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Big Pine, CA, United States

Priyadarshana T.,Ruhuna University | Randage S.M.,Ruhuna University | Alling A.,Biosphere Foundation | Calderan S.,Canal House | And 3 more authors.
Regional Studies in Marine Science | Year: 2016

Surveys were conducted off the southern coast of Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015 to investigate the distribution patterns of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp.) in relation to current shipping lanes, and further offshore. There have been several reported ship strikes of blue whales in this area and the IWC Scientific Committee has recognised the potential for ship strikes to have population level impacts on blue whales in the northern Indian Ocean. A total of 3268 km of visual survey effort was conducted on 35 survey days along north-south transects between 5°28′N and 5°53′N. These data were used to model patterns of whale density. The highest densities of blue whales were observed in the current shipping lanes, peaking at an average of 0.1 individuals km-2 along the westbound shipping lane. Automatic Identification System transmissions received by satellite were used to estimate shipping density. Between 80°30′E and 81°E, the peak mean shipping density in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme was 1090 km-1 year-1 and in the eastbound lane 810 km-1 year-1. These high densities of whales combined with one of the busiest shipping routes in the world suggest a severe risk of ship strikes. Previous data on blue whale distribution and coastal upwellings indicate consistent and predictable patterns of whale distribution, suggesting there is considerable potential for effective measures to keep ships and whales apart. For example, data from this study would suggest risk could be reduced by 95% if shipping were to transit 15 nm further south than currently. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Nelson M.,Tropic Ventures Education and Research Foundation | Nelson M.,Santa Fe Institute | Silverstone S.,Biosphere Foundation | Reiss K.C.,University of Florida | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Sustainable Forestry | Year: 2010

The impact on tree and amphibian diversity of line-planting of tropical hardwoods-mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla × S. mahagoni) and mahoe (Hibiscus elatus)-was studied in a secondary subtropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. Common coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui) and melodious coqui (E. wightmanae) are the most frequent frog species; forest coqui (E. portoricensis) is less abundant. Although relative abundance means were slightly greater in the undisturbed forest and during the wet season, differences were not statistically significant suggesting that line-planting did not significantly affect amphibian diversity. The line-planted areas had a slightly higher, but not statistically significant diversity, richness, and evenness of tree species than the unplanted forest. Multi-response permutation procedure (MRPP) showed statistically significant community composition differences between line-planting and control plot trees (T = -5.89, A =.86; p <.001). But mean similarity among plots in both the line-planted and control plots was relatively low at less than 50% of shared species, indicating high diversity of vegetation in the overall forest area. Canopy cover by tree species greater than 3 cm in dbh was much higher in the undisturbed forest but this difference may be reduced as the young line-planted hardwoods mature. Forest enrichment through line-planting of valuable timber species in secondary subtropical wet forest does not significantly affect tree diversity. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Nelson M.,Y Ventures | Nelson M.,Santa Fe Institute | Silverstone S.,Biosphere Foundation | Reiss K.C.,University of Florida | And 3 more authors.
Bois et Forets des Tropiques | Year: 2011

Between 1984 and 1990 line planting of a variety of valuable native and introduced broadleaf timber trees, including mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla, and blue mahoe, Talipariti elatum, was carried out on one hundred hectares within a wet tropical secondary forest area of southeastern Puerto Rico. Basal area (BA) annual increment for mahogany indicates for the best 25% of the mahogany trees it will take an estimated 176 years from planting to achieve a mean stand BA of 0.20 m2/tree, which correlates to a mean tree diameter at breast height (DBH) of 50 cm. By contrast, mahoe had a BA increment over three times that of mahogany. In 57 years the mahoe trees will reach a mean stand BA of 0.20 m2/tree. The upper quartile of mahoe trees currently have a mean BA greater than 0.10 m2/tree and can already be selectively harvested. In trials with native species, Coccoloba pubescen, Calophyllum brasiliense, and Cedrela odorata had the greatest percent increase in height with favorable survival rates, but longer term studies are needed. Line planting within secondary forests such as those at Las Casas can increase the value of secondary forests, providing both sustainable timber production for profit and preservation of biodiversity and the other environmental advantages of maintenance of forests. Enrichment and management of secondary forests should be explored as a promising approach to sustainable forestry. Source


Priyadarshana T.,Ruhuna University | Randage S.M.,Ruhuna University | Alling A.,Biosphere Foundation | Calderan S.,Canal House | And 3 more authors.
Regional Studies in Marine Science | Year: 2015

Surveys were conducted off the southern coast of Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015 to investigate the distribution patterns of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp.) in relation to current shipping lanes, and further offshore. There have been several reported ship strikes of blue whales in this area and the IWC Scientific Committee has recognised the potential for ship strikes to have population level impacts on blue whales in the northern Indian Ocean. A total of 3268km of visual survey effort was conducted on 35 survey days along north-south transects between 5°28'N and 5°53'N. These data were used to model patterns of whale density. The highest densities of blue whales were observed in the current shipping lanes, peaking at an average of 0.1 individuals km-2 along the westbound shipping lane. Automatic Identification System transmissions received by satellite were used to estimate shipping density. Between 80°30'E and 81°E, the peak mean shipping density in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme was 1090km-1 year-1 and in the eastbound lane 810km-1 year-1. These high densities of whales combined with one of the busiest shipping routes in the world suggest a severe risk of ship strikes. Previous data on blue whale distribution and coastal upwellings indicate consistent and predictable patterns of whale distribution, suggesting there is considerable potential for effective measures to keep ships and whales apart. For example, data from this study would suggest risk could be reduced by 95% if shipping were to transit 15 nm further south than currently. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


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Biosphere Foundation | Date: 2000-07-11

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