Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Ponta Delgada, Portugal

The University of the Azores , or commonly abbreviated as UAç, is the only public university in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, It was founded on January 9, 1976, two years after the Carnation Revolution that ended several decades of dictatorship in Portugal, but before the Portuguese Third Republic was institutionalized, along with the Region's Autonomy. The University is a public institution dependent on the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior , and was established in order to advance sustainable development and higher education in the Azores. Wikipedia.

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Jimenez-Valverde A.,University of Malaga | Jimenez-Valverde A.,University of The Azores
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2012

Aim The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) is a widely used statistic for assessing the discriminatory capacity of species distribution models. Here, I used simulated data to examine the interdependence of the AUC and classical discrimination measures (sensitivity and specificity) derived for the application of a threshold. I shall further exemplify with simulated data the implications of using the AUC to evaluate potential versus realized distribution models. Innovation After applying the threshold that makes sensitivity and specificity equal, a strong relationship between the AUC and these two measures was found. This result is corroborated with real data. On the other hand, the AUC penalizes the models that estimate potential distributions (the regions where the species could survive and reproduce due to the existence of suitable environmental conditions), and favours those that estimate realized distributions (the regions where the species actually lives). Main conclusions Firstly, the independence of the AUC from the threshold selection may be irrelevant in practice. This result also emphasizes the fact that the AUC assumes nothing about the relative costs of errors of omission and commission. However, in most real situations this premise may not be optimal. Measures derived from a contingency table for different cost ratio scenarios, together with the ROC curve, may be more informative than reporting just a single AUC value. Secondly, the AUC is only truly informative when there are true instances of absence available and the objective is the estimation of the realized distribution. When the potential distribution is the goal of the research, the AUC is not an appropriate performance measure because the weight of commission errors is much lower than that of omission errors. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Carvalho J.C.,University of Minho | Cardoso P.,Smithsonian Institution | Cardoso P.,University of The Azores | Gomes P.,University of Minho
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2012

Aim To determine the relative contribution of species replacement and species richness differences to the emergence of beta-diversity patterns. Innovation A novel method that disentangles all compositional differences (β cc, overall beta diversity) in its two components, species replacement (β -3) and species richness differences (β rich) is proposed. The performance of the method was studied with ternary plots, which allow visualization of the influence of the relative proportions of shared and unique species of two sites over each metric. The method was also tested in different hypothetical gradients and with real datasets. The novel method was compared with a previous proposal based on the partitioning of overall compositional differences (β sor) in replacement (β sim) and nestedness (β nes). The linear response of β cc contrasts with the curvilinear response of β sor to linear gradients of dissimilarity. When two sites did not share any species, β sim was always 1 and β -3 only reached 1 when the number of exclusive species of both sites was equal. β -3 remained constant along gradients of richness differences with constant replacement, while β sim decreased. β rich had a linear response to a linear gradient of richness differences with constant species replacement, whereas β nes exhibited a hump-shaped response. Moreover, β sim > β nes when clearly almost all species of one site were lost, whereas β -3 < β rich in the same circumstances. Main conclusions The behaviour of the partition of β cc into β -3 and β rich is consistent with the variation of replacement and richness differences. The partitioning of β sor into β sim and β nes overestimates the replacement component and underestimates richness differences. The novel methodology allows the discrimination of different causes of beta-diversity patterns along latitudinal, biogeographic or ecological gradients, by estimating correctly the relative contributions of replacement and richness differences. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Strona G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2014

Accumulation curves are useful tools to estimate species diversity. Here we argue that they can also be used in the study of global parasite species richness. Although this basic idea is not completely new, our approach differs from the previous ones as it treats each host species as an independent sample. We show that randomly resampling host-parasite records from the existing databases makes it possible to empirically model the relationship between the number of investigated host species, and the corresponding number of parasite species retrieved from those hosts. This method was tested on 21 inclusive lists of parasitic worms occurring on vertebrate hosts. All of the obtained models conform well to a power law curve. These curves were then used to estimate global parasite species richness. Results obtained with the new method suggest that current predictions are likely to severely overestimate parasite diversity. © 2014 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.

Watson R.A.,University of Tasmania | Morato T.,University of The Azores
Fisheries Research | Year: 2013

New estimates of the global mean depth of fishing, which consider both the between and within species changes over time, showed a stronger shift to deeper water than estimated previously based only on between-species changes. The new estimates show a linear increase in the mean depth of fishing of 62.5mdecade-1, corresponding to an increase of about 350m for the period since 1950. These values are about 5 times higher than those obtained by using between-species change in catch composition over time, suggesting that deep water species and habitats are under a more serious threat from fishing than hitherto assumed. © 2013.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Previous studies deduced negative effects of urbanization on insect conservation from decline in species richness with increasing built-up areas. This is the first study that investigates insect extinction determined by urbanization using a long-time temporal data set from hidden literature data and museum collections. Analyses were conducted for four insect groups in urban Rome: butterflies, coprophagous scarabaeids, non-coprophagous scarabaeids and tenebrionids. A reconstruction of extinction trends from 1885 to 1999 indicates impressive declines in species richness, with differences according to the ecological characteristics of each insect group. Results obtained in this study suggest that insect conservation programs should involve a thorough assessment of which species of conservation concern benefit from green spaces in urban areas, and then the identification of important sites and appropriate measures for population management. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Zanon V.,University of The Azores | Frezzotti M.L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2013

