Recent Submissions

  • Definitions of biodiversity from urban gardeners

    Norton, Briony, A.; Shang, Bowen; Sheffield, David; Ramsey, Andrew; University of Derby (Oxford University Press, 2021-06-14)
    Living in urban environments can leave people disconnected from nature and less likely to engage with biodiversity conservation. Within urban areas, residential gardens can occupy large proportions of greenspace and provide important habitat for biodiversity. Understanding the views and knowledge of garden owners who have collective responsibility for managing these areas is therefore important. We aimed to understand how urban garden owners understand biodiversity. We surveyed garden owners in Derby, UK, across 20 areas spanning a socioeconomic spectrum. Residents were asked to explain their understanding of ‘biodiversity’ in a short definition format. Responses were classified using thematic and word frequency analyses. Of 255 respondents, approximately one third were unable to provide a definition. From the definitions provided, themes that emerged in frequency order were: variety of species or environments; coexistence of organisms; conservation of nature; a synonym for habitat; and uncommon answers not clearly related to biodiversity. Members of wildlife or gardening charities were more likely than non-members to say they could define biodiversity and to use specific taxonomic terms. We detected no difference between keen and less keen gardeners. These short-form responses captured many themes longer and/or qualitative assessments have identified about people’s understanding of biodiversity and illustrate a diversity and, in some cases, a depth of understanding of the concepts of biodiversity, without necessarily adhering to the formal definition. Given the variety of understanding, at this critical period, technical terms, even common ones, should be used with caution and with an open mind about how people interpret them.
  • Explosive felsic eruptions on ocean islands: a case study from Ascension Island (South Atlantic)

    Preece, Katie; Barclay, Jenni; Brown, Richard J.; Chamberlain, Katy; Mark, Darren F.; Swansea University; University of East Anglia; Durham University; University of Derby; Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-05-19)
    Ocean island volcanism is generally considered to be dominated by basaltic eruptions, yet felsic products associated with more hazardous explosive eruptive events are also present in the geological record of many of these islands. Ascension Island, recently recognised as an active volcanic system, exhibits explosive felsic eruption deposits but their age, eruptive styles and stratigraphic association with mafic volcanism are thus far unclear. Here we present a felsic pyroclastic stratigraphy for Ascension Island, supplemented by 26 new 40Ar/39Ar ages and whole rock geochemical XRF data. More than 80 felsic pyroclastic eruptions have occurred over the last ~ 1 Myr, including subplinian and phreatomagmatic eruptions, which produced pumice fall and pyroclastic density current deposits. Detailed sampling suggests felsic events are unevenly distributed in space and time. Subaerial activity can be divided into four Periods: Period 1 (~1000 – 500 ka) felsic and mafic eruptions, with felsic explosive eruptions, linked to a Central Felsic Complex; Period 2 (~ 500 – 100 ka) mafic period; Period 3 (~ 100 – 50 ka) felsic eruptions associated with the Eastern Felsic Complex; Period 4 (< 50 ka) mafic eruptions. The last explosive eruption occurred at ~ 60 ka. This work highlights the cyclical nature of ocean island volcanism and the timescales over which changes between predominantly mafic and felsic volcanism occur. The prevalence of past felsic explosive eruptions on Ascension highlights the need to consider the possibility of future subplinian or phreatomagmatic events in hazard management plans, with any potential risk compounded by Ascension’s small size 41 and remote location.
  • Opinions of small and medium UK construction companies on environmental management systems

    Bailey, Matthew; Booth, Colin A; Horry, Rosemary; Vidalakis, Christos; Mahamadu, Abdul-Majeed; Awuah, Kwasi Gyau Baffour; University of Derby; University of the West of England; University of Salford (Thomas Telford Ltd, 2021-02-16)
    Pressure to reduce the environmental impact of construction activities has increased, such that a paradigm shift is required. This paper presents stakeholder opinions of environmental management systems as a means for the construction industry to respond to these issues. Using a previous approach, the views of small and medium construction companies were sought, using questionnaires to ask respondents to reveal their perceived benefits of and barriers to implementing the ISO 14000 suite of environmental management standards in the UK. Detailed statistical analysis showed that environmental management systems can sometimes produce quantifiable benefits to organisations in terms of cost reduction. However, from a contractor’s view, the greatest benefit was a reduction in environmental impact outweighing financial benefits. Findings also demonstrated numerous barriers to an organisation exist, both internal and external, regarding adoption and use of environmental management systems. The most critical barrier was that cost savings do not always balance with the expense of implementation. Furthermore, waste minimisation at the design stage is viewed as most important. In general, the opinions gauged in this study indicated that short-term profits are normally considered more imperative than long-term gains. Therefore, despite a need to focus on developing strategies for removing or reducing the challenges of environmental management systems, the reality is that they may not be the panacea to sustainable development, as is often touted.
  • Corals as canaries in the coalmine: Towards the incorporation of marine ecosystems into the ‘One Health’ concept

