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Bravo F.,State University of Feira de Santana | Cordeiro D.,State University of Feira de Santana | Jocque M.,Rutgers University | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Larvae of a new species of Psychodinae, Moruseodina cusucoensis gen. et sp. nov., were collected during a biodiversity survey of aquatic invertebrates in plant held water bodies (phytotelmata) in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. The fourth instar larva, pupa and adult male are described based on reared material. The new species was difficult to place in an existing genus, thus a new genus name is proposed. Based on similarities in morphological characteristics, ecology and distribution, the species Moruseodina superba comb. nov. and Moruseodina conspicua comb. nov. are transferred from Telmatoscopus Eaton, 1904 to the new genus. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Yam E.A.,Population Council | Mnisi Z.,Ministry of Health | Sithole B.,Hope House Projects | Tsui A.O.,Family and Reproductive Health
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVES: Nonbarrier modern contraceptive users often are less likely to use condoms, particularly with more intimate sex partners. We examine whether female sex workers (FSWs) in Swaziland who use nonbarrier contraception use condoms less consistently and whether this inverse association varies by relationship type. METHODS: In 2011, we conducted a survey among 325 Swazi FSWs using respondent-driven sampling. Each woman reported on condom use during sexual activity in the past month with up to 3 partner types (new clients, regular clients, noncommercial partners). We used a generalized estimating equation model to conduct a relationship-level multivariate logistic regression analysis of correlates of consistent condom use in the past month. We tested whether relationship type modified the effect of nonbarrier modern contraception on condom use. RESULTS: Each participant reported up to 3 observations, for a total of 892 measures of condom use in the past month. Compared with sexual activity with new clients, sex with regular clients and noncommercial partners was less likely to be protected by consistent condom use (adjusted odds ratio, 0.30 [95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.47] for regular clients; adjusted odds ratio, 0.15 [95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.24] for noncommercial partners). There was no significant association between condom use and nonbarrier modern contraceptive use. CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight the need to provide condoms and condom-compatible lubricants and targeted education programs for FSWs and their male sex partners to encourage the consistent use of these commodities with all sex partners, irrespective of the use of other contraceptive methods. Copyright © 2013 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases.


Yam E.A.,Population Council | Mnisi Z.,Ministry of Health | Mabuza X.,Hope House Projects | Tsui A.,Family and Reproductive Health
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health | Year: 2013

Context: Female sex workers are at heightened risk of both HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy. Non barrier modern contraceptives are highly effective at preventing pregnancy, but offer no HIV protection. A better understanding of sex workers' use of condoms and non barrier methods is needed to help them meet their contraceptive and STI protection needs. Methods: A 2011 respondent-driven sampling survey collected reproductive health and contraceptive use data from 325 female sex workers in Swaziland. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to identify associations between selected characteristics and four outcomes of contraceptive use over the past month: consistent condom use alone; nonbarrier modern contraceptive use (either alone or with inconsistent condom use); dual method use; and inconsistent condom use, other method use or nonuse. Adjusted predicted probabilities were also calculated to determine patterns of association. Results: After adjustments were made for background and behavioral factors, 16% of female sex workers were found to be consistent users of condoms alone; 39% used non barrier modern methods (without consistent condom use); 8% were dual method users; and 38% were inconsistent condom users or used other methods or none. Women who reported recent condom failure were less likely than others to be consistent condom users (6% vs. 22%). Consistent use of condoms alone was more common among women who had had no noncommercial partners in the past month than among those who reported two or more such partners (39% vs. 3%). In addition, respondents who had children were more likely than their nulliparous counterparts to report use of non barrier methods alone (65% vs. 14%). Conclusions: Inconsistent or no condom use among nonbarrier contraceptive users underscores the need to incorporate HIV prevention into family planning interventions, particularly among female sex workers who have children and noncommercial partners.


