Kabale, Uganda
Kabale, Uganda

Kabale University , is a private university in Uganda, the third-largest economy in the East African Community. The university received accreditation from the Uganda National Council for Higher Education , in 2005. Wikipedia.

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Recent studies have documented a mismatch between the phenology of leaf production, prey availability and the nestling food requirements of north temperate songbirds, attributed to climate change effects. Although tropical forest species have often been regarded as relatively aseasonal breeders, similar disruptive effects can be expected at equatorial latitudes, where comparatively little is known of the links between weather, leafing phenology, food availability and bird breeding activity, particularly in complex rain forest habitats. During a 19-year study at 1°S in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda, Stripe-breasted Tits Parus fasciiventer showed a strongly bimodal laying pattern, breeding mainly in the two dry seasons, with 50 % of breeding activity occurring in January–February and 19 % in June–July. Individual females bred in both dry seasons, laying their first and last clutches up to 28 weeks apart. Breeding activity was linked to leaf production, which peaked mainly in November–December, following the September–November wet season. Increased leaf production is likely to have stimulated a rise in caterpillar numbers during December–February, coinciding with peak food demands by nestling tits. Laying was thus positively correlated with increased leaf production in the preceding calendar month, but was also linked to day length and a change in sunset time. To investigate possible links between egg laying and photic cues I compared the median date of first clutches laid by marked females in each half of the breeding year (October–March and April–September), with annual changes in photoperiod (varying by 7 min p.a.) and sunrise time (varying bimodally, by 31 min p.a.). The two median laying dates fell 138–139 days after the last date on which sunrise had occurred at 07:05 in August and January, suggesting the potential for sunrise time to act as a cue, or Zeitgeber, for breeding in tropical birds. Further work is required to establish whether the relationship is causative or coincidental. © 2016, The Author(s).

Makarieva A.M.,University of California at Riverside | Gorshkov V.G.,University of California at Riverside | Sheil D.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Sheil D.,Kabale University | And 4 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

Phase transitions of atmospheric water play a ubiquitous role in the Earth's climate system, but their direct impact on atmospheric dynamics has escaped wide attention. Here we examine and advance a theory as to how condensation influences atmospheric pressure through the mass removal of water from the gas phase with a simultaneous account of the latent heat release. Building from fundamental physical principles we show that condensation is associated with a decline in air pressure in the lower atmosphere. This decline occurs up to a certain height, which ranges from 3 to 4 km for surface temperatures from 10 to 30 °C. We then estimate the horizontal pressure differences associated with water vapor condensation and find that these are comparable in magnitude with the pressure differences driving observed circulation patterns. The water vapor delivered to the atmosphere via evaporation represents a store of potential energy available to accelerate air and thus drive winds. Our estimates suggest that the global mean power at which this potential energy is released by condensation is around one per cent of the global solar power-this is similar to the known stationary dissipative power of general atmospheric circulation. We conclude that condensation and evaporation merit attention as major, if previously overlooked, factors in driving atmospheric dynamics. © 2013 Author(s).

Sayer J.,James Cook University | Sunderland T.,Center for International Forestry Research | Ghazoul J.,Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems | Pfund J.-L.,Fauna | And 12 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2013

"Landscape approaches" seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches.This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners.We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted.These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives.Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here.

Meijaard E.,People and Nature Consulting International | Meijaard E.,University of Queensland | Meijaard E.,Center for International Forestry Research | Sheil D.,Center for International Forestry Research | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

Much tropical biodiversity resides in forests managed by timber, mining, and plantation companies. These companies can determine the local persistence of many species and have considerable implications for global conservation outcomes. Many companies are willing to invest in improved management as long as this does not undermine their business-indeed accessing green markets often makes commercial sense. Compliance with common standards of good commercial practice requires identification of all species of conservation significance which occur within their areas of management responsibility. But, as we demonstrate, it is impossible for companies to do this comprehensively. Such demands are often counterproductive in that they alienate those who might otherwise be willing to improve. Given the finite resources available for achieving conservation outcomes, we need to trade off data collection against other costs. To encourage adoption and implementation of conservation friendly practices requires incentives, not technical and financial obstacles. We challenge conservation biologists to reconsider the realities of good forest management, and provide pragmatic guidance for business compatible conservation. Until we engage more effectively with commercial interests, opportunities for improved conservation outcomes will be wasted. ©2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Kissa D.O.,Makerere University | Kissa D.O.,Kabale University | Sheil D.,Kabale University | Sheil D.,Center for International Forestry Research | Sheil D.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

Good density estimates for low abundance tree species are costly to achieve especially in rugged or disturbed forest landscapes. More efficient methods would be of considerable value to managers and conservationists. Here we assess a method that has been neglected in this context. We examine and compare distance-based visual detection line-transects and conventional fixed-width transects for assessing a distinctive low abundance species of conservation significance, Myrianthus holstii Engl., in three separate areas, within a steep, disturbed mountain rain forest. Precision and implied accuracy appeared substantially better with the visual detection line-transect than with the fixed-width transect for equivalent costs and effort at all three landscapes but as the two methods provide different estimates there are questions of possible bias in both approaches. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the distance approach and suggest some recommendations concerning its application. We conclude that the distance method is suited to low density species that are easily identified, even when understorey vegetation and terrain severely impair visibility. However, due to the differences in detection probabilities, populations need to be stratified both by tree size and context. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Sheil D.,Kabale University | Sheil D.,Center for International Forestry Research | Sheil D.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Salim A.,National University of Singapore
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

