WorldWideScience

Sample records for belize

  1. Water and Sanitation in Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Traci Kuratomi; Dougal Martin; Jorge Ducci; Alfredo Rihm; María del Rosario Navia Díaz; Javier Grau

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade, Belize has seen major improvements in access to water, but it is behind in achieving universal access to improved sanitation facilities. Belize has also made progress in terms of the disposal of solid waste in the central and western regions, including in the largest urban area, Belize City. Despite these developments, there is a need to further improve the performance of these sectors, especially in terms of wastewater collection and treatment in urban areas throughout th...

  2. Economics of an ecotourism operation in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, Patrick; Shave, Mary; Shave, Paul

    1995-09-01

    The economic inputs and outputs for the Possum Point Biological Station in Belize during 1990 1992 are described to illustrate some aspects of an ecotourism operation. Eight hundred fifty-four people in 59 groups visited Possum Point during the study period to tour rain forests, estuaries, and coral reefs. The economic input to Possum Point from these groups increased from 74,552 in 1990 to 166,268 in 1992. Outputs were for license fees, capital improvements, goods and services, labor, fossil fuels, and development of a historic sugar mill site. An annual donation was also made to a scholarship fund for local Belizean students. The net cash balance of income and outputs changed from negative (-6678) in 1990 to positive (+4811) in 1992, suggesting development of the economic operation. Possum Point meets the economic criteria for ecotourism by feeding back some tourist monies for community and environmental support, particularly donations for the sugar mill site and the scholarship fund. Most of the outputs from Possum Point (about 80%) were retained in the local economy through employment and purchases, which have a positive influence on the local community. We conclude that ecotourism operations, such as Possum Point, offer important sustainable development opportunities for Belize.

  3. Holocene development of the Belize Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gischler, Eberhard; Hudson, J. Harold

    2004-02-01

    Previously, knowledge of the Holocene development of the Belize Barrier Reef (BBR)—the largest reef system in the Atlantic Ocean—was limited to one location (Carrie Bow Cay). We present new data from 11 rotary drill cores taken at 9 locations and 36 radiometric ages that indicate that the BBR was established from >8.26 to 6.68 ky BP on Pleistocene reef limestones, presumably deposited during oxygen isotope stage 5. The nonsynchronous start of Holocene reef growth was a consequence of variation in elevation of antecedent topography, largely controlled by underlying NNE-trending structures. From north to south, Pleistocene elevation decreases along these structural trends, probably reflecting differential subsidence and variations in karst topography. Reef anatomy is characterized by three facies. In order of decreasing abundance, these facies are represented by corals (mainly Acropora palmata and members of the Montastraea annularis group), by unconsolidated sand and rubble, and by well-cemented coral grainstones-rudstones. Holocene reef accumulation rates average 3.25 m/ky. The degree of reef consolidation is negatively correlated with Holocene thicknesses, indicating that slowly growing reefs are better cemented than fast growing ones. We present a Holocene sea-level curve for Belize based on 36 dates from this study and 33 dates from our previous studies in the area.

  4. Ticks from a Morelet's crocodile in Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, T R; Platt, S G; Robbins, R G; McMurry, S T

    2001-10-01

    Parasitism of crocodilians by ticks has rarely been reported, and to our knowledge only seven published accounts exist. On 3 July 1999, we collected four ticks from a subadult Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) captured in northern Belize. These were identified as Amblyomma dissimile (one female), and Amblyomma sp. (two nymphs, one larva). The crocodile was captured on land approximately 100 m from water, and all four ticks were attached to loose skin on the lateral surface of the tail. Crocodilians are most susceptible to terrestrial ectoparasites, including ticks, during overland movements. However, most such movements occur in response to drought, when tick questing activity is suppressed, which likely accounts for the small numbers of tick specimens recorded from crocodilians and the absence of any noticeable impact of parasitism on host fitness. PMID:11763751

  5. Ectromelia in Morelet's crocodile from Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, T R; McMurry, S T; Platt, S G

    1999-01-01

    Two Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) captured on 21 March 1997 and 20 April 1998 in the New River system, Belize exhibited ectromelia of one forelimb. External and radiograph examination appears to indicate limb agenesis of unknown etiology, as there is no apparent scarring or skeletal trauma. These two individuals represent the only cases of missing limbs from 642 individuals captured in this study and to our knowledge, the first reported cases in Morelet's crocodile. Several factors including age and diet of the reproducing female, extremes in nest conditions (egg incubation temperature and humidity), and exposure to environmental contaminants can cause developmental abnormalities in crocodilians and may have contributed to the condition observed in these animals. Survival rates for hatchling crocodilians are generally low, and embryonic malformations such as ectromelia may constitute an added disadvantage to survival. However, both individuals examined in this study were vigorous and appeared in good condition. PMID:10073362

  6. Deforestation Along the Maya Mountain Massif Belize-Guatemala Border

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicas, S. D.; Omine, K.; Arevalo, B.; Ford, J. B.; Sugimura, K.

    2016-06-01

    In recent years trans-boundary incursions from Petén, Guatemala into Belize's Maya Mountain Massif (MMM) have increased. The incursions are rapidly degrading cultural and natural resources in Belize's protected areas. Given the local, regional and global importance of the MMM and the scarcity of deforestation data, our research team conducted a time series analysis 81 km by 12 km along the Belize-Guatemalan border adjacent to the protected areas of the MMM. Analysis drew on Landsat imagery from 1991 to 2014 to determine historic deforestation rates. The results indicate that the highest deforestation rates in the study area were -1.04% and -6.78% loss of forested area per year in 2012-2014 and 1995-1999 respectively. From 1991 to 2014, forested area decreased from 96.9 % to 85.72 % in Belize and 83.15 % to 31.52 % in Guatemala. During the study period, it was clear that deforestation rates fluctuated in Belize's MMM from one time-period to the next. This seems linked to either a decline in deforestation rates in Guatemala, the vertical expansion of deforestation in Guatemalan forested areas and monitoring. The results of this study urge action to reduce incursions and secure protected areas and remaining forest along the Belize-Guatemalan border.

  7. [Cutaneous leishmaniasis--an import from Belize].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnedl, Jakob; Auer, Herbert; Fischer, Marcellus; Tomaso, Herbert; Pustelnik, Tom; Mooseder, Gerhard

    2007-01-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis of the New World, in particular when caused by Leishmania (L.) braziliensis, harbours the risk of lymphogenic as well as hematogenic dissemination. This may result in mucocutaneous leishmaniasis causing severe destruction of orofacial structures. Dissemination may occur years after the disappearance of the skin lesions. In contrast, cutaneous leishmaniasis of the old world, is typically restricted to the site of inoculation. Therefore, a conservative diagnostic and therapeutic approach is usually sufficient. Infections acquired in the new world should be treated systemically, if infection with Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis complex cannot be excluded. Here we report on three Austrian soldiers, who, weeks after having participated in an international jungle patrol course in Belize, presented themselves with multiple ulcers on the upper limbs. Diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis was made based upon histological evaluation of biopsies taken from several ulcers revealing the presence of leishmanial bodies, and detection of amastigote leishmania in smears of material obtained from the ulcers. As species phenotyping could not be performed, infection with L. brasiliensis as well as progression into a mucocutaneous form were possible, demanding systemic therapy. Several treatment options including local cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, paromomycin (Humatis Pulvis, Parke-Davis) 15% topically or oral fluconazole (Diflucan, Pfizer) 200 mg/d were applied, but showed no effect. Hence, a systemic therapy with intravenous pentamidine (Pentacarinat, Gerot), three times in total, 3-4 mg/kg body weight each, led to a complete regression of the lesions within four weeks. PMID:17987367

  8. Challenges and Opportunities in the Belize Education Sector

    OpenAIRE

    Emma Näslund-Hadley; Haydée Alonzo; Dougal Martin

    2013-01-01

    Belize is paying a lot for education but getting little. More youth are outside the school system than in it and many fail to make the transition to the workforce. More and more youth drop out of school and become involved in gang activities. Action is needed if Belize is not to lose a whole generation of youth. This document discusses the current situation of the Belizean education sector and its progress over the last 10 years, its relative performance compared with other countries in the r...

  9. DDE in eggs of two crocodile species from Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, T H; Rainwater, T R; Platt, S G; McMurry, S T; Anderson, T A

    2000-12-01

    Organochlorine (OC) residues were recently detected in nonviable Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from northern Belize. To further the assessment of contaminant exposure in Belizean crocodiles, nonviable Morelet's crocodile eggs (n = 11) from southern Belize and American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) eggs (n = 12) from the coastal zones of Belize were screened for 20 OCs. Results indicated p,p-DDE to be the most prevalent OC (96% occurrence) in eggs examined, with concentrations ranging from 5 to 372 ng/g. These concentrations are similar to those observed in crocodile eggs (10-180 ng/g) from northern Belize. A general trend toward higher DDE concentrations in Morelet's crocodile eggs (mean = 103 ppb) compared with American crocodile eggs (mean = 31 ppb) was observed. However, this trend may be due to site-specific contamination rather than differences in interspecific susceptibility to chemical exposure. Other OCs detected in crocodile eggs included the parent compound, p,p-DDT, and its metabolite, p, p-DDD. PMID:11141295

  10. Blood pressure, ethnic group, and salt intake in Belize.

    OpenAIRE

    Simmons, D

    1983-01-01

    A total of 1316 individuals were studied in seven villages in Belize, Central America. This represented 92% of the area population aged over 18. Generally, they were members of three ethnic groups--Maya, Spanish, and Creole. The systolic and diastolic IV and V blood pressures were recorded using standardised procedure. Significant differences in blood pressure, weight, and obesity were found between ethnic groups in both sexes, Creoles having higher means than the other groups. Significant re...

  11. Human papillomavirus profile of women in Belize City, Belize: correlation with cervical cytopathologic findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cathro, Helen P; Loya, Theresa; Dominguez, Frederick; Howe, Susan L; Howell, Renee; Orndorff, Kyle; Moreno, Jessica; Mendez, Elena; Fung, Po Chu; Beer, Natalie L; Allen, Peter; Sosa, Alba M; Gurka, Kelly K; Stoler, Mark H; Frierson, Henry F

    2009-07-01

    Cervical carcinoma is the most common cancer among Belizean women; however, data regarding the frequency of human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes and their association with cervical cancer are nonexistent. We therefore included HPV genotyping as part of a week-long cervical cancer screening campaign conducted in Belize City in 2007. Conventional Papanicolaou smears with Hybrid Capture (HC) 2 HPV testing were performed on 463 women. All HC2-positive samples were genotyped using a developmental GP5+/GP6+ polymerase chain reaction-coupled Luminex assay for 2 low-risk and 18 high-risk HPV types. The prevalence of high-risk HPV was 15.6% in the total population, 10.1% in those with normal cytologic findings, and 93.3% in women with a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. Of patients with HPV infections, 35% had multiple types (5.4% of the total group). Of all women and of women with normal cytologic findings, 5.2% and 2.8%, respectively, had HPV16 or 18. For all women, HPV16, 18, 56, and 52 were present in decreasing order of frequency. HPV11 was present in only one patient, and none had HPV6. HPV16 was found in 47% of high-grade squamous epithelial lesions; however, no case of HSIL had HPV18 or 45. HPV35 and HPV58 were the next most common types in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, each occurring in 20% of cases of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, followed by HPV31 in 13.3%. Although women younger than 25 years old were underrepresented, these data suggest that the HPV profile of this cohort of Belizean women differs somewhat from that in the region. In addition, these data are of importance with regard to the development of HPV vaccines that will be used in less developed countries, where care should be taken not to implement vaccination at the cost of basic screening and diagnostic services. PMID:19299000

  12. Anti-apocalypse: the Postclassic period at Lamanai, Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Jim Aimers

    2007-01-01

    The ancient Maya site of Lamanai in northern Belize is unusual because it was not abandoned like many sites in the ninth century and flourished in the subsequent Postclassic period (AD 900–1450). Lamanai was the centre for an elaborate ceramic style and more than three decades of research at the site have produced an outstanding collection of highly decorated vessels. What do the Postclassic ceramics of Lamanai tell us about life at the site in the Postclassic, and about the Postclassic Maya ...

  13. Anti-apocalypse: the Postclassic period at Lamanai, Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Aimers

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The ancient Maya site of Lamanai in northern Belize is unusual because it was not abandoned like many sites in the ninth century and flourished in the subsequent Postclassic period (AD 900–1450. Lamanai was the centre for an elaborate ceramic style and more than three decades of research at the site have produced an outstanding collection of highly decorated vessels. What do the Postclassic ceramics of Lamanai tell us about life at the site in the Postclassic, and about the Postclassic Maya world?

  14. Jaguar conservation in southern Belize: Conflicts, perceptions, and prospects among mayan hunters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael K Steinberg

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Belize has emerged as an international leader in jaguar conservation through the creation of numerous protected areas that contain prime cat habitat and by strengthening conservation laws. For example, in 1984, Belize created the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, the first special jaguar protection area in the Americas. In 1995, the government expanded Cockscomb by creating the adjacent Chiquibul National Park. In 2010, the government continued this commitment to jaguar conservation by creating the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary in central Belize. As a result of these protected areas, Belize has been rightfully lauded as a leader in nature-based tourism and protected areas creation in Central America. However, outside national parks and communities that directly benefit from ecotourism, it is less clear how supportive rural residents are of cat conservation. It is also not clear if jaguars persist outside protected areas in locations such as southern Belize, where the environment has been significantly altered by human activities. Through interviews with Mayan hunters, this paper investigates the attitudes towards jaguars, human-jaguar conflicts, and potential community-based jaguar conservation in two Mayan villages in the Toledo District in southern Belize. Also, using indirect methods, the paper documents the presence/absence and other temporal/spatial aspects of jaguars in a heavily altered landscape in southern Belize.

  15. Resource use in the tropical karstlands of central Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, M.

    1993-06-01

    Rural tropical ecosystems are subject to many traditional land uses that employ the indigenous karst resources: rock, water, soil, vegetation, and wildlife. Individual resource pressures often are subtle, but their combined impact can precipitate instability in the tropical karst environment, potentially resulting in disruption of food, water, and fuel supplies. The karst of central Belize was used intensively for some six centuries by Maya farmers, but between the 10th and 19th centuries AD most of it reverted to secondary forest. Commercial logging dominated the 19th and early 20th centuries, followed by the expansion of subsistence and commercial agriculture after 1945. In the 1980s resource use has accelerated as population and other pressures increase. Much karst remains forested, but there is increasing clearance for agricultural uses, particularly for citrus cultivation and small-scale mixed agriculture. Soil depletion has begun to occur, water resources are increasingly taxed, and some wildlife is threatened by habitat destruction and increased hunting. Lime production for the citrus industry has promoted quarrying, water extraction, and fuelwood use. Environmental stresses currently do not exceed the threshold of instability, but the rapidly developing rural economy warrants careful monitoring of resource pressures.

  16. Mercury in Morelet's crocodile eggs from northern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, T R; Adair, B M; Platt, S G; Anderson, T A; Cobb, G P; McMurry, S T

    2002-04-01

    Recent studies have examined mercury accumulation in crocodilians. However, though most researchers have focused on tissue concentrations, few have examined mercury levels in crocodilian eggs. In July 1995, we analyzed mercury in 31 nonviable Morelet's crocodile ( Crocodylus moreletii) eggs collected from eight nests across three localities in northern Belize. All eggs were found to contain mercury. Based on an individual egg basis, mean concentration of mercury for all three localities was among the lowest reported for any crocodilian species. When localities were examined separately, mean concentrations for Laguna Seca and Gold Button Lagoon were comparable to those observed in other studies, and the mean for Sapote Lagoon was the lowest ever reported. Based on mean nest concentrations, mercury in eggs from Laguna Seca was approximately two- and tenfold higher than for Gold Button Lagoon and Sapote Lagoon, respectively. Variability in mercury concentrations among localities is likely the result of site-specific differences in mercury input, bioavailabilty, and bioaccumulation. Mercury concentrations were relatively uniform in eggs from the same nest and among nests from the same localities. The presence of mercury in Morelet's crocodile eggs suggests exposure in adult females, developing embryos, and neonates. However, crocodiles in these areas show no overt signs of mercury toxicity, and no indication of population decline is evident. A paucity of data on the effects of mercury on crocodilians precludes meaningful speculation as to the biological significance of tissue and egg concentrations. Controlled laboratory studies and long-term population monitoring are needed to address these questions. PMID:11910460

  17. Organochlorine contaminants in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, T H; Rainwater, T R; Platt, S G; McMurry, S T; Anderson, T A

    2000-03-01

    Non-viable eggs of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) were collected from Gold Button (GBL) and New River lagoons (NRL) in northern Belize and screened for organochlorine (OC) compounds using gas chromatography (GC) with electron capture detection (ECD). All egg samples from both lagoons (n = 24) tested positive for one or more OCs. Primary contaminants were p,p-DDE and methoxychlor, detected in 100% and 29% of the eggs examined, respectively. Concentrations of individual OC contaminants ranged from 1 ppb (ng chemical/g egg) to > 0.5 ppm (microgram chemical/g egg). Total concentrations of OCs (sum of all OCs) for one egg collected from a nest at GBL reached as high as 0.7 ppm. Sediment samples from both lagoons also tested positive for OCs (lindane, aldrin, methoxychlor, heptachlor epoxide, p,p-DDT, among others). Nest media (soil and plant material) collected from crocodile nests at GBL were positive for p,p-DDT, methoxychlor, aldrin, endosulfan II, and endrin aldehyde. Based on the 24 egg samples analyzed to date, crocodiles from both lagoons are being exposed to OCs. Such exposure may present a health threat to populations of crocodiles in Central America. PMID:10705543

  18. 76 FR 63985 - Notice of Receipt of Cultural Property Request From the Government of the Republic of Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-14

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF STATE Notice of Receipt of Cultural Property Request From the Government of the Republic of Belize Belize, concerned that its cultural heritage is in jeopardy from pillage, made a request to the Government of...

  19. Low genetic variation and evidence of limited dispersal in the regionally important Belize manatee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, M.E.; Auil-Gomez, N. E.; Tucker, K.P.; Bonde, R.K.; Powell, J.; McGuire, P.M.

    2010-01-01

    The Antillean subspecies of the West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus is found throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. Because of severe hunting pressure during the 17th through 19th centuries, only small populations of the once widespread aquatic mammal remain. Fortunately, protections in Belize reduced hunting in the 1930s and allowed the country's manatee population to become the largest breeding population in the Wider Caribbean. However, increasing and emerging anthropogenic threats such as coastal development, pollution, watercraft collision and net entanglement represent challenges to this ecologically important population. To inform conservation and management decisions, a comprehensive molecular investigation of the genetic diversity, relatedness and population structure of the Belize manatee population was conducted using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA. Compared with other mammal populations, a low degree of genetic diversity was detected (HE=0.455; NA=3.4), corresponding to the small population size and long-term exploitation. Manatees from the Belize City Cayes and Southern Lagoon system were genetically different, with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.029 and 0.078, respectively (P≤0.05). This, along with the distinct habitats and threats, indicates that separate protection of these two groups would best preserve the region's diversity. The Belize population and Florida subspecies appear to be unrelated with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.141 and 0.63, respectively (P≤0.001), supporting the subspecies designations and suggesting low vagility throughout the northern Caribbean habitat. Further monitoring and protection may allow an increase in the Belize manatee genetic diversity and population size. A large and expanding Belize population could potentially assist in the recovery of other threatened or functionally extinct Central American Antillean manatee populations.

  20. Belize; 2009 Article IV Consultation: Staff Report; Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for Belize

    OpenAIRE

    International Monetary Fund

    2009-01-01

    Belize’s economy is projected to decelerate in 2009 owing to the global downturn. Real GDP growth is projected at 1 percent, reflecting the impact of declining tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investment inflows. Executive Directors have welcomed the broadly favorable economic performance in 2008, and have commended the authorities’ commitment to pursue sound macroeconomic and financial sector policies to manage near-term risks. Directors have also emphasized that strong macroecon...

  1. Geochemistry of crude oils, seepage oils and source rocks from Belize and Guatemala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, H.I.; Holland, B.; Nytoft, H.P.;

    2012-01-01

    This study reviews the stratigraphy and the poorly documented petroleum geology of the Belize-Guatemala area in northern Central America. Guatemala is divided by the east-west trending La Libertad arch into the North and South Petén Basins. The arch is the westward continuation of the Maya...

  2. Cutaneous leishmaniasis in three Dutch military cohorts following jungle training in Belize

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.P.A.M. van Thiel; J.E. Zeegelaar; T. van Gool; W.R. Faber; P.A. Kager

    2011-01-01

    Skin lesions occur frequently in travelers to tropical countries. Military personnel acquire skin lesions regularly during jungle training as did Dutch troops who trained in the jungle of Belize in 1998, 2004 and 2009, in an area endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Demographic and clinical data wer

  3. Incorporation, integration and irrigation at the ancient Maya site of Baking Pot, Belize

    OpenAIRE

    James M. Conlon

    1995-01-01

    This paper provides an example of the use of corporate group analysis at the major ceremonial centre of Baking Pot, and uses comparative data from the site core of Baking Pot, other major centres in the upper Belize Valley, and various other sources throughout the Maya lowlands.

  4. Incorporation, integration and irrigation at the ancient Maya site of Baking Pot, Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Conlon

    1995-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an example of the use of corporate group analysis at the major ceremonial centre of Baking Pot, and uses comparative data from the site core of Baking Pot, other major centres in the upper Belize Valley, and various other sources throughout the Maya lowlands.

  5. The Rotifer fauna of Guatemala and Belize: survey and biogeographical affinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Alma Estrella; Elías-Gutiérrez, Manuel

    2007-06-01

    Rotifer samples were obtained from 29 localities in northern Guatemala and central-southern Belize during March 2000 and June 2001. A total of 119 species were identified. Ten selected taxa are illustrated and commented: Euchlanis semicarinata, Lepadella apsicora, L. cryphaea, Lecane curvicornis f. lofuana, L. whitfordi, Monommata maculata, Scaridium bostjani, Trichocerca elongata f. braziliensis, and Z. hollaerti. The species Lepadella rhomboidula is a first record for the American Continent. The species are 71% cosmopolitan, 6 % tropicopolitan, and 4.2 % restricted to the subtropics. The Guatemala species number range was Petén-Itza lake (53 taxa), and Raxruja pool (three). La Democracia pool (49 taxa), and the Blue Hole sink-hole (six species) were the extremes in Belize. In total, 68 of the recorded taxa are new for Guatemala and 91 for Belize. Additionally, 47 species are registered by the first time in Central America. A comparison between these two countries and Mexico revealed that the south part of the latter conform a cluster with them, emphasizing the transitional character of this region between the Nearctics and the Neotropics. Furthermore, Guatemala and Belize have differences in species assemblages, as a response to the nature of their particular environments and topographical accidents. PMID:19069767

  6. The impacts of tourism on coral reef conservation awareness and support in coastal communities in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine recreational tourism is one of a number of threats to the Belize Barrier Reef but, conversely, represents both a motivation and source of resources for its conservation. The growth of tourism in Belize has resulted in the fact that many coastal communities are in varying stages of a socio-economic shift from dependence on fishing to dependence on tourism. In a nation becoming increasingly dependent on the health of its coral reef ecosystems for economic prosperity, a shift from extractive uses to their preservation is both necessary and logical. Through examining local perception data in five coastal communities in Belize, each attracting different levels of coral reef related tourism, this analysis is intended to explore the relationship between tourism development and local coral reef conservation awareness and support. The results of the analysis show a positive correlation between tourism development and coral reef conservation awareness and support in the study communities. The results also show a positive correlation between tourism development and local perceptions of quality of life, a trend that is most likely the source of the observed relationship between tourism and conservation. The study concludes that, because the observed relationship may be dependent on continued benefits from tourism as opposed to a perceived crisis in coral reef health, Belize must pay close attention to tourism impacts in the future. Failure to do this could result in a destructive feedback loop that would contribute to the degradation of the reef and, ultimately, Belize’s diminished competitiveness in the ecotourism market.

  7. International Uranium Resources Evaluation Project (IUREP) national favourability studies: Belize (Former British Honduras)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belize is a well-forested area of 22,960 square kilometers. Its capital is Belmopan. The country is generally flat north of the capital city. The flat, swampy Caribbean Coast of Belize gradually ascends to the low peaks of the Maya and Cockscomb Mountains (elevation to 1,120 meters). The area south of the Maya Mountains is much more rugged than the area to the north. The country is drained by seventeen rivers, the chief ones being the Belize, Hondo, New, Sibun, Monkey and Moho. There is 'hurricane danger in the July-October period. Belize has reportedly been surveyed by Gamma Ray Spectrometer for phosphates which probably would have contained sufficient uranium to be detectable. The survey traversed about 1,000 line kms along major north-south and east-west roads as well as many secondary roads and trails. The uranium readings ranged from 0. to 9.9 ppm with a uranium content of 1-2 ppm in the limestone areas and 2-7 ppm in the alluvium-covered areas. The U/Th ratio varied from 0.11 to 1.65. A recent traverse across the Mountain Pine Ridge batholith gave one reading as high as 36 ppm but the average was about 9-10 ppm. The upper 1000-3000 feet of core and cuttings from nine deep oil wells were checked for phosphates and uranium. Most of the core and cuttings were almost pure limestones. The P203 content was less than 0.05 percent and no uranium was detected. It is very doubtful that any significant uranium occurrences will be found in the sediments surrounding the Maya Mountain uplift. However, there is a slight chance that uranium might occur in the granites and pegmatites in the Maya Mountains. The potential of Belize is estimated to be in the less than 1.000 tonnes uranium range, considering the restricted range, of geologic environments encountered there

  8. Energy Transition Initiative: Island Energy Snapshot - Belize; U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2015-03-01

    This profile provides a snapshot of the energy landscape of Belize, a Central American country bordering Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Although not an island nation, Belize is included in this energy snapshot series because it is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an alliance of 15 Caribbean nations in the region.

  9. Mosquito Larval Habitats, Land Use, and Potential Malaria Risk in Northern Belize from Satellite Image Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin; Masuoka, Penny; Rejmankova, Eliska; Grieco, John; Johnson, Sarah; Roberts, Donald

    2004-01-01

    The distribution of Anopheles mosquito habitats and land use in northern Belize is examined with satellite data. -A land cover classification based on multispectral SPOT and multitemporal Radarsat images identified eleven land cover classes, including agricultural, forest, and marsh types. Two of the land cover types, Typha domingensis marsh and flooded forest, are Anopheles vestitipennis larval habitats. Eleocharis spp. marsh is the larval habitat for Anopheles albimanus. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses of land cover demonstrate that the amount of T-ha domingensis in a marsh is positively correlated with the amount of agricultural land in the adjacent upland, and negatively correlated with the amount of adjacent forest. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that nutrient (phosphorus) runoff from agricultural lands is causing an expansion of Typha domingensis in northern Belize. This expansion of Anopheles vestitipennis larval habitat may in turn cause an increase in malaria risk in the region.

  10. Body condition of Morelet’s Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from northern Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Brandt, Laura A.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen; Jeffery, Brian; McMurry, Scott T.; Platt, Steven G.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Vinci, Joy

    2012-01-01

    Body condition factors have been used as an indicator of health and well-being of crocodilians. We evaluated body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in northern Belize in relation to biotic (size, sex, and habitat) and abiotic (location, water level, and air temperature) factors. We also tested the hypothesis that high water levels and warm temperatures combine or interact to result in a decrease in body condition. Size class, temperature, and water level explained 20% of the variability in condition of Morelet's Crocodiles in this study. We found that adult crocodiles had higher condition scores than juveniles/subadults but that sex, habitat, and site had no effect. We confirmed our hypothesis that warm temperatures and high water levels interact to decrease body condition. We related body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles to natural fluctuations in air temperatures and water levels in northern Belize, providing baseline conditions for population and ecosystem monitoring.

  11. Survey, Settlement, and Population History at the Ancient Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Healy, Paul F.; Helmke, Christophe G.B.; Awe, Jaime J.;

    2007-01-01

    Survey and excavations of mounds on the outskirts of the site of Pacbitun in western Belize provide insights to the ancient Maya settlement pattern at this medium-sized regional center. This research employed two methods: analysis of structural remains from four separate 1000 m transect surveys...... to have been about 5000-6000 persons. This population estimate is compared with several coeval lowland Maya centers, and found to be reasonable for a medium-sized, Late Classic Maya center....

  12. Identifying and assessing areas for pine woodland regeneration in the lowland savannas of Southern Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Katsigiannis, Panagiotis

    2014-01-01

    Lowland savannas occupy almost 10% of the total land area of Belize, comprising landscapes with high ecological and economical value. The most distinctive tree of the Belizean savanna, the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis), is valuable not only as a timber resource, but also in forming natural habitats for the local endangered species. However, degradation by frequent fires, anthropogenic pressures and climate change often convert gallery pine forests and dense tree savannas (s...

  13. Indicators for Disaster Risk and Risk Management: Programme for Latin-America and The Caribbean: Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

    2011-01-01

    This documents contains Disaster Risk and Disaster Management indicators for Belize calculated according to the methodology developed by the Bank. This System of Indicators had three specific objectives: i) improvement in the use and presentation of information on risk. This assists policymakers in identifying investment priorities to reduce risk (such as prevention and mitigation measures), and directs the post disaster recovery process; ii) to provide a way to measure key elements of vulner...

  14. Ocelot Leopardus pardalis in Belize: the impact of trap spacing and distance moved on density estimates

    OpenAIRE

    Dillon, A.; Kelly, M J

    2007-01-01

    We used remote cameras to obtain information on an elusive species and to examine the effects of different camera trapping methodologies on abundance estimates. We determined activity pattern, trail use, trap success, and density of ocelot Leopardus pardalis in seven camera-trap surveys across two habitat types in western Belize: tropical broad-leaf rainforest and tropical pine forest. Ocelots in the rainforest were active mostly at night, in particular immediately after sunset, and they trav...

  15. Lobster and Conch Fisheries of Belize: a History of Sequential Exploitation

    OpenAIRE

    Miriam Huitric

    2005-01-01

    This article presents a historical review of the lobster and conch fisheries in Belize, Central America. In terms of yield and value, these are the main wild-caught targets of the national fisheries, a small-scale commercial fishery of around 3000 fishermen. Data were collected during interviews with key informants involved with the fisheries and through literature and archive research. The goal was to study how the fishing industry has responded to environmental signals from these resources ...

  16. Pathoecology and paleodiet in Postclassic: Historic Maya from northern coastal Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Christine White; Jay Maxwell; Alexis Dolphin; Jocelyn Williams; Fred Longstaffe

    2006-01-01

    This paper examines the synergism among diet, disease, and ecology at two related coastal Maya sites in Belize (Marco Gonzalez and San Pedro) for the Postclassic and Historic periods (1350-1650 AD), which immediately follow the Classic period collapse. Stable carbon- and nitrogen-isotope ratios in collagen and stable carbon-isotope ratios in structural carbonate were analysed for bones from 65 humans and a wide variety of faunal species. There are no apparent differences in whole diets or deg...

  17. Communications: Mosquito Habitats, Land Use, and Malaria Risk in Belize from Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin; Masuoka, Penny; Rejmankova, Eliska; Grieco, John; Johnson, Sarah; Roberts, Donald

    2004-01-01

    Satellite imagery of northern Belize is used to examine the distribution of land use and breeding habitats of the malaria vector the Anopheles mosquito. A land cover classification based on multispectral SPOT and multitemporal Radarsat images identified eleven land cover classes, including agricultural, forest, and marsh types. Two of the land cover types, Typha domingensis marsh and flooded forest, are Anopheles vestitipennis larval habitats, and one, Eleocharis spp. marsh, is the larval habitat for Anopheles albimanus. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses of land cover demonstrate that the amount of Typha domingensis in a marsh is positively correlated with the amount of agricultural land in the adjacent upland, and negatively correlated with the amount of adjacent forest. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that nutrient (phosphorus) runoff from agricultural lands is causing an expansion of Typha domingensis in northern Belize. Thus, land use induced expansion of Anopheles vestitipennis larval habitat is potentially increasing malaria risk in Belize, and in other regions where Anopheles vestitipennis is a major malaria vector.

  18. Natural Hazard Mitigation Strategies in the Continental Caribbean: The Case of Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kareem M. Usher

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available La petite nation de Belize est nichée au cœur de l’Amérique Centrale, bordée au nord par le Mexique, à l'ouest et au sud par le Guatemala ; la mer Caraïbe constituant sa frontière orientale. Situé sur la trajectoire des cyclones tropicaux atlantiques, le pays est exposé aux catastrophes atmosphériques. Parmi les plus notables dans l’histoire de Bélize : l'ouragan de 1931 et l'ouragan Hattie qui ont fait 275 victimes et causé des dommages évalués à plus de 1 milliard de dollars. En réponse, le pays a mis en place diverses politiques responsables et inédites visant la réduction des risques afin de sauvegarder sa population et de protéger l’essor du tourisme. Malgré ces efforts, la majorité des populations côtières demeure vulnérable aux ouragans et aux inondationsThe small nation of Belize is nestled on the Central American Continent bounded on its north by Mexico, the west and south by Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea on its eastern border.  Located in the path of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, the country is susceptible to atmospheric disasters.  Most notably are the Hurricane of 1931 and Hurricane Hattie which claimed 275 lives and caused damages in excess of US$1 Billion. Consequently, Belize has implemented several responsible and original mitigation policies to safeguard its population and protect the bourgeoning tourism industry. In spite of those efforts, most of its coastal populations remain vulnerable to hurricanes and floods.

  19. Metals and metallothioneins in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from a transboundary river between Mexico and Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buenfil-Rojas, A M; Álvarez-Legorreta, T; Cedeño-Vázquez, J R

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine concentrations of heavy metals (cadmium [Cd] and mercury [Hg]) and metallothioneins (MTs) in blood plasma and caudal scutes of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from Rio Hondo, a river and natural border between Mexico and Belize. Three transects of the river (approximately 20 km each) were surveyed in September 2012 and April 2013, and samples were collected from 24 crocodiles from these areas. In blood plasma, Cd (7.6 ± 9.6 ng/ml) was detected in 69 % of samples (n = 9); Hg (12.2 ± 9.2 ng/ml) was detected in 46 % of samples (n = 6); and MTs (10,900 ± 9,400 ng/ml) were detected in 92 % of samples (n = 12). In caudal scutes samples, Cd (31.7 ± 39.4 ng/g) was detected in 84 % of samples (n = 12) and Hg (374.1 ± 429.4 ng/g) in 83 % of samples (n = 20). No MTs were detected in caudal scutes. Hg concentrations in scutes from the Rio Hondo were 2- to 5-fold greater than those previously reported in scutes from other localities in northern Belize. In blood plasma, a significant positive relationship between Hg and body size was observed. Mean concentrations of Cd and MTs in size classes suggest that MTs may be related to Cd exposure. This is the first report of MT presence in crocodile blood. PMID:25355289

  20. Building Participation in Large-scale Conservation: Lessons from Belize and Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse Guite Hastings

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivated by biogeography and a desire for alignment with the funding priorities of donors, the twenty-first century has seen big international NGOs shifting towards a large-scale conservation approach. This shift has meant that even before stakeholders at the national and local scale are involved, conservation programmes often have their objectives defined and funding allocated. This paper uses the experiences of Conservation International′s Marine Management Area Science (MMAS programme in Belize and Panama to explore how to build participation at the national and local scale while working within the bounds of the current conservation paradigm. Qualitative data about MMAS was gathered through a multi-sited ethnographic research process, utilising document review, direct observation, and semi-structured interviews with 82 informants in Belize, Panama, and the United States of America. Results indicate that while a large-scale approach to conservation disadvantages early national and local stakeholder participation, this effect can be mediated through focusing engagement efforts, paying attention to context, building horizontal and vertical partnerships, and using deliberative processes that promote learning. While explicit consideration of geopolitics and local complexity alongside biogeography in the planning phase of a large-scale conservation programme is ideal, actions taken by programme managers during implementation can still have a substantial impact on conservation outcomes.

  1. High prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths in Southern Belize-highlighting opportunity for control interventions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rina Girard Kaminsky; Steven K Ault; Phillip Castillo; Kenton Serrano; Guillermo Troya

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To assess prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in school age children of two southern districts as baseline information prior to implement a deworming program against intestinal parasites as part of an integrated country development plan. Methods:Children randomly selected from urban and rural schools in Southern Belize provided one stool sample each, analysed by the Kato-Katz method to assess prevalence and intensity of STH infections. Epi Info software was used for data analysis;Chi-square test and Fischer exact test were applied to compare group proportions;P Results:A total of 500 children from 10 schools participated in the study from May to December 2005. Prevalence of STH ranged between 40%and 82%among schools, with a median of 59.2%;the majority of light intensity, and with 2.2%high intensity infection. Trichuris and Ascaris infections presented similar frequency in children aged from 6 to 9 years old;hookworm infections tended to be more frequent in the older group 10 to 12 years old. Statistical significances (P≤0.01) were found in children in rural schools infected with any species of STH, in moderate Trichuris infections, in hookworm infections in rural areas with strong Mayan presence and in Ascaris infections in children of Mayan origin. Conclusions:High prevalence of STH in Southern Belize provided sound ground for implementing an integrated deworming control program.

  2. Evaluation model for developing, implementing, and assessing conservation education programs: Examples from Belize and Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Susan K.

    1991-03-01

    Evaluation of conservation education programs can: (1) provide accountability in demonstrating a program's worth, (2) offer an opportunity for receiving feedback and improving programs, (3) further our understanding of the process of program development, and (4) promote conservation education by substantiating claims about its benefits. The Planning-Process-Product systems evaluation model provides feedback needed for making decisions about the development, implementation, and outcome of a program. Planning evaluation was useful in assessing the needs, goals, opportunities, and constraints of a number of programs in Costa Rica and Belize, such as a forestry education project and a zoo outreach program. It provided a basis for making planning decisions incorporating specific objectives, such as the reforestation of a region or a change in knowledge and attitudes in program participants. Process evaluation provided a Costa Rican sustainable development program with feedback during its implementation and enabled it to modify and improve its newsletter for local farmers and its ecology classes for school children. Product evaluation assessed project accomplishments, such as the 700,000 raised by the Children's Rainforest group and the 20 miles of riparian land under conservation management as part of the Belize Community Baboon Sanctuary project. Outcomes are compared with the programs original monetary or land management objectives to determine the success of the programs and to provide feedback for improvement.

  3. Accidental and ideal island cities: islanding processes and urban design in Belize City and the urban archipelagos of Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Pigou-Dennis

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores processes of islanding, de-islanding, and re-islanding in the context of island cities. Although today popularly associated with rural, peripheral, and isolated landscapes, concepts of the ideal city coincided in Medieval and Renaissance Europe with emergent notions of the ideal island. Major European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Copenhagen were established on densely urbanized small islands. In accordance with dominant political and military philosophies, they were subsequently developed through comprehensive urban design into vast yet coherent urban archipelagos. In contrast, the contemporary development of Belize City as an island city took place through piecemeal land reclamation, absent comprehensive urban design, resulting in a very different kind of urban archipelago. Neither the coherent European island cities nor Belize City are generally regarded as islands today, yet their histories of urban development evidence the impact of spatial attributes of islandness on urban form. Comprehensive urban design efforts are currently directed at land reclamation and waterfront revitalization in Belize City, aiming to restore Belize City’s island city status. We argue that cities can be islanded, de-islanded, and re-islanded in the minds of their inhabitants and that it is necessary to recognize the connection between ideal islands and ideal cities in order to understand the islanding process in full.

  4. The Role of Subjective Motivation in Girls' Secondary Schooling: The Case of Avoidance of Abuse in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Fye, Eileen P.

    2010-01-01

    As in other Latin American and Caribbean nations, young women in Belize have made remarkable strides in enrollment in and completion of secondary schooling. In fact, adolescent girls did so well during the 1990s that the usual explanations of increased access to schooling and governmental policy aimed at increasing girls' education did not appear…

  5. Evidence of multiple paternity in Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, CA, inferred from microsatellite markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, John D; Rodriguez, David; Rainwater, Thomas R; Dever, Jennifer A; Platt, Steven G; McMurry, Scott T; Forstner, Michael R J; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2008-12-01

    Microsatellite data were generated from hatchlings collected from ten nests of Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from New River Lagoon and Gold Button Lagoon in Belize to test for evidence of multiple paternity. Nine microsatellite loci were genotyped for 188 individuals from the 10 nests, alongside 42 nonhatchlings from Gold Button Lagoon. Then mitochondrial control region sequences were generated for the nonhatchlings and for one individual from each nest to test for presence of C. acutus-like haplotypes. Analyses of five of the nine microsatellite loci revealed evidence that progeny from five of the ten nests were sired by at least two males. These data suggest the presence of multiple paternity as a mating strategy in the true crocodiles. This information may be useful in the application of conservation and management techniques to the 12 species in this genus, most of which are threatened or endangered. PMID:18831002

  6. Plasma vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodiles from contaminated habitats in northern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Selcer, Kyle W; Nespoli, Lisa M; Finger, Adam G; Ray, David A; Platt, Steven G; Smith, Philip N; Densmore, Llewellyn D; Anderson, Todd A; McMurry, Scott T

    2008-05-01

    Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. PMID:17826876

  7. Screening of anti-bacterial activity of medicinal plants from Belize (Central America).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camporese, A; Balick, M J; Arvigo, R; Esposito, R G; Morsellino, N; De Simone, F; Tubaro, A

    2003-07-01

    Twenty-one extracts from seven herbal drugs, Aristolochia trilobata (Aristolochiaceae) leaves and bark, Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) bark, Guazuma ulmifolia (Sterculiaceae) bark, Hamelia patens (Rubiaceae) leaves and Syngonium podophyllum (Araceae) leaves and bark, used in traditional medicine of Belize (Central America) as deep and superficial wound healers, were evaluated for their anti-bacterial properties. Activity was tested against standard strains of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212. Almost all the extracts were able to inhibit the growth of one or more of the bacterial strains, except that of Enterococcus faecalis. For the first time an anti-microbial activity is reported for Aristolochia trilobata as well as for Syngonium podophyllum. The hexane extracts of Aristolochia trilobata leaves and bark were the most active extracts against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC=0.31 and 0.625mg/ml, respectively).

  8. Identifying and assessing ecotourism visitor impacts at selected protected areas in Costa Rica and Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, T.A.; Marion, J.L.

    2001-01-01

    Protected area visitation is an important component of ecotourism, and as such, must be sustainable. However, protected area visitation may degrade natural resources, particularly in areas of concentrated visitor activities like trails and recreation sites. This is an important concern in ecotourism destinations such as Belize and Costa Rica, because they actively promote ecotourism and emphasize the pristine qualities of their natural resources. Research on visitor impacts to protected areas has many potential applications in protected area management, though it has not been widely applied in Central and South America. This study targeted this deficiency through manager interviews and evaluations of alternative impact assessment procedures at eight protected areas in Belize and Costa Rica. Impact assessment procedures included qualitative condition class systems, ratings systems, and measurement-based systems applied to trails and recreation sites. The resulting data characterize manager perceptions of impact problems, document trail and recreation site impacts, and provide examples of inexpensive, efficient and effective rapid impact assessment procedures. Interview subjects reported a variety of impacts affecting trails, recreation sites, wildlife, water, attraction features and other resources. Standardized assessment procedures were developed and applied to record trail and recreation site impacts. Impacts affecting the study areas included trail proliferation, erosion and widening, muddiness on trails, vegetation cover loss, soil and root exposure, and tree damage on recreation sites. The findings also illustrate the types of assessment data yielded by several alternative methods and demonstrate their utility to protected area managers. The need for additional rapid assessment procedures for wildlife, water, attraction feature and other resource impacts was also identified.

  9. Metals and organochlorine pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Wu, Ted H; Finger, Adam G; Cañas, Jaclyn E; Yu, Lu; Reynolds, Kevin D; Coimbatore, Gopal; Barr, Brady; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A; McMurry, Scott T

    2007-02-01

    Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n=25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n=6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations. PMID:17182086

  10. Metals and organochlorine pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: thomas.rainwater@tiehh.ttu.edu; Wu, Ted H. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Canas, Jaclyn E. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Yu Lu [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Reynolds, Kevin D. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Coimbatore, Gopal [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Barr, Brady [National Geographic Channel, 1145 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20036 (United States); Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States); Cobb, George P. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n = 25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n = 6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations.

  11. Hydrological and Oceanographic Considerations for Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Southern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyman; Kjerfve

    1999-09-01

    / The objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the meteorology and hydrology of the Maya Mountain-Marine Area Transect in southern Belize, (2) employ a simple water balance model to examine the discharge rates of seven watersheds to Port Honduras, (3) test the validity of the hydrological model, (4) explore the implications of potential landscape and hydrological alterations, and (5) examine the value of protected areas. The southern coastal portion of the study area is classified as wet tropical forest and the remainder as moist tropical forest. Rainfall is 3000-4000 mm annually. Resulting annual freshwater discharge directly into Port Honduras is calculated at 2.5 x 10(9) m3, a volume equal to the basin. During the rainy season, June-September, 84% of the annual discharge occurs, which causes the bay to become brackish. Port Honduras serves as an important nursery ground for many species of commercially important fish and shellfish. The removal of forest cover in the uplands, as a result of agriculture, aquaculture, and village development, is likely to significantly accelerate erosion. Increased erosion would reduce soil fertility in the uplands and negatively affect mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef productivity in the receiving coastal embayment. Alternatively, the conservation of an existing protected areas corridor, linking the Maya Mountains to the Caribbean Sea, is likely to enhance regional sustainable economic development. This study aims to support environmental management at the scale of the "ecoscape"-a sensible ecological unit of linked watersheds and coastal and marine environments.KEY WORDS: Ecosystem management; Coastal zone management; Belize; Hydrologyhttp://link.springer-ny.com/link/service/journals/00267/bibs/24n2p229.html

  12. Metals and organochlorine pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n = 25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n = 6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations

  13. Assessing habitat risk from human activities to inform coastal and marine spatial planning: a demonstration in Belize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Integrated coastal and ocean management requires transparent and accessible approaches for understanding the influence of human activities on marine environments. Here we introduce a model for assessing the combined risk to habitats from multiple ocean uses. We apply the model to coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Belize to inform the design of the country’s first Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement, review of existing legislation and data collected from diverse sources, we map the current distribution of coastal and ocean activities and develop three scenarios for zoning these activities in the future. We then estimate ecosystem risk under the current and three future scenarios. Current levels of risk vary spatially among the nine coastal planning regions in Belize. Empirical tests of the model are strong—three-quarters of the measured data for coral reef health lie within the 95% confidence interval of interpolated model data and 79% of the predicted mangrove occurrences are associated with observed responses. The future scenario that harmonizes conservation and development goals results in a 20% reduction in the area of high-risk habitat compared to the current scenario, while increasing the extent of several ocean uses. Our results are a component of the ICZM Plan for Belize that will undergo review by the national legislature in 2015. This application of our model to marine spatial planning in Belize illustrates an approach that can be used broadly by coastal and ocean planners to assess risk to habitats under current and future management scenarios. (letter)

  14. Comparison of experimental hut entrance and exit behavior between Anopheles darlingi from the Cayo District, Belize, and Zungarococha, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Paige; Diaz Rodriguez, Gloria Alicia; Briceno, Ireneo; King, Russell; Achee, Nicole L; Grieco, John P

    2013-12-01

    Anopheles darlingi is a major vector for malaria in Central and South America. Behavioral, ecological, genetic, and morphologic variability has been observed across its wide distribution. Recent studies have documented that 2 distinct genotypes exist for An. darlingi: a northern lineage (Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama) and a southern lineage (Amazonia and southern Brazil). In order to determine if these genotypes exhibited different behavioral traits, entrance and exit movement patterns between 2 field populations of An. darlingi that represented each genotype were evaluated using experimental huts. The Belize population exhibited bimodal entrance, with peak entry occurring between 7:00-8:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 a.m. and peak exiting occurring between 7:00-8:00 p.m. The Peru population exhibited unimodal entrance, with peak entry occurring between 10:00-11:00 p.m. and peak exiting occurring between 11:00-12:00 a.m. with a secondary smaller peak at 2:30 a.m. Entrance and exit behavioral patterns were significantly different between the Belize and Peru populations of An. darlingi (log-rank [Mantel-Cox] P < 0.001). Information from the present study will be used in the future to determine if there is a correlation between genotype and host-seeking behavior and can be used in the present for regional vector risk assessment.

  15. Simulating the Upper Ocean Circulation on the Belize Shelf: An Application of a Triply Nested-Grid Ocean Circulation Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHENG Jinyu; TANG Liqun; WANG Liang

    2005-01-01

    We present a three-level nested-grid ocean circulation modeling system for the Belize shelf of the western Caribbean Sea. The nested-grid system has three subcomponents: a coarse-resolution outer model of the western Caribbean Sea; an intermediate-resolution middle model of the southern Meso-American Barrier Reef System; and a fine-resolution inner model of the Belize shelf. The two-way nesting technique based on the semi-prognostic method is used to exchange information between the three subcomponents. We discuss two applications of the nested-grid system in this study. In the first application we simulate the seasonal mean circulation in the region, with the nested system forced by monthly mean surface fluxes and boundary forcing. The model results reproduce the general circulation features on the western Caribbean Sea and meso-scale circulation features on the Belize shelf. In the second application, we simulate the storm-induced circulation during Hurricane Mitch in 1998, with the nested-grid system forced by the combination of monthly mean forcing and idealized wind stress associated with the storm. The model results demonstrate that the storm-induced currents transport a large amount of estuarinc waters from coastal regions of Honduras and Guatemala to offshore reef atolls.

  16. The role of sponges in the Mesoamerican Barrier-Reef Ecosystem, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rützler, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Over the past four decades, sponge research has advanced by leaps and bounds through endeavours such as the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems (CCRE) programme at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the programme has been dedicated to a detailed multidisciplinary study of a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the Atlantic's largest reef complex, and has generated data far beyond the capability of lone investigators and brief expeditions. This reef complex extends 250 km southward from Yucatan, Mexico, into the Gulf of Honduras, most of it lying 20-40 km off the coast of Belize. A relatively unspoiled ecosystem, it features a great variety of habitats in close proximity, ranging from mangrove islands, seagrass meadows, and patch reefs in its lagoon to the barrier reef along the margin of the continental shelf. Among its varied macrobenthos, sponges stand out for their ubiquity, range of colours, rich species and biomass, and ecological importance; they populate rocky substrates, some sandy bottoms, and the subtidal stilt roots and peat banks of mangroves. Working from a field station established in 1972 on Carrie Bow Cay, a sand islet atop the reef off southern Belize, experts in numerous disciplines from both the Museum and academic institutions throughout the world have explored the area's biodiversity in the broadest sense and community development over time. At last count, 113 researchers (88 working on site) have focused on the biological and geological role of Porifera in Carrie Bow's reef communities, with the results reported in 125 scientific papers to date. The majority of these sponge studies have centred on systematics and faunistics, including quantitative distribution among the various habitats. Taxonomic approaches have ranged from basic morphology to fine structure, DNA barcoding, and ecological manipulations and culminated in a mini-workshop involving several experts on Caribbean

  17. The role of sponges in the Mesoamerican Barrier-Reef Ecosystem, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rützler, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Over the past four decades, sponge research has advanced by leaps and bounds through endeavours such as the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems (CCRE) programme at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the programme has been dedicated to a detailed multidisciplinary study of a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the Atlantic's largest reef complex, and has generated data far beyond the capability of lone investigators and brief expeditions. This reef complex extends 250 km southward from Yucatan, Mexico, into the Gulf of Honduras, most of it lying 20-40 km off the coast of Belize. A relatively unspoiled ecosystem, it features a great variety of habitats in close proximity, ranging from mangrove islands, seagrass meadows, and patch reefs in its lagoon to the barrier reef along the margin of the continental shelf. Among its varied macrobenthos, sponges stand out for their ubiquity, range of colours, rich species and biomass, and ecological importance; they populate rocky substrates, some sandy bottoms, and the subtidal stilt roots and peat banks of mangroves. Working from a field station established in 1972 on Carrie Bow Cay, a sand islet atop the reef off southern Belize, experts in numerous disciplines from both the Museum and academic institutions throughout the world have explored the area's biodiversity in the broadest sense and community development over time. At last count, 113 researchers (88 working on site) have focused on the biological and geological role of Porifera in Carrie Bow's reef communities, with the results reported in 125 scientific papers to date. The majority of these sponge studies have centred on systematics and faunistics, including quantitative distribution among the various habitats. Taxonomic approaches have ranged from basic morphology to fine structure, DNA barcoding, and ecological manipulations and culminated in a mini-workshop involving several experts on Caribbean

  18. Organochlorine contaminants in complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ted H; Cañas, Jaclyn E; Rainwater, Thomas R; Platt, Steven G; McMurry, Scott T; Anderson, Todd A

    2006-11-01

    Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n=175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches. PMID:16504356

  19. Plasma vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodiles from contaminated habitats in northern Belize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. - Wild crocodiles living in habitats polluted with organochlorine pesticides did not exhibit contaminant-induced vitellogenin induction in blood plasma

  20. An Iterative Approach to Ground Penetrating Radar at the Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheldon Skaggs

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Ground penetrating radar (GPR surveys provide distinct advantages for archaeological prospection in ancient, complex, urban Maya sites, particularly where dense foliage or modern debris may preclude other remote sensing or geophysical techniques. Unidirectional GPR surveys using a 500 MHz shielded antenna were performed at the Middle Preclassic Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize. The survey in 2012 identified numerous linear and circular anomalies between 1 m and 2 m deep. Based on these anomalies, one 1 m × 4 m unit and three smaller units were excavated in 2013. These test units revealed a curved plaster surface not previously found at Pacbitun. Post-excavation, GPR data were reprocessed to best match the true nature of excavated features. Additional GPR surveys oriented perpendicular to the original survey confirmed previously detected anomalies and identified new anomalies. The excavations provided information on the sediment layers in the survey area, which allowed better identification of weak radar reflections of the surfaces of a burnt, Middle Preclassic temple in the northern end of the survey area. Additional excavations of the area in 2014 and 2015 revealed it to be a large square structure, which was named El Quemado.

  1. Organochlorine contaminants in complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Ted H. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6160 (United States); Canas, Jaclyn E. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, PO Box 764, Jefferson, TX 75657 (United States); Platt, Steven G. [Department of Math and Science, Oglala Lakota College, 490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, SD, 57752 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: todd.anderson@ttu.edu

    2006-11-15

    Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n = 175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches. -- Sampling the non-viable eggs of a clutch can provide a statistically reasonable estimation of both the organochlorine contaminant distribution and concentrations in that clutch.

  2. Organochlorine contaminants in complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n = 175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches. -- Sampling the non-viable eggs of a clutch can provide a statistically reasonable estimation of both the organochlorine contaminant distribution and concentrations in that clutch

  3. Plasma vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodiles from contaminated habitats in northern Belize

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: thomas.rainwater@gmail.com; Selcer, Kyle W. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: selcer@duq.edu; Nespoli, Lisa M. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: nespoli345@duq.edu; Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: agfinger@tiehh.ttu.edu; Ray, David A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: david.ray@mail.wvu.edu; Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, P.O. Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States)], E-mail: splatt@sulross.edu; Smith, Philip N. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: philip.smith@tiehh.ttu.edu; Densmore, Llewellyn D. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: lou.densmore@ttu.edu; Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: todd.anderson@tiehh.ttu.edu; McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: scott.mcmurry@tiehh.ttu.edu

    2008-05-15

    Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. - Wild crocodiles living in habitats polluted with organochlorine pesticides did not exhibit contaminant-induced vitellogenin induction in blood plasma.