Fiers F.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Fiers F.,Emil Racovita Institute of Speology | Jocque M.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | Jocque M.,Catholic University of Leuven
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

Five different species of Copepoda were extracted from a leaf litter sample collected on the top (at 2000 m a.s.l.) of a cloud forested mountain in El Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Three of them, one Cyclopidae and two Canthocamptidae are new to science, and are described herein. Olmeccyclops hondo sp. nov. is the second representative thus far known of this New World genus. Moraria catracha sp. nov. and Moraria cusuca sp. nov. are the first formally described members of the genus occurring in Central America. The concept of a "Moraria-group" is considered to be an artificial grouping and is limited here to the genera Moraria and Morariopsis only. The distributional range of this group is essentially Holarctic, with the mountainous regions in Honduras, and probably in west Nicaragua, as the southernmost limits in the New World. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.


Kolby J.E.,1671 Edmund Terrace | Padgett-Flohr G.E.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Field R.,Hope House Projects | Field R.,University of Nottingham
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2010

Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was recently documented in Honduras from samples collected in Pico Bonito National Park in 2003. This report now confirms Cusuco National Park, a protected cloud forest reserve with reported amphibian declines, to be the second known site of infection for Honduras. B. dendrobatidis infection was detected in 5 amphibian species: Craugastor rostralis, Duellmanohyla soralia, Lithobates maculata, Plectrohyla dasypus, and Ptychohyla hypomykter. D. soralia, P. dasypus, and P. hypomykter are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have severely fragmented or restricted distributions. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether observed infection levels indicate an active B. dendrobatidis epizootic with the potential to cause further population declines and extinction. © Inter-Research 2010.


Jocque M.,Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen KBIN | Jocque M.,Rutgers University | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | Field R.,University of Nottingham
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2014

Tank bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) often occur in high densities in the Neotropics and represent a key freshwater habitat in montane forests, housing quite complex invertebrate communities. We tested the extent to which there are species richness-altitude, richness-environment, richness-size, richness-habitat complexity and richness-isolation relationships for the aquatic invertebrate communities from 157 bromeliads in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. We found that invertebrate species richness and abundance correlated most strongly, and positively, with habitat size, which accounted for about a third of the variance in both. Apart from bromeliad size (equivalent of the species-area relationship), we found remarkably little evidence of classic biogeographic and ecological relationships with species richness in this system. Community composition correlated with altitude, bromeliad size and position, though less than 20% of the variation was accounted for by the tested variables. The turnover component of dissimilarity between the communities correlated with altitude, while the nestedness-resultant component was related to bromeliad size. The unexplained variance could reflect a large stochastic component in the system, associated with the ephemerality of the habitat patches (both the plants themselves and the fluctuations in their water content) and stochasticity due to the dispersal dynamics in the system. We conclude that there is a small contribution of classic biogeographic factors to the diversity and community composition of aquatic invertebrates communities in bromeliads. This may be due to the highly dynamic nature of this system, with small patch sizes and high emigration rates. The patterns may mostly be driven by factors affecting colonisation success. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


O'Callaghan P.,University College Dublin | O'Callaghan P.,Hope House Projects | Jocque M.,Rutgers University | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | And 2 more authors.
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2015

Montane cloud forests are hydrologically unique, critically endangered ecosystems and frequently major sources of potable water, which have come under increasing pressure from human activities. It is therefore of vital importance that our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic stressors on the aquatic biota in these ecosystems is improved. To this end, a series of flow channel-based field experiments was performed to quantify the effects of nutrient enrichment and deposited fine sediment (two stressors commonly observed in tropical regions) on river macroinvertebrate assemblages in a cloud forest park in Honduras. Macroinvertebrate communities responded to the addition of nutrients (released from struvite) through an increased percentage abundance drifting and to elevated sediment levels with an increased percentage abundance and richness drifting in the first 24 h following treatment. A shift in community structure was also observed in response to elevated nutrients with lower abundances of some taxa and an overall decrease in richness. Our results indicate that increased nutrient loading and sedimentation can alter benthic macroinvertebrate community composition in high-altitude neotropical streams. Macroinvertebrate communities may be impacted via direct toxicity of nutrients and clogging of interstitial spaces and/or reductions in refugia due to sedimentation. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Pinto R.L.,University of Brasilia | Jocque M.,Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen KBIN | Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | Jocque M.,Bulgarian Academy of Science
ZooKeys | Year: 2013

