ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0992.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclones; tropical cyclogenesis, ensemble prediction system; data assimilation
Online: 19 October 2023 (06:19:43 CEST)
In this study, we conducted experiments to assess the forecasting capabilities for the tropical cyclone (TC) genesis over the South China Sea using the ensemble-based data assimilation system (EPS-DA) by WRF-LETKF. These experiments covered forecast lead times of up to 5 days and spanned a period from 2012 to 2019, involving a total of 45 TC formation events. The evaluation involved forecast probability assessments and positional and timing error analysis. Results indicated that successful forecasting depends on lead time and initial condition quality. For TC formation from an embryo vortex to tropical depression intensity, the EPS-DA system demonstrated improved accuracy as the forecast cycle approached the actual formation time. TC centers converged toward observed locations, highlighting the potential of assimilation up to 5 days before formation. We examined statistical variations in dynamic and thermodynamic variables relevant to TC processes, offering an objective system assessment. Our study emphasized early warnings of TC development appear linked to formation-time environmental conditions, particularly strong vorticity and enhanced moisture processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0071.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: bent trees; tropical species; tree stability; wood; tropical wood
Online: 13 March 2017 (19:28:17 CET)
Bent trees have been observed during the early years in juvenile plantations (less than 5 years-old) of Tectona grandis in Costa Rica. The relationship between bending and the morphological characteristics of the trees was explored. An evaluation of bent trees was conducted in six juvenile plantations (8, 17, 27, 28, 31, and 54 months old) of Tectona grandis. Site 1 with 8-month-old plantations did not display any relationship with any tree morphological variable (diameter, height, and crown weight of tree), whereas for the sites 2, 3, and 4 with 17-, 27-, and 28-month-old plantations, respectively, all the tree morphological variables were statistically correlated with the bent trees. A multiple regression analysis showed that the most influential variables were height to crown base, crown weight, diameter, and total height of the tree. An evaluation of the bending risk factor (RF) was correlated with the height to crown base, crown weight, and form factor. The modulus of elasticity and chemical compositions of bent trees differed from those of straight trees. The causes of tree bending are complex, involving, among other factors, the morphology of the trees, plantation conditions, and other factors specific to the xylem, such as the specific gravity, modulus of elasticity, and presence of calcium and magnesium in the wood.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1661.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings And Films Keywords: polysaccharides; edible coatings; tropical fruits
Online: 23 May 2023 (14:06:56 CEST)
Findings on diet-health relationships have led many people to include healthier food items (including snacks) in their diets, e.g. those containing probiotic microorganisms. The purpose of this study was to compare two methods to produce probiotic freeze-dried banana slices - one of them consisting of impregnating slices with a suspension of probiotic Bacillus coagulans, the other based on coating the slices with a starch dispersion containing the bacteria. Both processes have resulted in viable cell counts above 7 log ufc.g-1, although the presence of the starch coating has avoided a significant loss of viability on freeze-drying. The coated slices were less crispy than the impregnated ones, according to the shear force test results. However, the sensory panel (with more than 100 panelists) have not perceived significantly texture differences. Both methods have presented good results, in terms of probiotic cell viability and sensory acceptability (the coated slices having been significantly more accepted than the non-probiotic control slices).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0749.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclone; ENSO; ACE; SST; SSH
Online: 12 October 2023 (05:11:55 CEST)
Tropical cyclones (TC) are one of the deadliest natural meteorological hazards and the most frequent cause of natural disasters. The El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a tropical ocean-atmosphere interaction, is known to significantly impact cyclonic systems over global ocean basins. This study investigates the variability of TC activity in presence of ENSO over the North Indian Ocean (NIO), comprising of the Arabian Sea (ARB) and the Bay of Bengal (BOB) basins during the pre- and post-monsoon season, using accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) over the last 26 years. Our analysis reveals a significant rise in cyclone intensity over the past two decades, with eight of the ten most active years occurring since the 2000s. Total ACE over the NIO is found to be higher in La-Niña. Higher ACE observed over ARB is strongly associated with a combination of elevated sea surface height (SSH) anomaly and low vertical wind shear during the El-Niño episodes, with higher sea surface temperatures (SST) during the post-monsoon season. Whereas in the BOB, El Niño not only reduces ACE but also decreases basin-wide variability, and more pronounced effect during the post-monsoon season, coinciding with warmer SST and higher SSH along the coast during La-Niña.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1634.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclone; track; intensity; wind structure
Online: 25 September 2023 (09:32:43 CEST)
Hong Kong was under strike from Super Typhoon Saola (2309), necessitating the issuance of the highest tropical cyclone warning signal. Saola skirted past the south-southwest of Hong Kong, bringing hurricane force winds and significant storm surge. Saola had its closest approach to Hong Kong on 1 September 2023, posing a unique challenge in forecasting and early warning for the commencement date of the new school term, where higher impact to traffic and public safety was anticipated. This paper covers the challenges on the forecasting aspect of the super typhoon. The predicted tropical cyclone track, intensity and wind structure are reviewed. Experience in this case showed that while there was not a perfect numerical weather prediction model in terms of the forecast track, intensity and wind structure of Saola, multi-model approach provided very use-ful and crucial information for operational weather warning services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1040.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: Beneficial Elements; Tropical Agriculture; Coffee Belt.
Online: 17 July 2023 (09:26:27 CEST)
Drought stress has been considered a major problem in coffee crops, and the higher occurrence of unpredictable environmental events has highlighted the vulnerability of agricultural systems. Several reports have indicated selenium (Se) as a plant biostimulant against environmental stress, including drought. The effects of Se in plants are related to the modulation of enzymatic activity, energetics and osmoprotectants plant content, and nutrient balance in plants. However, investi-gating the effective time of Se application is crucial for better understanding its effects on coffee plants, a drought-sensitive crop. This study aimed to investigate the role of Se supply in improving drought tolerance in coffee seedlings while also evaluating the best timing for Se application. Five times of Se foliar application were assessed during induced drought stress by PEG-6000 using the day of imposing stress as a default, plus two control treatments: i) with osmotic stress and without Se; ii) without osmotic stress and Se. The treatments were compared with both control treatments. Results demonstrated that the osmotic stress (OS) promoted mild stress in the coffee plants, as ex-pected. Plants under stress showed reduced GR and SOD activity compared with the non-stressed ones, and the OS induces starch degradation, which is potentialized by Se foliar supply, mainly when Se is applied before inducing the stress. The decline in the starch content might be considered a strategy to provide energy to coffee seedlings. The seedlings that received foliar Se application 8 days before the stress exhibited higher CAT, APX, and SOD than those that did not receive OS nor Se application. The results obtained in this study suggest that the previous Se foliar spray is more effective than the Se supply after OS to overcome the adverse condition. On the other hand, the post-stress application seems to impose extra stress on the plants, leading them to reduce the water potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1592.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Tropical Medicine Keywords: Acinetobacter; pneumonia; community-acquired; tropical; infection; bacteramic
Online: 24 July 2023 (11:02:23 CEST)
Background: Community acquired Acinetobacter pneumonia (CAAP) typically presents with rapid progression to fulminant disease, and is complicated by high mortality. Australian epidemiological studies are few. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on bacteraemic cases of CAAP over twenty years, (2000-2019) in North Queensland. Cases were selected on microbiologic, clinical, and radiographic parameters. Data on patient demographics were obtained, along with microbial, antibiotic, mortality, and climatic data. Results: 28 cases of CAAP were included. Nineteen (67.9%) were male, twenty-three (82.1%) were Indigenous Australians, and mean age was 45.9 years. Most presentations were of moderate to severe pneumonia, 25/28 (89.3%). 90% of cases had two or more risk factors. The strongest risk factors for CAAP were alcohol excess and tobacco use. No statistically significant difference in presenting severity, ICU admission or mortality was seen between dry and wet season disease. Dry season disease accounted for 35.7% of cases. Overall mortality was 28.6%. Early use of meropenem or gentamicin reduced mortality irrespective of presenting severity (mortality 17.6%) Non-targeted antibiotic therapy was associated with a non-significant difference in mortality of 44.4%. Conclusions: Early administration of targeted antibiotics can mitigate a high mortality rate. Choice of antibiotic therapy for community acquired pneumonia should be based upon severity, risk factors and clinical suspicion of CAAP rather than seasonality.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0786.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Tropical cyclone; hurricane; turbulence; convection; Rayleigh-Benard
Online: 23 April 2023 (07:38:59 CEST)
Tropical cyclones have long been known to be powered by turbulent enthalpy fluxes from the ocean surface and retarded by turbulent momentum fluxes into the surface. Here were review evidence that the development and structure of these storms are also partially controlled by turbulence in the outflow near the storm top. Finally, we present new research that shows that tropical cyclone-like, low-aspect-ratio vortices are most likely in systems in which the bottom heat flux is controlled by mechanical turbulence and the top boundary is insulating.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0345.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: Tungiasis; Tunga penetrans; neglected tropical diseases; epidemiology
Online: 18 November 2022 (02:48:20 CET)
Tungiasis is a neglected parasitic skin disease caused by the permanent penetration of the female sand flea (Tunga penetrans) in the skin of the host, mainly the lower extremities.This gradually, it can lead to severe limb deformities.To date it is a health issue mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin and South America. It occurs mainly in poor rural populations and a major problem for children and the elderly. In diurnal zones, the incidence can reach over 73%. Over the past 20 years, studies in endemic areas on tungiasis have clarified to some extent the scientific community's knowledge for some problems of the disease. In this review, the current data on epidemiology, risk factors and prevention options are examinedof Tungiasis, as well as the expected steps of the international medical community to combat the disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0340.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: Tungiasis; Tunga penetrans; neglected tropical diseases; epidemiology
Online: 17 November 2022 (12:53:26 CET)
Tungiasis is a neglected parasitic skin disease caused by the permanent penetration of the female sand flea (Tunga penetrans) in the skin of the host, mainly the lower extremities.This gradually, it can lead to severe limb deformities.To date it is a health issue mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin and South America. It occurs mainly in poor rural populations and a major problem for children and the elderly. In diurnal zones, the incidence can reach over 73%. Over the past 20 years, studies in endemic areas on tungiasis have clarified to some extent the scientific community's knowledge for some problems of the disease. In this review, the current data on epidemiology, risk factors and prevention options are examinedof Tungiasis, as well as the expected steps of the international medical community to combat the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0615.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: Spatial Analyses; Epidemiology; Power laws; Tropical cities
Online: 29 October 2020 (14:03:44 CET)
Colombia has one of the largest numbers of internally displaced populations in the world and recently entered a period of post-conflict. These socio-political processes and trends have increased the migration of people towards cities and accordingly are affecting the distribution and occurrence of tropical diseases in its urban and peri-urban areas. Studies have suggested that many human phenomena such as urbanization scale according to the size of human populations regardless of cultural context. But other studies show that health epidemics such as malarial and human immunodeficiency virus infections, follow a scale-free distribution in terms of population size and density. We explore these relationships and dynamics in a tropical context using statistical analyses and available geospatial data to identify the scale dynamics between urbanization processes and disease transmission in Colombia. We found that rural populations and certain disease dynamics were described by power-laws that are frequently mentioned in urbanization studies. However, we found that malaria presented higher intensity of infection in human settlements of less than 50,000 individuals, particularly for ethnic indigenous populations. Results indicate that epidemics and urbanization dynamics do indeed follow scales in Colombia; findings that differ from previous epidemiological studies such as those for malarial infection. Additionally, we identified trends showing that malarial infections become endemic in peri-urban areas. Targeting such peri-urban locations and certain demographic groups are key for managing public health issues in the urbanizing tropics.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1683.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclone; aircraft data; turbulence; eddy dissipation rate
Online: 25 September 2023 (11:26:19 CEST)
In situ aircraft observations in typhoons have been scarce. This paper documents and analyses the aircraft and dropsonde data collected in Super Typhoon Saola (2023) over the northern part of the South China Sea. The wind and turbulence structures of the typhoon are investigated. The turbulence intensities are quantified in terms of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and eddy dissipate rate (EDR), and these data are compared with other available estimates of turbulence intensities, such as those based on weather radars, meteorological satellites, and numerical weather predic-tion (NWP) models. It is found that the TKE and EDR are closely correlated, and they are con-sistent with the weather radar/satellite observations as well as NWP-based outputs. Furthermore, the boundary layer inflow, vertical wind profiles, and atmospheric stability are analysed based on the dropsonde observations. The analysed results would advance the understanding of typhoon structures and offer references for the validation of remote sensing observations and NWP models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0388.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Tropical Medicine Keywords: tungiasis; Brazil; rapid assessment; epidemiology; neglected tropical disease
Online: 22 March 2023 (03:21:06 CET)
Tungiasis has been included in the WHO list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, but systematic data on the occurrence are scarce. We analyzed data on the occurrence of tungiasis in the 184 munici-palities of Ceará State in Northeast Brazil, based on an online open rapid assessment question-naire focused on health professionals and other key stakeholders. Questions included the occur-rence of tungiasis, severe cases, cases in animals and seasonal variations of the disease. There were in total 1,265 individual data entries available (1 to 104 per municipality) from all munici-palities of the state. A total of 181 (98.3%) of municipalities reported the occurrence of tungiasis in the past or currently, 120 (65.2%) reported current occurrence, 155 (84.2%) severe cases in the past or currently; and 47 (25.5%) reported severe cases currently. A total of 132 (71.7%) municipalities reported tungiasis in animals, most commonly in dogs (97), pigs (80), cats (50), horses (20), cattle (8) and goats (6). Most municipalities mentioned the seasonality of tungiasis (n=146; 79.3%). There was no report of any specific tungiasis control program. Our data show that tungiasis and severe tungiasis commonly occur in Ceará state and that tungiasis is a significant public health issue for both humans and animals. An integrated One Health approach is needed to reduce dis-ease burden, including human and animal health, and the environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0046.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Organic Chemistry Keywords: zoantharia; tropical Eastern Pacific; Zoanthus pulchellus; zoanthamine; inflammation
Online: 3 July 2018 (12:29:14 CEST)
Two new zoanthamine alkaloids, namely 3-acetoxynorzoanthamine (1) and 3-acetoxyzoanthamine (2), have been isolated from the zoantharian Zoanthus cf. pulchellus collected off the coast of the Peninsula of Santa Elena – Ecuador, together with three known alkaloids zoanthamine, norzoanthamine and 3-hydroxynorzoanthamine. The chemical structures of 1 and 2 were determined by interpretation of their 1D and 2D NMR data and comparison with literature data. This is the first report of zoanthamine-type alkaloids from Zoanthus cf. pulchellus collected in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. The neuroinflammatory activity of all the isolated compounds were evaluated in microglia BV-2 cells and high inhibitory effects were observed in ROS and NO generation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0997.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclones; ERA5 reanalysis; deep learning; generalisability; domain adaptation
Online: 17 October 2023 (08:19:28 CEST)
Tropical cyclones (TC) are dangerous weather events and accurate monitoring and forecasting can provide significant early warning to reduce loss of life and property. However, the study of tropical cyclone intensity remains challenging, both in terms of theory and forecasting. ERA5 reanalysis is benchmark data set for tropical cyclone studies, yet the maximum wind speed error is very large (68 kts) and still 19 kts after simple linear correction even in the better sampled North Atlantic. Here, we develop an adaptive learning approach to correct the intensity in the ERA5 reanalysis, by optimising the inputs to overcome the problems because of the poor data quality and updating the features to improve the generalisability of the deep learning-based model. Specifically, we use TC knowledge to increase the representativeness of the inputs so that the general features can be learned with deep neural networks in the sample space, and then use domain adaptation to update the general features from the known domain with historical storms to the specific features for the unknown domain of new storms. This approach can reduce the error to only 6 kts which is within the uncertainty of the best track data in IBTrACS in the North Atlantic. The method may have wide applicability, such as extending it to the correction of intensity estimation from satellite imagery and intensity prediction from dynamical models.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1688.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclone; radar wind profiler; LIDAR; weather radar; microburst
Online: 26 September 2023 (05:21:59 CEST)
Super Typhoon Saola came very close to Hong Kong on 1 and 2 September 2023, necessitating the issuance of No. 10 hurricane signal, the highest tropical cyclone warning signal, in Hong Kong. While there were widespread damages in Hong Kong, no people were killed in the event with effective early warning. It is rare that a super typhoon came very close to Hong Kong and this paper is the first part in the series of the documentation of Saola to summarize the interesting observations of Saola near Hong Kong for future reference by weather forecasters, including sur-face observations, upper air observations, microburst alert from weather radars, and turbulence intensity based on spectral width measurement of radars.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1528.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: prebiotics; probiotics; by-product; tropical fruits; cashew; fermented milk.