  4. Organochlorine pesticides in chorioallantoic membranes of Morelet's crocodile eggs from belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepper, Christopher B; Rainwater, Thomas R; Platt, Steven G; Dever, Jennifer A; Anderson, Todd A; McMurry, Scott T

    2004-07-01

    Recent studies examined the utility of the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) as a nonlethal, noninvasive indicator of environmental contaminant exposure in oviparous wildlife. The CAM is a highly vascularized extraembryonic membrane that functions as a site for respiration, nutrient transport, and waste storage during embryonic development. After hatching, the CAM is usually discarded with the eggshell and can be used for chemical residue analysis. Chorioallantoic membranes have been used successfully to examine contaminant exposure and predict chemical concentrations in multiple species of birds and reptiles. In this study, we examined organochlorine (OC) pesticide concentrations in CAMs from eggs of Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from northern Belize. Multiple OCs were detected in crocodile CAMs, including aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), heptachlor, lindane, and methoxychlor. Number and concentrations of OC compounds in CAMs were variable. The most prevalent contaminant detected was DDE, which occurred in 69% of CAMs, with concentrations ranging from 0.3 parts per billion (ppb) to 17.0 ppb. The OC burdens in crocodile CAMs confirm contamination of eggs and suggest exposure in embryos and maternal females. These results further support the use of CAMs as qualitative indicators of OC exposure in oviparous wildlife. The efficacy of this sampling technique in the field will depend on the logistics and cost associated with CAM collection and the specific life history traits of the wildlife species. PMID:15465717

  5. Integrating molecular, phenotypic and environmental data to elucidate patterns of crocodile hybridization in Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hekkala, Evon R; Platt, Steven G; Thorbjarnarson, John B; Rainwater, Thomas R; Tessler, Michael; Cunningham, Seth W; Twomey, Christopher; Amato, George

    2015-09-01

    The genus Crocodylus comprises 12 currently recognized species, many of which can be difficult to differentiate phenotypically. Interspecific hybridization among crocodiles is known to occur in captivity and has been documented between some species in the wild. The identification of hybrid individuals is of importance for management and monitoring of crocodilians, many of which are Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listed. In this study, both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers were evaluated for their use in confirming a suspected hybrid zone between American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) and Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) populations in southern Belize where individuals and nests exhibiting atypical phenotypic features had previously been observed. Patterns observed in both phenotypic and molecular data indicate possible behavioural and ecological characteristics associated with hybridization events. The results of the combined analyses found that the majority of suspected hybrid samples represent crosses between female C. acutus and male C. moreletii. Phenotypic data could statistically identify hybrids, although morphological overlap between hybrids and C. moreletii reduced reliability of identification based solely on field characters. Ecologically, C. acutus was exclusively found in saline waters, whereas hybrids and C. moreletii were largely absent in these conditions. A hypothesized correlation between unidirectional hybridization and destruction of C. acutus breeding habitats warrants additional research. PMID:26473062

  6. Pathoecology and paleodiet in Postclassic: Historic Maya from northern coastal Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine White

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the synergism among diet, disease, and ecology at two related coastal Maya sites in Belize (Marco Gonzalez and San Pedro for the Postclassic and Historic periods (1350-1650 AD, which immediately follow the Classic period collapse. Stable carbon- and nitrogen-isotope ratios in collagen and stable carbon-isotope ratios in structural carbonate were analysed for bones from 65 humans and a wide variety of faunal species. There are no apparent differences in whole diets or degree of carnivory between individuals with lesions indicative of anemia and those without, but those with lesions appear to have consumed significantly more C4 foods and protein from lower trophic levels. Non-specific infection (periostitis and vitamin C deficiency (scurvy are also present in high frequencies and appear to co-occur with lesions indicative of anemia, particularly in childhood. Individuals with scurvy also appear to have consumed significantly more C4 foods than normal individuals. Spondyloarthropathy is common in adults. These findings are discussed in light of: (1 the debate on how anemia versus scurvy are manifest and diagnosed, (2 Spanish ethnohistoric descriptions of the poor state of Maya health at the time of contact, and (3 the Osteological Paradox. We suggest that although this coastal environment exacerbated morbidity because of possible parasitic infection, the inhabitants were probably able to survive physiological stresses better than either their inland contemporaries or their modern counterparts.

  7. Mangrove peat analysis and reconstruction of vegetation history at the Pelican Cays, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Faulkner, P.L.

    2000-01-01

    The substrate beneath mangrove forests in the Pelican Cays complex is predominately peat composed mainly of mangrove roots. Leaves and wood account for less than 20% of the peat mass. At Cat Cay, the depth of the peat ranges from 0.2 m along the shoreline to 1.65 m in the island center, indicating that the island has expanded horizontally as well as vertically through below-ground, biogenic processes. Mangrove roots thus play a critical role in the soil formation, vertical accretion, and stability of these mangrove cays. The species composition of fossil roots changes markedly with depth: Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) was the initial colonizer on a coral base, followed by Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), which increased in abundance and expanded radially from the center of the island. The center of the Avicennia stand ultimately died, leaving an unvegetated, shallow pond. The peat thus retains a record of mangrove development, succession, and deterioration in response to sea-level change and concomitant hydroedaphic conditions controlling dispersal, establishment, growth, and mortality of mangroves on oceanic islands in Belize.

  8. Saving face, losing life: obeah pregnancy and reproductive impropriety in Southern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maraesa, Aminata

    2012-01-01

    References to obeah pregnancy are widespread in southern Belize, where the belief in supernatural forces combines with Catholic teaching to create a conservative reproductive climate in which illegitimate pregnancy, reproductive misfortunes and maternal death are located in a discourse of shame. Obeah pregnancy is said to result when spiritual forces are unleashed through malicious human intent, causing bodily changes that resemble pregnancy. Death of the woman, however, usually occurs before prenatal confirmation; thus it is often unclear if an obeah pregnancy is a viable pregnancy or some other biomedical - or metaphysical - condition. This paper provides a case study of Petrona, whose story is unique in that she does not die from her purported obeah pregnancy; rather, she lives to bear the consequences of her reproductive behaviours that resulted in the stillbirth of a full-term foetus. Petrona was a traditional birth attendant who is trained to uphold biomedical antenatal protocols. Arguing that Petrona was not adequately educated to fulfill her own prenatal obligations, health care personnel sanctioned Petrona's midwifery practice and left her to process her 'shameful' situation. Ultimately, Petrona's story complicates the culturally disengaged narratives of maternal health and highlights the schism between medical knowledge and socioculturally influenced embodied experience. PMID:22085315

  9. A Summary of the 1999-2002 Seasons of Archaeological Investigations at Pook's Hill, Cayo District, Belize

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helmke, Christophe G.B.

    2006-01-01

    The following is a synopsis of the 1999 through 2002 seasons of archaeological investigations conducted at the site of Pook's Hill. The site's location and description precede an outline of the research objectives that have guided the investigations. Results of the first four seasons of investiga...... wider Late to Terminal Classic social processes in central Belize and the eastern Maya Lowlands generally........ Our investigations have revealed thar there is a notable diachronic and spatial patterning in ritual practices at Pook's Hill, as reflected in the material precipitates of such actions. Further study should offer insight into whether local and idiosyncratic patterns are manifest, or if it reflects...

  10. Lobster and Conch Fisheries of Belize: a History of Sequential Exploitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Huitric

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a historical review of the lobster and conch fisheries in Belize, Central America. In terms of yield and value, these are the main wild-caught targets of the national fisheries, a small-scale commercial fishery of around 3000 fishermen. Data were collected during interviews with key informants involved with the fisheries and through literature and archive research. The goal was to study how the fishing industry has responded to environmental signals from these resources and from their ecosystems and ecosystem dynamics. National yields for both lobster and conch have been relatively stable, however, individuals’ yields have been declining despite increased effort since the 1980s. This study concludes that the use of fossil fuel-based technology and organizational change, with the establishment of fishermen's cooperatives, have masked environmental signals. This masking, together with economic incentives, has led to the “pathology of resource use.” As a symptom of this pathology, four forms of sequential exploitation in these fisheries were identified. A major conclusion is that social resilience may not confer ecological resilience. The development of the cooperatives was needed in order to improve equity in the industry. Before their impacts could be assessed, this organizational change, together with new technology, led to very important and rapid changes in the industry. Together with existing regulations that allow de facto open access to lobster and conch, these changes resulted in a short-term boom that has resulted in the pathology of resource use, with over-capitalization and dependence on maintained yields, regardless of environmental feedback.

  11. Child health outcomes among Central American refugees and immigrants in Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, N; Stone, M C; Smith, J B

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of international migration, including refugee status, upon child health outcomes. Data were drawn from a survey conducted in 1989 in three settlements in Belize, Central America, that have a high proportion of refugees and economic immigrants living side-by-side with the local population. In two of the settlements, the entire population of mothers with children under 6 was interviewed; in the third settlement a two-thirds random sample was interviewed. Health history data were obtained for 255 children of 134 mothers, from whom sociodemographic data were also collected. The majority of children were born to Salvadoran or Guatemalan mothers, but native and naturalized Belizeans in the survey communities were included for comparison purposes. Migration, the exposure variable, was characterized by mother's residency/refugee legal status, nationality, and duration of time in country. Socioeconomic and proximate control variables were included as suggested by the Mosley-Chen framework. Despite normal birthweight averaging 3374 g, a large proportion of children are at the lowest percentiles of the weight-for-age curves (44% below the tenth percentile for the international reference population). A high incidence of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses (30% and 47% of children, respectively, having frequent episodes), and 50% of children with measles vaccination appropriate for age, indicate a population with high potential morbidity. Logistic regression was used to model the effects of migration on weight-for-age and frequency of diarrheal and respiratory tract episodes independent of socioeconomic and proximate factors, as suggested by the Mosley-Chen framework.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Porewater biogeochemistry and soil metabolism in dwarf red mangrove habitats (Twin Cays, Belize)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, R.Y.; Porubsky, W.P.; Feller, Ilka C.; McKee, K.L.; Joye, S.B.

    2008-01-01

    Seasonal variability in biogeochemical signatures was used to elucidate the dominant pathways of soil microbial metabolism and elemental cycling in an oligotrophic mangrove system. Three interior dwarf mangrove habitats (Twin Cays, Belize) where surface soils were overlain by microbial mats were sampled during wet and dry periods of the year. Porewater equilibration meters and standard biogeochemical methods provided steady-state porewater profiles of pH, chloride, sulfate, sulfide, ammonium, nitrate/nitrite, phosphate, dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, reduced iron and manganese, dissolved inorganic carbon, methane and nitrous oxide. During the wet season, the salinity of overlying pond water and shallow porewaters decreased. Increased rainwater infiltration through soils combined with higher tidal heights appeared to result in increased organic carbon inventories and more reducing soil porewaters. During the dry season, evaporation increased both surface water and porewater salinities, while lower tidal heights resulted in less reduced soil porewaters. Rainfall strongly influenced inventories of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, possibly due to more rapid decay of mangrove litter during the wet season. During both times of year, high concentrations of reduced metabolites accumulated at depth, indicating substantial rates of organic matter mineralization coupled primarily to sulfate reduction. Nitrous oxide and methane concentrations were supersaturated indicating considerable rates of nitrification and/or incomplete denitrification and methanogenesis, respectively. More reducing soil conditions during the wet season promoted the production of reduced manganese. Contemporaneous activity of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis was likely fueled by the presence of noncompetitive substrates. The findings indicate that these interior dwarf areas are unique sites of nutrient and energy regeneration and may be critical to the overall persistence

  13. Canopy interactions of rainfall in an off-shore mangrove ecosystem dominated by Rhizophora mangle (Belize)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofmann, Julia; Feller, Ilka C.

    2007-10-01

    SummaryBulk precipitation, throughfall and stemflow were collected to study anthropogenic effects on above-ground nutrient cycling in an off-shore mangrove forest ( Rhizophora mangle L.) on Twin Cays, Belize. Samples were collected in a nitrogen limited fringe and phosphorus limited dwarf zone, and from an adjacent nitrogen fertilized fringe and a phosphorus fertilized dwarf zone. Inorganic cations and anions, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) were analysed. Throughfall represented 84% of precipitation volume. Sea salt ions (Cl -, Na +, SO42- and Mg 2+) and DOC accounted for the highest proportion of solutes in rainwater, throughfall and stemflow in R. mangle stands. Non-marine sources dominated the flux of DON, DOC, NO3-, NH4+, and inorganic P (P i) in bulk precipitation and throughfall and partially contributed to Ca 2+ and K +. Deposition ratios (throughfall deposition:bulk deposition) showed that inorganic NH4+, and less so P i were retained in the canopy of R. mangle from throughfall while all other solutes increased. Canopy leaching contributed in increasing order to net throughfall of Ca 2+, Cl -, SO42-/K, Mg 2+ and Na + but dry deposition dominated the net throughfall flux during the investigated period. Fertilizer treatment and zone did only slightly affect solute concentrations of hot-water extracts of leaves, of throughfall and stemflow in stands of similar stature. While litterfall and primary production have previously been shown to increase substantially upon nutrient enrichment of mangroves we therefore conclude that fertilization, as a surrogate of anthropogenic eutrophication, may not increase nutrient leaching from mangrove canopies, and thus may only have a minor effect on soluble organic matter cycling and inputs into mangrove food webs.

  14. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis shows high genetic diversity and ecological niche specificity among haplotypes in the Maya Mountains of Belize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Kaiser

    Full Text Available The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has been implicated in amphibian declines around the globe. Although it has been found in most countries in Central America, its presence has never been assessed in Belize. We set out to determine the range, prevalence, and diversity of Bd using quantitative PCR (qPCR and sequencing of a portion of the 5.8 s and ITS1-2 regions. Swabs were collected from 524 amphibians of at least 26 species in the protected areas of the Maya Mountains of Belize. We sequenced a subset of 72 samples that had tested positive for Bd by qPCR at least once; 30 samples were verified as Bd. Eight unique Bd haplotypes were identified in the Maya Mountains, five of which were previously undescribed. We identified unique ecological niches for the two most broadly distributed haplotypes. Combined with data showing differing virulence shown in different strains in other studies, the 5.8 s - ITS1-2 region diversity found in this study suggests that there may be substantial differences among populations or haplotypes. Future work should focus on whether specific haplotypes for other genomic regions and possibly pathogenicity can be associated with haplotypes at this locus, as well as the integration of molecular tools with other ecological tools to elucidate the ecology and pathogenicity of Bd.

  15. A botanical inventory of forest on karstic limestone and metamorphic substrate in the Chiquibul Forest, Belize, with focus on woody taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baden, Maria; Särkinen, Tiina; Conde, Dalia Amor;

    2016-01-01

    The Chiquibul Forest Reserve and National Park in Belize is a priority conservation area within the ‘Maya Forest’ in Central America. Although taxonomic data are essential for the development of conservation plans in the region, there is limited knowledge of the existing species in the area. Here...

  16. Short communication: high prevalence of drug resistance in HIV type 1-infected children born in Honduras and Belize 2001 to 2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parham, Leda; de Rivera, Ivette Lorenzana; Murillo, Wendy; Naver, Lars; Largaespada, Natalia; Albert, Jan; Karlsson, Annika C

    2011-10-01

    Antiretroviral therapy has had a great impact on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1. However, development of drug resistance, which could be subsequently transmitted to the child, is a major concern. In Honduras and Belize the prevalence of drug resistance among HIV-1-infected children remains unknown. A total of 95 dried blood spot samples was obtained from HIV-1-infected, untreated children in Honduras and Belize born during 2001 to 2004, when preventive antiretroviral therapy was often suboptimal and consisted of monotherapy with nevirapine or zidovudine. Partial HIV-1 pol gene sequences were successfully obtained from 66 children (Honduras n=55; Belize n=11). Mutations associated with drug resistance were detected in 13% of the Honduran and 27% of the Belizean children. Most of the mutations detected in Honduras (43%) and all mutations detected in Belize were associated with resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which was expected from the wide use of nevirapine to prevent MTCT during the study period. In addition, although several mothers reported that they had not received antiretroviral therapy, mutations associated with resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors were found in Honduras. This suggests prior and unreported use of these drugs, or that these women had been infected with resistant virus. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, the presence of drug resistance-associated mutations in HIV-1-infected Honduran and Belizean children.

  17. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, Joseph E.; Courtney, Travis A.; Aichelman, Hannah E.; Davies, Sarah W.; Lima, Fernando P.; Castillo, Karl D.

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST) to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP), moderate (modTP), or high (highTP) temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012). Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were obtained for 13-years (2003–2015) as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold) played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals utilizing

  18. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Justin H; Townsend, Joseph E; Courtney, Travis A; Aichelman, Hannah E; Davies, Sarah W; Lima, Fernando P; Castillo, Karl D

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST) to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP), moderate (modTP), or high (highTP) temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012). Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015) as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold) played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals utilizing

  19. Mapping marine debris across coastal communities in Belize: developing a baseline for understanding the distribution of litter on beaches using geographic information systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett-Martin, Paulita; Visaggi, Christy C; Hawthorne, Timothy L

    2015-10-01

    Monitoring of marine debris (also known as marine litter) is an essential step in the process to eradicate ecological dangers in marine ecosystems caused by humans. This study examines marine debris in the Caribbean country of Belize using geographic information systems (GIS) to develop (1) a detailed data library for use on handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) units and tablets with mobile mapping applications for deployment in the field and (2) a freely available, online mapping portal to share data with Belizeans to encourage future citizen science efforts. Four diverse communities were targeted ranging from larger more populated towns, to smaller villages across central and southern Belize: San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Punta Gorda, and Monkey River. Fieldwork was conducted over 1 month, during which data points were collected in 50-m surveys followed by debris cleanup and removal. Features in our database included material, quantity, item, brand, and condition. Over 6000 pieces of debris were recorded in GIS for further analysis, and 299 gal of debris were removed from the shores of Belize. The most abundant form of debris observed was plastic (commonly bottles) across all locations; plastic comprised 77.6 % of all debris items observed. Through GIS, a detailed snapshot understanding of debris patterns across multiple settings in Belize was documented. Ongoing collaborations with local organizations in Belize have demonstrated significant interest and utility for such GIS approaches in analyzing and managing marine debris. The data, methodology, visual representations, and online mapping platform resulting from this research are a first step in directly supporting local Belizean community advocacy and policy, while contributing to larger institutional strategies for addressing marine debris issues in the Caribbean. PMID:27614957

  20. An Oxygen-18 Proxy Record of Recent Hurricanes in Belize: Speleothems as a new Tool for Paleotempestology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frappier, A.; Sahagian, D.

    2004-05-01

    The high winds, storm surge, and extreme precipitation produced by landfalling tropical cyclones (hurricanes and tropical storms) generate some of the most deadly and destructive natural disasters faced by coastal populations. Stakeholders such as coastal planners and developers, property owners, emergency planners, and (re)insurers are concerned about future risk from the most devastating events, particularly because significant changes in climatic boundary conditions have been projected for this century. However, historical tropical cyclone records are not sufficient to address the sensitivity of hurricane intensity to projected changes, and modeling exercises have as yet been unable to settle the debate. Consequently, paleotempestologists have turned to the geologic record for more information about past hurricane activity that could be used to improve forward models. Toward that end, we have developed a new proxy for individual tropical cyclone rainfall events using very high-resolution δ 18O analyses of speleothem calcite. This proxy is based on the depleted isotopic signature of tropical cyclone rainfall compared to other summer season meteoric waters. We applied recent developments in microsampling techniques to a rapidly growing speleothem from Belize, Central America. The resulting record (20 micron sampling interval, yielding ~weekly temporal resolution) allowed us to detect individual, historical tropical cyclone events over the last three decades. The speleothem δ 18O paleotempestology proxy facilitates very accurate estimates of the time between tropical cyclone events: the proxy was able to resolve two hurricanes that struck Belize in the same year. The recurrence interval (RI) we estimated using the speleothem hurricane record agrees closely with the RI published for the same period by the Belize Meteorological Service. Preliminary work indicates that the δ 18O storm signal preserved in speleothem calcite carries some information about the local

  1. Changing perspectives on community identity and function: A remote sensing and artifactual re-analysis of Barton Ramie, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Errin Teresa

    This dissertation presents the results of the remote sensing and artifact re-analysis of the archaeological site of Barton Ramie, Belize. The site was the focus of Dr. Gordon R. Willey's innovative archaeological program in the Belize River Valley to study ancient Maya settlement, environment, and population in 1954-1956. Through the use of artifact analysis combined with the examination of high-resolution Worldview-1 imagery and a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based spatial analysis, I consider how the inhabitants of Barton Ramie forged community functioning and identity. I focus on the range of intra-site diversity including differential access to labor, goods, land, and the activities evidenced in households and non-domestic structures. Using a community theory framework, emphasizing the many practices that tied the community together, I underscore the variability expressed in architectural elaboration, sumptuary goods, ritual, and specialization. That variability has profound implications for understanding community diversity and economic, social, and ritual functioning. High-resolution panchromatic Worldview-1 satellite imagery successfully detected the remains of Barton Ramie settlement. Surface archaeology has been largely destroyed due to extensive agricultural activities in recent decades. GIS analysis and ground-truthing determined that mound size is the primary factor enabling detection of ancient features. The confirmation of features in an intensively plowed environment has implications including settlement, survey, and population for other disturbed environments. I argue that the Barton Ramie community developed from a complex interaction of networks and practices. These include activities at the household level, articulation between households to form sub-communities (or neighborhoods), and a larger imagined community of the Barton Ramie polity. Individual households articulated to form seven discrete sub-communities, bounded by landscape

  2. Population genetics of the understory fishtail palm Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti in Belize: high genetic connectivity with local differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Meredith M

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Developing a greater understanding of population genetic structure in lowland tropical plant species is highly relevant to our knowledge of increasingly fragmented forests and to the conservation of threatened species. Specific studies are particularly needed for taxa whose population dynamics are further impacted by human harvesting practices. One such case is the fishtail or xaté palm (Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti of Central America, whose wild-collected leaves are becoming progressively more important to the global ornamental industry. We use microsatellite markers to describe the population genetics of this species in Belize and test the effects of climate change and deforestation on its recent and historical effective population size. Results We found high levels of inbreeding coupled with moderate or high allelic diversity within populations. Overall high gene flow was observed, with a north and south gradient and ongoing differentiation at smaller spatial scales. Immigration rates among populations were more difficult to discern, with minimal evidence for isolation by distance. We infer a tenfold reduction in effective population size ca. 10,000 years ago, but fail to detect changes attributable to Mayan or contemporary deforestation. Conclusion Populations of C. ernesti-augusti are genetically heterogeneous demes at a local spatial scale, but are widely connected at a regional level in Belize. We suggest that the inferred patterns in population genetic structure are the result of the colonization of this species into Belize following expansion of humid forests in combination with demographic and mating patterns. Within populations, we hypothesize that low aggregated population density over large areas, short distance pollen dispersal via thrips, low adult survival, and low fruiting combined with early flowering may contribute towards local inbreeding via genetic drift. Relatively high levels of regional connectivity

  3. Carbon cycle dynamics and solar activity embedded in a high-resolution 14C speleothem record from Belize, Central America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechleitner, Franziska A.; Breitenbach, Sebastian F. M.; McIntyre, Cameron; Asmerom, Yemane; Prufer, Keith M.; Polyak, Victor; Culleton, Brendan J.; Kennett, Douglas J.; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Baldini, James U. L.

    2015-04-01

    Speleothem 14C has recently emerged as a potentially powerful proxy for climate reconstruction. Several studies have highlighted the link between karst hydrology and speleothem 14C content, and a number of possible causes for this relationship have been proposed, such as dripwater flow dynamics in the karst and changes in soil organic matter (SOM) turnover time (e.g. Griffiths et al., 2012). Here we present a high resolution 14C record for a stalagmite (YOK-I) from Yok Balum cave in southern Belize, Central America. YOK-I grew continuously over the last 2000 years, and has been dated very precisely with the U-Th method (40 dates, mean uncertainty ventilation and hydrologic resilience to seismic activity, Journal of Cave and Karst Studies

  4. Monitoring Compliance to Promote Quality Assurance: Development of a Mental Health Clinical Chart Audit Tool in Belize, 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winer, Rachel A; Bennett, Eleanor; Murillo, Illouise; Schuetz-Mueller, Jan; Katz, Craig L

    2015-09-01

    Belize trained psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) in the early 1990s to provide mental health services throughout the country. Despite overwhelming success, the program is limited by lack of monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance. To promote quality assurance, we developed a chart audit tool to monitor mental healthcare delivery compliance for initial psychiatric assessment notes completed by PNPs. After reviewing the Belize Health Information System electronic medical record system, we developed a clinical audit tool to capture 20 essential components for initial assessment clinical notes. The audit tool was then piloted for initial assessment notes completed during July through September of 2013. One hundred and thirty-four initial psychiatric interviews were audited. The average chart score among all PNPs was 9.57, ranging from 3 to 15. Twenty-three charts-or 17.2%-had a score of 14 or higher and met a 70% compliance benchmark goal. Among indicators most frequently omitted included labs ordered and named (15.7%) and psychiatric diagnosis (21.6%). Explicit statement of medications initiated with dose and frequency occurred in 47.0% of charts. Our findings provide direction for training and improvement, such as emphasizing the importance of naming labs ordered, medications and doses prescribed, and psychiatric diagnoses in initial assessment clinical notes. We hope this initial assessment helps enhance mental health delivery compliance by prompting creation of BHIS templates, development of audits tools for revisit follow-up visits, and establishment of corrective actions for low-scoring practitioners. These efforts may serve as a model for implementing quality assurance programming in other low resource settings. PMID:25829167

  5. A Multi-Tier Social-Ecological System Analysis of Protected Areas Co-Management in Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenrick W. Williams

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Co-management of protected areas has been recognized as a viable option to sustainably manage ecosystems. This collaborative approach actively engages civil society in the protected areas governance processes. Attempts at co-management, however, have not been uniformly successful; whereas the governance of some initiatives succeed and become strong and sustainable, others become weak or fail over time. In this paper, we provide a nuanced application of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework to carry out a systematic analysis of representative cases of co-management in Belize. This novel approach allows us to avoid the common problem of overstating the explanatory power of individual variables, while enabling us to tease out the interrelationships among critical process and contextual variables that may influence co-management outcomes. Our findings show that strong co-management is associated with a multiplicity of variables, including information sharing, conflict resolution, investments, self-organization, and networking. Contextual conditions inclusive of strong leadership, social capital, and high levels of dependence on resources for daily livelihoods seem to have influenced these processes over time. The presence of cross-scale and cross-level networks also seems to be important in influencing co-management outcomes. Our study contributes to the further development of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework by proposing the addition of five new third-tier variables. We advance some key lessons in the analysis of co-management outcomes and offer some policy recommendations to improve protected areas co-management policy and practice in Belize.

  6. Feeding preferences of West Indian manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico as indicated by stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D.; Worthy, Graham A.J.; Bonde, Robert K.

    2010-01-01

    The endangered West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus has 2 recognized subspecies: the Florida T. m. latirostris and Antillean T. m. manatus manatee, both of which are found in freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats. A better understanding of manatee feeding preferences and habitat use is essential to establish criteria on which conservation plans can be based. Skin from manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico, as well as aquatic vegetation from their presumed diet, were analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. This is the first application of stable isotope analysis to Antillean manatees. Stable isotope ratios for aquatic vegetation differed by plant type (freshwater, estuarine, and marine), collection location, and in one instance, season. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for manatee skin differed between collection location and in one instance, season, but did not differ between sex or age class. Signatures in the skin of manatees sampled in Belize and Puerto Rico indicated a diet composed primarily of seagrasses, whereas those of Florida manatees exhibited greater regional variation. Mixing model results indicated that manatees sampled from Crystal River and Homosassa Springs (Florida, USA) ate primarily freshwater vegetation, whereas manatees sampled from Big Bend Power Plant, Ten Thousand Islands, and Warm Mineral Springs (Florida) fed primarily on seagrasses. Possible diet-tissue discrimination values for 15N were estimated to range from 1.0 to 1.5 per mil. Stable isotope analysis can be used to interpret manatee feeding behavior over a long period of time, specifically the use of freshwater vegetation versus seagrasses, and can aid in identifying critical habitats and improving conservation efforts.

  7. Nano particles as the primary cause for long-term sunlight suppression at high southern latitudes following the Chicxulub impact - evidence from ejecta deposits in Belize and Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vajda, Vivi; Ocampo, Adriana; Ferrow, Embaie;

    2015-01-01

    Life on Earth was sharply disrupted 66 Ma ago as an asteroid hit the sea-floor in what is today Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Approximately 600 km3 of sedimentary rock were vapourized, ejected into the atmosphere and subsequently deposited globally as an ejecta apron and fallout layer. Proximal ejecta...... deposits occur in Belize and southern Mexico where the so called Albion island spheroid bed is superimposed on the target rock (the Barton Creek Formation). We analysed the spheroid bed via Mössbauer spectroscopy, petrology, XRD, and palynology at several sites ~ 350-500 km distance from the crater centre....... Our results show that the relative concentrations of Fe in nano-phase goethite (α-FeOOH) are very high in the spheroid bed samples from Albion Island (Belize) and from Ramonal South (Mexico), but are low to absent in the spheroid bed at Ramonal North, and in the Cretaceous target rock. Moreover, our...

  8. Metamorphic evolution and U-Pb zircon SHRIMP geochronology of the Belizário ultramafic amphibolite, Encantadas Complex, southernmost Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    LÉO A. HARTMANN; João O. S Santos; Jayme A.D. Leite; Carla C. Porcher; McNaughton, Neal J.

    2003-01-01

    The integrated investigation of metamorphism and zircon U-Pb SHRIMP geochronology of the Belizário ultramafic amphibolite from southernmost Brazil leads to a better understanding of the processes involved in the generation of the Encantadas Complex. Magmatic evidence of the magnesian basalt or pyroxenite protolith is only preserved in cores of zircon crystals, which are dated at 2257 ± 12 Ma. Amphibolite facies metamorphism M1 formed voluminous hornblende in the investigated rock possibly at ...

  9. Ancient Maya Regional Settlement and Inter-Site Analysis: The 2013 West-Central Belize LiDAR Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arlen F. Chase

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available During April and May 2013, a total of 1057 km2 of LiDAR was flown by NCALM for a consortium of archaeologists working in West-central Belize, making this the largest surveyed area within the Mayan lowlands. Encompassing the Belize Valley and the Vaca Plateau, West-central Belize is one of the most actively researched parts of the Maya lowlands; however, until this effort, no comprehensive survey connecting all settlement had been conducted. Archaeological projects have investigated at least 18 different sites within this region. Thus, a large body of archaeological research provides both the temporal and spatial parameters for the varied ancient Maya centers that once occupied this area; importantly, these data can be used to help interpret the collected LiDAR data. The goal of the 2013 LiDAR campaign was to gain information on the distribution of ancient Maya settlement and sites on the landscape and, particularly, to determine how the landscape was used between known centers. The data that were acquired through the 2013 LiDAR campaign have significance for interpreting both the composition and limits of ancient Maya political units. This paper presents the initial results of these new data and suggests a developmental model for ancient Maya polities.

  10. Evolution in the Caribbean Classroom: A critical analysis of the role of biology teachers and science standards in shaping evolution instruction in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elvis Enrique; Pringle, Rose M.; Showalter, Kevin Tyler

    2012-10-01

    A survey of the literature on evolution instruction provides evidence that teachers' personal views and understandings can shape instructional approaches and content delivered in science classrooms regardless of established science standards. This study is the first to quantify evolutionary worldviews of in-service teachers in the Caribbean, specifically in Belize, an English-speaking nation with a high school system guided by a regional biology syllabus and strict standardized tests. Using the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument and knowledge test, we investigated (1) the current level of acceptance and understanding of evolution as given by 97% of high school biology teachers in Belize; (2) the factors associated with acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory. With an average MATE score of 64.4 and a mean knowledge score of 47.9%, Belizean teachers were classified as having both 'Low Acceptance' and 'Low Understanding' of evolutionary theory. A positive correlation was found between teacher acceptance and understanding of evolution. A review of the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate biology syllabus suggests that evolution plays a minimal role in the high school biology classroom. We believe that Belize presents a unique opening for future training on evolution instruction since 57% of the biology teachers self-proclaim to be unprepared to teach evolution. The results of this study have implications for policy, practice and research with teachers' acceptance, understanding and confidence in teaching evolution serving as important predictors for instructional approaches used in the biology classroom.

  11. The dorsal chaetotaxy of Trogolaphysa (Collembola, Paronellidae, with descriptions of two new species from caves in Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Soto-Adames

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Species diagnosis in Trogolaphysa has been based, until now, almost exclusively on number of eyes and shape of claws and mucro. Chaetotaxy, a character system important to diagnose species in other genera of scaled Entomobryoidea, has been described only for a few Trogolaphysa species. Here the complete dorsal chaetotaxy of six species of Trogolaphysa is described using the AMS and Szeptycki’s systems for head and body, respectively. A morphology-based parsimony analysis was performed to evaluate whether chaetotaxic characters overcome the influence of putatively cave adaptive convergent characters to resolve species level relationships, and to evaluate the evolution of the dorsal macrochaetae of the head. Phylogenetic analysis using only putative cave-adaptive characters support clades of unrelated taxa, but the addition of chaetotaxy overcomes the influence of convergent characters. A phylogeny based on all characters supports a trend towards reduced head macrochaetae number. Head macrochaetae are lost beginning with A3 and followed, in order, by S5, S3 and M3. In addition, a checklist of New World Trogolaphysa is provided and two new species, Trogolaphysa giordanoae sp. n. and Trogolaphysa jacobyi sp. n., are described on the basis of material collected in six caves in southern Belize.

  12. a Review of Late Holocene Fluvial Systems in the Karst Maya Lowlands with Focus on the Rio Bravo, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, T.; Luzzadder-Beach, S.; Krause, S.; Doyle, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Maya Lowlands is mostly an internally draining karst region with about 400 m of regional relief. Fluvial and fluviokarst systems drain the edges of this landscape either from low limestone uplands or igneous and metamorphic complexes. Thus far most fluvial research has focused around archaeology projects, and here we review the extant research conducted across the region and new research on the transboundary Rio Bravo watershed of Belize and Guatemala. The Rio Bravo drains a largely old growth tropical forest today, but was partly deforested around ancient Maya cities and farms from 3,000 to 1000 BP. Several studies estimate that 30 to 40 percent of forest survived through the Maya period. Work here has focused on soils and sediment movement along slope catenas, in floodplain sites, and on contributions from groundwater with high dissolved loads of sulfate and calcium. We review radiocarbon dates and present new dates and soil stratigraphy from these sequences to date slope and floodplain movement, and we estimate ancient land use from carbon isotopic and pollen evidence. Aggradation in this watershed occurred by flooding, gypsum precipitation, upland erosion, and ancient Maya canal building and filling for wetland farming. Soil erosion and aggradation started at least by 3,000 BP and continued through the ancient Maya period, though reduced locally by soil conservation, post urban construction, and source reduction, especially in Maya Classic period from 1700 to 1000 BP.

  13. A likely case of scurvy in a rural Early Classic Maya burial from Actun Uayazba Kab, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrobel, Gabriel

    2014-11-01

    A Maya burial of a late adolescent (Burial 98-3) found in the rockshelter entrance of Actun Uayazba Kab (AUK), Belize, displays a combination of lesions that is consistent with scurvy. Signs include large, active lesions on the posterior surfaces of maxilla; relatively mild porotic hyperostosis along the midline of the skull on the parietals and occipital; cribra orbitalia; potential pinprick lesions on the greater wings of sphenoid and temporal; reactive lesions on the palate, temporal lines of frontal and parietals, and external and internal surfaces of zygomatics; small lesions on the popliteal surfaces of both femora; and periodontal disease. Identification of scurvy at AUK potentially informs the analysis of other primary burials and scattered bone found there and at other nearby sites, which often reveal evidence of nonspecific lesions that are usually attributed to anemia and infection, but that are also consistent with scurvy. The social and ecological context of this Protoclassic (0-AD 300) individual, who lived in a rural agricultural community with no evidence of complex social hierarchy, contrasts with typical discussions of disease among the Maya, which tend to focus on the degrading effects of overcrowding and resource deficiencies. While scurvy has been largely overlooked in the Maya area, this study supports earlier arguments for its presence that were based largely on clinical and ethnographic analogies and suggests the need to incorporate scurvy into broader synergistic models of ancient health.

  14. A "coca-cola" shape: cultural change, body image, and eating disorders in San Andrés, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Fye, Eileen P

    2004-12-01

    Eating disorders have been associated with developing nations undergoing rapid social transition, including participation in a global market economy and heavy media exposure. San Andrés, Belize, a community with many risk factors associated with the cross-cultural development of eating disorders, has shown remarkable resistance to previously documented patterns, despite a local focus on female beauty. Drawing on longitudinal person-centered ethnography with adolescent girls, this article examines why this community appears exceptional in light of the literature. First, community beauty and body image ideals and practices are explicated. Then, a protective ethnopsychology is proposed as a key mediating factor of the rapid socio-cultural change among young women. Finally, possible nascent cases of eating disordered behavior are discussed in light of their unique phenomenology: that is, having to do more with economic opportunity in the tourism industry and less with personal distress or desire for thinness. Close, meaning-centered examination of eating and body image practices may aid understanding and prevention of eating disorders among adolescents undergoing rapid social change in situations of globalization and immigration.

  15. A likely case of scurvy in a rural Early Classic Maya burial from Actun Uayazba Kab, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrobel, Gabriel

    2014-11-01

    A Maya burial of a late adolescent (Burial 98-3) found in the rockshelter entrance of Actun Uayazba Kab (AUK), Belize, displays a combination of lesions that is consistent with scurvy. Signs include large, active lesions on the posterior surfaces of maxilla; relatively mild porotic hyperostosis along the midline of the skull on the parietals and occipital; cribra orbitalia; potential pinprick lesions on the greater wings of sphenoid and temporal; reactive lesions on the palate, temporal lines of frontal and parietals, and external and internal surfaces of zygomatics; small lesions on the popliteal surfaces of both femora; and periodontal disease. Identification of scurvy at AUK potentially informs the analysis of other primary burials and scattered bone found there and at other nearby sites, which often reveal evidence of nonspecific lesions that are usually attributed to anemia and infection, but that are also consistent with scurvy. The social and ecological context of this Protoclassic (0-AD 300) individual, who lived in a rural agricultural community with no evidence of complex social hierarchy, contrasts with typical discussions of disease among the Maya, which tend to focus on the degrading effects of overcrowding and resource deficiencies. While scurvy has been largely overlooked in the Maya area, this study supports earlier arguments for its presence that were based largely on clinical and ethnographic analogies and suggests the need to incorporate scurvy into broader synergistic models of ancient health. PMID:25105478

  16. Mangrove removal in the belize cays: effects on mangrove-associated fish assemblages in the intertidal and subtidal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, D.S.; Reyier, E.A.; Davis, W.P.; McIvor, C.C.

    2007-01-01

    We investigated the effects of mangrove cutting on fish assemblages in Twin Cays, Belize, in two habitat types. We conducted visual censuses at two sites in adjoining undisturbed/disturbed (30%–70% of shoreline fringe removed) sub-tidal fringing Rhizophora mangle Linnaeus, 1753. Observers recorded significantly more species and individuals in undisturbed sites, especially among smaller, schooling species (e.g., atherinids, clupeids), where densities were up to 200 times greater in undisturbed habitat. Multivariate analyses showed distinct species assemblages between habitats at both sites. In addition, extensive trapping with wire minnow traps within the intertidal zone in both undisturbed and disturbed fringing and transition (landward) mangrove forests was conducted. Catch rates were low: 638 individuals from 24 species over 563 trap-nights. Trap data, however, indicated that mangrove disturbance had minimal effect on species composition in either forest type (fringe/transition). Different results from the two methods (and habitat types) may be explained by two factors: (1) a larger and more detectable species pool in the subtidal habitat, with visual "access" to all species, and (2) the selective nature of trapping. Our data indicate that even partial clearing of shoreline and more landward mangroves can have a significant impact on local fish assemblages.

  17. The role of boundary organizations in co-management: examining the politics of knowledge integration in a marine protected area in Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noella J. Gray

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine protected areas (MPAs are an increasingly popular tool for management of the marine commons. Effective governance is essential if MPAs are to achieve their objectives, yet many MPAs face conflicts and governance challenges, including lack of trust and knowledge integration between fishers, scientists, and policy makers. This paper considers the role of a boundary organization in facilitating knowledge integration in a co-managed MPA, the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve in Belize. Boundary organizations can play an important role in resource management, by bridging the science-policy divide, facilitating knowledge integration, and enabling communication in conditions of uncertainty. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Belize, the paper identifies four challenges for knowledge integration. First, actors have divergent perspectives on whether and how knowledge is being integrated. Second, actors disagree on resource conditions within the MPA and how these should be understood. Third, in order to maintain accountability with multiple actors, including fishers, government, and funders, the boundary organization has promoted the importance of different types of knowledge for different purposes (science and fishers’ knowledge, rather than the integration of these. Finally, a lack of trust and uneven power relations make it difficult to separate knowledge claims from political claims. However, even if knowledge integration proves difficult, boundary organizations may still play an important role by maintaining accountability, providing space for conflicting understandings to co-exist, and ultimately for governance institutions to evolve.

  18. Agreement between the Government of Belize and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The document reproduces the text of an agreement by exchange of letters with Belize in connection with the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The agreement was approved by the Board of Governors on 18 March 1997 and entered into force on that date

  19. Dietary habits of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, in mangrove ponds of an offshore islet in Belize, Central America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amandine Vaslet

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Foraging habitats of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther, 1862, were investigated in two mangrove ponds located in Twin Cays offshore islet in Belize: Sink Hole pond (SH and Hidden Lake pond (HL. Sink Hole pond is a semiclosed body of water, whereas Hidden Lake pond is connected by a channel to adjacent seagrass beds that surround the islet. Gut contents of 21 juvenile C. urophthalmus (9.8-13.2 cm total length were analyzed, and five prey taxa were identified. In both mangrove ponds, C. urophthalmus were opportunistic carnivores and consumed primarily crustaceans. Plant material and detritus present in gut contents were most likely ingested incidentally when the fish foraged on small invertebrates. Carbon isotopic values of fish specimens from the two ponds were similar (mean ± SD of -19.2 ± 0.4‰ in SH and -19.4 ± 0.4‰ in HL, and were close to those of mangrove prey (mean ± SD = -20.2 ± 1.5‰, suggesting that this fish species forages in this habitat. Mixing models showed a higher contribution of mangrove food sources to the fish diet than seagrass food sources. This study reveals that young Mayan cichlids, inhabiting two Belize mangrove ponds, are generalists and opportunistic carnivores that forage on mangrove food sources and do not appear to move to adjacent seagrass beds to complement their diets. Understanding trophic linkages between aquatic consumers and food resources may contribute to better management of threatened coastal ecosystems.Habitats de alimentação de juvenis do ciclídeo-maia, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther, 1862, foram investigados em duas lagoas de mangue localizadas nas ilhas Twin Cays em alto mar em Belize: Sink Hole Lake (SH e Hidden Lake (HL. Sink Hole é um corpo d'água parcialmente isolado, enquanto Hidden Lake é ligada por um canal com bancos de sargaços que cercam a ilhota. O conteúdo estomacal de 21 juvenil de C. urophthalmus (9,8-13,2 cm de comprimento total foram

  20. Isotopic and geochemical evolution of ground and surface waters in a karst dominated geological setting: a case study from Belize, Central America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analysis of stable isotopes and major ions in groundwater and surface waters in Belize, Central America was carried out to identify processes that may affect drinking water quality. Belize has a subtropical rainforest/savannah climate with a varied landscape composed predominantly of carbonate rocks and clastic sediments. Stable oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δD) isotope ratios for surface and groundwater have a similar range and show high d-excess (10-40.8%o). The high d-excess in water samples suggest secondary continental vapor flux mixing with incoming vapor from the Caribbean Sea. Model calculations indicate that moisture derived from continental evaporation contributes 13% to overhead vapor load. In surface and groundwater, concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) ranged from 5.4 to 112.9 mg C/l and δ13CDIC ranged from -7.4 to -17.4%o. SO42, Ca2+ and Mg2+ in the water samples ranged from 2-163, 2-6593 and 2-90 mg/l, respectively. The DIC and δ13CDIC indicate both open and closed system carbonate evolution. Combined δ13CDIC and Ca2+, Mg2+, and SO42- suggest additional groundwater evolution by gypsum dissolution and calcite precipitation. The high SO42-content of some water samples indicates regional geologic control on water quality. Similarity in the range of δ18O, δD and δ13CDIC for surface waters and groundwater used for drinking water supply is probably due to high hydraulic conductivities of the karstic aquifers. The results of this study indicate rapid recharge of groundwater aquifers, groundwater influence on surface water chemistry and the potential of surface water to impact groundwater quality and vise versa

  1. Agreement between the Government of Belize and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Agreement between the Government of Belize and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was approved by the Agency's Board of Governors on 19 February 1986 and signed in Vienna on 8 July 1991 and in New York on 13 August 1992; the Protocol hereto was signed in New York on 13 August 1992 and in Vienna on 2 September 1992. The Agreement entered into, force on 21 January 1997. The present documents contains two parts: Part I stipulates the agreement of Belize to accept safeguards on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Part II specifies the procedures to be applied in the implementation of the safeguards provisions of part one

  2. A late Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction from Agua Caliente, southern Belize, linked to regional climate variability and cultural change at the Maya polity of Uxbenká

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Megan K.; Prufer, Keith M.; Culleton, Brendan J.; Kennett, Douglas J.

    2014-07-01

    We report high-resolution macroscopic charcoal, pollen and sedimentological data for Agua Caliente, a freshwater lagoon located in southern Belize, and infer a late Holocene record of human land-use/climate interactions for the nearby prehistoric Maya center of Uxbenká. Land-use activities spanning the initial clearance of forests for agriculture through the drought-linked Maya collapse and continuing into the historic recolonization of the region are all reflected in the record. Human land alteration in association with swidden agriculture is evident early in the record during the Middle Preclassic starting ca. 2600 cal yr BP. Fire slowly tapered off during the Late and Terminal Classic, consistent with the gradual political demise and depopulation of the Uxbenká polity sometime between ca. 1150 and 950 cal yr BP, during a period of multiple droughts evident in a nearby speleothem record. Fire activity was at its lowest during the Maya Postclassic ca. 950-430 cal yr BP, but rose consistent with increasing recolonization of the region between ca. 430 cal yr BP and present. These data suggest that this environmental record provides both a proxy for 2800 years of cultural change, including colonization, growth, decline, and reorganization of regional populations, and an independent confirmation of recent paleoclimate reconstructions from the same region.

  3. Noninvasive individual and species identification of jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Belize, Central America using cross-species microsatellites and faecal DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wultsch, Claudia; Waits, Lisette P; Kelly, Marcella J

    2014-11-01

    There is a great need to develop efficient, noninvasive genetic sampling methods to study wild populations of multiple, co-occurring, threatened felids. This is especially important for molecular scatology studies occurring in challenging tropical environments where DNA degrades quickly and the quality of faecal samples varies greatly. We optimized 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci for jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and assessed their utility for cross-species amplification. Additionally, we tested their reliability for species and individual identification using DNA from faeces of wild felids detected by a scat detector dog across Belize in Central America. All microsatellite loci were successfully amplified in the three target species, were polymorphic with average expected heterozygosities of HE = 0.60 ± 0.18 (SD) for jaguars, HE = 0.65 ± 0.21 (SD) for pumas and HE = 0.70 ± 0.13 (SD) for ocelots and had an overall PCR amplification success of 61%. We used this nuclear DNA primer set to successfully identify species and individuals from 49% of 1053 field-collected scat samples. This set of optimized microsatellite multiplexes represents a powerful tool for future efforts to conduct noninvasive studies on multiple, wild Neotropical felids. PMID:24751217

  4. Hunting, swimming, and worshiping: human cultural practices illuminate the blood meal sources of cave dwelling Chagas vectors (Triatoma dimidiata in Guatemala and Belize.

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    Lori Stevens

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Triatoma dimidiata, currently the major Central American vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, inhabits caves throughout the region. This research investigates the possibility that cave dwelling T. dimidiata might transmit the parasite to humans and links the blood meal sources of cave vectors to cultural practices that differ among locations.We determined the blood meal sources of twenty-four T. dimidiata collected from two locations in Guatemala and one in Belize where human interactions with the caves differ. Blood meal sources were determined by cloning and sequencing PCR products amplified from DNA extracted from the vector abdomen using primers specific for the vertebrate 12S mitochondrial gene. The blood meal sources were inferred by ≥ 99% identity with published sequences. We found 70% of cave-collected T. dimidiata positive for human DNA. The vectors had fed on 10 additional vertebrates with a variety of relationships to humans, including companion animal (dog, food animals (pig, sheep/goat, wild animals (duck, two bat, two opossum species and commensal animals (mouse, rat. Vectors from all locations fed on humans and commensal animals. The blood meal sources differ among locations, as well as the likelihood of feeding on dog and food animals. Vectors from one location were tested for T. cruzi infection, and 30% (3/10 tested positive, including two positive for human blood meals.Cave dwelling Chagas disease vectors feed on humans and commensal animals as well as dog, food animals and wild animals. Blood meal sources were related to human uses of the caves. We caution that just as T. dimidiata in caves may pose an epidemiological risk, there may be other situations where risk is thought to be minimal, but is not.

  5. Morfología y representatividad de la vivienda histórica en la frontera México-Belice: algunas notas. Morphology and representativeness of historical housing in the border of Mexico-Belize: some notes. Morfologia e representatividade da moradia histórica na fronteira México-Belize: algumas anotações.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín Manuel Checa Artasu

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo analiza la vivienda histórica de la frontera de México con Belice. Este es fruto de un proceso de simbiosis arquitectónica entre la casa maya, modelo vernáculo de esta área, y el modelo de bungaló, propio de la colonización británica. Esta arquitectura se desarrolla por los conflictos políticos y cambios económicos y sociales acontecidos en la zona en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, que obligan al traslado de poblaciones a ambos lados de esta frontera. Se trata de una arquitectura habitacional que deviene elemento protagónico en el paisaje para explicar el proceso de ocupación humana dado en este espacio geográfico y su evolución socioeconómica, y que mantiene, hoy en día, numerosos ejemplos. This paper analyzes the historic housing of Mexico’s border with Belize. This is the result of a process of symbiosis between Mayan home architecture, vernacular model of this area, and the model bungalow, typical of British colonization. This architecture is developed by political conflicts and socio economical changes that occurred in the area during the second half of the twentieth century, which force the transfer of populations on both sides of the border. This is a residential architecture that becomes key feature in the landscape to explain the process of human occupation in this area given its geographical space and its socio-economic evolution that maintains a variety of examples nowadays. Este trabalho analisa a moradia histórica na fronteira entre México e Belize. Ele é fruto der um processo de simbiose arquitetônica entre a moradia maia, modelo vernáculo de esta região, e o modelo do bangalô, próprio da colonização britânica. Esta arquitetura é desenvolvida pelos conflitos políticos e as mudanças econômicas e sociais acontecidas na zona na segunda metade do século que obrigam ao traslado de povoados a ambos os lados da fronteira. Trata-se de uma arquitetura habitacional que devém um elemento

  6. Sustaining Rainforest Plants, People and Global Health: A Model for Learning from Traditions in Holistic Health Promotion and Community Based Conservation as Implemented by Q’eqchi’ Maya Healers, Maya Mountains, Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Sanchez-Vindas

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The present work showcases a model for holistic, sustainable healthcare in indigenous communities worldwide through the implementation of traditional healing practices. The implementation of this model promotes public health and community wellness while addressing crucially important themes such as in situ and ex situ conservation of medicinal plant resources and associated biodiversity, generational transmission of knowledge, and the preservation of biological and cultural diversity for future generations. Being envisaged and implemented by Q’eqchi’ Maya traditional healers of the southern Maya Mountains, Belize, this model can be replicated in other communities worldwide. A ethnobotany study in collaboration with these healers led to collection of 102 medicinal species from Itzama, their traditional healing cultural center and medicinal garden. Of these 102 species, 40 of prior reported 106 consensus study plants were present in the garden. There were 62 plants not previously reported growing in the garden as well. A general comparison of these plants was also made in relation to species reported in TRAMIL network, Caribbean Herbal Pharmacopoeia (CHP, the largest regional medicinal pharmacopoeia. A relative few species reported here were found in the CHP. However, the majority of the CHP plants are common in Belize and many are used by the nearby Mopan and Yucatec Maya. Since these 102 species are relied upon heavily in local primary healthcare, this Q’eqchi’ Maya medicinal garden represents possibilities toward novel sustainable, culturally relative holistic health promotion and community based conservation practices.

  7. Metamorphic evolution and U-Pb zircon SHRIMP geochronology of the Belizário ultramafic amphibolite, Encantadas Complex, southernmost Brazil

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    Léo A. Hartmann

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available The integrated investigation of metamorphism and zircon U-Pb SHRIMP geochronology of the Belizário ultramafic amphibolite from southernmost Brazil leads to a better understanding of the processes involved in the generation of the Encantadas Complex. Magmatic evidence of the magnesian basalt or pyroxenite protolith is only preserved in cores of zircon crystals, which are dated at 2257 ± 12 Ma. Amphibolite facies metamorphism M1 formed voluminous hornblende in the investigated rock possibly at 1989 ± 21 Ma. This ultramafic rock was re-metamorphosed at 702±21 Ma during a greenschist facies eventM2; the assemblage actinolite + oligoclase + microcline + epidote + titanite + monazite formed by alteration of hornblende. The metamorphic events are probably related to the Encantadas Orogeny (2257±12 Ma and Camboriú Orogeny (~ 1989 Ma of the Trans-Amazonian Cycle, followed by an orogenic event (702±21 Ma of the Brasiliano Cycle. The intervening cratonic period (2000-700 Ma corresponds to the existence of the Supercontinent Atlantica, known regionally as the Rio de la Plata Craton.O entendimento dos processos evolutivos do Complexo Encantadas no sul do Brasil foi aperfeiçoado através do estudo integrado do metamorfismo de um anfibolito ultramáfico e da geocronologia U-Pb SHRIMP de zircão. Os núcleos herdados de alguns cristais de zircão tem idades em torno de 2257 ±12 Ma e constituem a única evidência preservada do protólito ígneo, que pode ter sido um basalto magnesiano ou um piroxenito. O metamorfismo M de fácies anfibolito formou abundante hornblenda na amostra investigada, possivelmente há 1989 ±21 Ma. Esta rocha ultramáfica foi re-metamorfizada talvez há cerca de 702 ±21 Ma durante um evento M de fácies xistos verdes do metamorfismo regional. Durante o evento M, a hornblenda foi recristalizada e formou a assembléia actinolita + oligoclásio + microclínio + epidoto + titanita + monazita. Estes eventos foram a manifesta

  8. A Record of Environmental Change in Caribbean Coral Reefs: Sclerochronology and Geochemistry of O. faveolata as a Paleoclimate Proxy at Coral Gardens and Rocky Point, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCorte, I. A.; Greer, L.; Wirth, K. R.; Flowers Falls, E.; Lescinsky, H.; Doss, W. C.

