saberwal, V. 1996. Pastoral politics: Gaddi grazing, degradation, and biodiversity conservation in Himanchal Pradesh, India. Conservation Biology 10(3): 741-749.

Sagalaev, V. and Mavrodiev, E. 1996. New botanical rarity from Sarepta. Russian Conservation News 8: 37-38. (Horned pondweed, threatened)

Salvesen, D. 1996. The grind over sun coffee. Zoogoer 25(4): 5-13. (With natural forests declining, songbirds seek refuge in shade trees of coffee farms)

Sarti, L., Eckert, S., Garcia, N. and Barragan, R. 1996. Decline of the world's largest nesting assemblage of leatherback turtles. Marine Turtle Newsletter 74: 1-5. (Pacific Coast, Mexico)

Sasova, L. and Maslova, I. 1996. Spring and the animal kingdom of Ussuriski Zapovednik. Russian Conservation News 8: 10-11.

Scharf, R. 1996. Spirit of the waters. People & the Planet 5(3): 14-15. (Amazon basin)

Schmidt, J. 1996. China's coming flood. Int. Wildlife 26(5): 34-43. (Reservoir on the Yangtze River will destroy forests and farms)

Shankar, U., Murali, K., Shaanker, R., Ganeshaiah, K. and Bawa, K. 1996. Extraction of non-timber forest products in the forests of Biligiri Rangan Hills, India. 3. Productivity, extraction and prospects of sustainable harvest of Amla Phyllanthus emblica (Euphorbiaceae). Econ. Bot. 50(3): 270-279.

Smith, M. 1996. CMC works to overcome geopolitical challenges to Caribbean conservation. Marine Conservation News 8(3): 11-12. (Center for Marine Conservation)

Smith, W., Meredith, T. and Johns, T. 1996. Use and conservation of woody vegetation by the Batemi of Ngorongoro district, Tanzania. Econ. Bot. 50(3): 290-299.

Sumana, K. and Kaveriappa, K. 1996. In vitro micropropagation of Asystasia dalzelliana Santapau, an endemic species of the Western Ghats. Current Science 70(9): 777-779. (Indian medicinal plant)

Sun, M. 1996. Effects of population size, mating system, and evolutionary origin on genetic diversity in Spiranthes sinensis and S. hongkongensis. Conservation Biology 10(3): 785-795.

Switkes, G. 1996. Can ecotourism save the Pantanal? People & the Planet 5(3): 15. (Brazil, Paraguay)

Symanski, R. 1996. Dances with horses: lessons from the environmental fringe. Conservation Biology 10(3): 708-712.

Tangwisutijit, N. 1996. Must the Mekong die? People & the Planet 5(3): 10-13.

Trombitski, I. 1996. Moldovian forests fall to economic changes. Russian Conservation News 8: 12-13.

Van Dierendonck, M. and Wallis de Vries, M. 1996. Ungulate reintroductions: experiences with the Takhi or Przewalski horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) in Mongolia. Conservation Biology 10(3): 728-740.

Vargas, H. 1996. What is happening with the avifauna of San Cristobal? Noticias de Galapagos 57: 23-24.

Vincent, A. and Hall, H. 1996. The threatened status of marine fishes. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 11(9): 360- 361.

Williams, M. 1996. At the forefront and warfront of protected areas management in Russia. Russian Conservation News 8: 6-7.

Winker, K. 1996. The crumbling infrastructure of biodiversity: the avian example. Conservation Biology 10(3): 703-707.

Yampolski, L. 1996. The Caspian seal and the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Russian Conservation News 8: 34-35.

Yanes, M. and Suarez, F. 1996. Incidental nest predation and lark conservation in an Iberian semiarid shrubsteppe. Conservation Biology 10(3): 881-887.

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