Sousa, A., Encarnação Coelho, R., Costa, H., Capela Lourenço, T., Azevedo, J. M. N., & Frazão Santos, C. (2023). Integrated climate, ecological and socioeconomic scenarios for the whale watching sector. Science of the Total Environment, 857, .
- Abstract: Unprecedented human induced changes to the climate system have already contributed to a variety of observed impacts to both ecosystems and populations. Decision-makers demand impact assessments at the regional-to-local scale to be able to plan and define effective climate action measures. Integrated socio-ecological assessments that properly consider system uncertainties require the use of prospective scenarios that project potential climate impacts, while accounting for sectoral exposure and adaptive capacity. Here we provide an integrated assessment of climate change to the whale watching sector by: 1) extending the European Shared Socio-economic Pathways (Eur-SSPs) and developing four whale watching SSP narratives (WW-SSPs) and 2) characterize each key element comprised in the WW-SSPs for the time period 2025–2055. We applied this approach in a case study for the Macaronesia region where we developed scenarios which integrate the socio-economic (WW-SSPs), climate (RCPs) and ecological (species' thermal suitability responses) dimensions of whale watching. These scenarios were used by local stakeholders to identify the level of preparedness of the whale watching sector. When confronted with scenarios that combine this ecological dimension with projected climate changes and the four different socioeconomic narratives, stakeholders assessed the whale watching sector in Macaronesia as being somewhat prepared for a Sustainable World and a Fossil Fuel Development World, but somewhat unprepared for a Rivalry World. No consensus was reached regarding the sector's preparedness level under an Inequality World scenario. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering multiple dimensions when assessing the potential challenges posed by climate change and provides a needed resource to help the whale watching sector in Macaronesia, and elsewhere, in its effort to devise efficient climate action policies and strategies.
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Sousa, A., Fernandez, M., Alves, F., Arranz, P., Dinis, A., González García, L., Morales, M., Lettrich, M., Encarnação Coelho, R., Costa, H., Capela Lourenço, T., Azevedo, J. M. N., & Frazão Santos, C. (2023). A novel expert-driven methodology to develop thermal response curves and project habitat thermal suitability for cetaceans under a changing climate. Science of the Total Environment, 860, .
- Abstract: Over the last decades, global warming has contributed to changes in marine species composition, abundance and distribution, in response to changes in oceanographic conditions such as temperature, acidification, and deoxygenation. Experimentally derived thermal limits, which are known to be related to observed latitudinal ranges, have been used to assess variations in species distribution patterns. However, such experiments cannot be undertaken on free-swimming large marine predators with wide-range distribution, like cetaceans. An alternative approach is to elicit expert's knowledge to derive species' thermal suitability and assess their thermal responses, something that has never been tested in these taxa. We developed and applied a methodology based on expert-derived thermal suitability curves and projected future responses for several species under different climate scenarios. We tested this approach with ten cetacean species currently present in the biogeographic area of Macaronesia (North Atlantic) under Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5, until 2050. Overall, increases in annual thermal suitability were found for Balaenoptera edeni, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Mesoplodon densirostris, Physeter macrocephalus, Stenella frontalis, Tursiops truncatus and Ziphius cavirostris. Conversely, our results indicated a decline in thermal suitability for B. physalus, Delphinus delphis, and Grampus griseus. Our study reveals potential responses in cetaceans' thermal suitability, and potentially in other highly mobile and large predators, and it tests this method's applicability, which is a novel application for this purpose and group of species. It aims to be a cost-efficient tool to support conservation managers and practitioners.
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Rosa, Renato and Tomé, Margarida and Soares, Paula and Ataíde, Rodrigo and Simas, Constança, Optimal Forest Management Under Climate Change Variability. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4443732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4443732
- Abstract: Ecosystems are likely to be severely affected by climate change. While the literature on this subject focuses primarily on climate variable means, increasing evidence has been gathered on the importance of changes in climate variability in determining ecosystem impacts. In this context, forests play a significant role. While, on the one hand, forests have often been identified to be a key element in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, on the other, forests are also affected by changes in climate. However, the number of studies on optimal forest management under climate change remains limited and has overlooked the role of climate variability. This paper adds to that literature by developing a coupled ecological-economic forest stand model in which forest dynamics are a function of monthly climate variables. We show that accounting for changes in climate variability substantially changes earlier findings. In particular, ignoring climate variability may fail to adequately account for changes in optimal harvest age and lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the effects of climate change on forested land value. Keywords: Climate change, Climate Variability, Forest Management, Climate Change Adaptation, Bioeconomic modelling
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Vaz, J., & Shogren, J. (2023). Cooperation under oath: A case for context-dependent preferences. Economics Letters, 111229.