    2015-12-01

    Over the last several decades, Acropora cervicornis has seen a massive die-off in the Caribbean. (Aronson and Precht 2001; Gardner et al., 2003; Greer et al., 2009). The potential causes of decline in A. cervicornis in the Caribbean include: extremes in sea surface temperatures (SST), ocean acidification, eutrophication, white-band disease, storm disturbances, and other anthropogenic disturbances. Contrary to the regional decline in A. cervicornis, Coral Gardens on the Belize Barrier Reef has an Acropora sp. population that appears to be thriving. Through a combination of sclerochronology, stable isotope analysis, and in situ sensor data, this work capitilizes on the opportunity to study reef conditions in a site where micro-environmental conditions appear to be favorable for healthy A. cervicornis coral growth. We use cores from two Orbicella faveolata colonies located within Acropora stands, as A. cervicornis does not reveal annual banding. We compare two cores from one O. faveolata colony at Coral Gardens, first cored in 2011 and again in 2014, to one O. faveolata core at near-by Rocky Point, where A. cervicornis is much less abundant. These cores were x-radiographed in order to expose the annual banding and sampled for stable oxygen and carbon isotope analysis (10-15 samples/cm). We show that, although there are no significant differences in the range of the δ18O and δ13C signature between Rocky Point and Coral Gardens, there is a clear difference in the stress histories at these locations as inferred from linear extension rates (LER's) and annual banding patterns. Rocky Point averages a LER of 10.5±1.4 mm/year (n = 29) over a 30 year record and Coral Gardens averages 9.1±1.2 mm/year (n = 70) from ~1953 - 2001, and averages 6.2±1.6 mm/year (n = 36) from coral years 2001-2014 after an inferred stress-banding event. This is in contrast to the observed overall health of A. cervicornis at the two locations. The inferred stress-banding event is currently

  9. Preliminary report on the scientific and biodiversity value of the Macal and Raspaculo catchment, Belize : a wildlife impact assessment for the proposed Macal River Upper Storage Facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minty, C.D. [Natural History Museum, London (United Kingdom); Sutton, D.A.; Rogers, A.D.F.; Bateman, R.M.; Penn, M.; Stafford, P.J.; Sanders, L.M. (eds.)

    2001-05-01

    The Natural Museum of History in London conducted a wildlife impact assessment of the proposed Macal River Upper Storage Facility (MRUSF) in Belize, Central America. The area contains a rare and discrete floral floodplain habitat (riparian shrubland) which acts as a conduit and critical habitat for resident and non-resident fauna and avifauna. In addition, the entire profile of the floodplain habitat of the watershed is important to the sustenance and population viability of a unique Scarlet Macaw subspecies, providing the last remaining habitat for a small population of about 60 to 100 individual birds. Other species have also been identified as regionally, nationally or globally significant. The proposed Chalillo Dam would be constructed on the Macal River Valley, approximately 5 km upstream from Guacamallo Bridge. If the project goes ahead, much of the area will be permanently flooded. The reservoir would flood up to an elevation of 400 m above the mean sea level. This report presented three options. The first option is not to build the Chalillo dam. This would leave the natural riparian habitat biologically rich and ecologically functional. The second option is to choose an alternative site, such as damming one or more of the many tributaries in the Mountain Pine Ridge. The third option is to proceed as planned, but it has been made clear that it will not be possible to mitigate against the long-term impacts on the biodiversity of the catchment, particularly those associated with habitat loss. The MRUSF is likely to cause 80 per cent of the riparian shrubland to be lost and numerous individual animals to die. In addition, it was predicted that the impacts of the project will be much greater in the surrounding areas, reaching much beyond the localized area of the dam and its impoundment. The most obvious option to avoid profound impacts is to not construct the dam. It was emphasized that this option should be seriously considered, particularly if costs outweigh

  10. EL COLAPSO DEL CLÁSICO TARDÍO ENTRE LOS MAYAS DE UAXACTÚN (GUATEMALA Y BARTON RAMIE (BELICE SEGÚN EL REGISTRO FUNERARIO (The Late Classic Collapse among the Maya of Uaxactun, Guatemala and Barton Ramie, Belize according to the Mortuary Record

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascual Izquierdo-Egea

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available La aplicación del método de valoración contextual al análisis del registro funerario de Uaxactún (Guatemala y Barton Ramie (Belice aporta evidencias irrefutables sobre la huella material del colapso clásico en las ofrendas de los entierros mayas. Esto confirma lo que ya se había anticipado al estudiar la cuenca del río Balsas en México (2014. ENGLISH: Application of the contextual valuation method to the mortuary analysis of Uaxactun, Guatemala and Barton Ramie, Belize provides irrefutable evidence on the Classic Maya collapse recorded in the grave goods of these burials. This confirms what was already anticipated by studying the Balsas River basin in Mexico.

  11. De la dominación colonial a la fabricación de la nación: Las categorías étnico-raciales en los censos e informes y sus usos políticos en Belice, siglos XIX-XX From Colonial Domination to the Forging of a Nation: Ethnic-racial Categories in Censuses and Reports and their Political Uses in Belize, 19th-20th Centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Cunin

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Este texto presenta un análisis de los procesos de clasificación y categorización étnico-raciales de la población de Belice a lo largo de los siglos XIX y XX, apoyándose en los censos demográficos y en los informes de gobierno. No nos interesamos tanto en las cifras como tales, sino en las categorías de conteo y su evolución, como indicadores de las lógicas políticas de construcción de una sociedad colonial y luego nacional. Mientras que para el XIX los censos dan cuenta de las distintas formas de manejo de la población (transición de la esclavitud a la libertad, afirmación o negación de la diversidad étnico-racial, los informes administrativos dibujan un modelo demográfico-territorial estático y estereotipado como herramienta de gestión política. Para el siglo XX, se analiza el difícil camino hacia la independencia y los cambios introducidos por el nuevo Estado beliceño (categorías, metodología, actores en el proceso de construcción de una "identidad nacional".This text presents an analysis of the processes of erhnic-racial classification and categorization of the population of Belize in the 19th and 20th centuries, based on demographic censuses and government reports. We are not so much interested in figures as such as in the counting categories and their evolution, as indicators of the political logics of constructing a colonial and then a national society. By the 19th century, censuses reflect the different ways of managing the population (transition from slavery to freedom, affirmation or denial of ethnic-racial diversity, the administrative reports outline a static demographic-territorial model stereotypes as a tool for political management. In the 20th century, they analyze the difficult road co independence and the changes introduced by the new Belize state (categories, methodology, actors in the process of constructing a "national identity."

  12. Noteworthy records of Hispines from Belize (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Naczi, Robert F. C.; Charles L. Staines

    2011-01-01

    Cephaloleia consanguinea Baly, Cephaloleia fulvolimbata Baly, Cephaloleia ruficollis Baly, Chalepus amabilis Baly, Chalepus brevicornis (Baly), Chalepus pici Descarpentries and Villiers, Microrhopala erebus (Newman), Octhispa bimaculata Uhmann, Octotoma championi Baly, Pseudispa tuberculata Staines, Sceloenopla erudita (Baly), Stenispa guatemalensis Uhmann, Sumitrosis gestroi (Weise), and Sumitrosis terminatus (Baly) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) are new country records of hispine c...

  13. Early Middle Formative Occupation in the Central Maya Lowlands: Recent Evidence from Cahal Pech, Belize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Awe

    1990-11-01

    Full Text Available After more than half a century of intensive archaeological research the early Middle Formative (or Middle Preclassic period (1000-600 B.C. continues to be one of the most enigmatic eras in the study of Lowland Maya prehistory. While several factors contribte to this situation, the primary cause for this obscurity lies in the fact that few sites have produced either contextual or stratigraphic evidence of occupation during this phase (Rice 1976; Andrews 1988. Concsequently, any new site with evidence of Middle Formative occupation can contribute substantially to our limited knowledge of this pioneering stage of the lowland Maya. This paper introduces one such site, Cahal Pech, where recent investigations have uncovered a stratigraphic sequence that tentatively spans the early Middle Formative to the Late Classic period. It provides a preliminary description, of the site's early Middle Formative configuration and briefly discusses its possible regional affiliation.

  14. Petroleum geology and resources of southeastern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, J.A.

    1986-05-01

    Petroleum deposits in southeastern Mexico and Guatemala occur in two main basinal provinces: the Gulf Coast Tertiary basin area, which includes the Reforma and offshore Campeche Mesozoic fields, and the Peten basin of eastern Chiapas State (Mexico) and Guatemala. Major oil production, in order of importance, is from Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Jurassic carbonate reservoirs in the reforma and offshore Campeche area. Several small oil fields have been discovered in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs in west-central Guatemala. Almost all important production is in salt structure traps or on domes and anticlines that may be related to deep-seated salt movement. Some minor oil production has occurred in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs in a buried overthrust belt along the west flank of the Veracruz basin. Gas production is mainly from Tertiary sandstone reservoirs.

  15. An analysis of modern pollen rain from the Maya lowlands of northern Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, T.; Beach, T.; Wahl, D.

    2011-01-01

    In the lowland Maya area, pollen records provide important insights into the impact of past human populations and climate change on tropical ecosystems. Despite a long history of regional paleoecological research, few studies have characterized the palynological signatures of lowland ecosystems, a fact which lowers confidence in ecological inferences made from palynological data. We sought to verify whether we could use pollen spectra to reliably distinguish modern ecosystem types in the Maya lowlands of Central America. We collected 23 soil and sediment samples from eight ecosystem types, including upland, riparian, secondary, and swamp (bajo) forests; pine savanna; and three distinct wetland communities. We analyzed pollen spectra with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), and found significant compositional differences in ecosystem types' pollen spectra. Forested sites had spectra dominated by Moraceae/Urticaceae pollen, while non-forested sites had significant portions of Poaceae, Asteraceae, and Amaranthaceae pollen. Upland, bajo, and riparian forest differed in representation of Cyperaceae, Bactris-type, and Combretaceae/Melastomataceae pollen. High percentages of pine (Pinus), oak (Quercus), and the presence of Byrsonima characterized pine savanna. Despite its limited sample size, this study provides one of the first statistical analyses of modern pollen rain in the Maya lowlands. Our results show that pollen assemblages can accurately reflect differences between ecosystem types, which may help refine interpretations of pollen records from the Maya area. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  16. International Immersion in Belize: Fostering Counseling Students' Cultural Self-Awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Augustine, Shirlene; Dowden, Angel; Wiggins, Angel; Hall, LaCheata

    2014-01-01

    International cultural immersion provides an in vivo, authentic, cross-cultural experience that can enhance multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills. This article examines the impact of an international immersion on graduate counseling students' cultural self-awareness using a qualitative approach. Five graduate counseling students…

  17. Perspectives in Early Childhood Education: Belize, Brazil, Mexico, El Salvador and Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell-Farmer, Judith Lynne; Cook, Pamela R.; Farmer, M. W.

    2012-01-01

    Early childhood education (ECE) provision is becoming a growing priority. During the past twenty years, Latin America has shown a growing recognition in the provision of educational programs for young children, birth to age eight, is essential. Urban and rural populations intimated in 2009, that many countries utilizing equitable access to…

  18. Integrating molecular, phenotypic and environmental data to elucidate patterns of crocodile hybridization in Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Hekkala, Evon R.; Platt, Steven G.; John B. Thorbjarnarson; Thomas R. Rainwater; Tessler, Michael; Cunningham, Seth W.; Twomey, Christopher; Amato, George

    2015-01-01

    The genus Crocodylus comprises 12 currently recognized species, many of which can be difficult to differentiate phenotypically. Interspecific hybridization among crocodiles is known to occur in captivity and has been documented between some species in the wild. The identification of hybrid individuals is of importance for management and monitoring of crocodilians, many of which are Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listed. In this study, both mitochondrial and nu...

  19. Petroleum geology and resources of southeastern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, James A.

    1983-01-01

    Petroleum deposits in southeastern Mexico and Guatemala occur in two main basinal provinces, the Gulf Coast Tertiary basin area, which includes the Reforma and offshore Campeche Mesozoic fields, and the Peten basin of eastern Chiapas State (Mexico) and Guatemala. Gas production is mainly from Tertiary sandstone reservoirs of Miocene age. Major oil production, in order of importance, is from Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Jurassic carbonate reservoirs in the Reforma and offshore Campeche areas. Several small oil fields have been discovered in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs in west-central Guatemala, and one major discovery has been reported in northwestern Guatemala. Small- to medium-sized oil accumulations also occur in Miocene sandstone reservoirs on salt structures in the Isthmus Saline basin of western Tabasco State, Mexico. Almost all important production is in salt structure traps or on domes and anticlines that may be related to deep-seated salt structures. Some minor oil production has occurred in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs in a buried overthrust belt along the west flank of the Veracruz basin. The sedimentary cover of Paleozoic through Tertiary rocks ranges in thickness from about 6,000 m (20,000 ft) to as much as 12,000 m (40,000 ft) or more in most of the region. Paleozoic marine carbonate and clastic rocks 1,000 to 2,000 m (3,300 to 6,500 ft) thick overlie the metamorphic and igneous basement in part of the region; Triassic through Middle Jurassic red beds and evaporite deposits, including halite, apparently are present throughout the region, deposited in part in a Triassic graben system. Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) through Cretaceous rocks make up the bulk of the Mesozoic regional carbonate bank complex, which dominates most of the area. Tertiary marine and continental clastic rocks, some of deep water origin, 3,000 to 10,000 m (10,000 to 35,000 ft) thick, are present in the coastal plain Tertiary basins. These beds grade eastward into a carbonate sequence that overlies the Mesozoic carbonate complex on the Yucatan platform. During the past 10 years, about 50 large oil fields were discovered in the Reforma and offshore Campeche areas. Oil is produced from intensely microfractured Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Upper Jurassic dolomite reservoirs on blockfaulted salt swells or domes. Most fields are located in the Mesozoic carbonate-bank margin and forebank talus (Tamabra) facies, which passes through the offshore Campeche and onshore Reforma areas. Oil source rocks are believed to be organic-rich shales and shaly carbonate rocks of latest Jurassic and possibly Early Cretaceous age. At least six of the Mesozoic discoveries are giant or supergiant fields. The largest is the Cantarell complex (about 8 billion to 10 billion barrels (BB)) in the offshore Campeche area and the Bermudez complex (about 8 BB) in the Reforma onshore area. Oil columns are unusually large (from 50 m to as much as 1,000 m, or 160 ft to 3,300 ft). Production rates are extremely high, averaging at least 3,000 to 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bo/d); some wells produce more than 20,000 bo/d, particularly in the offshore Campeche area, where 30,000- to 60,000-bo/d wells are reported. Tertiary basin fields produce primarily from Miocene sandstone reservoirs. About 50 of these are oil fields ranging from 1 million barrels (MMB) to 200 MMB in size, located on faulted salt structures in the Isthmus Saline basin. Another 30 are gas or gas-condensate fields of a few billion cubic feet to 3 trillion to 4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) located on salt structures or probable salt structures in the Macuspana, Comalcalco, Isthmus Saline, and Veracruz basins. Source rocks for the gas are believed to be carbonaceous shales interbedded with the sandstone reservoir bodies. Identified reserves in the southeastern Mexico-Guatemala area, almost all in the Mesozoic fields, are about 53 BB of oil, 3 BB of natural gas liquids, and 65 Tcf of gas. The estimat

  20. Turf algae-mediated coral damage in coastal reefs of Belize, Central America

    KAUST Repository

    Wild, Christian

    2014-09-16

    Many coral reefs in the Caribbean experienced substantial changes in their benthic community composition during the last decades. This often resulted in phase shifts from scleractinian coral dominance to that by other benthic invertebrate or algae. However, knowledge about how the related role of coral-algae contacts may negatively affect corals is scarce. Therefore, benthic community composition, abundance of algae grazers, and the abundance and character of coral-algae contacts were assessed in situ at 13 Belizean reef sites distributed along a distance gradient to the Belizean mainland (12–70 km): Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (inshore), Turneffe Atoll (inner and outer midshore), and Lighthouse Reef (offshore). In situ surveys revealed significantly higher benthic cover by scleractinian corals at the remote Lighthouse Reef (26–29%) when compared to the other sites (4–19%). The abundance of herbivorous fish and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum significantly increased towards the offshore reef sites, while the occurrence of direct coral-algae contacts consequently increased significantly with decreasing distance to shore. About 60% of these algae contacts were harmful (exhibiting coral tissue damage, pigmentation change, or overgrowth) for corals (mainly genera Orbicella and Agaricia), particularly when filamentous turf algae were involved. These findings provide support to the hypothesis that (turf) algae-mediated coral damage occurs in Belizean coastal, near-shore coral reefs.

  1. 78 FR 14183 - Import Restrictions Imposed on Certain Archaeological Material From Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-05

    ..., glass, and wood. I. Ceramic/Terracotta/Fired Clay--Unpainted, monochrome, bichrome, and polychrome... supplementary decoration. A. Common Vessels 1. Vases and bottles--(10-50 cm ht). 2. Bowls--(5-25 cm ht). 3... others. D. Vessels--forms such as bowls and vases. E. Figurines--forms such as human, animal,...

  2. Linking Mitigation and Adaptation in Carbon Forestry Projects: Evidence from Belize

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kongsager, Rico; Corbera, Esteve

    2015-01-01

    Committed action to deal with climate change requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., mitigation, as well as dealing with its ensuing consequences, i.e., adaptation. To date, most policies and projects have promoted mitigation and adaptation separately, and they have very rarely considered...... and lack of rigorous enforcement. We then conclude that the integration of mitigation and adaptation in Belize’s carbon forestry projects remains a laudable but elusive goal. Consequently, we request climate change donors to refrain from providing support to narrowly designed projects and we urge them...

  3. Supporting School Counseling in Belize: Establishing a Middle School Career Development Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coogan, Theresa A.

    2016-01-01

    Within the education field, international partnerships to address career development have been successful around the world (Brown, Bim Rose, & Hughes, 2005; Nazali, 2007; Prideaux, Patton, & Creed, 2002; Repetto, 2001). Career development programming impacts the educational development for children and adolescents (Gottfredson, 1981;…

  4. Ocelot Density and Home Range in Belize, Central America: Camera-Trapping and Radio Telemetry

    OpenAIRE

    Dillon, Adam

    2005-01-01

    Historically, ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) were hunted in large numbers for their fur, causing declines in population abundance across their range. In recent decades protection measures (e.g. CITES) and decreased public demand for ocelot fur resulted in declines in hunting pressure. Do to their elusive nature there is little known about ocelot population size, structure or general ecology. This lack of information hampers our ability to provide protection for this endangered species. Remot...

  5. Roads, lands, markets, and deforestation : a spatial model of land use in Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Chomitz, Kenneth M.; Gray, David A.

    1995-01-01

    Rural roads promote economic development but also facilitate deforestation. To explore the tradeoffs between development and environmental damage posed by road building, the authors develop and estimate a spatially explicit model of land use. This model takes into account location and land characteristics and predicts land use at each point on the landscape. They find that: (a) market access and distance to roads strongly affect the probability of agricultural use, especially for commercial a...

  6. The field evaluation of a push-pull system to control malaria vectors in Northern Belize, Central America

    OpenAIRE

    Joseph M Wagman; Grieco, John P; Bautista, Kim; polanco, jorge; Briceño, Ireneo; King, Russell; Nicole L Achee

    2015-01-01

    Background Campaigns for the continued reduction and eventual elimination of malaria may benefit from new and innovative vector control tools. One novel approach being considered uses a push-pull strategy, whereby spatial repellents are used in combination with outdoor baited traps. The desired effect is the behavioural manipulation of mosquito populations to elicit movement of vectors away from people and into traps. Methods Here, a prototype push-pull intervention was evaluated using an exp...

  7. Accuracy of migrant landbird habitat maps produced from LANDSAT TM data: Two case studies in southern Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, J.P.; Sader, S.; Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Wilson, Marcia H.; Sader, Steven A.

    1995-01-01

    The study investigated the utility of Landsat TM data applied to produce geo-referenced habitat maps for two study areas (Toledo and Stann Creek). Locational and non-site-specific map accuracy was evaluated by stratified random sampling and statistical analysis of satellite classification (SCR) versus air photo interpretation results (PIR) for the overall classification and individual classes. The effect of classification scheme specificity on map accuracy was also assessed. A decision criteria was developed for the minimum acceptable level of map performance (i.e., classification accuracy and scheme specificity). A satellite map was deemed acceptable if it has a useful degree of classification specificity, plus either an adequate overall locational agreement (SCR and PIR are equal). For the most detailed revised classification, overall locational accuracy ranges from 52% (5 classes) for the Toledo to 63% (9 classes) for the Stann Creek. For the least detailed revised classification, overall locational accuracy ranges from 91% (2 classes) for Toledo to 86% (5 classes) for Stann Creek. Considering both location and non-site-specific accuracy results, the most detailed yet insufficient accurate classification for both sites includes low/medium/tall broadleaf forest, broadleaf forest scrub and herb-dominated openings. For these classifications, the overall locational accuracy is 72% for Toledo (4 classes) and 75% for Stann Creek (7 classes). This level of classification detail is suitable for aiding many analyses of migrant landbird habitat use.

  8. Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Padilla-Saldivar, J.; Hernández-Arana, Héctor Abuid; Slone, D.H.; Reid, J.P.; Morales-Vela, B.

    2013-01-01

    Information from 15 satellite-tracked Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) was analyzed in order to assess individual movements, home ranges, and high-use areas for conservation decisions. Manatees were captured in Chetumal Bay, Mexico, and tagged with Argos-monitored satellite transmitters. Location of the manatees and physical characteristics were assessed to describe habitat properties. Most manatees traveled to freshwater sources. The Maximum Area Size (MAS) for each manatee was determined using the observation-area method. Additional kernel densities of 95% home range and 50% Center of Activity (COA) were also calculated, with manatees having 1–3 COAs. Manatees exhibited two different movement patterns: remaining in Chetumal Bay, and long-distance (up to 240 km in 89 d). The residence time in Chetumal Bay was higher for females (89.6% of time) than for males (72.0%), but the daily travel rate (0.4–0.5 km/d) was similar for both sexes. Most of the COAs fell within Natural Protected Areas (NPA). However, manatees also travel for long distances into unprotected areas, where they face uncontrolled boat traffic, fishing activities, and habitat loss. Conservation of movement corridors may promote long-distance movements and facilitate genetic exchange.

  9. Evolution in the Caribbean Classroom: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Biology Teachers and Science Standards in Shaping Evolution Instruction in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elvis Enrique; Pringle, Rose M.; Showalter, Kevin Tyler

    2012-01-01

    A survey of the literature on evolution instruction provides evidence that teachers' personal views and understandings can shape instructional approaches and content delivered in science classrooms regardless of established science standards. This study is the first to quantify evolutionary worldviews of in-service teachers in the Caribbean,…

  10. The relative importance of mangroves and seagrass beds as feeding habitats for resident and transient fishes from Florida and Belize:: evidence from dietary and stable isotope analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the western Atlantic region, the contribution of mangrove food-sources to fish diets has been considered of more limited importance then previously expected due to their constant flooding and proximity to adjacent coastal habitats such as seagrass beds which provide potential ...

  11. Hunting, Swimming, and Worshiping: Human Cultural Practices Illuminate the Blood Meal Sources of Cave Dwelling Chagas Vectors (Triatoma dimidiata) in Guatemala and Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Lori Stevens; M Carlota Monroy; Antonieta Guadalupe Rodas; Dorn, Patricia L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Triatoma dimidiata, currently the major Central American vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, inhabits caves throughout the region. This research investigates the possibility that cave dwelling T. dimidiata might transmit the parasite to humans and links the blood meal sources of cave vectors to cultural practices that differ among locations. Methodology/Principal Findings We determined the blood meal sources of twenty-four T. dimidiata collected fr...

  12. New geophytic Peperomia (Piperaceae species from Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica Nuevas especies geofíticas de Peperomia (Piperaceae de México, Belice y Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Mathieu

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Peperomia subgenus Tildenia is a poorly known group of geophytic species occurring in seasonal habitats in 2 biodiversity hot spots (Mexico-Guatemala and Peru-Bolivia with few species reported from the countries in between. Recent fieldwork combined with detailed study of herbarium specimens of this subgenus in Mexico and Central America resulted in the discovery of 12 new species, which are here described and illustrated. In addition, 1 formerly published variety is raised to species rank. Distribution, habitat and phenology data and detailed comparisons with other species are included, as well as an identification key for all species belonging to this subgenus in the studied area.Peperomia subgénero Tildenia es un grupo poco conocido de especies geofíticas de hábitats estacionales en 2 hotspots de biodiversidad (México-Guatemala y Perú-Bolivia con pocas especies en los países de enmedio. El trabajo de campo realizado recientemente en México y América Central, combinado con un estudio detallado de ejemplares de herbario de este subgénero, resultó en el descubrimiento de 12 especies nuevas, que se describen e ilustran. Además, una variedad anteriormente publicada es elevada a la categoría de especie. Se incluyen datos de distribución, hábitat y fenología, comparaciones detalladas con otras especies, así como una clave de identificación para todas las especies del subgénero en la región estudiada.

  13. Noninvasive tracking of jaguars (Panthera onca) and co-occurring Neotropical felids in Belize, Central America by genotyping feces and remote camera trapping

    OpenAIRE

    Wultsch, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    The elusive jaguar (Panthera onca) is extremely difficult to study due to its wide-ranging behavior, crepuscular activity peaks and its occurrence in low population densities in often dense forest habitats. Jaguars are also a species of concern, but our ability to provide for their survival is hampered by our inability to obtain reliable information on the status of their wild populations.This study combines innovative noninvasive research techniques such as scat detector dogs and molecular s...

  14. "We give back". A structuration perspective on the contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility to positive peace: the case of Belize Natural Energy Ltd

    OpenAIRE

    Lupini, Sara

    2015-01-01

    This thesis examines the potential contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the achievement of a positive peace in societies where violence has penetrated the social structure. The objective of the research is to explore how CSR can be designed to enable companies embracing a peace-oriented approach in conducting their businesses. CSR, in fact, is a well-established business practice, which is evolving along with the growing public demand for ethical, sustainable and respon...

  15. 77 FR 48609 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-14

    ...; Tax ID No. GST- SIG 000465 (Belize) . 2. CROWN PARADISE ENTERPRISES LTD. (a.k.a. CROWN PARADISE MARINA... Creek District, P.O. Box 64, Dangriga, Belize; P.O. Box 64, Dangriga Town, Stann ] Creek, Belize; Tax ID... or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, the...

  16. “Let’s Worship Our Lord as Garinagu”: Sacred Music and the Negotiation of Garifuna Ethnicity

    OpenAIRE

    Poluha, Lauren Janel

    2015-01-01

    This dissertation explores the ways that Garifuna communities in Belize, Central America use religious belief and sacred music to articulate ethnic identity. Belize is in the midst of a tourism boom that has brought an influx of tourists, capital, and access to global media to the small seaside village of Hopkins, Belize. In response to this rapid globalization, Garifuna people in Hopkins are struggling to distinguish who they are and who they will become in the future; both music and spiritu...

  17. Electricity in Latin America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breeze, Paul

    1998-12-01

    Contains Executive Summary and Chapters on: The Political and Economic Environment; Natural Resources; The Financial Situation; Argentina; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Columbia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guyana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Surinam; Uruguay; Venezuela. (Author)

  18. Faults of the Caribbean Region (flt6bg)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This dataset describes faults and structural features of the Caribbean region (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin...

  19. Digital Video taken during the 3-person submersible Clelia dive 607 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Islands in the Stream 2001 cruise, August 29, 2001 (NCEI Accession 0039467)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Islands in the Stream is a three-month scientific expedition to marine protected areas and other habitats being considered for protection from offshore of Belize in...

  20. Digital Video taken during the 3-person submersible Clelia dive 608 of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration's Islands in the Stream 2001 cruise, August 30, 2001 (NCEI Accession 0039353)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Islands in the Stream is a three-month scientific expedition to marine protected areas and other habitats being considered for protection from offshore of Belize in...

  1. 26 CFR 301.7701-2 - Business entities; definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... the Internal Revenue Code and related provisions under 26 CFR subchapter C, Employment Taxes and..., Sociedad Anonima Australia, Public Limited Company Austria, Aktiengesellschaft Barbados, Limited Company Belgium, Societe Anonyme Belize, Public Limited Company Bolivia, Sociedad Anonima Brazil,...

  2. Book Reviews

    OpenAIRE

    Redactie KITLV

    1996-01-01

    -Bridget Brereton, Emilia Viotti Da Costa, Crowns of glory, tears of blood: The Demerara slave rebellion of 1823. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. xix + 378 pp. -Grant D. Jones, Assad Shoman, 13 Chapters of a history of Belize. Belize city: Angelus, 1994. xviii + 344 pp. -Donald Wood, K.O. Laurence, Tobago in wartime 1793-1815. Kingston: The Press, University of the West Indies, 1995. viii + 280 pp. -Trevor Burnard, Howard A. Fergus, Montserrat: History of a Caribbean colony. London: ...

  3. A bird's eye survey of central american planorbid molluscs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paraense W Lobato

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available In the course of two trips to Central America (June 1967 and JulyAugust 1976 I had the opportunity of collecting topotypic specimens of Planorbis nicaraguanus Morelet, 1849, anatomically defined in this paper, and of P. yzabalensis Crosse & Fischer, 1879, the identity of the latter with Drepanotrema anatinum (Orbigny, 1835 is confirmed. The following planorbid species were also found: Helisoma trivolvis (Say, 1817 in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Belize; H. duryi (Wetherby, 1879 in Costa Rica; Biomphalaria helophila (Orbigny, 1835 in Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador; B. kuhniana (Clessin, 1883 in Panama; B. obstructa (Morelet,1849 in Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador; B. straminea (Dunker, 1848 in Costa Rica; B. subprona (Martens, 1899 in Guatemala; D. anatinum (Orbigny,1835 in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica; D. depressissimum (Moricand,1839 in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama; D. lucidum (Pfeiffer, 1839 in Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua; D. surinamense (Clessin, 1884 in Costa Rica and Panama; and Gyraulus percarinatus sp. n. in Panama. The occurrence of B. kuhniana and D. surinamense is first recorded in Central America, and Gyraulus percarinatus is the first representative of the genus provenly occurring in the American continent south of the United States. The following synonymy is proposed: Planorbis declivis Tate, 1870 = Biomphalaria helophila (Orbigny, 1835; Planorbis isthmicus Pilsbry, 1920 = Biomphalaria kuhniana (Clessin, 1883; Planorbis cannarum Morelet, 1849 and Segmentina donbilli Tristram, 1861 = Biomphalaria obstructa (Morelet, 1849; and Planorbis yzabalensis Crosse & Fischer, 1879 = Drepanotrema anatinum (Orbigny, 1835, confirming Aguayo (1933.

  4. New leafhopper species of Jikradia from Mesoamerica with new records, revised key to species, distribution, origin, and checklist (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Coelidiinae: Teruliini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielson, Mervin W; Zack, Richard S; Poggi, Francesco; Nickel, Herbert

    2014-12-01

    The following four new species of leafhoppers are described and illustrated: Jikradia dentata n. sp. and J. trispinata n. sp. from Guatemala, J. variabilis n. sp. from Belize, and J. exilis n. sp. from Costa Rica. Jikradia basipendula Nielson and J. krameri Nielson are new records for Guatemala. Belize is a new record for the genus. A record of the first introduction of the genus in the Old World is reviewed. A revised key to the known species is provided with a review of its possible origin. A checklist of all known species is also given.

  5. Chalillo chill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loverock, K. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada)

    2002-03-31

    The proposed $44-million Chalillo dam project in the Macal River Valley of western Belize is being met with criticism from ecological scientists who claim the project is a threat to endangered wildlife in one of Central America's most ecologically sensitive areas. Despite the criticism, Fortis Inc., a Canadian power company based in St. John's Newfoundland along with the government of Belize, is pressing ahead with the proposal claiming that it will bring in foreign investment, help alleviate poverty and decrease dependence on power imports from Mexico. Belize currently gets its energy from the Mollejon dam, from diesel generators and from the Mexican power grid. The Chalillo dam will be 49.5 metres high and will flood about 20 kilometres up the Macal River valley, destroying about 800 hectares of prime valley habitat including parts of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Chiquibul Forest Reserve and Chiquibul National Park. Its generating capacity is expected to be only 8 megawatts and critics doubt that it will generate much power during the dry season. The Macal River Valley is habitat to a range of threatened species including the rare scarlet macaw, Central American river otters, Morelet's crocodiles, Central American spider monkeys, tapirs, ocelots and jaguars. In addition, the flooding would destroy 2 Mayan ruins. Eighteen leading scientists and naturalists from around the world have joined forces to protest the project. Former project partner Duke Energy of the United States decided to withdraw from the project, but Fortis, which owns 68 per cent of Belize's national electricity utility, Belize Electricity Limited, is still pressing ahead. The Prime Minister of Belize does not think it is fair for environmental groups to criticize the project when their own countries have so many dams. An independent economic analysis has shown that the dam may be profitable for Fortis but economically detrimental for Belizeans. Critics say the power

  6. Description of three new species of Protodrilus (Annelida, Protodrilidae) from Central America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martinez Garcia, Alejandro; Di Domenico, Maikon; Jörger, Katharina;

    2013-01-01

    Three new species of Protodrilus are described from the shallow Western Atlantic waters of Belize and Panama: P. smithsoni sp. nov., P. draco sp. nov. and P. hochbergi sp. nov. Protodrilus smithsoni sp. nov. resembles P. jagersteni and P. submersus from New Zealand, differing by (i) the presence ...

  7. Kodu soojal maal pole ulmeline unistus / Marge Ambos

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Ambos, Marge

    2008-01-01

    Ilmunud ka: Delovõje Vedomosti 26. märts lk. 25. Uus Maa Kinnisvarabüroo ja rahvusvahelise kinnisvarafirma Atlas International koostööst ning kinnisvarapakkumistest Hispaanias, Kreekas, Küprosel, Türgis, Belizes. Lisa: Hispaania tõotab soodsaid oste

  8. A sebaceous cyst with a difference: Dermatobia hominis

    OpenAIRE

    Harbin, L J; Khan, M.; Thompson, E M; Goldin, R D

    2002-01-01

    Dermatobia hominis causes furuncular myiasis and is endemic to South America. This report describes a case in a young woman who had recently visited Belize, highlighting the importance of clinical history (including travel history) and close liaison between pathologist and surgeon.

  9. Magnetic studies in the Cayman Trough, Caribbean Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.; Ramprasad, T.; Grahm, B.; Welsh, R.; Pathak, M.C.

    -spreading rates of 10 mm yr sup(-1) (0-2.47 Ma) and 20 mm yr sup(-1) (2.47-27.74 Ma) are estimated in the Cayman Trough. The crust west of anomaly 8 appears to form the Continent Ocean Boundary off Belize. It is suggested that the opening of the Cayman Trough...

  10. Plant Rhizodeposition and Rhizosphere Microflora: Their Relationship and Its Consequences in Wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    KUBEŠOVÁ, Jaroslava

    2010-01-01

    Annotation: Plant and microbial relationships in the rhizosphere have been briefly reviewed. The research of tropical wetland ecosystem in northern Belize has been summarized. After that a synthesis of both parts results in the hypothesis of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus flows between Eleocharis cellulosa, Typha domingensis and their rhizosphere.

  11. First record of Euthyonidiella destichada (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) in the Mexican Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Alfredo Laguarda-Figueras; Francisco Alonso Solís-Marín; Magali Honey-Escandón; Vivianne Solis-Weiss

    2013-01-01

    One specimen of Euthyonidiella destichada (Deichmann, 1930) was collected in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This species was previously recorded from Florida, the eastern Gulf of México, Cuba, Belize, Panama, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Martinique. This is the first record of this species in Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean; new illustrations of different ossicles are provided.

  12. A Scholar-Practitioner Approach to International Mentoring through Collaborative Partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey, Wesley D.; Gill, Peggy B.; Amonett, Cathy

    2011-01-01

    A new international partnership in southern Belize that provided ongoing mentoring, teacher development, and resource allocation in two rural schools was examined through interviews with key individuals. This research was implemented through a scholar-practitioner approach, which embraces the concept of researcher as change agent. The results…

  13. Review: The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bauer-Gottwein, Peter; Gondwe, Bibi Ruth Neuman; Charvet, Guillaume;

    2011-01-01

    The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in México, Guatemala and Belize. The Triassic to Holocene Yucatán limestone platform is located...

  14. Is the onset of the 6th century 'dark age' in Maya history related to explosive volcanism?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooren, Kees; Hoek, Wim Z.; Van der Plicht, Hans; Sigl, Michael; Galop, Didier; Torrescano-Valle, Nuria; Islebe, Gerald; Huizinga, Annika; Winkels, Tim; Middelkoop, Hans; Van Bergen, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Maya societies in Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize experienced a 'dark age' during the second half of the 6th century. This period, also known as the 'Maya Hiatus', is characterized by cultural downturn, political instability and abandonment of many sites in the Central Maya Lowlands. Many theo

  15. Análisis ambiental y económico de proyectos carreteros en la Selva Maya, un estudio a escala regional

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conde, Dalia Amor; Burgués, Irene; Fleck, Leonardo;

    Various road projects have been proposed in the border region of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, which is part of the Maya Forest, the largest continuous forest in the Americas north of the Amazon. It is also part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity “hotspot,” one of the planet’s biologically richest ...

  16. 50 CFR 223.102 - Enumeration of threatened marine and anadromous species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... the Act, as well as species listed under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 by the... Islands, Navassa; and wider Caribbean Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua..., Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela and all the islands of the West Indies. 71 FR 26852, May...

  17. 19 CFR 12.105 - Definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Definitions. 12.105 Section 12.105 Customs Duties... Definitions. For purposes of §§ 12.106 through 12.109: (a) The term pre-Columbian monumental or architectural... product of a pre-Columbian Indian culture of Belize, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican...

  18. Coeval ages of Australasian, Central American and Western Canadian tektites reveal multiple impacts 790 ka ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Winfried H.; Trieloff, Mario; Bollinger, Klemens; Gantert, Niklas; Fernandes, Vera A.; Meyer, Hans-Peter; Povenmire, Hal; Jessberger, Elmar K.; Guglielmino, Massimo; Koeberl, Christian

    2016-04-01

    High resolution 40Ar-39Ar step heating dating of australites and indochinites, representing a large area of the Australasian strewn field, and more recently discovered tektite-like glasses from Central America (Belize) and Western Canada, were carried out. Precise plateau ages were obtained in all cases, yielding indistinguishable ages of 789 ± 9 ka for four australites, 783 ± 5 ka for four indochinites, 783 ± 17 ka for one Western Canadian and 769 ± 16 ka for one Belize impact glass. Concerning major elements and REEs, australites and the Western Canadian impact glass are indistinguishable. If the Western Canadian sample was transported by impact ejection and belongs to the Australasian strewn field, this implies extremely far ballistic transport of 9000 km distance, assuming a source crater in southern Asia. The distinct major element and REE composition of the Belize impact glass suggests formation in another separate impact event. We conclude that the Australasian/Western Canadian impact glasses formed 785 ± 7 ka ago in a single event and Belize impact glass in a separate event 769 ± 16 ka ago. The two impact events forming these two strewn fields occurred remarkably closely related in time, i.e., separated by <30 ka.

  19. 76 FR 59495 - Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ... the Secretary of State Pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal... or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia... precursor chemicals illegally smuggled to Afghanistan, where they are used to process heroin....

  20. 75 FR 2879 - Identification of Foreign Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible To Participate in the H-2A and H...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs. See 73 FR 77,043 (Dec. 18, 2008); 73 FR 77,729 (Dec. 19, 2008). The... to the economic impact on particular U.S. industries or regions resulting from the addition or...: Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican...

  1. Go Away

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Stacie Nevadomski

    2012-01-01

    The author and her family spent a few weeks traveling through Central America last summer. A few years back, they had been to Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica yet that was it, not much more exploration of their neighbors to the south. They decided on a short tour of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama and realized this would be a great opportunity…

  2. Exploring the Use of Information Communication Technologies by Selected Caribbean Extension Officers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strong, Robert; Ganpat, Wayne; Harder, Amy; Irby, Travis L.; Lindner, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe selected Caribbean extension officers' technology preferences and examine factors that may affect their technology preferences. Design/methodology/approach: The sample consisted of extension officers (N = 119) participating in professional development training sessions in Grenada, Belize and…

  3. Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A.; Rocha, Claudia R.; Baldwin, Carole C.; Weigt, Lee A.; McField, Melanie

    2015-09-01

    Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are at the forefront of a global decline and are now facing a new threat: elimination of vulnerable species by the invasive lionfish ( Pterois spp.). In addition to being threatened by habitat destruction and pollution, the critically endangered social wrasse ( Halichoeres socialis), endemic to Belize's inner barrier reef, has a combination of biological traits (small size, schooling, and hovering behavior) that makes it a target for the invasive lionfish. Based on stomach content analyses, this small fish comprises almost half of the lionfish diet at the inner barrier reef in Belize. The combination of lionfish predation, limited range, and ongoing habitat destruction makes the social wrasse the most threatened coral reef fish in the world. Other species with small range and similar traits occur elsewhere in the Caribbean and face similar risks.

  4. Phylogenetic Diversity of Diazotrophs along an Experimental Nutrient Gradient in Mangrove Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C. Romero

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of diazotrophs was studied in the sediment of mangrove forests (Twin Cays, Belize subjected to a long-term fertilization with nitrogen and phosphorus. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (TRFLP and cloning of PCR-amplified nifH genes were combined via in silico analysis to assign clones to TRFLP-nifH phylotypes, as well as to characterize the occurrence of phylotypes in response to environmental conditions. Results indicated that mangrove sediments from Belize harbor a unique diazotrophic community with a low metabolic diversity dominated by sulfate reducers. The variability of potential nitrogen-fixing sulfate reducers was explained by several environmental parameters, primarily by the abundance of dead roots in the sediments, and the concentration of H2S in the pore-waters. This study describes the complexity of microbial communities within the mangrove sediments with specific functional groups varying along environmental gradients.

  5. Implied terms in English and Romanian law

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dinu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This study analyses the matter of implied terms from the point of view of both English and Romanian law. First, the introductory section provides a brief overview of implied terms, by defining this class of contractual clauses and by providing their general features. Second, the English law position is analysed, where it is generally recognised that a term may be implied in one of three manners, which are described in turn. An emp hasis is made on the Privy Council’s decision in Attorney General of Belize v Belize Telecom Ltd and its impact. Third, the Romanian law position is described, the starting point of the discussion being represented by the provisions of Article 1272 of the 2009 Civil Code. Fourth, the study ends by mentioning some points of comparison between the two legal systems in what concerns the approach towards implied terms.

  6. Genetic evidence for multiple sources of the non-native fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther; Mayan Cichlids) in southern Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Elizabeth; Trexler, Joel C; Collins, Timothy M; Vazquez-Domínguez, Ella; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Matamoros, Wilfredo A; Barrientos, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The number and diversity of source populations may influence the genetic diversity of newly introduced populations and affect the likelihood of their establishment and spread. We used the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene and nuclear microsatellite loci to identify the sources of a successful invader in southern Florida, USA, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Mayan cichlid). Our cytochrome b data supported an introduction from Guatemala, while our microsatellite data suggested movement of Mayan Cichlids from the upper Yucatán Peninsula to Guatemala and introductions from Guatemala and Belize to Florida. The mismatch between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes suggests admixture of a female lineage from Guatemala, where all individuals were fixed for the mitochondrial haplotype found in the introduced population, and a more diverse but also relatively small number of individuals from Belize. The Florida cytochrome b haplotype appears to be absent from Belize (0 out of 136 fish screened from Belize had this haplotype). Genetic structure within the Florida population was minimal, indicating a panmictic population, while Mexican and Central American samples displayed more genetic subdivision. Individuals from the Upper Yucatán Peninsula and the Petén region of Guatemala were more genetically similar to each other than to fish from nearby sites and movement of Mayan Cichlids between these regions occurred thousands of generations ago, suggestive of pre-Columbian human transportation of Mayan Cichlids through this region. Mayan Cichlids present a rare example of cytonuclear disequilibrium and reduced genetic diversity in the introduced population that persists more than 30 years (at least 7-8 generations) after introduction. We suggest that hybridization occurred in ornamental fish farms in Florida and may contribute their establishment in the novel habitat. Hybridization prior to release may contribute to other successful invasions.

  7. Eksootiline peidupaik investoritele / Sten-Aleks Pihlak

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pihlak, Sten-Aleks

    2007-01-01

    Ilmunud ka: Delovõje Vedomosti 17. okt. lk. 4-5. Eksootilistest riikidest tulevate investeeringute taga on tavaliselt eestlased või teised välisinvestorid, kes oma makse optimeerivad. Lisad: Kommenteerivad Andrus Viirg, Mario Lambing ja Egon Veermäe. Vt. samas: Peeter Raidla. Offshore-firmasid jälitab hämar minevik; Taust: Omanike peitmine levinud paljudes ärisektorites; Ülevaade: Enamik ettevõtjaid eelistab Belize'i

  8. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy in Jamaica: The Absence of a National Sexual Harassment Policy, and the Way Forward

    OpenAIRE

    Peters, R.; P.A. Bourne

    2012-01-01

    Within the Caribbean only countries such as Belize, Bahamas and Guyana have legitimized legislation against sexual harassment. Countries such as Jamaica, Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis have draft bills before parliament. In the Jamaican context, the country in September 1981 signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which came into effect in 1984 which deals with the issue of sexual harassment under Articles 2 (Policy Measures and Legislat...

  9. Macroalgal Extracts Induce Bacterial Assemblage Shifts and Sublethal Tissue Stress in Caribbean Corals

    OpenAIRE

    Morrow, Kathleen M.; Raphael Ritson-Williams; Cliff Ross; Mark R Liles; Paul, Valerie J

    2012-01-01

    Benthic macroalgae can be abundant on present-day coral reefs, especially where rates of herbivory are low and/or dissolved nutrients are high. This study investigated the impact of macroalgal extracts on both coral-associated bacterial assemblages and sublethal stress response of corals. Crude extracts and live algal thalli from common Caribbean macroalgae were applied onto the surface of Montastraea faveolata and Porites astreoides corals on reefs in both Florida and Belize. Denaturing grad...

  10. Ocean Data and Information Network for the Caribbean and South America Region (ODINCARSA)

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez, R.

    2005-01-01

    ODINCARSA was set up primarily as a mechanism for assessing the current and potential state of development of national data centers and to create the means for mutual capacity building in South America and the Caribbean. It further sought to develop a cooperation network for managing and exchanging oceanographic data and information within these regions. ODINCARSA is a network which is integrated by 19 IOC Member States: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Dom...

  11. A Single Early Introduction of HIV-1 Subtype B into Central America Accounts for Most Current Cases

    OpenAIRE

    W. Murillo; Veras, N.; Prosperi, M; de Rivera, I L; Paz-Bailey, G.; Morales-Miranda, S.; Juarez, S. I.; Yang, C; Devos, J.; Marin, J. P.; Mild, M.; J. Albert; Salemi, M.

    2013-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants show considerable geographical separation across the world, but there is limited information from Central America. We provide the first detailed investigation of the genetic diversity and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 in six Central American countries. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on 625 HIV-1 pol gene sequences collected between 2002 and 2010 in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. Published sequences ...

  12. Ocean Data and Information Network for the Caribbean and South America Regions (ODINCARSA): Report of Activities 2005-2006 and Proposed Work Plan 2007-2008.

    OpenAIRE

    Martinez Güingla, Rodney

    2007-01-01

    ODINCARSA was set up primarily as a mechanism for assessing the current and potential state of development of national data centers and to create the means for mutual capacity building in South America and the Caribbean. It further sought to develop a cooperation network for managing and exchanging oceanographic data and information within these regions. ODINCARSA is a network which is integrated by 19 IOC Member States: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, ...

  13. Five new species of Trigonopeltastes Burmeister and Schaum from Central America with new country records for other New World Trichiini (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae)

    OpenAIRE

    Andrew B. T. Smith

    2016-01-01

    Five new species of Trigonopeltastes Burmeister and Schaum, 1840 are described: Trigonopeltastes arborfloricola sp. n. from Nicaragua, T. formidulosus sp. n. from Costa Rica, T. henryi sp. n. from Costa Rica, T. mombachoensis sp. n. from Nicaragua, and T. warneri sp. n. from Belize and Guatemala. An updated key to species of Trigonopeltastes is presented. Trigonopeltastes nigrinus Bates, 1889 and Trigonopeltastes carus Bates, 1889 are placed in synonymy with Trigonopeltastes geometricus Schau...

  14. Astrotischeria neotropicana sp. nov.-a leaf-miner on Sida, Malvaceae, currently with the broadest distribution range in the Neotropics (Lepidoptera, Tischeriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diškus, Arūnas; Stonis, Jonas R

    2015-11-05

    This paper describes Astrotischeria neotropicana Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Tischeriidae), a new leaf-miner on Sida (Malvaceae) with a broad distribution range in tropical Central & South America. The new species is currently recorded from the Amazon Basin in Peru and Ecuador to tropical lowlands in Guatemala and Belize (including the Caribbean Archipelago). The new species is illustrated with photographs of the adults, male and female genitalia, and the leaf-mines; distribution map is also provided.

  15. Scorpionism in Central America, with special reference to the case of Panama

    OpenAIRE

    Borges, A.; RJ Miranda; JM Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Scorpionism in the Americas occurs mainly in Mexico, northern South America and southeast Brazil. This article reviews the local scorpion fauna, available health statistics, and the literature to assess scorpionism in Central America. Notwithstanding its high toxicity in Mexico, most scorpion sting cases in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are produced by species in the genus Centruroides that are only mildly toxic to humans despite the existence of ion channel-active...

  16. The Politics of Technical Assistance in Regional Integration Processes: Mesoamerican Insights

    OpenAIRE

    Almaguer-Kalixto, P. E.

    2016-01-01

    This paper analyses a regional integration process that includes Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama. Formally launched in 2001 as the Puebla-Panama Plan (PPP) with a strong commitment to sustainable development and safeguarding the environmental dimension of the regionalisation process, its current version, renamed the Mesoamerican Project (Proyecto Mesoamérica, PM), does not have the same orientation or goals. This paper addr...

  17. A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone

    OpenAIRE

    Wultsch, Claudia; Waits, Lisette P; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2016-01-01

    With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. ...

  18. Carbon Budgets for Caribbean Mangrove Forests of Varying Structure and with Phosphorus Enrichment

    OpenAIRE

    Lovelock, Catherine E.; Lorae T. Simpson; Lisa J. Duckett; Feller, Ilka C.

    2015-01-01

    There are few detailed carbon (C) budgets of mangrove forests, yet these are important for understanding C sequestration in mangrove forests, how they support the productivity of the coast and their vulnerability to environmental change. Here, we develop C budgets for mangroves on the islands of Twin Cays, Belize. We consider seaward fringing forests and interior scrub forests that have been fertilized with phosphorus (P), which severely limits growth of trees in the scrub forests. We found t...

  19. CO2 Efflux from Cleared Mangrove Peat

    OpenAIRE

    Lovelock, Catherine E.; Roger W Ruess; Feller, Ilka C.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: CO(2) emissions from cleared mangrove areas may be substantial, increasing the costs of continued losses of these ecosystems, particularly in mangroves that have highly organic soils. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured CO(2) efflux from mangrove soils that had been cleared for up to 20 years on the islands of Twin Cays, Belize. We also disturbed these cleared peat soils to assess what disturbance of soils after clearing may have on CO(2) efflux. CO(2) efflux from soils de...

  20. INFLUENCE OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE LEARNING ON NURSING STUDENTS' SELF EFFICACY TOWARDS CULTURAL COMPETENCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Tracey

    2016-01-01

    One method of gaining knowledge, skills and experience with different cultures for nurses and nursing students is through an international immersion experience with training in language, culture and community nursing. This study is a qualitative and quantitative measurement of the influence of a two-week service learning medical experience on a student-nursing group who traveled abroad to Belize, Central America. PMID:27188018

  1. A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca, Pumas (Puma concolor, and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Wultsch

    Full Text Available With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca, pumas (Puma concolor, and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis. We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses. Wild felids in Belize showed moderate levels of genetic variation, with jaguars having the lowest diversity estimates (HE = 0.57 ± 0.02; AR = 3.36 ± 0.09, followed by pumas (HE = 0.57 ± 0.08; AR = 4.20 ± 0.16, and ocelots (HE = 0.63 ± 0.03; AR = 4.16 ± 0.08. We observed low to moderate levels of genetic differentiation for all three target species, with jaguars showing the lowest degree of genetic subdivision across the country, followed by ocelots and pumas. Although levels of genetic diversity and gene flow were still fairly high, we detected evidence of fine-scale genetic subdivision, indicating that levels of genetic connectivity for wild felids in Belize are likely to decrease if habitat loss and fragmentation continue at the current rate. Our study demonstrates the value of understanding fine-scale patterns of gene flow in multiple co-occurring felid species of conservation concern, which is vital for wildlife movement corridor planning and prioritizing future conservation and management efforts within human-impacted landscapes.

  2. A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wultsch, Claudia; Waits, Lisette P; Kelly, Marcella J

    2016-01-01

    With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses. Wild felids in Belize showed moderate levels of genetic variation, with jaguars having the lowest diversity estimates (HE = 0.57 ± 0.02; AR = 3.36 ± 0.09), followed by pumas (HE = 0.57 ± 0.08; AR = 4.20 ± 0.16), and ocelots (HE = 0.63 ± 0.03; AR = 4.16 ± 0.08). We observed low to moderate levels of genetic differentiation for all three target species, with jaguars showing the lowest degree of genetic subdivision across the country, followed by ocelots and pumas. Although levels of genetic diversity and gene flow were still fairly high, we detected evidence of fine-scale genetic subdivision, indicating that levels of genetic connectivity for wild felids in Belize are likely to decrease if habitat loss and fragmentation continue at the current rate. Our study demonstrates the value of understanding fine-scale patterns of gene flow in multiple co-occurring felid species of conservation concern, which is vital for wildlife movement corridor planning and prioritizing future conservation and management efforts within human-impacted landscapes. PMID:26974968

  3. 500 years after Columbus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbach, A

    1992-01-01

    The astonishing range of plants and animals of Central America's 7 countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) is disappearing, as 60% of its forests have been cut for lumber and firewood as well as for cotton, cattle, or subsistence crops. Up to 5 million Mayans lived sustainably for thousands of years in an area now being destroyed by a few hundred thousand inhabitants. The Spanish colonization that started 500 years ago was concentrated in Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. The majority of the English-speaking country of Belize are descended from the black slave population whose culture spread down the coast to Central America. Panama's service economy is based on the Panama Canal and trade and finance. Costa Rica benefits from a tourist industry based on its natural beauty, however, it also has the highest rate of deforestation and its fast population growth could jeopardize earlier social and economic progress. In El Salvador and Guatemala long periods of civil conflict have taken their toll on the economy and the environment. El Salvador has a mountainous territory and limited natural resources and industrialization, while the best land is in the hands of a few families. Honduras and Nicaragua retain the highest proportion of forest cover of the countries in the region, despite Nicaragua's years of tyranny, then revolution and the Contra war, and Honduras's own turmoils. Belize has achieved some stability, and is now strengthening its Central American links. Its coral reefs and coastal areas offer potential for sustainable development through fishing and tourism. Central American countries face the challenges of their fragile environments and major social problems.

