Center for Environmental and Marine Studies

Lisbon, Portugal

Center for Environmental and Marine Studies

Lisbon, Portugal

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Vieira D.C.S.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Prats S.A.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Nunes J.P.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Shakesby R.A.,University of Swansea | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

The revised Morgan-Morgan-Finney (MMF) model was used as a modelling approach, which has performed reasonably well to estimate soil losses for burned areas in humid Mediterranean forests in Portugal, and NW Spain. Simple model enhancement approaches are applied to recently burned pine and eucalypt forested areas in north-central Portugal and to subsequent post-wildfire rehabilitation treatments. Model enhancement is validated by applying it to another similar burned area to evaluate model calibration robustness and wider applicability. Model modifications involved: (1) focusing on intra-annual changes in parameters to incorporate seasonal differences in runoff and erosion; and (2) inclusion of soil water repellency in runoff predictions. The main results were that following wildfire and mulching in the plantations: (1) the revised model was able to predict first-year post-fire plot-scale runoff and erosion rates (NS(Runoff)=0.54 and NS(Erosion)=0.55) for both forest types, and (2) first year predictions were improved both by the seasonal changes in the model parameters (NS(Runoff)=0.70 and NS(Erosion)=0.83); and by considering the effect of soil water repellency on the runoff (NS(Runoff)=0.81 and NS(Erosion)=0.89), (3) the individual seasonal predictions were considered accurate (NS(Runoff)=0.53 and NS(Erosion)=0.71), and the inclusion of the soil water repellency in the model also improved the model at this base (NS(Runoff)=0.72 and NS(Erosion)=0.74). The revised MMF model proved capable of providing a simple set of criteria for management decisions about runoff and erosion mitigation measures in burned areas. The erosion predictions at the validation sites attested both to the robustness of the model and of the calibration parameters, suggesting a potential wider application. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Sousa J.,New University of Lisbon | Sousa J.,University of Lisbon | Sousa J.,Oxford Brookes University | Sousa J.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2014

Our study concerns local knowledge and perceptions of chimpanzees among farming communities within Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau. We submitted a survey questionnaire to 100 people living in four villages in the Park to enquire about their knowledge of chimpanzee ecology and human-chimpanzee interactions. Local farmers live in close contact with chimpanzees, consider them to be more similar to humans than any other species, and attribute special importance to them primarily due to expectations of tourism revenue. Interviewees' responses, as a function of gender, village, and age, were analyzed statistically using non-parametric tests (Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis). Age influenced responses significantly, while gender and village had no significant effect. Youngsters emphasized morphological aspects of human-chimpanzee similarities, while adults emphasized chimpanzee behavior and narratives about the shared history of humans and chimpanzees. Tourism, conservation, and crop raiding feature prominently in people's reports about chimpanzees. Local people's engagement with conservation and tourism-related activities is likely to allow them to manage not only the costs but also the benefits of conservation, and can in turn inform the expectations built upon tourism. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Rolo E.A.,University of Lisbon | Rolo E.A.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Oliveira A.R.,University of Lisbon | Oliveira A.R.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | And 8 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2013

In recent years, forensic entomology has been applied in wildlife crimes, such as neglect cases, animal cruelty and illegal poaching. Likewise in human death investigations, in which insects can help to provide information about postmortem interval (PMI) and corpse transfer, entomology may be an important source of information in animal murder suspicion. The use of insects in forensic context relies primarily on its identification at the species level. To overcome some problems of morphological determination, molecular identification has gained relevance and has been applied frequently in forensic areas. Cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene was adopted in DNA barcoding approach. This methodology intends to unify the DNA-based identification using a specific region of mitochondrial DNA. COI sequences have been collected into the BOLD online database, allowing the molecular identification of sequences from unknown specimens. Nonetheless, to achieve a correct identification of an unknown sample, it is necessary that sequences from species under study exist, for comparison, in online databases. Due to the geographic differences, it is of huge importance to have samples from a certain species from its distribution range. In that sense, the aim of this research is to contribute to the potential and accuracy improvement of such databases in identification of species commonly found in wildlife carcasses. A portion of COI was sequenced from 95 specimens of seven species belonging to two families of Diptera (Calliphoridae and Muscidae) found in wildlife carcasses-baited traps in Serra da Estrela (Portugal). All specimens were identified at species level with a high specimen similarity and maximum identity percentage (through BOLD Systems and GenBank online databases, respectively). We also demonstrate the correct discrimination of all species through phylogenic and sequence divergence analyses proposed in DNA barcoding studies, reinforcing the suitability of this marker. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Oliveira A.R.,University of Lisbon | Oliveira A.R.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Farinha A.,University of Lisbon | Farinha A.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | And 4 more authors.
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series | Year: 2011