    Sweet, Michael; Burian, Alfred; Bulling, Mark; University of Derby (Elsevier BV, 2021-02-02)
    ‘One World – One Health’ is a developing concept which aims to explicitly incorporate linkages between the environment and human society into wildlife and human health care. Past work in the field has concentrated on aspects of disease, particularly emerging zoonoses, and focused on terrestrial systems. Here, we argue that marine environments are crucial components of the ‘One World – One Health’ framework, and that coral reefs are the epitome of its underlying philosophy. That is, they provide vast contributions to a wide range of ecosystem services with strong and direct links to human well-being. Further, the sensitivity of corals to climate change, and the current emergence of a wide range of diseases, make coral reefs ideal study systems to assess links, impacts, and feedback mechanisms that can affect human and ecosystem health. There are well established protocols for monitoring corals, as well as global networks of coral researchers, but there remain substantial challenges to understanding these complex systems, their health and links to provisioning of ecosystem services. We explore these challenges and conclude with a look at how developing technology offers potential ways of addressing them. We argue that a greater integration of coral reef research into the ‘One World – One Health’ framework will enrich our understanding of the many links within, and between, ecosystems and human society. This will ultimately support the development of measures for improving the health of both humans and the environment.
  • Investing in Blue Natural Capital to Secure a Future for the Red Sea Ecosystems

    Cziesielski, Maha J.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Aalismail, Nojood; Al-Hafedh, Yousef; Anton, Andrea; Baalkhuyur, Faiyah; Baker, Andrew C.; Balke, Thorsten; Baums, Iliana B.; Berumen, Michael; et al. (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-01-15)
    For millennia, coastal and marine ecosystems have adapted and flourished in the Red Sea’s unique environment. Surrounded by deserts on all sides, the Red Sea is subjected to high dust inputs and receives very little freshwater input, and so harbors a high salinity. Coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangroves flourish in this environment and provide socio-economic and environmental benefits to the bordering coastlines and countries. Interestingly, while coral reef ecosystems are currently experiencing rapid decline on a global scale, those in the Red Sea appear to be in relatively better shape. That said, they are certainly not immune to the stressors that cause degradation, such as increasing ocean temperature, acidification and pollution. In many regions, ecosystems are already severely deteriorating and are further threatened by increasing population pressure and large coastal development projects. Degradation of these marine habitats will lead to environmental costs, as well as significant economic losses. Therefore, it will result in a missed opportunity for the bordering countries to develop a sustainable blue economy and integrate innovative nature-based solutions. Recognizing that securing the Red Sea ecosystems’ future must occur in synergy with continued social and economic growth, we developed an action plan for the conservation, restoration, and growth of marine environments of the Red Sea. We then investigated the level of resources for financial and economic investment that may incentivize these activities. This study presents a set of commercially viable financial investment strategies, ecological innovations, and sustainable development opportunities, which can, if implemented strategically, help ensure long-term economic benefits while promoting environmental conservation. We make a case for investing in blue natural capital and propose a strategic development model that relies on maintaining the health of natural ecosystems to safeguard the Red Sea’s sustainable development.
  • Species-Specific Variations in the Metabolomic Profiles of Acropora hyacinthus and Acropora millepora Mask Acute Temperature Stress Effects in Adult Coral Colonies