  4. Tsunami induced transportation of the coastal marine sediments to distant onshore regions: Some indications from foraminiferal and microbenthic studies of new Wandoor region (Andaman & Nicobar)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Khare, N.; Chaturvedi, S.K.; Ingole, B.S.

    reef sediment apron: Tobacco reef, Belize. Coral Reefs, 6, 1-12(1987) 11. Jones B. and Hunter I.G., Very large boulders on the coast of Grand Cayman: the effects of giant waves on rocky coastlines. Journal of Coastal Research, 8, 763-774 (1992) 12... formation, Proceeding III International Coral Reef Symposium, Miami, 2, 71-78(1997) 14. Li C, Jones B. and Blanchon P., Lagoon shelf sediment exchange by storms - Evidence from Foraminiferal assemblages east coast of Grand Cayman, British West Indies...

  5. The University of Texas Maya Muon Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwitters, Roy (University of Texas at Austin)

    2007-05-09

    Plans to explore the ruin of a Maya Pyramid in Belize using cosmic ray muon tomography will be described. Muon tomography was pioneered by Luis Alvarez in the 1960's to explore the Second Pyramid of Chephren in Egypt. Improvements in detector technology since the Alvarez experiment suggest that muon tomography may be a practical method for exploring and monitoring relatively large underground volumes when exposure times of order months are acceptable. A prototype detector based on Fermilab/MINOS scintillator strip/WLS fiber technology has been built and is being tested at UT Austin. Initial results using the detector will be discussed.

  6. Latent and manifest empiricism in Q'eqchi' Maya healing: a case study of HIV/AIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldram, James B; Hatala, Andrew R

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents a case study of the traditional treatment of a Q'eqchi' Maya man in southern Belize in 2011 who is suffering from AIDS-related sickness. The purpose is to detail the empirical nature of Q'eqchi' Maya medicine, distinguishing between manifest and latent empiricism, as evidenced in the healers evolving attempts to treat the patient in the absence of knowledge of his biomedical diagnosis. The paper argues for a more complete understanding of the empirical nature of much Indigenous healing, which parallels aspects of scientific medicine, and for better collaboration among traditional healers and biomedical practitioners in strongly Indigenous areas.

  7. De antiguos territorios coloniales a nuevas fronteras republicanas: la Guerra de Castas y los límites del suroeste de México, 1821-1893

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Caso Barrera

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Through the analysis of archival material, mainly cartographic, this article explores the processes of territorial delimitation between the province of Yucatan and El Petén, as well as of the region then occupied by the British (present-day Belize. The elaboration of reports and maps for the establishment of limits and borders between provinces, and later between nation states, reflects the policies of those states regarding the establishment of their territories. In this context it studies the impact that the indigenous uprising known as the War of the Castes had on the process of establishing limits and borders.

  8. Characterization of Maya pottery by INAA and ICP-MS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A total of 81 pottery and 25 clay samples from the archaeological site and hinterland areas of Blue Creek in northwest Belize were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis and inductively-coupled-plasma mass-spectrometry at the University of Missouri Research Reactor. Data generated for this study offers insight into local clay-resource variability and movement of pottery in the transition from Early (A.D. 250-600) to Late Classic (A.D. 600-850) occupation. Comparison of data generated by the two analytical techniques demonstrates the relative strengths and weaknesses of each method. (author)

  9. A Revision of the Neotropical Orb-Weaving Spider Genus Scoloderus (Araneae: Araneidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Brian Traw

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available More than one-fourth of the spiders examined for this revision were collected since the neotropical genus Scoloderus was revised in 1976. Thirteen names have been proposed for what appear to be five valid species (Scoloderus cordatus, S. gibber, S. nigriceps, S. tuberculifer, and S. ackerlyi. These species are distinguished by the presence or absence of abdominal humps on the female, the shape of the median apophysis of the male palpus, and the shape of the scape of the female epigynum. Abdominal coloration and pattern are highly variable and unreliable for identification. One new species, Scoloderus ackerlyi, is described on the basis of a single, unique female from Belize.

  10. Diversidad haplotípica en el manatí Trichechus manatus en Cuba: resultados preliminares

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Martinez, Damir; Alvarez-Aleman, Anmari; Bonde, Robert K.; Powell, James A.; Garcia-Machado, Erik

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this analysis was to obtain information regarding the mtDNA haplotype composition of the manatee (T. manatus) occupying the Cuban archipelago. A fragment of 410 bp of the non-coding region was analyzed for 12 individual manatees from Cuba and one from Florida, USA. Only two haplotypes were identified. Haplotype A1, found exclusively in Florida (including in the sample analyzed here) but also found in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, was the most frequent haplotype (11 of the 12 samples from Cuba) and widely distributed. The second haplotype A3, previously referred to as endemic from Belize, was identified from an individual stranded in Isabela de Sagua, north of Cuba. These preliminary results provide information about three major aspects of manatee biology: (1) the mtDNA genetic diversity of T. manatus in Cuba seems low as compared to other regions of the Caribbean; (2) the Cuban population likely belongs to the group comprising Florida and the portions of the Greater Antilles; and (3) the territories of Belize and Cuba have exchanged individuals at present or in a relatively recent past.

  11. Five new species of Trigonopeltastes Burmeister and Schaum from Central America with new country records for other New World Trichiini (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew B. T.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Five new species of Trigonopeltastes Burmeister and Schaum, 1840 are described: Trigonopeltastes arborfloricola sp. n. from Nicaragua, Trigonopeltastes formidulosus sp. n. from Costa Rica, Trigonopeltastes henryi sp. n. from Costa Rica, Trigonopeltastes mombachoensis sp. n. from Nicaragua, and Trigonopeltastes warneri sp. n. from Belize and Guatemala. An updated key to species of Trigonopeltastes is presented. Trigonopeltastes nigrinus Bates, 1889 and Trigonopeltastes carus Bates, 1889 are placed in synonymy with Trigonopeltastes geometricus Schaum, 1841, syn. n.. The males of Trigonopeltastes aurovelutinus Curoe, 2011 and Trigonopeltastes simplex Bates, 1889 are described for the first time. New country records are given for the following: Giesbertiolus ornatus Howden, 1988: Costa Rica; Paragnorimus sambucus Howden, 1970: Guatemala; Trichiotinus bibens (Fabricius, 1775): Canada; Trigonopeltastes archimedes Schaum, 1841: Guatemala and Costa Rica; Trigonopeltastes frontalis Bates, 1889: Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras; Trigonopeltastes glabellus Howden, 1988: Guatemala; Trigonopeltastes geometricus Schaum, 1841: Honduras; Trigonopeltastes sallaei sallaei Bates, 1889: Guatemala and Honduras; Trigonopeltastes simplex Bates, 1889: Mexico; Trigonopeltastes variabilis Howden, 1968: Honduras. PMID:27667956

  12. Health assessment and seroepidemiologic survey of potential pathogens in wild Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzner, Kathryn; Johnson, Christine Kreuder; Bonde, Robert K.; Gomez, Nicole Auil; Powell, James; Nielsen, Klaus; Luttrell, M. Page; Osterhaus, A.D.M.E.; Aguirre, A. Alonso

    2012-01-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, inhabits fresh, brackish, and warm coastal waters distributed along the eastern border of Central America, the northern coast of South America, and throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. Threatened primarily by human encroachment, poaching, and habitat degradation, Antillean manatees are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The impact of disease on population viability remains unknown in spite of concerns surrounding the species' ability to rebound from a population crash should an epizootic occur. To gain insight on the baseline health of this subspecies, a total of 191 blood samples were collected opportunistically from wild Antillean manatees in Belize between 1997 and 2009. Hematologic and biochemical reference intervals were established, and antibody prevalence to eight pathogens with zoonotic potential was determined. Age was found to be a significant factor of variation in mean blood values, whereas sex, capture site, and season contributed less to overall differences in parameter values. Negative antibody titers were reported for all pathogens surveyed except for Leptospira bratislava, L. canicola, and L. icterohemorrhagiae, Toxoplasma gondii, and morbillivirus. As part of comprehensive health assessment in manatees from Belize, this study will serve as a benchmark aiding in early disease detection and in the discernment of important epidemiologic patterns in the manatees of this region. Additionally, it will provide some of the initial tools to explore the broader application of manatees as sentinel species of nearshore ecosystem health.

  13. Stranded pumice in the western Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, J. A.; Henton De Angelis, S.; Toscano, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    Floating and washed-up pumices have been reported by scientific expeditions along the Caribbean Sea coast of the Central American Isthmus and the northern coast of South America since at least 1947. Local coastal communities have been utilizing this resource for many years. The rounded and buffered morphology of hand specimens is consistent with water-borne transit. The volcanically active Caribbean and Central American regions provide a number of candidates for source volcanoes and eruptions. We have attempted to identify this source using samples collected from Carrie Bow Cay and Placencia Beach, Belize; Tulum Beach, Mexico; Morrosquillo Bay, Colombia; and Galeta Point, Panama. We have tracked possible transport routes through the use of river drainage and ocean current maps. The criteria for comparing the products of potential source volcanoes (including Atitlán Caldera in Guatemala and Caribbean sources such as Mt. Pelée, Martinique and Soufrière Hills, Montserrat) were developed from the whole rock major and trace element geochemistry and the compositional and textural characteristics of pumice and their constituent minerals and glasses. The largest pumice sample collected from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, was 18.5x12 cm with the typical, rounded morphology and distinctively stretched vesicles exhibited by this pumice collection.

  14. Health assessment and seroepidemiologic survey of potential pathogens in wild Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzner, Kathryn; Kreuder Johnson, Christine; Bonde, Robert K; Auil Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James; Nielsen, Klaus; Luttrell, M Page; Osterhaus, A D M E; Aguirre, A Alonso

    2012-01-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, inhabits fresh, brackish, and warm coastal waters distributed along the eastern border of Central America, the northern coast of South America, and throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. Threatened primarily by human encroachment, poaching, and habitat degradation, Antillean manatees are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The impact of disease on population viability remains unknown in spite of concerns surrounding the species' ability to rebound from a population crash should an epizootic occur. To gain insight on the baseline health of this subspecies, a total of 191 blood samples were collected opportunistically from wild Antillean manatees in Belize between 1997 and 2009. Hematologic and biochemical reference intervals were established, and antibody prevalence to eight pathogens with zoonotic potential was determined. Age was found to be a significant factor of variation in mean blood values, whereas sex, capture site, and season contributed less to overall differences in parameter values. Negative antibody titers were reported for all pathogens surveyed except for Leptospira bratislava, L. canicola, and L. icterohemorrhagiae, Toxoplasma gondii, and morbillivirus. As part of comprehensive health assessment in manatees from Belize, this study will serve as a benchmark aiding in early disease detection and in the discernment of important epidemiologic patterns in the manatees of this region. Additionally, it will provide some of the initial tools to explore the broader application of manatees as sentinel species of nearshore ecosystem health. PMID:22984521

  15. Predicting the distribution of Montastraea reefs using wave exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chollett, I.; Mumby, P. J.

    2012-06-01

    In the Caribbean region, forereef habitats dominated by Montastraea spp. have the highest biodiversity and support the largest number of ecosystem processes and services. Here we show that the distribution of this species-rich habitat can be explained by one environmental predictor: wave exposure. The relationship between wave exposure and the occurrence of Montastraea reefs was modelled using logistic regression for reefs throughout the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest and most topographically complex systems in the region. The model was able to predict correctly the occurrence of Montastraea reefs with an accuracy of 81%. Consistent with historical qualitative patterns, the distribution of Montastraea reefs is constrained in environments of high exposure. This pattern is likely to be driven by high rates of chronic sediment scour that constrain recruitment. The wide range of wave exposure conditions used to parameterize the model in Belize suggest that it should be transferable throughout much of the Caribbean region, constituting a fast and inexpensive alternative to traditional habitat mapping and complementing global efforts to map reef extent.

  16. Genetic and morphometric differences between yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus, Lutjanidae populations of the tropical West Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson V. Vasconcellos

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Populations of Ocyurus chrysurus were compared genetically and morphometrically along the West Atlantic coast to test the null hypothesis of population homogeneity in the area. Brazilian populations were found to be differentiated in shape (canonical variates analysis; F[48,515] = 10.84, p < 0.0001. Analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences (663 bp of the control region did not show any differences between Brazilian populations but could detect differences between Brazilian and Caribbean (Belize populations. The samples from Pernambuco differed significantly from the other Brazilian populations in allozyme frequencies (11 loci; F ST = 0.167; p < 0.05, but this may have resulted from the small number of samples analysed for that population. Sequence variation of Belize samples departed from neutral expectations (Fu's FS = -8.88; p < 0.001. A mismatch distribution analysis points to an ancient population expansion in that area. We conclude that the genetic data do not allow the rejection of the null hypothesis of panmixia for Brazilian yellowtail snapper populations which should be treated as a single genetic stock, with a latitudinal gradient on their morphology which probably results from phenotypic plasticity. On the other hand, there is a severe restriction to gene flow between O. chrysurus populations from the Caribbean and from the southwestern Atlantic.

  17. A third case of amelia in Morelet's crocodile from the Yucatan Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charruau, Pierre; Niño-Torres, Carlos A

    2014-07-01

    Congenital defects in crocodilians have received little interest. In the context of global change and increasing threats to biodiversity, data on birth defects occurring in wildlife could be of importance for estimating the health of species populations and their ecosystems. Herein, we report the first case of amelia (i.e. absence of limbs) in Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii from Mexico and the third on the southern Yucatan Peninsula. The crocodile in question was a juvenile (41 cm total length) captured in July 2012 in the Río Hondo, the river that forms the border between Mexico and Belize south of the state of Quintana Roo. The prevalence of this malformation in the C. moreletii population of Río Hondo (0.35%) is similar to that reported in 2 previous cases in Belize. Several causes of birth defects in crocodilians have previously been cited in the literature. Although we do not have relevant information to elucidate this case, we discuss some plausible explanations for this birth defect. PMID:24991853

  18. Hybridization between Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus moreletii in the Yucatan Peninsula: I. Evidence from mitochondrial DNA and morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedeño-Vázquez, José Rogelio; Rodriguez, David; Calmé, Sophie; Ross, James Perran; Densmore, Llewellyn D; Thorbjarnarson, John B

    2008-12-01

    The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) and the Morelet's crocodile (C. moreletii) are broadly sympatric in Belize and Mexico. The presence of morphologically anomalous individuals in the overlapping range area suggests possible hybridization between these species. Analysis of 477 base pairs of the mitochondrial tRNA(Pro)-tRNA(Phe)-Dloop region revealed the presence of pure C. acutus (N=43) and C. moreletii (N=56), as well as a high proportion of interspecific hybrids (N=17, 14.6%) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Although all individuals could be assigned to one species or other based on phenotypic characters, some had been characterized as potential hybrids in the field by anomalous scale counts. The hybridization zone lies along the area of sympatry between C. acutus and C. moreletii investigated in this study, but extends further inland if hybrid localities from Belize are included. Hybridization in the Yucatan Peninsula is bidirectional, which indicates considerably more genetic contact between these species than previously recognized, and is probably more detrimental to the genetic integrity of smaller C. acutus populations. A more intensive study of the pattern of hybridization is warranted and supports continued classification of C. acutus as a critically threatened species in the Yucatan Peninsula. PMID:18626922

  19. Health assessment and seroepidemiologic survey of potential pathogens in wild Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn Sulzner

    Full Text Available The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, inhabits fresh, brackish, and warm coastal waters distributed along the eastern border of Central America, the northern coast of South America, and throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. Threatened primarily by human encroachment, poaching, and habitat degradation, Antillean manatees are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The impact of disease on population viability remains unknown in spite of concerns surrounding the species' ability to rebound from a population crash should an epizootic occur. To gain insight on the baseline health of this subspecies, a total of 191 blood samples were collected opportunistically from wild Antillean manatees in Belize between 1997 and 2009. Hematologic and biochemical reference intervals were established, and antibody prevalence to eight pathogens with zoonotic potential was determined. Age was found to be a significant factor of variation in mean blood values, whereas sex, capture site, and season contributed less to overall differences in parameter values. Negative antibody titers were reported for all pathogens surveyed except for Leptospira bratislava, L. canicola, and L. icterohemorrhagiae, Toxoplasma gondii, and morbillivirus. As part of comprehensive health assessment in manatees from Belize, this study will serve as a benchmark aiding in early disease detection and in the discernment of important epidemiologic patterns in the manatees of this region. Additionally, it will provide some of the initial tools to explore the broader application of manatees as sentinel species of nearshore ecosystem health.

  20. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal E; Hall, Jeffery O; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A; Bonde, Robert K; Heard, Darryl

    2013-06-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation.

  1. Health assessment and seroepidemiologic survey of potential pathogens in wild Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzner, Kathryn; Kreuder Johnson, Christine; Bonde, Robert K; Auil Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James; Nielsen, Klaus; Luttrell, M Page; Osterhaus, A D M E; Aguirre, A Alonso

    2012-01-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, inhabits fresh, brackish, and warm coastal waters distributed along the eastern border of Central America, the northern coast of South America, and throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. Threatened primarily by human encroachment, poaching, and habitat degradation, Antillean manatees are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The impact of disease on population viability remains unknown in spite of concerns surrounding the species' ability to rebound from a population crash should an epizootic occur. To gain insight on the baseline health of this subspecies, a total of 191 blood samples were collected opportunistically from wild Antillean manatees in Belize between 1997 and 2009. Hematologic and biochemical reference intervals were established, and antibody prevalence to eight pathogens with zoonotic potential was determined. Age was found to be a significant factor of variation in mean blood values, whereas sex, capture site, and season contributed less to overall differences in parameter values. Negative antibody titers were reported for all pathogens surveyed except for Leptospira bratislava, L. canicola, and L. icterohemorrhagiae, Toxoplasma gondii, and morbillivirus. As part of comprehensive health assessment in manatees from Belize, this study will serve as a benchmark aiding in early disease detection and in the discernment of important epidemiologic patterns in the manatees of this region. Additionally, it will provide some of the initial tools to explore the broader application of manatees as sentinel species of nearshore ecosystem health.

  2. New Proxy for Recent Hurricane Events Using Stalagmite Stable Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frappier, A.; Sahagian, D.

    2002-12-01

    Using recently developed micro-sampling techniques for stable isotope analyses, we obtained monthly to weekly temporal resolution in a fast growing stalagmite from Belize that recorded the last 3 decades of carbonate deposition. The stable oxygen isotope record (O-18 values) varies at interannual to sub-seasonal scales. The largest variations in O-18 values are interannual (corresponding to El Nino events) and annual (corresponding to the strong wet-dry seasonality of the region). Smaller amplitude O-18 variations related to short-term weather fluctuations are also apparent. Brief, low excursions in O-18 values can be identified with hurricane events that impacted Belize in recent decades. This dataset demonstrates that at least some stalagmites can record measurable, low stable oxygen isotope excursions from individual hurricane rainfall events. The proxy is sensitive to storm intensity and distance of storm track to the cave site. This paleotempestology proxy allows estimates of individual storm rainfall amounts and recurrence interval. Pre-historic hurricane events should be detectable using this technique; however, cave sites and individual stalagmites must be selected carefully to recover samples with measurable hurricane records.

  3. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal E; Hall, Jeffery O; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A; Bonde, Robert K; Heard, Darryl

    2013-06-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation. PMID:23805546

  4. ICE-6G models of postglacial relative sea-level history applied to Holocene coral reef and mangrove records of the western Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toscano, M. A.; Peltier, W. R.; Drummond, R.; Gonzalez, J.

    2012-12-01

    Fossil coral reefs and mangrove peat accumulations at western Caribbean sites along a latitudinal gradient from the Florida Keys through Belize and Panama provide dated and interpreted 8,000 year Holocene sea-level records for comparison with RSL predictions of the ICE-6G (VM5A, VM5B; L90) models of glacio-hydro-isostatic adjustment, with and without rotational feedback. These presumably passive continental margin sites provide the means to establish a N-S spatial trend in the varying influences of GIA, eustatic components of Holocene sea level, extent of forebulge collapse and influence of rotational feedback over a 20° latitudinal range. Previous ICE6G (VM5A) model-coral data comparisons for St Croix, USVI, Antigua, Martinique and Barbados (Toscano, Peltier and Drummond, 2011, QSR) along the eastern Caribbean plate and island arc illustrated the close model-data compatibility, the influence of rotational feedback acting as a significant factor in reducing misfits, and the need for high quality in situ data to confirm the extension of the proglacial forebulge into tropical latitudes. The gradient of western Caribbean continental shelf sites comprises a much more varied range of model-data relationships based on extensive combined Acropora palmata (reef crest coral) and Rhizophora mangle (microtidal mangrove) peat datasets in all cases. Starting at the northernmost region with the Florida Keys, there exist negative model misfits to the data, suggesting the possibility of a positive tectonic overprint upon expectations related to the glacial isostatic adjustment process acting alone, even though this region is normally believed to be tectonically stable. The largest multi-proxy database from Belize supports the likelihood of increasing rates of subsidence from north to south in the Belize Lagoon, which may account for numerous positive GIA model-data misfits. The southernmost site at Panama is most similar to Belize in the possible nature of tectonic influences on

  5. The Maya Tropical Forest: Cascading Human impacts from Hillslopes to Floodplains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Timothy; Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl; Doyle, Colin; Krause, Samantha; Brokaw, Nicholas; Yaeger, Jason

    2016-04-01

    We review the long-term human impact on fluvial systems in the Maya tropical forest region. Although most of this karstic region is drained by groundwater, the southern and coastal margins have several river systems that drain volcanic and metamorphic as well as sedimentary terrains. Some positive environmental impacts of Maya Civilization were the long-term impacts of both landesque capital, like wetland field systems, and other land uses that have enriched many soils. Some negative impacts included stripped soils and eutrophic rivers, both playing out again today with recent deforestation and intensive agriculture. We review trends in the region's fluvial systems, present new evidence on beneficial and detrimental impacts of Maya civilization, and present a new study using LiDAR mapping of fluvial geomorphology of the Belize River. Our new field research comes from the transboundary Rio Bravo watershed of Belize and Guatemala near the border with Mexico. This watershed today is mainly a well preserved tropical forest but from 3,000 to 1000 years ago was partly deforested by Maya cities, farms, roads, fires, and fields. We present studies of soils and sediment movement along slopes, floodplains, and water quality impacts of high dissolved loads of sulfate and calcium. We use AMS dates and soil stratigraphy to date slope and floodplain flux, and we use multiple proxies like pollen and carbon isotopes to reconstruct ancient land use. Aggradation in the floodplain and colluvial deposits began by at least 3,000 years ago and continued until 1100 years ago in several study sites. Some Classic period sites with peak human population and land use intensity experienced less soil erosion, perhaps due to soil conservation, post urban construction, and source reduction. Additional evidence suggests that ancient terraced sites and colluvial slopes that gained upslope sediment and soil nutrients from ancient Maya erosion had greater biodiversity. Lastly, we map fluvial

  6. Phenotypic plasticity and morphological integration in a marine modular invertebrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manrique Nelson

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Colonial invertebrates such as corals exhibit nested levels of modularity, imposing a challenge to the depiction of their morphological evolution. Comparisons among diverse Caribbean gorgonian corals suggest decoupling of evolution at the polyp vs. branch/internode levels. Thus, evolutionary change in polyp form or size (the colonial module sensu stricto does not imply a change in colony form (constructed of modular branches and other emergent features. This study examined the patterns of morphological integration at the intraspecific level. Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata (Verrill (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae is a Caribbean shallow water gorgonian that can colonize most reef habitats (shallow/exposed vs. deep/protected; 1–45 m and shows great morphological variation. Results To characterize the genotype/environment relationship and phenotypic plasticity in P. bipinnata, two microsatellite loci, mitochondrial (MSH1 and nuclear (ITS DNA sequences, and (ITS2 DGGE banding patterns were initially compared among the populations present in the coral reefs of Belize (Carrie Bow Cay, Panama (Bocas del Toro, Colombia (Cartagena and the Bahamas (San Salvador. Despite the large and discrete differentiation of morphotypes, there was no concordant genetic variation (DGGE banding patterns in the ITS2 genotypes from Belize, Panama and Colombia. ITS1–5.8S-ITS2 phylogenetic analysis afforded evidence for considering the species P. kallos (Bielschowsky as the shallow-most morphotype of P. bipinnata from exposed environments. The population from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize (1–45 m was examined to determine the phenotypic integration of modular features such as branch thickness, polyp aperture, inter-polyp distance, internode length and branch length. Third-order partial correlation coefficients suggested significant integration between polypar and colonial traits. Some features did not change at all despite 10-fold differences in other integrated

  7. Comparative oceanography of coastal lagoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjerfve, Bjorn

    1986-01-01

    The hypothesis that physical lagoon characteristics and variability depend on the channel connecting the lagoon to the adjacent coastal ocean is evaluated. The geographical, hydrological, and oceanographic characteristics of 10 lagoon systems are described and analyzed; these oceanographic features are utilized to classify the lagoon systems. Choked lagoons (Laguna Joyuda, Coorong, Lake St.Lucia, Gippsland Lakes, Lake Songkla/Thale Luang/Thale Noi, and Lagoa dos Patos) are prevalent on coasts with high wave energy and low tidal range; restricted lagoons (Lake Pontchartrain and Laguna de Terminos) are located on low/medium wave energy coasts with a low tidal range; and leaky lagoons (Mississippi Sound and Belize Lagoon/Chetumal Bay) are connected to the ocean by wide tidal passes that transmit oceanic effects into the lagoon with a minimum of resistance. The data support the hypothesis that the nature of the connecting channel controls system functions.

  8. Coleopterous galls from the Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valéria Cid Maia

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Data on Neotropical coleopterous galls were compiled from the literature, which showed that 82 galls have so far been recorded among 77 plant species. The Fabaceae and Asteraceae plant families display the greatest richness in galls. Most galls are induced on stems or buds, while leaves constitute the second most attacked plant organ. Only 16 coleopteran gallers have been identified at the species level; most records are presented at the order level. The identified species belong to four families: Apionidae, Buprestidae, Curculionidae and Erirhinidae. The galls are found in Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia (probably, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela. Eighteen species of Coleoptera are inquilines of galls and are associated with 18 plant species, most frequently with Asteraceae, Melastomataceae and Fabaceae. The inquilines were recorded mainly in leaf galls induced by Cecidomyiidae (Diptera. The identity of these weevils is poorly known. General data indicate a lack of taxonomic studies in the Neotropical region.

  9. Steve Striffler & Mark Moberg, eds, Banana Wars. Power, Production and History in the Americas

    OpenAIRE

    Giafferi, Natacha

    2006-01-01

    Comment une chose aussi inoffensive qu’une banane peut-elle livrer des pays entiers à la violence, au cancer, à la stérilité, au chômage ? Banana Wars en donne plus qu’un aperçu grâce aux dix études que ce livre propose, qui couvrent une zone allant du Belize à la petite Grenade, depuis les premières exportations de cette herbacée tropicale jusqu’aux dernières controverses de la politique internationale. Conçus non comme des études de cas mais comme les « fruits » d’une tentative d’analyse co...

  10. Ethnobotany and the identification of therapeutic agents from the rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balick, M J

    1990-01-01

    Many rainforest plant species, including trees and herbaceous plants, are employed as medicines by indigenous people. In much of the American tropics, locally harvested herbal medicines are used for a significant portion of the primary health care, in both rural and urban areas. An experienced curandero or herbal healer is familiar with those species with marked biological activity, which are often classified as 'powerful plants'. Examples are given from studies in progress since 1987 in Belize, Central America. The Institute of Economic Botany of The New York Botanical Garden is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland (USA) in the search for higher plants with anti-AIDS and anticancer activity. Several strategies are cited for identification of promising leads from among the circa 110,000 species of higher plants that are present in the neotropics, the focus of this search. Recommendations are offered for the design of future efforts to identify plant leads for pharmaceutical testing. PMID:2086039

  11. The Yucatan Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    This MODIS true-color image of the Yucatan Peninsula was acquired from data captured on October 6, 2001. The Peninsula is comprised of several Mexican states, including Yucatan in the north, Quintana Roo to the east, and Campeche to the west. Mexico also shares the Yucatan Peninsula with the countries of Belize and Guatamala, located to the south of these states. Phytoplankton show up as blue-green swirls off the western coast of Yucatan, in the center of the image, mixed in with sediment and other organic matter. Off the eastern coast of the Peninsula, running north and south along the right side of he image, the region's barrier reef is visible. Second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef in size, the reef spans 180 miles from the northern tip of the Peninsula south into the Gulf of Honduras, and houses over 35 different species of reef-building corals.

  12. Baseline shifts in coral skeletal oxygen isotopic composition: a signature of symbiont shuffling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carilli, J. E.; Charles, C. D.; Garren, M.; McField, M.; Norris, R. D.

    2013-06-01

    Decades-long records of the stable isotopic composition of coral skeletal cores were analyzed from four sites on the Mesoamerican Reef. Two of the sites exhibited baseline shifts in oxygen isotopic composition after known coral bleaching events. Changes in pH at the calcification site caused by a change in the associated symbiont community are invoked to explain the observed shift in the isotopic composition. To test the hypothesis that changes in symbiont clade could affect skeletal chemistry, additional coral samples were collected from Belize for paired Symbiodinium identification and skeletal stable isotopic analysis. We found some evidence that skeletal stable isotopic composition may be affected by symbiont clade and suggest this is an important topic for future investigation. If different Symbiodinium clades leave consistent signatures in skeletal geochemical composition, the signature will provide a method to quantify past symbiont shuffling events, important for understanding how corals are likely to respond to climate change.

  13. Directional layouts in central lowland Maya settlement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bevan, Andrew; Jobbová, Eva; Helmke, Christophe;

    2013-01-01

    This paper suggests the existence of non-random, directional patterns in the location of housemounds across the Late Classic Maya settlement landscape at Baking Pot, Belize, and then explores the wider implications of this patterning in the central Maya lowlands. It introduces an anisotropic method......, by implication, also a set of routes running throughout the housemound landscape and local Maya neighbourhoods during the site’s Late and Terminal Classic history. Furthermore, different possible alignments in different parts of the site are tentatively regarded as an indication of shifting orientations...... to localised grids, following the shift in alignment of monumental architecture, as the settlement landscape expanded over time. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings with respect to the broader interpretation of Maya settlement patterns....

  14. Does the Maya Forest Need More Roads?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conde, Dalia Amor; Ramos, Victor Hugo; Burgués, Irene;

    An assortment of road projects has been proposed in the border region of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, which is part of the Maya Forest, the largest contiguous tropical forest in the Americas north of the Amazon. The proposals are apparently aimed at spurring economic growth and reducing the high...... levels of poverty found in this area. But more and better roads usually bring more people and expand farms. Decision-makers are therefore confronted with a seeming conflict between conservation and development goals. Would new roads be bad or good for the Maya Forest region? To help answer that question...... , we analyzed the economic and environmental impacts of proposed road construction and improvement investments. Economic returns to Guatemala and Mexico were calculated for two projects that would join the two countries through currently roadless forest of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Deforestation...

  15. Ruptured Giant Omphalocele. A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Manuel González Valdez

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Omphalocele is one of the abdominal wall defects. It can be associated with other malformations including imperforate anus, agenesis of the colon, bladder exstrophy and cardiovascular disease, frequently leading to non-viable fetuses. A case of a female newborn who was prematurely delivered (35.3 weeks in Belize with low birth weight (1860 g is presented. This first-born child required emergency surgery at ten hours of life for ruptured giant omphalocele associated with tetralogy of Fallot, hypoglycemia, and severe general malaise. The aim of this report is to present the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in such cases. Given the appropriate prenatal diagnosis implemented in Cuba, it is unusual for Cuban doctors, except those working abroad, to treat these patients; hence, this paper may be useful in the teaching context.

  16. The Politics of Technical Assistance in Regional Integration Processes: Mesoamerican Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almaguer-Kalixto, P. E.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyses a regional integration process that includes Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama. Formally launched in 2001 as the Puebla-Panama Plan (PPP with a strong commitment to sustainable development and safeguarding the environmental dimension of the regionalisation process, its current version, renamed the Mesoamerican Project (Proyecto Mesoamérica, PM, does not have the same orientation or goals. This paper addresses two questions: a which stakeholders and discourses shaped the regional integration’s environmental policy process during its different phases? and b how have the PPP and PM contributed to the environmental governance of the region? The findings suggest that the process has been characterised by strong intervention on the part of supra-national stakeholders that have prioritised liberalisation over the sustainable development agenda for 15 years, weakening regional environmental agencies’ ability to produce warrants to reduce the environmental impacts of regionalisation.

  17. A new record for Limnobatodes paradoxus Hussey, 1925 from Guyana (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Hydrometridae: Limnobatodinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianferoni, Fabio

    2014-06-04

    Limnobatodes paradoxus Hussey, 1925 is a primitive hydrometrid, described from a single female specimen collected in 1923 at Tela, Honduras (Hussey 1925). Following the original description, very few records of this species have been reported in literature, and locality indications are not detailed: Brazil (Cobben 1968), Peru (Andersen 1977), and French Guiana (Polhemus & Polhemus 1995). Andersen (1977, 1982) quoted "British Honduras" [= Belize] instead of Honduras, and this mistake was subsequently repeated by Schuh and Slater (1995) (see Moreira, 2014). This taxon was not listed by Heckman (2011) in his monograph on the Heteroptera of South America. Excellent illustrations of this species, in comparison with those of other Heteroptera, have been provided by several authors (cf. Hussey 1925; Cobben 1968, 1978; Andersen 1977, 1982). Nothing is known about the habitat and life history of Limnobatodes paradoxus (Andersen 1977; Polhemus & Polhemus 1995).

  18. "I Don't Know the Words He Uses": Therapeutic Communication among Q'eqchi Maya Healers and Their Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldram, James B

    2015-09-01

    Traditional or indigenous healing is often assumed to involve rich forms of dialogical and symbolic communication between healer and patient that serve to explain its salience and efficacy. An ethnographic study of Q'eqchi Maya healing in Belize suggests, however, that communication in some forms of indigenous healing may also be minimal and peripheral to treatment and more akin to that of biomedicine than so-called traditional medicine. While communication may still involve symbolic, intercorporeal, and other forms of subtle intersubjective connection, anthropologists often overreach in an effort to portray such healing systems in contradistinction to biomedicine. It is argued here that Q'eqchi healing might best be thought of as a form of empirically based restorative medicine in which communication is purely instrumental to the healer's task of diagnosing and eliminating pathology and restoring the health of the patient.

  19. Grid for Meso american Archaeology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucet, G.

    2007-07-01

    Meso american archaeology works with large amounts of disperse and diverse information, thus the importance of including new methods that optimise the acquisition, conservation, retrieval, and analysis of data to generate knowledge more efficiently and create a better understanding of history. Further, this information --which includes texts, coordinates, raster graphs, and vector graphs-- comes from a considerable geographical area --parts of Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica as well as Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize-- is constantly expanding. This information includes elements like shards, buildings, mural paintings, high and low reliefs, topography, maps, and information about the fauna and soil. Grid computing offers a solution to handle all this information: it respects researchers' need for independence while supplying a platform to share, process and compare the data obtained. Additionally, the Grid can enhance space-time analyses with remote visualisation techniques that can, in turn, incorporate geographical information systems and virtual reality. (Author)

  20. Un bilan des enjeux et impacts de l’écotourisme au Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiola Nicolas

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionS’étirant sur 520 000 km², l’Amérique centrale est une région constituée d’un long isthme étroit formé entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Amérique du Sud. Outre la péninsule du Yucatan et du Mexique, cette région comprend du Nord au Sud, sept états dont le Guatemala, le Belize, le Salvador, le Honduras, le Nicaragua, le Costa Rica et le Panama.Cette région fut marquée pour son instabilité économique, sociale et politique et à ce titre, elle a longtemps été perçue – et le reste encore –...

  1. Community Essay: Identifying management needs for sustainable coral-reef ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James Crabbe

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In 2007, I developed with the aid of the Earthwatch Institute and the Oak Foundation a capacity-building program in southern Belize to address issues of marine reserve management underpinned by science. The first component included group discussions on important issues related to the management of the reserves and review of scientific papers, strategic plans, and action plans. The second component included field research in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. The project’s overall objectives and outcomes were to increase the participants’ capacity to lead and educate regarding sustainable development and to promote networking among organizations that manage marine resources, enhancing their collective influence over policy decisions. From that program, the project group developed the concepts and management protocols for coral-reef sustainability elucidated below.

  2. Geographic extent and chronology of the invasion of non-native lionfish (Pterois volitans [Linnaeus 1758] and P. miles [Bennett 1828]) in the Western North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, Pamela J.

    2009-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific lionfishes (Pterois volitans [Linnaeus 1758] and P. miles [Bennett 1828]: Family Scorpaenidae) are the first non-native marine fishes to establish in the Western North Atlantic. The chronology of the invasion is reported here using records from the US Geological Survey's Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database. Currently, lionfish are established off the Atlantic coast of the USA from the Florida Keys to Cape Hatteras (North Carolina), the Great Antilles, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos. The species have been reported from only one island in the Lesser Antilles (St. Croix), but it is not yet established there. Lionfish are established in Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica. Reports have come from the Gulf of Mexico (Florida), Belize, Panama and Colombia; although lionfish are not considered established in these localities at this time (August 2009), invasion is likely imminent.

  3. Genetic structure, population demography and seasonal occurrence of blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus in Bimini, the Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gledhill, K S; Kessel, S T; Guttridge, T L; Hansell, A C; Bester-van der Merwe, A E; Feldheim, K A; Gruber, S H; Chapman, D D

    2015-12-01

    A longline survey was conducted from 2004 to 2014 to investigate the demographic population structure and seasonal abundance of the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus in the Bimini Islands, the Bahamas. All individuals sampled (n = 242) were sub-adult or adults [70·1-145·1 cm pre-caudal length (LPC) range] with no neonates or YOY recorded in Bimini. Carcharhinus limbatus abundance peaked in September, coincident with the largest ratio of female to male sharks and a peak in fresh mating wounds on females. Mitochondrial control region (mtCR) DNA sequences were obtained from C. limbatus at Bimini to test whether Bimini C. limbatus are most closely related to geographically proximate populations sampled on the south-eastern coast of the U.S.A., the closest known nursery areas for this species. Nine mtCR haplotypes were observed in 32 individuals sampled at Bimini [haplotype diversity (h) = 0·821, nucleotide diversity (π) = 0·0015]. Four haplotypes observed from Bimini matched those previously found in the northern Yucatan (Mexico)-Belize and two matched a haplotype previously found in the U.S.A. Four haplotypes were novel but were closely related to the northern Yucatan-Belizean haplotypes. Pair-wise ΦST analysis showed that Bimini was significantly differentiated from all of the populations previously sampled (U.S.A. Atlantic, U.S.A. Gulf of Mexico, northern Yucatan, Belize and Brazil). This indicates that C. limbatus sampled from Bimini are unlikely from the described, proximate U.S.A. nurseries. PMID:26709212

  4. On the variability of the flow along the Meso-American Barrier Reef system: a numerical model study of the influence of the Caribbean current and eddies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezer, Tal; Thattai, Deeptha V.; Kjerfve, Björn; Heyman, William D.

    2005-12-01

    A high resolution (3-8 km grid), 3D numerical ocean model of the West Caribbean Sea (WCS) is used to investigate the variability and the forcing of flows near the Meso-American Barrier Reef System (MBRS) which runs along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Mesoscale variations in velocity and temperature along the reef were found in seasonal model simulations and in observations; these variations are associated with meandering of the Caribbean current (CC) and the propagation of Caribbean eddies. Diagnostic calculations and a simple assimilation technique are combined to infer the dynamically adjusted flow associated with particular eddies. The results demonstrate that when a cyclonic eddy (negative sea surface height anomaly (SSHA)) is found near the MBRS the CC shifts offshore, the cyclonic circulation in the Gulf of Honduras (GOH) intensifies, and a strong southward flow results along the reef. However, when an anticyclonic eddy (positive SSHA) is found near the reef, the CC moves onshore and the flow is predominantly westward across the reef. The model results help to explain how drifters are able to propagate in a direction opposite to the mean circulation when eddies cause a reversal of the coastal circulation. The effect of including the Meso-American Lagoon west of the Belize Reef in the model topography was also investigated, to show the importance of having accurate coastal topography in determining the variations of transports across the MBRS. The variations found in transports across the MBRS (on seasonal and mesoscale time scales) may have important consequences for biological activities along the reef such as spawning aggregations; better understanding the nature of these variations will help ongoing efforts in coral reef conservation and maintaining the health of the ecosystem in the region.

  5. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Harr, Kendal E.; Hall, Jeffery O.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Heard, Darryl

    2013-01-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P ≤ 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation.

  6. Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Ziegler, Shelby L; Campbell, Justin E; Bippus, Paige M; Lefcheck, Jonathan S

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple, standardized assay, the squidpop, for measuring the relative feeding intensity of generalist predators in aquatic systems. The assay consists of a 1.3-cm diameter disk of dried squid mantle tethered to a rod, which is either inserted in the sediment in soft-bottom habitats or secured to existing structure. Each replicate squidpop is scored as present or absent after 1 and 24 hours, and the data for analysis are proportions of replicate units consumed at each time. Tests in several habitats of the temperate southeastern USA (Virginia and North Carolina) and tropical Central America (Belize) confirmed the assay's utility for measuring variation in predation intensity among habitats, among seasons, and along environmental gradients. In Belize, predation intensity varied strongly among habitats, with reef > seagrass = mangrove > unvegetated bare sand. Quantitative visual surveys confirmed that assayed feeding intensity increased with abundance and species richness of fishes across sites, with fish abundance and richness explaining up to 45% and 70% of the variation in bait loss respectively. In the southeastern USA, predation intensity varied seasonally, being highest during summer and declining in late autumn. Deployments in marsh habitats generally revealed a decline in mean predation intensity from fully marine to tidal freshwater sites. The simplicity, economy, and standardization of the squidpop assay should facilitate engagement of scientists and citizens alike, with the goal of constructing high-resolution maps of how top-down control varies through space and time in aquatic ecosystems, and addressing a broad array of long-standing hypotheses in macro- and community ecology. PMID:26599815

  7. Genetic structure, population demography and seasonal occurrence of blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus in Bimini, the Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gledhill, K S; Kessel, S T; Guttridge, T L; Hansell, A C; Bester-van der Merwe, A E; Feldheim, K A; Gruber, S H; Chapman, D D

    2015-12-01

    A longline survey was conducted from 2004 to 2014 to investigate the demographic population structure and seasonal abundance of the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus in the Bimini Islands, the Bahamas. All individuals sampled (n = 242) were sub-adult or adults [70·1-145·1 cm pre-caudal length (LPC) range] with no neonates or YOY recorded in Bimini. Carcharhinus limbatus abundance peaked in September, coincident with the largest ratio of female to male sharks and a peak in fresh mating wounds on females. Mitochondrial control region (mtCR) DNA sequences were obtained from C. limbatus at Bimini to test whether Bimini C. limbatus are most closely related to geographically proximate populations sampled on the south-eastern coast of the U.S.A., the closest known nursery areas for this species. Nine mtCR haplotypes were observed in 32 individuals sampled at Bimini [haplotype diversity (h) = 0·821, nucleotide diversity (π) = 0·0015]. Four haplotypes observed from Bimini matched those previously found in the northern Yucatan (Mexico)-Belize and two matched a haplotype previously found in the U.S.A. Four haplotypes were novel but were closely related to the northern Yucatan-Belizean haplotypes. Pair-wise ΦST analysis showed that Bimini was significantly differentiated from all of the populations previously sampled (U.S.A. Atlantic, U.S.A. Gulf of Mexico, northern Yucatan, Belize and Brazil). This indicates that C. limbatus sampled from Bimini are unlikely from the described, proximate U.S.A. nurseries.

  8. Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Emmett Duffy

    Full Text Available We present a simple, standardized assay, the squidpop, for measuring the relative feeding intensity of generalist predators in aquatic systems. The assay consists of a 1.3-cm diameter disk of dried squid mantle tethered to a rod, which is either inserted in the sediment in soft-bottom habitats or secured to existing structure. Each replicate squidpop is scored as present or absent after 1 and 24 hours, and the data for analysis are proportions of replicate units consumed at each time. Tests in several habitats of the temperate southeastern USA (Virginia and North Carolina and tropical Central America (Belize confirmed the assay's utility for measuring variation in predation intensity among habitats, among seasons, and along environmental gradients. In Belize, predation intensity varied strongly among habitats, with reef > seagrass = mangrove > unvegetated bare sand. Quantitative visual surveys confirmed that assayed feeding intensity increased with abundance and species richness of fishes across sites, with fish abundance and richness explaining up to 45% and 70% of the variation in bait loss respectively. In the southeastern USA, predation intensity varied seasonally, being highest during summer and declining in late autumn. Deployments in marsh habitats generally revealed a decline in mean predation intensity from fully marine to tidal freshwater sites. The simplicity, economy, and standardization of the squidpop assay should facilitate engagement of scientists and citizens alike, with the goal of constructing high-resolution maps of how top-down control varies through space and time in aquatic ecosystems, and addressing a broad array of long-standing hypotheses in macro- and community ecology.

  9. Caribbean mangroves adjust to rising sea level through biotic controls on change in soil elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Cahoon, D.R.; Feller, Ilka C.

    2007-01-01

    Aim The long-term stability of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and salt marshes depends upon the maintenance of soil elevations within the intertidal habitat as sea level changes. We examined the rates and processes of peat formation by mangroves of the Caribbean Region to better understand biological controls on habitat stability. Location Mangrove-dominated islands on the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Honduras and Panama were selected as study sites. Methods Biological processes controlling mangrove peat formation were manipulated (in Belize) by the addition of nutrients (nitrogen or phosphorus) to Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), and the effects on the dynamics of soil elevation were determined over a 3-year period using rod surface elevation tables (RSET) and marker horizons. Peat composition and geological accretion rates were determined at all sites using radiocarbon-dated cores. Results The addition of nutrients to mangroves caused significant changes in rates of mangrove root accumulation, which influenced both the rate and direction of change in elevation. Areas with low root input lost elevation and those with high rates gained elevation. These findings were consistent with peat analyses at multiple Caribbean sites showing that deposits (up to 10 m in depth) were composed primarily of mangrove root matter. Comparison of radiocarbon-dated cores at the study sites with a sea-level curve for the western Atlantic indicated a tight coupling between peat building in Caribbean mangroves and sea-level rise over the Holocene. Main conclusions Mangroves common to the Caribbean region have adjusted to changing sea level mainly through subsurface accumulation of refractory mangrove roots. Without root and other organic inputs, submergence of these tidal forests is inevitable due to peat decomposition, physical compaction and eustatic sea-level rise. These findings have relevance for predicting the effects of sea-level rise and biophysical processes on tropical

  10. Technical Report on Application and Development of Appropriate Tools and Technologies for Cost-Effective Carbon Sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bill Stanley; Sandra Brown; Zoe Kant; Patrick Gonzalez

    2009-01-07

    environmental benefits. In the first phase we worked in the U.S., Brazil, Belize, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile to develop and refine specific carbon inventory methods, pioneering a new remote-sensing method for cost-effectively measuring and monitoring terrestrial carbon sequestration and system for developing carbon baselines for both avoided deforestation and afforestation/reforestation projects. We evaluated the costs and carbon benefits of a number of specific terrestrial carbon sequestration activities throughout the U.S., including reforestation of abandoned mined lands in southwest Virginia, grassland restoration in Arizona and Indiana, and reforestation in the Mississippi Alluvial Delta. The most cost-effective U.S. terrestrial sequestration opportunity we found through these studies was reforestation in the Mississippi Alluvial Delta. In Phase II we conducted a more systematic assessment and comparison of several different measurement and monitoring approaches in the Northern Cascades of California, and a broad 11-state Northeast regional assessment, rather than pre-selected and targeted, analysis of terrestrial sequestration costs and benefits. Work was carried out in Brazil, Belize, Chile, Peru and the USA. Partners include the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development, The Sampson Group, Programme for Belize, Society for Wildlife Conservation (SPVS), Universidad Austral de Chile, Michael Lefsky, Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, ProNaturaleza, Ohio State University, Stephen F. Austin University, Geographical Modeling Services, Inc., WestWater, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Century Ecosystem Services, Mirant Corporation, General Motors, American Electric Power, Salt River Project, Applied Energy Systems, KeySpan, NiSource, and PSEG. This project, 'Application and Development of Appropriate Tools and Technologies for Cost-Effective Carbon Sequestration', has resulted in over 50 presentations and

  11. Phylogeographic Pattern and Extensive Mitochondrial DNA Divergence Disclose a Species Complex within the Chagas Disease Vector Triatoma dimidiata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Fernando A.; Peretolchina, Tatiana; Lazoski, Cristiano; Harris, Kecia; Dotson, Ellen M.; Abad-Franch, Fernando; Tamayo, Elsa; Pennington, Pamela M.; Monroy, Carlota; Cordon-Rosales, Celia; Salazar-Schettino, Paz Maria; Gómez-Palacio, Andrés; Grijalva, Mario J.; Beard, Charles B.; Marcet, Paula L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Triatoma dimidiata is among the main vectors of Chagas disease in Latin America. However, and despite important advances, there is no consensus about the taxonomic status of phenotypically divergent T. dimidiata populations, which in most recent papers are regarded as subspecies. Methodology and Findings A total of 126 cyt b sequences (621 bp long) were produced for specimens from across the species range. Forty-seven selected specimens representing the main cyt b clades observed (after a preliminary phylogenetic analysis) were also sequenced for an ND4 fragment (554 bp long) and concatenated with their respective cyt b sequences to produce a combined data set totalling 1175 bp/individual. Bayesian and Maximum-Likelihood phylogenetic analyses of both data sets (cyt b, and cyt b+ND4) disclosed four strongly divergent (all pairwise Kimura 2-parameter distances >0.08), monophyletic groups: Group I occurs from Southern Mexico through Central America into Colombia, with Ecuadorian specimens resembling Nicaraguan material; Group II includes samples from Western-Southwestern Mexico; Group III comprises specimens from the Yucatán peninsula; and Group IV consists of sylvatic samples from Belize. The closely-related, yet formally recognized species T. hegneri from the island of Cozumel falls within the divergence range of the T. dimidiata populations studied. Conclusions We propose that Groups I–IV, as well as T. hegneri, should be regarded as separate species. In the Petén of Guatemala, representatives of Groups I, II, and III occur in sympatry; the absence of haplotypes with intermediate genetic distances, as shown by multimodal mismatch distribution plots, clearly indicates that reproductive barriers actively promote within-group cohesion. Some sylvatic specimens from Belize belong to a different species – likely the basal lineage of the T. dimidiata complex, originated ∼8.25 Mya. The evidence presented here strongly supports the proposition that T

  12. Phylogeographic pattern and extensive mitochondrial DNA divergence disclose a species complex within the Chagas disease vector Triatoma dimidiata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando A Monteiro

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Triatoma dimidiata is among the main vectors of Chagas disease in Latin America. However, and despite important advances, there is no consensus about the taxonomic status of phenotypically divergent T. dimidiata populations, which in most recent papers are regarded as subspecies. METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS: A total of 126 cyt b sequences (621 bp long were produced for specimens from across the species range. Forty-seven selected specimens representing the main cyt b clades observed (after a preliminary phylogenetic analysis were also sequenced for an ND4 fragment (554 bp long and concatenated with their respective cyt b sequences to produce a combined data set totalling 1175 bp/individual. Bayesian and Maximum-Likelihood phylogenetic analyses of both data sets (cyt b, and cyt b+ND4 disclosed four strongly divergent (all pairwise Kimura 2-parameter distances >0.08, monophyletic groups: Group I occurs from Southern Mexico through Central America into Colombia, with Ecuadorian specimens resembling Nicaraguan material; Group II includes samples from Western-Southwestern Mexico; Group III comprises specimens from the Yucatán peninsula; and Group IV consists of sylvatic samples from Belize. The closely-related, yet formally recognized species T. hegneri from the island of Cozumel falls within the divergence range of the T. dimidiata populations studied. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that Groups I-IV, as well as T. hegneri, should be regarded as separate species. In the Petén of Guatemala, representatives of Groups I, II, and III occur in sympatry; the absence of haplotypes with intermediate genetic distances, as shown by multimodal mismatch distribution plots, clearly indicates that reproductive barriers actively promote within-group cohesion. Some sylvatic specimens from Belize belong to a different species - likely the basal lineage of the T. dimidiata complex, originated ~8.25 Mya. The evidence presented here strongly supports the proposition

  13. Provenance Ages of Protoliths From the Chiapas Massif Complex and Adjacent Strata of the Southern Maya Block - Implications on the Paleozoic Reconstruction of Middle America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, B.; Schaaf, P.; Valencia, V. A.; Lopez-Martinez, M.; Ortega-Gutierrez, F.

    2007-05-01

    The basement of the Maya block is exposed in the Maya Mountains of Belize, the Chuacús Complex of Guatemala, and in the Chiapas Massif Complex (CMC) of SE Mexico. In the CMC medium- to high-grade metasedimentary rocks occur as isolated domains in mostly metaigneous crystalline rocks. The most important tectonothermal event in the entire CMC is of late Permian age, culminating in partial anatexis and the intrusion of the Chiapas batholith. In this work we present U-Pb data obtained by LA-MC-ICPMS from detrital zircon cores of metasediments from the CMC and from detrital zircons of Paleozoic strata exposed in SE Chiapas. The Pennsylvanian-Permian Santa Rosa Formation (SRF) contains mostly Pan-African (500-650 Ma) zircons, minor populations of Silurian-Early Devonian (400-420 Ma) and Grenville (1.0-1.25 Ga) zircons, and few Paleoproterozoic and Archean grains. The maximum sedimentation age is documented by ~320 Ma old zircons. Metagreywacke and metasandstones of the central CMC have inherited detrital zircon cores with age distributions indistinguishable from those of the SRF. High-grade metapelites and para-amphibolites from the CMC, instead, have inherited zircon cores with one single population of 1.0 Ga or with populations at 1.0, 1.2, and 1.5 Ga. In the southern part of the CMC leucocratic granites intrude sedimentary rocks whose detrital zircons yielded mostly 1.53 Ga ages with some grains in the range of 1.6-1.7 Ga, but no younger zircons. White mica grown in contact with the leucogranite has a 40Ar- 39Ar age of 406 ± 4 Ma, defining a minimum age for both deposition of the sediments and intrusion of the leucogranite. Our data indicate that the CMC has a composite pre-metamorphic basement, containing sedimentary protoliths from the Pennsylvanian-Permian SRF and from early Paleozoic strata intruded by Silurian-Early Devonian granites. This favors a similar pre-Permian geologic history for the CMC as for the Maya Mountains of Belize. The early Paleozoic

  14. U/Pb Geochronology of the Maya Block, Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martens, U.; Ratschbacher, L.; McWilliams, M.