Passively dispersing aquatic invertebrates such as Ostracoda in restricted aquatic habitats such as bromeliads remain an intriguing observation considering the highly specialised dispersal vectors needed for efficient colonisation. Here we describe a new species of Elpidium, E. merendonense sp. n., collected from bromeliads in the cloud forest from Cusuco National Park, Honduras. Elpidium merendonense sp. n. is a small to medium-sized species that can be easily distinguished from its congeners by its unique outgrowth at the posterior end of the left valve, visible especially in females. The species was common all through the park occurring at a wide range of altitudes and in different species of bromeliads. This finding is the first freshwater ostracod species described from Honduras and is in agreement with the prediction that the genus Elpidium contains a large number of species with small geographic distributions. We update the list of described species of Elpidium and present a key to species. © Ricardo L. Pinto, Merlijn Jocqué.


Jocque M.,Hope House Projects | Jocque M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Kernahan A.,Hope House Projects | Nobes A.,Hope House Projects | And 3 more authors.
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2010

With the growing interest in small aquatic water bodies, especially as naturally replicated model systems for ecological research, aquatic invertebrate communities in phytotelmata are increasingly receiving attention these days. The recognition of the substantial contribution to the regional species pool of specialised species draws further attention to these small and often temporary habitats. The methods currently used for studying communities in some types of phytotelma, such as bromeliads, tend to be destructive, typically involving complete dissection of the plant. The expected increase in sampling intensity associated with the increasing interest in phytotelmata may result in a negative impact on plant populations in some areas, decreasing numbers in an unsustainable way, especially in locations with ongoing, intensive research. We therefore aimed to investigate whether less-destructive sampling methods can achieve sufficient data quality to allow their use as alternatives to complete plant dissection. We tested the effectiveness of three such methods in measuring the aquatic invertebrate communities in tank bromeliads (Tillandsia guatemalensis) in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. The three methods were pipetting the water out of the bromeliad, turning the bromeliad upside down and dissecting only the outer part of the plant (the oldest, often deteriorating leaves). Overall, we found that these methods were poor predictors of richness and abundance of the organisms in communities. However, we found big differences between taxonomic groups, depending in part on the ecology of the organisms, and we suggest that some less-destructive alternative methods may be appropriate for studying some specific groups (e. g. Culicidae). Based on these results and a rapid survey of the abundance of bromeliads in the national park, we question whether intensive, ongoing research into aquatic invertebrate communities in similar phytotelma populations is sustainable. From the point of view of conservation, alternative model systems need to be found. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Batke S.P.,Trinity College Dublin | Batke S.P.,Hope House Projects | Murphy B.R.,Trinity College Dublin | Hill N.,Hope House Projects | Kelly D.L.,Trinity College Dublin
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2015

The use of bryophyte and lichen cover as a proxy for air relative humidity (RH) and temperature in tropical forests has been widely proposed. Many studies that have assessed the usefulness of such indicators have mostly focused on estimates from ground observations. Here we identify the usefulness of bryophyte and lichen cover to estimate RH and temperature along montane cloud forest canopies in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. We used correlation analysis to identify the contribution of height above ground level (i.e. canopy position) and elevation (asl.) on the cover of bryophytes and lichens and in relation to temperature and RH measured over a 12-mo period. We found that maximum RH and mean temperature was best explained by bryophyte cover when elevation was included in the model (R2 = 0.23 and R2 = 0.82 respectively). Elevation explained the largest proportion of variance in that model (22-82%). On the other hand, maximum RH and minimum temperature were best explained by lichen cover and elevation (R2 = 0.27-0.85). RH and bryophyte cover were positively correlated (best fit model: R2 = 0.11) and RH and lichen cover negatively correlated (best fit model: R2 = 0.12). The correlation between temperature and bryophyte cover was positive (best fit model: R2 = 0.03) and the correlation between temperature and lichen cover, with the exception of the lower canopy, was positive (best fit model: R2 = 0.09). We conclude that estimates that use bryophyte and lichen cover as a proxy for RH and temperature need to consider the effects of differences in elevation between sites. Our results have also shown that including canopy position in models, that predict microclimate data from bryophyte and lichen cover, did not increase the explanatory power of such models. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

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