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Department ofBotany

No. 382
October 2016

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In This Issue

Mangrove Decline through the Ages in Central and South America

-Adapted from STRI News

As deforestation erases the thin, green line of mangrove forests along tropical shores, a new study looks to the past to provide conservation lessons for this essential ecosystem. Scientists from Colombia's Talking Oceans Foundation, the University of York, U.K., and the Smithsonian in Panama document mangrove use and decline through the ages along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador.

A white-tailed deer in Shenandoah National Park (Flickr photo by John W. Iwanski)

Since the colonial era, particularly in the 20th century, deforestation for timber, shrimp aquaculture or beachfront development has vastly reduced mangrove forest cover in the region. The new study, published in Forest Ecology and Management, creates a baseline for remaining forest area in the region, which can inform regional initiatives to protect this vital, shared ecosystem.

"Mangroves are nurseries for important food fish species, including six species of snook, seven species of snappers, over twenty species of corvinas, and numerous catfish," says coauthor Richard Cooke, senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Archeological and ethnological evidence suggests that there was an ancient and robust pre-Colombian trade in Pacific estuarine fishes, which were likely mass-captured, salted, dried in the sun and transported as far as 13 to 60 kilometers inland. Archeologists can infer this by comparing fish species composition and other cultural data in ancient kitchen trash heaps with data on modern fish trapping and preparation methods, Cooke explains.

"Mangroves also form important barriers against storm surges and floods, and huge drainage channels that prevent silting, flooding and malodorous waters when the sewage system fails," he adds. These ecosystem services have long been overlooked.

Lead author Juliana López-Angarita, PhD student at University of York, says that attitudes toward mangrove forests changed since the 1990s as people learned more about their importance. "We were able to highlight important successes and failures of national policies and protection schemes in the four countries, to guide future policy that strengthens mangrove conservation and associated livelihoods," she says.

The study suggests that since monitoring began, Panama has lost the greatest amount of its mangroves (about 68 percent), followed by Ecuador and Colombia. Costa Rica, despite having the smallest mangrove area (39,000 hectares), still has the largest area of intact mangroves under protection, around 59 percent. Panama protects about 43 percent of roughly 154,000 hectares of mangrove forest. Colombia protects less than 24 percent of its 214,000 hectares.

The researchers found that although mangrove management plans vary regionally from absolute no-take policies to mixed-use and limited take arrangements, policy does not always translate to on-the-ground oversight and protection. Challenges to protection include limited personnel or financial resources, political will, as well as illegal harvesting or wetland buyout by private entities.

The four countries in the study region are part of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR Pacífico) conservation initiative, which aims to improve resource management across the ecoregion, and disseminates information to government bodies, nonprofits and educational institutes.

"Nowadays, knowledge of mangroves' importance is widespread not only among government representative but also in local community groups that self-mobilize to protect mangroves against land developers," said López-Angarita. "Our study comes at an opportune time for an international agreement aimed specifically at the protection of mangroves in the Eastern Tropical Pacific."

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Chidumayo, E.N. 2016. Distribution and abundance of a keystone tree, Schinziophyton rautanenii, and factors affecting its structure in Zambia, southern Africa. Biodivers. Conserv. 25(4):711-724.

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Chua, M.A.H., Sivasothi, N., and Meier, R. 2016. Population density, spatiotemporal use and diet of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in a human-modified succession forest landscape of Singapore. Mamm. Res. 61(1):99-108.

Clay, E., Moreno-Sanchez, R., Torres-Rojo, J.M., and Moreno-Sanchez, F. 2016. National assessment of the fragmentation levels and fragmentation-class transitions of the forests in Mexico for 2002, 2008 and 2013. Forests 7(3):48.

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Clua, E., and Vignaud, T. 2016. Possible collapse of reef shark populations in remote coral reef ecosystems in the Coral Sea (Western Pacific). Cybium 40(1):51-59.

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Vaughan, G.O., and Burt, J.A. 2016. The changing dynamics of coral reef science in Arabia. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 105(2):441-458.

Velho, N., Srinivasan, U., Singh, P., and Laurance, W.F. 2016. Large mammal use of protected and community-managed lands in a biodiversity hotspot. Anim. Conserv. 19(2):199-208.