    2005-12-01

    The Maya Block can be defined as Guatemala north of the Motagua transform fault, Belize, and part of southern Mexico. The absence of radiometric ages has hindered an understanding of the geologic evolution of the Maya Block and its connections with adjacent blocks in North America, South America and the Caribbean. We present an exploratory study of SHRIMP U/Pb ages from zircons collected in central and western Guatemala that shows ubiquitous Grenvillian inheritance, magmatism at ~ 1020 Ma, ~ 975 Ma and ~ 175 Ma, Devonian-Silurian and Triassic tectonomagmatic events, and Cretaceous metamorphism. Grenvillian orthogneisses were identified in the northern flank of the Sierra de Chuac'{u}s whose magmatic ages are 1020 ± 35 Ma and 975 ± 15 Ma with possible Pb-loss at ~ 420 Ma. Zircons of the Rabinal Granite show an important ~ 975 Ma inheritance and concordant ages in the 400-500 Ma range. We interpret the Devonian-Silurian ages as magmatic and correlate the peraluminous Rabinal Granite with similar intrusions in the Maya Mountains of Belize. Coeval events recorded in Chuac'{u}s orthogneisses and the Rabinal Granite suggest connections since Early Paleozoic time between the Chuac'{u}s complex and the Maya Block north of the Baja Verapaz shear zone that separates rocks of contrasting metamorphic grade. The magmatic age for deformed granites south of Sacapulas in central-western Guatemala is 174 ± 3 Ma. Migmatitic paragneisses collected south of Huehuetenango yield Triassic metamorphic ages at 223 ± 4 Ma, coeval with anatexis in the basement of Chiapas, Mexico. Medium to high-grade metasedimentary rocks on the southern flank of the Sierra de Chuac'{u}s do not record a Silurian-Devonian provenance. Instead, they yield clear Grenvillian and Triassic (240-210 Ma) components. Dating of zircon rims at 74 ± 1 Ma yields a precise age for the peak Cretaceous epidote-amphibolite metamorphic event in the Chuac'{u}s complex. Ductile structures exhibiting at least 4 tectonic

  15. Evaluation of exposure to organophosphate, carbamate, phenoxy acid, and chlorophenol pesticides in pregnant women from 10 Caribbean countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forde, Martin S; Robertson, Lyndon; Laouan Sidi, Elhadji A; Côté, Suzanne; Gaudreau, Eric; Drescher, Olivia; Ayotte, Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Pesticides are commonly used in tropical regions such as the Caribbean for both household and agricultural purposes. Of particular concern is exposure during pregnancy, as these compounds can cross the placental barrier and interfere with fetal development. The objective of this study was to evaluate exposure of pregnant women residing in 10 Caribbean countries to the following commonly used classes of pesticides in the Caribbean: organophosphates (OPs), carbamates, phenoxy acids, and chlorophenols. Out of 438 urine samples collected, 15 samples were randomly selected from each Caribbean country giving a total of 150 samples. Samples were analyzed for the following metabolites: six OP dialkylphosphate metabolites [dimethylphosphate (DMP), dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP), dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP), diethylphosphate (DEP), diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP)]; two carbamate metabolites [2-isopropoxyphenol (2-IPP) and carbofuranphenol]; one phenoxy acid 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and five chlorophenols [2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP), 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), and pentachlorophenol (PCP)]. OP metabolites were consistently detected in ≥60% of the samples from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Of the carbamate metabolites, 2-IPP was detected in seven of the 10 Caribbean countries with a detection frequency around 30%, whereas carbofuranphenol was detected in only one sample. The detection frequency for the phenoxy acid 2,4-D ranged from 20% in Grenada to a maximum of 67% in Belize. Evidence of exposure to chlorophenol pesticides was also established with 2,4-DCP by geometric means ranging from 0.52 μg L(-1) in St Lucia to a maximum of 1.68 μg L(-1) in Bermuda. Several extreme concentrations of 2,5-DCP were detected in four Caribbean countries-Belize (1100 μg L(-1)), Bermuda (870 μg L(-1)), Jamaica (1300 μg L(-1)), and St Kitts and Nevis (1400 μg L(-1

  16. Intra- and inter-annual uranium concentration variability in a Belizean stalagmite controlled by prior aragonite precipitation: A new tool for reconstructing hydro-climate using aragonitic speleothems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamieson, Robert A.; Baldini, James U. L.; Brett, Marianne J.; Taylor, Jessica; Ridley, Harriet E.; Ottley, Chris J.; Prufer, Keith M.; Wassenburg, Jasper A.; Scholz, Denis; Breitenbach, Sebastian F. M.

    2016-10-01

    Aragonitic speleothems are increasingly utilised as palaeoclimate archives due to their amenability to high precision U-Th dating. Proxy records from fast-growing aragonitic stalagmites, precisely dated to annual timescales, can allow investigation of climatic events occurring on annual or even sub-annual timescales with minimal chronological uncertainty. However, the behaviour of many trace elements, such as uranium, in aragonitic speleothems has not thus far been as well constrained as in calcitic speleothems. Here, we use uranium concentration shifts measured across primary calcite-to-aragonite mineralogical transitions in speleothems to calculate the distribution coefficient of uranium in aragonitic speleothems (derived DU = 3.74 ± 1.13). Because our calculated DU is considerably above 1 increased prior aragonite precipitation due to increased karst water residence time should strongly control stalagmite aragonite U/Ca values. Consequently, uranium concentrations in aragonitic speleothems should act as excellent proxies for effective rainfall. We test this using a high-resolution ICP-MS derived trace element dataset from a Belizean stalagmite. YOK-G is an aragonitic stalagmite from Yok Balum cave in Belize with an extremely robust monthly-resolved chronology built using annual δ13C cycles. We interpret seasonal U/Ca variations in YOK-G as reflecting changes in the amount and seasonality of prior aragonite precipitation driven by variable rainfall amounts. The U/Ca record strongly suggests that modern drying has occurred in Belize, and that this drying was primarily caused by a reduction in wet season rainfall. This is consistent with published stable isotope data from YOK-G also very strongly suggesting modern rainfall reductions, previously interpreted as the result of southward ITCZ displacement. Our results strongly suggest that U/Ca values in aragonitic speleothems are excellent proxies for rainfall variability. This new tool, combined with the

  17. Sclerochronology - a highly versatile tool for mariculture and reconstruction of life history traits of the queen conch, textit{Strombus gigas} (Gastropoda)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radermacher, Pascal; Schöne, Bernd R.; Gischler, Eberhard; Oschmann, Wolfgang; Thébault, Julien; Fiebig, Jens

    2010-05-01

    The shell of the queen conch Strombus gigas provides a rapidly growing palaeoenvironmental proxy archive, allowing the detailed reconstruction of important life-history traits such as ontogeny, growth rate and growth seasonality. In this study, modern sclerochronological methods are used to cross-date the palaeotemperatures derived from the shell with local sea surface temperature (SST) records. The growth history of the shell suggests a bimodal seasonality in growth, with the growing season confined to the interval between April and November. In Glovers Reef, offshore Belize, the queen conch accreted shell carbonate at rates of up to 6 mm day-1 during the spring (April-June) and autumn (September-November). However a reduced period of growth occurred during the mid-summer months (July-August). The shell growth patterns indicate a positive response to annual seasonality with regards to precipitation. It seems likely that when precipitation levels are high, food availability is increased as the result of nutrient input to the ecosystem in correspondence with an increase in coastal runoff. Slow growth rates occur when precipitation, and as a consequence riverine runoff, is low. The SST however appears to influence growth only on a secondary level. Despite the bimodal growing season and the winter cessation in growth, the growth rates reconstructed here from two S. gigas shells are among the fastest yet reported for this species. The S. gigas specimens from Belize reached their final shell height (of 22.7 and 23.5 cm in distance between the apex and the siphonal notch) at the transition to adulthood in just 2 years. The extremely rapid growth as observed in this species permits detailed, high-resolution reconstructions of life-history traits where sub-daily resolutions can be achieved with ease. The potential for future studies has yet to be further explored. Queen conch sclerochronology provides an opportunity to recover extremely high-resolution palaeotemperature

  18. Soil and Human Interactions in Maya Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Timothy; Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl

    2013-04-01

    Since the early 1990s, we have studied Maya interaction with soils in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and elsewhere. We studied upland and lowland soils, but here we focus on seasonal or 'Bajo' wetlands and perennial wetlands for different reasons. Around the bajos, the ancient Maya focused on intensive agriculture and habitation despite the difficulties their Vertisol soils posed. For the perennial wetlands, small populations spread diffusely through Mollisol and Histisol landscapes with large scale, intensive agro-ecosystems. These wetlands also represent important repositories for both environmental change and how humans responded in situ to environmental changes. Work analyzing bajo soils has recorded significant diversity but the soil and sediment record shows two main eras of soil instability: the Pleistocene-Holocene transition as rainfall fluctuated and increased and tropical forest pulsed through the region, and the Maya Preclassic to Classic 3000 to 1000 BP as deforestation, land use intensity, and drying waxed and waned. The ancient Maya adapted their bajo soil ecosystems successfully through agro-engineering but they also withdrew in many important places in the Late Preclassic about 2000 BP and Terminal Classic about 1200 BP. We continue to study and debate the importance of perennial wetland agro-ecosystems, but it is now clear that Maya interaction with these soil landscapes was significant and multifaceted. Based on soil excavation and coring with a broad toolkit of soil stratigraphy, chemistry, and paleoecology from 2001 to 2013, our results show the ancient Maya interacted with their wetland soils to maintain cropland for maize, tree crops, arrow root, and cassava against relative sea level rise, increased flooding, and aggradation by gypsum precipitation and sedimentation. We have studied these interactions across an area of 2000 km2 in Northern Belize to understand how Maya response varied and how these soil environments varied over time and distance

  19. Impact of screwworm eradication programmes using the sterile insect technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) in New World screwworm Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) eradication programmes has been successfully demonstrated. As a result of a 45-year area-wide campaign, suppression and eradication have been achieved in the USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama north of the Canal, some Caribbean Islands, and the outbreak in Libya, North Africa. The humans, livestock, and wildlife in these countries are now free of this dangerous pest. It has been estimated that the annual producer benefits are: USA - USD 796 million, Mexico - USD 292 million, and Central America - USD 77.9 million. In Libya, the estimated benefit/cost ratio was 5:1 in the infested zone, and 10:1 in the whole country. If the New World screwworm were eradicated in South America, it has been estimated that each year USD 3592 million could be saved. Small field trials have confirmed that the SIT would be effective for the area-wide control of the Old World screwworm Chrysomya bezziana (Villeneuve). (author)

  20. Xiphophorus interspecies hybrids as genetic models of induced neoplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, R B; Kazianis, S

    2001-01-01

    Fishes of the genus Xiphophorus (platyfishes and swordtails) are small, internally fertilizing, livebearing, and derived from freshwater habitats in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Scientists have used these fishes in cancer research studies for more than 70 yr. The genus is presently composed of 22 species that are quite divergent in their external morphology. Most cancer studies using Xiphophorus use hybrids, which can be easily produced by artificial insemination. Phenotypic traits, such as macromelanophore pigment patterns, are often drastically altered as a result of lack of gene regulation within hybrid fishes. These fish can develop large exophytic melanomas as a result of upregulated expression of these pigment patterns. Because backcross hybrid fish are susceptible to the development of melanoma and other neoplasms, they can be subjected to potentially deleterious chemical and physical agents. It is thus possible to use gene mapping and cloning methodologies to identify and characterize oncogenes and tumor suppressors implicated in spontaneous or induced neoplasia. This article reviews the history of cancer research using Xiphophorus and recent developments regarding DNA repair capabilities, mapping, and cloning of candidate genes involved in neoplastic phenotypes. The particular genetic complexity of melanoma in these fishes is analyzed and reviewed. PMID:11581522

  1. Interspecific variation in the repair of UV damaged DNA in the genus Xiphophorus as a factor in the decline of the Rio Grande Platyfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, David; Paniker, Lakshmi; Lin, Kevin; Fernandez, André

    2015-01-01

    The fish genus Xiphophorus consists of 26 species distributed along the eastern slopes of mountain ranges extending from northern Mexico to Belize and Nicaragua. We analyzed light-dependent repair of UV-induced DNA damage in at least two species from each of the four monophyletic Xiphophorus groups. We found that the northern platyfish had significantly reduced photoenzymatic repair compared to the other three groups, including the northern swordtails, southern platyfish and southern swordtails. All of the species of the northern platyfish, including the Marbled (meyeri), Northern (gordoni) and Monterrey Platyfish (couchianus) are the northernmost species in the genus and are the only three species in the genus that are currently found on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Satellite data from the past 30 years (1979-2008) correlate greater increases in shorter wavelength UVB with higher latitudes within the Xiphophorus range. We suggest that, combined with other consequences of human population growth, anthropogenic deozonation resulting in a disproportionate increase in UVB in temperate latitudes may be a contributing factor in the decline and extirpation of the northern platyfish.

  2. Geospatial revolution and remote sensing LiDAR in Mesoamerican archaeology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Arlen F; Chase, Diane Z; Fisher, Christopher T; Leisz, Stephen J; Weishampel, John F

    2012-08-01

    The application of light detection and ranging (LiDAR), a laser-based remote-sensing technology that is capable of penetrating overlying vegetation and forest canopies, is generating a fundamental shift in Mesoamerican archaeology and has the potential to transform research in forested areas world-wide. Much as radiocarbon dating that half a century ago moved archaeology forward by grounding archaeological remains in time, LiDAR is proving to be a catalyst for an improved spatial understanding of the past. With LiDAR, ancient societies can be contextualized within a fully defined landscape. Interpretations about the scale and organization of densely forested sites no longer are constrained by sample size, as they were when mapping required laborious on-ground survey. The ability to articulate ancient landscapes fully permits a better understanding of the complexity of ancient Mesoamerican urbanism and also aids in modern conservation efforts. The importance of this geospatial innovation is demonstrated with newly acquired LiDAR data from the archaeological sites of Caracol, Cayo, Belize and Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico. These data illustrate the potential of technology to act as a catalytic enabler of rapid transformational change in archaeological research and interpretation and also underscore the value of on-the-ground archaeological investigation in validating and contextualizing results.

  3. Embedding ecosystem services in coastal planning leads to better outcomes for people and nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkema, Katie K; Verutes, Gregory M; Wood, Spencer A; Clarke-Samuels, Chantalle; Rosado, Samir; Canto, Maritza; Rosenthal, Amy; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Guannel, Gregory; Toft, Jodie; Faries, Joe; Silver, Jessica M; Griffin, Robert; Guerry, Anne D

    2015-06-16

    Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a management plan. We developed models that quantify services provided by corals, mangroves, and seagrasses. We used these models within an extensive engagement process to design a national spatial plan for Belize's coastal zone. Through iteration of modeling and stakeholder engagement, we developed a preferred plan, currently under formal consideration by the Belizean government. Our results suggest that the preferred plan will lead to greater returns from coastal protection and tourism than outcomes from scenarios oriented toward achieving either conservation or development goals. The plan will also reduce impacts to coastal habitat and increase revenues from lobster fishing relative to current management. By accounting for spatial variation in the impacts of coastal and ocean activities on benefits that ecosystems provide to people, our models allowed stakeholders and policymakers to refine zones of human use. The final version of the preferred plan improved expected coastal protection by >25% and more than doubled the revenue from fishing, compared with earlier versions based on stakeholder preferences alone. Including outcomes in terms of ecosystem-service supply and value allowed for explicit consideration of multiple benefits from oceans and coasts that typically are evaluated separately in management decisions. PMID:26082545

  4. Visual interpretation of synthetic aperture radar data for assessing land cover in tropical savannahs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, N.; Cameron, I.; Viergever, K. M.; Moss, D.; Wallington, E.; Woodhouse, I.

    2006-10-01

    Satellite SAR data offers land managers an affordable, all-weather capability for detailed land cover mapping. Visual classification of these data may be more appropriate to the resource base in many developing countries and human interpreters can often overcome problems of speckle more effectively than automated classification procedures. We report work in progress on the visual interpretation of SAR data to classify land cover types within tropical savannas. Airborne L-band SAR data for a region in Belize, Central America is degraded to approximate the single polarisation hh and dual polarization hh/hv data that is expected from the ALOS PALSAR satellite sensor. Interpretations of these two types of data by multiple interpreters were compared to explore how the number of polarizations, the effective spatial resolution and the visual presentation of the SAR data affected the ability of interpreters to classify land cover. An average classification accuracy of 78% for hh and 85% for hh/hv data were achieved for all classes and interpreters. Denser high forest areas were accurately interpreted using both data sets, whilst a red-green colour composite of the hh/hv data allowed grass dominated areas to be separated from areas of savanna woodland. Conclusions are drawn about the benefits of certain presentations of backscatter data to assist visual interpretation.

  5. Toward a social theory of sexual risk behavior among men in the Armed Services: understanding the military occupational habitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastario, Michael P; Hallum-Montes, Rachel; Reyes, Elfryn; Manzanero, Russell; Chun, Helen

    2013-12-01

    Worldwide, military personnel have been recognized as a population at elevated risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV; however, it is not well understood how the military occupation itself is implicated in the production of sexual risk behavior. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected from the Belize Defense Force (BDF), we employed a grounded theoretical framework and the Bourdieusian concept of the field and habitus to clarify how the military occupation is implicated in structuring aspects of sexual risk behaviors among personnel. We focus results on in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with 15 male-identified BDF personnel. We identify and describe how two field elements, namely operational tempo and ongoing exposure to occupational hazards, are occupationally specific field elements implicated in the production of sexual risk behavior through the mediating matrix of the military class habitus. Our findings demonstrate a conceptual clarity regarding the institutional field and habitus through which military personnel make sense of and act on the risk of bodily harm with regard to their own sexual behaviors. We conclude by outlining our theoretical concept so that it can be directly applied in public health efforts in order to leverage military occupational field elements for the purpose of HIV and STI prevention.

  6. Apropiación social del conocimiento en cuatro grados de desarrollo empresarial en organizaciones productivas mexicanas en la frontera Sur México/ Belice. Análisis del modelo OCDE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco J. Güemez Ricalde

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Social appropriation of knowledge in four degrees of business development in Mexican production organizations in the Southern Mexico / Belize border. Analysis of the Model OECD Abstract From the inclusion of Mexico in the OECD, this research paper attempts to answer the question of technological innovation for increasing the competitiveness of the four largest firms in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico economically and socially based on their size and characteristics. The research was part of a study conducted in the southeast of Mexico and it was sponsored by the FORDECyT. The current model of the OECD (2009-2010 with standards on the appropriation of knowledge, adapted to the direct interview method was used for the analysis.Although the results showed a noticeable backwardness in the four companies analyzed regarding the appropriation of knowledge, they also show ethnic and cultural differences in the Maya peoples living in this region when it comes to social businesses. They adopt complete technological packages and / or globalizing market models. When facing the impossibility of adopting or appropriating socially the knowledge, they are dependent on their workforce or their ancestral patterns of production and exploitation of the main resource.

  7. Household Air Pollution Exposure and Influence of Lifestyle on Respiratory Health and Lung Function in Belizean Adults and Children: A Field Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie P. Kurti

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Household air pollution (HAP contributes to the global burden of disease. Our primary purpose was to determine whether HAP exposure was associated with reduced lung function and respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms in Belizean adults and children. Our secondary purpose was to investigate whether lifestyle (physical activity (PA and fruit and vegetable consumption (FV is associated with reported symptoms. Belizean adults (n = 67, 19 Male and children (n = 23, 6 Male from San Ignacio Belize and surrounding areas participated in this cross-sectional study. Data collection took place at free walk-in clinics. Investigators performed initial screenings and administered questionnaires on (1 sources of HAP exposure; (2 reported respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms and (3 validated lifestyle questionnaires. Participants then performed pulmonary function tests (PFTs and exhaled breath carbon monoxide (CO. There were no significant associations between HAP exposure and pulmonary function in adults. Increased exhaled CO was associated with a significantly lower forced expiratory volume in 1-s divided by forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC in children. Exposed adults experienced headaches, burning eyes, wheezing and phlegm production more frequently than unexposed adults. Adults who met PA guidelines were less likely to experience tightness and pressure in the chest compared to those not meeting guidelines. In conclusion, adults exposed to HAP experienced greater respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms, which may be attenuated by lifestyle modifications.

  8. Nations of the earth report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    These books contain summaries of the national reports prepared for the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992. Summary reports of the following countries are included: V. 1) Algeria, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chad, China, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Guinea, Jordan, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Paraguay, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Tokelau, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Yemen Arab Republic, Yugoslavia. V. 2) Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Colombia, Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Pacific Islands Developing Countries, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Zimbabwe

  9. Is the onset of the 6th century 'dark age' in Maya history related to explosive volcanism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nooren, Kees; Hoek, Wim Z.; Van der Plicht, Hans; Sigl, Michael; Galop, Didier; Torrescano-Valle, Nuria; Islebe, Gerald; Huizinga, Annika; Winkels, Tim; Middelkoop, Hans; Van Bergen, Manfred

    2016-04-01

    Maya societies in Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize experienced a 'dark age' during the second half of the 6th century. This period, also known as the 'Maya Hiatus', is characterized by cultural downturn, political instability and abandonment of many sites in the Central Maya Lowlands. Many theories have been postulated to explain the occurrence of this 'dark age' in Maya history. A possible key role of a large volcanic eruption in the onset of this 'dark age' will be discussed. Volcanic deposits recovered from the sedimentary archive of lake Tuspán and the Usumacinta-Grijalva delta were studied in detail and the combination of multiple dating techniques allowed the reconstruction of the timing of a large 6th century eruption. Volcanic glass shards were fingerprinted to indicate the source volcano and high resolution pollen records were constructed to indicate the environmental impact of the eruption. Results are compared with available archaeological data and causality with the disruption of Maya civilization will be evaluated.

  10. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction. PMID:17315428

  11. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses reveal multiple species of Boa and independent origins of insular dwarfism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Card, Daren C; Schield, Drew R; Adams, Richard H; Corbin, Andrew B; Perry, Blair W; Andrew, Audra L; Pasquesi, Giulia I M; Smith, Eric N; Jezkova, Tereza; Boback, Scott M; Booth, Warren; Castoe, Todd A

    2016-09-01

    Boa is a Neotropical genus of snakes historically recognized as monotypic despite its expansive distribution. The distinct morphological traits and color patterns exhibited by these snakes, together with the wide diversity of ecosystems they inhabit, collectively suggest that the genus may represent multiple species. Morphological variation within Boa also includes instances of dwarfism observed in multiple offshore island populations. Despite this substantial diversity, the systematics of the genus Boa has received little attention until very recently. In this study we examined the genetic structure and phylogenetic relationships of Boa populations using mitochondrial sequences and genome-wide SNP data obtained from RADseq. We analyzed these data at multiple geographic scales using a combination of phylogenetic inference (including coalescent-based species delimitation) and population genetic analyses. We identified extensive population structure across the range of the genus Boa and multiple lines of evidence for three widely-distributed clades roughly corresponding with the three primary land masses of the Western Hemisphere. We also find both mitochondrial and nuclear support for independent origins and parallel evolution of dwarfism on offshore island clusters in Belize and Cayos Cochinos Menor, Honduras. PMID:27241629

  12. Asymmetric competition prevents the outbreak of an opportunistic species after coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Rivero, Manuel; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Chollett, Iliana; Ferrari, Renata; Schönberg, Christine H L; Mumby, Peter J

    2016-05-01

    Disturbance releases space and allows the growth of opportunistic species, excluded by the old stands, with a potential to alter community dynamics. In coral reefs, abundances of fast-growing, and disturbance-tolerant sponges are expected to increase and dominate as space becomes available following acute coral mortality events. Yet, an increase in abundance of these opportunistic species has been reported in only a few studies, suggesting certain mechanisms may be acting to regulate sponge populations. To gain insights into mechanisms of population control, we simulated the dynamics of the common reef-excavating sponge Cliona tenuis in the Caribbean using an individual-based model. An orthogonal hypothesis testing approach was used, where four candidate mechanisms-algal competition, stock-recruitment limitation, whole and partial mortality-were incorporated sequentially into the model and the results were tested against independent field observations taken over a decade in Belize, Central America. We found that releasing space after coral mortality can promote C. tenuis outbreaks, but such outbreaks can be curtailed by macroalgal competition. The asymmetrical competitive superiority of macroalgae, given by their capacity to pre-empt space and outcompete with the sponge in a size-dependant fashion, supports their capacity to steal the opportunity from other opportunists. While multiple system stages can be expected in coral reefs following intense perturbation macroalgae may prevent the growth of other space-occupiers, such as bioeroding sponges, under low grazing pressure. PMID:26753672

  13. Patterns of connectivity among populations of a coral reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittaro, P. M.; Hogan, J. D.

    2013-06-01

    Knowledge of the patterns and scale of connectivity among populations is essential for the effective management of species, but our understanding is still poor for marine species. We used otolith microchemistry of newly settled bicolor damselfish ( Stegastes partitus) in the Mesoamerican Reef System (MRS), Western Caribbean, to investigate patterns of connectivity among populations over 2 years. First, we assessed spatial and temporal variability in trace elemental concentrations from the otolith edge to make a `chemical map' of potential source reef(s) in the region. Significant otolith chemical differences were detected at three spatial scales (within-atoll, between-atolls, and region-wide), such that individuals were classified to locations with moderate (52 % jackknife classification) to high (99 %) accuracy. Most sites at Turneffe Atoll, Belize showed significant temporal variability in otolith concentrations on the scale of 1-2 months. Using a maximum likelihood approach, we estimated the natal source of larvae recruiting to reefs across the MRS by comparing `natal' chemical signatures from the otolith of recruits to the `chemical map' of potential source reef(s). Our results indicated that populations at both Turneffe Atoll and Banco Chinchorro supply a substantial amount of individuals to their own reefs (i.e., self-recruitment) and thus emphasize that marine conservation and management in the MRS region would benefit from localized management efforts as well as international cooperation.

  14. Settling into an increasingly hostile world: the rapidly closing "recruitment window" for corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne N Arnold

    Full Text Available Free space is necessary for larval recruitment in all marine benthic communities. Settling corals, with limited energy to invest in competitive interactions, are particularly vulnerable during settlement into well-developed coral reef communities. This situation may be exacerbated for corals settling into coral-depauperate reefs where succession in nursery microhabitats moves rapidly toward heterotrophic organisms inhospitable to settling corals. To study effects of benthic organisms (at millimeter to centimeter scales on newly settled corals and their survivorship we deployed terra-cotta coral settlement plates at 10 m depth on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize and monitored them for 38 mo. During the second and third years, annual recruitment rates declined by over 50% from the previous year. Invertebrate crusts (primarily sponges were absent at the start of the experiment but increased in abundance annually from 39, 60, to 73% of the plate undersides by year three. Subsequently, substrates hospitable to coral recruitment, including crustose coralline algae, biofilmed terra-cotta and polychaete tubes, declined. With succession, substrates upon which spat settled shifted toward organisms inimical to survivorship. Over 50% of spat mortality was due to overgrowth by sponges alone. This result suggests that when a disturbance creates primary substrate a "recruitment window" for settling corals exists from approximately 9 to 14 mo following the disturbance. During the window, early-succession, facilitating species are most abundant. The window closes as organisms hostile to coral settlement and survivorship overgrow nursery microhabitats.

  15. Changing patterns of microhabitat utilization by the threespot damselfish, Stegastes planifrons, on Caribbean reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William F Precht

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The threespot damselfish, Stegastes planifrons (Cuvier, is important in mediating interactions among corals, algae, and herbivores on Caribbean coral reefs. The preferred microhabitat of S. planifrons is thickets of the branching staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis. Within the past few decades, mass mortality of A. cervicornis from white-band disease and other factors has rendered this coral a minor ecological component throughout most of its range. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Survey data from Jamaica (heavily fished, Florida and the Bahamas (moderately fished, the Cayman Islands (lightly to moderately fished, and Belize (lightly fished indicate that distributional patterns of S. planifrons are positively correlated with live coral cover and topographic complexity. Our results suggest that species-specific microhabitat preferences and the availability of topographically complex microhabitats are more important than the abundance of predatory fish as proximal controls on S. planifrons distribution and abundance. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The loss of the primary microhabitat of S. planifrons-A. cervicornis-has forced a shift in the distribution and recruitment of these damselfish onto remaining high-structured corals, especially the Montastraea annularis species complex, affecting coral mortality and algal dynamics throughout the Caribbean.

  16. Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Kathleen M; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Ross, Cliff; Liles, Mark R; Paul, Valerie J

    2012-01-01

    Benthic macroalgae can be abundant on present-day coral reefs, especially where rates of herbivory are low and/or dissolved nutrients are high. This study investigated the impact of macroalgal extracts on both coral-associated bacterial assemblages and sublethal stress response of corals. Crude extracts and live algal thalli from common Caribbean macroalgae were applied onto the surface of Montastraea faveolata and Porites astreoides corals on reefs in both Florida and Belize. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene amplicons was used to examine changes in the surface mucus layer (SML) bacteria in both coral species. Some of the extracts and live algae induced detectable shifts in coral-associated bacterial assemblages. However, one aqueous extract caused the bacterial assemblages to shift to an entirely new state (Lobophora variegata), whereas other organic extracts had little to no impact (e.g. Dictyota sp.). Macroalgal extracts more frequently induced sublethal stress responses in M. faveolata than in P. astreoides corals, suggesting that cellular integrity can be negatively impacted in selected corals when comparing co-occurring species. As modern reefs experience phase-shifts to a higher abundance of macroalgae with potent chemical defenses, these macroalgae are likely impacting the composition of microbial assemblages associated with corals and affecting overall reef health in unpredicted and unprecedented ways. PMID:23028648

  17. Household Air Pollution Exposure and Influence of Lifestyle on Respiratory Health and Lung Function in Belizean Adults and Children: A Field Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurti, Stephanie P; Kurti, Allison N; Emerson, Sam R; Rosenkranz, Richard R; Smith, Joshua R; Harms, Craig A; Rosenkranz, Sara K

    2016-01-01

    Household air pollution (HAP) contributes to the global burden of disease. Our primary purpose was to determine whether HAP exposure was associated with reduced lung function and respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms in Belizean adults and children. Our secondary purpose was to investigate whether lifestyle (physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable consumption (FV)) is associated with reported symptoms. Belizean adults (n = 67, 19 Male) and children (n = 23, 6 Male) from San Ignacio Belize and surrounding areas participated in this cross-sectional study. Data collection took place at free walk-in clinics. Investigators performed initial screenings and administered questionnaires on (1) sources of HAP exposure; (2) reported respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms and (3) validated lifestyle questionnaires. Participants then performed pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and exhaled breath carbon monoxide (CO). There were no significant associations between HAP exposure and pulmonary function in adults. Increased exhaled CO was associated with a significantly lower forced expiratory volume in 1-s divided by forced vital capacity (FEV₁/FVC) in children. Exposed adults experienced headaches, burning eyes, wheezing and phlegm production more frequently than unexposed adults. Adults who met PA guidelines were less likely to experience tightness and pressure in the chest compared to those not meeting guidelines. In conclusion, adults exposed to HAP experienced greater respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms, which may be attenuated by lifestyle modifications. PMID:27367712

  18. Historical and contemporary evidence of a mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis Cuvier, 1828) spawning aggregation fishery in decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, R. T.; Carcamo, R.; Rhodes, K. L.; Roberts, C. M.; Requena, N.

    2008-06-01

    Scientific information on reef fish spawning aggregation fisheries is sparse in light of numerous regional declines and extirpations from overexploitation. Fisher interviews of the small-scale commercial mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis) spawning aggregation fishery at Gladden Spit, Belize, suggests a historic decadal decline. The reported trend is supported by analysis of inter-seasonal catch and effort and yield (2000 2002) that reveals a 59% decline in catch per unit effort (CPUE) and a 22% decrease in mean landings per boat. Declining population-level trends are also supported by a significant decrease in inter-annual median lengths of mutton snappers (2000 2006). These findings demonstrate the need for additional life history information that includes length-associated age and details on growth to provide clearer support of the effects on, and responses by, populations following fishing. In view of the historical changes to mutton snapper CPUE and landings at Gladden Spit and the fishery-associated declines in fish spawning aggregations observed globally, a precautionary approach to spawning aggregation management is warranted that provides full protection from fishing to enhance population persistence. The findings also highlight the need for substantially greater enforcement and long-term fisheries monitoring under a comprehensive regional management strategy.

  19. Coastal sediment elevation change following anthropogenic mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Heather L.; Granek, Elise F.

    2015-11-01

    Coastal mangrove forests along tropical shorelines serve as an important interface between land and sea. They provide a physical buffer protecting the coastline from erosion and act as sediment "traps" catching terrestrial sediment, thus preventing smothering of subtidal coral reefs. Coastal development that removes mangrove habitat may impact adjacent nearshore coral reefs through sedimentation and nutrient loading. We examined differences in sediment elevation change between patches of open-coast intact and anthropogenically cleared red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) on the east side of Turneffe Atoll, Belize, to quantify changes following mangrove clearing. Samples were collected over a 24 month period at five study sites, each containing paired intact (+mangrove) and cleared (-mangrove) plots. Five sediment elevation pins were deployed in each plot: behind areas cleared of mangroves (-mangrove) and behind adjacent intact mangroves (+mangrove). Sediment elevation increased at intact mangrove sites (M = +3.83 mm, SE = 0.95) whereas cleared mangrove areas suffered elevation loss (M = -7.30 mm, SE = 3.38). Mangroves inshore of partial or continuous gaps in the adjacent fringing reefs had higher rates of elevation loss (M = -15.05 mm) than mangroves inshore of continuous fringing reefs (M = -1.90 mm). Our findings provide information on potential effects of mangrove clearing and the role of offshore habitat characteristics on coastal sediment trapping and maintenance of sediment elevation by mangroves. With implications for coastline capacity to adjust to sea level rise, these findings are relevant to management of coastal fringing mangrove forests across the Caribbean.

  20. The Sargassum Frogfish (Histrio histrio Linnaeus) observed in mangroves in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, C.S.; Pietsch, T.W.; Randall, J.E.; Arnold, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    The Sargassum Frogfish (Histrio histrio), the only pelagic member of the frogfish family Antennariidae, is considered an obligate associate of floating mats of the brown algae Sargassum natans and S. fluitans (Adams 1960; Dooley 1972; Pietsch and Grobecker 1987). Between February and April 2010, 20 of these fish were observed in three mangrove-fringed bays in Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, St. John, US Virgin Islands. All of them were clinging to clumps of the red alga Acanthophora spicifera growing on the submerged prop roots of red mangrove trees (Rhizophora mangle) distributed along an estimated total of 2,160 mof shoreline (Fig. 1). All of the fish were at a depth of less than 0.5 meters. Two individuals were seen on one prop root, but the other 18 were solitary. Their estimated standard lengths ranged from about 20 to 100 mm. Littler and Littler (2000, p. 295) published a photograph of one individual in blades of the green alga Ulva lactuca growing on a prop root in Belize. This is the first report of the Sargassum Frogfish living in association with attached algae.

  1. Phosphorus and nitrogen effects on microbial euendolithic communities and their bioerosion rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreiro-Silva, M; Kiene, W E; Golubic, S; McClanahan, T R

    2012-03-01

    Cages and fertilizers were used at Glover's Atoll, Belize to test the relative importance of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to microbial euendolithic communities (bacteria, algae and fungi) and their bioerosion rates of Strombus gigas shells after 56-days of exposure. By the end of the experiment, the abundance of green algae was higher than cyanobacteria and fungi in N and N+P treatments, although green algae did not increase proportionally with increasing N concentrations, suggesting that green algae were co-limited by P and N. In contrast, cyanobacteria abundance increased with increasing P concentration, suggesting that cyanobacteria were P-limited. Fungi were not significantly affected by the addition of nutrients. Microbioerosion rates in the N and N+P treatments were 2-times greater than rates in the P treatment and 15-times greater than the control treatment. Results demonstrate that increased nutrient concentrations on coral reefs may increase microbioerosion rates, and variations in nutrient ratios can modify microborers community composition. PMID:22240204

  2. Carbon Budgets for Caribbean Mangrove Forests of Varying Structure and with Phosphorus Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E. Lovelock

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available There are few detailed carbon (C budgets of mangrove forests, yet these are important for understanding C sequestration in mangrove forests, how they support the productivity of the coast and their vulnerability to environmental change. Here, we develop C budgets for mangroves on the islands of Twin Cays, Belize. We consider seaward fringing forests and interior scrub forests that have been fertilized with phosphorus (P, which severely limits growth of trees in the scrub forests. We found that respiration of the aboveground biomass accounted for 60%–80% of the fixed C and that respiration of the canopy and aboveground roots were important components of respiration. Soil respiration accounted for only 7%–11% of total gross primary production (GPP while burial of C in soils was ~4% of GPP. Respiration by roots can account for the majority of soil respiration in fringing forests, while microbial processes may account 80% of respiration in scrub forests. Fertilization of scrub forests with P enhanced GPP but the proportion of C buried declined to ~2% of GPP. Net ecosystem production was 17%–27% of GPP similar to that reported for other mangrove forests. Carbon isotope signatures of adjacent seagrass suggest that dissolved C from mangroves is exported into the adjacent ecosystems. Our data indicate that C budgets can vary among mangrove forest types and with nutrient enrichment and that low productivity mangroves provide a disproportionate share of exported C.

  3. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  4. Joint implementation: Biodiversity and greenhouse gas offsets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutright, Noel J.

    1996-11-01

    One of the most pressing environmental issues today is the possibility that projected increases in global emissions of greenhouse gases from increased deforestation, development, and fossil-fuel combustion could significantly alter global climate patterns. Under the terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in Rio de Janeiro during the June 1992 Earth Summit, the United States and other industrialized countries committed to balancing greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels in the year 2000. Included in the treaty is a provision titled “Joint Implementation,” whereby industrialized countries assist developing countries in jointly modifying long-term emission trends, either through emission reductions or by protecting and enhancing greenhouse gas sinks (carbon sequestration). The US Climate Action Plan, signed by President Clinton in 1993, calls for voluntary climate change mitigation measures by various sectors, and the action plan included a new program, the US Initiative on Joint Implementation. Wisconsin Electric decided to invest in a Jl project because its concept encourages creative, cost-effective solutions to environmental problems through partnering, international cooperation, and innovation. The project chosen, a forest preservation and management effort in Belize, will sequester more than five million tons of carbon dioxide over a 40-year period, will become economically selfsustaining after ten years, and will have substantial biodiversity benefits.

  5. Data on medicinal plants used in Central America to manage diabetes and its sequelae (skin conditions, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, urinary problems and vision loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Giovannini

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The data described in this article is related to the review article “Medicinal plants used in the traditional management of diabetes and its sequelae in Central America: a review” (Giovannini et al., 2016 [1]. We searched publications on the useful plants of Central America in databases and journals by using selected relevant keywords. We then extracted reported uses of medicinal plants within the disease categories: diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, urinary problems, skin diseases and infections, cardiovascular disease, sexual dysfunction, vision loss, and nerve damage. The following countries were included in our definition of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Data were compiled in a bespoke Access database. Plant names from the published sources were validated against The Plant List (TPL, (The Plant List, 2013 [2] and accepted names and synonyms were extracted. In total, the database includes 607 plant names obtained from the published sources which correspond to 537 plant taxa, 9271 synonyms and 1055 use reports.

  6. Potent anti-inflammatory activity of sesquiterpene lactones from Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass., a Q'eqchi' Maya traditional medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walshe-Roussel, Brendan; Choueiri, Christine; Saleem, Ammar; Asim, Muhammd; Caal, Federico; Cal, Victor; Rojas, Marco Otarola; Pesek, Todd; Durst, Tony; Arnason, John Thor

    2013-08-01

    The widespread use of Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass. by Q'eqchi' Maya and indigenous healers throughout the Caribbean for inflammatory conditions prompted the study of the anti-inflammatory activity of this traditional medicine. The objectives of this study were to conduct a detailed ethnobotanical investigation of the uses of N. lobata by the Q'eqchi' Maya of Belize for a variety of inflammatory symptoms and to evaluate the in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of leaf extract and isolated sesquiterpene lactones. The crude 80% EtOH extract of N. lobata leaves administered at 100 μg/mL reduced LPS-stimulated TNF-α production in THP-1 monocytes by 72% relative to the stimulated vehicle control. Isolated sesquiterpene lactones, neurolenins B, C+D, lobatin B and 9α-hydroxy-8β-isovalerianyloxy-calyculatolide were more active (IC50=0.17-2.32 μM) than the positive control parthenolide (IC50=4.79 μM). The results provide a pharmacological and phytochemical basis for the traditional use of this leaf for inflammatory conditions. PMID:23747054

  7. Paradise (and Herrin) lost: Marginal depositional settings of the Herrin and Paradise coals, Western Kentucky coalfield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Keefe, J.M.K.; Shultz, M.G.; Rimmer, S.M. [University of Kentucky, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lexington, KY 40506 (United States); Hower, J.C. [University of Kentucky, Center for Applied Energy Research, 2540 Research Park Dr., Lexington, KY 40511 (United States); Popp, J.T. [Alliance Coal, Lexington, KY 40503 (United States)

    2008-08-05

    This is the fourth installment in a series of papers on the Asturian (Westphalian D) disrupted mire margins, termed the ''ragged edge'' in previous papers, and limestone distributions in the Herrin-Baker coal interval in the Western Kentucky extension of the Illinois Basin. New data, indicating in-situ peat development and marine influence, collected from the first in-mine exposure of this interval are presented. Borehole data from the region are examined in the context of ''ragged edge'' exposures and a carbonate platform depositional model for this portion of the Illinois Basin is presented. This shows that deposition of the sequence was influenced both by the underlying sediments and by a marine transgression. The former influence is seen in variations in coal and limestone thickness over sandstone-filled channels versus over shale bayfill deposits. The latter is marked by the progressive upwards loss of coal benches (i.e., the bottom bench of both coals is the most extensive and the Herrin coal is more extensive than the overlying Paradise coal) and by marine partings in both coals. Further, the brecciated margins seen in both coal seams are similar to brecciated peats encountered along the Everglades margins of Southwest Florida. Overall coal distributions are similar to both those along the Everglades margins and those along a transect from the Belize coast to Ambergis Caye. (author)

  8. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchley, Adam; McField, Melanie D; Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005-2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend. PMID:27280075

  9. Reseñas/Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Book Review Editor, Barbara Hogenboom

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Triumph of Politics: The Return of the Left in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, by George Philip and Francisco Panizza; reviewed by Peadar Kirby, p. 99The Struggle for Maize: Campesinos, Workers, and Transgenic Corn in the Mexican Countryside, by Elizabeth Fitting; reviewed by Gerard Verschoor, p. 100The Allure of Labor. Workers, Race and the Making of the Peruvian State, por Paulo Drinot; reviewed by Miguel F. Canessa Montejo, p. 102Workshop of Revolution. Plebeian Buenos Aires and the Atlantic World, 1776-1810, by Lyman Johnson; reviewed by Ricardo Cicerchia, p. 104Elegía Criolla. Una reinterpretación de las guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas, por Tomás Pérez Vejo ; reviewed by Raymond Buve, p. 105Forty Miles from the Sea. Xalapa, the Public Sphere and the Atlantic World in Nineteenth-Century Mexico, by Rachel A. Moore; reviewed by Raymond Buve, p. 107Creating Good Neighbors? Die Kultur- und Wirtschaftspolitik der USA in Lateinamerika, 1940-1946, by Ursula Prutsch; reviewed by Gisela Cramer, p. 109Between Horse & Buggy and Four-wheel Drive – Change and Diversity among Mennonite Settlements in Belize, Central America, by Carel Roessingh and Tanja Plasil; reviewed by Anna Sofia Hedberg, p. 111

  10. Blogging as a tool to promote reflection among dietetic and physical therapy students during a multidisciplinary international service-learning experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Lauri; Lundy, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Service-learning is a guided, structured learning experience that engages students in service to a community for the mutual benefit of the student and community. There is a growing trend in healthcare to include international service-learning experiences in the training curriculum to promote cultural competence. A critical element of service-learning is reflection. There have been many research studies examining how best to support and facilitate the reflective thinking process in students. The purpose of this study was to assess the development of reflective thinking among graduate allied health students during an interdisciplinary international service-learning experience using a web-based collaborative blog. Twelve graduate students-six dietetic interns and six physical therapy doctoral students-traveled to Belize for 6 days to provide primary healthcare screenings and intervention to a community. Group blogging was found to be an effective tool to promote reflection in allied health student and short duration service-learning experience developed reflective thinking.

  11. The role of sensorial processes in Q'eqchi' Maya healing: A case study of depression and bereavement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatala, Andrew R; Waldram, James B

    2016-02-01

    Theory and research on the healing practices of Indigenous communities around the globe have often been influenced by models of "symbolic healing" that privilege the way patients consciously interpret or derive meaning from a healing encounter. In our work with a group of Q'eqchi' Maya healers in southern Belize, these aspects of "symbolic healing" are not always present. Such empirical observations force us to reach beyond models of symbolic healing to understand how healing might prove effective. Through the extended analysis of a single case study of rahil ch'ool or "depression," we propose to advance understanding of forms of healing which are not dependent on a shared "mythic" or "assumptive world" between patient and healer or where therapeutic efficacy does not rely on the patient's ability to "believe" in or consciously "know" what is occurring during treatment. In this we demonstrate how the body, as a site of experience, transformation, and communication, becomes the therapeutic locus in healing encounters of this kind and argue that embodied mediums of sensorial experience be considered central in attempts to understand healing efficacy.

  12. Conceptualizing socio-hydrological drought processes: the rise and fall of the Ancient Maya civilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuil, Linda; Carr, Gemma; Viglione, Alberto; Prskawetz, Alexia; Bloeschl, Guenter

    2016-04-01

    Different communities have followed different paths to arrive at their present situation as a consequence of the continuous, specific interactions between the hydrological and social system. The need to understand the current and future pathways to water security becomes more and more pressing, considering the increasingly delicate balance between water demand and water supply. To contribute to addressing this challenge, we examine the link between water stress and society through socio-hydrological modeling. Within the spirit of the Easter Island model by Brander and Taylor and drawing from the vulnerability literature, we conceptualize the interactions of an agricultural society with its environment. We apply the model to the case of the ancient Maya, a civilization who occupied the Maya Lowlands (parts of present day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize) from around 2000 BC to after AD 830. The hypothesis that modest drought periods played a major role in the fall of the society is explored. We are able to simulate plausible feedbacks and find that a modest reduction in rainfall is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition in order to observe a collapse of 80 percent of the population. Equally important are actual population density and the impact of drought on crop growth. The model shows that reservoirs allow the society to grow larger, but also that the vulnerability to drought increases.

  13. Potent anti-inflammatory activity of sesquiterpene lactones from Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass., a Q'eqchi' Maya traditional medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walshe-Roussel, Brendan; Choueiri, Christine; Saleem, Ammar; Asim, Muhammd; Caal, Federico; Cal, Victor; Rojas, Marco Otarola; Pesek, Todd; Durst, Tony; Arnason, John Thor

    2013-08-01

    The widespread use of Neurolaena lobata (L.) R. Br. ex Cass. by Q'eqchi' Maya and indigenous healers throughout the Caribbean for inflammatory conditions prompted the study of the anti-inflammatory activity of this traditional medicine. The objectives of this study were to conduct a detailed ethnobotanical investigation of the uses of N. lobata by the Q'eqchi' Maya of Belize for a variety of inflammatory symptoms and to evaluate the in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of leaf extract and isolated sesquiterpene lactones. The crude 80% EtOH extract of N. lobata leaves administered at 100 μg/mL reduced LPS-stimulated TNF-α production in THP-1 monocytes by 72% relative to the stimulated vehicle control. Isolated sesquiterpene lactones, neurolenins B, C+D, lobatin B and 9α-hydroxy-8β-isovalerianyloxy-calyculatolide were more active (IC50=0.17-2.32 μM) than the positive control parthenolide (IC50=4.79 μM). The results provide a pharmacological and phytochemical basis for the traditional use of this leaf for inflammatory conditions.

  14. Narrative Structures of Maya Mental Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatala, Andrew R; Waldram, James B; Caal, Tomas

    2015-09-01

    Several Indigenous communities around the globe maintain unique conceptions of mental illness and disorder. The Q'eqchi' Maya of southern Belize represent one Indigenous community that has maintained, due to highly "traditional" ways of life and the strong presence of many active localized healers or bush doctors, distinct conceptions of mental disorders as compared to Western psychiatric nosology. The purpose of this ethnographic study was to understand and interpret Q'eqchi' nosological systems of mental disorders involving the factors--spiritual, cultural, social, historical, cosmological, or otherwise--implicated in their articulation and construction. Over a period of 9 months, and with the help of cultural advisors from several Q'eqchi' communities, 94 interviews with five different traditional Q'eqchi' healers were conducted. This paper demonstrates that the mental illnesses recognized by the Q'eqchi' healers involved narrative structures with recognizable variations unfolding over time. What we present in this paper are 17 recognizable illnesses of the mind grouped within one of four broad "narrative genres." Each genre involves a discernible plot structure, casts of characters, themes, motifs, and a recognizable teleology or "directedness." In narrative terms, the healer's diagnostic and therapeutic work can be understood as an ability to discern plot, to understand and interpret a specific case within the board, empirically based structure of Q'eqchi' medical epistemology.

  15. Phylogenetic Distribution of Leaf Spectra and Optically Derived Functional Traits in the American Oaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavender-Bares, J.; Meireles, J. E.; Couture, J. J.; Kaproth, M.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detecting functional traits of species, genotypes and phylogenetic lineages is critical in monitoring functional biodiversity remotely. We examined the phylogenetic distribution of leaf spectra across the American Oaks for 35 species under greenhouse conditions as well as genetic variation in leaf spectra across Central American populations of a single species grown in common gardens in Honduras. We found significant phylogenetic signal in the leaf spectra (Blomberg's K > 1.0), indicating similarity in spectra among close relatives. Across species, full range leaf spectra were used in a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) that allowed species calibration (kappa statistic = 0.55). Validation of the model used to detect species (kappa statistic = 0.4) indicated reasonably good detection of individual species within the same the genus. Among four populations from Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico within a single species (Quercus oleoides), leaf spectra were also able to differentiate populations. Ordination of population-level data using dissimilarities of predicted foliar traits, including leaf mass per area (LMA), lignin content, fiber content, chlorophyll a+b, and C:N ratio in genotypes in either watered or unwatered conditions showed significant differentiation among populations and treatments. These results provide promise for remote detection and differentiation of plant functional traits among plant phylogenetic lineages and genotypes, even among closely related populations and species.

  16. Embedding ecosystem services in coastal planning leads to better outcomes for people and nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkema, Katie K; Verutes, Gregory M; Wood, Spencer A; Clarke-Samuels, Chantalle; Rosado, Samir; Canto, Maritza; Rosenthal, Amy; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Guannel, Gregory; Toft, Jodie; Faries, Joe; Silver, Jessica M; Griffin, Robert; Guerry, Anne D

    2015-06-16

    Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a management plan. We developed models that quantify services provided by corals, mangroves, and seagrasses. We used these models within an extensive engagement process to design a national spatial plan for Belize's coastal zone. Through iteration of modeling and stakeholder engagement, we developed a preferred plan, currently under formal consideration by the Belizean government. Our results suggest that the preferred plan will lead to greater returns from coastal protection and tourism than outcomes from scenarios oriented toward achieving either conservation or development goals. The plan will also reduce impacts to coastal habitat and increase revenues from lobster fishing relative to current management. By accounting for spatial variation in the impacts of coastal and ocean activities on benefits that ecosystems provide to people, our models allowed stakeholders and policymakers to refine zones of human use. The final version of the preferred plan improved expected coastal protection by >25% and more than doubled the revenue from fishing, compared with earlier versions based on stakeholder preferences alone. Including outcomes in terms of ecosystem-service supply and value allowed for explicit consideration of multiple benefits from oceans and coasts that typically are evaluated separately in management decisions.

  17. Temporal clustering of tropical cyclones and its ecosystem impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J; Vitolo, Renato; Stephenson, David B

    2011-10-25

    Tropical cyclones have massive economic, social, and ecological impacts, and models of their occurrence influence many planning activities from setting insurance premiums to conservation planning. Most impact models allow for geographically varying cyclone rates but assume that individual storm events occur randomly with constant rate in time. This study analyzes the statistical properties of Atlantic tropical cyclones and shows that local cyclone counts vary in time, with periods of elevated activity followed by relative quiescence. Such temporal clustering is particularly strong in the Caribbean Sea, along the coasts of Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the southwest of Haiti, and in the main hurricane development region in the North Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean. Failing to recognize this natural nonstationarity in cyclone rates can give inaccurate impact predictions. We demonstrate this by exploring cyclone impacts on coral reefs. For a given cyclone rate, we find that clustered events have a less detrimental impact than independent random events. Predictions using a standard random hurricane model were overly pessimistic, predicting reef degradation more than a decade earlier than that expected under clustered disturbance. The presence of clustering allows coral reefs more time to recover to healthier states, but the impacts of clustering will vary from one ecosystem to another.

  18. Genetic diversity in mesoamerican populations of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), assessed using RAPDs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, A C; Navarro, C; Lowe, A J; Newton, A C; Hernández, M; Wilson, J; Cornelius, J P

    1999-12-01

    Swietenia macrophylla King, a timber species native to tropical America, is threatened by selective logging and deforestation. To quantify genetic diversity within the species and monitor the impact of selective logging, populations were sampled across Mesoamerica, from Mexico to Panama, and analysed for RAPD DNA variation. Ten decamer primers generated 102 polymorphic RAPD bands and pairwise distances were calculated between populations according to Nei, then used to construct a radial neighbour-joining dendrogram and examine intra- and interpopulation variance coefficients, by analysis of molecular variation (AMOVA). Populations from Mexico clustered closely together in the dendrogram and were distinct from the rest of the populations. Those from Belize also clustered closely together. Populations from Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, however, did not cluster closely by country but were more widely scattered throughout the dendrogram. This result was also reflected by an autocorrelation analysis of genetic and geographical distance. Genetic diversity estimates indicated that 80% of detected variation was maintained within populations and regression analysis demonstrated that logging significantly decreased population diversity (P = 0.034). This study represents one of the most wide-ranging surveys of molecular variation within a tropical tree species to date. It offers practical information for the future conservation of mahogany and highlights some factors that may have influenced the partitioning of genetic diversity in this species across Mesoamerica.

  19. Narrative Structures of Maya Mental Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatala, Andrew R; Waldram, James B; Caal, Tomas

    2015-09-01

    Several Indigenous communities around the globe maintain unique conceptions of mental illness and disorder. The Q'eqchi' Maya of southern Belize represent one Indigenous community that has maintained, due to highly "traditional" ways of life and the strong presence of many active localized healers or bush doctors, distinct conceptions of mental disorders as compared to Western psychiatric nosology. The purpose of this ethnographic study was to understand and interpret Q'eqchi' nosological systems of mental disorders involving the factors--spiritual, cultural, social, historical, cosmological, or otherwise--implicated in their articulation and construction. Over a period of 9 months, and with the help of cultural advisors from several Q'eqchi' communities, 94 interviews with five different traditional Q'eqchi' healers were conducted. This paper demonstrates that the mental illnesses recognized by the Q'eqchi' healers involved narrative structures with recognizable variations unfolding over time. What we present in this paper are 17 recognizable illnesses of the mind grouped within one of four broad "narrative genres." Each genre involves a discernible plot structure, casts of characters, themes, motifs, and a recognizable teleology or "directedness." In narrative terms, the healer's diagnostic and therapeutic work can be understood as an ability to discern plot, to understand and interpret a specific case within the board, empirically based structure of Q'eqchi' medical epistemology. PMID:25676172

  20. Late Paleozoic paleolatitude and paleogeography of the Midland basin, Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walker, D.A. (Mobil Exploration and Producing U.S., Midland, TX (United States)); Golonka, J. (Mobil Exploration and Producing Services Inc., Dallas, TX (United States)); Reid, A.M.; Reid, S.T. (Consulting Geologist, Midland, TX (United States))

    1992-04-01

    During the Late Pennsylvanian through Early Permian, the Midland basin was located in the low latitudes. In the Desmoinesian (Strawn), the basin was astride the equator; during the Missourian (Canyon), the center of the basin had migrated northward so it was located at 1-2N latitude. In the Virgilian (Cisco), the basin center was located around 2-4N latitude, and by the Wolfcampian, it was positioned at around 4-6N latitude. From the Desmoinesian (312 Ma) through the Missourian (306 Ma), the relative motion of the basin was 63NE. Later during the Virgilian (298 Ma) to Wolfcampian (280 Ma), the direction of motion was 24NE. This change in motion reflects a major tectonic event, occurring between the Missourian and Virgilian, that greatly modifed the movement of the Laurentian (North American) plate. At that time, Laurentia had collided with Gondwana and become part of the supercontinent Pangea. Throughout the late Paleozoic, Laurentia was rotated so the Midland basin was oriented 43{degree} northeast from its current setting. Late Paleozoic paleogeography and paleolatitude controlled the direction of prevailing winds and ocean currents, thereby influencing the distribution of carbonate facies in the Midland basin. Present prevailing winds and ocean currents have been shown to have a major impact on modern carbonate sedimentation and facies distribution in Belize, the Bahamas and Turks, and Caicos. A clearer understanding of how late Paleozoic latitude and geography affected sedimentation helps explain and predict the distribution of carbonates throughout the Midland basin.