Online: 22 August 2023 (07:18:11 CEST)
Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) processing generates a by-product (CB) with potential for health benefits and could be a favorable ingredient to be added to a probiotic food matrix. This study aimed to assess the functional attributes of CB in fermented milk with a probiotic and a starter culture using in vitro- gastrointestinal conditions. Using a standardized fermentability assay, two strains more adapted to the dehydrated CB were chosen and applied in: Test Formulation (TF, with CB) and Control Formulation (CF, without CB). TF and CF were fermented by the probiotic strain Lacticaseibacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19® and the starter Streptococcus thermophilus ST-M6®. During a 28-day refrigerated (6-8 °C) shelf-life study, both strains used in CF and TF were resistant and maintained a population above 8.0 log CFU/mL in the fermented milk. TF had significant increase in total phenolic compounds and greater antioxidant potential during shelf life, along with improved survival of F19® after in vitro-simulated gastrointestinal conditions. The cashew by-product revealed to be promising as a substrate for the strains studied and the presence of CB increased the content of phenolics and antioxidant activity during storage, as well as the gastric resistance to the probiotic., leading to a promising healthy product.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0322.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Afforestation; Edge effects; Landscape management; dry tropical forests; connectivity
Online: 13 April 2023 (12:31:20 CEST)
In many tropical regions, national forests plantations programs have been promoted. Those plantations contribute frequently to habitat changes. However, it is unclear associated effects on habitat fragmentation and landscape connectivity. From 2008 to 2018, we examined plantation and deforestation data base of Manabí province (Ecuador) for assessing fragmentation and connectivity. At regional scale, forest plantations had a significant effect on land uses changes and fragmentation during the study period. Forests decreased from 33.7% to 32.45% between 2008 and 2018 in the study area, although other natural land uses, mostly shrubs, increased almost double (from 2.4% to 4.68%). Most of the deforestation affected native forests during this period, and most of reforested and afforested areas in 2018 covered former agricultural land. In this period, fragmentation data shows a decrease in the number of patches and an increase in patch average size. When considering reforestation, deforestation was higher than the afforested area (58 km2 of difference) increasing the number of patches but with smaller size. The scenarios that presented better connectivity were those where forest areas increased: avoiding deforestation and considering reforestation. Those scenarios had in general a higher number of links and distance. Regionally, the avoiding deforestation scenario increased connectivity for Puma yagouaroundi in the west part of the Manabí province. On the other hand, for the reforested scenario, the number of links also increased on central and extreme northeast areas. Our findings suggest that plantations may contribute to conservation thanks to an increase in forest plantations connectivity between fragmented patches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0184.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: cross-laminated timber; hygrothermal; energy; moisture; durability; tropical; passivhaus
Online: 10 September 2021 (11:21:01 CEST)
The uptake of buildings employing cross-laminated timber (CLT) assemblies and designed to Passivhaus standard has accelerated internationally over the past two decades due to several factors including design responses to the climate crisis by decarbonising the building stock. Structural CLT technology and the voluntary Passivhaus certification both show measurable benefits in reducing energy consumption, while contributing to durability and indoor comfort. However, there is a general lack of evidence to support a fast uptake of these technologies in Australia. This paper responds to the compelling need of providing quantitative data and adoption strategies, it explores their combined application as a potential pathway for climate-appropriate design of energy-efficient and durable mass timber envelope solutions for subtropical and tropical Australian climates. Hygrothermal risk assessments of interstitial condensation and mould growth of CLT wall assemblies inform best-practice design of mass timber buildings in hot and humid climates. This research found that the durability of mass timber buildings located in hot and humid climates may benefit from implementing the Passivhaus standard to manage interior conditions. The findings also suggested that climate-specific design of the wall assembly is critical for mass timber buildings, in conjunction with excellent stormwater management practices during construction and corrosion protection for metallic fasteners.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Tropical Andes; Manu Biosphere Reserve; Astroblepus; Trichomycterus; Mauritia flexuosa
Online: 9 February 2021 (10:14:20 CET)
Our study analyzes the ecology and distribution of fish communities related to the environmental variables of the Alto Madre de Dios River, an Andean-Amazon watershed of southern Peru, between 300 and 2811 m a.s.l. within the Manu Biosphere Reserve. We provide new ecological and diversity data for these highly unknown rivers and new data for palm swamp habitats. With electric fishing techniques, we collected a total of 1934 fish specimens belonging to 78 species, 42 genera and 15 families. To assess main patterns of diversity we combined SIMPER and ANOSIM with canonical correspondence analysis to obtain an overview of the community structure of fish and their distribution related to aquatic habitats. Our results show an important shift on fish diversity at 700 m a.s.l. separating headwater and middle-lowland communities. Electrofishing was a hindrance due to the depth, flow and low conductivity of the rivers, but also allowed us to capture fish not observed with other techniques. We also compared the use of elevation with slope as an alternative variable for statistical analysis. Our results show that slope offers a solid and equivalent explanation for fish distribution variability, avoids redundance, and instead of giving geographical data offers ecologically solid information.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0532.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Protected area; tropical deforestation; international aid; conservation; remote sensing
Online: 21 December 2020 (15:35:25 CET)
Evaluation of the effectiveness of protected areas is critical for forest conservation policies and priorities. To evaluate their effectiveness, we used 30-m resolution forest cover change data between 1990 and 2010 for ~4,000 protected areas and analyzed the relationships of the effectiveness of protected areas with socio-economic variables. Our results show that protected areas in the Tropics avoided 83,500 ± 21,200 km2 of deforestation during the 2000s. Brazil’s protected areas have the largest amount of avoided deforestation of 50,000 km2. We also show the amount of international aid received by tropical countries compared to the effectiveness of protected areas. International aid had major benefits in Latin America led by Brazil while tropical Asian countries used the resource ineffectively. Our results demonstrate that protected areas have been relatively more efficient in countries where deforestation pressures were increasing, and governance and forest change monitoring capacity are important factors for enhancing the efficacy of international aid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0173.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: wetlands; methanotrophs; India; tropical; novel species; Type Ib; Methylotetracoccus
Online: 16 January 2020 (11:51:52 CET)
We enriched and isolated a novel gammproteobacterial methanotroph; strain FWC3, from tropical freshwater wetland, near Nagaon beach, Alibag, India. FWC3 is a coccoid, flesh pink/peach pigmented, non-motile methanotroph and the cells are present in pairs and as tetracocci. The culture can grow on methane (20%) as well as on a wide range of methanol from concentrations (0.02%-5%). Based on the comparison of genome data, FAME analysis, morphological characters and biochemical characters, FWC3 belongs to the tentatively and newly but not validly described genus ‘Methylotetracoccus’ of which only a single species strain was described, Methylotetracoccus oryzae C50C1. The ANI index between FWC3 and C50C1 strains is 94%, and the DDH value is 55.7%, less than the cut-off values 96% and 70%, respectively. The genome size of FWC3 is smaller (3.4 Mbp) compared to that of C50C1 (4.8 Mbp). Additionally, the FAME profile of FWC3 shows differences in cell wall fatty acid profiles compared to Methylotetracoccus oryzae C50C1. Also, there are other differences on the morphological, physiological and genomic levels. We propose FWC3 to be a member of a novel species of the genus Methylotetracoccus, for which the name Methylotetracoccus aquaticus is proposed. Also, an amended description of the genus Methylotetracoccus gen. nov. is given here. FWC3 is available in two international culture collections with the accession numbers: MCC 4198 (Microbial Culture collection, India) and JCM 33786 (Japan Collection of Microorganisms, Japan).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0304.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: climate change; econometric analysis; insurance; resilience; risk; tropical cyclones
Online: 30 January 2019 (07:10:54 CET)
Having sustained, over the course of more than two decades, record-breaking natural catastrophe losses, American insurers and reinsurers are justifiably questioning the potential linkage between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather. Here, we explore issues pertaining to this linkage, looking at both the likely short-term implications for the insurance industry, as well as potential longer-term impacts on financial performance and corporate resilience. We begin our discussion with an overview of the implications that climate change is likely to have on the industry, especially as it relates to how catastrophic risks are construed, assessed, and managed. We then present the rudiments of an econometric analysis that explores the financial resilience of the property/casualty (P/C) industry in the face of both natural and man-made catastrophes. In this analysis, we explore the profitability consequences of several illustrative scenarios involving large-scale losses from extreme weather—specifically, a sequence of storms like those striking the U.S. in 2004—and a scenario that explores the prospect of a Katrina-scale storm in combination with a mass terror attack on the scale of 9/11. At systemic levels of aggregation, our analysis suggests a high degree of macro-resilience for the insurance industry. Moreover, we find that insurer resilience is higher for larger impacts, considering both the speed of recovery, as well as the inverse of the area under the unaffected system profile. We conclude with a summary of our findings and a closing commentary that explores the potential implications of these results for P/C insurers moving forward.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0555.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: alternative states; secondary succession; tropical dry forest; Pteridium aquilinum
Online: 24 October 2018 (07:48:46 CEST)
Understanding the role of invasive species in ecosystem functioning represents one of the main challenges in ecology. Pteridium aquilinum is a successful cosmopolitan invasive species with negative effects on the ecological mechanisms that allow secondary succession. In this study we evaluated whether P. aquilinum favours the establishment of alternative states, as well as the effect of recovery strategies on the secondary succession. A random stratified sampling was established with three treatments, each one with at least 50 year of fern invasion and with variations on the periodicity of fires and cuttings (chapeos) vs one control without fern bracken We determined the species richness and composition, as well as the relative importance value (IVI) in each treatment. We found that P. aquilinum decreases the action of the mechanisms that allow secondary succession, particularly facilitation. The recovery strategies consist in monthly cuttings and control fires allow to recover the secondary succession and eventually, the regeneration of areas invaded by P. aquilinum. Our study has relevant implications on the ecology of alternative state, and in practical strategies to maintain tropical forests, as well as for the maintenance of environmental services and sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0196.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: WRF; Medicane; extra-tropical cyclone; hybrid cyclone; sensitivity analysis
Online: 10 October 2018 (03:43:36 CEST)
Towards the investigation and further understanding of the development and propagation of Medicanes, this study explores the forecasting capability of WRF model in case of cyclone “Cleopatra” which affected with extreme rainfall and strong winds Sardinia and Calabria, Italy, in November 2013. This cyclone was unusual in that it developed a warm core but did not fulfill its transformation into a tropical-like cyclone because its core did not expand high enough in the tropospnere. The ERA5 reanalysis dataset was dynamically downscaled from 31 km spatial horizontal resolution to 9 km using WRF model. The methodology consists of; firstly, an extensive physical parameterization schemes sensitivity test and consequently, a short-range ensemble forecasting implementation based on the highest statistical scored physics configuration. All simulation results were validated against surface observations and remote sensing products. Subsequently, the modeled cyclone trajectories are compared to satellite imagery derived from EUMETSAT-SEVIRI gridded data. The findings of the conducted analysis illustrate that ensemble average displays significant difference in performance compared to any of the deterministic runs individually, suggesting that ensemble forecasts will be beneficial in studies assessing cyclonic events in the Mediterranean region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0022.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ocean acidification; acid sulphate soils; calcification; molluscs; snails; tropical
Online: 2 March 2018 (10:41:37 CET)
Marine water pH is becoming progressively reduced in response to atmospheric CO2 elevation. Considering that marine environments support a vast global biodiversity and provide a variety of ecosystem functions and services, monitoring of the coastal and intertidal water pH assumes obvious significance. Because current monitoring approaches using meters and loggers are typically limited in application in heterogeneous environments and are financially prohibitive, we sought to evaluate an approach to acidification biomonitoring using living gastropod shells. We investigated snail populations exposed naturally to corrosive water in Brunei (Borneo, South East Asia). We show that surface erosion features of shells are generally more sensitive to acidic water exposure than other attributes (shell mass) in a study of rocky-shore snail populations (Nerita chamaeleon) exposed to greater or lesser coastal geochemical acidification (acid sulphate soil seepage, ASS), by virtue of their spatial separation. We develop a novel digital approach to measuring the surface area of shell erosion. Surficial shell erosion of a muddy-sediment estuarine snail, Umbonium vestiarium, is shown to capture variation in acidic water exposure for the timeframe of a decade. Shell dissolution in Neripteron violaceum from an extremely acidic estuarine habitat, directly influenced by ASS inflows, was high variable among individuals. In conclusion, gastropod shell dissolution potentially provides a powerful and cost-effective tool for rapidly assessing marine pH change across a range of spatial and temporal frameworks and coastal intertidal environments. We discuss caveats when interpreting gastropod shell dissolution patterns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.2060.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Aboveground carbon stock; tropical forest; Landsat; Malaysia ecosystem; spectral indicators
