Coral Gables, FL, United States
Coral Gables, FL, United States

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Oover $175,000 raised to support critically ill children in need of medical treatment Over 250 community and philanthropic leaders came together to celebrate the Circle of Heroes 10th Anniversary Luncheon at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. The event raised over $175,000 in support of Jackson Health Foundation's IKF Wonderfund, a program designed to help critically ill children from countries around the world, gain immediate access to life-saving or life-changing medical treatments. "The Circle of Heroes 10th Anniversary Luncheon was a marvelous success," said Keith R. Tribble, Jackson Health Foundation president and CEO. "The funds collected from this event contribute significantly, each year to our ability to help children from all over the world, receive the best care possible at Holtz Children's Hospital." The glamorous affair would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Circle of Heroes luncheon committee led by event co-chairs Nerea Alvarez, Susy Dunand-Silva and Ana Oliveira. The luncheon committee included Gigi Arrieta, Angela Mantelle, Janelle Prieto Garcia, Chary Rico-Toro, Maria Sarria and Gabi Souto who came together and worked diligently to commemorate the special occasion. "I am very grateful to everyone who participated in this wonderful celebration of life to support so many children in need from around the world," said Mariana Martinez, chairwoman of the IKF Wonderfund Advisory Board and a member of the Jackson Health Foundation Board of Directors. "Celebrating ten years of our Circle of Heroes is a great accomplishment and I am thrilled with the results." Univision 23's television anchors from "Noticias 23 Al Amanecer", Eileen Cardet and Jorge Hernandez, served as celebrity hosts, while celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein delighted attendees with a delicious menu. A highlight of the luncheon included the addition of 20 new Circle of Heroes members including former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez "A-Rod" who sent a video message supporting the cause. Another emotional moment took place during the program's introduction when celebrity hosts introduced the afternoon's honorary guests: Andrea Chirinos, Alfred Cardenas and Gabriel Martinez, three beautiful children who have benefited from the work of IKF Wonderfund. The luncheon also received the support of numerous sponsors including Aqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, Altus Foundation, Aurum Collections, A-Rod Corp, Bulla Gastrobar, Capretto, Integrity Aesthetics MD, Massage Envy Spa, MedicalEcart, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, Neiman Marcus, Pisco y Nazca, Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland, Sarria Family, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, Spirit Airlines and Viva Wyndham Resorts. The Miami Herald and Selecta Magazine served as media partners. IKF Wonderfund, a program of the Jackson Health Foundation, provides support to children from around the world who are in need of life-saving and life-changing medical care that is not available to them in their home country. IKF counts on the support of a dedicated group of benefactors- the Circle of Heroes - whose generosity and volunteerism, make a difference in the life of each child IKF serves. For more information about the luncheon or to receive additional event photos, contact Lisbet Fernandez-Vina at Lisbet.Fernandezvin@jhsmiami.org


Duque A.,National University of Colombia | Stevenson P.R.,University Los Andesbogota Dc | Feeley K.J.,Florida International University | Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Climate change is expected to cause shifts in the composition of tropical montane forests towards increased relative abundances of species whose ranges were previously centered at lower, hotter elevations. To investigate this process of "thermophilization," we analyzed patterns of compositional change over the last decade using recensus data from a network of 16 adult and juvenile tree plots in the tropical forests of northern Andes Mountains and adjacent lowlands in northwestern Colombia. Analyses show evidence that tree species composition is strongly linked to temperature and that composition is changing directionally through time, potentially in response to climate change and increasing temperatures. Mean rates of thermophilization [thermal migration rate (TMR), °C·y-1] across all censuses were 0.011 °C·y-1 (95% confidence interval = 0.002-0.022 °C·y-1) for adult trees and 0.027 °C·y-1 (95% confidence interval = 0.009-0.050 °C·y-1) for juvenile trees. The fact that thermophilization is occurring in both the adult and juvenile trees and at rates consistent with concurrent warming supports the hypothesis that the observed compositional changes are part of a long-term process, such as global warming, and are not a response to any single episodic event. The observed changes in composition were driven primarily by patterns of tree mortality, indicating that the changes in composition are mostly via range retractions, rather than range shifts or expansions. These results all indicate that tropical forests are being strongly affected by climate change and suggest that many species will be at elevated risk for extinction as warming continues.