  1. High bee and wasp diversity in a heterogeneous tropical farming system compared to protected forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christof Schüepp

    Full Text Available It is a globally important challenge to meet increasing demands for resources and, at the same time, protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. Farming is usually regarded as a major threat to biodiversity due to its expansion into natural areas. We compared biodiversity of bees and wasps between heterogeneous small-scale farming areas and protected forest in northern coastal Belize, Central America. Malaise traps operated for three months during the transition from wet to dry season. Farming areas consisted of a mosaic of mixed crop types, open habitat, secondary forest, and agroforestry. Mean species richness per site (alpha diversity, as well as spatial and temporal community variation (beta diversity of bees and wasps were equal or higher in farming areas compared to protected forest. The higher species richness and community variation in farmland was due to additional species that did not occur in the forest, whereas most species trapped in forest were also found in farming areas. The overall regional species richness (gamma diversity increased by 70% with the inclusion of farming areas. Our results suggest that small-scale farming systems adjacent to protected forest may not only conserve, but even favour, biodiversity of some taxonomic groups. We can, however, not exclude possible declines of bee and wasp diversity in more intensified farmland or in landscapes completely covered by heterogeneous farming systems.

  2. High bee and wasp diversity in a heterogeneous tropical farming system compared to protected forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüepp, Christof; Rittiner, Sarah; Entling, Martin H

    2012-01-01

    It is a globally important challenge to meet increasing demands for resources and, at the same time, protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. Farming is usually regarded as a major threat to biodiversity due to its expansion into natural areas. We compared biodiversity of bees and wasps between heterogeneous small-scale farming areas and protected forest in northern coastal Belize, Central America. Malaise traps operated for three months during the transition from wet to dry season. Farming areas consisted of a mosaic of mixed crop types, open habitat, secondary forest, and agroforestry. Mean species richness per site (alpha diversity), as well as spatial and temporal community variation (beta diversity) of bees and wasps were equal or higher in farming areas compared to protected forest. The higher species richness and community variation in farmland was due to additional species that did not occur in the forest, whereas most species trapped in forest were also found in farming areas. The overall regional species richness (gamma diversity) increased by 70% with the inclusion of farming areas. Our results suggest that small-scale farming systems adjacent to protected forest may not only conserve, but even favour, biodiversity of some taxonomic groups. We can, however, not exclude possible declines of bee and wasp diversity in more intensified farmland or in landscapes completely covered by heterogeneous farming systems.

  3. Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen M Morrow

    Full Text Available Benthic macroalgae can be abundant on present-day coral reefs, especially where rates of herbivory are low and/or dissolved nutrients are high. This study investigated the impact of macroalgal extracts on both coral-associated bacterial assemblages and sublethal stress response of corals. Crude extracts and live algal thalli from common Caribbean macroalgae were applied onto the surface of Montastraea faveolata and Porites astreoides corals on reefs in both Florida and Belize. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE of 16S rRNA gene amplicons was used to examine changes in the surface mucus layer (SML bacteria in both coral species. Some of the extracts and live algae induced detectable shifts in coral-associated bacterial assemblages. However, one aqueous extract caused the bacterial assemblages to shift to an entirely new state (Lobophora variegata, whereas other organic extracts had little to no impact (e.g. Dictyota sp.. Macroalgal extracts more frequently induced sublethal stress responses in M. faveolata than in P. astreoides corals, suggesting that cellular integrity can be negatively impacted in selected corals when comparing co-occurring species. As modern reefs experience phase-shifts to a higher abundance of macroalgae with potent chemical defenses, these macroalgae are likely impacting the composition of microbial assemblages associated with corals and affecting overall reef health in unpredicted and unprecedented ways.

  4. Spatial extent of potential habitats of the Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (MCE, 20-80 m) in the tropical North Atlantic (TNA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, R. N.

    2012-12-01

    The Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem is the deeper-water extension of the much-studied, shallow reef community. It occurs on steep slopes and shelf areas, in the TNA off Belize, the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, and the Flower Garden Banks. Framework-building corals at these depths are primarily platy montastraeids and agariciids, with lesser amounts of massive encrusting species. The closely-spaced, platy colonies, expanding up to nearly two meters in diameter have up to 50% live coral cover. The colonies are elevated above the substrate. Their growth creates a thicket-like structure with large, open spaces for mobile species (fish and crustaceans) and extensive habitat for attached and grazing invertebrates. The MCE includes genera or species of zooxanthellate corals, invertebrates and fish, some of which are the same as those in shallow water. Given, the widespread, recent declines of TNA coral communities at depth less than 20 m, it is essential to know the total regional extent of the MCE. To determine the likely depth locations of these deeper coral communities we used methods pioneered by REEFS AT RISK,1998 that incorporates data from the Danish Hydrological Institute (DHI), "MIKE C-MAP" depth points and data on coastline location *NASA, "Sea WiFS" and NIMA, "VMAP," 1997. The results for the larger areas of reef development and for shelf areas are below:Potential MCE shelf habitats.t; Potential MCE platform margin habitats.t;

  5. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Estrada, A.; Bonde, R.K.; Wong, A.; Estrada, D.J.; Harr, K.

    2006-01-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  6. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchley, Adam; McField, Melanie D.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend. PMID:27280075

  7. Scorpionism in Central America, with special reference to the case of Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Borges

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Scorpionism in the Americas occurs mainly in Mexico, northern South America and southeast Brazil. This article reviews the local scorpion fauna, available health statistics, and the literature to assess scorpionism in Central America. Notwithstanding its high toxicity in Mexico, most scorpion sting cases in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are produced by species in the genus Centruroides that are only mildly toxic to humans despite the existence of ion channel-active toxins in their venoms. Regional morbidity is low with the exception of Panama, where an incidence of 52 cases per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded for 2007, with 28 deaths from 1998 to 2006. Taxa belonging to the genus Tityus (also present in the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica are responsible for fatalities in Panama, with Tityus pachyurus being the most important species medically. Most Tityus species inhabiting Panama are also found in northern South America from which they probably migrated upon closure of the Panamanian isthmus in the Miocene era. Incorporation of Panama as part of the northern South American endemic area of scorpionism is thereby suggested based on the incidence of these accidents and the geographical distribution of Panamanian Tityus species.

  8. Genetic characterization of Neotropical Jabiru Storks: Insights for conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, I.F.; Haig, S.M.; Lama, S.N.D.

    2010-01-01

    Jabiru Stork (Jabiru mycteria is listed under Appendix I of CITES and considered threatened in Central America. The first population genetic analysis of Jabiru Storks was carried out using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences (520 bp) and five heterologous microsatellite loci. Samples were collected from the field (N = 49) and museum skins (N = 22) in Central (mainly Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) and South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil). A decline of mtDNA diversity was observed in comparisons between past (N = 20) and present (N = 40) samples collected in Central America and northern South America. Similar levels of microsatellite loci diversity were observed among contemporary samples. Lower levels of mtDNA variability were observed in samples from Central America and northern South America when compared to the Brazilian Pantanal region. Significant levels of genetic differentiation were found between contemporary locations sampled, whereas non-significant results were observed for historic samples. The non-geographic association of haplotypes observed at the cladograms and the recent divergence times estimated between locations are indicative of an evolutionary history of a large population size with limited population structure. Reconnection of populations via increased gene flow, particularly in Central America, is recommended if genetic structure and status are to be restored.

  9. Technical Progress Report on Application and Development of Appropriate Tools and Technologies for Cost-Effective Carbon Sequestration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bill Stanley; Patrick Gonzalez; Sandra Brown; Jenny Henman; Ben Poulter; Sarah Woodhouse Murdock; Neil Sampson; Tim Pearson; Sarah Walker; Zoe Kant; Miguel Calmon; Gilberto Tiepolo

    2006-06-30

    The Nature Conservancy is participating in a Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to explore the compatibility of carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity. The title of the research project is ''Application and Development of Appropriate Tools and Technologies for Cost-Effective Carbon Sequestration''. The objectives of the project are to: (1) improve carbon offset estimates produced in both the planning and implementation phases of projects; (2) build valid and standardized approaches to estimate project carbon benefits at a reasonable cost; and (3) lay the groundwork for implementing cost-effective projects, providing new testing ground for biodiversity protection and restoration projects that store additional atmospheric carbon. This Technical Progress Report discusses preliminary results of the six specific tasks that The Nature Conservancy is undertaking to answer research needs while facilitating the development of real projects with measurable greenhouse gas reductions. The research described in this report occurred between April 1st and July 30th 2006. The specific tasks discussed include: Task 1: carbon inventory advancements; Task 2: emerging technologies for remote sensing of terrestrial carbon; Task 3: baseline method development; Task 4: third-party technical advisory panel meetings; Task 5: new project feasibility studies; and Task 6: development of new project software screening tool. Work is being carried out in Brazil, Belize, Chile, Peru and the USA.

  10. CO2 efflux from cleared mangrove peat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Lovelock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: CO(2 emissions from cleared mangrove areas may be substantial, increasing the costs of continued losses of these ecosystems, particularly in mangroves that have highly organic soils. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured CO(2 efflux from mangrove soils that had been cleared for up to 20 years on the islands of Twin Cays, Belize. We also disturbed these cleared peat soils to assess what disturbance of soils after clearing may have on CO(2 efflux. CO(2 efflux from soils declines from time of clearing from ∼10,600 tonnes km(-2 year(-1 in the first year to 3000 tonnes km(2 year(-1 after 20 years since clearing. Disturbing peat leads to short term increases in CO(2 efflux (27 umol m(-2 s(-1, but this had returned to baseline levels within 2 days. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Deforesting mangroves that grow on peat soils results in CO(2 emissions that are comparable to rates estimated for peat collapse in other tropical ecosystems. Preventing deforestation presents an opportunity for countries to benefit from carbon payments for preservation of threatened carbon stocks.

  11. Comparison of machine learning algorithms for detecting coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Tusa

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available (Received: 2014/07/31 - Accepted: 2014/09/23This work focuses on developing a fast coral reef detector, which is used for an autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV. A fast detection secures the AUV stabilization respect to an area of reef as fast as possible, and prevents devastating collisions. We use the algorithm of Purser et al. (2009 because of its precision. This detector has two parts: feature extraction that uses Gabor Wavelet filters, and feature classification that uses machine learning based on Neural Networks. Due to the extensive time of the Neural Networks, we exchange for a classification algorithm based on Decision Trees. We use a database of 621 images of coral reef in Belize (110 images for training and 511 images for testing. We implement the bank of Gabor Wavelets filters using C++ and the OpenCV library. We compare the accuracy and running time of 9 machine learning algorithms, whose result was the selection of the Decision Trees algorithm. Our coral detector performs 70ms of running time in comparison to 22s executed by the algorithm of Purser et al. (2009.

  12. Linking physiological processes with mangrove forest structure: phosphorus deficiency limits canopy development, hydraulic conductivity and photosynthetic carbon gain in dwarf Rhizophora mangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E; Ball, Marilyn C; Choat, Brendan; Engelbrecht, Bettina M J; Holbrook, N Michelle; Feller, Ilka C

    2006-05-01

    Spatial gradients in mangrove tree height in barrier islands of Belize are associated with nutrient deficiency and sustained flooding in the absence of a salinity gradient. While nutrient deficiency is likely to affect many parameters, here we show that addition of phosphorus (P) to dwarf mangroves stimulated increases in diameters of xylem vessels, area of conductive xylem tissue and leaf area index (LAI) of the canopy. These changes in structure were consistent with related changes in function, as addition of P also increased hydraulic conductivity (Ks), stomatal conductance and photosynthetic assimilation rates to the same levels measured in taller trees fringing the seaward margin of the mangrove. Increased xylem vessel size and corresponding enhancements in stem hydraulic conductivity in P fertilized dwarf trees came at the cost of enhanced mid-day loss of hydraulic conductivity and was associated with decreased assimilation rates in the afternoon. Analysis of trait plasticity identifies hydraulic properties of trees as more plastic than those of leaf structural and physiological characteristics, implying that hydraulic properties are key in controlling growth in mangroves. Alleviation of P deficiency, which released trees from hydraulic limitations, reduced the structural and functional distinctions between dwarf and taller fringing tree forms of Rhizophora mangle. PMID:17087463

  13. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

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    I. Romero

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Extremes in (δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range = +4 to −22‰ were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, atmospheric ammonia, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood, and lichens, were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little to no relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. The δ15N of fine and coarse roots was 9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year to a &delta:15N closer to the &delta:15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰. Isotopically negative ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=−18‰ and in rainwater (δ15N=−9‰ were found on Twin Cays and may be sources of available N for isotopically depleted mangrove trees and lichens. In highly stressed, severely P limited trees, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  14. Identification of bacteria in scuba divers' rinse tanks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washburn, Brian K; Levin, Andrew E; Hennessy, Kristen; Miller, Michael R

    2010-01-01

    Scuba divers typically rinse equipment in communal tanks. Studies show these tanks are contaminated with bacteria, but the types of bacteria have not been studied. We sought to identify bacteria in rinse tanks at a dive facility at San Pedro, Belize, to determine the origin of the bacteria and determine whether the bacteria represented potential threats to human health. The identity of bacteria was investigated using reverse line blot (RLB) assays based on 28 different rDNA probes designed to detect known pathogens of sepsis, as well as by sequencing 23S rDNA from isolates and performing VITEK identification of several isolates. Based on the identities of bacteria in divers' rinse tanks, many likely originate from the ocean, and others likely originate from the divers themselves. None of the bacteria identified would be considered overt human pathogens. However, some of the bacteria found in the tanks are known to be associated with unsanitary conditions and can cause opportunistic infections, which may pose health problems to some individuals. Rinsing scuba equipment in communal tanks has the potential to transmit disease among some divers. Equipment, especially regulators and masks, should be rinsed/cleaned individually and not be placed in communal tanks.

  15. Neotropical coastal wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.; Batzer, Darold P.; Baldwin, Andrew H.

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropical region, which includes the tropical Americas, is one of the world's eight biogeographic zones. It contains some of the most diverse and unique wetlands in the world, some of which are still relatively undisturbed by humans. This chapter focuses on the northern segment of the Neotropics (south Florida, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, and Central America), an area that spans a latitudinal gradient from about 7 N to 29 N and 60 W to 112 W. Examples of coastal wetlands in this realm include the Everglades (Florida, USA), Ten Thousand Islands (Florida, USA), Laguna de Terminos (Mexico), Twin Cays (Belize), and Zapata Swamp (Cuba). Coastal wetlands are dominated by mangroves, which will be emphasized here, but also include freshwater swamps and marshes, saline marshes, and seagrass beds. The aim of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of Neotropical coastal wetlands of the North American continent, with an emphasis on mangroves, since this is the dominant vegetation type and because in-depth coverage of all wetland types is impossible here. Instead, the goal is to describe the environmental settings, plant and animal communities, key ecological controls, and some conservation concerns, with specific examples. Because this book deals with wetlands of North America, this chapter excludes coastal wetlands of South America. However, much of the information is applicable to mangrove, marsh, and seagrass communities of other tropicaI regions.

  16. On the Paleotectonic Evolution of the Pacific Margin of Southern Mexico, the Maya and Juchatengo Terranes and Chochal Formation Guatemala:Insights from Paleomagnetic and Isotopic Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero Garcia, J. C.; Herrero-Bervera, E.

    2009-05-01

    samples is required particularly for Curie points and for grain-size analyses in addition to thermal and af demagnetization experiments. We present the comparative results of 20 sites drilled at 3 different Paleozoic areas: The Permian rocks of the Juchatengo area in Oaxaca, Mexico; the Late Silurian (~418 Ma) Mountain Pine Ridge Granite, the Hummingbird Granite in Belize, and the Early Leonardian Chochal Limestone in Guatemala. The samples of all 20 sites were subjected to AF demagnetization in 16 steps from NRM to 100 mT and the thermally demagnetized cleaned in 15 increasing temperature steps from NRM up to 675 C. Principal component analysis was applied to the samples in order to obtain their respective mean directions. SIRM, hysteresis loops, and coercivity experiments performed indicate that about 90 percent of the samples were characterized by Multi-Domain (MD) grain sizes and the rest were PSD. Curie point determinations results ranged from 190 to 660 C, indicating the presence of titanomagnetites as well as hematite. In the Juchatengo area reliable poles were obtained from 3 sites, in Belize 3 sites and only 2 sites in Guatemala in the Permian Chochal Formation yielded useful results

  17. Provenance and family variation of Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis from Guatemala and Honduras, grown in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela Variação em procedências e famílias de Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis da Guatemala e Honduras, testadas no Brasil, Colômbia e Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicente Pongitory Gifoni Moura

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis (Sénécl Barr. & Golf. is a tropical pine that naturally occurs in lowland areas of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and eastern Mexico. It has been one of the most studied tropical pines and the one with the most commercial importance in Brazil. The objective of this work was to select the best provenances for plantations and best trees in families for the establishment of seed orchards. For that a trial with five provenances and 47 open-pollinated families was planted near Planaltina, Federal District, in the Cerrado Region of Brazil. The provenances tested were Poptun (Guatemala, Gualjoco, Los Limones, El Porvenir and Santa Cruz de Yojoa (Honduras and assessed at 12 years of age. Poptun and Gualjoco had larger volume, and Los Limones and El Porvenir the lowest incidence of forks and foxtails. Individual tree heritabilities for volume, stem form and branch diameter were 0.34, 0.06, and 0.26 respectively. More than 90% of the trees had defects, common in unimproved P. caribaea. Selection criteria for quality traits need to be relaxed in the first generation of breeding to allow for larger genetic gains in productivity. Results from this test compared with P. caribaea var. hondurensis trials in other Brazilian, Colombian and Venezuelan sites suggest that provenance x site and family x site interactions are not as strong as in other pine species.Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis (Sénécl Barr. & Golf. é uma espécie tropical que ocorre naturalmente nas terras baixas de Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicarágua e no leste do México. Esta espécie tem sido uma das mais estudadas entre os pinos tropicais e uma das mais importantes comercialmente no centro e norte do Brasil. O objetivo deste trabalho foi selecionar as melhores procedências para plantios e também as melhores árvores dentro de famílias para o estabelecimento de pomares de semente. Para isso, um experimento com cinco

  18. Distribución y conservación de especies amenazadas en Mesoamérica, Chocó y Andes tropicales Distribution and conservation of endangered species in Mesoamerica, Chocó and Tropical Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cecilia Londoño-Murcia

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available En este estudio se modeló el nicho ecológico proyectado como distribución potencial de 313 especies amenazadas en Mesoamérica, Chocó y los Andes tropicales, según las listas de la UICN. De estas especies, 285 fueron plantas y 28 fueron vertebrados terrestres. La superposición de las distribuciones de las especies amenazadas cubrió prácticamente toda la región. Ecuador mostró cerca del 30% de su área con 50 especies. Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua y Panamá mostraron > 50, aunque en 50% de su área. El Salvador y Honduras, de 11 a 20 en > 50% de su área y México de 1 a 5 especies en > 50% de su área. La distribución de estas especies en áreas transformadas (agricultura y áreas urbanas varió del 11al 30%; El Salvador, Panamá y Guatemala mostraron > 50% de la distribución; Colombia, Honduras y México This study modeled ecological niches projected as potential distributions for 313 endangered species listed in the IUCN for Mesoamerica, Chocó and Tropical Andes, of which 285 were plants, and 28 terrestrial vertebrates. Overlapping of endangered species distributions covered most of the region. Ecuador showed close to 30% of its area with 50 endangered species. Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua y Panama showed more than 50 endangered species in 50% of its area with endangered species (21 to 50 species were Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Panama. El Salvador and Honduras showed > 50% of its area with 11 to 20 endangered species; Mexico showed 50% of endangered species in transformed areas; Colombia, Honduras and Mexico showed < 40%, and Belize and Ecuador showed < 25% of endangered species in transformed areas, respectively. El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico showed a high proportion of endangered species in transformed areas for the Classes Amphibia, Liliopsida, Polipodiopsida, and the Orders Asterales, Fabales, Laurales, Myrtales, Scrophulariales and Rubiales. Less than 35% of endangered

  19. Advocacy in the Western Hemisphere Region: some FPA success stories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D J

    1996-01-01

    The International Planned Parenthood Federation's Vision 2000 Strategic Plan has emphasized advocacy and the training of family planning associations (FPAs) in the Western Hemisphere region. During the summer of 1995 training programs in advocacy leadership management were sponsored for six FPAs in the Bahamas, Suriname, Belize, Colombia, Honduras, and Brazil. At the Western Hemisphere Regional Council Meeting in September 1995 awards were presented to FPAs for media outstanding projects. These FPAs used outreach to the community to promote the goals of Vision 2000. The Bahamas FPA won the Rosa Cisneros Award for articles published in a magazine that is distributed in primary and secondary schools and deals with the activities, achievements, and opinions of students. Issues include: love, relationships, responsibility, and teen pregnancy. A weekly television talk show also addresses the issues facing youth including education, music, community work, sexuality, pregnancy, and the relationship between teenagers and adults. The Family Planning Association of Honduras was also nominated for the award for a radio show on the health of mothers and children, the problems of adolescents, and FP. The newspaper Tiempo received the award for feature articles on social issues and FP. In 1994 the Association distributed thousands of booklets on contraceptives as well as fliers on vasectomy, female sterilization, oral contraceptives, IUDs, condoms, responsible parenthood, high-risk pregnancy, vaginal cytology, and cervical cancer. Similar posters were placed in hospitals and health centers, in 1997 FP posts, and 400 commercial outlets. The Family Planning Association of Suriname also carried out an impressive advocacy program during the period of 1968-93 with the goals of establishing a balance between population growth and the available resources to achieve well-being with regard to education, health care, nutrition, and housing. PMID:12291093

  20. In vitro anti-cancer activity of two ethno-pharmacological healing plants from Guatemala Pluchea odorata and Phlebodium decumanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gridling, Manuela; Stark, Nicole; Madlener, Sibylle; Lackner, Andreas; Popescu, Ruxandra; Benedek, Birgit; Diaz, Rene; Tut, Foster M; Nha Vo, Thanh Phuong; Huber, Daniela; Gollinger, Michaela; Saiko, Philipp; Ozmen, Ali; Mosgoeller, Wilhelm; De Martin, Rainer; Eytner, Ruth; Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Grusch, Michael; Fritzer-Szekeres, Monika; Szekeres, Thomas; Kopp, Brigitte; Frisch, Richard; Krupitza, Georg

    2009-04-01

    Many traditional healing plants successfully passed several hundred years of empirical testing against specific diseases and thereby demonstrating that they are well tolerated in humans. Although quite a few ethno-pharmacological plants are applied against a variety of conditions there are still numerous plants that have not been cross-tested in diseases apart from the traditional applications. Herein we demonstrate the anti-neoplastic potential of two healing plants used by the Maya of the Guatemala/Belize area against severe inflammatory conditions such as neuritis, rheumatism, arthritis, coughs, bruises and tumours. Phlebodium decumanum and Pluchea odorata were collected, dried and freeze dried, and extracted with five solvents of increasing polarity. We tested HL-60 and MCF-7 cells, the inhibition of proliferation and the induction of cell death were investigated as hallmark endpoints to measure the efficiency of anti-cancer drugs. Western blot and FACS analyses elucidated the underlying mechanisms. While extracts of P. decumanum showed only moderate anti-cancer activity and were therefore not further analysed, particularly the dichloromethane extract of P. odorata inhibited the cell cycle in G2-M which correlated with the activation of checkpoint kinase 2, and down-regulation of Cdc25A and cyclin D1 as well as inactivation of Erk1/2. In HL-60 and MCF-7 cells this extract was a very strong inducer of cell death activating caspase-3 followed by PARP signature type cleavage. The initiating death trigger was likely the stabilization of microtubules monitored by the rapid acetylation of alpha-tubulin, which was even more pronounced than that triggered by taxol. The dichloromethane extract of P. odorata contains apolar constituents which inhibit inflammatory responses and exhibit anti-cancer activity. The strong proapoptotic potential warrants further bioassay-guided fractionation to discover and test the active principle(s). PMID:19287970

  1. The Yucatan, a Laurentian or Gondwanan fragment? Geophysical and palinspastic constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keppie, D. Fraser; Keppie, J. Duncan

    2014-07-01

    Current reconstructions suggest that the Yucatan block has Gondwanan provenance and orient the Yucatan E-W in the Ouachita embayment where it overlaps southern Laurentia and Florida. Alternatively, if the Yucatan is oriented NE-SW, it fits neatly into the Ouachita embayment with minimal overlap. Furthermore, many of the V-shaped, magnetic anomalies in the Yucatan that are discordant in the E-W reconstruction can be traced across the Yucatan-Laurentian boundary in the NE-SW reconstruction: (a) NW-trending anomalies continue into southern Laurentia where they are associated with Cambrian mafic rocks in the southern Oklahoma and Reelfoot rifts and (b) NE-trending anomalies in the eastern Yucatan are parallel to those over Grenvillian rocks in the western Appalachians. Furthermore, Silurian plutons in the Maya Mountains of Belize that have no counterpart in Texas may be correlated with the Concord-Salisbury plutons in Carolinia, a terrane of Gondwanan provenance in the southern Appalachians. Nd isotopic data from the Chicxulub ejecta in the northern Yucatan block are similar to those in the Llano Grenvillian rocks and differ from those in Oaxaquia. These correlations suggest that much of the Yucatan is of Laurentian provenance and implies that the Laurentia-Gondwana suture crosses the Yucatan west of the Maya Mountains. In this scenario, the Ouachita embayment results from the formation of the Gulf of Mexico during the breakup of Pangea, rather than the Cambrian removal of the Argentine Cuyania terrane. Cambrian (515 Ma) paleomagnetic and faunal data are consistent with Cuyania forming either east of the Yucatan or off eastern Laurentia.

  2. Fish community structure in freshwater karstic water bodies of the Sian Ka'an Reserve in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambrano, L.; Vazquez-Dominguez, E.; Garcia-Bedoya, D.; Loftus, W.F.; Trexler, J.C.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the relationship between limnetic characteristics and fish community structure (based on species richness, abundance and individual size) in contrasting but interconnected inland aquatic habitats of freshwater karstic wetlands in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. In the western hemisphere, freshwater karstic wetlands are found in south-eastern Mexico, northern Belize, western Cuba, Andros Island, Bahamas and the Everglades of southern Florida. Only in the Everglades have fish communities been well described. Karstic wetlands are typically oligotrophic because calcium carbonate binds phosphorus, making it relatively unavailable for plants. Fourteen permanent and seasonally flooded water bodies were sampled in both wet and dry seasons in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Water systems were divided by morphology in four groups: cenotes with vegetation (CWV), cenotes without vegetation (CNV), wetlands (WTL), and temporal cenotes (TPC). Discriminant analysis based on physical characteristics such as turbidity, temperature, depth and oxygen confirmed that these habitats differed in characteristics known to influence fish communities. A sample-based rarefaction test showed that species richness was significantly different between water systems groups, showing that WTL and CWV had higher richness values than CNV and TPC. The most abundant fish families, Poeciliidae, Cichlidae and Characidae, differed significantly in average size among habitats and seasons. Seasonal and inter-annual variation, reflecting temporal variation in rainfall, strongly influenced the environmental differences between shallow and deep habitats, which could be linked to fish size and life cycles. Five new records of species were found for the reserve, and one new record for Quintana Roo state. ?? 2006 by Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil.

  3. Tracking from the tropics reveals behaviour of juvenile songbirds on their first spring migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily A McKinnon

    Full Text Available Juvenile songbirds on spring migration travel from tropical wintering sites to temperate breeding destinations thousands of kilometres away with no prior experience to guide them. We provide a first glimpse at the migration timing, routes, and stopover behaviour of juvenile wood thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina on their inaugural spring migration by using miniaturized archival geolocators to track them from Central America to the U.S. and Canada. We found significant differences between the timing of juvenile migration and that of more experienced adults: juveniles not only departed later from tropical wintering sites relative to adults, they also became progressively later as they moved northward. The increasing delay was driven by more frequent short stops by juveniles along their migration route, particularly in the U.S. as they got closer to breeding sites. Surprisingly, juveniles were just as likely as adults to cross the Gulf of Mexico, an open-water crossing of 800-1000 km, and migration route at the Gulf was not significantly different for juveniles relative to adults. To determine if the later departure of juveniles was related to poor body condition in winter relative to adults, we examined percent lean body mass, fat scores, and pectoral muscle scores of juvenile versus adult birds at a wintering site in Belize. We found no age-related differences in body condition. Later migration timing of juveniles relative to adults could be an adaptive strategy (as opposed to condition-dependent to avoid the high costs of fast migration and competition for breeding territories with experienced and larger adults. We did find significant differences in wing size between adults and juveniles, which could contribute to lower flight efficiency of juveniles and thus slower overall migration speed. We provide the first step toward understanding the "black box" of juvenile songbird migration by documenting their migration timing and en route performance.

  4. "Curso de Vulcanología General": Web-education efforts on volcanic hazards for the Latin American region from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Hugo

    2016-04-01

    Education of volcanic hazards is a never-ending task in countries where volcanoes erupt very frequently as they do in the Latin American region (LAR). Eleven countries in the LAR have active volcanoes within their territories and some volcanoes are located in between countries so the volcanic hazards associated to the eruption of those volcanoes affect more than one country. Besides, countries without volcanoes within their territory (i. e. Belize, Honduras or Brazil) can be impacted as well. Personnel working at several volcano observatories in the LAR need training in Volcanology and, more importantly, in Volcanic Hazards. Unfortunately, Volcanology is a discipline that is not taught at universities of some countries. Even worse, Earth Sciences are not even taught at high education centers in some countries of the LAR. Thus, there is an important need for the acquisition of volcanological knowledge by the personnel working at volcano observatories but there are no possibilities for them to study at their countries or they are impended for travel abroad for training. The international course: "Curso de Vulcanología General" taught from Mexico City at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) has been successfully implemented and has been active over the last five years. Nearly 700 students have participated in this course although only ~150 have been awarded the certificate UNAM grants to the students who have concluded the course successfully. This course has been sponsored by UNAM, ALVO (Latin American Volcanological Association) and IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior). More than 50 lecturers from LAR, Europe and US have been involved in these courses. Here, Reflections on the course, the opportunities sparkled, the educational tools, benefits, statistics and virtues of the course are presented.

  5. Oil and gas developments in South America, Central America, Caribbean area, and Mexico in 1987

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiman, W.D.

    1988-10-01

    Exploration activity in South America, Central America, the Caribbean area, and Mexico in 1987 showed significant increases in seismic acquisition in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru, and a decrease in Chile and Venezuela. Exploratory drilling increased in most major producing countries but was accompanied by a decline in development drilling. Most of the increase could be attributed to private companies fulfilling obligations under risk contracts; however, state oil companies in Bolivia, Chile, and Colombia showed significant increased activity, with only Mexico showing a decrease. Colombia again had a dramatic increase in production (29% from 1986). Noteworthy discoveries were made in Bolivia (Villamontes-1); Brazil, in the Solimoes basin (1-RUC-1-AM); Chile (Rio Honda-1); Colombia, in the Llanos basin (Austral-1, La Reforma-1, Libertad Norte-1, Cravo Este-1, and Cano Yarumal-1), in the Upper Magdalena basin (Toldado-1 and Los Mangos-1); Ecuador (Frontera-1, a joint-exploration venture with Colombia); Mexico, in the Chiapas-Tabasco region (Guacho-1 and Iridi-1), in the Frontera Norte area (Huatempo-1); Peru, in the Madre de Dios basin (Armihuari-4X); Trinidad (West East Queen's Beach-1); and Venezuela (Musipan-1X). Brazil's upper Amazon (Solimoes basin) discovery, Colombia's Upper Magdalena basin discoveries Toldado-1 and Los Mangos-1, Mexico's Chiapas-Tabasco discoveries, Peru's confirmation of the giant Cashiriari discovery of 1986, and Venezuela's success in Monagas state were the highlights of 1987. 5 figs., 8 tabs.

  6. Near-surface Imaging of a Maya Plaza Complex using Ground-Penetrating Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aitken, J. A.; Stewart, R. R.

    2005-05-01

    The University of Calgary has conducted a number of ground-penetrating radar surveys at a Maya archaeological site. The purpose of the study is to discern the near-surface structure and stratigraphy of the plaza, and to assist the archaeologists in focusing their excavation efforts. The area of study is located in Belize, Central America at the ancient Maya site of Maax Na. Flanked by structures believed to be temples to the north and west, the archaeologists were interested in determining how many levels of plaza were built and if there was any discernable slope to the plaza. Over the last three years, both 2-D lines and 3-D grids were acquired at the plaza using a Sensors and Software Inc. Noggin Plus system at an antenna frequency of 250 MHz. The processing flow consisted of the application of gain, various filtering techniques and a diffraction stack migration using Reflexw. Interpolation of the gridded data was investigated using simple averaging, F-K migration, pre-stack migration and inversion techniques. As this study has evolved over different field seasons, measured velocities appear to change with the saturation level of the shallow section. Velocity measurements ranged from 0.058 - .106 m/ns during the wet conditions encountered in 2002 and 2004, while velocities of 1.22 - 1.40 m/ns were measured in the drought of 2003. The GPR images to date indicate continuous and interpretable images of the subsurface, showing evidence of structure, discontinuities and amplitude variations. A number of interesting anomalies have been identified, and prioritized for excavation.

  7. A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) habitat in Southern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Eduardo; Fuller, Trevon L; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Ramírez-Mejía, Diana; Smith, Thomas B

    2013-03-01

    Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is one of the most emblematic mammals of Mesoamerica, but like other large-bodied animals, it is facing an increasing risk of extinction due primarily to habitat loss. Mexico's 'ortion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC-M) is located in one of the main strongholds for Bairds tapir. To assess the MBC-M's effectiveness for tapir conservation, we estimated the distribution of the species' potential habitat by applying 2 modelling approaches (random forest and Maxent) to a set of uncorrelated environmental variables and a 157-point presence dataset. We calculated the extent of tapir habitat in within the MBC-M and modelled new corridors and conservation areas, which we compared to the MBC-M. Moreover, we assessed deforestation patterns in the region. Twenty-seven percent of highly suitable tapir habitat occurred in protected areas, 15% in corridors and 58.3% was outside the MBC-M and associated reserves. The spatial configuration of the MBC-M was partially concordant with the modelled set of conservation areas and corridors. The main dissimilarity was that the modelled corridors traversed forests in Belize and Guatemala to connect conservation areas. Analyses of deforestation since 1993 and human population density in the vicinity of the MBC-M indicated that future conservation efforts should give particular attention to the Montes Azules-El Triunfo Corridor due to greater habitat threat. The MBC-M has a great potential to play a prominent role in the conservation of tapir habitat but there is an urgent need to implement management plans that reinforce and complement this conservation initiative.

  8. Does seaweed-coral competition make seaweeds more palatable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, G. O.; Hay, M. E.

    2015-03-01

    Seaweed-coral interactions are increasingly common on modern coral reefs, but the dynamics, processes, and mechanisms affecting these interactions are inadequately understood. We investigated the frequency and effect of seaweed-coral contacts for common seaweeds and corals in Belize. Effects on corals were evaluated by measuring the frequency and extent of bleaching when contacted by various seaweeds, and effects on a common seaweed were evaluated by assessing whether contact with coral made the seaweed more palatable to the sea urchin Diadema antillarum. Coral-seaweed contacts were particularly frequent between Agaricia corals and the seaweed Halimeda opuntia, with this interaction being associated with coral bleaching in 95 % of contacts. Pooling across all coral species, H. opuntia was the seaweed most commonly contacting corals and most frequently associated with localized bleaching at the point of contact. Articulated coralline algae, Halimeda tuna and Lobophora variegata also frequently contacted corals and were commonly associated with bleaching. The common corals Agaricia and Porites bleached with similar frequency when contacted by H. opuntia (95 and 90 %, respectively), but Agaricia experienced more damage than Porites when contacted by articulated coralline algae or H. tuna. When spatially paired individuals of H. opuntia that had been in contact with Agaricia and not in contact with any coral were collected from the reefs and offered to D. antillarum, urchins consumed about 150 % more of thalli that had been competing with Agaricia. Contact and non-contact thalli did not differ in nutritional traits (ash-free-dry-mass, C or N concentrations), suggesting that Halimeda chemical defenses may have been compromised by coral-algal contact. If competition with corals commonly enhances seaweed palatability, then the dynamics and nuances of small-scale seaweed-coral-herbivore interactions at coral edges are deserving of greater attention in that such

  9. Color Vision Variation as Evidenced by Hybrid L/M Opsin Genes in Wild Populations of Trichromatic Alouatta New World Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsushita, Yuka; Oota, Hiroki; Welker, Barbara J; Pavelka, Mary S; Kawamura, Shoji

    2014-01-01

    Platyrrhine (New World) monkeys possess highly polymorphic color vision owing to allelic variation of the single-locus L/M opsin gene on the X chromosome. Most species consist of female trichromats and female and male dichromats. Howlers (genus Alouatta) are an exception; they are considered to be routinely trichromatic with L and M opsin genes juxtaposed on the X chromosome, as seen in catarrhine primates (Old World monkeys, apes, and humans). Yet it is not known whether trichromacy is invariable in howlers. We examined L/M opsin variation in wild howler populations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua (Alouatta palliata) and Belize (A. pigra), using fecal DNA. We surveyed exon 5 sequences (containing the diagnostic 277th and 285th residues for λmax) for 8 and 18 X chromosomes from Alouatta palliata and A. pigra, respectively. The wavelengths of maximal absorption (λmax) of the reconstituted L and M opsin photopigments were 564 nm and 532 nm, respectively, in both species. We found one M-L hybrid sequence with a recombinant 277/285 haplotype in Alouatta palliata and two L-M hybrid sequences in A. pigra. The λmax values of the reconstituted hybrid photopigments were in the range of 546~554 nm, which should result in trichromat phenotypes comparable to those found in other New World monkey species. Our finding of color vision variation due to high frequencies of L/M hybrid opsin genes in howlers challenges the current view that howlers are routine and uniform trichromats. These results deepen our understanding of the evolutionary significance of color vision polymorphisms and routine trichromacy and emphasize the need for further assessment of opsin gene variation as well as behavioral differences among subtypes of trichromacy. PMID:24523565

  10. [Population dynamics and development in the Caribbean].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boland, B

    1995-12-01

    The impact is examined of socioeconomic factors on Caribbean population dynamics. This work begins by describing the socioeconomic context of the late 1980s and early 1990s, under the influence of the economic changes and crises of the 1980s. The small size, openness, dependency, and lack of diversification of the Caribbean economies have made them vulnerable to external pressures. The Bahamas and Belize had economic growth rates exceeding 5% annually during 1981-90, but most of the countries had low or negative growth. Unemployment, poverty, the structural adjustment measures adopted in the mid-1980s, and declines in social spending exacerbated general economic conditions. In broad terms, the population situation of the Caribbean is marked by diversity of sizes and growth rates. A few countries oriented toward services and tourism had demographic growth rates exceeding 3%, while at least 7 had almost no growth or negative growth. Population growth rates reflected different combinations of natural increase and migration. Crude death rates ranged from around 5/1000 to 11/1000, except in Haiti, and all countries of the region except Haiti had life expectancies of 70 years or higher. Despite fertility decline, the average crude birth rate was still relatively high at 26/1000, and the rate of natural increase was 1.8% annually for the region. Nearly half of the regional population was under 15 or over 65 years old. The body of this work provides greater detail on mortality patterns, variations by sex, infant mortality, causes of death, and implications for policy. The discussion of fertility includes general patterns and trends, age specific fertility rates, contraceptive prevalence, levels of adolescent fertility and age factors in adolescent sexual behavior, characteristics of adolescent unions, contraceptive usage, health and social consequences of adolescent childbearing, and the search for solutions. The final section describes the magnitude and causes of

  11. Impact of Global Warming on Coral Reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirilak CHUMKIEW

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we review coral reef responses to climate variability and discuss the possible mechanisms by which climate impacts the coral reef ecosystem. Effects of oceanographic variables such as sea temperature, turbulence, salinity, and nutrients on the coral reef are discussed in terms of their influence on coral growth, reproduction, mortality, acclimation and adaptation. Organisms tend to be limited to specific thermal ranges with experimental findings showing that sufficient oxygen supply by ventilation and circulation only occurs within these ranges. Indirect effects of climate change on the food web are also discussed. Further integrative studies are required to improve our knowledge of the processes linking coral reef responses to future climate change scenarios.Graphical abstract► Incidence of coral reef bleaching on a worldwide scale: location of bleaching reports during 1979 - 2010. Maps are from ReefBase, www.reefbase.org: 1, Arabian Gulf (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran; 2, Red Sea; 3, east Africa; 4, southern Africa (Mozambique, South Africa; 5, Madagascar; 6, Mauritius, Reunion; 7, Seychelles; 8, Chagos; 9, Maldives; 10, Sri Lanka/southern India; 11, Andaman Sea (Andamans, Thailand, Malaysia; 12, South China Sea (Vietnam, Paracel Islands; 13, Philippines; 14, Indonesia; 15, western Australia; 16, Great Barrier Reef; 17, Ryukyu Islands; 18, Mariana Islands; 19, Palau; 20, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu; 21, Fiji; 22, Samoa; 23, French Polynesia (including Moorea; 24, Hawaiian Islands; 25, Easter Island; 26, Galapagos Islands; 27, equatorial eastern Pacific (Costa Rica, Cocos Island, Panama´, Colombia, Ecuador; 28, subtropical eastern Pacific (Mexico; 29, Mesoamerican reef system (Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua; 30, Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands; 31, Bahamas, Florida; 32, Bermuda; 33, Lesser Antilles; 34, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Los Roques; 35, Brazil.

  12. Selection of an omnivorous diet by the mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii in laboratory experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Amy A.; Feller, Ilka C.; Paul, Valerie J.; Kwiatkowski, Lisa M.; Lee, Woody

    2008-02-01

    Observational studies on leaf damage, gut content analyses, and crab behaviour have demonstrated that like numerous other mangrove and salt-marsh generalists, the mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii feeds on a variety of food resources. This study is the first that experimentally tests feeding preferences of A. pisonii, as well as the first to test experimentally whether chemical composition of food resources is responsible for food selection. Feeding preferences were determined among a variety of plant, algal, and animal resources available in the field both in Florida and Belize, using multiple-choice feeding assays, where male and female crabs simultaneously were offered a variety of food items. To test whether chemistry of food resources was responsible for feeding preferences, chemical extracts of food resources were incorporated in an agar-based artificial food, and used in feeding assays. Results of feeding assays suggest that crabs prefer animal matter from ˜ 2.5 to 13× more than other available resources, including leaves of the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle, which contribute the most to their natural diet. Artificial feeding assays also demonstrated that chemical cues were responsible for selection of animal matter, up to 25× more than other available resources. Non-polar extracts (derived from extraction in 1:1 ethyl actetate:methanol) stimulated feeding the most, suggesting that fatty acids, triglycerides, or sterols may be important for growth, reproduction, or survival. Results for both sexes were similar across most assays. While chemical composition of food resources appears to play some role in selection, this does not discount the potential role of other factors, such as resource availability, competition, predation, or reproductive requirements in influencing feeding preferences. Bioassay-guided fractionation of extracts should aid in determining chemical constituents that play the greatest role in determining feeding preferences.

  13. Evidence of two genetic clusters of manatees with low genetic diversity in Mexico and implications for their conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nourisson, Coralie; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Clark, Annmarie; Olivera-Gómez, Leon David; Bonde, Robert; McGuire, Peter

    2011-07-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) occupies the tropical coastal waters of the Greater Antilles and Caribbean, extending from Mexico along Central and South America to Brazil. Historically, manatees were abundant in Mexico, but hunting during the pre-Columbian period, the Spanish colonization and throughout the history of Mexico, has resulted in the significantly reduced population occupying Mexico today. The genetic structure, using microsatellites, shows the presence of two populations in Mexico: the Gulf of Mexico (GMx) and Chetumal Bay (ChB) on the Caribbean coast, with a zone of admixture in between. Both populations show low genetic diversity (GMx: N(A) = 2.69; H(E) = 0.41 and ChB: N(A) = 3.0; H(E) = 0.46). The lower genetic diversity found in the GMx, the largest manatee population in Mexico, is probably due to a combination of a founder effect, as this is the northern range of the sub-species of T. m. manatus, and a bottleneck event. The greater genetic diversity observed along the Caribbean coast, which also has the smallest estimated number of individuals, is possibly due to manatees that come from the GMx and Belize. There is evidence to support limited or unidirectional gene flow between these two important areas. The analyses presented here also suggest minimal evidence of a handful of individual migrants possibly between Florida and Mexico. To address management issues we suggest considering two distinct genetic populations in Mexico, one along the Caribbean coast and one in the riverine systems connected to the GMx. PMID:21681472

  14. Artists in and out of the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Price

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available [First paragraph] Caribbean Art. VEERLE POUPEYE. London: Thames and Hudson, 1998. 224 pp. (Paper US$ 14.95 Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean Artists in Britain, 1966-1996. MORA J. BEAUCHAMP-BYRD & M. FRANKLIN SIRMANS (eds.. New York: Caribbean Cultural Center, 1998. 177 pp. (Paper US$ 39.95, £31.95 "Caribbean" (like "Black British" culture is (as a Dutch colleague once said of postmodernism a bit of a slippery fish. One of the books under review here presents the eclectic artistic productions of professional artists with Caribbean identities of varying sorts - some of them lifelong residents of the region (defined broadly to stretch from Belize and the Bahamas to Curacao and Cayenne, some born in the Caribbean but living elsewhere, and others from far-away parts of the world who have lingered or settled in the Caribbean. The other focuses on artists who trace their cultural heritage variously to Lebanon, France, Malaysia, Spain, China, England, Guyana, India, the Caribbean, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and the whole range of societies in West, East, and Central Africa, all of whom meet under a single ethnic label in galleries in New York and London. Clearly, the principles that vertebrate Caribbean Art and Transforming the Crown are built on the backs of ambiguities, misperceptions, ironies, and ethnocentric logics (not to mention their stronger variants, such as racism. Yet far from invalidating the enterprise, they offer an enlightening inroad to the social, cultural, economic, and political workings of artworlds that reflect globally orchestrated pasts of enormous complexity.

  15. Health care providers and human trafficking: what do they know, what do they need to know? Findings from the Middle East, the Caribbean and Central America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderik F Viergever

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundHuman trafficking is a crime that commonly results in acute and chronic physical and psychological harm. To foster more informed health sector responses to human trafficking, training sessions for health care providers were developed and pilot-tested in the Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean. This study presents the results of an investigation into what health care providers knew and needed to know about human trafficking as part of that training program.MethodsParticipants attended one of seven two-day training courses in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Guyana and Jordan. We assessed participants’ knowledge about human trafficking and opinions about appropriate responses in trafficking cases via questionnaires pre-training, and considered participant feedback about the training post-training. Results178 participants attended the trainings. Pre-training questionnaires were completed by 165 participants (93% and post-training questionnaires by 156 participants (88%. Pre-training knowledge about health and human trafficking appeared generally high for topics such as the international nature of trafficking and the likelihood of poor mental health outcomes among survivors. However, many participants had misconceptions about the characteristics of trafficked persons and a provider’s role in responding to cases of trafficking. The most valued training components included the Role of the Health Provider, Basic Definitions and Concepts and Health Consequences of Trafficking. DiscussionTraining health care providers on caring for trafficked persons has the potential to improve practitioners’ knowledge about human trafficking and its health consequences, and to increase safe practices when responding in cases of trafficking. This study provides lessons for the design of training programs on human trafficking that aim to help health care providers identify and refer victims, and provide care for

  16. Source to sink characterization of dissolved organic matter in a tropical karst system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechleitner, Franziska; Lang, Susan Q.; McIntyre, Cameron; Baldini, James U. L.; Dittmar, Thorsten; Eglinton, Timothy I.

    2016-04-01

    Karst systems are widespread surface features present on all continents. They are characterized by complex hydrology with a multitude of possible flow regimes, from diffuse seepage through the host rock to fracture flow in larger conduits. As stalagmite proxy records are important indicators of past terrestrial climate conditions, detailed understanding of the biogeochemistry of cave systems and their relationships to the overlying karst network is crucial. Microbial communities that drive the carbon cycle in caves are nourished by dissolved organic matter (DOM) carried with water into the cave system. Water samples from the Yok Balum cave in Belize were collected for DOM analysis, including soil waters, drip waters and pool waters from inside the cave. Additionally, DOM extracts from a stalagmite from the same cave were analysed to examine DOM signatures and test their applicability for reconstruction of environmental conditions. Ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry (via the ESI-FT-ICR-MS technique) yielded detailed molecular fingerprints on DOM from these samples. Several thousand molecular formulae of DOM compounds were identified. In addition, radiocarbon analyses were performed on the DOM samples to gain information on karst turnover times. A principal component analysis of the molecular data revealed a clear gradient between soil waters and cave waters, as soil waters were enriched in highly unsaturated oxygen-rich compounds (typical for vascular plants), which were much less abundant in drip waters. Conversely, peptides, which can originate from bacterial processes, were present only in the drip waters. Our data clearly show connectivity between the cave and overlaying soils, and reworking of DOM by the cave bacterial community. Furthermore, we found molecular evidence for the selective removal of vascular plant-derived DOM in the caves, possibly due to abiotic interactions with minerals.

  17. Detection of Citrus leprosis virus C using specific primers and TaqMan probe in one-step real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Nandlal; Wei, G; Govindarajulu, A; Roy, Avijit; Li, Wenbin; Picton, Deric D; Nakhla, M K; Levy, L; Brlansky, R H

    2015-11-01

    Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C), a causal agent of the leprosis disease in citrus, is mostly present in the South and Central America and spreading toward the North America. To enable better diagnosis and inhibit the further spread of this re-emerging virus a quantitative (q) real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay is needed for early detection of CiLV-C when the virus is present in low titer in citrus leprosis samples. Using the genomic sequence of CiLV-C, specific primers and probe were designed and synthesized to amplify a 73 nt amplicon from the movement protein (MP) gene. A standard curve of the 73 nt amplicon MP gene was developed using known 10(10)-10(1) copies of in vitro synthesized RNA transcript to estimate the copy number of RNA transcript in the citrus leprosis samples. The one-step qRT-PCR detection assays for CiLV-C were determined to be 1000 times more sensitive when compared to the one-step conventional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) CiLV-C detection method. To evaluate the quality of the total RNA extracts, NADH dehydrogenase gene specific primers (nad5) and probe were included in reactions as an internal control. The one-step qRT-PCR specificity was successfully validated by testing for the presence of CiLV-C in the total RNA extracts of the citrus leprosis samples collected from Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. Implementation of the one-step qRT-PCR assays for CiLV-C diagnosis should assist regulatory agencies in surveillance activities to monitor the distribution pattern of CiLV-C in countries where it is present and to prevent further dissemination into citrus growing countries where there is no report of CiLV-C presence.

  18. Isotopic and molecular distributions of biochemicals from fresh and buried Rhizophora mangle leaves†

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    Jacobson Myrna E

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Rhizophora mangle L. (red mangrove is the dominant species of mangrove in the Americas. At Twin Cays, Belize (BZ red mangroves are present in a variety of stand structures (tall >5 m in height, transition ~2–4 m and dwarf ~1–1.5 m. These height differences are coupled with very different stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic values1 (mean tall δ13C = -28.3‰, δ15N = 0‰; mean tall δ13C = -25.3‰, δ15N = -10‰. To determine the utility of using these distinct isotopic compositions as 'biomarkers' for paleoenvironmental reconstruction of mangrove ecosystems and nutrient availability, we investigated the distribution and isotopic (δ13C and δ15N composition of different biochemical fractions (water soluble compounds, free lipids, acid hydrolysable compounds, individual amino acids, and the residual un-extractable compounds in fresh and preserved red mangrove leaves from dwarf and tall trees. The distribution of biochemicals are similar in dwarf and tall red mangrove leaves, suggesting that, regardless of stand structure, red mangroves use nutrients for biosynthesis and metabolism in a similar manner. However, the δ13C and δ15N of the bulk leaf, the biochemical fractions, and seven amino acids can be used to distinguish dwarf and tall trees at Twin Cays, BZ. The data support the theory that the fractionation of carbon and nitrogen occurs prior to or during uptake in dwarf and tall red mangrove trees. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes could, therefore, be powerful tools for predicting levels of nutrient limitation at Twin Cays. The δ13C and δ15N of biochemical fractions within preserved leaves, reflect sedimentary cycling and nitrogen immobilization. The δ15N of the immobilized fraction reveals the overlying stand structure at the time of leaf deposition. The isotopic composition of preserved mangrove leaves could yield significant information about changes in ecosystem dynamics, nutrient limitation and past stand structure in

  19. Development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for vitellogenin of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selcer, Kyle W; Nespoli, Lisa M; Rainwater, Thomas R; Finger, Adam G; Ray, David A; Platt, Steven G; Smith, Philip N; Densmore, Llewellyn D; McMurry, Scott T

    2006-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop an immunoassay for vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). Blood was collected from wild-caught crocodiles in Belize. Plasma samples from adult females taken during the breeding season were used for vitellogenin purification and samples from adult males were used for comparison. No differences were detected between males and females for plasma total protein concentration, as measured by Coomassie assay. However, denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed that female plasma contained a 210-kDa protein, presumably the vitellogenin monomer, that was absent in adult male plasma. The identity of the putative vitellogenin was confirmed by its cross-reactivity in Western blots with a vitellogenin antiserum that was generated against a conserved vitellogenin peptide sequence. Crocodile vitellogenin was purified by two successive rounds of DEAE chromatography. The purified protein had an apparent molecular mass of 450 kDa, as determined by gel filtration chromatography, and 210 kDa on SDS-PAGE. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was then developed for C. moreletii vitellogenin. The detection limit of the assay was 20.0 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 5.3% and 9.8%, respectively. The recovery of vitellogenin diluted into male plasma was 94.7%. The ELISA assay revealed that vitellogenin levels of adult female plasma during the breeding season ranged from 1.8 to 3.1 mg/mL with a mean of 2.5+/-0.25 mg/mL. No vitellogenin was detected in adult male plasma. Induction of vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodile may be a useful model system for field studies of crocodile reproduction and for investigations of endocrine disruption in this species. PMID:16448857

  20. Systematics and Population Level Analysis of Anopheles darlingi

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    Conn JE

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available A new phylogenetic analysis of the Nyssorhynchus subgenus (Danoff-Burg and Conn, unpub. data using six data sets {morphological (all life stages; scanning electron micrographs of eggs; nuclear ITS2 sequences; mitochondrial COII, ND2 and ND6 sequences} revealed different topologies when each data set was analyzed separately but no heterogeneity between the data sets using the arn test. Consequently, the most accurate estimate of the phylogeny was obtained when all the data were combined. This new phylogeny supports a monophyletic Nyssorhynchus subgenus but both previously recognized sections in the subgenus (Albimanus and Argyritarsis were demonstrated to be paraphyletic relative to each other and four of the seven clades included species previously placed in both sections. One of these clades includes both Anopheles darlingi and An. albimanus, suggesting that the ability to vector malaria effectively may have originated once in this subgenus. Both a conserved (315 bp and a variable (425 bp region of the mitochondrial COI gene from 15 populations of An. darlingi from Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Peru and Venezuela were used to examine the evolutionary history of this species and to test several analytical assumptions. Results demonstrated (1 parsimony analysis is equally informative compared to distance analysis using NJ; (2 clades or clusters are more strongly supported when these two regions are combined compared to either region separately; (3 evidence (in the form of remnants of older haplotype lineages for two colonization events; and (4 significant genetic divergence within the population from Peixoto de Azevedo (State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The oldest lineage includes populations from Peixoto, Boa Vista (State of Roraima and Dourado (State of São Paulo.

