Bahamas National Trust

Nassau, Bahamas

Bahamas National Trust

Nassau, Bahamas
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Griffith M.P.,Montgomery Botanical Center | Calonje M.,Montgomery Botanical Center | Calonje M.,Florida International University | Meerow A.W.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 9 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2017

Conservation of imperiled plant species often requires ex situ (offsite) living collections. Protocols for developing these collections most often emphasize sampling depth, but little is known about the genetics of such collections. This study compares how well a single collecting protocol can capture the diversity in wild populations of two closely related species. We selected two exemplar species, bay rush (Zamia lucayana) and sinkhole cycad (Zamia decumbens), based on similarities and differences that allow for rigorous comparison, including geographic isolation and reproductive factors. For each species, we compared in situ plants to ex situ plants via the same panel of 10 microsatellite markers. Genetic distance analysis shows high fidelity of the ex situ collections to their in situ source populations and sub-populations. Structured resampling of allele capture from the in situ populations by the ex situ collections shows that allele capture increases as number of ex situ plants maintained increases, but with a diminishing rate of increase. Difference in the rate of allele capture between the two species was significant at the α = 0.1 level, (p = 0.097) but not at the α = 0.05 level. At larger collection sizes, the difference in rate of allele capture showed a high practical significance (d = 5.41). These data illustrate that a unified collecting protocol can achieve similar allele capture among related species, but also that geographic and reproductive factors can influence the rate of allele capture. © 2017 The Author(s)

Banda K.R.,Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | Delgado-Salinas A.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Dexter K.G.,Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | Dexter K.G.,University of Edinburgh | And 62 more authors.
Science | Year: 2016

Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale.

Mackin W.A.,Guilford College | Moore P.,Bahamas National Trust | Lee D.S.,Tortoise Reserve | Ferguson L.M.,Biodiversity Research Institute | Ferguson L.M.,Wetlands Institute
Waterbirds | Year: 2015

The Cay Sal Bank in The Bahamas is one of the Caribbean region's most important areas for breeding seabirds, but the colonies previously lacked solid estimates. This paper describes results of four visits between 2010 and 2012. The Santaren Channel, used to transit to and from Cay Sal Bank, contained high numbers (6.1 ± 0.4 birds per km2) of seabirds. The Cay Say Bank has at least 117 detectable islands with 484 ha of land area; the most numerous colony was at Elbow Cay (23 ha). Audubon's Shearwaters (Puffinus lherminieri) were breeding at 97 pairs per ha (total: 2,200; 95% CI = 1,650-2,800 pairs), Sooty Terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) at 382 pairs per ha (total: 8,800; 95% CI = 6,900-10,700 pairs), Bridled Terns (Onychoprion anaethetus) at 38 pairs per km coastline (5,829 m coastline; total: 220; 95% CI = 145-295 pairs) and Brown Noddies (Anous stolidus) at 72 pairs per ha (total: 1,609; 95% CI = 1,070-2,250 pairs). The population of Audubon's Shearwaters is among the largest in the world while populations of the other species are regionally significant. Roughly 420 ha (87% of the available land) were visited; however, many of the smaller cays (43 islands with 30 ha of habitat) have still not been surveyed. Seabirds were present in low densities (0.3-20 total pairs per ha) on the other large islands, all of which contain populations of introduced black (Rattus rattus) or Norway (R. norveigicus) rats. These visits provide the first repeatable surveys of breeding seabirds at Cay Sal Bank. © 2015, BioOne. All rights reserved.

Francisco-Ortega J.,Florida International University | Francisco-Ortega J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Jestrow B.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Freid E.,Bahamas National Trust
The Botanical Review | Year: 2014

This is an introductory paper for a Special Issue of Botanical Review devoted to plant biodiversity in the Bahamian archipelago. The papers published in this issue represent some of the contributions presented at a symposium that took place in Nassau in October 30 and 31, 2012 to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the publication of the "Flora of the Bahama Archipelago" by Donovan and Helen Correll. The papers provide insights pertinent to plant conservation challenges, current floristic studies, plant endemicity patterns, plant exploration history, molecular systematic perspectives, and the importance of botanic garden collections for research, horticulture, and education. © 2014 The New York Botanical Garden.

Calonje M.,Montgomery Botanical Center | Calonje M.,Florida International University | Meerow A.W.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Knowles L.,Bahamas National Trust | And 5 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2013

A conservation assessment for the three cycad species native to the Bahamas Islands is presented. Results are based on field surveys on all islands where these species occur. Zamia angustifolia is native to Eleuthera, Zamia integrifolia is native to Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and New Providence, and Zamia lucayana is endemic to Long Island. Z. angustifolia is of the highest conservation concern because of the small number of adult plants, its restricted distribution and the extensive development occurring within its habitat. Z. integrifolia also has a restricted distribution on Eleuthera and Grand Bahama and, although threatened by urban development in New Providence, it is relatively common on Abaco and Andros. Z. lucayana comprises three populations within a narrow strip of land of c. 1 km2; we propose a reassignment of its current conservation status from Endangered to Critically Endangered. We assessed the genetic structure of Z. lucayana based on 15 polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci; this indicated that the three known populations should be considered a single management unit. However, the high number of private alleles suggests that genetic drift, indicative of recent fragmentation, is progressing. We propose in situ conservation strategies, and we also collected germplasm from a total of 24 populations of these three cycad species, for ex situ conservation. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2013.

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