Online: 31 October 2023 (09:56:37 CET)
The accurate estimation of biomass carbon in forests is of paramount importance for effective forest management and mitigating climate change. This study presents a novel approach to produce a high-resolution map of biomass carbon over forests in Malaysia using the Aboveground Carbon Density Indicator (ACDI) and a comprehensive collection of 12 years of inventory data, i.e., from 2012 to 2023. The ACDI was derived based on several vegetation indices (VIs) that were produced from the original Landsat images to indicate the level of aboveground biomass carbon (AGC) stock in the forested areas. The VIs includes Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR), Shadow Index (SI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Iron Oxide Index (IO), Modified Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI), and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). The ACDI was then integrated with ground-based measurements, and serves as a robust indicator for estimating AGC. This calculation was conducted on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform to match the date of field observation with the satellite imagery datasets. The production of seamless mosaic of the latest date of Landsat imagery and the forest type classification were also performed on GEE. The forested areas were classified into three major types, which are dry inland forest, mangrove forest, and peat swamp forest. Results indicated significant spatial variations in AGC across Malaysia's forests. The derived AGC prediction models based on the ACDI varied among the forest types. Based on the estimates, a 30-metre resolution, wall-to-wall map of AGC across the entire forested region of Malaysia has been created. The ACDI was calibrated and validated using a separate validation plots dataset to ensure the accuracy of the AGC estimates. The total AGC in all types of forests in Malaysia was estimated at 3.0 billion Mg C with an attainable accuracy of about 80%. These estimates were also divided into categories and reported to the AGC at the state level. This high-resolution map provides essential information for various stakeholders, with critical implications for carbon sequestration efforts, conservation priorities, and sustainable forest management. The presented methodology not only showcases the value of combining advanced remote sensing techniques with long-term inventory data but also underscores the potential for similar approaches in other tropical forest regions globally. Ultimately, this study contributes to the understanding of carbon dynamics in Malaysian forests and promotes effective strategies for mitigating climate change through better-informed forest conservation and management practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0210.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Nitrogen sink; sedimentation; nitrogen fixation; management; tropical reservoir; phosphorous sedimentation
Online: 16 May 2022 (12:25:44 CEST)
Nitrogen and phosphorous loading drives eutrophication of aquatic systems. Lakes and reservoirs are often effective N and P sinks, but information is needed on the variability of their biogeochemical dynamics, especially for tropical systems. A long-term N and P mass balance (2003-2018) in a small tropical eutrophic reservoir lake, Valle de Bravo (VB), Mexico, showed it is a net sink of N (-41.7 g N m-2 y-1), and P (-2.7 g P m-2 y-1), mainly through net sedimentation, equivalent to 181% and 68% of their respective loading (23.0 g N m-2 y-1 and 4.2 g P m-2 y-1). N mass balance showed that VB has a high net N atmospheric influx (31.6 g N m-2 y-1), which was 1.3 times the external load, and likely dominated by N2 fixation. During a period of high water level fluctuations (WLF), the net N atmospheric flux decreased by half compared to high level years. WLF can be a useful management tool to improve the trophic status of water bodies by decreasing anoxic conditions and net atmospheric fluxes, possibly through decreasing nitrogen fixation and/or promoting denitrification and other microbial processes that alleviate the N load.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0043.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Grass; Greenhouse Gases; Ruminal Degradation; Secondary Metabolites; Tropical Livestock Systems
Online: 4 October 2021 (10:40:05 CEST)
Enteric methane (CH4) emitted by ruminant species is known as one of the main greenhouse gases produced by the agricultural sector. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, dry matter degradation (DMD), digestibility, CO2 production and CH4 mitigation potential of five tropical tree species with novel forage potential including: Spondias mombin, Acacia pennatula, Parmentiera aculeata, Brosimum alicastrum and Bursera simaruba mixed at two levels of inclusion (15 and 30%) with a tropical grass (Pennisetum purpureum). Crude protein content was similar across treatments (135 g kg-1 DM), while P. purpureum was characterized by a high content of acid detergent fiber (335.9 g kg-1 DM) and B. simaruba by a high concentration of condensed tannins (20 g kg-1 DM). Likewise, A. pennatula and P. aculeata were characterized by a high content of cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids respectively. Treatments SM30-PP70 (30% S. mombin + 70% P. purpureum) and BA30-PP70 (30% B. alicastrum + 70% P. purpureum) resulted in superior digestibility than P. purpureum, while in the AP30-PP70 (30% A. pennatula + 70% P. purpureum) was lower than the control treatment (P≤0.05). At 24 and 48 h, treatments that contained P. aculeata and B. alicastrum produced higher CH4 ml g-1 DOM than P. purpureum (P≤0.05). The inclusion of B. simaruba at 30% reduced CH4 at 25% compared to P. purpureum. Tropical tree species can improve the nutritional quality of ruminant rations and reduce CH4 emissions to consequently contribute to the development of sustainable ruminant production systems that generate diverse ecosystem services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0167.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Tourism, Leisure, Sport And Hospitality Keywords: Island nations, Tourism, Small Island Nations, economic development, tropical islands
Online: 8 January 2021 (14:29:52 CET)
In the past few decades, the tourism sector has emerged as a significant economic activity in island nations, particularly in tropical regions. However, most of the tropical islands face similar constraints. National and international tourists visit the SIDS including A & N Islands and contribute to the GDP to significant share. The Covid-19 outbreaks in SIDs including A & N islands shows that number of people infected were less as compared to metros or big cities. However, tourism activities completely stopped due to lockdown resulting in decreasing tourist’s arrival, declined GDP and per capita income of SIDs to greater extent. The information gathered from various sources, mass media and net analysed and interpreted in this chapter. Due to Covid-19 tourist’s arrival declined which has serious consequences on the livelihood of islander. Our analysis revealed A&N Islands deficit in energy available at from different sources by 18.26%. However, they are surplus in protein. The burden of high expenditure coupled with poor infrastructure makes them more vulnerable in the circumstance of pandemic outbreaks. This outbreak has created the question of survival due to loss of jobs, halted economic activates, psychological, health unrest and livelihood threats among the depending people of these Island nations. Therefore, government interventions and subsidized package is very much essential to revive the tourism industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0125.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tropical cyclone; Weather Research and Forecast model; zonal Ekman transport
Online: 12 November 2019 (09:32:21 CET)
We examine the role of zonal Ekman transport along the coast of Senegal on 30 August, 2015 when the tropical disturbance associated with Tropical Cyclone Fred was located to the west of Senegal causing considerable coastal damage to coastal areas south of Dakar, Senegal. Ten-meter winds from three Weather Research and Forecast model simulations were used to estimate zonal Ekman transport, with the largest values found during the 30 August. The simulations are in agreement with limited coastal observations showing increasing southerly wind speeds during 30 August but are overestimated relative to the 3 coastal stations. The strong meridional winds translate into increased zonal Ekman transport to the coast of Senegal on 30 August. The use of a coupled ocean model will improve the estimates of Ekman transport along the Guinea-Senegalese coast. The observed damage suggests that artificial and natural barriers (mangroves) should be strengthened to protect coastal communities in Senegal.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0253.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: tropical cash crops; coffee; cacao; papaya; chromosome engineering; synthetic biology
Online: 22 October 2019 (05:32:50 CEST)
Background Tropical and subtropical crops such as coffee, cacao, and papaya are valuable commodities and its consumption is a seemingly indispensable part of the daily lives of billions of people across the world. Conventional breeding in these crops is lengthy and yields are threatened by runaway global warming. In this review we propose the application of chromosome engineering and synthetic biology principles in order to enhance synthesis of key metabolites, and transmission of wild traits for resistance to stress and disease. Conclusions It is hoped that the adoption of such technological approaches may enhance the resilience of agricultural communities, lead to economic growth and secure the availability of key resources for generations to come.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0083.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: post-mining regeneration; succession; tropical dry forest; post-mining recovery
Online: 6 December 2018 (11:04:06 CET)
Open pit mining is a common activity in the Yucatan peninsula for the extraction of limestone. This mining is known under the generic name of quarries, and regionally as sascaberas (sascab=white soil in Mayan language). These areas are characterized by the total removal of the natural vegetation cover and soil in order to have access to the calcareous material. The present study shows the composition and structure of the vegetation in five quarries after approximately ten years of abandonment, and the conserved vegetation near to each one of the quarries in southeastern Quintana Roo. Using a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), the distribution of the species was determined in relation to the edaphic variables: soil depth, percentage of organic matter (OM), cationic exchange capacity (CEC), pH and texture. 26 families, 46 genera and 50 species were recorded in the quarries and 25 families, 45 genera and 47 species were recorded in the conserved areas. The dominant species in the quarries belong to the families Poaceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae and Anacardiaceae. The quarries with higher values of OM (1.63%), CEC (24.05 Cmol/kg), depth (11 cm) and sand percentage (31.33%) include the following species like Lysiloma latisiliquum, Metopium brownei and Bursera simaruba which are commonly found in secondary forests. On the other hand, quarries with lower values of OM (0.39%), CEC (16.58 Cmol/kg) and depth (5.02), and higher percentage of silt (42.44%) were dominated by herbaceous species belonging to the Poaceae family and by Borreria verticillata, which are typical in disturbed areas of southeastern Mexico. In all cases, the pH was slightly alkaline due to the content of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), characteristic of the soils of the region. The edaphic variables are significantly correlated with the development and distribution of vegetation, and with the structure of the communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0620.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: tropical mountain forest; Podocarpus; Cedrela; Tabebuia; selective thinning; diametric growth
Online: 26 October 2018 (06:32:36 CEST)
Research Highlights: The study determined that selective thinning causes different responses, the initial size of the tree released is an influential factor in the growth of species. The temporality of climate and physiological conditions of each species are influential in the growth. It is evident that the defoliation of certain species is an important factor that limits the growth of the species causing thinning to have a negative response. Background and Objectives: The objective is to analyze the behavior of nine timber species, respective to diametric growth after their liberation. This research aims to answer the following questions: (i) How do the selected tree species react to the liberation? (ii) Can the productivity of the trees (diametric growth) be enhanced by liberation? (iii) Are there other factors that influence the diametric growth of the released trees? Materials and Methods: The study was executed in the “Reserva Biológica San Francisco” were 488 trees were monitored, including nine timber species. Therefore, 197 trees were released (removal of competitors) and 251 trees served as reference. To check whether the initial DBH or other factors, like the selective thinning or climate conditions, determine the diameter growth a linear mixed model GLMM was applied. To adjust the linear mixed model a one-way Anova test was executed. Results: Timber species responded differently to the thinning in comparing to reference trees. Therefore, the species analyzed were separated into three groups (positive, negative, and no response to liberation). Conclusions: Liberation potentiates the growth of certain timber species that do not defoliate and considered semi-tolerant to shade. Precipitation and temperature affect all species, but in the defoliate species, it would not be convenient to release them or at least the evidence of these first three years does not show clear differences with control trees. Increase in trees released are higher in trees of the first two diametric classes in all species, this means that larger trees (i.e., older) release does not affect them in a positive way so release should occur in the youngest trees.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0112.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: tropical pasture seasonality; soil carbon dioxide emission; irrigation management strategy
Online: 6 September 2018 (06:13:09 CEST)