  1. Evidence of two genetic clusters of manatees with low genetic diversity in Mexico and implications for their conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nourisson, Coralie; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Clark, Annmarie; Olivera-Gómez, Leon David; Bonde, Robert; McGuire, Peter

    2011-07-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) occupies the tropical coastal waters of the Greater Antilles and Caribbean, extending from Mexico along Central and South America to Brazil. Historically, manatees were abundant in Mexico, but hunting during the pre-Columbian period, the Spanish colonization and throughout the history of Mexico, has resulted in the significantly reduced population occupying Mexico today. The genetic structure, using microsatellites, shows the presence of two populations in Mexico: the Gulf of Mexico (GMx) and Chetumal Bay (ChB) on the Caribbean coast, with a zone of admixture in between. Both populations show low genetic diversity (GMx: N(A) = 2.69; H(E) = 0.41 and ChB: N(A) = 3.0; H(E) = 0.46). The lower genetic diversity found in the GMx, the largest manatee population in Mexico, is probably due to a combination of a founder effect, as this is the northern range of the sub-species of T. m. manatus, and a bottleneck event. The greater genetic diversity observed along the Caribbean coast, which also has the smallest estimated number of individuals, is possibly due to manatees that come from the GMx and Belize. There is evidence to support limited or unidirectional gene flow between these two important areas. The analyses presented here also suggest minimal evidence of a handful of individual migrants possibly between Florida and Mexico. To address management issues we suggest considering two distinct genetic populations in Mexico, one along the Caribbean coast and one in the riverine systems connected to the GMx.

  2. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

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    Alexander Tilley

    Full Text Available The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15N and (13C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15N values and greater δ(13C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions.

  3. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley, Alexander; López-Angarita, Juliana; Turner, John R

    2013-01-01

    The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15)N and (13)C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15)N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15)N values and greater δ(13)C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15)N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13)C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions. PMID:24236144

  4. Geographical distribution of the association between El Niño South Oscillation and dengue fever in the Americas: a continental analysis using geographical information system-based techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Marcos C

    2014-11-01

    El Niño South Oscillation (ENSO) is one climatic phenomenon related to the inter-annual variability of global meteorological patterns influencing sea surface temperature and rainfall variability. It influences human health indirectly through extreme temperature and moisture conditions that may accelerate the spread of some vector-borne viral diseases, like dengue fever (DF). This work examines the spatial distribution of association between ENSO and DF in the countries of the Americas during 1995-2004, which includes the 1997-1998 El Niño, one of the most important climatic events of 20(th) century. Data regarding the South Oscillation index (SOI), indicating El Niño-La Niña activity, were obtained from Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The annual DF incidence (AIy) by country was computed using Pan-American Health Association data. SOI and AIy values were standardised as deviations from the mean and plotted in bars-line graphics. The regression coefficient values between SOI and AIy (rSOI,AI) were calculated and spatially interpolated by an inverse distance weighted algorithm. The results indicate that among the five years registering high number of cases (1998, 2002, 2001, 2003 and 1997), four had El Niño activity. In the southern hemisphere, the annual spatial weighted mean centre of epidemics moved southward, from 6° 31' S in 1995 to 21° 12' S in 1999 and the rSOI,AI values were negative in Cuba, Belize, Guyana and Costa Rica, indicating a synchrony between higher DF incidence rates and a higher El Niño activity. The rSOI,AI map allows visualisation of a graded surface with higher values of ENSO-DF associations for Mexico, Central America, northern Caribbean islands and the extreme north-northwest of South America.

  5. Geomorphic analysis of transient landscapes from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains (northern Central America): implications for the North American-Caribbean-Cocos plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreani, L.; Gloaguen, R.

    2015-09-01

    We use a geomorphic approach in order to unravel the recent evolution of the diffuse triple junction between the North American, Caribbean, and Cocos plates in northern Central America. The complex tectonic setting produced an intricate pattern of landscapes that we try to systemize using remote sensing tectonic geomorphology and available geological and geophysical data. We classify regions with specific relief characteristics and highlight uplifted relict landscapes in northern Central America. We also analyze the drainage network from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains in order to extract information about potential vertical displacements. Our results suggest that most of the landscapes of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains are in transient stage. Topographic profiles and morphometric maps highlight elevated relict surfaces that are characterized by a low amplitude relief. The river longitudinal profiles display upper reaches witnessing these relict landscapes while lower segments characterized by multiple knickpoints, that adjust to new base-level conditions. These results backed by published GPS and seismotectonic data allow us to refine and extend existing geodynamic models of the triple junction. Relict landscapes are delimited by faults and thus result from a tectonic control. The topography of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas evolved as the result of (1) the inland migration of deformation related to the coupling between the Chiapas Massif and the Cocos fore-arc sliver, and (2) the compression along the northern tip of the Central America Volcanic Arc. Although most of the shortening between the Cocos fore-arc sliver and the North American plate is accommodated within the Sierra de Chiapas and Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, a small part may be still transmitted to the Maya Mountains and the Belize margin through a "rigid" Petén basin.

  6. Using a Geographic Information System to Assess the Risk of Hurricane Hazards on the Maya Civilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigel, A. M.; Griffin, R.; Sever, T.

    2014-12-01

    The extent of the Maya civilization spanned across portions of modern day Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Paleoclimatic studies suggest this region has been affected by strong hurricanes for the past six thousand years, reinforced by archeological evidence from Mayan records indicating they experienced strong storms. It is theorized hurricanes aided in the collapse of the Maya, damaging building structures, agriculture, and ceasing industry activities. Today, this region is known for its active tropical climatology, being hit by numerous strong storms including Hurricane Dean, Iris, Keith, and Mitch. This research uses a geographic information system (GIS) to model hurricane hazards, and assess the risk posed on the Maya civilization. GIS has the ability to handle various layer components making it optimal for combining parameters necessary for assessing the risk of experiencing hurricane related hazards. For this analysis, high winds, storm surge flooding, non-storm surge related flooding, and rainfall triggered landslides were selected as the primary hurricane hazards. Data sets used in this analysis include the National Climatic Data Center International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardships (IBTrACS) hurricane tracks, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model, WorldClim monthly accumulated precipitation, USGS HydroSHEDS river locations, Harmonized World Soil Database soil types, and known Maya site locations from the Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites. ArcGIS and ENVI software were utilized to process data and model hurricane hazards. To assess locations at risk of experiencing high winds, a model was created using ArcGIS Model Builder to map each storm's temporal wind profile, and adapted to simulate forward storm velocity, and storm frequency. Modeled results were then combined with physical land characteristics, meteorological, and hydrologic data to identify areas likely affected. Certain areas along the eastern

  7. Geomorphic analysis of transient landscapes in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains (northern Central America): implications for the North American-Caribbean-Cocos plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreani, L.; Gloaguen, R.

    2016-01-01

    We use a geomorphic approach in order to unravel the recent evolution of the diffuse triple junction between the North American, Caribbean, and Cocos plates in northern Central America. We intend to characterize and understand the complex tectonic setting that produced an intricate pattern of landscapes using tectonic geomorphology, as well as available geological and geophysical data. We classify regions with specific relief characteristics and highlight uplifted relict landscapes in northern Central America. We also analyze the drainage network from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains in order to extract information about potential vertical displacements. Our results suggest that most of the landscapes of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and Maya Mountains are in a transient stage. Topographic profiles and morphometric maps highlight elevated relict surfaces that are characterized by a low-amplitude relief. The river longitudinal profiles display upper reaches witnessing these relict landscapes. Lower reaches adjust to new base-level conditions and are characterized by multiple knickpoints. These results backed by published GPS and seismotectonic data allow us to refine and extend existing geodynamic models of the triple junction. Relict landscapes are delimited by faults and thus result from a tectonic control. The topography of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas evolved as the result of (1) the inland migration of deformation related to the coupling between the Chiapas Massif and the Cocos forearc sliver and (2) the compression along the northern tip of the Central American volcanic arc. Although most of the shortening between the Cocos forearc sliver and the North American Plate is accommodated within the Sierra de Chiapas and Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, a small part may be still transmitted to the Maya Mountains and the Belize margin through a "rigid" Petén Basin.

  8. Mangrove recruitment after forest disturbance is facilitated by herbaceous species in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L; Rooth, Jill E; Feller, Ilka C

    2007-09-01

    Plant communities along tropical coastlines are often affected by natural and human disturbances, but little is known about factors influencing recovery. We focused on mangrove forests, which are among the most threatened ecosystems globally, to examine how facilitation by herbaceous vegetation might improve forest restoration after disturbance. We specifically investigated whether recovery of mangrove forests in harsh environments is accelerated by nurse plants and whether the beneficial effects are species-specific. Quantification of standardized effects allowed comparisons across performance parameters and over time for: (1) net effect of each herbaceous species on mangrove survival and growth, (2) effects of pre- and post-establishment factors associated with each herbaceous species, and (3) need for artificial planting to enhance growth or survival of mangrove seedlings. Mangrove recruitment in a clear-cut forest in Belize was accelerated by the presence of Sesuvium portulacastrum (succulent forb) and Distichlis spicata (grass), two coastal species common throughout the Caribbean region. The net effect of herbaceous vegetation was positive, but the magnitude of effects on mangrove survival and growth differed by species. Because of differences in their vegetative structure and other features, species effects on mangroves also varied by mechanism: (1) trapping of dispersing propagules (both species), (2) structural support of the seedling (Distichlis), and/or (3) promotion of survival (Sesuviumn) or growth (Distichlis) through amelioration of soil conditions (temperature, aeration). Artificial planting had a stronger positive effect on mangrove survival than did edaphic conditions, but planting enhanced mangrove growth more in Sesuvium than in Distichlis patches. Our study indicates that beneficial species might be selected based on features that provide multiple positive effects and that species comparisons may be improved using standardized effects. Our

  9. Geochemical signature of land-based activities in Caribbean coral surface samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, N. G.; Hughen, K. A.; Carilli, J.

    2008-12-01

    Anthropogenic threats, such as increased sedimentation, agrochemical run-off, coastal development, tourism, and overfishing, are of great concern to the Mesoamerican Caribbean Reef System (MACR). Trace metals in corals can be used to quantify and monitor the impact of these land-based activities. Surface coral samples from the MACR were investigated for trace metal signatures resulting from relative differences in water quality. Samples were analyzed at three spatial scales (colony, reef, and regional) as part of a hierarchical multi-scale survey. A primary goal of the paper is to elucidate the extrapolation of information between fine-scale variation at the colony or reef scale and broad-scale patterns at the regional scale. Of the 18 metals measured, five yielded statistical differences at the colony and/or reef scale, suggesting fine-scale spatial heterogeneity not conducive to regional interpretation. Five metals yielded a statistical difference at the regional scale with an absence of a statistical difference at either the colony or reef scale. These metals are barium (Ba), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), and antimony (Sb). The most robust geochemical indicators of land-based activities are coral Ba and Mn concentrations, which are elevated in samples from the southern region of the Gulf of Honduras relative to those from the Turneffe Islands. These findings are consistent with the occurrence of the most significant watersheds in the MACR from southern Belize to Honduras, which contribute sediment-laden freshwater to the coastal zone primarily as a result of human alteration to the landscape (e.g., deforestation and agricultural practices). Elevated levels of Cu and Sb were found in samples from Honduras and may be linked to industrial shipping activities where copper-antimony additives are commonly used in antifouling paints. Results from this study strongly demonstrate the impact of terrestrial runoff and anthropogenic activities on coastal water

  10. Reef sharks exhibit site-fidelity and higher relative abundance in marine reserves on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark E Bond

    Full Text Available Carcharhinid sharks can make up a large fraction of the top predators inhabiting tropical marine ecosystems and have declined in many regions due to intense fishing pressure. There is some support for the hypothesis that carcharhinid species that complete their life-cycle within coral reef ecosystems, hereafter referred to as "reef sharks", are more abundant inside no-take marine reserves due to a reduction in fishing pressure (i.e., they benefit from marine reserves. Key predictions of this hypothesis are that (a individual reef sharks exhibit high site-fidelity to these protected areas and (b their relative abundance will generally be higher in these areas compared to fished reefs. To test this hypothesis for the first time in Caribbean coral reef ecosystems we combined acoustic monitoring and baited remote underwater video (BRUV surveys to measure reef shark site-fidelity and relative abundance, respectively. We focused on the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi, the most common reef shark in the Western Atlantic, at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve (GRMR, Belize. Acoustically tagged sharks (N = 34 were detected throughout the year at this location and exhibited strong site-fidelity. Shark presence or absence on 200 BRUVs deployed at GRMR and three other sites (another reserve site and two fished reefs showed that the factor "marine reserve" had a significant positive effect on reef shark presence. We rejected environmental factors or site-environment interactions as predominant drivers of this pattern. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that marine reserves can benefit reef shark populations and we suggest new hypotheses to determine the underlying mechanism(s involved: reduced fishing mortality or enhanced prey availability.

  11. THE ENDANGERED SPECIES Aristelliger georgeensis (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae IN RONCADOR CAY, COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN

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    Mateo LÓPEZ-VICTORIA

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Aristelliger georgeensis, previously known to occur in the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico, the coasts and islands from Belize and Honduras, and the oceanic islands of Colombia in the Caribbean (San Andres, Providence and Saint Catalina was registered for the first time in Roncador Cay, a flat and small island of coralline origin, located in the southwest of the Caribbean. Being considered as an endangered species at the national level, the new locality for this gecko constitutes an opportunity for its conservation. Some topics regarding the possible origins of this new population are discussed. This new locality represents the eastern most documented record of this species so far.La especie amenazada Aristelliger georgeensis (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae en el Cayo Roncador, Caribe colombianoAristelliger georgeensis, previamente conocido de la península de Yucatán (México, las costas e islas de Belice y Honduras y de las islas oceánicas de Colombia en el Caribe (San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina, fue registrado por primera vez en el Cayo Roncador, una isla plana y pequeña de origen coralino, ubicada en el suroccidente del Caribe. Siendo considerada como una especie amenazada a nivel nacional, la nueva localidad para este geco constituye una oportunidad para su conservación. Se discuten algunos tópicos relacionados con el posible origen de esta nueva población. Esta nueva localidad representa el registro documentado más al Este para la especie. 

  12. Current and future niche of North and Central American sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae in climate change scenarios.

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    David Moo-Llanes

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i potential change in niche breadth, ii direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3, for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%, while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases.

  13. Current and future niche of North and Central American sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae) in climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i) potential change in niche breadth, ii) direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii) shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3), for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%), while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases.

  14. White paper report from working groups attending the international conference on research and educational opportunities in bio-fuel crop production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morgan, K.T. [University of Florida, Soil and Water Science Dep., Southwest Florida Res. and Educ. Center, Immokalee, FL 34142 (United States); Gilbert, R.A. [University of Florida, Agronomy Dep., Everglades Res. and Educ. Center, Belle Glade, FL 33430 (United States); Helsel, Z.A. [Rutgers University, Plant Biology and Pathology Dep., New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520 (United States); Buacum, L. [University of Florida, Hendry County Extension, LaBelle, FL 33935 (United States); Leon, R.; Perret, J. [EARTH University, Apto. 4442-1000, San Jose (Costa Rica)

    2010-12-15

    A conference on current research and educational programs in production of crops for bio-fuel was sponsored and organized by the EARTH University and the University of Florida in November, 2008. The meeting addressed current research on crops for bio-fuel production with discussions of research alternatives for future crop production systems, land use issues, ethics of food vs. fuel production, and carbon sequestration in environmentally sensitive tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas. The need and potential for development of graduate and undergraduate curricula and inter-institutional cooperation among educational institutions in the region were also discussed. Delegations from Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, The Dominican Republic, and the United States including ministers of Agriculture and Energy attended this meeting. Over a two-day period, four working groups provided a framework to facilitate networking, motivate task oriented creative thinking, and maintain a timely accomplishment of assigned duties in the context of the conference themes. Participants in the conference were assigned to one of four working groups, each following given topics: Agronomy, Environment, Socio-Economics and Education/Extension. It was the consensus of representatives of industry, academic and regulatory community assembled in Costa Rica that significant research, education and socio-economic information is needed to make production of bio-fuel crops sustainable. Agronomic research should include better crop selection based on local conditions, improved production techniques, pest and disease management, and mechanical cultivation and harvesting. Another conclusion was that tailoring of production systems to local soil characteristics and use of bio-fuel by-products to improve nutrient use efficiency and reduction of environmental impact on water quantity and quality is critical to sustainability of bio-fuel crop production. (author)

  15. Revision of the species of the genus Cathorops (Siluriformes: Ariidae from Mesoamerica and the Central American Caribbean, with description of three new species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre P. Marceniuk

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The ariid genus Cathorops includes species that occur mainly in estuarine and freshwater habitats of the eastern and western coasts of southern Mexico, Central and South America. The species of Cathorops from the Mesoamerica (Atlantic slope and Caribbean Central America are revised, and three new species are described: C. belizensis from mangrove areas in Belize; C. higuchii from shallow coastal areas and coastal rivers in the Central American Caribbean, from Honduras to Panama; and C. kailolae from río Usumacinta and lago Izabal basins in Mexico and Guatemala. Additionally, C. aguadulce, from the río Papaloapan basin in Mexico, and C. melanopus from the río Motagua basin in Guatemala and Honduras, are redescribed and their geographic distributions are revised.O gênero de ariídeos Cathorops inclui espécies que habitam principalmente águas doces e estuarinas das plataformas orientais e ocidentais do sul do México, Américas do Sul e Central. Neste estudo, se apresenta uma revisão das espécies de Cathorops da Mesoamérica (bacias do Atlântico e Caribe centroamericano, incluindo a descrição de três espécies novas: C. belizensis, de áreas de manglar em Belice; C. higuchii, de águas costeiras rasas e rios costeiros do Caribe centroamericano, desde Honduras até o Panamá; e C. kailolae, das bacias do rio Usumacinta e lago Izabal no México e Guatemala. Adicionalmente, se redescrevem C. aguadulce, da bacia do rio Papaloapan no México, e C. melanopus, da bacia do rio Motagua na Guatemala e Honduras, apresentando-se uma revisão de suas distribuições geográficas.

  16. Untangling natural seascape variation from marine reserve effects using a landscape approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany E Huntington

    Full Text Available Distinguishing management effects from the inherent variability in a system is a key consideration in assessing reserve efficacy. Here, we demonstrate how seascape heterogeneity, defined as the spatial configuration and composition of coral reef habitats, can mask our ability to discern reserve effects. We then test the application of a landscape approach, utilizing advances in benthic habitat mapping and GIS techniques, to quantify this heterogeneity and alleviate the confounding influence during reserve assessment. Seascape metrics were quantified at multiple spatial scales using a combination of spatial image analysis and in situ surveys at 87 patch reef sites in Glover's Reef Lagoon, Belize, within and outside a marine reserve enforced since 1998. Patch reef sites were then clustered into classes sharing similar seascape attributes using metrics that correlated significantly to observed variations in both fish and coral communities. When the efficacy of the marine reserve was assessed without including landscape attributes, no reserve effects were detected in the diversity and abundance of fish and coral communities, despite 10 years of management protection. However, grouping sites based on landscape attributes revealed significant reserve effects between site classes. Fish had higher total biomass (1.5x and commercially important biomass (1.75x inside the reserve and coral cover was 1.8 times greater inside the reserve, though direction and degree of response varied by seascape class. Our findings show that the application of a landscape classification approach vastly improves our ability to evaluate the efficacy of marine reserves by controlling for confounding effects of seascape heterogeneity and suggests that landscape heterogeneity should be considered in future reserve design.

  17. Multiple impacts across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, G.; Stinnesbeck, W.; Adatte, T.; Stüben, D.

    2003-09-01

    The stratigraphy and age of altered impact glass (microtektites, microkrystites) ejecta layers from the Chicxulub crater are documented in Late Maastrichtian and Early Danian sediments in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Haiti. In northeastern Mexico, two to four ejecta layers are present in zone CF1, which spans the last 300 ky of the Maastrichtian. The oldest ejecta layer is dated at 65.27±0.03 Ma based on sediment accumulation rates and extrapolated magnetostratigraphy. All younger ejecta layers from the Maastrichtian and Early Danian Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina zone Pla(l) may represent repeated episodes of reworking of the oldest layer at times of sea level changes and tectonic activity. The K/T boundary impact event (65.0 Ma) is not well represented in this area due to widespread erosion. An Early Danian Pla(l) Ir anomaly is present in five localities (Bochil, Actela, Coxquihui, Trinitaria and Haiti) and is tentatively identified as a third impact event at about 64.9 Ma. A multiimpact scenario is most consistent with the impact ejecta evidence. The first impact is associated with major Deccan volcanism and likely contributed to the rapid global warming of 3-4 °C in intermediate waters between 65.4 and 65.2 Ma, decrease in primary productivity and onset of terminal decline in planktic foraminiferal populations. The K/T boundary impact marks a major drop in primary productivity and the extinction of all tropical and subtropical species. The Early Danian impact may have contributed to the delayed recovery in productivity and evolutionary diversity.

  18. Evidence of two genetic clusters of manatees with low genetic diversity in Mexico and implications for their conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nourisson, Coralie; Morales-Vela, Benjamin; Padilla-Saldivar, Janneth; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Clark, Ann Marie; Olivera-Gomez, Leon David; Bonde, Robert; McGuire, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) occupies the tropical coastal waters of the Greater Antilles and Caribbean, extending from Mexico along Central and South America to Brazil. Historically, manatees were abundant in Mexico, but hunting during the pre-Columbian period, the Spanish colonization and throughout the history of Mexico, has resulted in the significantly reduced population occupying Mexico today. The genetic structure, using microsatellites, shows the presence of two populations in Mexico: the Gulf of Mexico (GMx) and Chetumal Bay (ChB) on the Caribbean coast, with a zone of admixture in between. Both populations show low genetic diversity (GMx: NA = 2.69; HE = 0.41 and ChB: NA = 3.0; HE = 0.46). The lower genetic diversity found in the GMx, the largest manatee population in Mexico, is probably due to a combination of a founder effect, as this is the northern range of the sub-species of T. m. manatus, and a bottleneck event. The greater genetic diversity observed along the Caribbean coast, which also has the smallest estimated number of individuals, is possibly due to manatees that come from the GMx and Belize. There is evidence to support limited or unidirectional gene flow between these two important areas. The analyses presented here also suggest minimal evidence of a handful of individual migrants possibly between Florida and Mexico. To address management issues we suggest considering two distinct genetic populations in Mexico, one along the Caribbean coast and one in the riverine systems connected to the GMx.

  19. Current and Future Niche of North and Central American Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Climate Change Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i) potential change in niche breadth, ii) direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii) shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3), for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%), while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases. PMID:24069478

  20. Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharler, U M; Ulanowicz, R E; Fogel, M L; Wooller, M J; Jacobson-Meyers, M E; Lovelock, C E; Feller, I C; Frischer, M; Lee, R; McKee, K; Romero, I C; Schmit, J P; Shearer, C

    2015-11-01

    Our study investigated the carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry of mangrove island of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Twin Cays, Belize). The C:N:P of abiotic and biotic components of this oligotrophic ecosystem was measured and served to build networks of nutrient flows for three distinct mangrove forest zones (tall seaward fringing forest, inland dwarf forests and a transitional zone). Between forest zones, the stoichiometry of primary producers, heterotrophs and abiotic components did not change significantly, but there was a significant difference in C:N:P, and C, N, and P biomass, between the functional groups mangrove trees, other primary producers, heterotrophs, and abiotic components. C:N:P decreased with increasing trophic level. Nutrient recycling in the food webs was highest for P, and high transfer efficiencies between trophic levels of P and N also indicated an overall shortage of these nutrients when compared to C. Heterotrophs were sometimes, but not always, limited by the same nutrient as the primary producers. Mangrove trees and the primary tree consumers were P limited, whereas the invertebrates consuming leaf litter and detritus were N limited. Most compartments were limited by P or N (not by C), and the relative depletion rate of food sources was fastest for P. P transfers thus constituted a bottleneck of nutrient transfer on Twin Cays. This is the first comprehensive ecosystem study of nutrient transfers in a mangrove ecosystem, illustrating some mechanisms (e.g. recycling rates, transfer efficiencies) which oligotrophic systems use in order to build up biomass and food webs spanning various trophic levels. PMID:26183835

  1. Stratigraphic And Lithofacies Study Of Distal Rain-Triggered Lahars: The Case Of West Coast Of Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulas, M.; Chunga, K.; Peña Carpio, E.; Falquez Torres, D. A.; Alcivar, R., Sr.; Lopez Coronel, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    The central zone of the coast of Ecuador at the north of Manabí Province, on the area comprised between Salango and Jama communities, is characterized by the presence of whitish to grey, centimeters to meters thick, consolidated to loose distal ash deposits. Recent archeological studies on Valdivia (3500 BC) and Manteña (800-1500 AC - Harris et al. 2004) civilizations remains link this deposits with the intense eruptive phases that afflicted Ecuador 700-900 years ago (Usselman, 2006). Stratigraphic evidences and bibliographic datations of paleosols (Estrada, 1962; Mothes and Hall, 2008), allowed to estimate that these deposits are linked with the 800 BP eruption of Quilotoa and the following eruptions of Cotopaxi. According to the Smith and Lowe classification (1991), the deposits outcropping on the coast (located at a distance greater than 160 km from the volcanic vents), varied from whitish to grey, loose to weakly consolidated, massive to weakly stratified, centimeters to meters thick, coarse to fine ash matrix layers (diluite streamflow facies) to massive, large angular to sub-rounded siltitic blocks-rich and coarse to medium ash matrix deposits (debris flow facies). These types of lithofacies are associated to a rain-triggered lahar (De Belizal et al., 2013). The presence in some stratigraphic sections of sharp contacts, laminated layers of very fine ash, and also cm-thick sand and silt layers between the ash beds of the same deposits permit to understand that the different pulses were generated in short periods and after a long period. Structures like water pipes imply that the lahar went into the sea (Schneider, 2004), and allow the reconstruction of the paleotopographic condition during the emplacement of these deposits. This study focuses on the characterization of these types of deposits, permit to understand the kind of risk that may affect the towns located on the coast of Ecuador after VEI 4 to 6 eruptions on short time and within years.

  2. Forest Cover Change and Soil Erosion in Toledo's Rio Grande Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicas, S.; Omine, K.

    2015-04-01

    Toledo, the southernmost district, is the hub of Belize's Mayan population, descendants of the ancient Mayan civilization. The Toledo District is primarily inhibited by Kekchi and Mopan Mayans whose subsistence needs are met by the Milpa slash-and-burn agricultural system and the extraction of forest resources. The poverty assessment in the country indicates that Toledo is the district with the highest percentage of household an individual indigence of 37.5 % and 49.7 % respectively. Forest cover change in the area can be attributed to rapid population growth among the Maya, together with increase in immigration from neighboring countries, logging, oil exploration and improvement and construction of roads. The forest cover change analysis show that from 2001 to 2011 there was a decrease of Lowland broad-leaved wet forest of 7.53 km sq, Shrubland of 4.66 km sq, and Wetland of 0.08 km sq. Forest cover change has resulted in soil erosion which is causing the deterioration of soils. The land cover types that are contributing the most to total erosion in the Rio Grande watershed are no-forest, lowland broad-leaved wet forest and submontane broad-leaved wet forest. In this study the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was employed in a GIS platform to quantify and assess forest cover change and soil erosion. Soil erosion vulnerability maps in Toledo's Rio Grande watershed were also created. This study provides scientifically sound information in order to understand and respond effectively to the impacts of soil erosion in the study site.

  3. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N) of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, M. L.; Wooller, M. J.; Cheeseman, J.; Smallwood, B. J.; Roberts, Q.; Romero, I.; Meyers, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to -22‰) were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6-9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from -12‰ to -2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰). Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=-19‰) and in rainwater (δ15N=-10‰) were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  4. Herbivore responses to nutrient enrichment and landscape heterogeneity in a mangrove ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Ilka C; Chamberlain, Anne

    2007-09-01

    Complex gradients in forest structure across the landscape of offshore mangrove islands in Belize are associated with nutrient deficiency and flooding. While nutrient availability can affect many ecological processes, here we investigate how N and P enrichment interact with forest structure in three distinct zones (fringe, transition, dwarf) to alter patterns of herbivory as a function of folivory, loss of yield, and tissue mining. The effects of nutrient addition and zone varied by functional feeding group or specific herbivore. Folivory ranged from 0 to 0.4% leaf area damaged per month, but rates did not vary by either nutrient enrichment or zone. Leaf lifetime damage ranged from 3 to 10% of the total leaf area and was caused primarily by the omnivorous tree crab Aratus pisonii. We detected two distinct spatial scales of response by A. pisonii that were unrelated to nutrient treatment, i.e., most feeding damage occurred in the fringe zone and crabs fed primarily on the oldest leaves in the canopy. Loss of yield caused by the bud moth Ecdytolopha sp. varied by zone but not by nutrient treatment. A periderm-mining Marmara sp. responded positively to nutrient enrichment and closely mirrored the growth response by Rhizophora mangle across the tree height gradient. In contrast, a leaf-mining Marmara sp. was controlled by parasitoids and predators that killed >89% of its larvae. Thus, nutrient availability altered patterns of herbivory of some but not all mangrove herbivores. These findings support the hypothesis that landscape heterogeneity of the biotic and abiotic environment has species-specific effects on community structure and trophic interactions. Predicting how herbivores respond to nutrient over-enrichment in mangrove ecosystems also requires an assessment of habitat heterogeneity coupled with feeding strategies and species-specific behavior measured on multiple scales of response. PMID:17566784

  5. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Romero

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to −22‰ were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6–9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from −12‰ to −2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰. Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=−19‰ and in rainwater (δ15N=−10‰ were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  6. Nitrogen limitation of growth and nutrient dynamics in a disturbed mangrove forest, Indian River Lagoon, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Ilka C.; Whigham, D.F.; McKee, K.L.; Lovelock, C.E.

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine effects of nutrient enrichment on plant growth, nutrient dynamics, and photosynthesis in a disturbed mangrove forest in an abandoned mosquito impoundment in Florida. Impounding altered the hydrology and soil chemistry of the site. In 1997, we established a factorial experiment along a tree-height gradient with three zones, i.e., fringe, transition, dwarf, and three fertilizer treatment levels, i.e., nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), control, in Mosquito Impoundment 23 on the eastern side of Indian River. Transects traversed the forest perpendicular to the shoreline, from a Rhizophora mangle-dominated fringe through an Avicennia germinans stand of intermediate height, and into a scrub or dwarf stand of A. germinans in the hinterland. Growth rates increased significantly in response to N fertilization. Our growth data indicated that this site is N-limited along the tree-height gradient. After 2 years of N addition, dwarf trees resembled vigorously growing saplings. Addition of N also affected internal dynamics of N and P and caused increases in rates of photosynthesis. These findings contrast with results for a R. mangle-dominated forest in Belize where the fringe is N-limited, but the dwarf zone is P-limited and the transition zone is co-limited by N and P. This study demonstrated that patterns of nutrient limitation in mangrove ecosystems are complex, that not all processes respond similarly to the same nutrient, and that similar habitats are not limited by the same nutrient when different mangrove forests are compared.

  7. Fine root respiration in the mangrove Rhizophora mangle over variation in forest stature and nutrient availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E; Ruess, Roger W; Feller, Ilka C

    2006-12-01

    Root respiration uses a significant proportion of photosynthetically fixed carbon (C) and is a globally important source of C liberated from soils. Mangroves, which are an important and productive forest resource in many tropical and subtropical countries, sustain a high ratio of root to shoot biomass which may indicate that root respiration is a particularly important component in mangrove forest carbon budgets. Mangroves are often exposed to nutrient pollution from coastal waters. Here we assessed the magnitude of fine root respiration in mangrove forests in Belize and investigated how root respiration is influenced by nutrient additions. Respiration rates of excised fine roots of the mangrove, Rhizophora mangle L., were low (4.01 +/- 0.16 nmol CO(2) g(-1) s(-1)) compared to those measured in temperate tree species at similar temperatures. In an experiment where trees where fertilized with nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) in low productivity dwarf forests (1-2 m height) and more productive, taller (4- 7 m height) seaward fringing forests, respiration of fine roots did not vary consistently with fertilization treatments or with forest stature. Fine roots of taller fringe trees had higher concentrations of both N and P compared to dwarf trees. Fertilization with P enhanced fine root P concentrations in both dwarf and fringe trees, but reduced root N concentrations compared to controls. Fertilization with N had no effect on root N or P concentrations. Unlike photosynthetic C gain and growth, which is strongly limited by P availability in dwarf forests at this site, fine root respiration (expressed on a mass basis) was variable, but showed no significant enhancements with nutrient additions. Variation in fine root production and standing biomass are, therefore, likely to be more important factors determining C efflux from mangrove sediments than variations in fine root respiration per unit mass. PMID:17169899

  8. Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of Mexico was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. In areal extent, Mexico is the third largest country on the continent of North America (not counting Greenland, which is a province of Denmark), comprised of almost 2 million square kilometers (756,000 square miles) of land. Home to roughly 100 million people, Mexico is second only to the United States in population, making it the world's largest Spanish-speaking nation. To the north, Mexico shares its border with the United States-a line that runs some 3,100 kilometers (1,900 miles) east to west. About half of this border is defined by the Rio Grande River, which runs southeast to the Gulf of Mexico (partially obscured by clouds in this image) and marks the dividing line between Texas and Mexico. Toward the upper left (northwest) corner of this image is the Baja California peninsula, which provides the western land boundary for the Gulf of California. Toward the northwestern side of the Mexican mainland, you can see the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains (brownish pixels) running southeast toward Lake Chapala and the city of Guadalajara. About 400 km (250 miles) east and slightly south of Lake Chapala is the capital, Mexico City. Extending northward from Mexico City is the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, the irregular line of brownish pixels that seem to frame the western edges of the bright white cumulus clouds in this image. Between these two large mountain ranges is a large, relatively dry highland region. To the south, Mexico shares borders with Guatemala and Belize, both of which are located south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Image courtesy Reto Stockli, Brian Montgomery, and Robert Simmon, based on data from the MODIS Science Team

  9. Carbon emissions from tropical forest degradation caused by logging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The focus of land-use related efforts in developing countries to reduce carbon emissions has been on slowing deforestation, yet international agreements are to reduce emissions from both deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The second ‘D’ is poorly understood and accounted for a number of technical and policy reasons. Here we introduce a complete accounting method for estimating emission factors from selective timber harvesting, a substantial form of forest degradation in many tropical developing countries. The method accounts separately for emissions from the extracted log, from incidental damage to the surrounding forest, and from logging infrastructure, and emissions are expressed as units of carbon per cubic meter of timber extracted to allow for simple application to timber harvesting statistics. We applied the method in six tropical countries (Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, Indonesia, and Republic of Congo), resulting in total emission factors of 0.99−2.33 Mg C m−3. In all cases, emissions were dominated by damage to surrounding vegetation and the infrastructure rather than the logs themselves, and total emissions represented about 3–15% of the biomass carbon stocks of the associated unlogged forests. We then combined the emission factors with country level logging statistics for nine key timber producing countries represented by our study areas to gain an understanding of the order of magnitude of emissions from degradation compared to those recently reported for deforestation in the same countries. For the nine countries included, emissions from logging were on average equivalent to about 12% of those from deforestation. For those nine countries with relatively low emissions from deforestation, emissions from logging were equivalent to half or more of those from deforestation, whereas for those countries with the highest emissions from deforestation, emissions from logging were equivalent to <10% of those from deforestation

  10. An Index of Biotic Integrity for shallow streams of the Hondo River basin, Yucatan Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) is proposed, based on the fish communities and populations in streams of the Hondo River basin, Mexico-Belize. Freshwater environments in this area are threatened by exotic fishes, eutrophication, and pesticide pollution, among other problems. This IBI should allow to identify the most vulnerable sites and eventually guide rehabilitation efforts. Data on composition, structure, and function of fish communities were evaluated. Twenty-three sites in the Mexican part of the basin were explored; a stratified sample of 13 sites was used to design the IBI, and the rest were used to test and refine the index. Thirty-four candidate indicator metrics were scanned for their correlation with an index of water and habitat quality (IWHQ), as well as for the possible influence of stream width and altitude or distance to the Hondo River mainstem. Twelve variables were selected to constitute the IBI: relative abundances of Astyanax aeneus, 'Cichlasoma' urophthalmus, Poecilia mexicana, Poecilia sp. (a new species, probably endemic to the upper Hondo River basin), Xiphophorus hellerii, and X. maculatus; relative abundances of bentholimnetic, herbivore, and sensitive species; percentage of native and tolerant species; and Pielou's evenness index. Most of the sites have a low-medium quality and integrity, showing impact due to partial channelization or to suboptimal water quality, reflected in scarcity or absence of sensitive species, frequent excess of tolerant species, occasional presence of exotics, dominance of herbivores (perhaps due to proliferation of filamentous algae), or dominance of the opportunistic species P. mexicana. The streams with better water and habitat quality are those farthest away from the river mainstem, probably because of lower human population and economical production. - Research Highlights: → An Index of Biotic Integrity based on fishes is proposed for streams of the Hondo River basin. → Twelve variables were

  11. Microsatellite data suggest significant population structure and differentiation within the malaria vector Anopheles darlingi in Central and South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achee Nicole L

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anopheles darlingi is the most important malaria vector in the Neotropics. An understanding of A. darlingi's population structure and contemporary gene flow patterns is necessary if vector populations are to be successfully controlled. We assessed population genetic structure and levels of differentiation based on 1,376 samples from 31 localities throughout the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon and Central America using 5–8 microsatellite loci. Results We found high levels of polymorphism for all of the Amazonian populations (mean RS = 7.62, mean HO = 0.742, and low levels for the Belize and Guatemalan populations (mean RS = 4.3, mean HO = 0.457. The Bayesian clustering analysis revealed five population clusters: northeastern Amazonian Brazil, southeastern and central Amazonian Brazil, western and central Amazonian Brazil, Peruvian Amazon, and the Central American populations. Within Central America there was low non-significant differentiation, except for between the populations separated by the Maya Mountains. Within Amazonia there was a moderate level of significant differentiation attributed to isolation by distance. Within Peru there was no significant population structure and low differentiation, and some evidence of a population expansion. The pairwise estimates of genetic differentiation between Central America and Amazonian populations were all very high and highly significant (FST = 0.1859 – 0.3901, P DA and FST distance-based trees illustrated the main division to be between Central America and Amazonia. Conclusion We detected a large amount of population structure in Amazonia, with three population clusters within Brazil and one including the Peru populations. The considerable differences in Ne among the populations may have contributed to the observed genetic differentiation. All of the data suggest that the primary division within A. darlingi corresponds to two white gene genotypes between Amazonia (genotype 1

  12. Honduras: Caribbean Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R; Afzal, D C; Andrews, M J

    2001-12-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an overarching stress

  13. Spatially distinct and regionally endemic Symbiodinium assemblages in the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Dustin W.; Thornhill, Daniel J.; Rotjan, Randi D.; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Fitt, William K.; Schmidt, Gregory W.

    2015-06-01

    Recently, the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata was listed as "threatened" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Despite attention to this species' conservation, the extent of geographic variation within O. faveolata warrants further investigation. O. faveolata is unusual in that it can simultaneously harbor multiple genetically distinct and co-dominant species of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Here, we investigate the geographic and within-colony complexity of Symbiodinium- O. faveolata associations from Florida Keys, USA; Exuma Cays, Bahamas; Puerto Morelos, Mexico; and Carrie Bow Cay, Belize. We collected coral samples along intracolony axes, and Symbiodinium within O. faveolata samples was analyzed using the nuclear ITS2 region and chloroplast 23S rDNA genotyping. O. faveolata associated with species of Symbiodinium in clades A (type A3), B (B1 and B17), C (C3, C7, and C7a), and D (D1a/ Symbiodinium trenchii). Within-colony distributions of Symbiodinium species correlated with light availability, cardinal direction, and depth, resulting in distinct zonation patterns of endosymbionts within a host. Symbiodinium species from clades A and B occurred predominantly in the light-exposed tops, while species of clade C generally occurred in the shaded sides of colonies or in deeper-water habitats. Furthermore, geographic comparisons of host-symbiont associations revealed regional differences in Symbiodinium associations. Symbiodinium A3 was detected in Mesoamerican coral colonies, but not in colonies from the Florida Keys or Bahamas. Likewise, Symbiodinium B17 was unique to Mesoamerican O. faveolata, whereas Symbiodinium B1 was found at all localities sampled. However, using cp23S genotyping paired with ITS2 analysis revealed geographically endemic haplotypes among Symbiodinium clades A, B, and C. Since Symbiodinium spatial heterogeneity among this coral species is greater than most corals, a question arises as to whether all

  14. ‘One Health’ in Action Series: Nos 1-8

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available This series of short articles was published in 2007 and distributed to the Kahn-Kaplan-Monath ‘One Health’ email distribution list. The articles are further examples of historical achievements obtained across numerous scientific disciplines, including human and veterinary medicine. Each article was written and developed with assistance from the Kahn-Kaplan-Monath ‘One Health’ team.The expanding ‘One Health’ email distribution list now totals approximately 590 individuals in 38 countries including Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Germany, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malta, The Netherlands, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.The list of supporters currently totals 417. If these lists are still being actively maintained by the publication date of this ‘One Medicine -One Health’ monograph, any allied health scientist, physician, osteopath or veterinarian may be added to one and/or both lists by contacting us at bkapdvm@verizon.net. Please include your curriculum vitae or brief biography, title, degree(s, affiliation and address consistent with those currently acknowledged as ‘One Health - One Medicine’ supporters. There are no obligations attached to joining this group and you may have your name removed at any time upon request.Those who have prepared this message and the two lists act independently of any other entity or organisation. However, where feasible, we attempt to augment and support those organisations' efforts to recognise, promote and implement this initiative, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Medical Association, Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Croatian Society for Infectious Diseases, American Society of Tropical

  15. Biophysical controls on accretion and elevation change in Caribbean mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.

    2011-03-01

    Habitat stability of coastal ecosystems, such as marshes and mangroves, depends on maintenance of soil elevations relative to sea level. Many such systems are characterized by limited mineral sedimentation and/or rapid subsidence and are consequently dependent upon accumulation of organic matter to maintain elevations. However, little field information exists regarding the contribution of specific biological processes to vertical accretion and elevation change. This study used biogenic mangrove systems in carbonate settings in Belize (BZ) and southwest Florida (FL) to examine biophysical controls on elevation change. Rates of elevation change, vertical accretion, benthic mat formation, and belowground root accumulation were measured in fringe, basin, scrub, and dwarf forest types plus a restored forest. Elevation change rates (mm yr -1) measured with Surface Elevation Tables varied widely: BZ-Dwarf (-3.7), BZ-Scrub (-1.1), FL-Fringe (0.6), FL-Basin (2.1), BZ-Fringe (4.1), and FL-Restored (9.9). Root mass accumulation varied across sites (82-739 g m -2 yr -1) and was positively correlated with elevation change. Root volumetric contribution to vertical change (mm yr -1) was lowest in BZ-Dwarf (1.2) and FL-Fringe (2.4), intermediate in FL-Basin (4.1) and BZ-Scrub (4.3), and highest in BZ-Fringe (8.8) and FL-Restored (11.8) sites. Surface growth of turf-forming algae, microbial mats, or accumulation of leaf litter and detritus also made significant contributions to vertical accretion. Turf algal mats in fringe and scrub forests accreted faster (2.7 mm yr -1) than leaf litter mats in basin forests (1.9 mm yr -1), but similarly to microbial mats in dwarf forests (2.1 mm yr -1). Surface accretion of mineral material accounted for only 0.2-3.3% of total vertical change. Those sites with high root contributions and/or rapid growth of living mats exhibited an elevation surplus (+2 to +8 mm yr -1), whereas those with low root inputs and low (or non-living) mat accumulation

  16. Training and deployment of lay refugee/internally displaced persons to provide basic health services in camps: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John E. Ehiri

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Training of lay refugees/internally displaced persons (IDPs and deploying them to provide basic health services to other women, children, and families in camps is perceived to be associated with public health benefits. However, there is limited evidence to support this hypothesis. Objectives: To assess the effects of interventions to train and deploy lay refugees and/or IDPs for the provision of basic health service to other women, children, and families in camps. Methods: PubMed, Science and Social Science Citation Indices, PsycINFO, EMBASE, POPLINE, CINAHL, and reference lists of relevant articles were searched (from inception to June 30, 2014 with the aim of identifying studies that reported the effects of interventions that trained and deployed lay refugees and/or IDPs for the provision of basic health service to other women, children, and families in camps. Two investigators independently reviewed all titles and abstracts to identify potentially relevant articles. Discrepancies were resolved by repeated review, discussion, and consensus. Study quality assessment was undertaken using standard protocols. Results: Ten studies (five cross-sectional, four pre-post, and one post-test only conducted in Africa (Guinea and Tanzania, Central America (Belize, and Asia (Myanmar were included. The studies demonstrated some positive impact on population health associated with training and deployment of trained lay refugees/IDPs as health workers in camps. Reported effects included increased service coverage, increased knowledge about disease symptoms and prevention, increased adoption of improved treatment seeking and protective behaviors, increased uptake of services, and improved access to reproductive health information. One study, which assessed the effect of peer refugee health education on sexual and reproductive health, did not demonstrate a marked reduction in unintended pregnancies among refugee/IDP women. Conclusion: Although

  17. Biomass energy in Central America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objective of this paper is to introduce the concept of biomass to energy issues and opportunities in Central America. In this region, made up of seven countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), the biomass sector has the potential to play a crucial role in alleviating the environmental and development predicaments faced by all economies of the region. This paper assesses the available biomass resources at the regional and country levels and gives an overview of the current utilization of biomass fuels. It also describes the overall context in which the biomass-to-energy initiatives are immersed. At the regional level, biomass energy consumption accounts for more than 50% of total energy consumption. In regard to the utilization of biomass for energy purposes, it is clear that Central America faces a critical juncture at two levels, both mainly in rural areas: in the productive sector and at the household level. The absence of sustainable development policies and practices has jeopardized the availability of biomass fuels, particularly wood. Firewood is an important source of energy for rural industries such as coffee processing, which is one of the largest productive activities in the region. This paper comments on some of the most successful technological innovations already in place in the region, for instance, the rapid development of co-generation projects by the sugar cane industry, especially in El Salvador and Guatemala, the substitution of coffee husks for firewood in coffee processing plants in Costa Rica and El Salvador and the sustainable use of pine forests for co-generation in Honduras. Only one out of every two inhabitants in Central America now has access to electricity from the public grid. Biomass fuels, mainly firewood but also, to a lesser extent, other crop residues such as corn stalks, are the main source of energy for cooking and heating by most of the population. (It is foreseen that by the end

  18. Biophysical controls on accretion and elevation change in Caribbean mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat stability of coastal ecosystems, such as marshes and mangroves, depends on maintenance of soil elevations relative to sea level. Many such systems are characterized by limited mineral sedimentation and/or rapid subsidence and are consequently dependent upon accumulation of organic matter to maintain elevations. However, little field information exists regarding the contribution of specific biological processes to vertical accretion and elevation change. This study used biogenic mangrove systems in carbonate settings in Belize (BZ) and southwest Florida (FL) to examine biophysical controls on elevation change. Rates of elevation change, vertical accretion, benthic mat formation, and belowground root accumulation were measured in fringe, basin, scrub, and dwarf forest types plus a restored forest. Elevation change rates (mm yr-1) measured with Surface Elevation Tables varied widely: BZ-Dwarf (-3.7), BZ-Scrub (-1.1), FL-Fringe (0.6), FL-Basin (2.1), BZ-Fringe (4.1), and FL-Restored (9.9). Root mass accumulation varied across sites (82-739 g m-2 yr-1) and was positively correlated with elevation change. Root volumetric contribution to vertical change (mm yr-1) was lowest in BZ-Dwarf (1.2) and FL-Fringe (2.4), intermediate in FL-Basin (4.1) and BZ-Scrub (4.3), and highest in BZ-Fringe (8.8) and FL-Restored (11.8) sites. Surface growth of turf-forming algae, microbial mats, or accumulation of leaf litter and detritus also made significant contributions to vertical accretion. Turf algal mats in fringe and scrub forests accreted faster (2.7 mm yr-1) than leaf litter mats in basin forests (1.9 mm yr-1), but similarly to microbial mats in dwarf forests (2.1 mm yr-1). Surface accretion of mineral material accounted for only 0.2-3.3% of total vertical change. Those sites with high root contributions and/or rapid growth of living mats exhibited an elevation surplus (+2 to +8 mm yr-1), whereas those with low root inputs and low (or non-living) mat accumulation showed an

  19. Lesson's-learned from a 2003-2006 USA-Honduras NGO and University Geosciences Education Partnership in Land use Land / Land Cover Change Analysis using Remote Sensing and GPS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, R. E.

    2006-12-01

    education" efforts doing environmental and ecotourism outreach with groups such as the Hugh Parkey Foundation and EarthWatch Institute in Belize and others in Honduras such as FUCSA (Fundacion Cuero y Salado), FUPNAPIB (Fundacion Parque Nacional Pico Bonito), REHDES (Red Ecologista Hondurena para el Desarrollo Sostenible), and SMBC (Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biologia y Conservacion). See more about the projects on water resources, herpetofauna on the Pacific coast, and the West Indian manatee at: http://resweb.llu.edu/rford/ Lessons learned about designing, organizing, implementing, and financing such geosciences educational partnerships will be presented as well as describing "next steps". Suggestions about how other universities could join with us will be also proposed.

  20. A revision of the new world species of Polytrichophora Cresson and Facitrichophora, new genus (Diptera, Ephydridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Wayne N; Zatwarnicki, Tadeusz

    2012-01-01

    The New World species of Polytrichophora Cresson and Facitrichophora new genus, are revised. Fifteen new species are described (type locality in parenthesis): Facitrichophora atrellasp. n. (Costa Rica. Guanacaste: Murciélago [10°56.9'N, 85°42.5'W; sandy mud flats around mangrove inlet]), Facitrichophora carvalhorumsp. n. (Brazil. São Paulo: Praia Puruba [23°21'S, 44°55.6'W; beach]), Facitrichophora manzasp. n. (Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad. St. Andrew: Lower Manzanilla (12 km S; 10°24.5'N, 61°01.5'W), bridge over Nariva River), Facitrichophora panamasp. n. (Panama. Darien: Garachine [8°04'N, 78°22'W]), Polytrichophora adarcasp. n. (Barbados. Christ Church: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary [13°04.2'N, 59°34.7'W; swamp]), Polytrichophora arnaudorumsp. n. (Mexico. Baja California. San Felipe [31°01.5'N, 114°50.4'W]), Polytrichophora barbasp. n. (Cuba. Sancti Spiritus: Topes de Collantes [21°54.4'N, 80°01.4'W, 670 m]), Polytrichophora flavellasp. n. (Peru. Madre de Dios: Rio Manu, Pakitza [11°56.6'S, 71°16.9'W; 250 m]), Polytrichophora marinoniorumsp. n. (Brazil. Paraná: Antonina [25°28.4'S, 48°40.9'W; mangal]), Polytrichophora rostrasp. n. (Peru. Madre de Dios: Rio Manu, Pakitza [11°56.6'S, 71°16.9'W; 250 m]), Polytrichophora sinuosasp. n. (Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad. St. Andrew: Lower Manzanilla [12 km S; 10°24'N, 61°02'W]), Polytrichophora mimbressp. n. (United States. New Mexico. Grant: Mimbres River [New Mexico Highway 61 & Royal John Mine Road; 32°43.8'N, 107°52'W; 1665 m]), Polytrichophora salixsp. n. (United States. Alaska. Matanuska-Susitna: Willow Creek [61°46.1'N, 150°04.2'W; 50 m]), Polytrichophora sturtevantorumsp. n. (United States. Tennessee. Shelby: Meeman Shelby State Park [Mississippi River; 35°20.4'N, 90°2.1'W; 98 m]), Polytrichophora prolatasp. n. (Belize. Stann Creek: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary [16°45'N, 88°30'W]). All known New World species of both genera are described with an emphasis on structures of

  1. Geographic information system for fusion and analysis of high-resolution remote sensing and ground data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Anthony; Way, Jo Bea; Dubois, Pascale; Leberl, Franz

    1993-01-01

    We seek to combine high-resolution remotely sensed data with models and ground truth measurements, in the context of a Geographical Information System (GIS), integrated with specialized image processing software. We will use this integrated system to analyze the data from two Case Studies, one at a boreal forest site, the other a tropical forest site. We will assess the information content of the different components of the data, determine the optimum data combinations to study biogeophysical changes in the forest, assess the best way to visualize the results, and validate the models for the forest response to different radar wavelengths/polarizations. During the 1990's, unprecedented amounts of high-resolution images from space of the Earth's surface will become available to the applications scientist from the LANDSAT/TM series, European and Japanese ERS-1 satellites, RADARSAT and SIR-C missions. When the Earth Observation Systems (EOS) program is operational, the amount of data available for a particular site can only increase. The interdisciplinary scientist, seeking to use data from various sensors to study his site of interest, may be faced with massive difficulties in manipulating such large data sets, assessing their information content, determining the optimum combinations of data to study a particular parameter, visualizing his results and validating his model of the surface. The techniques to deal with these problems are also needed to support the analysis of data from NASA's current program of Multi-sensor Airborne Campaigns, which will also generate large volumes of data. In the Case Studies outlined in this proposal, we will have somewhat unique data sets. For the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (Case 1) calibrated DC-8 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) data and extensive ground truth measurement are already at our disposal. The data set shows documented evidence to temporal change. The Belize Forest Experiment (Case 2) will produce calibrated DC-8 SAR

  2. Geographic information system for fusion and analysis of high-resolution remote sensing and ground truth data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Anthony; Way, Jo Bea; Dubois, Pascale; Leberl, Franz

    1992-01-01

    We seek to combine high-resolution remotely sensed data with models and ground truth measurements, in the context of a Geographical Information System, integrated with specialized image processing software. We will use this integrated system to analyze the data from two Case Studies, one at a bore Al forest site, the other a tropical forest site. We will assess the information content of the different components of the data, determine the optimum data combinations to study biogeophysical changes in the forest, assess the best way to visualize the results, and validate the models for the forest response to different radar wavelengths/polarizations. During the 1990's, unprecedented amounts of high-resolution images from space of the Earth's surface will become available to the applications scientist from the LANDSAT/TM series, European and Japanese ERS-1 satellites, RADARSAT and SIR-C missions. When the Earth Observation Systems (EOS) program is operational, the amount of data available for a particular site can only increase. The interdisciplinary scientist, seeking to use data from various sensors to study his site of interest, may be faced with massive difficulties in manipulating such large data sets, assessing their information content, determining the optimum combinations of data to study a particular parameter, visualizing his results and validating his model of the surface. The techniques to deal with these problems are also needed to support the analysis of data from NASA's current program of Multi-sensor Airborne Campaigns, which will also generate large volumes of data. In the Case Studies outlined in this proposal, we will have somewhat unique data sets. For the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (Case I) calibrated DC-8 SAR data and extensive ground truth measurement are already at our disposal. The data set shows documented evidence to temporal change. The Belize Forest Experiment (Case II) will produce calibrated DC-8 SAR and AVIRIS data, together with

  3. The numerical and functional responses of a granivorous rodent and the fate of Neotropical tree seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinger, Rob; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2009-06-01

    Despite their potential to provide mechanistic explanations of rates of seed dispersal and seed fate, the functional and numerical responses of seed predators have never been explicitly examined within this context. Therefore, we investigated the numerical response of a small-mammal seed predator, Heteromys desmarestianus, to disturbance-induced changes in food availability and evaluated the degree to which removal and fate of seeds of eight tree species in a lowland tropical forest in Belize were related to the functional response of H. desmarestianus to varying seed densities. Mark-recapture trapping was used to estimate abundance of H. desmarestianus in six 0.5-ha grids from July 2000 to September 2002. Fruit availability and seed fate were estimated in each grid, and two experiments nested within the grids were used to determine (1) the form of the functional response for nine levels of fruit density (2-32 fruits/m2), (2) the removal rate and handling times, and (3) the total proportion of fruits removed. The total proportion of fruits removed was determined primarily by the numerical response of H. desmarestianus to fruit availability, while removal rates and the proportion of seeds eaten or cached were related primarily to the form of the functional response. However, the numerical and functional responses interacted; H. desmarestianus showed strong spatial and temporal numerical responses to total fruit availability, and their density relative to fruit availability resulted in variation in the form of the functional response. Types I, II, and III functional responses were observed, as were density-independent responses, and these responses varied both among and within fruit species. The highest proportions of fruits were eaten when the Type III functional response was detected, which was when fruit availability was high relative to H. desmarestianus population density. Numerous idiosyncratic influences on seed fate have been documented, but our results

  4. Land, Water and Society in the Maya Lowlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtha, T.; French, K.; Duffy, C.; Webster, D.