Insects, in particular Calliphoridae species have a very important role in decomposition process and are the earliest insects to infest a corpse. An accurate morphological identification is essential but very difficult or even sometimes impossible to do. So, molecular identification provides a rapid and reliable method that can be done in all development stages. The potential of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) is very well established. But in some species this gene is not effective. In this work, we used the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) to complement COI data, demonstrating ITS2 effectiveness in insects' identification. Blowflies of the family Calliphoridae (Calliphora vicina, Calliphora vomitoria, Lucilia caesar and Lucilia sericata) were collected in Portugal. COI fragments permitted correct specimens identification using BLAST search for all blowflies, except for L. caesar because of the high similarity with Lucilia illustris. For these species, we used ITS2 sequences for species determination. This genetic marker analysis facilitated the differentiation of these two species. Our results indicate that it would be of great importance to increase the sequences collection to prevent incorrect identification and reinforce results validity. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


PubMed | Center for Environmental and Marine Studies and University of Lisbon
Type: | Journal: Journal of insect science (Online) | Year: 2014

Insect carrion communities vary among habitats and over time. Concerning the dipteran early colonizers of carrion, the use of small bait traps should be accurate because the odors emitted from meat baits should contain many of the volatile organic compounds emitted from the freshly dead mammals. In addition, this kind of trap is easy to replicate and set in position in a given habitat. In the present study, small bait preferences of early Diptera carrion colonizers were examined in an urban biotope. Specifically, three baits were compared (pork muscle, pork liver, and fish flavored cat food) in respect to the number of specimens and species captured and the presence or absence of oviposition at high and low environmental temperatures. A total of 2371 specimens were trapped, primarily belonging to three insect orders, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Hymenoptera. Diptera was the predominant order, with blowflies (Calliphoridae) being the most representative family, followed by filth flies (Muscidae). The pork muscle bait was responsible for the highest number of captures and the highest diversity. The community of Diptera collected with the most efficient bait, pork muscle, was compared with the carrion communities reported in the literature from the Iberian Peninsula. Similar taxonomic species composition was found regarding Calliphoridae species. A specimen from all species morphologically identified were also identified at a molecular level using the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) barcode region, and the sequences were submitted to online databases.


PubMed | Center for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro and University of Technology, Sydney
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium are commonly recognized as invertebrate endosymbionts that are of central importance for the functioning of coral reef ecosystems. However, the endosymbiotic phase within Symbiodinium life history is inherently tied to a more cryptic free-living (ex hospite) phase that remains largely unexplored. Here we show that free-living Symbiodinium spp. in culture commonly form calcifying bacterial-algal communities that produce aragonitic spherulites and encase the dinoflagellates as endolithic cells. This process is driven by Symbiodinium photosynthesis but occurs only in partnership with bacteria. Our findings not only place dinoflagellates on the map of microbial-algal organomineralization processes but also point toward an endolithic phase in the Symbiodinium life history, a phenomenon that may provide new perspectives on the biology and ecology of Symbiodinium spp. and the evolutionary history of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis.


Lillebo A.I.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Valega M.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Otero M.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Pardal M.A.,Marine Life Research | And 3 more authors.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2010

It has been shown that salt marshes may function as efficient sinks for contaminants, namely for mercury. At the rhizo-sediment Hg may be associated with Mn and Fe oxyhydroxides, precipitated as sulphides or incorporated into organic matter. However, to our knowledge, in situ studies have not focused on the related processes at a daily or tidal cycle scales. Thus, the present work aims to study the effect of a common salt marsh halophyte in temperate latitudes (Sarcocornia perennis) on dissolved Fe, Mn and Hg concentrations in the water column. The in situ approach was carried out at a mercury-contaminated salt marsh and at the adjacent non-vegetated area (distance ≤ 4 m), covering two consecutive tidal cycles in order to include the photosynthetic active period and the night processes. During high tide no daily or spatial effects were observed on the concentrations of Mn, Fe and Hg in the water column, due to the dilution effect of the incoming seawater. During low tide the concentrations of Mn, Fe and Hg were significantly higher in the overlaying water column of the salt marsh. At S. perennis mats the concentration of dissolved total Hg was significantly related with the concentration of Mn (r = 0.459, p = 0.028, n = 23), but not with that of Fe (r = 0.367, p = 0.085, n = 23) while no significant relations were found at the adjacent non-vegetated sediments. This study highlights the complexity of the biogeochemical processes that take place in salt marshes, due to the daily photosynthetic cycle of halophytes and to the tidal action in mesotidal systems. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Clemencio C.,University of Aveiro | Viegas M.,Investigation Unit for Governance | Viegas M.,University of Aveiro | Nadais H.,University of Aveiro | Nadais H.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