    Sweet, Michael; Bulling, Mark; Varshavi, Dorsa; Lloyd, Gavin R.; Jankevics, Andris; Najdekr, Lukáš; Weber, Ralf J. M.; Viant, Mark R.; Craggs, Jamie; University of Derby; et al. (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-03-25)
    Coral reefs are suffering unprecedented declines in health state on a global scale. Some have suggested that human assisted evolution or assisted gene flow may now be necessary to effectively restore reefs and pre-condition them for future climate change. An understanding of the key metabolic processes in corals, including under stressed conditions, would greatly facilitate the effective application of such interventions. To date, however, there has been little research on corals at this level, particularly regarding studies of the metabolome of Scleractinian corals. Here, the metabolomic profiles [measured using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR) and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)] of two dominant reef building corals, Acropora hyacinthus and A. millepora, from two distinct geographical locations (Australia and Singapore) were characterized. We assessed how an acute temperature stress (an increase of 3.25°C ± 0.28 from ambient control levels over 8 days), shifted the corals’ baseline metabolomic profiles. Regardless of the profiling method utilized, metabolomic signatures of coral colonies were significantly distinct between coral species, a result supporting previous work. However, this strong species-specific metabolomic signature appeared to mask any changes resulting from the acute heat stress. On closer examination, we were able to discriminate between control and temperature stressed groups using a partial least squares discriminant analysis classification model (PLSDA). However, in all cases “late” components needed to be selected (i.e., 7 and 8 instead of 1 and 2), suggesting any treatment effect was small, relative to other sources of variation. This highlights the importance of pre-characterizing the coral colony metabolomes, and of factoring that knowledge into any experimental design that seeks to understand the apparently subtle metabolic effects of acute heat stress on adult corals. Further research is therefore needed to decouple these apparent individual and species-level metabolomic responses to climate change in corals.
  • Going with the flow: How corals in high‐flow environments can beat the heat

    Fifer, James; Bentlage, Bastian; Lemer, Sarah; Fujimura, Atsushi G.; Sweet, Michael; Raymundo, Laurie J.; University of Guam Marine Laboratory, UOG Station, Mangilao, GU, USA; Boston University, Boston, MA, USA; University of Derby (Wiley, 2021-03-02)
    Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented declines in health on a global scale leading to severe reductions in coral cover. One major cause of this decline is increasing sea surface temperature. However, conspecific colonies separated by even small spatial distances appear to show varying responses to this global stressor. One factor contributing to differential responses to heat stress is variability in the coral's micro‐environment, such as the amount of water flow a coral experiences. High flow provides corals with a variety of health benefits, including heat stress mitigation. Here, we investigate how water flow affects coral gene expression and provides resilience to increasing temperatures. We examined host and photosymbiont gene expression of Acropora cf. pulchra colonies in discrete in situ flow environments during a natural bleaching event. In addition, we conducted controlled ex situ tank experiments where we exposed A. cf. pulchra to different flow regimes and acute heat stress. Notably, we observed distinct flow‐driven transcriptomic signatures related to energy expenditure, growth, heterotrophy and a healthy coral host–photosymbiont relationship. We also observed disparate transcriptomic responses during bleaching recovery between the high‐ and low‐flow sites. Additionally, corals exposed to high flow showed “frontloading” of specific heat‐stress‐related genes such as heat shock proteins, antioxidant enzymes, genes involved in apoptosis regulation, innate immunity and cell adhesion. We posit that frontloading is a result of increased oxidative metabolism generated by the increased water movement. Gene frontloading may at least partially explain the observation that colonies in high‐flow environments show higher survival and/or faster recovery in response to bleaching events.
  • Improving the reliability of eDNA data interpretation

    Burian, Alfred; Mauvisseau, Quentin; Bulling, Mark; Domisch, Sami; Qian, Song; Sweet, Michael; University of Derby; Marine Ecology Department, Lurio University, Nampula, Mozambique; Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany; Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; et al. (Wiley, 2021-03-25)
    Global declines in biodiversity highlight the need to effectively monitor the density and distribution of threatened species. In recent years, molecular survey methods detecting DNA released by target‐species into their environment (eDNA) have been rapidly on the rise. Despite providing new, cost‐effective tools for conservation, eDNA‐based methods are prone to errors. Best field and laboratory practices can mitigate some, but the risks of errors cannot be eliminated and need to be accounted for. Here, we synthesize recent advances in data processing tools that increase the reliability of interpretations drawn from eDNA data. We review advances in occupancy models to consider spatial data‐structures and simultaneously assess rates of false positive and negative results. Further, we introduce process‐based models and the integration of metabarcoding data as complementing approaches to increase the reliability of target‐species assessments. These tools will be most effective when capitalizing on multi‐source data sets collating eDNA with classical survey and citizen‐science approaches, paving the way for more robust decision‐making processes in conservation planning.
  • Mapping a super-invader in a biodiversity hotspot, an eDNA-based success story