This study explores the effect of seasonality on soil carbon efflux and pasture growth based on field and lysimeter experiments during summer-fall and winter-spring in two years. Focus is also pointed on irrigation strategies to alleviate the crop response to seasonal fluctuations in precipitation and surface temperatures. Soil respiration, soil and air temperature, leaf photosynthesis, plant dry weight and leaf area index were quantified and analyzed. It has been found significant differences in the CO2 efflux between the two growing season. Emission of soil CO2 allowed to characterize and to prioritize the temperature and rain influence in seasonal brachiaria response. During the seasons, the transient variation of CO2 efflux was highly correlated with rainfall (r = 0.87, P < 0.05), and poorly correlated with soil temperatures (r = 0.5, P < 0.05). The CO2 efflux and plant response to different level of reposition of evapotranspiration demonstrated that irrigation during fall mitigates the reduction of growth conditioned by drying soil and the lower temperatures. The lower temperatures are limiting only when the soil moisture is below 32% of the field capacity. Thus, we propose to keep the soil moisture around 50% during the fall as a key practices for mitigating the effect of seasonality and its intensification with the climate change, even more if added to management routine practices the soil and water conservation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1951.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Asphalt pavement temperature; empirical mode; tropical climate; temperature prediction; pavement evaluation
Online: 28 July 2023 (09:35:14 CEST)
Asphalt pavement temperature has several applications, including pavement structural design and evaluation, asphalt mixture design, asphalt binder grade determination and material aging characterization. However, available asphalt pavement temperature prediction models were mostly developed for temperate climatic conditions, outside of the tropics. Before such models are adopted for use in a tropical climate, their applicability must be evaluated. This study evaluated five empirical asphalt pavement temperature prediction models developed by Lukanen et al. , Park et al. , Diefenderfer et al. , Taamneh  all in the United States and Asefzadeh et al.  in Canada to ascertain their prediction accuracy in tropical climate, using Ghana as a case study. In-situ asphalt pavement temperature data were measured at two sites for eight months: Kumasi and Tamale in the Forest and Savannah climatic zones, respectively. The measured pavement temperature data were statistically compared with predicted temperatures, and it was found that the Park et al.  model provided a more accurate pavement temperature prediction in both climatic zones. The other models either over-predicted or under-predicted asphalt pavement temperature with significant error margins. However, there is a need to improve the prediction accuracy of the Park et al.  model or a local model developed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0534.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: governance; social-ecological system; tropical cyclone; urban forest; urban tree canopy
Online: 23 July 2021 (10:31:50 CEST)
Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) greatly enhances the livability of cities by reducing urban heat buildup, mitigating stormwater runoff, and filtering airborne particulates, among other ecological services. These benefits, combined with the relative ease of measuring tree cover from aerial imagery, have led many cities to adopt management strategies based on UTC goals. In this study, we conducted canopy analyses for the 300 largest cities in Florida to assess the impacts of development practices, urban forest ordinances, and hurricanes on tree cover. Within the cities sampled, UTC canopy ranged from 5.9% to 68.7% with a median canopy coverage of 32.3% Our results indicate that the peak gust speeds recorded during past hurricanes events were a significant predictor of canopy coverage (P-value = <0.001) across the sampled cities. As peak gust speeds increased from 152 km/h (i.e., a lower-intensity Category 1 storm) to 225 km/h (lower-intensity Category 4 and the maximum gusts captured in our data), predicted canopy in developed urban areas decreased by 7.7%. Beyond the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms, we found that historic landcover and two out of eight urban forest ordinances were significant predictors of existing canopy coverage (P-landcover <0.001; P-tree preservation ordinance = 0.02, P-heritage tree ordinance = 0.03). Results indicate that local policies and tree protections can protect or enhance urban tree canopy, even in the face of rapid development and periodic natural disturbances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0151.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: climate change; adaptation; loss & damage; damage function; return period; tropical cyclone
Online: 13 May 2019 (10:07:41 CEST)
This paper constructs a model of climate-related damage for small island developing states (SIDS). We focus on the loss of private productive capital stocks through extreme climate events. In contrast to most economic analyses of climate impacts, which assume temperature-dependent damage functions, we draw on the engineering literature to allow for a greater or lesser degree of anticipation of climate change when designing capital stocks and balancing current adaptation expenditure against future loss & damage. We apply the model to tropical storm damage in the small island developing state of Barbados and show how anticipatory behavior changes the damage to infrastructure for the same degree of climate change. Thus, in the model, damage depends on behavior as well as climate variables.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0604.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: backscattering; L-band; SAR polarimetry; microwave; Chapman-Richards model; tropical forest
Online: 31 July 2018 (05:02:29 CEST)
Secondary forests (SF) are important carbon sinks, removing CO2 from the atmosphere through the photosynthesis process and storing photosynthates in their aboveground live biomass (AGB). This process occurring at large-scales partially counteracts C emissions from land-use change, playing, hence, an important role in the global carbon cycle. The absorption rates of carbon in these forests depend on forest physiology, controlled by environmental and climatic conditions as well as on the past land use, which is rarely considered for retrieving AGB from remotely sensed data. In this context, the main goal of this study is to evaluate the potential of full polarimetric ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 data for estimating AGB by taking into account the past-land use of SF areas in the Brazilian Amazon. We surveyed a chronosequence of 42 SF plots (20 ha) near the Tapajós National Forest in Pará state to quantifying AGB growth rates. We explored the full polarimetric data testing three regression models including non-linear (NL), multiple linear regressions models (MLR), and the semi-empirical extended water cloud model (EWCM). The results showed that the intensity of previous use has affected the structure of SF by reducing the AGB accumulation and being noticeable by several polarimetric attributes. The combination of multiple prediction variables with MLR improved the AGB estimation by 70% comparing amongst other models (R² adj. = 0.51; RMSE = 13.2 Mg ha-1) bias = 2.1 ± 37.9 Mg ha-1. The error propagation of the MLR model was estimated to be 15%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0210.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: hydrologic modeling; TopModel; middle magdalena valley; nash sutcliffe efficiency; tropical regions
Online: 12 July 2018 (07:38:23 CEST)
Hydrological modeling allows us to make a comprehensive assessment of the interaction between dynamics of the hydrological cycle, climate conditions, and land use. These modeling results are relevant in water resources management field. We use TopModel (TOPography based hydrological MODEL for the hydrological modeling of an area of 17 000 km2 in the Middle Magdalena Valley (MMV), a tropical basin located in Colombia. This study is located in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) which is characterized by special meteorological conditions and fast water fluxes over the year. This area has been subjected to significant land use changes, as a result of intense economic activities, e.g., agriculture, hydropower energy and oil & gas production (Avellaneda, 2003). The proposed model is based on a record of 12 years of: i.) daily precipitation data from observed gauges, ii.) daily evapotranspiration data from temperature data and iii.) daily streamflow data as observed data. A calibration process was performed using data from 2000 to 2008, and a validation was performed with data from 2009 to 2012. The Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient was used as an objective function to assess the quality of these processes (values of this metric are between 0.74 and 0.73 respectively, for model calibration and validation). The results show us an adequate performance of the model in areas of the tropical region and allow us to analyze the relationship between water storage capacity in the soils of the area with subsurface runoff. This conclusion is consistent with the characteristics of the region. The calibrated model provides an idea about the hydrological functioning of the basin and estimates an approximation of the groundwater recharge in the region. The estimation of the recharge is important to quantify the interaction of surface water and groundwater, especially during the dry season, due to its importance in the analysis of scenarios with climate variability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0356.v3
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: ecology - extinction and speciation - ‘light’ v. ‘heavy’ order - Linnaean system - thermodynamics - trophic levels - tropical continental lowland communities
Online: 8 October 2018 (16:15:55 CEST)
The origination of most free-living animal species is predictable. ‘Light’ order production in the trophic levels below is the key. Absent from the abiotic environment (pre-primary level) and prokaryotes, ‘light’ order consists of differences in species composition between highly-developed, species-packed communities in which extinction may be the precursor to speciation, particularly ecologically comparable tropical continental lowland ones of Africa, Australia, India, and South America. Based on but not itself of matter and non-burnable, its nil waste heat content ‘compensates’ for burned-up food energy. Where the amounts of it on infra-apical trophic levels form an inverted pyramid like waste heat’s, occupancy of trophic levels from primary to apical is predictable (variation and selection assumed). Terminal non-inversion predicts post-apical vacancy. Examined communities were from grasslands (grasses, large grazing mammals, large carnivores), and woodlands (woody plants, butterflies, insect-eating birds, raptorial birds). Linnaeus’s binomial classificational system turned out to be unexpectedly rich in new content. A new object of study, the neoLinnaean, is recognised and a new process, the neoLyellian, advanced to explain it. Relations to Darwin’s and Lyell’s non-predictive theories of change, to ecology and evolution, to thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, and to neurology are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1637.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Streamflow Data Assimilation; Flood forecasting; Tropical Andes; Satellite Precipitation Products; GR4H model
Online: 25 September 2023 (09:00:46 CEST)
Flood modeling and forecasting are key to managing and preparing for extreme flood events. Hydrological flood forecasting aims to predict the system response to different input changes with minimum uncertainties. In that sense, streamflow Data Assimilation (DA) seeks to combine errors between hydrological model and water discharge observations through the update of model states. This paper aims to assess a sub-daily flood forecast system in a basin of the Peruvian Tropical Andes using two sequential data assimilation algorithms called the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) and the Particle Filter (PF). The study was conducted in the Vilcanota River basin during the rainiest months in 2022 to assess recent potential river floods. This basin is in the southern Peruvian Andes and was selected because it is continually affected by river floods such as occurred in 2010. For this purpose, the lumped GR4H rainfall-runoff model was run forward with 100 ensemble members using two different Satellite Precipitation sources (IMERG-E' and GSMaP-NRT'). Also, four DA experiments (IMERG-E'+EnKF, IMERG-E'+PF, GSMaP-NRT'+EnKF, and GSMaP-NRT'+PF) were conducted by assimilating real-time hourly discharges at the Pisac stream gauge station to examine the improvement of forecast accuracy for lead times of 1—24 hours. Results display good forecast performances during the first 10 hours, especially for the GSMaP'+EnKF scheme. Finally, this work benchmarks the application of streamflow DA in and Andean basin of Peru with sparse data availability and will support the development of more accurate climate services in Peru through hydrologic ensemble predictions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1489.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Heavy rainfall prediction; Coupled WRF-ROMS; Thailand; Tropical cyclones and atmospheric disturbances
Online: 21 July 2023 (11:37:58 CEST)
This study aims to identify the optimal combination of microphysics (MP) and cumulus (CU) parameterization schemes for accurately simulating heavy to violet rainfall events associated with Tropical Cyclones (TCs) and atmospheric disturbances in Thailand using the coupled Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Regional Oceanic Model (ROMS), hereafter referred to as WRF-ROMS. Three CU schemes, namely Betts–Miller–Janjic (BMJ), Grell 3D Ensemble (G3), and Kain–Fritsch (KF), along with three MP schemes, namely Eta (ETA), Purdue Lin (LIN), and WRF Single-moment 3-class (WSM3), are selected for the sensitivity analysis. Seven instances of heavy to violent rainfall in Thailand, occurring during summer season of 2020 and associated with tropical storms and atmospheric disturbances, are simulated using all possible combinations of the chosen physics schemes. The simulated rain intensities are compared against observations from the National Hydroinformatics Data Center. Performance was assessed using the Probability of Detection (POD), False Alarm Ratio (FAR), and Critical Success Index (CSI) metrics. The models showed proficiency in predicting light to moderate rainfall, with certain combinations performing better in specific rainfall categories. However, forecasting heavy and violent rainfall proved challenging for all models and lead-time forecasts. Specific combinations, particularly those incorporating the KF scheme, demonstrated superior prediction of heavy to violent rainfall. The FAR values increased with lead-time and rain intensity, and the KF scheme combinations showed improved predictions of intense rainfall with lower FAR values. The CSI values indicated comparable performance between the control model and combination models across light to heavy rain categories, with the KF scheme showing better predictions for longer lead-times. However, accurately predicting intense rainfall remained limited. These findings highlight the need for further improvements, including refining model parameters and exploring advanced techniques to enhance accuracy and skill, particularly for longer-term forecasts. Sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction should be considered to extend forecast capabilities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1426.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Trypanosomatids; squalene synthase; farnesyl diphosphate synthase; target-based approach; neglected tropical diseases.