The livestock production is a strategic and crucial activity for it fixes populations in rural areas, contributing to its conservation, and most importantly because it ensures food production. By producing meat, milk or eggs, this sector contributes to national food self-sufficiency. However, intensive livestock farming activities carry a strong pollution load on the environment, particularly through the emission of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and greenhouse gases (GHG).The Baixo Vouga region in Portugal due to its climatic conditions and soil characteristics holds a high number of livestock production units mainly cattle, poultry and swine. Thus such an activity contributes to a significant portion of the wealth created in this region. This high potential has collided with the existence of environmentally sensitive areas, many of which are protected by European environmental regulations.This work studies the geographical distribution of livestock population of cattle, poultry and swine in the Baixo Vouga region and quantifies its impacts on the environment by calculating the excretion loads of N and P of these species. In the cattle and poultry sectors two clusters or agglomerations are identified, the first in the northern region and the second in the inland region. Moreover, the cattle farming cluster overlaps on vulnerable zones requiring specific monitoring on effluent treatment issues. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Vieira D.C.S.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Malvar M.C.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Fernandez C.,Research Center Forestal Of Lourizan | Serpa D.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Keizer J.J.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies
Geomorphology | Year: 2016

The impacts of forest fires on runoff and soil erosion have been assessed by many studies, so the effects of fires on the hydrological and geomorphological processes of burnt forest areas, globally and in the Mediterranean region, are well established. Few studies, however, have assessed post-fire runoff and erosion on large time scales. In addition, a limited number of studies are available that consider the effect of pre-fire land management practices on post-fire runoff and erosion. This study evaluated annual runoff and sediment losses, at micro plot scale, for 4 years after a wildfire in three eucalypt plantations with different pre-fire land management practices (i.e., plowed and unplowed). During the four years following the fire, runoff amounts and coefficients at the downslope plowed (1257 mm, 26%) and contour plowed eucalypt sites (1915 mm, 40%) were higher than at the unplowed site (865 mm, 14%). Sediment losses over the 4 years of study were also consistently higher at the two plowed sites (respectively, 0.47 and 0.83 Mg ha− 1 y− 1 at the downslope and contour plowed eucalypt site) than at the unplowed site (0.11 Mg ha− 1 y− 1). Aside from pre-fire land management, time-since-fire also seemed to significantly affect post-fire annual runoff and erosion. In general, annual runoff amounts and erosion rates followed the rainfall pattern. Runoff amounts presented a peak during the third year of monitoring while erosion rates reached their maximum one year earlier, in the second year. Runoff coefficients increased over the 4 years of monitoring, in disagreement to the window of disturbance post-fire recovery model, but sediment concentrations decreased over the study period. When compared with other long-term post-fire studies and with studies evaluating the effects of pre- and post-fire management practices, the results of the present work suggest that an ecosystem's recovery after fire is highly dependent on the background of disturbances of each site, as runoff and erosion values were higher at the plowed sites than at the unplowed site. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Vieira D.C.S.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies | Fernandez C.,Research Center Forestal Of Lourizan | Vega J.A.,Research Center Forestal Of Lourizan | Keizer J.J.,Center for Environmental and Marine Studies
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2015

Soil burn severity has been widely used to describe the impacts of fire on soils and is increasingly being recognised as a decisive factor controlling post-fire erosion rates. However, there is no unique definition of the term and the relationship between soil burn severity and post-fire hydrological and erosion response has not yet been fully established. The objective of this work was to review the existing literature on the role of soil burn severity on post-fire runoff and erosion ratios. To this end, a meta-analysis was carried out of the runoff and inter-rill erosion data from field rainfall simulation experiments (RSE's) that compared burnt and unburnt conditions. In this study, 109 individual observations were analysed that covered a wide geographical range, various types of land cover (forest, shrubland, and grassland) and two types of fire types (wildfire and prescribed fire). The effect size of the post-fire runoff and erosion response was determined for four key factors: (i) soil burn severity; (ii) time-since-fire; (iii) rainfall intensity; and (iv) bare soil cover. Statistical meta-analysis showed that fire occurrence had a significant effect on the hydrological and erosive response. However, this effect was only significantly higher with increasing soil burn severity for inter-rill erosion, and not for runoff. This study furthermore highlighted the incoherencies between existing burn severity classifications, and proposed an unambiguous classification. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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