    Baudry, Thomas; Mauvisseau, Quentin; Goût, Jean-Pierre; Arqué, Alexandre; Delaunay, Carine; Smith-Ravin, Juliette; Sweet, Michael; Grandjean, Frédéric; Route de la Pointe de Jaham - BP7212, Schoelcher 97274, Martinique, France; Fort-de-France, Martinique, France; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-04-02)
    The lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean is known as a biodiversity hotspot, hosting many endemic species. However, recent introduction of a highly invasive species, the Australian redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus), has led to significant threats to this fragile ecosystem. Here we developed, validated, and optimized a species-specific eDNA-based detection protocol targeting the 16S region of the mitochondrial gene of C. quadricarinatus. Our aim was to assess the crayfish distribution across Martinique Island. Our developed assay was species-specific and showed high sensitivity in laboratory, mesocosm and field conditions. A significant and positive correlation was found between species biomass, detection probability and efficiency through mesocosm experiments. Moreover, we found eDNA persisted up to 23 days in tropical freshwaters. We investigated a total of 83 locations, spread over 53 rivers and two closed water basins using our novel eDNA assay and traditional trapping, the latter, undertaken to confirm the reliability of the molecular-based detection method. Overall, we detected C. quadricarinatus at 47 locations using eDNA and 28 using traditional trapping, all positive trapping sites were positive for eDNA. We found that eDNA-based monitoring was less time-consuming and less influenced by the crayfishes often patchy distributions, proving a more reliable tool for future large-scale surveys. The clear threat and worrying distribution of this invasive species is particularly alarming as the archipelago belongs to one of the 25 identified biodiversity hotspots on Earth.
  • The importance of Forest School and the pathways to nature connection

    Cudworth, Dave; Lumber, Ryan; DeMontfort University; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-02-18)
    Over the past 25 years Forest School in the UK has been growing in popularity as part of a wider resurgence of interest in outdoor learning. A key driver behind this recurrence of interest has been a growing concern over the lack of child exposure to outdoor experiences and with the natural world and their ensuing nature-deficit disorder. This article considers Forest School as linked with the concept of nature connection that is the sensation of belonging to a wider natural community. This sense of belonging developed by being in nature can also be a key factor in promoting attachment and sense of place which in turn is associated with the promotion of health, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours. As such the origins towards achieving nature connection are a formal part of the Forest School Association’s (FSA 2016). Forest School principals, with growing research linking Forest School and nature connection as concomitant. Recent work has suggested that contact, emotion, meaning, compassion, and beauty are key pathways for the formation of nature connection and there is a strong need to better understand children’s nature connection in this context. Further, from the premise that what goes on in spaces and places is fundamentally linked to both social and spatial processes, this article also attempts to understand the spatialities of Forest School in order to frame the development of nature connection within a socio-spatial analytic.
  • Oxygen consumption during digestion in Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum in response to algal concentration

    Zapitis, Charitos; Huck, Maren; Ramsey, Andrew; University of Derby (Springer, 2021-03-16)
    Abstract The metabolic activity of unionid mussels influences the oxygen fluxes and other physical and chemical characteristics in aquatic systems. Unionid oxygen consumption rate during digestion and its dependency on food availability is understudied. In laboratory conditions, we quantified the oxygen consumption rate of Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum in response to algal concentration—0.05, 6.0 and 12.0 mg of Ash Free Dry Mass of Chlorella vulgaris L-1 —and mussel dry soft-tissue mass at 19 ± 1C. Following a 5-h feeding-period, the oxygen consumption rate (mg O2 h-1 ) increased with algal concentration and mussel dry mass in both species during a 2-h digestion-period. The mean oxygen consumption per gram of dry mass (mg O2 gDM-1 h-1 ) increased with the algal concentration in both species. The oxygen consumption rate of A. anatina was significantly greater than that of U. pictorum at a given algal concentration. The A. anatina oxygen consumption per gram of dry mass decreased with increasing dry mass. Oxygen consumption rate during digestion shows inter-specific differences and is dependent on food availability. The findings inform the species specific quantification of oxygen consumption, and validation is required in in situ conditions.
  • Dental microwear texture analysis as a tool for dietary discrimination in elasmobranchs