Online: 20 June 2023 (10:27:48 CEST)
Trypanosomatids are mainly responsible for leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease, which are the most challenging among the neglected tropical diseases due to the problem of drug resistance. Although problems of target deconvolution and polypharmacology are encountered, a target-based approach is a rational method for screening drug candidates targeting a biomolecule that causes diseases. The present study aims to summarize the latest information re-garding potential inhibitors of squalene synthase and farnesyl phosphate synthase with anti-Trypanosomatidae activity. The information was obtained by referencing textbooks and major scientific databases from their inception until April 2023. Based on in vitro experiments, more than seventy compounds were reported to inhibit squalene synthase and farnesyl diphosphate synthase. Among these compounds, more than 30 were found to be active in vitro against Trypanosomatidae, inferring that these compounds can be prospected as scaffolds for the development of new drugs against trypanosomatid-related infections. Over-all, natural and synthetic products can inhibit enzymes that are crucial for the survival and virulence of trypanosomatids. Moreover, in vitro experiments have confirmed the activity of more than half of these inhibitors using cell-based as-says. Nevertheless, additional studies on the cytotoxicity, pharmacokinetics, and lead optimization of potent anti-Trypanosomatid compounds should be investi-gated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2037.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Abelmoschus esculentus; tropical savanna climate; biochar; soil amendment; manuring effect; nutrient mining
Online: 30 May 2023 (04:17:53 CEST)
The difficulty in obtaining commercial fertilizers by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa makes it very important to optimize the use of local organic resources. In VilanKulo, Mozambique, a study was carried out on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) over two growing seasons in a haplic Lixisol, a loamy-sand textured soil, applying both bat guano and biochar prepared by an artisanal process. Bat guano was applied at two rates (5 and 10 t ha−1), one month and just before sowing. Biochar was also used at two rates (5 and 10 t ha−1) applied close to sowing. Mixtures of biochar and guano at two rates (1 and 4 t ha−1, and 2 and 8 t ha−1, respectively) were also used along with a non-fertilized control. Field trials were arranged in a completely randomized design with three replicates. The treatments receiving high rates of guano tended to show significantly higher fruit yields (> 10 t ha−1, being the two-year average) in comparison to the control, which showed the lowest average okra fruit yield (6.21 t ha−1). In guano treatments, the apparent recovery by okra of some important nutrients, such as nitrogen (N), was greater than the amount of nutrient contained in the guano itself. This result, together with many others related to tissue nutrient concentration, soil properties and residual fertilizing value in guano plots, indicates a strong mineralization of guano during the growing season, probably due to its low carbon (C)/N ratio and favourable environmental conditions for the mineralization process, such as high temperature and well-aerated soil. The result also suggests some kind of manuring effect, i.e., a fertilizing effect of guano beyond what can be explained by the nutrient supply. The use of biochar increased total organic C in the soil and cation exchange capacity (CEC) compared to the control, but did not affect variables related to plant performance, such as tissue nutrient concentration or plant growth and yield.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0036.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: foraging activity; food exploitation; sugar nectar concentration; tropical species; meliponiculture; bee farming
Online: 3 July 2018 (11:08:42 CEST)
Stingless bee beekeeping provides new opportunities to improve the incomes of many households in Malaysia through the sale of honey and other bee products. While Heterotrigona itama is one of the most commonly cultured species of stingless bees, its behavior is not very well understood. Hence, we conducted this study to investigate the behavior of H. itama in exploiting food sources by ascertaining the nectar sugar concentration preferred by the bee. We also aimed to determine the preferred distance of food source from the bee hive. Our results suggest that H. itama prefers high sugar concentrations of 35% and above, and they would fly up to 7 m from the hive to collect food. We discuss how nectar concentration and food distance influence the number of bees exploiting food sources and the overall foraging pattern of H. itama.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0613.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Yucatan; Puuc; Landsat; Carbon; Species Diversity; ALOS-2 PALSAR-2; tropical dry forests
Online: 21 June 2023 (12:56:03 CEST)
The Puuc Biocultural State Reserve (PBSR is an unique model for tropical dry forest conservation in Mexico. Preserving forest biodiversity and carbon within the PBSR depends on the mainte-nance of low impact productive activities coordinated by multiple communal and private land-owners. In this study, we used state-of-the-art remote sensing data to investigate past spatial patterns in forest clearing dynamics and its relation to forest carbon density and forest plant species richness and diversity in the context of the forest conservation goals of the PBSR. We used a Landsat-based continuous change detection product for the 2000-2021 period and compared it to carbon density and tree species richness models generated from ALOS-2 PALSAR 2 imagery and national scale forest inventory data. The estimated error-adjusted area of detected annual forest clearings from the year 2000 until the year 2021 was 230,511 ha in total (+19,979 ha). The analysis of annual forest clearing frequency and area suggests that although forest clearing was significantly more intensive outside of the PBSR than within the PBSR during the entire 2000-2021 period, there is no evidence suggesting that the frequency and magnitude of forest clearing has changed over the years after the creation of the PBSR in 2011. An emergent hotspot analysis shows, however, that high spatiotemporal clustering of forest clearing events (hotspots) during the 2012-2021 pe-riod was less common than prior to 2011 and these more recent hotspots have been confined to areas outside the PBSR. After comparing forest clearing events to carbon density and tree species richness models, results show that land owners outside the PBSR often clear forests with lower carbon density and species diversity than land owners inside the PBSR. This suggests that, compared to land owners outside the PBSR, land owners within the PBSR might be practicing longer fallow periods allowing forests to attain higher carbon density and tree species richness and hence better soil nutrient recovery after land abandonment. In conclusion, our results show that the PBSR effectively acted as a stabilizing forest management scheme during the 2012-2021 period minimizing the impact of productive activities by lowering the frequency of forest clearing events and preserving late secondary forests within the PBSR. We recommend the continuation of efforts for providing alternative optimal field data collection strategies and modeling techniques to spatially predict key tropical forest attributes. The combination of these models with contin-uous change detection datasets will allow to reveal underlying ecological processes and generate information better adapted to forest governance scales.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; epidemic dynamics; disease control; clinical features; tropical area
Online: 8 July 2020 (12:30:52 CEST)
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the epidemic dynamics and clinical features of COVID-19 in southern Hainan Island, China, and provide experience for other tropical areas of the world. Methods: This retrospective study included confirmed cases of COVID-19 in southern Hainan. All enrolled patients were treated in Sanya, and data on epidemiological and clinical features of the disease and infection prevention and control measures adopted by the local government during the epidemic were collected. Results: Of the 74 cases, 71 (95.95%) were imported from Wuhan, Hubei Province (47, 63.51%), other cities in Hubei Province (11, 14.86%), or provinces other than Hubei and Hainan (13, 17.57%). Three (4.06%) patients were infected in southern Hainan, including one autochthonous case in Sanya. Fifty-four cases (72.97%) were detected in Sanya, and 27 cases (27.03%) were diagnosed in other cities. The rate of severe or critical cases was 28.38% (21/74), and mortality was 2.7% (2/74). The serum lactate levels and base excess of severe-critical patients were higher than those of patients with mild-moderate disease. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that chronic conditions were risk factors for severe and critical COVID-19. Seventy-four patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 over a 22-day period in Sanya, and the epidemic period in the city was 48 days. The outbreak was controlled rapidly because the local government adopted strict infection prevention and control measures. Conclusions: The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in Hainan Island were similar to those reported in other regions. In Sanya, the rate of severe and very severe cases was higher than in other regions; however, most cases were imported, and there was only one autochthonous case. The rapid control of the outbreak in Sanya may be related to the tropical climate, adoption of strict infection prevention and control measures, daily reporting of new cases, increased public awareness about the epidemic, and other emergency actions implemented by the local government.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: statistical mechanics; resource partitioning; distribution of species; seasonally dry tropical forest; biotic resistance
Online: 3 April 2019 (10:36:47 CEST)
Data on the seasonally dry tropical forests of Mexico have been examined in the light of statistical mechanics. The results suggest a division into two classes of species. There are drifting populations of a cosmopolitan class capable of existing in most dry forest sites; these have a statistical distribution previously only observed (globally) for populations of alien species. A high proportion of species found only at a single site are endemic and these prefer sites comparatively low in species richness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0336.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: typhoon Durian; tropical cyclone; wind-pressure relationships; South China Sea; sensitivity analysis; WRF
Online: 26 April 2018 (08:59:09 CEST)
Typhoon Durian forming over the Western North Pacific Ocean and entering into the South China Sea (SCS), caused extreme and widespread damages in 2006. In this research, sensitivity analyses on different physical parameterization schemes of the Weather Research and Forecasting Atmospheric Model (WRF-ATM) have been utilized to study typhoon Durian. Model accuracy and performance testing were investigated with different initial conditions during the tropical cyclone simulation in the SCS. The initial and boundary conditions (IBCs) for all experiments were derived from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Re-Analysis Interim (ERAI), and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) with Final (FNL) analysis data compiled through the WRF-ATM model. The sensitivity analysis results indicated a major improvement for the cumulus scheme by using the Grell-Devenyi scheme along with the PBL scheme of Yonsei University, mixed-phase microphysics scheme of the WRF Single Moment 5-class and IBCs for ECMWF-ERAI of TC simulation under the context of Wind-Pressure Relationships. This predicted better track and intensity comparing with these of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The results revealed that the TC track and intensity were well simulated by the WSM5-GD combination for the WRF-ATM model with an intensity error of 1.69 hPa for minimum surface level pressure, maximum wind speed of 1.83 knots and average track error of 25 km in 72 hours. The simulations showed that the potential track and intensity error decreased with the delayed IBCs, suggesting that the model simulation is more dependable when the coast is approached by the TC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0566.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Awareness; KAP survey; Leishmaniasis; neglected tropical Diseases; Questionnaire; Socio-economic factors; Vector borne diseases
Online: 14 October 2023 (20:24:02 CEST)
Leishmaniasis is one of the Neglected tropical diseases. Studies show that the poor knowledge about epidemiological aspects of Leishmaniasis within communities causes the collapse of existing disease control programs. Therefore, the present study focuses on a detailed survey of the existing awareness among the threatened population in the Medawachchiya PHI Area in the Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka aiming to assist the health staff to organize community-based vector control programs effectively in the future. Assessment of the awareness of the two hundred and seventy households (n=270) residents from ten GNDs was carried out by using a structured questionnaire. Among 143 females and 134 males, only 75.1% have knowledge about the disease. 5.8%(n=16) of the participants know only about the vector and 28.9% (n=80) know their control methods. The study shows a shortage of a considerable amount of awareness about the disease among the studied population The study found that age and education levels had significant impacts on knowledge, attitudes, and practices. However, factors like gender, marital status, occupation, income, and expenses did not show significant correlations. The present study suggests the huge scope for community-related vector control methods for greater achievements in vector control methods by implementing a continuous educational program.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0249.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Neglected tropical diseases; Latin America and the Caribbean; Bibliometric analysis; HIV/AIDS; Malaria; Tuberculosis.
Online: 10 December 2020 (10:56:11 CET)
(1) Background: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have been overlooked on the global health agenda and in the priorities of national systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2012, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were created to ensure healthy lives and promoting well-being for all. This roadmap set out to accelerate work to overcome the global impact of NTDs. Almost a decade has passed since NTDs were re-launched as a global priority. Investment in research and development, as well as the production of scientific literature on NTDs, is expected to have increased significantly. (2) Methods: A bibliometric analysis of the scientific production of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was carried out in relation to 19 endemic NTDs. These data were compared with the scientific production in malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. The database available from Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS) was used. In addition, the average annual growth percentage was calculated for each disease. (3) Results: In the last decade, the NTDs with the highest number of publications in the world were dengue and leishmaniasis. The United States was the most prolific country in the world in 15 out of 19 NTDs analyzed. In the LAC region, Brazil was the largest contributor for 16 of the 19 NTDs analyzed. Arboviral diseases showed the highest average annual growth. The number of publications for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV /AIDS was considerably higher than for NTDs. The contribution of most LAC countries, especially those considered as LMICs, is inadequate and does not reflect the relevance of NTDs for the public health of the population. (4) Conclusion: This is the first bibliometric analysis to assess the trend of scientific documents on endemic NTDs in LAC. Our results could be used by decision makers both to strengthen investment policies in research and development in NTDs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0077.v1
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC); radiative transfer equation solver; optical path loss; tropical cyclone
Online: 7 June 2020 (10:01:08 CEST)
Underwater wireless optical communications (UWOC) have attracted considerable attention in recent years as an alternative means for acoustic communication. However, optical path loss of light propagation from attenuation is large due to absorption and scattering in various water conditions. Identification of environmental effects especially tropical storms on underwater optical path loss is the key to the success of using optics for UWOC. Underwater inherent optical properties (IOPs) such as the beam attenuation coefficient for 470 nm light in the western North Pacific Ocean were measured from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office sea gliders with being deployed after Super Typhoon Guchol (7-20 June 2012)‘s passage during 25-30 June 2012 and no any typhoon passage during 9 January – 28 February 2014. The observed two sets (with and without super typhoon) of IOPs are taken as input into a recently developed Radiative Transfer Equation solver. The simulated normalized received powers for the two durations show large impact of typhoon passage on UWOC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0186.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Fine root; tropical rainforest; nutrients dynamics; litter bags; decay rate; nitrogen mineralization, Calcium, Magnesium.