Different conservation values and perspectives can lead to divergent conservation objectives. Understanding such differences is crucial to developing more comprehensive and inclusive conservation approaches. Using plots, we assessed how numbers of useful species as reported by indigenous forest-dwelling people relate to plant species richness. We used 173 plots recording both trees and herbaceous vegetation and the knowledge of both Merap and Punan-dominated communities in Malinau, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). We used general linear models (GLMs) to characterise the relationships. Useful species increase with species richness in all cases. The relationship varied across culture and community and was not always linear. The proportion of tree species reported as useful by Merap (primarily agriculturalist) informants was not constant but declined significantly as plot diversity increased; this was not the case for Punan (primarily hunter-gatherer) informants. There was no decline for the reported proportion of useful herbs as richness increases, as assessed by either ethnic group. Communities with less wealth and less schooling generally reported a higher proportion of the useful species. We interpret these results in terms of how landscape patterns of plant diversity are experienced. Understanding of these relationships can help us develop a more explicit approach to weighing and reconciling different conservation values and management objectives in changing forest landscapes. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Ladd B.,University of Bonn | Ladd B.,University of New South Wales | Laffan S.W.,University of New South Wales | Amelung W.,University of Bonn | And 9 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: Concern about climate change, with the subsequent emergence of carbon markets and policy initiatives such as REDD (reducing carbon emissions by decreasing deforestation and forest degradation), have focused attention on assessing and monitoring terrestrial carbon reserves. Most effort has focused on above-ground forest biomass. Soil has received less attention despite containing more carbon than above-ground terrestrial biomass and the atmosphere combined. Our aim was to explore how well soil carbon concentration could be estimated on three continents from existing climate, topography and vegetation-cover data. Location: Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, China. Methods: Soil carbon concentration and leaf area index (LAI) as well as GIS-derived climate and topography variables for 65 temperate and 43 tropical, forest and woodland ecosystems, were either directly measured or estimated from freely available global datasets. We then used multiple regressions to determine how well soil carbon concentration could be predicted from LAI, climate and topography at a given site. We compared our measurements with top soil carbon estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) harmonized world soil map. Results: Our empirical model based on estimates of temperature, water availability and plant productivity provided a good estimate of soil carbon concentrations (R2 = 0.79). In contrast, the values of topsoil carbon concentrations from the FAO harmonized world soil map correlated poorly with the measured values of soil carbon concentration (R2 = 0.0011). Main conclusions: The lack of correlation between the measured values of soil carbon and the values from the FAO harmonized world soil map indicate that substantial improvements in the production of soil carbon maps are needed and possible. Our results demonstrate that the inclusion of freely available GIS data offers improved estimates of soil carbon and will allow the creation of more accurate soil carbon maps. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Game E.T.,The Nature Conservancy | Game E.T.,University of Queensland | Meijaard E.,University of Queensland | Meijaard E.,Center for International Forestry Research | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

Most conservation challenges are complex and possess all the characteristics of so called "wicked" problems. Despite widespread recognition of this complexity conservationists possess a legacy of institutional structures, tools and practices better suited to simpler systems. We highlight two specific challenges posed by this mismatch: the difficulty of adaptive management where success is ambiguous and the tension between "best practice" and creativity. Drawing on research in other disciplines (including psychology, information systems, business management, and military strategy) we suggest practices that conservation could consider to better respond to complexity. These practices include, defining clear objectives, the use of scenarios, emphasis on pattern analysis, and ensuring greater scope for creative and decentralized decision making. To help illustrate these challenges and solutions, we point to parallels between conservation and military operations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Wight D.,University of Glasgow | Ahikire J.,Makerere University | Kwesiga J.C.,Kabale University
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

There is a shortage of senior African social scientists available to lead or manage research in Africa, undermining the continent's ability to interpret and solve its socio-economic and public health problems. This is despite decades of investment to strengthen research capacity. This study investigated the role of individually commissioned consultancy research in this lack of capacity.In 2006 structured interviews (N=95) and two group discussions (N=16 total) were conducted with a fairly representative sample of Ugandan academic social scientists from four universities. Twenty-four senior members of 22 Ugandan and international commissioning organizations were interviewed. Eight key actors were interviewed in greater depth.Much of Ugandan social science research appears to take the form of small, individually contracted consultancy projects. Researchers perceived this to constrain their professional development and, more broadly, social science research capacity across Uganda. Conversely, most research commissioners seemed broadly satisfied with the research expertise available and felt no responsibility to contribute to strengthening research capacity. Most consultancy research does not involve institutional overheads and there seems little awareness of, or interest in, such overheads.Although inequalities in the global knowledge economy are probably perpetuated primarily by macro-level factors, in line with Dependency Theory, meso-level factors are also important. The current research market and institutional structures in Uganda appear to create career paths that seriously impede the development of high quality social science research capacity, undermining donor investments and professional effort to strengthen this capacity. These problems are probably generic to much of sub-Saharan Africa. However, both commissioning and research organizations seem ready, in principle, to establish national guidelines for institutional research consultancies. These could develop both institutional and individual research capacity, improve output and accountability, and facilitate academic research funding and indigenous research agendas. © 2014.

Sheil D.,Kabale University | Sheil D.,Center for International Forestry Research | Meijaard E.,People and Nature Consulting International | Meijaard E.,Australian National University
Biotropica | Year: 2010

Tropical conservationists can benefit from understanding human thought processes. We are often less rational than we might believe. Our judgmental biases may sometimes encourage us to overlook or act against major conservation opportunities. Better appreciation of the tricks of the human mind might make us more open-minded, humble, and ready to appreciate different viewpoints. We propose one inherent bias that we believe predisposes conservationists to neglect the value of modified habitats for biodiversity conservation. We call it the 'tainted-nature delusion'. Recognizing such biases can increase our effectiveness in recognizing and achieving viable conservation outcomes. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

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