    McLennan, Laura J.; Purnell, Mark A.; University of Leicester; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-01-28)
    As abundant and widespread predators, elasmobranchs play influential roles in food-web dynamics of marine communities. Clearly, these trophic interactions have significant implications for fisheries management and marine conservation, yet elasmobranch diet is relatively understudied; for the majority of species little or no quantitative dietary data exist. This reflects the difficulties of direct observation of feeding and stomach contents analysis in wild elasmobranchs. Here, by quantifying the 3D surface textures that develop on tooth surfaces as a consequence of feeding, we show that tooth microwear varies with diet in elasmobranchs, providing a new tool for dietary analysis. The technique can be applied to small samples and individuals with no gut contents, and thus offers a way to reduce the impact on wild elasmobranch populations of analysing their dietary ecology, especially relevant in conservation of endangered species. Furthermore, because microwear accumulates over longer periods of time, analysis of texture overcomes the ‘snapshot bias’ of stomach contents analysis. Microwear texture analysis has the potential to be a powerful tool, complementing existing techniques such as stable isotope analysis, for dietary analysis in living and extinct elasmobranchs.
  • Sharing SoTL findings with students: an intentional knowledge mobilization strategy

    Maurer, Trent W.; Woolmer, Cherie; Powell, Nichole L.; Sisson, Carol; Snelling, Catherine; Stalheim, Odd Rune; Turner, Ian J.; Georgia Southern University; Mount Royal University; Emory University; et al. (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2021-03-07)
    This paper critically examines the reasons for and processes of sharing SoTL findings with students. Framed by our commitment to SoTL’s role to make teaching “community property,” we interpret sharing SoTL findings with students as an act of knowledge mobilization, where SoTL might be disseminated, translated, or co-created with the student as a legitimate knowledge broker. We connect these knowledge mobilization processes with four primary reasons why faculty might want to share SoTL findings with students. Finally, we provide examples of knowledge mobilization that use different “voices” found in contemporary communication settings and that reach various student audiences in micro, meso, macro, and mega contexts.
  • Climate change impact and adaptation: Lagoonal fishing communities in west Africa

    Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; Raha, Debadayita; Koomson, Daniel; University of Derby (Springer, 2021-01-08)
    Lagoons are a common feature of the low-lying West African coastline. These lagoons are resource-rich and biodiverse. The small-scale fishing communities, which border them, are dependent on the resources and ecosystem services for their livelihoods and well-being. Climate change has had significant and diverse effects on both the lagoons and their surrounding communities. Sea level rise has caused erosion of the coast and increased the risk of floods. Changes to rainfall patterns have caused shifts in lagoon ecosystems and physical cycles. Of particular relevance to lagoon fishing communities is the fluctuation in quantity and distribution of fish catch that they rely upon for economic livelihood. Understanding the vulnerability of these communities to the effects of climate change is critical to supporting and developing successful adaptations. Using a case study from Ghana, sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA) and vulnerability framework are used to characterize the community vulnerability, giving insight into the temporal and spatial dynamics of vulnerability and how subsections of the community may be identified and prioritized for adaptation interventions. A scalar analysis of the relevant coastal and environmental frameworks and policy to support climate change adaptation in coastal communities reveals the common challenges in implementing adaptation interventions and strategies in the region. A policy gap exists between high level, institutional coastal, and climate directives and implementation of climate adaptations at the local level. That gap might be bridged by a participatory approach that places coastal communities at the center of creating and enacting climate change adaptations.
  • Seasonality, DNA degradation and spatial heterogeneity as drivers of eDNA detection dynamics