Online: 20 February 2019 (09:09:06 CET)
Plants produce above- and below-ground biomass. However, our understanding of both production and decomposition of below-ground biomass is poor, largely because of the difficulties of accessing study materials. Below-ground organic matter decomposition studies are scanty and especially rare in the tropics. Here, we used a litter bag experiment to quantify the mass loss and nutrients dynamics of decomposing twigs and fine roots from an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal associated tree, Parashorea chinensis, in a tropical rain forest in Southwest China. Overall, twig litter decomposed 1.9 times faster than fine roots (decay rate (k) twig=0.255, root=0.134). The difference in decomposition rates can be explained by a difference in phosphorus (P) concentration, availability and use by decomposers or C quality. Both materials showed an increase in N concentration, with final measurements still higher than initial levels. This suggests N may not be available due to microbial immobilization. Both carbon and nitrogen dynamics were significantly predicted by mass loss and showed a negative and positive relationship, respectively. Our study results imply that fine roots carbon and nitrogen contribute more to soils organic matter and enlarge the resident time. Therefore, better understanding of carbon cycle requires better understanding of mechanisms governing below ground biomass decomposition.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0358.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: snakebite; antidote; inhibitor; small molecule therapeutics; SMT; secretory phospholipase; sPLA2; Neglected Tropical Disease; NTD
Online: 27 April 2018 (09:00:55 CEST)
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added snakebite envenoming to the priority list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD). It is thought that ~75% of mortality following snakebite occurs outside the hospital setting, making the temporal gap between a bite and antivenom administration a major therapeutic challenge. Small molecule therapeutics (SMTs) have been proposed as potential pre-referral treatments for snakebite to help address this gap. Herein, we discuss the characteristics, potential uses and development of SMTs as potential treatments for snakebite envenomation. We focus on SMTs that are secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) inhibitors and metalloprotease (MP) inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0075.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: water quality; eutrophication; tropic state index; Landsat-8, RapidEye, tropical inland water bodies, Brazil
Online: 13 November 2017 (03:33:35 CET)
We aimed at analyzing Chlorophyll-a and CDOM dynamics from field measurements and at assessing the potential of multispectral satellite data for retrieving water-quality parameters in three small surface reservoirs in the Brazilian semiarid region. More specifically, this work comprises i) analysis of Chl-a and trophic dynamics; ii) characterization of CDOM; iii) estimation of Chl-a and CDOM from OLI/Landsat-8 and RapidEye imagery. The monitoring lasted 20 months within a multi-year drought, which contributed to water-quality deterioration. Chl-a and trophic state analysis showed a highly eutrophic status for the perennial reservoir during the entire study period, while the non-perennial reservoirs ranged from oligotrophic to eutrophic, with changes associated with the first events of the rainy season. CDOM characterization suggests that the perennial reservoir is mostly influenced by autochthonous sources, while allochthonous sources dominate the non-perennial ones. Spectral-group classification assigned the perennial as CDOM-moderate and highly eutrophic reservoir, whereas the non-perennial ones were assigned as CDOM-rich and oligotrophic-dystrophic reservoirs. The remote sensing initiative was partially successful: the Chl-a was best modelled using RapidEye for the perennial; whereas CDOM performed best with Landsat-8 for non-perennial reservoirs. This investigation showed high potential for retrieving water quality parameters in dry areas with small reservoirs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0595.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: blackfly; blindness; chorioretinitis; ivermectin; microfilaria; onchocerciasis; optic atrophy; optic neuritis; river blindness, tropical disease; uveitis.
Online: 10 October 2023 (07:56:42 CEST)
(1) Background: Newer generation ophthalmologists practicing in the developed world are not very familiar with some tropical ocular diseases due to the absence of reports in the ophthalmic literature over the past thirty years. Because of world globalization or due to influx of immigrants from Sub Saharan Africa, exotic retinal diseases are being encountered more often in ophthalmology clinics; (2) Methods: Case series of chorioretinitis or optic neuritis with obscure etiology; (3) Results: 4 cases qualified with the diagnosis of ocular onchocerciasis based on their residence near fast rivers in endemic areas, multimodal imaging, long term follow-up showing progressive disease and negative workup for other diseases. Characteristic findings include peripapillary choroiditis with optic neuritis or atrophy, subretinal tracts of the microfilaria, progressive RPE atrophy around heavily pigmented multifocal chorioretinal lesions of varying shapes and subretinal white or crystalline dots. Typical skin findings are often absent in eyes with chorioretinitis rendering the diagnosis more challenging; (4) Conclusions: Familiarity with the myriad ocular findings of onchocerciasis, and a high degree of suspicion in subjects residing in endemic areas can help in the correct diagnosis and implementation of appropriate chemotherapy. Onchocercid chorioretinitis is a slow insiduous progressive and prolonged polymorphous disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1937.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: adaptation; acclimation; climate change; global warming; species migration; trees; neotropical; rainforest; Amazon; Biodiversity; Tropical Forest
Online: 27 June 2023 (15:48:46 CEST)
For tropical forests to survive anthropogenic climate change, the trees that comprise them will need to tolerate the newly emerging conditions through adaptation or acclimation, or they can avoid climate change through range shifts and “species migrations”. In this review, we show that the rapid pace and extreme severity of modern climate change makes it extremely unlikely that tropical tree species can adapt (with some possible exceptions). We also show that while many tropical tree species are shifting their distributions to higher, cooler elevations, the rate of these migrations are mostly insufficient to offset ongoing changes in temperatures, especially in lowland tropical rainforests where thermal gradients are shallow or nonexistent. We argue that the best hope for tropical tree species to avoid becoming “committed to extinction” is acclimation. While several new methods are being developed to test for acclimation, we unfortunately still do not know if tropical tree species can acclimate or what factors may prevent or facilitate acclimation. Until these questions are answered, our ability to predict the fate of tropical species and tropical forests – and the many services that they provide to humanity – remains critically impaired.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0667.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Global health; human subjects research; international health; medical racism; research ethics; research neocolonialism; tropical medicine
Online: 21 April 2023 (03:40:31 CEST)
Best practices in global health training prioritize leadership and engagement from investigators from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), along with more conscientious community consultation and research that benefits local participants and autochthonous communities. However, well into the 20th century, international research and clinical care were rife with paternalism, extractive practices, and racist ideation, with race presumed to explain both vulnerability or protection from various diseases despite scientific evidence for more precise mechanisms for infectious disease. We highlight experiences in global research on health and illness among indigenous populations in LMICs, seeking to clarify what is both scientifically essential and ethically desirable in research with human subjects; we apply a critical view towards race and racism as historically distorting elements that must be acknowledged and overcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0301.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: deep learning; U-Net; semantic segmentation; schistosomiasis; aquatic vegetation; Neglected Tropical Diseases; Senegal River Basin
Online: 24 February 2022 (07:38:13 CET)
Schistosomiasis is a debilitating parasitic disease of poverty that affects more than 200 million people worldwide, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and is clearly associated with the construction of dams and water resource management infrastructure in tropical and subtropical areas. Changes to hydrology and salinity linked to water infrastructure development may create conditions favorable to the aquatic vegetation that is suitable habitat for the intermediate snail hosts of schistosome parasites. With thousands of small and large water reservoirs, irrigation canals, and dams developed or under construction in Africa, it is crucial to accurately assess the spatial distribution of high-risk environments that are habitat for freshwater snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis in rapidly changing ecosystems. Yet, standard techniques for monitoring snails are labor-intensive, time-consuming, and provide information limited to the small areas that can be manually sampled. Consequently, in low-income countries where schistosomiasis control is most needed, there are formidable challenges to identify potential transmission hotspots for targeted medical and environmental interventions. In this study, we developed a new framework to map the spatial distribution of suitable snail habitat across large spatial scales in the Senegal River Basin by integrating satellite data, high-definition, low-cost drone imagery, and an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered computer vision technique called semantic segmentation. A deep learning model (U-Net) was built to automatically analyze high-resolution satellite imagery to produce segmentation maps of aquatic vegetation, with a fast and robust generalized prediction that proved more accurate than a more commonly used random forest approach. Accurate and up-to-date knowledge of areas at highest risk for disease transmission can increase the effectiveness of control interventions by targeting habitat of disease-carrying snails. With the deployment of this new framework, local governments or health actors might better target environmental interventions to where and when they are most needed in an integrated effort to reach the goal of schistosomiasis elimination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0018.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: abiotic stress; acetaldehyde; hexenal; LOX products; mass spectrometry; methanol; proton-transfer reaction; tropical crop species
Online: 1 April 2021 (12:50:17 CEST)
Leaf mechanical wounding triggers a rapid, within minutes, release of a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Wounding-induced VOC blend is mainly composed of oxygenated ubiquitous stress volatiles such as methanol and volatile products of lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway (mainly C5 and C6 alcohols and aldehydes and their derivatives), but also includes multiple minor VOCs that collectively act as infochemicals inducing defences in non-damaged plant leaves, neighbouring plants and attracting herbivore enemies. Till present, interspecific variability of the rate of induction and magnitude of wounding-induced emissions, and the extent to which plant structural traits and physiological activity alter these emissions are poorly known. Particularly scarce is the information of the induced emissions in tropical agricultural plant species despite their economic importance and large area of cultivation at regional to global scales. We chose five tropical crops with varying photosynthetic activity and leaf structural characteristics: Abelmoschus esculentus, Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus hybridus, Solanum aethiopicum and Telfairia occidentalis to characterize the kinetics and magnitude of wounding-induced emissions, hypothesizing that the induced emission response is greater and faster in physiologically more active species with greater photosynthetic activity than in less active species. Rapid highly repeatable leaf wounds (12-mm cuts) were generated by a within-leaf-chamber cutting knife. Wounding-induced VOC emissions were measured continuously with a proton-transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry was used to separate isomers. Twenty-three ion VOCs and twelve terpenoid molecule structures were identified, whereas ubiquitous stress volatiles methanol (on average 40% of total emissions), hexenal (24%), and acetaldehyde (11%) were the main compounds across the species. Emissions of low-weight oxygenated compounds (LOC, 70% of total), and LOX products (29%) were positively correlated across species, but minor VOC components, monoterpenoids and benzenoids were negatively correlated with LOC and LOX, indicating a reverse relationship between signal specificity and strength. There was a large interspecific variability in the rate of induction and emission magnitude, but the hypothesis of a stronger emission response in physiologically more active species was only partly supported. In addition, the overall emission levels were somewhat lower with different emission blend compared to the data reported for wild species, as well as different shares for the VOCs in the blend. The study demonstrates that wounding-dependent emissions from tropical agricultural crops can significantly contribute to atmospheric volatiles, and these emissions cannot be predicted based on current evidence of wild plant model systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0615.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: hyperspectral images; multispectral images; spectral diversity; Shannon entropy; tropical forest; marine coral reefs; biodiversity; correlation.
Online: 25 October 2018 (16:30:53 CEST)
Hyperspectral images are an important tool to assess ecosystem biodiversity both on terrestrial and benthic habitats. To obtain more precise analysis of biodiversity indicators that agree with indicators obtained using field data, analysis of spectral diversity calculated from images have to be validated with field based diversity estimates. The plant species richness is one of the most important indicators of biodiversity. This indicator can be measured in hyperspectral images considering the Spectral Variation Hypothesis (SVH) which states that the spectral heterogeneity is related to spatial heterogeneity and thus to species richness. The goal of this research is to capture spectral heterogeneity from hyperspectral images for a terrestrial neo tropical forest site using Vector Quantization (VQ) method and then use the result for prediction of plant species richness. The results are compared with that of Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering (HAC). The validation of the process index is done calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient between the Shannon entropy from actual field data and the Shannon entropy computed in the images. Terrestrial dry forest and marine coastal hyperspectral images with different resolutions have been used for spectral diversity feature validation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0340.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: precipitation; tropical rainfall measurement mission (TRMM); multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA); upper indus basin (UIB).