    2013-12-01

    This paper reports the results of our project investigating the long-term spatial and temporal dynamics of land use management, agricultural decision-making and patterns of resource availability in the tropical lowlands of Central America. Overall, our project combines diachronic environmental simulation with historic settlement pattern survey to address a series of long-standing questions about the coupled natural and human (CNH) landscape history in the Central Maya lowlands (at the UNESCO world heritage site of Tikal in the Maya Biosphere Reserve). The paper describes the preliminary results of our project, including changing patterns of land, water, settlement and political history using climate, soil and hydrologic modeling and time series spatial analysis of population and settlement patterns. The critical period of the study, 1000 BC until the present, begins with dispersed settlements accompanied by widespread deforestation and soil erosion. Population size and density grows rapidly for 800 years, while deforestation and erosion rates decline; however, there is striking evidence of political evolution during this period, including the construction of monumental architecture, hieroglyphic monuments detailing wars and alliances, and the construction of a defensive earthwork feature, signaling political territories and possibly delineating natural resource boundaries. Population decline and steady reforestation followed until more recent migration into the region, which has impacted the biosphere ecology. Building on our previous research regionally and comparative research completed in Belize and Mexico, we are modeling sample periods the 3,000-year landscape history of the region, comparing land and water availability to population distributions and what we know about political history. Simulations are generated using historic climate and land use data, primarily relying on the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC) and the Penn State Integrated

  5. The role of water and sediment connectivity in integrated flood management: a case study on the island of Saint Lucia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetten, Victor; van Westen, Cees; Ettema, Janneke; van den Bout, Bastian

    2016-04-01

    flood potential considerably during the event, and if not cleared properly during the next event. To understand this it is essential to simulate the catchment as one integrated unit, study connectivity and sources and sinks. We will show how from these simulations, how sustainable hazard and risk reduction strategies can be derived. The example comes from the Worldbank technical assistance project CHARIM, that is currently conducted by the University of Twente (the Netherlands), University of Bristol, (UK) and the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) in 4 Caribbean islands and Belize.

  6. Nesting Ecology of Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on Utila, Honduras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has a circumtropical distribution and plays an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs. Unfortunately, hawksbill populations have been decimated, and estimated numbers in the Caribbean are less than 10% of populations a century ago. The hawksbill is considered Critically Endangered, and researchers are coordinating worldwide efforts to protect this species. One country where we lack knowledge regarding hawksbills is Honduras. This study aimed to increase our understanding of hawksbill nesting ecology in Caribbean Honduras. Characteristics of hawksbill nesting activity and a nesting beach on the island of Utila were elucidated using satellite telemetry, beach profiling, vegetation surveys, beach monitoring, and nest temperature profiles. We affixed satellite transmitters to two nesting hawksbills, and found the turtles migrated to different countries. One turtle traveled 403 km to a bay in Mexico, and the other traveled 181 km to a Marine Protected Area off Belize. This study presents the first description of hawksbill migration routes from Honduras, facilitating protection efforts for turtles that traverse international waters. To investigate nesting beach and turtle characteristics, we conducted beach monitoring during the 2012 nesting season. Nesting turtle carapace sizes were similar to worldwide values, but hatchlings were heavier. To measure nest temperatures, we placed thermocouple data loggers in four nests and four pseudo-nests. Data suggested metabolic heating may be maintaining nest temperatures above the pivotal temperature. However, large temperature fluctuations corresponding to rainfall from Hurricane Ernesto (as determined using a time series cross-correlation analysis) make it difficult to predict sex ratios, and underscore the impact stochastic events can have on nest temperatures. We created topographic and substrate profiles of the beach, and found it was 475 m long, yet hawksbills

  7. Kinematic reconstruction of the Caribbean region since the Early Jurassic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochman, Lydian; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Torsvik, Trond; Spakman, Wim; Pindell, James

    2014-05-01

    The Caribbean region results from a complex tectonic history governed by the interplay of the North American, South American and (Paleo-)Pacific plates, between which the Caribbean plate evolved since the early Cretaceous. During its entire tectonic evolution, the Caribbean plate was largely surrounded by subduction and transform boundaries, which hampers a quantitative integration into the global circuit of plate motions. In addition, reconstructions of the region have so far not resulted in a first order kinematic description of the main tectonic units in terms of Euler poles and finite rotation angles. Here, we present an updated, quantitatively described kinematic reconstruction of the Caribbean region back to 200 Ma integrated into the global plate circuit, and implemented with GPlates free software. Our analysis of Caribbean tectonic evolution incorporates an extensive literature review. To constrain the Caribbean plate motion between the American continents, we use a novel approach that takes structural geological observations rather than marine magnetic anomalies as prime input, and uses regionally extensive metamorphic and magmatic phenomena such as the Great Arc of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) and the Caribbean high-pressure belt as correlation markers. The resulting model restores the Caribbean plate back along the Cayman Trough and major strike-slip faults in Guatemala, offshore Nicaragua, offshore Belize and along the Northern Andes towards its position of origin, west of the North and South American continents in early Cretaceous time. We provide the paleomagnetic reference frame for the Caribbean region by rotating the Global Apparent Polar Wander Path into coordinates of the Caribbean plate interior, Cuba, and the Chortis Block. We conclude that a plate kinematic scenario for a Panthalassa/Pacific origin of Caribbean lithosphere leads to a much simpler explanation than a Proto-Caribbean/Atlantic origin. Placing our

  8. Consequences of Chixculub Impact for the Tectonic and Geodynamic Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico North Carribean Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangin, C.; Crespy, A.; Martinez-Reyes, J.

    2013-05-01

    The debate for Pacific exotic origin versus in situ inter American plate Atlantic origin of the Caribbean plate is active in the scientific community since decades. Independently of the origin of this plate, its fast motion towards the east at a present rate of 2cm/yr is accepted to have been initiated during the early-most Cenozoic. The Paleocene is a key period in the global evolution of Central America mainly marked also by the Chicxulub multiring meteor impact in Yucatan. We question here the genetic relationship between this impact event and the incipient tectonic escape of the Caribbean plate. The mostly recent published models suggest this impact has affected the whole crust down to the Moho, the upper mantle being rapidly and considerably uplifted. The crust was then fragmented 600km at least from the point of impact, and large circular depressions were rapidly filled by clastic sediments from Cantarell to Western Cuba via Chiapas and Belize. North of the impact, the whole Gulf of Mexico was affected by mass gravity sliding, initiated also during the Paleocene in Texas, remaining active in this basin up to present time. South of the impact, in the Caribbean plate, the Yucatan basin was rapidly opened, indicating a fast escape of the crustal material towards the unique free boundary, the paleo-Antilles subduction zone. Shear waves velocity data below the Caribbean plate suggest this crustal tectonic escape was enhanced by the fast eastward flowing mantle supporting a fragmented and stretched crust. The proposed model suggests Chicxulub impact (but also the hypothetic Beata impact) have fragmented brittle crust, then easily drifted towards the east. This could explain the Paleogene evolution of the Caribbean plate largely stretched during its early evolution. Geologically, this evolution could explain the absence of evident Paleogene oblique subduction along the Caribbean plate northern and southern margins, marked only by Mid Cretaceous dragged volcanic

  9. Tectonic escape of the Caribbean plate since the Paleocene: a consequence of the Chicxulub meteor impact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangin, C.; Martinez-Reyes, J.; Crespy, A.; Zitter, T. A. C.

    2012-04-01

    The debate for Pacific exotic origin versus in situ inter American plate Atlantic origin of the Caribbean plate is active in the scientific community since decades. Independently of the origin of this plate, its fast motion towards the east at a present rate of 2cm/yr is accepted to have been initiated during the early-most Cenozoic. The Paleocene is a key period in the global evolution of Central America mainly marked also by the Chicxulub multiring meteor impact in Yucatan. We question here the genetic relationship between this impact event and the incipient tectonic escape of the Caribbean plate. The mostly recent published models suggest this impact has affected the whole crust down to the Moho, the upper mantle being rapidly and considerably uplifted. The crust was then fragmented 600km at least from the point of impact, and large circular depressions were rapidly filled by clastic sediments from Cantarell to Western Cuba via Chiapas and Belize. North of the impact, the whole Gulf of Mexico was affected by mass gravity sliding, initiated also during the Paleocene in Texas, remaining active in this basin up to present time. South of the impact, in the Caribbean plate, the Yucatan basin was rapidly opened, indicating a fast escape of the crustal material towards the unique free boundary, the paleo-Antilles subduction zone. Shear waves velocity data below the Caribbean plate suggest this crustal tectonic escape was enhanced by the fast eastward flowing mantle supporting a fragmented and stretched crust. The proposed model suggests Chicxulub impact (but also the hypothetic Beata impact) have fragmented brittle crust, then easily drifted towards the east. This could explain the Paleogene evolution of the Caribbean plate largely stretched during its early evolution. Geologically, this evolution could explain the absence of evident Paleogene oblique subduction along the Caribbean plate northern and southern margins, marked only by Mid Cretaceous dragged volcanic

  10. Mangrove recruitment after forest disturbance is facilitated by herbaceous species in the Caribbean

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Rooth, J.E.; Feller, Ilka C.

    2007-01-01

    Plant communities along tropical coastlines are often affected by natural and human disturbances, but little is known about factors influencing recovery. We focused on mangrove forests, which are among the most threatened ecosystems globally, to examine how facilitation by herbaceous vegetation might improve forest restoration after disturbance. We specifically investigated whether recovery of mangrove forests in harsh environments is accelerated by nurse plants and whether the beneficial effects are species-specific. Quantification of standardized effects allowed comparisons across performance parameters and over time for: (1) net effect of each herbaceous species on mangrove survival and growth, (2) effects of pre- and post-establishment factors associated with each herbaceous species, and (3) need for artificial planting to enhance growth or survival of mangrove seedlings. Mangrove recruitment in a clear-cut forest in Belize was accelerated by the presence of Sesuvium portulacastrum (succulent forb) and Distichlis spicata (grass), two coastal species common throughout the Caribbean region. The net effect of herbaceous vegetation was positive, but the magnitude of effects on mangrove survival and growth differed by species. Because of differences in their vegetative structure and other features, species effects on mangroves also varied by mechanism: (1) trapping of dispersing propagules (both species), (2) structural support of the seedling (Distichlis), and/or (3) promotion of survival (Sesuvium) or growth (Distichlis) through amelioration of soil conditions (temperature, aeration). Artificial planting had a stronger positive effect on mangrove survival than did edaphic conditions, but planting enhanced mangrove growth more in Sesuvium than in Distichlis patches. Our study indicates that beneficial species might be selected based on features that provide multiple positive effects and that species comparisons may be improved using standardized effects. Our

  11. Decadal-scale rates of reef erosion following El Niño-related mass coral mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roff, George; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Mumby, Peter J

    2015-12-01

    As the frequency and intensity of coral mortality events increase under climate change, understanding how declines in coral cover may affect the bioerosion of reef frameworks is of increasing importance. Here, we explore decadal-scale rates of bioerosion of the framework building coral Orbicella annularis by grazing parrotfish following the 1997/1998 El Niño-related mass mortality event at Long Cay, Belize. Using high-precision U-Th dating and CT scan analysis, we quantified in situ rates of external bioerosion over a 13-year period (1998-2011). Based upon the error-weighted average U-Th age of dead O. annularis skeletons, we estimate the average external bioerosion between 1998 and 2011 as 0.92 ± 0.55 cm depth. Empirical observations of herbivore foraging, and a nonlinear numerical response of parrotfish to an increase in food availability, were used to create a model of external bioerosion at Long Cay. Model estimates of external bioerosion were in close agreement with U-Th estimates (0.85 ± 0.09 cm). The model was then used to quantify how rates of external bioerosion changed across a gradient of coral mortality (i.e., from few corals experiencing mortality following coral bleaching to complete mortality). Our results indicate that external bioerosion is remarkably robust to declines in coral cover, with no significant relationship predicted between the rate of external bioerosion and the proportion of O. annularis that died in the 1998 bleaching event. The outcome was robust because the reduction in grazing intensity that follows coral mortality was compensated for by a positive numerical response of parrotfish to an increase in food availability. Our model estimates further indicate that for an O. annularis-dominated reef to maintain a positive state of reef accretion, a necessity for sustained ecosystem function, live cover of O. annularis must not drop below a ~5-10% threshold of cover. PMID:26113199

  12. Population Assessment of Belizean Felids in a Mosaic Landscape through non-invasive Genetic‚ Parasite‚ and Stress-Hormone Analyses -abstract-

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Bernardo Mesa-Cruz

    2014-12-01

    the degrees of landscape modification in the study areas did not compromise overall animal well-being. Results of this study provide a baseline on adrenal activity‚ and endoparasite loads in felids in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA in Belize Central America. These findings could be used to compare to populations thought to be affected by human activities not only across Belize‚ but also in neighboring countries.

  13. Mangrove isotopic (δ15N and δ13C) fractionation across a nitrogen vs. phosphorus limitation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckee, Karen L.; Feller, Ilka C.; Popp, Marianne; Wanek, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Mangrove islands in Belize are characterized by a unique switching from nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) limitation to tree growth from shoreline to interior. Fertilization has previously shown that Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) fringe trees (5–6 m tall) growing along the shoreline are N limited; dwarf trees (!1.5 m tall) in the forestinterior are P limited; and transition trees (2–4 m tall) are co-limited by both N and P.  Growth patterns paralleled a landward decrease in soil flushing by tides and an increase in bioavailable N, but P availability remained consistently low across the gradient. Stable isotopic composition was measured in R. mangle leaves to aid in explaining this nutrient switching pattern and growth variation. Along control transects, leaf !15N decreased from "0.10‰ (fringe) to #5.38‰ (dwarf). The !15N of N-fertilized trees also varied spatially, but the values were consistently more negative (by $3‰) compared to control trees. Spatial variation in !15N values disappeared when the trees were fertilized with P, and values averaged "0.12‰, similar to that in control fringe trees. Neither variation in source inputs nor microbial fractionation could fully account for the observed patterns in !15N. The results instead suggest that the lower !15N values in transition and dwarf control trees were due to plant fractionation as a consequence of slower growth and lower N demand. P fertilization increased N demand and decreased fractionation. Although leaf !13C was unaffected by fertilization, values increased from fringe (#28.6‰) to transition (#27.9‰) to dwarf (#26.4‰) zones, indicating spatial variation in environmental stresses affecting stomatal conductance or carboxylation. The results thus suggest an interaction of external supply, internal demand, and plant ability to acquire nutrients under different hydro-edaphic conditions that vary across this tree-height gradient. The findings not only aid in understanding

  14. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Andrew J; Ruiz, Gregory M; Leung, Brian; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite abundance was negatively

  15. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Sellers

    Full Text Available Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite

  16. Honduras: Caribbean Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R; Afzal, D C; Andrews, M J

    2001-12-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an overarching stress

  17. Honduras: Caribbean Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harborne, Alastair R.; Afzal, Daniel C.; Andrews, Mark J. [Coral Cay Conservation, London (United Kingdom)

    2001-07-01

    The coast of Honduras, Central America, represents the southern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, although its marine resources are less extensive and studied than nearby Belize and Mexico. However, the coastal zone contains mainland reef formations, mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds and extensive fringing reefs around its offshore islands, and has a key role in the economy of the country. Like most tropical areas, this complex of benthic habitats experiences limited annual variation in climatic and oceanographic conditions but seasonal and occasional conditions, particularly coral bleaching and hurricanes, are important influences. The effects of stochastic factors on the country's coral reefs were clearly demonstrated during 1998 when Honduras experienced a major hurricane and bleaching event. Any natural or anthropogenic impacts on reef health will inevitably affect other countries in Latin America, and vice versa, since the marine resources are linked via currents and the functioning of the system transcends political boundaries. Much further work on, for example, movement of larvae and transfer of pollutants is required to delineate the full extent of these links. Anthropogenic impacts, largely driven by the increasing population and proportion of people living in coastal areas, are numerous and include key factors such as agricultural run-off, over-fishing, urban and industrial pollution (particularly sewage) and infrastructure development. Many of these threats act synergistically and, for example, poor watershed management via shifting cultivation, increases sedimentation and pesticide run-off onto coral reefs, which increases stress to corals already affected by decreasing water quality and coral bleaching. Threats from agriculture and fishing are particularly significant because of the size of both industries. The desire to generate urgently required revenue within Honduras has also led to increased tourism which provides an over

  18. A revision of the shore-fly genus Hydrochasma Hendel (Diptera, Ephydridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Wayne N; Zatwarnicki, Tadeusz

    2013-01-01

    )), H. simplicum (Costa Rica. Limón: Parque Nacional Barbilla, Sector Casas Negras, (10°01.2'N, 83°26.2'W; 300 m)), H. sinuatum (Belize. Stann Creek: Mullins Creek (17 km N Dangriga; 17°06.2'N, 88°17.8'W)), H. spinosum (Costa Rica. Limón: Westfalia (4 km S; 09°54.5'N, 82°59'W; beach)), H. urnulum (Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata: Río Camu (14 km E Puerto Plata; 19°41.9'N, 70°37.5'W)), H. viridum (Guyana. Karanambo, Rupununi River (ox bow; 03°45.1'N, 59°18.6'W)), H. williamsae (Belize. Stann Creek: Mullins River (17 km N Dangriga; 17°06.2'N, 88°17.8'W)). All known species are described with an emphasis on structures of the male terminalia, which are fully illustrated. Detailed locality data and distribution maps for all species are provided. A lectotype is designated for Discocerina incisum Coquillett and Hydrochasma zernyi Hendel. For perspective and to facilitate genus-group and species-group recognition, the tribe Discocerinini is diagnosed and a key to included genera in the New World is provided. PMID:24363601

  19. A revision of the shore-fly genus Hydrochasma Hendel (Diptera, Ephydridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Mathis

    2013-12-01

    (Brazil. São Paulo. Ubatuba, Praia Puruba (23°21'S, 44°55.6'W; beach, H. sagittarium (Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago: St. John: Parlatuvier (creek; 11°17.9'N, 60°35'W, H. simplicum (Costa Rica. Limón: Parque Nacional Barbilla, Sector Casas Negras, (10°01.2'N, 83°26.2'W; 300 m, H. sinuatum (Belize. Stann Creek: Mullins Creek (17 km N Dangriga; 17°06.2'N, 88°17.8'W, H. spinosum (Costa Rica. Limón: Westfalia (4 km S; 09°54.5'N, 82°59'W; beach, H. urnulum (Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata: Río Camu (14 km E Puerto Plata; 19°41.9'N, 70°37.5'W, H. viridum (Guyana. Karanambo, Rupununi River (ox bow; 03°45.1'N, 59°18.6'W, H. williamsae (Belize. Stann Creek: Mullins River (17 km N Dangriga; 17°06.2'N, 88°17.8'W. All known species are described with an emphasis on structures of the male terminalia, which are fully illustrated. Detailed locality data and distribution maps for all species are provided. A lectotype is designated for Discocerina incisum Coquillett and Hydrochasma zernyi Hendel. For perspective and to facilitate genus-group and species-group recognition, the tribe Discocerinini is diagnosed and a key to included genera in the New World is provided.

  20. Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redactie KITLV

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available -Bridget Brereton, Emilia Viotti Da Costa, Crowns of glory, tears of blood: The Demerara slave rebellion of 1823. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. xix + 378 pp. -Grant D. Jones, Assad Shoman, 13 Chapters of a history of Belize. Belize city: Angelus, 1994. xviii + 344 pp. -Donald Wood, K.O. Laurence, Tobago in wartime 1793-1815. Kingston: The Press, University of the West Indies, 1995. viii + 280 pp. -Trevor Burnard, Howard A. Fergus, Montserrat: History of a Caribbean colony. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1994. x + 294 pp. -John L. Offner, Joseph Smith, The Spanish-American War: Conflict in the Caribbean and the Pacific, 1895-1902. London: Longman, 1994. ix + 262 pp. -Louis Allaire, John M. Weeks ,Ancient Caribbean. New York: Garland, 1994. lxxi + 325 pp., Peter J. Ferbel (eds -Aaron Segal, Hilbourne A. Watson, The Caribbean in the global political economy. Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994. ix + 261 pp. -Aaron Segal, Anthony P. Maingot, The United States and the Caribbean. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1994. xi + 260 pp. -Bill Maurer, Helen I. Safa, The myth of the male breadwinner: Women and industrialization in the Caribbean. Boulder CO: Westview, 1995. xvi + 208 pp. -Peter Meel, Edward M. Dew, The trouble in Suriname, 1975-1993. Westport CT: Praeger, 1994. xv + 243 pp. -Henry Wells, Jorge Heine, The last Cacique: Leadership and politics in a Puerto Rican city. Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993. ix + 310 pp. -Susan Eckstein, Jorge F. Pérez-López, Cuba at a crossroads: Politics and economics after the fourth party congress. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994. xviii + 282 pp. -David A.B. Murray, Marvin Leiner, Sexual politics in Cuba: Machismo, homosexuality, and AIDS. Boulder CO: Westview, 1994. xv + 184 pp. -Kevin A. Yelvington, Selwyn Ryan ,Sharks and sardines: Blacks in business in Trinidad and Tobago. St. Augustine, Trinidad: Institute of social and economic studies, University of the West Indies, 1992

  1. The Costa Maya:  Evolution of a Touristic Landscape La Costa Maya : évolution d'un paysage touristique La Costa Maya : evolución de un paisaje turístico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus J. Meyer-Arendt

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available La Costa Maya est une région côtière du sud du Quintana Roo (Mexique, proche de l'îlet Ambergris au Bélize. Contrairement à la côte caribéenne du Mexique qui a souffert du développement du tourisme de masse à Cancun et le long de la Riviera Maya, la Costa Maya s'est orientée vers un développement durable avec notamment une faible densité de construction et le développement de l'écotourisme.Le développement s'est concentré autour de Puerto Costa Maya où un terminal de croisière a été construit en 2001. La station balnéaire (balneario de Majahual est devenue dépendante des 10-12 bateaux de touristes qui débarquaient chaque semaine. En dépit d'importants plans de développement, les plages reculées de la Costa Maya accueillaient tout au plus des écotouristes aisés et du tourisme lié à la plongée sous-marine.Le cyclone Dean, de catégorie 5, a dévasté le paysage en août 2007 et le rétablissement économique n'a pu être entamé que fin 2008, après la réouverture du terminal de croisière et la reconstruction de Majahual. Fin 2009, le trafic de croisière n'a pas retrouvé son niveau d'avant Dean et la récession mondiale couplée avec la grippe porcine et les violences liées à la drogue ont fait diminuer le tourisme en provenance des Etats-Unis. On ignore à quel niveau les nouvelles infrastructures tels l'aéroport international de Tulum qui propose un itinéraire de Chetumal à la plage et le nouveau complexe hôtelier à Xahuayxel, stimuleront la Costa Maya mexicaine créant peut-être une autoroute côtière reliée à San Pedro au Bélize.The Costa Maya is a vernacular coastal region of southeastern Quintana Roo (Mexico and adjacent Ambergris Cay, Belize.  As Mexico’s Caribbean coast suffered many growth pains associated with mass tourism development in Cancun and along the Riviera Maya, the Costa Maya by contrast was projected for more sustainable development including low-density housing and

  2. Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redactie KITLV

    1998-07-01

    Nicaragua. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994. xii + 261 pp. -Winthrop R. Wright, Jay Kinsbruner, Not of pure blood: The free people of color and racial prejudice in nineteenth-century Puerto Rico. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1996. xiv + 176 pp. -Gage Averill, Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Bachata: A social history of a Dominican popular music. Philadelphia PA: Temple University Press, 1995. xxiii + 267 pp. -Vera M. Kutzinski, Lorna Valerie Williams, The representation of slavery in Cuban fiction. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1994. viii + 220 pp. -Peter Mason, Elmer Kolfin, Van de slavenzweep en de muze: Twee eeuwen verbeelding van slavernij in Suriname. Leiden: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1997. 184 pp. -J. Michael Dash, Jean-Pol Madou, Édouard Glissant: De mémoire d'arbes. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996. 114 pp. -Ransford W. Palmer, Jay R. Mandle, Persistent underdevelopment: Change and economic modernization in the West Indies. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach, 1996. xii + 190 pp. -Ramón Grossfoguel, Juan E. Hernández Cruz, Corrientes migratorias en Puerto Rico/Migratory trends in Puerto Rico. Edición Bilingüe/Bilingual Edition. San Germán: Caribbean Institute and Study Center for Latin America, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, 1994. 195 pp. -Gert Oostindie, René V. Rosalia, Tambú: De legale en kerkelijke repressie van Afro-Curacaose volksuitingen. Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 1997. 338 pp. -John M. Lipski, Armin J. Schwegler, 'Chi ma nkongo': Lengua y rito ancestrales en El Palenque de San Basilio (Colombia. Frankfurt: Vervuert, 1996. 2 vols., xxiv + 823 pp. -Umberto Ansaldo, Geneviève Escure, Creole and dialect continua: Standard acquisition processes in Belize and China (PRC. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997. ix + 307 pp.

  3. CRISIS2012: An Updated Tool to Compute Seismic Hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordaz, M.; Martinelli, F.; Meletti, C.; D'Amico, V.

    2013-05-01

    CRISIS is a computer tool for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA), whose development started in the late 1980's at the Instituto de Ingeniería, UNAM, Mexico. It started circulating outside the Mexican borders at the beginning of the 1990's, when it was first distributed as part of SEISAN tools. Throughout the years, CRISIS has been used for seismic hazard studies in several countries in Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Chile), and in many other countries of the World. CRISIS has always circulated free of charge for non-commercial applications. It is worth noting that CRISIS has been mainly written by people that are, at the same time, PSHA practitioners. Therefore, the development loop has been relatively short, and most of the modifications and improvements have been made to satisfy the needs of the developers themselves. CRISIS has evolved from a rather simple FORTRAN code to a relatively complex program with a friendly graphical interface, able to handle a variety of modeling possibilities for source geometries, seismicity descriptions and ground motion prediction models (GMPM). We will describe some of the improvements made for the newest version of the code: CRISIS 2012.These improvements, some of which were made in the frame of the Italian research project INGV-DPC S2 (http://nuovoprogettoesse2.stru.polimi.it/), funded by the Dipartimento della Protezione Civile (DPC; National Civil Protection Department), include: A wider variety of source geometries A wider variety of seismicity models, including the ability to handle non-Poissonian occurrence models and Poissonian smoothed-seismicity descriptions. Enhanced capabilities for using different kinds of GMPM: attenuation tables, built-in models and generalized attenuation models. In the case of built-in models, there is, by default, a set ready to use in CRISIS, but additional custom GMPMs

  4. Baselines For Land-Use Change In The Tropics: Application ToAvoided Deforestation Projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Sandra; Hall, Myrna; Andrasko, Ken; Ruiz, Fernando; Marzoli, Walter; Guerrero, Gabriela; Masera, Omar; Dushku, Aaron; Dejong,Ben; Cornell, Joseph

    2007-06-01

    Although forest conservation activities particularly in thetropics offer significant potential for mitigating carbon emissions,these types of activities have faced obstacles in the policy arena causedby the difficulty in determining key elements of the project cycle,particularly the baseline. A baseline for forest conservation has twomain components: the projected land-use change and the correspondingcarbon stocks in the applicable pools such as vegetation, detritus,products and soil, with land-use change being the most difficult toaddress analytically. In this paper we focus on developing and comparingthree models, ranging from relatively simple extrapolations of pasttrends in land use based on simple drivers such as population growth tomore complex extrapolations of past trends using spatially explicitmodels of land-use change driven by biophysical and socioeconomicfactors. The three models of the latter category used in the analysis atregional scale are The Forest Area Change (FAC) model, the Land Use andCarbon Sequestration (LUCS) model, and the Geographical Modeling (GEOMOD)model. The models were used to project deforestation in six tropicalregions that featured different ecological and socioeconomic conditions,population dynamics, and uses of the land: (1) northern Belize; (2) SantaCruz State, Bolivia; (3) Parana State in Brazil; (4) Campeche, Mexico;(5) Chiapas, Mexico; and (6) Michoacan, Mexico. A comparison of all modeloutputs across all six regions shows that each model produced quitedifferent deforestation baseline. In general, the simplest FAC model,applied at the national administrative-unit scale, projected the highestamount of forest loss (four out of six) and the LUCS model the leastamount of loss (four out of five). Based on simulations of GEOMOD, wefound that readily observable physical and biological factors as well asdistance to areas of past disturbance were each about twice as importantas either sociological/demographic or economic

  5. Situation of classical swine fever and the epidemiologic and ecologic aspects affecting its distribution in the American continent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Terán, Moisés; Calcagno Ferrat, Nelson; Lubroth, Juan

    2004-10-01

    understanding of the epidemiologic role that boars and peccaries could have in the transmission and maintenance of the disease in the Americas; and new procedures in animal welfare that some countries are adopting for the production, transport, and slaughter of domestic animals. Consequently, many countries (i.e., Canada, USA, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico, where 13 of 32 States are disease free) have given priority to the control and progressive eradication of CSF. In other parts of the Americas, the disease appears under control, as is the case of the five countries of the Andean Region and the 12 northern States of Brazil. In South America, Chile, Uruguay and 13 States in Brazil are disease free. Argentina has mounted a national campaign and is in the process of eradicating the disease. No recent information on its presence or distribution in Paraguay is available. With no master strategy to harmoniously progress in the control and eradication of the disease, 17 countries of the region, jointly led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, developed the Continental Plan for the Eradication of CSF whose objective is expected to be reached by 2020.

  6. Dynamic distributions and population declines of Golden-winged Warblers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Will, Tom; Buehler, David A.; Barker Swarthout, Sara; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Chandler, Richard

    2016-01-01

    hybrid zone, but the future of northern populations in the Great Lakes states and Canada (where >80% of the species occurs at present) is highly uncertain because of continued northward expansion of Blue-winged Warblers and hybridization. A second, now-disjunct band of Golden-winged Warbler populations exists in the Appalachian Mountains from southeastern New York to northern Georgia, surrounded at lower elevations by Blue-winged Warblers. Important concentrations of Golden-winged Warblers persist in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee, Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Allegheny Plateau and Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, and in the Hudson Highlands of southern New York. These high-elevation Appalachian populations have escaped contact with Blue-winged Warblers until very recently and represent important refugia for conservation and management; other Appalachian populations are rapidly declining. In addition, based on historical records and standardized surveys across the wintering grounds, we identified three regions of concentration: highlands and Caribbean slopes from Guatemala and Belize to northwestern Nicaragua; middle elevations (both slopes) in Costa Rica and western Panama; and in an arc of the northern Andes from central Colombia to northern Venezuela. It is possible that the winter range has been shifting towards the northwest in recent decades, paralleling shifts in the breeding distribution. Future conservation efforts for Golden-winged Warbler need to include close monitoring of the dynamic phenotypic and genetic distributional shifts, and may need to consider the “winged warbler” complex together as a highly adaptable evolutionary unit.

  7. A revision of the new world species of Polytrichophora Cresson and Facitrichophora, new genus (Diptera, Ephydridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Mathis

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The New World species of Polytrichophora Cresson and Fascitrichophora new genus, are revised. Fifteen new species are described (type locality in parenthesis: Fascitrishophora atrella sp. n. (Costa Rica. Guanacaste: Murciélago [10°56.9’N, 85°42.5’W; sandy mud flats around mangrove inlet], F. carvalhorum sp.n. (Brazil. São Paulo: Praia Puruba [23°21’S, 44°55.6’W; beach], F. manza sp. n. (Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad. St. Andrew: Lower Manzanilla (12 km S; 10°24.5’N, 61°01.5’W, bridge over Nariva River, F. panama sp. n. (Panama. Darien: Garachine [8°04’N, 78°22’W], Polytrichophora adarca sp. n. (Barbados. Christ Church: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary [13°04.2’N, 59°34.7’W; swamp], P. arnaudorum sp. n. (Mexico. Baja California. San Felipe [31°01.5’N, 114°50.4’W], P. barba sp. n. (Cuba. Sancti Spiritus: Topes de Collantes [21°54.4’N, 80°01.4’W, 670 m], P. flavella sp. n. (Peru. Madre de Dios: Rio Manu, Pakitza [11°56.6’S, 71°16.9’W; 250 m], P. marinoniorum sp. n. (Brazil. Paraná: Antonina [25°28.4’S, 48°40.9’W; mangal], P. rostra sp. n. (Peru. Madre de Dios: Rio Manu, Pakitza [11°56.6’S, 71°16.9’W; 250 m], P. sinuosa sp. n. (Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad. St. Andrew: Lower Manzanilla [12 km S; 10°24’N, 61°02’W], P. mimbres sp. n. (United States. New Mexico. Grant: Mimbres River [New Mexico Highway 61 & Royal John Mine Road; 32°43.8’N, 107°52’W; 1665 m], P. salix sp. n. (United States. Alaska. Matanuska-Susitna: Willow Creek [61°46.1’N, 150°04.2’W; 50 m], P. sturtevantorum sp. n. (United States. Tennessee. Shelby: Meeman Shelby State Park [Mississippi River; 35°20.4’N, 90°2.1’W; 98 m], P. prolata sp. n. (Belize. Stann Creek: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary [16°45’N, 88°30’W]. All known New World species of both genera are described with an emphasis on structures of the male terminalia, which are fully illustrated. Detailed locality data and distribution

  8. An Index of Biotic Integrity for shallow streams of the Hondo River basin, Yucatan Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitter-Soto, Juan J., E-mail: jschmitt@ecosur.mx; Ruiz-Cauich, Lissie E.; Herrera, Roberto L.; Gonzalez-Solis, David

    2011-01-15

    An Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) is proposed, based on the fish communities and populations in streams of the Hondo River basin, Mexico-Belize. Freshwater environments in this area are threatened by exotic fishes, eutrophication, and pesticide pollution, among other problems. This IBI should allow to identify the most vulnerable sites and eventually guide rehabilitation efforts. Data on composition, structure, and function of fish communities were evaluated. Twenty-three sites in the Mexican part of the basin were explored; a stratified sample of 13 sites was used to design the IBI, and the rest were used to test and refine the index. Thirty-four candidate indicator metrics were scanned for their correlation with an index of water and habitat quality (IWHQ), as well as for the possible influence of stream width and altitude or distance to the Hondo River mainstem. Twelve variables were selected to constitute the IBI: relative abundances of Astyanax aeneus, 'Cichlasoma' urophthalmus, Poecilia mexicana, Poecilia sp. (a new species, probably endemic to the upper Hondo River basin), Xiphophorus hellerii, and X. maculatus; relative abundances of bentholimnetic, herbivore, and sensitive species; percentage of native and tolerant species; and Pielou's evenness index. Most of the sites have a low-medium quality and integrity, showing impact due to partial channelization or to suboptimal water quality, reflected in scarcity or absence of sensitive species, frequent excess of tolerant species, occasional presence of exotics, dominance of herbivores (perhaps due to proliferation of filamentous algae), or dominance of the opportunistic species P. mexicana. The streams with better water and habitat quality are those farthest away from the river mainstem, probably because of lower human population and economical production. - Research Highlights: {yields} An Index of Biotic Integrity based on fishes is proposed for streams of the Hondo River basin. {yields

  9. Geodetic Imaging: Expanding the Boundaries of Geodesy in the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez Diaz, J. C.; Carter, W. E.; Shrestha, R. L.; Glennie, C. L.

    2013-12-01

    coastal waters) is just beginning to attract the attention of researchers studying such plant life as marsh vegetation and sea grasses, and the habitats of animals as diverse as fish, migratory birds, and lions (Vierling et al., 2008). From thousands and thousands of survey markers covering large regions of the earth common to geodesy a half century ago, the focus of some geodesist has changed to billions and billions of points covering landscapes, which are enabling them to redefine and extend the limits of geodesy in the 21st century. References: Carter, W. E. et al., (2012), 'Geodetic Imaging: A New Tool for Mesoamerican Archaeology,' Eos, Trans. American Geophysical Union, Vol. 93, No. 42, pages 413-415. Chase, A. F. et al., (2010) 'Airborne LiDAR, archaeology, and the ancient Maya landscape at Caracol, Belize,' Journal Of Archaeological Science, vol. 38, no. 2, p. 387-398. Evans, D. H. et al., (2013), 'Uncovering archaeological landscapes at Angkor using lidar.' PNAS. Oskin, M. E. et al., (2012), 'Near-Field Deformation from the El Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake Revealed by Differential LIDAR,' Science. Vol. 335 no.6069, pp. 702-705. Perron, J. Taylor, et al (2009), 'Formation of evenly spaced ridges and valleys,' Nature, Vol. 460/23. Vierling, K. T. et al., (2008),'Lidar: shedding new light on habitat characterization and modeling,' Front Ecol Environ 2008, 6(2): 90-98.

  10. Quantifying the risk of deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manners, Rhys; Varela-Ortega, Consuelo

    2015-04-01

    the ROBIN stakeholder workshops (heavily weighted the governance component). The results from the DRI were categorised as; low risk, moderate risk, at risk, elevated risk, high risk and extreme risk. The DRI demonstrated that in over 60% of countries, the risk of deforestation reduced between 2000-2010 with Belize, Costa Rica, Guyana and Venezuela being notable exceptions. Countries that saw reductions in their risk did so through economic growth (per capita GDP), institutional development (governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality), as well reductions in the scale of agricultural expansion. Despite the general trend towards lower risk, Amazonian countries were still found to be subject to potential deforestation. Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname were estimated to have an elevated risk of deforestation, with Brazil, Colombia and Peru considered to be at risk in 2010. The DRI provides an innovative, potentially multi-scalar tool, that can be used by national policy makers to identify where policies should be developed and directed, where specific measures in international programs such as REDD/+ could be most effectively pursued, and for international policy makers to identify and to tailor development or aid packages that reduce rather than contribute to deforestation.

  11. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy in Jamaica: The Absence of a National Sexual Harassment Policy, and the Way Forward

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Peters

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Within the Caribbean only countries such as Belize, Bahamas and Guyana have legitimized legislation against sexual harassment. Countries such as Jamaica, Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis have draft bills before parliament. In the Jamaican context, the country in September 1981 signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW which came into effect in 1984 which deals with the issue of sexual harassment under Articles 2 (Policy Measures and Legislation and Article 11 (Employment. The current study is an assessment of sexual harassment, components of sexual harassment and sexual harassment policies in Jamaica, and whether such policy would be effective within the context of the culture. The methodology that was utilized for the study was ethnography. Ethnography focuses on describing the cultural traits of a group and may also be used to explore and describe the relationship among variables. This qualitative methodology was thought to be most suited for the nature of research as it describes and situates the phenomenon of sexual harassment in a cultural context, both the broad Jamaican culture and the specific organizational culture. Six themes emerged from the current study. These are culture and perception of harassment; culture and element of harassment; culture and effectiveness of policy; power and power relations and gendered response to harassment. It was postulated and agreed upon that there is no definite definition for sexual harassment, it is fluid and based solely on one’s perception. One respondent said, “We’ve been unable to define sexual harassment it doesn’t have to be intentional or not. Sexual harassment is pretty much from the person’s perspective”. It was brought out during the study that culture would clearly define what is constituted as sexual harassment. A respondent in an elite interview stated that in a Jamaican context sexual harassment is very difficult to be

  12. Realizing NASA's Goal of Societal Benefits From Earth Observations in Mesoamerica Through the SERVIR Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardin, D. M.; Irwin, D.; Sever, T.; Graves, S.

    2006-12-01

    One of the goals of NASA's Applied Sciences Program is to manifest societal benefits from the vast store of Earth Observations through partnerships with public, private and academic organizations. The SERVIR project represents an early success toward this goal. By combining Earth Observations from NASA missions, results from environmental models and decision support tools from its partners the SERVIR project has produced an integrated systems solution that is yielding societal benefits for the region of Mesoamerica. The architecture of the SERVIR system consists of an operational facility in Panama with regional nodes in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize plus a Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC), located in Huntsville, Alabama. The RPC, funded by NASA's Applied Sciences Division, and developed by the Information Technology and Systems Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, produces scientifically strong decision support products and applications. When mature, the products and applications migrate to the operational center in Panama. There, they are available to environmental ministers and decision makers in Mesoamerica. In June 2004, the SERVIR project was contacted by the environmental ministry of El Salvador, which urgently requested remote sensing imagery of the location, direction, and extent of a HAB event off the coast of El Salvador and Guatemala. Using MODIS data the SERVIR team developed a value added product that predicts the location, direction, and extent of HABs. The products are produced twice daily and are used by the El Salvadoran and Guatemalan governments to alert their tourism and fishing industries of potential red tide events. This has enabled these countries to save millions of dollars for their industries as well as improve the health of harvested fish. In the area of short term weather forecasting the SERVIR team, in collaboration with the NASA Short

  13. El desarrollo sostenible de la acuicultura en América Latina (The sustainable development of the acuicultura in Latin America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús T. Ponce-Palafox

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available América Latina y el Caribe han experimentado una rápida expansión en su producción acuícola (16.4% anual durante la década de los 90. El presente trabajo tiene la finalidad de hacer un análisis de la situación de la región y determinar sus perspectivas de acuerdo al comportamiento actual de la industria. Chile presenta el crecimiento más rápido en la región con un crecimiento anual de casi 20%. La producción acuícola se concentra en los salmónidos principalmente en Chile y en los camarones marinos en el Ecuador, México, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Panamá y Belice, estos productos son principalmente para la exportación. El cultivo de la tilapia en Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, México y Jamaica tiene la tasa de crecimiento más alta en la región y se exporta el 50%. La producción de carpa es importante en Brasil, Cuba y México. El pez nativo que más ha aumentado su producción es el Colossoma spp en Brasil, Colombia y Venezuela.. Pero también, se debe de revalorar la acuicultura de subsistencia y semicomercial como una estrategia nacional para generar empleos directos e indirecto a las zonas marginadas, contribuir a la producción de proteína de alto valor nutricional y disminuir la pobreza. Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced a quick expansion in their aquatic production (16.4 annual% during the decade the 90. The present work has the purpose to make an analysis of the situation the region and to determine its perspectives according to the current behavior gives the industry. Chile presents the quickest growth in the region with an annual growth 20%.The aquatic production concentrates mainly on the salmon in Chile and in the marine shrimps in the Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Belize, these products are mainly for the export. The cultivation the tilapia in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico and Jamaica has the highest rate of growth in the region and 50% is

  14. Processes in Environmental Depositional Systems and Deformation in Sedimentary Basins: Goals for Exoloration in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval-Ochoa, J.

    2005-05-01

    Among the recent needs to establish new goals in the mexican energy industry to increase the petroleum reserves, has been necessary to recapitulate on some academic an operative concepts and definitions applied to the Petroliferous Basins Exploration; first of all, in order to understand the Petroleum System in given tectonophysical framework. The tectonophysical environment experienced by the petroliferous basin in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, merely in the Campeche Sound and adjacent terrestrial regions (Figure 1); has been the result of interaction among the tectonic plates, the Coco's Plate with impingement and subduction beneath the Northamerican Plate and the Yucatán Microplate and even in very deep connection with the oceanic crust of southwesternmost portion of the Gulf of Mexico and the one of the Caribbean sea beneath the gulf of Belize-Honduras. The tectonosedimentary effects in the Campeche Bay starting with the skeleton formed for the Cenozoic Era, kept simultaneous conditions in depositions and deformations because of strain, stress and collapse fields, acted through this Era up to the present day, as observed in the surface Aguayo et al, 1999 and Sandoval, 2000. The involved portions of the crust and its boundaries have also been performing the relative sinking of the mere southwestern centre of the Gulf of Mexico, and the rising of the southeastern lands of Mexico. In the middle contiguity are found the productive Tertiary basins of: Comalcalco, Macuspana, Salina del Itsmo, Campeche-Champoton and other in deep waters; all of them, in an arrangement of basins among distensive faulted blocks in echelon, falling down to the deep centre of the Gulf Sandoval, op cit. With this scenario and that ones of other basins, a recapitulation on concepts and definitions, has been made on the regional natural processes of the environmental depositional systems and on the basins analysis in the tectonophysical framework, in order to reflect on the

  15. Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redactie KITLV

    2001-01-01

    women writers of Africa and the Caribbean. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000. ix + 156 pp. -Julian Gerstin, Brenda F. Berrian, Awakening spaces: French Caribbean popular songs, music, and culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. xvi + 287 pp. -Halbert Barton, Steven Loza, Tito Puente and the making of Latin music. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. xvi + 258 pp. -Mark Moberg, Anne Sutherland, The making of Belize: Globalization in the margins. Westport CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1998. x + 203 pp. -Daniel A. Segal, Kevin K. Birth, 'Any time is Trinidad time' : Social meanings and temporal consciousness. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999. xiv + 190 pp. -Samuel Martínez, Michele Wucker, Why the cocks fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the struggle for Hispaniola. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. xxi + 281 pp. -Paul E. Brodwin, Terry Rey, Our lady of class struggle: The cult of the virgin Mary in Haiti. Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, 1999. x + 362 pp. -Robert Fatton, Jr., Elizabeth D. Gibbons, Sanctions in Haiti: Human rights and democracy under assault. Westport CT: Praeger, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC, 1999. xviii + 138 pp. -Robert Fatton, Jr., David M. Malone, Decision-making in the UN security council: The case of Haiti, 1990-1997. Oxford: Clarendon, 1998. xxi + 322 pp. -James Sanders, César J. Ayala, American sugar kingdom: The plantation economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. xii + 321 pp. -James Sanders, Alan Dye, Cuban sugar in the age of mass production: Technology and the economics of the sugar central, 1899-1929. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1998. xiii + 343 pp. -Linden Lewis, Richard Hart, Towards decolonisation: Political, labour and economic developments in Jamaica 1938-1945. Kingston: Canoe Press, 1999. xxii + 329 pp. -John Smolenski, John W. Pulis, Moving on: Black loyalists in the Afro-Atlantic world. New

  16. Diagnostic Clast-Texture Criteria for Recognition of Impact Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J. R.; Bratton, C.; Pope, K. O.; Ocampo, A. C.

    1999-09-01

    It is difficult to find definitive evidence for impact in the geological record because there are many endogenous geological processes that can produce diamictites similar to those generated by impact ejecta. The classic impact criteria of shock fabrics in certain minerals, and iridium layers, for example, may be either difficult to find, or long-since erased from the impact site (shock fabrics also anneal with time). It is important to be able to recognize impact-generated materials in order to understand earth's crustal development and biological evolution. In future exploration of Mars and other solar-system bodies, recognition of impact materials will be important for elucidating planetary evolution, planetary volatile inventories, and exobiological issues. The cobble depicted is typical of many that have been found in diamictite deposits in Belize generated by the Chicxulub K-T impact event. The pebbles are roughly-hewn in general shape with smoothed corners and edges. Surfaces are almost uniformly frosted (on both protuberances and hollows), but some asperities are glazed. Optical microscopy and thin-section petrographic microscopy reveal the frosting to be only a few microns thick, with a well-defined granular structure; grains are the same size as those composing the bulk of the limestone, but their clearer appearance may represent annealing. One or two adjacent pebble faces are often decorated with striated gouges and closely-spaced hemispherical depressions representing indentation hollows produced by well-rounded impacting clasts of up to 0.5 cm in diameter. Some of the impactors are still embedded in the cobble surface. Non-destructive x-ray diffraction techniques showed the impactors to be of the same mineralogy as the target cobble. We believe this unusual glazing and frosting to be related to the impact event, but this must be reconciled with its survival for over 60 my. since it is composed of one of the most alterable substances, CaCO3. We focus

  17. Status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs: 1970-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jeremy; Donovan, Mary; Cramer, Katie; Lam, Vivian

    2014-01-01

    being finalized were made in 2013-2014 at the ICRI General meeting in Belize, the biennial meeting of the Association of Island Marine Laboratories in Jamaica, the Panamerican Coral Reef Congress in Merida, Mexico, the annual meeting of he Western Society of Naturalists, and numerous universities in Costa Rica, the USA and Europe. The main body of the report is in two sections. Part I provides an overview of overall status and trends and detailed analyses of the multiple factors responsible for the decline of reef corals throughout the entire wider Caribbean region. The editors are grateful to all the people who have so generously provided data and expertise, but we assume responsibility for the many statements, conclusions and recommendations and final wording of the text. Part II provides a more detailed analysis of the status and trends of coral reef ecosystems in the 32 countries, states, and territories for which we have data. The format includes maps indicating all locations sampled, a detailed table of data sources and sites surveyed, timelines of ecologically important evens, and relevant references. Each of these reports was compiled in consultation with local experts and all those who provided data and advice are listed as authors of each country report.

  18. Book Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redactie KITLV

    1998-01-01

    , Volumen II (1937-1938. Santo Domingo: Fundación Cultural Dominicana, 1995. 427 pp. -Danielle Bégot, Elborg Forster ,Sugar and slavery, family and race: The letters and diary of Pierre Dessalles, Planter in Martinique, 1808-1856. Elborg & Robert Forster (eds. and trans.. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996. 322 pp., Robert Forster (eds -Catherine Benoit, Richard D.E. Burton, La famille coloniale: La Martinique et la mère patrie, 1789-1992. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1994. 308 pp. -Roderick A. McDonald, Kathleen Mary Butler, The economics of emancipation: Jamaica & Barbados, 1823-1843. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. xviii + 198 pp. -K.O. Laurence, David Chanderbali, A portrait of Paternalism: Governor Henry Light of British Guiana, 1838-48. Turkeyen, Guyana: Dr. David Chanderbali, Department of History, University of Guyana, 1994. xiii + 277 pp. -Mindie Lazarus-Black, Brian L. Moore, Cultural power, resistance and pluralism: Colonial Guyana 1838-1900. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press; Mona, Kingston: The Press-University of the West Indies, 1995. xv + 376 pp. -Madhavi Kale, K.O. Laurence, A question of labour: Indentured immigration into Trinidad and British Guiana, 1875-1917. Kingston: Ian Randle; London: James Currey, 1994. ix + 648 pp. -Franklin W. Knight, O. Nigel Bolland, On the March: Labour rebellions in the British Caribbean, 1934-39. Kingston: Ian Randle; London: James Currey, 1995. viii + 216 pp. -Linden Lewis, Kevin A. Yelvington, Producing power: Ethnicity, gender, and class in a Caribbean workplace. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995. xv + 286 pp. -Consuelo López Springfield, Alta-Gracia Ortíz, Puerto Rican women and work: Bridges in transnational labor. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996. xi + 249 pp. -Peta Henderson, Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize: Gender and change in Central America. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996. x + 218 pp. -Bonham C. Richardson, David M. Bush

  19. 水利部长江水利委员会简介%CHANGJIANG WATER RESOURCES COMMISSION IN BRIEF

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    .Among those being investigated & designed:the Penshui Project on the Wujiang river,the Goupitan Project on the Wujiang river,the Tingzikou Project on the Jialing river,the Hechuan Project on the Jialing river,the Xiajiang Project on the Ganjiang river,the Shuibuya Project on the Qingjiang river,the Nianpanshan Project on the Hanjiang river,the Gushan Project on the Hanjiang river,the Zhaoshi Project on the Lishui river.   At Present, CWRC is being engaged concurrently in comprehensive utilization planning of the Jinsha river and extra-earlier stage(prefeasibility ) study of some possible dam sites thereon , Hutiaoxia, Wudongde and otherwise. In recent years, based on its solid synthetic technical strengths, with the aim to serve the society more extensively, CWRC began to throw positively itself into the national technical market, having undertaken and accomplished in high quality a great deal of planning and design, geological survey and investigation, scientific research and testing, safety monitoring, engineering supervision and all other related tasks for airports, roads, harbours, wharfs, bridges, powerplants, factories and mines, water transportation facilities, marine petroleum exploitation decks as well as military projects and civil high buildings, etc. Moreover, CWRC has won in succession a series of engineering contracts, including engineering consultation, planning, design, construction, supervision and technical services, from such countries as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Nepal, Maldives, Kuwait, Cameroon and Belize.   With rich experience as accumulated over the past 50 plus years, CWRC has now become an almost all inclusive, well trained and technically intensive force, covering a field of as many as l30 specialities. It employes over l0 000 staff and workers, among which 6 300 plus are engineers and technicians, including: l 000 plus senior engineers and those