    Troth, Christopher R.; Sweet, Michael J.; Nightingale, Jen; Burian, Alfred; University of Derby; SureScreen Scientifics Ltd, Morley; Bristol Zoological Society, Clifton, Bristol; University of Bristol; Lurio University, Nampula, Mozambique (Elsevier, 2021-01-06)
    In recent years, eDNA-based assessments have evolved as valuable tools for research and conservation. Most eDNA-based applications rely on comparisons across time or space. However, temporal, and spatial dynamics of eDNA concentrations are shaped by various drivers that can affect the reliability of such comparative approaches. Here, we assessed (i) seasonal variability, (ii) degradation rates and (iii) micro-habitat heterogeneity of eDNA concentrations as key factors likely to inflict uncertainty in across site and time comparisons. In a controlled mesocosm experiment, using the white-clawed crayfish as a model organism, we found detection probabilities of technical replicates to vary substantially and range from as little as 20 to upwards of 80% between seasons. Further, degradation rates of crayfish eDNA were low and target eDNA was still detectable 14–21 days after the removal of crayfish. Finally, we recorded substantial small-scale in-situ heterogeneity and large variability among sampling sites in a single pond of merely 1000m2 in size. Consequently, all three tested drivers of spatial and temporal variation have the potential to severely impact the reliability of eDNA-based site comparisons and need to be accounted for in sampling design and data analysis of field-based applications.
  • Growth-increment characteristics and isotopic (δ18O) temperature record of sub-thermocline Aequipecten opercularis (Mollusca:Bivalvia): evidence from modern Adriatic forms and an application to early Pliocene examples from eastern England.

    Johnson, Andrew; Valentine, Annemarie; Schöne, Bernd; Leng, Melanie; Sloane, Hilary; Janekovic, Ivica; University of Derby; Nottingham Trent University; University of Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany; National Environmental Isotope Facility, British Geological Survey, Keyworth; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-09-02)
    The shell δ18O of young modern Aequipecten opercularis from the southern North Sea provides an essentially faithful record of seasonal variation in seafloor temperature. In this well-mixed setting, A. opercularis shell δ18O also serves as a proxy for seasonal variation in surface temperature. Individuals from less agitated (e.g. deeper) settings in a warm climate would not be expected to record the full seasonal range in surface temperature because of thermal stratification in summer. Such circumstances have been invoked to explain cool isotopic summer temperatures from early Pliocene A. opercularis of eastern England. Support for a sub-thermocline setting derives from high-amplitude variation in microgrowth-increment size, which resembles the pattern in sub-thermocline A. opercularis from the southern Mediterranean Sea. Here, we present isotope and increment profiles from further sub-thermocline individuals, live-collected from a location in the Adriatic Sea for which we provide modelled values of expected shell δ18O. We also present data from supra-thermocline shells from the English Channel and French Mediterranean coast. The great majority of sub-thermocline A. opercularis show high-amplitude variation in increment size, and winter and summer δ18O values are generally quite close to expectation. However, the relatively warm summer conditions of 2015 are not recorded, in most cases due to a break in growth, perhaps caused by hypoxia. The supra-thermocline shells show subdued increment variation and yield isotopic winter and summer temperatures quite close to the local directly measured values. A. opercularis shells therefore provide a fairly good isotopic record of ambient temperature (if not always of relatively warm summer conditions below the thermocline) and their hydrographic setting can be determined from increment data. Early Pliocene examples from eastern England can be interpreted as having lived in a setting below the thermocline, with a higher seasonal range in surface temperature than now in the adjacent southern North Sea.
  • Fundamental questions and applications of sclerochronology: Community-defined research priorities.

    Trofimova, Tamara; Alexandroff, Stella; Mette, Madelyn; Tray, Elizabeth; Butler, Paul; Campana, Steven; Harper, Elizabeth; Johnson, Andrew; Morrongiello, John; Peharda, Melita; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-09-09)
    Horizon scanning is an increasingly common strategy to identify key research needs and frame future agendas in science. Here, we present the results of the first such exercise for the field of sclerochronology, thereby providing an overview of persistent and emergent research questions that should be addressed by future studies. Through online correspondence following the 5th International Sclerochronology Conference in 2019, participants submitted and rated questions that addressed either knowledge gaps or promising applications of sclerochronology. An initial list of 130 questions was compiled based on contributions of conference attendees and reviewed by expert panels formed during the conference. Herein, we present and discuss the 50 questions rated to be of the highest priority, determined through an online survey distributed to sclerochronology community members post the conference. The final list (1) includes important questions related to mechanisms of biological control over biomineralization, (2) highlights state of the art applications of sclerochronological methods and data for solving long-standing questions in other fields such as climate science and ecology, and (3) emphasizesthe need for common standards for data management and analysis. Although research priorities are continually reassessed, our list provides a roadmap that can be used to motivate research efforts and advance sclerochronology towardnew, and more powerful, applications.
  • A novel approach to assess resilience of energy systems