- Abstract: The oath has been shown to improve behavior toward social objectives. Existing research suggests that the oath promotes pro-social behavior without affecting an underlying preference for cooperation. We examine whether an oath impacts behavior in the simultaneous and sequential versions of the prisoners’ dilemma and explore whether that impact could be attributed to a change of preference for the cooperative outcome. We observe an overwhelming transfer of reported strategies by oath-takers moving second from selfish (always defect) to conditionally cooperative (cooperate against cooperation by first movers). Our results lend support to the hypothesis that preferences depend on the oath-taking context. Keywords: Social dilemma, Cooperation, Oath, Context-dependent preferences
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Guterres, L. M. A., Barnabé, J., Barros, A., Charrua, A. B., Duarte, M. C., Romeiras, M. M., & Monteiro, F. (2023). East Timor as an important source of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) genetic diversity. PeerJ, 11, [e14894]. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.14894
- Abstract: Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is a crop currently grown in several tropical countries because of the economic importance of cashew nuts. Despite its enormous economic worth, limited research has been conducted on the molecular diversity of cashew genetic resources. In this study, a wide comprehensive assessment of the genetic diversity of cashew trees in East Timor was performed using microsatellites (SSRs) to evaluate intraspecific diversity and population structuring. Methods. A total of 207 individual cashew trees, including trees from East Timor (11), and outgroup populations from Indonesia (one) and Mozambique (two), were analyzed with 16 cashew-specific SSRs. A comprehensive sampling of cashew trees within East Timor was performed, covering the distribution of cashew orchards in the country. Genetic diversity indices were calculated, and population structuring was determined using three different approaches: genetic distances (UPGMA and NJ), AMOVA, and individual-based clustering methods through Bayesian (STRUCTURE) and multivariate (DAPC) analyses. Results. The population structuring analysis revealed that the genetic diversity of cashew populations in East Timor was higher in this study than previously reported for cashew trees. A higher allelic richness was found within cashew populations in East Timor compared with the outgroup populations (Mozambique and Indonesia), reinforced by the presence of private alleles. Moreover, our study showed that cashew populations in East Timor are grouped into two dissimilar genetic groups, which may suggest multiple cashew introductions over time. These new cashew genetic resources could be explored for future crop improvement. Conclusions. Crop diversity underpins the productivity, resilience, and adaptive capacity of agriculture. Therefore, this study provides useful information regarding genetic diversity and population structure that can be harnessed to improve cashew production in East Timor. This data is also important to creating a country-specific genetic cashew signature to increase cashew market value.
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Paula, J. R., Cascalheira, L., Oliveira, R., Otjacques, E., Frazão-Santos, C., Beldade, R., ... & Rosa, R. (2023). GABAergic role in the disruption of wild cleaner fish behaviour under high CO2. Animal Behaviour, 195, 77-84.
- Abstract: Ocean acidification is considered to affect fish behaviour through the disruption of GABAergic neurotransmission in controlled laboratory conditions, but less is known of the GABAergic role on fish behavioural performance in the wild. Most coral reef fishes engage in complex cleaning interactions, where they benefit from ectoparasite removal and stress relief. Here, we tested whether potential ocean acidification impairment of wild cleaning interactions, between the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus and its clients, can be explained by the GABAAR model. We used, the GABAA receptor agonist (muscimol) and antagonist (gabazine) for the first time in the wild and tested their effects on cleaning behaviour in Moorea Island (French Polynesia) to address natural interactions and recovery capacity. After exposure to expected ocean acidification conditions, the proportion of time spent advertising cleaning services, a measure of motivation to interact, dropped significantly relative to controls. Furthermore, the GABAergic antagonist gabazine recovered most CO2-induced behavioural alterations to control levels, consistent with the GABAAR model of altered Cl− flux in ocean acidification-exposed fish. However, muscimol treatment only produced the same behavioural alterations found with CO2 exposure in time spent advertising cleaning. Our results support the evidence that ocean acidification alters some components of cleaning behaviour through GABAA receptor modulation with potential cascading effects on coral reef health and structure.
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