Viana, I.R., Strubbe, D., and Zocche, J.J. 2016. Monk parakeet invasion success: a role for nest thermoregulation and bactericidal potential of plant nest material? Biol. Invasions 18(5):1305-1315.

Vilela, D.S., Ferreira, R.G., and Del-Claro, K. 2016. The Odonata community of a Brazilian Vereda: seasonal patterns, species diversity and rarity in a palm swamp environment. Biosci. J. 32(2):486-495.

Villamayor-Tomas, S., Avagyan, M., Firlus, M., Helbing, G., and Kabakova, M. 2016. Hydropower vs. fisheries conservation: a test of institutional design principles for common-pool resource management in the lower Mekong basin social-ecological system. Ecol. Soc. 21(1):3.

Viskich, M., Griffiths, C.L., Erasmus, C., and Lamberth, S. 2016. Long-term physical, chemical and biological changes in a small, urban estuary. Afr. J. Mar. Sci. 38(1):23-37.

Vogado, N.O., de Camargo, M.G.G., Locosselli, G.M., and Morellato, L.P.C. 2016. Edge effects on the phenology of the guamirim, Myrcia guianensis (Myrtaceae), a cerrado tree, Brazil. Trop. Conserv. Sci. 9(1):291-312.

Voigt, C.C., Lindecke, O., Schönborn, S., Kramer-Schadt, S., and Lehmann, D. 2016. Habitat use of migratory bats killed during autumn at wind turbines. Ecol. Appl. 26(3):771-783.

Vuorio, V., Reunanen, P., and Tikkanen, O.P. 2016. Spatial context of breeding ponds and forest management affect the distribution and population dynamics of the great crested newt. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 53(1-2):19-34.

Waddell, E., Whitworth, A., and MacLeod, R. 2016. A first test of the thread bobbin tracking technique as a method for studying the ecology of herpetofauna in a tropical rainforest. Herpetol. Conserv. Biol. 11(1):61-71.

Walker, R.H., and Adams, G.L. 2016. Ecological factors influencing movement of creek chub in an intermittent stream of the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas. Ecol. Freshw. Fish 25(2):190-202.

Walker, S., Comrie, J., Head, N., Ladley, K.J., and Clarke, D. 2016. Hawkweed invasion does not prevent indigenous non-forest vegetation recovery following grazing removal. New Zeal. J. Ecol. 40(1):137-149.

Waller, P.A., Anderson, P.M.L., Holmes, P.M., and Allsopp, N. 2016. Seedling recruitment responses to interventions in seed-based ecological restoration of Peninsula Shale Renosterveld, Cape Town. S. Afr. J. Bot. 103:193-209.

Walsh, J.R., Carpenter, S.R., and Vander Zanden, M.J. 2016. Invasive species triggers a massive loss of ecosystem services through a trophic cascade. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 113(15):4081-4085.

Waples, R.S., and Audzijonyte, A. 2016. Fishery-induced evolution provides insights into adaptive responses of marine species to climate change. Front. Ecol. Environ. 14(4):217-224.

Warren, A., Litvaitis, J.A., and Keirstead, D. 2016. Developing a habitat suitability index to guide restoration of New England cottontail habitats. Wildlife Soc. Bull. 40(1):69-77.

Watson, E.B., Szura, K., Wigand, C., Raposa, K.B., Blount, K., and Cencer, M. 2016. Sea level rise, drought and the decline of Spartina patens in New England marshes. Biol. Conserv. 196:173-181.

Whitworth, A., Downie, R., von May, R., Villacampa, J., and MacLeod, R. 2016. How much potential biodiversity and conservation value can a regenerating rainforest provide? A 'best-case scenario' approach from the Peruvian Amazon. Trop. Conserv. Sci. 9(1):224-245.

Wilson, K.A., Auerbach, N.A., Sam, K., Magini, A.G., Moss, A.S., Langhans, S.D., Budiharta, S., Terzano, D., and Meijaard, E. 2016. Conservation research is not happening where it is most needed. PLoS Biol. 14(3):e1002413.

Wilson, K.A., and Law, E.A. 2016. How to avoid underselling biodiversity with ecosystem services: a response to Silvertown. Trends Ecol. Evol. 31(5):332-333.

Wisely, S.M. 2016. Genome resource banks pay conservation dividends. Anim. Conserv. 19(2):114-115.

