1,595 research outputs found

    Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

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    International audienceAbstract Trees structure the Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm across 1,568 locations 1–6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth’s 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories 7 , we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world’s most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees

    Tropical field stations yield high conservation return on investment

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    Conservation funding is currently limited; cost-effective conservation solutions are essential. We suggest that the thousands of field stations worldwide can play key roles at the frontline of biodiversity conservation and have high intrinsic value. We assessed field stations’ conservation return on investment and explored the impact of COVID-19. We surveyed leaders of field stations across tropical regions that host primate research; 157 field stations in 56 countries responded. Respondents reported improved habitat quality and reduced hunting rates at over 80% of field stations and lower operational costs per km2 than protected areas, yet half of those surveyed have less funding now than in 2019. Spatial analyses support field station presence as reducing deforestation. These ‘earth observatories’ provide a high return on investment; we advocate for increased support of field station programs and for governments to support their vital conservation efforts by investing accordingly

    Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

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    Trees structure the Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm across 1,568 locations1,2,3,4,5,6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth’s 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories7, we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world’s most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    The Psychological Science Accelerator's COVID-19 rapid-response dataset

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    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures for each experimental study, a general questionnaire examining health prevention behaviors and COVID-19 experience, geographical and cultural context characterization, and demographic information for each participant. Each participant started the study with the same general questions and then was randomized to complete either one longer experiment or two shorter experiments. Data were provided by 73,223 participants with varying completion rates. Participants completed the survey from 111 geopolitical regions in 44 unique languages/dialects. The anonymized dataset described here is provided in both raw and processed formats to facilitate re-use and further analyses. The dataset offers secondary analytic opportunities to explore coping, framing, and self-determination across a diverse, global sample obtained at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be merged with other time-sampled or geographic data

    Investigation of hospital discharge cases and SARS-CoV-2 introduction into Lothian care homes

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    Background The first epidemic wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Scotland resulted in high case numbers and mortality in care homes. In Lothian, over one-third of care homes reported an outbreak, while there was limited testing of hospital patients discharged to care homes. Aim To investigate patients discharged from hospitals as a source of SARS-CoV-2 introduction into care homes during the first epidemic wave. Methods A clinical review was performed for all patients discharges from hospitals to care homes from 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020. Episodes were ruled out based on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test history, clinical assessment at discharge, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data and an infectious period of 14 days. Clinical samples were processed for WGS, and consensus genomes generated were used for analysis using Cluster Investigation and Virus Epidemiological Tool software. Patient timelines were obtained using electronic hospital records. Findings In total, 787 patients discharged from hospitals to care homes were identified. Of these, 776 (99%) were ruled out for subsequent introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into care homes. However, for 10 episodes, the results were inconclusive as there was low genomic diversity in consensus genomes or no sequencing data were available. Only one discharge episode had a genomic, time and location link to positive cases during hospital admission, leading to 10 positive cases in their care home. Conclusion The majority of patients discharged from hospitals were ruled out for introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into care homes, highlighting the importance of screening all new admissions when faced with a novel emerging virus and no available vaccine

    Models of classroom assessment for course-based research experiences

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    Course-based research pedagogy involves positioning students as contributors to authentic research projects as part of an engaging educational experience that promotes their learning and persistence in science. To develop a model for assessing and grading students engaged in this type of learning experience, the assessment aims and practices of a community of experienced course-based research instructors were collected and analyzed. This approach defines four aims of course-based research assessment—(1) Assessing Laboratory Work and Scientific Thinking; (2) Evaluating Mastery of Concepts, Quantitative Thinking and Skills; (3) Appraising Forms of Scientific Communication; and (4) Metacognition of Learning—along with a set of practices for each aim. These aims and practices of assessment were then integrated with previously developed models of course-based research instruction to reveal an assessment program in which instructors provide extensive feedback to support productive student engagement in research while grading those aspects of research that are necessary for the student to succeed. Assessment conducted in this way delicately balances the need to facilitate students’ ongoing research with the requirement of a final grade without undercutting the important aims of a CRE education

    The psychological science accelerator’s COVID-19 rapid-response dataset

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    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures for each experimental study, a general questionnaire examining health prevention behaviors and COVID-19 experience, geographical and cultural context characterization, and demographic information for each participant. Each participant started the study with the same general questions and then was randomized to complete either one longer experiment or two shorter experiments. Data were provided by 73,223 participants with varying completion rates. Participants completed the survey from 111 geopolitical regions in 44 unique languages/dialects. The anonymized dataset described here is provided in both raw and processed formats to facilitate re-use and further analyses. The dataset offers secondary analytic opportunities to explore coping, framing, and self-determination across a diverse, global sample obtained at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be merged with other time-sampled or geographic data
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