Online: 19 August 2018 (03:53:47 CEST)
The present study aims to evaluate the capability of the TRMM-3B42-(V7) precipitation product to estimate appropriate precipitation rates in the Upper Indus basin (UIB) and the analysis of the dependency of the estimates’ accuracies on the time scale. To that avail statistical analyses and comparison of the TMPA- products with gauge measurements in the UIB are carried out. The dependency of the TMPA estimates’ quality on the time scale is analysed by comparisons of daily, monthly, seasonal and annual sums for the UIB. The results show considerable biases in the TMPA- (TRMM) precipitation estimates for the UIB, as well as high false alarms and miss ratios. The correlation of the TMPA- estimates with ground-based gauge data increases considerably and almost in a linear fashion with increasing temporal aggregation, i.e. time scale. The BIAS is mostly positive for the summer season, while for the winter season it is predominantly negative, thereby showing a slight over-estimation of the precipitation in summer and under-estimation in winter. The results of the study suggest that, in spite of these discrepancies between TMPA- estimates and gauge data, the use of the former in hydrological watershed modelling, endeavoured presently by the authors, may be a valuable alternative in data- scarce regions, like the UIB, but still must be taken with a grain of salt.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1677.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Stable water isotopes; Craig-Gordon model; Surface water evaporation; E/I ratio; Bayesian framework; Tropical catchment
Online: 26 October 2023 (03:34:27 CEST)
Understanding surface water evaporation in tropical catchments is pivotal for effective water management, but limited research exists on stable isotopic (δ2H and δ18O) assessment of water evaporation losses. Our study bridges that gap, examining stable isotopes in meteoric water and surface waters across tropical regions, both humid and semi-arid. Using the Craig-Gordon model, we calibrated evaporation-to-inflow (E/I) ratios, identifying distinct E/I variations between seasons and regions. Notably, the semi-arid region consistently exhibited higher E/I ratios due to climatic characteristics. By integrating the Hamiltonian Monte Carlo and the No-U-Turn Sampler, we were able to quantify uncertainties in isotopic and meteorological parameters, resulting in E/I estimates within 68% and 95% confidence intervals. Our Bayesian model insights are critical for freshwater resource optimization and hydrological modeling in tropical regions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1933.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Andes mountains; drought tolerance; elevation; solute leakage; tropical forest; understory plants; turgor loss point; cuticular conductance
Online: 27 June 2023 (15:02:29 CEST)
Little is known about how differences in water availability within the “super humid” tropics can influence the distribution of understory plant species and the composition of understory plant communities. We investigated variation in the physiological drought tolerances of understory plants and plant communities across a large elevation and precipitation gradient. We established 58 understory plots along a gradient of 400 – 3600 m asl elevation and 1000 – 6000 mm yr-1 rainfall in and around Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. Within the plots, we sampled all understory woody plants and measured three metrics of physiological leaf drought tolerance - turgor loss point (TLP), cuticular conductance (Gmin), and solute leakage (SL) - and assessed how the community-level means of these traits related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) and elevation (in the study gradient temperature decreases linearly and vapor pressure deficit increases monotonically with elevation). We did not find any correlations between the three metrics of leaf drought tolerance, suggesting that they represent independent strategies for coping with low water availability. Despite being widely used metrics of leaf drought tolerance, neither TLP nor Gmin showed any significant relationships with elevation or MAP. In contrast, SL, which has only recently been developed for use in ecological field studies, increased significantly at higher precipitations and at lower elevations (i.e., plants in colder and drier habitats have lower SL, indicating greater drought tolerances). Our results illustrate that differences in water availability may play a strong role in structuring plant communities even in in the wet tropics and highlight the potential for SL assays to be an efficient and effective tool for measuring drought tolerances in the field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1448.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Quantum Science And Technology Keywords: quantum ideal gas; grand partition function; supersymmetric polynomials on Banach spaces; algebraic basis; topological semiring; tropical semiring
Online: 23 November 2023 (09:40:11 CET)
We propose a correspondence between partition functions of ideal gases consisting of both bosons and fermions and algebraic bases of supersymmetric polynomials on the Banach space of absolutely summable two-sides sequences ℓ1(Z0). Such an approach allows us to interpret some combinatorial identities for supersymmetric polynomials from a physical point of view. We consider a relation of equivalence on ℓ1(Z0) induced by the supersymmetric polynomials, and semiring algebraic structures on the quotient set with respect to this relation. The quotient set is a natural model for the set of energy levels of a quantum system. We introduce two different topological semiring structures on this set and discuss their possible physical interpretations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0221.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: air shaft; air well; solar chimney; field measurement; natural ventilation; tropical climate; terrace house; passive cooling design
Online: 10 September 2020 (04:46:23 CEST)
The provision requirement of 10% openings of the total floor area stated in the Uniform Building by Law 1984 Malaysia has been practiced by designers for building plan submission approval. However, the effectiveness of thermal performance in landed residential buildings, despite the imposition by the by-law, has never been empirically measured and proven. Although terraced houses in Malaysia have dominated 40.9% of the total property transaction in 2019, such mass production with typical designs hardly provides its occupants with thermal comfort due to the static outdoor air condition and lack of external windows, where the conventional ventilation technique does not work well, even for houses with an air well system. Consequently, the occupants need to rely on mechanical cooling, which is a high energy-consuming component contributing to outdoor heat dissipation and therefore urban heat island effect. Thus, encouraging more effective natural ventilation to eliminate excessive heat from the indoor environment is critical. Since most of the research focuses on simulation modelling lacking sufficient empirical validation, this paper drawing on field measurement investigates natural ventilation performance in terraced housing with an air well system. More importantly, the key concern as to what extent the current air well system serving as a ventilator is effective to provide better thermal performance in the single storey terraced house is to be addressed. By adopting an existing single storey air welled terrace house, the existing indoor environmental conditions and thermal performance were monitored and measured using scientific equipment, namely HOBO U12 air temperature and air humidity, the HOBO U12 anemometer and the Delta Ohm HD32.3 Wet Bulb Globe Temperature meter for a six-month duration. The findings show that the air temperature of the air well ranged from 27.48°C to 30.92°C, while the mean relative humidity were from 72.67% to 79.25%. The mean air temperature for a test room (single sided ventilation room) ranged from 28.04°C to 30.92°C with a relative humidity of 70.16% to 76%. These empirical findings are of importance, offering novel policy insights and suggestions to potentially revising the existing building code standard and by laws; since the minimum provision of 10% openings has been revealed to be less effective to provide a desired thermal performance and comfort, mandatory compliance with, and the necessity for, the bylaw requirement should be revisited and further studied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0185.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: summer-mean Arctic circulation patterns; extra-tropical synoptic cyclones; self-organizing maps (SOMs); cyclone detection and tracking
Online: 15 July 2019 (15:24:28 CEST)
The contribution of extra-tropical synoptic cyclones to the formation of summer-mean atmospheric circulation patterns in the Arctic is investigated by clustering the dominant Arctic circulation patterns by the self-organizing maps (SOMs) using the daily mean sea level pressure (MSLP) in the Arctic domain (≥ 60°N). Three SOM patterns are identified: one with prevalent low pressure anomalies in the Arctic Circle (SOM1) and two opposite dipoles with primary high pressure anomalies covering the Arctic Ocean (SOM2 and SOM3). The time series of summertime occurrence frequencies demonstrate the largest inter-annual variation in the SOM1, the slight decreasing trend in the SOM2, and the abrupt upswing after 2007 in the SOM3. The relevant analyses with produced cyclone track data confirm that the vital contribution. The Arctic cyclone activity is enhanced in the SOM1 because the meridional temperature gradient increases over the land–Arctic Ocean boundaries co-located with major extra-tropical cyclone pathways. The composite daily synoptic evolutions for each SOM reveal that the persistence of all the three SOMs is less than 5 days on average. These evolutionary short-term weather patterns have substantial variability at inter-annual and longer timescales. Therefore, the synoptic-scale activity is central to forming the seasonal-mean climate of the Arctic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0175.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; FTIR spectroscopy; fertilizer microdosing; African leafy vegetables; greenhouse gas mitigation; sustainability; tropical agriculture; soil fertility
Online: 17 January 2020 (04:23:44 CET)
Fertility management techniques being promoted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) seek to grow indigenous vegetables economically and sustainably. This study was conducted in a phytotron chamber and compared yield, soil carbon (C) speciation and greenhouse gas (nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)) emissions from SSA soils of two ecoregions; the dry savanna (lna, Republic of Benin) and rainforest (Ife, Nigeria) cultivated with local amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) under manure (5 t/ha) and/or urea (80 kg N/ha) fertilization. Vegetable yield ranged from 1753 kg/ac to 3198kg/ac in the rainforest, RF, soils and 1281 kg/ac to 1951 kg/ac in the dry savanna, DS, soils. Yield in the urea treatment was slightly higher compared to the manure+urea treatment, but the difference was not statistically significant. Cumulative CO2 emissions over 21 days ranged from 497.06 to 579.47 g CO2 in the RF, and 322.96 to 624.97 g CO2 in the DS, while cumulative N2O emissions ranged from 60.53 to 220.86 mg N2O in the RF, and 24.78 to 99.08 mg N2O in the DS. In the RF samples, the combined use of manure and urea reduced CO2 and N2O emissions but led to an increase in the DS samples. ATR-FTIR analysis showed that the combined use of manure and urea increased the rate of microbial degradation in the soils of the DS, but no such effect was observed in soils of the RF. We conclude that combining manure and urea fertilization has different effects on soils of the two ecoregions, and that RF farmers can reduce agricultural emissions without compromising soil productivity and yield potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0335.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: tropical reservoir; water quality index (WQI); trophic state index (TSI); ecological risk index (ERI); ecological risk assessment (ERA)
Online: 28 December 2018 (06:47:30 CET)
A study of the water quality of the Adolfo López Mateos Reservoir (ALMD) was developed through different indicators from a spatial and seasonal perspective. Variables related to the general characteristics of water quality, trophic level and ecological risk were assessed through the water Quality Index (WQINSF-BROWN), Trophic State Index (TSICARLSON) and the Ecological Risk Index (RIHAKANSON). Using data from physical, chemical and biological parameters obtained from four sampling points in the ALMD, the water quality was assessed in each model used. The results indicated that the reservoir presents a water quality classified as “medium” (WQINSF-BROWN = 70), where significant variations in the concentrations of some parameters are observed. The reservoir showed a general trophic state classified as “Mesotrophic” (TSIGENERAL-AVERAGE = 43.04). The ecological risk analysis achieved the best classification of the methodology, discarding contamination by heavy metals in surface waters. Through this type of applied methodologies will help as decision making tools in the dam, as well as for application in other dams in the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Bengal slow loris; masked palm civet; common palm civet; conservation; forest canopy; density; Satchari National Park; tropical forest; Bangladesh
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:09:08 CEST)
Tropical forests harbor complex communities that are linked together by biotic relationships. Asian forests in particular have lost many apex predators due to habitat loss. We studied a small forest patch in northeastern Bangladesh, Satchari National Park, to determine density and diversity of nocturnal mammals and evaluate their relationships. Transects were walked from February 2015 to July 2016 and density was estimated using distance sampling. Nine species of mammals (5 arboreal and 4 ground-dwelling) were encountered. Densities of the common palm civets, Paradoxurus hermaphrodites, Bengal slow loris, Nycticebus bengalensis, were the highest (19.48 and 15.03 individuals/km2). Density of small Indian civets, large Indian civets and Indian mongoose were lower (2.31-5.55 individuals/km2). Unexpectedly, a wide range of nocturnal mammals co-existed in this forest patch, in spite of fragmentation and severe disturbance. We did not find any significant association between any of the species studied, although this could be an artifact of low sample size. Conservation in Bangladesh remains a challenge due to high human population density. Thus, strict conservation measures are needed to permit the long-term survival of these species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0070.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: deep learning; aerial imagery; precision agriculture; plant detection; domain adaptation; unsupervised learning; self-supervision; adversarial learning; domain shift; tropical crops
Online: 3 February 2023 (10:14:09 CET)
This paper presents a novel approach for accurate counting and localization of tropical plants in aerial images that is able to work in new visual domains in which the available data is not labeled. Our approach uses deep learning and domain adaptation, designed to handle domain shift between the training and test data, which is a common challenge in this agricultural applications. This method uses a source dataset with annotated plants and a target dataset without annotations, and adapts a model trained on the source dataset to the target dataset using unsupervised domain alignment and pseudolabeling. The experimental results show the effectiveness of this approach for plant counting in aerial images of pineapples under significative domain shift, achieving a reduction up to 97% in the counting error when compared to the supervised baseline.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: the tropical Pacific-Indian Ocean associated mode (PIOAM); Madden Julian Oscillations (MJO); Maritime Continent (MC); MJO kinetic energy; MJO convection
Online: 26 August 2020 (09:34:57 CEST)
Based on the observation and reanalysis data, the relationship between Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) over the Maritime Continent (MC) and the tropical Pacific-Indian Ocean temperature anomaly mode is analyzed. The results showed that the MJO over the MC region (100°-140°E, 10°S-5°N) (referred to as MC-MJO) possesses prominent interannual and interdecadal variations and seasonally "phase-locked" features. MC-MJO is strongest in the boreal winter and weakest in the boreal summer. Winter MC-MJO kinetic energy variation has significant relationships with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in winter and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in autumn, but it correlates better with the tropical Pacific-Indian Ocean associated mode (PIOAM). The correlation coefficient between the winter MC-MJO kinetic energy index and the autumn PIOAM index is as high as -0.43. This means that when the positive (negative) autumn PIOAM anomaly strengthens, the MJO kinetic energy over the winter MC region weakens (strengthens). However, the correlation between the MC-MJO convection and PIOAM in winter is significantly weaker. The propagation of MJO over the Maritime Continent differs significantly in the contrast phases of PIOAM. During the positive phase of the PIOAM, the eastward propagation of the winter MJO kinetic energy always fails to move across the MC region and cannot enter the western Pacific. However, during the negative phase of the PIOAM, the anomalies of MJO kinetic energy over the MC is not significantly. MJO can propagate farther eastward and enter the western Pacific. One thing must be pointed out that there is a significant difference between the propagation of MJO convection over the MC region in winter and that of the MJO kinetic energy. That said, the MJO convection is more likely to extend to the western Pacific in the positive phases of PIOAM than in the negative phases
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0325.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Leishmaniases; Chagas disease; Human African Trypanosomiasis; Animal trypanosomiasis; Diagnosis; non-invasive; Meta-analysis; Vector Born diseases; Neglected tropical disease; Diagnosis
Online: 23 February 2020 (13:44:05 CET)