In the islands of Faial and Pico (the Azores), fluid inclusions are hosted in megacrysts of olivine (Mg#80-88) and clinopyroxene (Mg#79-90) in highly porphyritic lavas and in mineral assemblages of ultramafic xenoliths. Rare inclusions are contained in olivine phenocrysts (Mg# < 80) and plagioclases in poorly porphyritic lavas. Trails of late-stage inclusions are predominant over isolated early-stage inclusions. Almost all inclusions are re-equilibrated and the trapped fluid consists of pure CO2 (Tm from -56.5 to -57.2). Rare early-stage inclusions may contain dypingite or Mg-calcite, which indicates that in earlier times some water was present along with CO2. Barometric data indicate that CO2 inclusions in xenoliths from the two islands equilibrated at maximum pressures of 570-586 MPa (19.7-21.2 km), while in poorly porphyritic lavas from all the fissure zones at 465-508 MPa (16.4-18.1 km). Maximum pressure values of 463 MPa (16.8 km) and 492 MPa (17 km) were recorded for the central volcanoes of Pico and Faial, respectively. Further trapping/re-equilibration was recorded at 156 MPa in Faial (5.6 km), in plagioclase phenocrysts in mugearites. All these pressures correspond to magma ponding sites and to its crystallization and can be useful for tracing the progressive thickening of a dense transition zone, below the geophysical Moho. The ability to extract rapidly the stored magmas from these volcanic systems strictly depends on the different tectonic styles, acting in this transition zone. Magmatic evolution in small and short-lived intracrustal reservoirs, not necessarily coaxial with main conduit system, was enhanced at the intersection of differently oriented lineaments. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

At global and regional scales, area prioritisation is frequently done by the identification of hotspots based on species extinction risk. The logic of the hotspot identification has never been used in urban contexts. In this paper, the tenebrionid beetles (Coleoptera Tenebrionidae) of urban Rome were studied as an exercise to show how the hotspot approach can be profitably used in an urban area to identify priority areas for biodiversity conservation. For this, tenebrionid species from 16 green spaces were scored according to their vulnerability on the basis of their geographical distribution, habitat specificity and abundance. Species vulnerability scores were then used to calculate two indices of area prioritisation (the Biodiversity Conservation Concern and the Biodiversity Conservation Weight) for each green space. Values of these indices were correlated with site characteristics and compared with those obtained from other, more natural contexts. Except for distance to other sites, no significant correlation was found between conservation values and site characteristics, which indicates that the conservation importance of green spaces cannot be predicted on the basis of their geographical characteristics, but must be established on the basis of the species that they actually host. The importance of urban green spaces for biodiversity conservation may be questioned because of the large presence of ubiquitous and alien species in urban areas. Conservation values obtained for tenebrionids of green spaces in Rome are similar to those of various animal groups in more natural contexts and hence highlight the actual importance of green areas for insect biodiversity conservation. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

The present study consisted of a theoretical approach to the problem posed by the economic costs associated with pressure ulcers (PUs). The initial aim was to assess the target problem from a conceptual perspective and then to report the results of prevalence studies that formed the basis for investigations of the disease's economic impact. The purpose of the present article is to discuss the economic costs associated with PUs from both the global point of view (appraising their financial repercussion) and the individual point of view (addressing the intangible costs). Regarding the economic impact of the costs associated with PUs, the total cost of treatment per healthcare setting was estimated relative to the Autonomous Community of Azores. The total cost of all the PU categories was EUR 7,086,415 in the homecare setting, EUR 1,723,509 in the hospital setting, and EUR 1,002,562 in older people's homes. Therefore, the estimated total treatment cost of all the PU categories was approximately EUR 9,812,486 in Azores. However, the emotional impact of this disease imposes high costs on patients and their relatives as a function of the resultant suffering. Indeed, PUs impose high costs not only related to the treatment but also related to the intangible costs of the suffering caused to patients and their caregivers.

Matos F.J.F.,University of The Azores | Silva F.J.F.,University of The Azores
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Because a large proportion of total operating costs for transportation companies goes towards energy, a reduction in energy operating costs, brought about by an increase in fleet fuel efficiency, or an increase in operational efficiency, results in a change in the relative cost of road freight transportation. This fact could result in an increase in the demand for such services. If this is true, the result would be an increase in total fuel consumption. Consequently, that part of the energy savings obtained through the increased energy efficiency would be lost. The existence of a "Rebound Effect" is especially important in the road freight transportation sector and is crucial for the definition of a national energy policy. In this study, data from the road freight transportation sector in Portugal for the years of 1987 through 2006 was analyzed. It was determined that an increase in energy efficiency did not cause a backfire, but did cause a total direct rebound effect of 24.1%. In addition, fleet operators were more inclined to adopt operational efficiencies than technological fuel efficiencies as a means of increasing the total operational efficiency. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Martins N.O.,University of The Azores
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

The connections between the capability approach and sustainability economics have been explored recently. I argue here that for engaging in a more substantive study of those connections, we must first understand the place of the capability approach within the history of economic thought, as a second stage of the revival of classical surplus theory. Once this is clear, we can then use the capability approach in order to specify concepts such as well-being, surplus, scarcity, and sustainable reproduction, which are essential for the development of sustainability economics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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