Machovina B.,Florida International University | Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

Species distribution modeling (SDM) is used to map areas predicted to be suitable for commercial banana production in Central and northwestern South America. Using the downscaled climate projections for 2060 from seven leading global climate models we then predict the geographical shifts in areas suitable for banana production. We repeat this process for conventional and organic banana production. Approximately half of the existing conventional plantations included in the analysis are located in areas predicted to become unsuitable for banana production by 2060. The overall extent of areas suitable for conventional banana cultivation is predicted to decrease by 19%, but all countries are predicted to maintain some suitable areas. The extent of areas suitable for organic banana cultivation is predicted to nearly double due primarily to climatic drying. Several countries (e.g., Colombia and Honduras) are predicted to experience large net decreases in the extent of areas suitable for banana cultivation. Some countries (e.g., Mexico) are predicted to experience large net increases in the extent of suitable areas. The shifts in the location of areas that will be suitable for banana cultivation are predicted to occur mainly within areas outside of protected areas and that are already under agricultural production. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Feeley K.J.,Florida International University | Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Silman M.R.,Wake forest University
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2011

Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) use the locations of collection records to map the distributions of species, making them a powerful tool in conservation biology, ecology and biogeography. However, the accuracy of range predictions may be reduced by temporally autocorrelated biases in the data. We assess the accuracy of SDMs in predicting the ranges of tropical plant species on the basis of different sample sizes while incorporating real-world collection patterns and biases. Location Tropical South American moist forests. Methods We use dated herbarium records to model the distributions of 65 Amazonian and Andean plant species. For each species, we use the first 25, 50, 100, 125 and 150 records collected and available for each species to analyse changes in spatial aggregation and climatic representativeness through time. We compare the accuracy of SDM range estimates produced using the time-ordered data subsets to the accuracy of range estimates generated using the same number of collections but randomly subsampled from all available records. Results We find that collections become increasingly aggregated through time but that additional collecting sites are added resulting in progressively better representations of the species' full climatic niches. The range predictions produced using time-ordered data subsets are less accurate than predictions from random subsets of equal sample sizes. Range predictions produced using time-ordered data subsets consistently underestimate the extent of ranges while no such tendency exists for range predictions produced using random data subsets. Main conclusions These results suggest that larger sample sizes are required to accurately map species ranges. Additional attention should be given to increasing the number of records available per species through continued collecting, better distributed collecting, and/or increasing access to existing collections. The fact that SDMs generally under-predict the extent of species ranges means that extinction risks of species because of future habitat loss may be lower than previously estimated. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Pemberton R.W.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Botanical Review | Year: 2010

Orchid pollinators have highly varied life histories with complex biotic resource requirements, about which we have limited knowledge. Among the specialist orchid pollinators are insect predators and parasitoids with specific prey types such as aphids and subterranean scarab larvae; oligolectic bees that collect pollen from limited sources such as bellflowers; euglossine bees and butterflies that collect particular plant chemicals for reproduction and self defense; oil-collecting bees that provision their brood cells with floral oils from a few plants; bees that collect rare floral resins to construct their nest and brood cells; moths and butterflies that require specific larval host plants; mosquitos and horse flies that need blood; and fungus gnats and carrion flies tied to fungi and dead animals. Loss of critical biotic resources and relationships can reduce the abundance of orchid pollinators and/or their effectiveness. Protection of large, plant rich, pesticide-free orchid habitats is key to conserving essential pollinator resources. © The New York Botanical Garden 2010.


Clark D.B.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Clark D.A.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Oberbauer S.F.,Florida International University | Oberbauer S.F.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Global Change Biology | Year: 2010

Increased atmospheric [CO2] could theoretically lead to increased forest productivity ('CO2 fertilization'). This mechanism was hypothesized as a possible explanation for biomass increases reported from tropical forests in the last 30 + years. We used unique long-term records of annually measured stands (eighteen 0.5 ha plots, 10 years) and focal tree species (six species, 24 years) to assess the effects of rainfall, temperature, and atmospheric [CO2] on annual wood production in a neotropical rain forest. Our study area was a meso-scale section (600 ha) of old-growth Tropical Wet Forest in NE Costa Rica. Using the repeated remeasurements we directly assessed the relative effects of inter-annual climatic variation and increasing atmospheric [CO2] on wood production. A remarkably simple two-factor model explained 91% of the interannual variance in stand-level tree growth; the statistically independent factors were total dry season rainfall (positive effect, r2 5 0.85) and night-time temperature (negative effect, r2 5 0.42). Stand-level tree mortality increased significantly with night-time temperature. After accounting for dry season rainfall and night-time temperature, there was no effect of annual [CO2] on tree growth in either the stand or focal species data. Tree growth in this Tropical Wet Forest was surprisingly sensitive to the current range of dry season conditions and to variations in mean annual night-time temperature of 1-2°. Our results suggest that wood production in the lowland rainforests of NE Costa Rica (and by extension in other tropical regions) may be severely reduced in future climates that are only slightly drier and/or warmer. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Clark D.A.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Clark D.B.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Oberbauer S.F.,Florida International University | Oberbauer S.F.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