Wolf, A., Zimmerman, N.B., Anderegg, W.R.L., Busby, P.E., and Christensen, J. 2016. Altitudinal shifts of the native and introduced flora of California in the context of 20th-century warming. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 25(4):418-429.

Wu, Q.S., and Lane, C.R. 2016. Delineation and quantification of wetland depressions in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Wetlands 36(2):215-227.

Wu, W., Li, Y.H., and Hu, Y.M. 2016. Simulation of potential habitat overlap between red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in northeastern China. PeerJ 4:e1756.

Xing, Y.C., Zhang, C.G., Fan, E.Y., and Zhao, Y.H. 2016. Freshwater fishes of China: species richness, endemism, threatened species and conservation. Divers. Distrib. 22(3):358-370.

Yekwayo, I., Pryke, J.S., Roets, F., and Samways, M.J. 2016. Conserving a variety of ancient forest patches maintains historic arthropod diversity. Biodivers. Conserv. 25(5):887-903.

Yekwayo, I., Pryke, J.S., Roets, F., and Samways, M.J. 2016. Surrounding vegetation matters for arthropods of small, natural patches of indigenous forest. Insect Conserv. Divers. 9(3):224-235.

Yeong, K.L., Reynolds, G., and Hill, J.K. 2016. Enrichment planting to improve habitat quality and conservation value of tropical rainforest fragments. Biodivers. Conserv. 25(5):957-973.

Zajonz, U., Lavergne, E., Klaus, R., Krupp, F., Aideed, M.S., and Saeed, F.N. 2016. The coastal fishes and fisheries of the Socotra Archipelago, Yemen. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 105(2):660-675.

Zambrano-Romero, B.J., and Solano-Gómez, R. 2016. A new species of Maxillaria (Orchidaceae: Maxillariinae) from Southwestern Ecuador. Rev. Mex. Biodivers. 87(1):29-34.

Zarandian, A., Baral, H., Yavari, A.R., Jafari, H.R., Stork, N.E., Ling, M.A., and Amirnejad, H. 2016. Anthropogenic decline of ecosystem services threatens the integrity of the unique Hyrcanian (Caspian) forests in northern Iran. Forests 7(3):51.

Zhang, L.L., Chen, X.Y., and Wen, D.Z. 2016. Interactive effects of rising CO2 and elevated nitrogen and phosphorus on nitrogen allocation in invasive weeds Mikania micrantha and Chromolaena odorata. Biol. Invasions 18(5):1391-1407.

Zhou, Q.Y., Xue, W.J., Tan, K., Ma, Q., Jin, X., Wu, W., Tang, C.D., and Ma, Z.J. 2016. Temporal patterns of migratory shorebird communities at a stop-over site along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Emu 116(2):190-198.

Zhou, X.J., Ma, L., and Liu, W.Z. 2016. Functional androdioecy in the rare endemic tree Tapiscia sinensis. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 180(4):504-514.

Zhu, C.M., Zhang, X., and Qi, J.G. 2016. Detecting and assessing Spartina invasion in coastal region of China: a case study in the Xiangshan Bay. Acta Oceanol. Sin. 35(4):35-43.

Ziegler, A.C., Howarth, F.G., and Simmons, N.B. 2016. A second endemic land mammal for the Hawaiian Islands: a new genus and species of fossil bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Am. Mus. Novit. 3854:1-52.

Ziegler, S., Fa, J.E., Wohlfart, C., Streit, B., Jacob, S., and Wegmann, M. 2016. Mapping bushmeat hunting pressure in Central Africa. Biotropica 48(3):405-412.

Zuckerberg, B., Fink, D., La Sorte, F.A., Hochachka, W.M., and Kelling, S. 2016. Novel seasonal land cover associations for eastern North American forest birds identified through dynamic species distribution modelling. Divers. Distrib. 22(6):717-730.

Žuljević, A., Peters, A.F., Nikolić, V., Antolić, B., Despalatović, M., Cvitković, I., Isajlović, I., Mihanović, H., Matijević, S., Shewring, D.M., Canese, S., Katsaros, C., and Küpper, F.C. 2016. The Mediterranean deep-water kelp Laminaria rodriguezii is an endangered species in the Adriatic Sea. Mar. Biol. 163(4):69.

Zuppinger-Dingley, D., Flynn, D.F.B., De Deyn, G.B., Petermann, J.S., and Schmid, B. 2016. Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects. Ecology 97(4):918-928.

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