    Matzenberger, Julian; Hargreave, Nigel; Raha, Debadayita; Das, Priyan; Vienna University of Technology, A-1040 Wien, Austria; Brunel University, Uxbridge; University of Nottingham; University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (Emerald Publishing, 2015-06-08)
    The paper presents a brief history of the development of operations management (OM). This provides the backdrop for a content analysis of journal articles published in the Journal of Operations Management and the International Journal of Operations & Production Management between January 1990 and June 2003. MBA student survey data are then used to explore any gaps that may exist between the focus of academic research and the perceived importance of given OM subject areas to practitioners. The practical and conceptual insights highlighted are then used as the basis for a discussion of extant research priorities. The paper concludes with a preliminary conceptual framework that distinguishes between OM research seeking to consolidate operations practice and that which seeks to apply theoretical concepts into a practical context.
  • Substrate parameters affecting propagation of juvenile freshwater pearl mussels margaritifera margaritifera (bivalvia: margaritiferidae)

    Lavictoire, Louise; Notman, Gill; Pentecost, Allan; Moorkens, Evelyn; Ramsey, Andrew; Sweeting, Roger A.; University of Derby (Conchological Society, 2020)
    Interstitial habitat conditions are of critical importance to species inhabiting the hyporheic zone, particularly for moderately immobile species incapable of escaping poor habitat conditions. The critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera Linnaeus, 1758) has seen increasing propagation effort over the last three decades, often with mixed success. This study aimed to investigate parameters with the potential to affect juvenile survival in captivity by considering a range of habitat conditions within the substrate of a previously described propagation system using different substrate size classes (0.25–1 and 1–2mm) and cleaning regimes (weekly and monthly). Juvenile survival was highest in larger substrates, likely because of higher flow through larger pore spaces. This provided higher dissolved oxygen delivery in 1–2mm substrates cleaned weekly (8.26 ± 0.19 mg/L) and monthly (8.24 ± 0.44 mg/L), compared with 0.25–1mm substrates cleaned weekly (7.98 ± 0.44 mg/L) and monthly (6.78 ± 1.27 mg/L). The amount of organic material trapped in the substrate did not differ between treatments but the high concentrations of inorganic phosphorus liberated from ashed organic matter indicated phosphorus storage in phytoplankton. High dissolved oxygen concentrations and good water replacement between the water column and the substrate are crucial for survival in captive freshwater pearl mussels.
  • Characterising the vulnerability of fishing households to climate and environmental change: Insights from Ghana

    Koomson, Daniel; Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; Raha, Debadayita; University of Derby (Elseiver, 2020-07-27)
    Rural coastal communities in the global south are mostly natural resource-dependent and their livelihoods are therefore vulnerable to the impacts of climate and environmental changes. Efforts to improve their adaptive capacity often prove mal-adaptive due to misunderstanding the dynamics of the unique socioeconomic factors that shape their vulnerability. By integrating theories from climate change vulnerability and the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, this study draws upon household survey data from a fishing community in Ghana to assess the vulnerability of fishing households to climate change and explore how their vulnerability is differentiated within the community. The findings suggest that household incomes in the last decade have reduced significantly, attributable to an interaction of both climatic and non-climatic factors. Analysis of the characteristics of three vulnerability groups derived by quantile clustering showed that the most vulnerable household group is not necessarily women or poorer households as expected. Rather, it is dynamic and includes all gender and economic class categories in varying proportions depending on the success or failure of the fishing season. The findings suggest furthermore that the factors that significantly differentiates vulnerability between households differ, depending on whether households are categorised by economic class, gender of household-head or vulnerability group. Consequently, the study highlights the importance of looking beyond existing social categorizations like gender and economic classes when identifying and prioritizing households for climate change adaptive capacity building.

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