A directional change in tropical-forest productivity, a large component in the global carbon budget, would affect the rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide ([CO2]). One current hypothesis is that "CO 2 fertilization" has been increasing tropical forest productivity. Some lines of evidence instead suggest climate-driven productivity declines. Relevant direct field observations remain extremely limited for this biome. Using a unique long-term record of annual field measurements, we assessed annual aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and its relation to climatic factors and [CO2] in a neotropical rainforest through 1997-2009. Over this 12 year period, annual productivity did not increase, as would be expected with a dominant CO2 fertilization effect. Instead, the negative responses of ANPP components to climatic stress far exceeded the small positive responses associated with increasing [CO2]. Annual aboveground biomass production was well explained (73%) by the independent negative effects of increasing minimum temperatures and greater dry-season water stress. The long-term records enable a first field-based estimate of the [CO2] response of tropical forest ANPP: 5.24 g m-2 yr -1 yr-1 (the summed [CO2]-associated increases in two of the four production components; the largest component, leaf litterfall, showed no [CO2] association). If confirmed by longer data series, such a small response from a fertile tropical rainforest would indicate that current global models overestimate the benefits from CO2 fertilization for this biome, where most forests' poorer nutrient status more strongly constrains productivity responses to increasing [CO2]. Given the rapidly intensifying warming across tropical regions, tropical forest productivity could sharply decline through coming decades. Key PointsTropical forest aboveground productivity shows no directional change over 12 yrClimatic stress dominates interannual changes in production componentsThe possible positive carbon-dioxide response is smaller than expected ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Feeley K.J.,Wake forest University | Feeley K.J.,Florida International University | Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Silman M.R.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Global Change Biology | Year: 2010

Andean plant species are predicted to shift their distributions, or 'migrate,' upslope in response to future warming. The impacts of these shifts on species' population sizes and their abilities to persist in the face of climate change will depend on many factors including the distribution of individuals within species' ranges, the ability of species to migrate and remain at equilibrium with climate, and patterns of human land-use. Human land-use may be especially important in the Andes where anthropogenic activities above tree line may create a hard barrier to upward migrations, imperiling high-elevation Andean biodiversity. In order to better understand how climate change may impact the Andean biodiversity hotspot, we predict the distributional responses of hundreds of plant species to changes in temperature incorporating population density distributions, migration rates, and patterns of human land-use. We show that plant species from high Andean forests may increase their population sizes if able to migrate onto the expansive land areas above current tree line. However, if the pace of climate change exceeds species' abilities to migrate, all species will experience large population losses and consequently may face high risk of extinction. Using intermediate migration rates consistent with those observed for the region, most species are still predicted to experience population declines. Under a business-as-usual land-use scenario, we find that all species will experience large population losses regardless of migration rate. The effect of human land-use is most pronounced for high-elevation species that switch from predicted increases in population sizes to predicted decreases. The overriding influence of land-use on the predicted responses of Andean species to climate change can be viewed as encouraging since there is still time to initiate conservation programs that limit disturbances and/or facilitate the upward migration and persistence of Andean plant species. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Global Change Biology | Year: 2012

Species are predicted to respond to global warming through 'cold-ward' shifts in their geographic distributions due to encroachment into newly suitable habitats and/or dieback in areas that become climatically unsuitable. I conduct one of the first-ever tests of this hypothesis for tropical plant species. I test for changes in the thermal distributions of 239 South American tropical plant species using dated herbarium records for specimens collected between 1970 and 2009. Supporting a priori predictions, many species (59%) exhibit some evidence of significant cold-ward range shifts even after correcting for collection biases. Over 1/3 of species (35%) show significant cold-ward movement in their hot thermal limits (mean rate of change = 0.022 °C yr -1). Most of these species (85%; 30% of all study species) show no corresponding shift in their cold thermal limits. These unbalanced changes in the species' thermal range limits may indicate species that are experiencing dieback due to their intolerance of rising temperatures coupled with an inability to expand into newly climatically suitable habitats. On the other hand, 25% of species show significant cold-ward shifts in their cold thermal range limits (mean rate of change = 0.003 °C yr -1), but 80% of these species (20% of all study species) show no corresponding shift in their hot thermal range limits. In these cases, the unbalanced shifts may indicate species that are able to 'benefit' under global warming, at least temporally, by both tolerating rising temperatures and expanding into new suitable habitat. An important ancillary result of this study is that the number of species exhibiting significant range shifts was greatly influenced by shifting collector biases. This highlights the need to account for biases when analyzing natural history records or other long-term records. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Feeley K.J.,Wake forest University | Feeley K.J.,Florida International University | Feeley K.J.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Silman M.R.,Wake forest University
Global Change Biology | Year: 2011

Conserving biodiversity in the face of climate change requires a predictive ecology of species distributions. Nowhere is this need more acute than in the tropics, which harbor the majority of Earth's species and face rapid and large climate and land-use changes. However, the study of species distributions and their responses to climate change in high diversity tropical regions is potentially crippled by a lack of basic data. We analyzed a database representing more than 800 000 unique geo-referenced natural history collections to determine what fraction of tropical plant species has sufficient numbers of available collections for use in the habitat or niche models commonly used to predict species responses to climate change. We found that more than nine out of 10 species from the three principle tropical realms are so poorly collected (n < 20 records) that they are essentially invisible to modern modeling and conservation tools. In order to predict the impact of climate change on tropical species, efforts must be made to increase the amount of data available from tropical countries through a combination of collecting new specimens and digitizing existing records. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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