Unicellular eukaryotes of the Trypanosomatidae family include human and animal pathogens that belong to the Trypanosoma and Leishmania genera. Diagnosis of the diseases they caused requires the sampling of body fluids (blood, lymph, peritoneal fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.) or organ biopsies (bone marrow, spleen, etc.), which are mostly obtained through invasive methods. Body fluids or appendages can be alternatives to these invasive biopsies but appropriateness remains poorly studied. To further address this question, we perform a systematic review on clues evidencing the presence of parasites, genetic material, antibodies, and antigens in body secretions, appendages, or the organs or proximal tissues that produce these materials. Paper selection was based on searches in PubMed, Web of Science, WorldWideScience, SciELO, Embase, Google. The information of each selected article (n=333) was classified into different sections and data were extracted from 77 papers. The presence of Trypanosomatidae parasites has been tracked in most of organs or proximal tissues that produce body secretions or appendages, in naturally or experimentally infected hosts. The meta-analysis highlights the paucity of studies on Human African Trypanosomiasis and a the absence on animal Trypanosomiasis. Among the collected data high heterogeneity in terms of the I2 statistic (100%) is recorded. A high positivity is recorded for antibody and genetic material detection in urine of patients and dogs suffering leishmaniasis, and of antigen for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Data on conjunctival swab can be analyzed with molecular methods solely for dogs suffering canine visceral leishmaniasis. Saliva and hair/bristle showed a pretty good positivity that support their potential to be used for leishmaniasis diagnosis. In conclusion, our study pinpoints significant gaps that need to be filled in order to properly address the interest of body secretion and hair or bristle for the diagnosis of infections caused by Leishmania and by other Trypanosomatidae parasites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0111.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Analysis Keywords: helminthiasis dynamics in Ghana, preventive chemotherapy, school-aged children, high-risk adults, neglected tropical diseases, age-structure, infection risk, cost analysis
Online: 5 November 2018 (11:43:33 CET)
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), a neglected tropical disease (NTD) remains a major health problem all over the world including Ghana, which has STH prevalence of 25.4%. To control the disease, the government of Ghana currently concentrates on implementing mass drug administration (MDA) efforts focusing only among school-aged children. However, various studies have suggested that focusing on only a specific group for MDA may not be cost-effective. Moreover, some adults such as teachers and school-workers spend large fraction of their time with children, who shed more parasite in environment due to unhygienic behavior, and thus have a higher risk of getting infected as compared to other adults. In this study we use a mathematical model to evaluate age-structured and risk-based policies for implementing MDA while capturing transmission dynamics of STH in Ghana. A cost model was developed that included various costs related to MDA to study cost-effectiveness of current policies of MDA in Ghana against novel policies to control STH in Ghana. We carry out analysis for five different scenarios— I: no MDA (baseline), II: current MDA policy (focusing children) in Ghana, III: MDA for different age groups (adults and children groups) for unlimited budget, IV: MDA for different age groups with limitations of number of individuals treated, and, V: MDA for different groups based on their risk of getting infected (adults school workers (high-risk group), adults non-school workers and children groups). Our results suggest that it might be more cost-effective to allocate treatment through MDA to at least some proportion of adults along with children. In case of unlimited budget, the best strategy in Scenario IV would be to treat approximately 22% of adults and approximately 45% of children. The most cost-effective among the 5 scenarios is suggested through scenario V, where high-risk adults group and children are provided MDA at higher level than low-risk adults. In conclusion, age-structured and risk-based allocation of treatment and resources is crucial to reducing STH load in developing countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0059.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Quantum of action; action mechanics; least action; photons; quanta; Gibbs energy; Gibbs field; torque; vortical action; Carnot cycle; wind turbines; downwelling radiation; tropical cyclone; gravitational energy
Online: 5 April 2023 (11:48:53 CEST)
We propose that, at equilibrium, statistically equal temperatures as mechanical torques are exerted on each kind of gas phase molecules as rates of translational action [@t=ʃmvds/dt=ʃmr2ωdϕ/dt=mv2, J]. These torques result from the impulsive density of resonant quantum fields with molecules, configuring the trajectories of gas molecules while balancing molecular pressure (p=NkT) against the density of field energy (J/m3). Gibbs energy fields contain no resonant quanta at zero Kelvin, with this measure of chemical potential diminishing in magnitude as translational action of the vapor molecules and quantum field energy increases with temperature. In illustration, we show how impulsive torques from quantum fields drive the reversible thermodynamics of Carnot’s heat-work engine cycle, sustain the decreasing atmospheric temperature gradient of increasing molecular entropy with altitude, support the translational action and field energy of vortical wind flow in anticyclones, frictionally warming the Earth’s surface while recycling greenhouse infrared absorption of surface radiation, generating electrical power from air flow in wind farms and destructive power in tropical cyclones. These cases all distinguish symmetrically between a causal field of impulsive quanta (Σhν) that energizes the action of matter and the resultant vis viva of molecular mechanics (mv2). The quanta of these different fields display mean wavelengths from 10-4 m to 1012 m, with mechanical advantages many orders of magnitude greater than the corresponding translational actions, though with mean quantum frequencies (v) similar to those of radial Brownian movement for independent particles (ω). These energy fields are also thermodynamically reversible reservoirs for heat, optimizing work processes on Earth and delaying the achievement of maximum entropy production from short wave solar radiation in conversion to outgoing long wave radiation to space.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0287.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Extreme Waves; Extra-Tropical Cyclones; Altimeter and SWIM-CFOSAT; Ocean Surface Waves Remote Sensing; Atlantic Ocean; Ocean Surface Waves Monitoring and Modeling; Self-Similar Solutions; Fetch and Duration Laws
Online: 15 March 2023 (14:05:31 CET)
Surface waves generated by Extra-Tropical Cyclones (ETCs) can significantly affect shipping, fishing, offshore oil and gas production and other marine activities. This paper presents results of satellite-data-based investigation of wind waves generated by two North Atlantic ETCs. These ETCs were fast-moving systems, inhibiting resonance (synchronism) between the group velocity of the generated waves and the ETC translation velocity. For these cases, the wave generation begins when the front-boundary of the storm appears at a given ocean location point. Since developing waves are slow, they move backward relative to the storm, grow in time, and then leave the ETC stormy area through the rear sector. Multi-satellite observations confirm such a paradigm, and reveal that the storm regions is filled up with young developing wind waves which are most developed in the rear-right sector. As observed, the energy of these waves was growing in time during the ETC life span. It is demonstrated that the extended-fetch concept (inherent for Tropical Cyclones) does not apply for ETC. Instead, by analogy, the concept of extended-duration wave growth concept is more relevant. Satellite observations well confirm the validity of duration-laws for waves generated by ETCs, and demonstrate that extended-fetch regime for observing waves can only asymptotically be achieved, - at time intervals exceeding the lifespan of considered ETCs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1770.v1
Subject: Other, Environmental And Earth Sciences Keywords: user-inspired science; drought impacts; Canada; United States; Mexico; Pacific Islands; Caribbean Islands; user engagement; Kö ppen climate zones; climate change; drought in tropical climates; drought in polar climates
Online: 28 November 2023 (09:09:54 CET)
: Drought monitoring and early detection have improved greatly in recent decades through the development and refinement of numerous indices and indicators. However, a lack of guidance, based on user experience, exists as to which drought monitoring tools are most appropriate in a given location. This review paper summarizes the results of targeted user engagement and the published literature to improve the understanding of drought across North America, and to enhance the utility of drought monitoring tools. Workshops and surveys were used to assess and make general conclusions about the perceived performance of drought indicators, indices and impacts information used for monitoring drought in the five main Köppen climate types (Tropical, Temperate, Continental, Polar Tundra, Dry) found across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In Tropical, humid Temperate, and southerly Continental climates, droughts are perceived to be more short-term (less than 6 months) in duration rather than long-term (more than 6 months). In Polar Tundra climates, Dry climates, Temperate climates with dry warm seasons, and northerly Continental climates, droughts are perceived to be more long-term than short-term. In general, agricultural and hydrological droughts were considered to be the most important drought types. Drought impacts related to agriculture, water supply, ecosystem, and human health were rated to be of greatest importance. Users identified the most effective indices and indicators for monitoring drought across North America to be the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) and Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) (or another measure of precipitation anomaly), followed by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (or another satellite-observed vegetation index), temperature anomalies, crop status, soil moisture, streamflow, reservoir storage, water use (demand), and reported drought impacts. Users also noted the importance of indices that measure evapotranspiration, evaporative demand, and snow water content. Drought indices and indicators were generally thought to perform equally well across seasons in Tropical and the colder Continental climates, but their performance was perceived to vary seasonally in Dry, Temperate, Polar Tundra, and the warmer Continental climates, with improved performance during warm and wet times of the year. The drought indices and indicators, in general, were not perceived to perform equally well across geographies. This review paper provides guidance on when (time of year) and where (climate zone) the more popular drought indices and indicators should be used. The paper concludes by noting the importance of understanding how drought, its impacts, and indicators are changing over time as the climate warms, and by recommending ways to strengthen the use of indices and indicators in drought decision-making.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1484.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant; SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant; variant of concern (VOC); tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF); vaccination; booster dose; lockdown; Italy
Online: 24 October 2023 (08:17:16 CEST)
Like all RNA viruses, SARS-CoV-2 shows high mutation rate, which has led to the emergence of new variants. Among them, Gamma and Delta developed at the turn of 2020-2021 in Amazonas and India, two ecoregions characterized by hot-humid weather, very similar to that of the summer season due to climate change in Italy, the first Western country to have been hit hard by COVID-19 and to experience lockdown restrictions in a democratic framework of 58,85 million people. Methods: during the state of national health emergency and the Draghi government, the Civil Defense Department daily released the aggregate data coming from the Ministry of Health, the Higher Institute of Health, the Independent Provinces and the Italian Regions, in order to inform about the pandemic situation in Italy. Among these data there were the number of deaths, hospitalizations in intensive care units (ICU), non-ICU patients, contagions, and performed swabs. By means of a team effort, we have collected and elaborated all these data, comparing COVID-19 pandemic in Italy during the summers 2020 (following the nationwide lockdown), 2021 and 2022. Results: from summer 2020 (before mass vaccination) to summers 2021 (after primary mass vaccination) and 2022 (after booster mass vaccination) all pandemic trend indicators have showed a sharp worsening in Italy. COVID-19 deaths increased by ≈298% and ≈834%, ICU hospitalizations by ≈386% and ≈310%, non-ICU hospitalizations by ≈224% and ≈600%, contagions by ≈627% and ≈6.850% (i.e. ≈68,50 times), swabs by ≈354% and ≈370%, and the mean positivity rate passed from ≈1% to ≈2% and ≈20%, respectively. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted in any climate, including areas with hot and humid weather, and the emergence of variants adapted to hot-humid climate may result in summer COVID-19 outbreaks, even in neither tropical nor subtropical countries. Although COVID-19 vaccines can confer cross-protection against newly emerging variants, this cross-immunity is obviously not absolute but limited, also taking into account that vaccine protection wanes considerably after 6 months. It follows that a subject vaccinated at the beginning of winter will not be completely covered in the height of summer, without forgetting the unvaccinated. As a final remark, the long nationwide lockdown made it possible to flatten SARS-CoV-2 circulation and, therefore, its negative impact on Italy during summer 2020.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0284.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Extreme Waves; Extra-Tropical Cyclones; Altimeter and SWIM-CFOSAT; Ocean Surface Waves Remote Sensing; Atlantic Ocean; Ocean Surface Waves Monitoring and Modeling; Parametric-2D Wave-ray Model; Swell Evolution; Synthetic Aperture Radar
Online: 15 March 2023 (10:51:31 CET)
In a previous companion study, satellite data were used to describe peculiar characteristics of ocean surface wave fields, generated by two extra-tropical cyclones (ETCs) rapidly propagating in the North Atlantic. Based on a 2D parametric wave model, further details are now provided to analyse and interpret the spatio-temporal evolution of ETC very intense generated waves. Significant wave height and wavelength values are shown to reach extreme values, 18 m and 500 m, respectively. Resulting energetic swell systems waves then radiate in the whole eastern part of North Atlantic, and more particularly in the Norwegian sea region. Moving to higher latitudes, wind forcing characteristics of ETCs evolve, with the shape of the wind field changing from quasi-cyclonic to "air jets/Icelandic lows". In this paper, the resulting swell generation and propagation, after the deformation of an individual ETC, are studied, as well. Confirmed with comparisons with multi-satellite observations, the application of the parametric-2D wave-ray model is demonstrated to provide robust and highly detailed information on wave generation under very complex wind regime changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0339.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Banana; fine mapping; quantitative trait locus; Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis; Fusarium wilt; Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; Tropical Race 4; Subtropical Race 4; marker assisted selection; resistance gene expression; receptor-like kinase; RNAseq
Online: 5 May 2023 (09:51:49 CEST)
Fusarium wilt of banana is a devastating disease that has decimated banana production worldwide. Host resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), the causal agent of this disease, is genetically dissected in this study using two Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis segregating populations segregating for Foc Tropical (TR4) and Subtropical (STR4) race 4 resistance. Marker loci and trait association using 11 SNP-based PCR markers allowed the candidate region to be delimited to a 12.9 cM genetic interval corresponding to a 959 kb region on Chromosome 3 of ‘DH-Pahang’ reference assembly v4. Within this region, there is a cluster of pattern recognition receptors, namely leucine rich repeat ectodomain containing receptor-like protein kinases, cysteine-rich cell wall associated protein kinases, and leaf rust 10 disease-resistance locus receptor-like proteins positioned in an interspersed arrangement. Their transcript levels were rapidly upregulated in the resistant but not in susceptible F2 progenies at the onset of infection. This suggests that one or several of these genes may control resistance at this locus. To confirm the segregation of single-gene resistance, we generated an inter-cross between the resistant parent ‘Ma850’ and a susceptible line ‘Ma848’, to show that the STR4 resistance co-segregated with marker ‘28820’ at this locus. Finally, an informative SNP marker 29730 allowed the locus specific resistance to be assessed in a collection of diploid and polyploid banana plants. Out of the 60 lines screened, 22 lines were predicted to carry resistance at this locus, including lines known to be TR4 resistant, such as ‘Pahang’, ‘SH-3362’, ‘SH-3217’, ‘Ma-ITC0250’, and ‘DH-Pahang/CIRAD 930’. Additional screening in the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture’s collection suggests that the dominant allele is common among in the elite ‘Matooke’ NARITA hybrids, as well as in other triploid or tetraploid hybrids derived from East African highland bananas. Fine-mapping and candidate gene identification will allow characterization of molecular mechanisms underlying TR4 resistance. The markers developed in this study can now aid the marker-assisted selection of TR4 resistance in breeding programs around the world.