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1.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0271576, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021876

ABSTRACT

Spatial and temporal variability in the availability of food resources will lead to variation in a species' diet, which can then influence patterns of space use, sociality, and life history characteristics. Despite such potential impacts, little information is available about dietary variability for some species with large geographical ranges. Here we quantify the diet and nutritional content of plants consumed by western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in Loango National Park, Gabon over a 2.6 year period and make comparisons with two study sites located 800 km away. The major foods consumed by the Loango gorillas differed greatly from the other two study sites, but gorillas at all three locations spent a similar proportion of feeding time consuming herbaceous vegetation and tree leaves (~ 50%) and fruit (35%). The Loango gorillas spent approximately 10% of feeding time eating nuts, which were not consumed at the other two study sites. Gorillas at those sites spent about 5% of feeding time eating insects, which were not consumed by Loango gorillas. Even though the species composition of the diet differed among the three sites, the nutritional composition of the major food items differed very little, suggesting that western gorillas consume foods of similar nutritional values to meet their dietary needs. This study shows the flexibility of diet of a species with a wide geographic distribution, which has implications for understanding variation in life history characteristics and can be useful for conservation management plans.


Subject(s)
Diet , Gorilla gorilla , Animals , Diet/veterinary , Fruit , Seasons , Trees
2.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271398, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1974318

ABSTRACT

Central Asia is an important center of origin for many globally valued fruit and nut tree species. Forest degradation and deforestation are cause for concern for the conservation of these valuable species, now confined to small remnant populations. Home gardens have the important function of sustaining household food consumption and income generation, and can potentially play a critical role in conserving diversity of fruit and nut trees. These systems have been very poorly documented in the scientific literature. This study contributes to filling this gap by describing the diversity of fruit and nut trees in home gardens of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, examining their dynamic flow of planting material and its sources, understanding their future prospects, and looking at significant differences between the three countries. Home gardens show a similar portfolio of the most abundant tree species (apple, apricot, walnut, pear, and plum). Although the diversity of tree species and varieties recorded is significant, small population sizes can limit future possibilities for this diversity to thrive, given the pressure on natural stands and on habitats where the preferred species are found. Furthermore, the selection of species and varieties to be planted in home gardens is increasingly influenced by market opportunities and availability of exotic material. Some of the most abundant tree species recorded are represented largely by exotic varieties (apple, pear), while others (e.g., apricot, walnut, plum) are still mainly characterized by traditional local varieties that are not formally registered. Home gardens continue to play a critical role in rural livelihoods and in national economies, and many rural inhabitants still aspire to maintain them. Thus, home gardens should be integrated in national research and extension systems and closely linked to national conservation efforts. Changes and possible declines in the diversity they host, their health status, and resilience should be carefully monitored.


Subject(s)
Gardens , Trees , Asia , Fruit , Nuts
3.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271648, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963033

ABSTRACT

Google Trends (GT) is an online tool designed for searching for changes over time. We assessed its use for evaluating changes in the timing of cherry flowering phenology, which is of intense interest to Japanese people. We examined the relationship between time-series of relative search volume (RSV: relative change in search requests over time obtained from the GT access engine) and cherry flowering information published on websites (as ground truth) in relation to three famous ancient cherry trees. The time-series of RSV showed an annual bell-shaped seasonal variability, and the dates of the maximum RSV tended to correspond to the dates of full bloom. Our results suggest that GT allows monitoring of multiple famous cherry flowering sites where we cannot obtain long-term flowering data to evaluate the spatiotemporal variability of cherry flowering phenology.


Subject(s)
Flowers , Search Engine , Humans , Seasons , Trees
4.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0269808, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933348

ABSTRACT

Searching for an optimum transportation facility location with emergency equipment and staff is essential for a specific region or a country. In this direction, this study addresses the following problems. First, the performances of the Weiszfeld, tree-seed, and whale optimization algorithms are compared, which is the first of its kind in the literature. Second, a new approach that tests the importance parameters' effectiveness in searching for an optimum transportation facility location with emergency equipment and staff is proposed. The Weiszfeld algorithm finds viable solutions with compact data, but it may not handle big data. In contrast, the flexibility of the tree-seed and whale optimization algorithm is literally an advantage when the number of parameters and variables increases. Therefore, there is a notable need to directly compare those algorithms' performances. If we do, the significance of extending the number of parameters with multiple weightings is appraised. According to the results, the Weiszfeld algorithm can be an almost flexible technique in continuous networks; however, it has reasonable drawbacks with discrete networks, while the tree-seed and whale optimization algorithms fit such conditions. On the other hand, these three methods do not show a fluctuating performance compared to one another based on the locating transportation facilities, and thus they deliver similar performance. Besides, although the value of accuracy is high with the application of the conventional technique Weiszfeld algorithm, it does not provide a significant performance accuracy advantage over the meta-heuristic methods.


Subject(s)
Trees , Whales , Algorithms , Animals , Transportation Facilities , Uncertainty
5.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0251771, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933198

ABSTRACT

Cave-dwelling bats widely use anthropogenic structures such as temples in south Asia as roosting and nursery sites. Such roosts are constantly under threat, even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the importance of such roosts, there is no detailed understanding of what makes temples favorable for bats and the critical factors for their persistence. Here we relate temple microhabitat characteristics and land use around ancient temples (>400 years) to bat species richness and abundance in the Tamiraparani river basin of south India. Temples were selected for sampling along the river basin based on logistics and permission to access them. We counted bats at the roost in the mornings and late afternoons from inside the temples. Temple characteristics such as dark rooms, walkways, crevices, towers, and disturbances to the roosts were recorded. Based on European Space Agency land use classifications, we recorded land use such as crops, trees, scrub, grassland, urban areas, and water availability within a 5 km radius of the temple. Generalized Linear Mixed Models were used to relate the counts in temples with microhabitats and land use. We sampled 59 temples repeatedly across 5 years which yielded a sample of 246 survey events. The total number of bats counted was 20,211, of which Hipposideros speoris was the most common (9,715), followed by Rousettus leschenaultii (5,306), Taphozous melanopogon (3,196), Megaderma lyra (1,497), Tadarida aegyptiaca (303), Pipistrellus sp. (144) and Rhinopoma hardwickii (50). About 39% of the total bats occurred in dark rooms and 51% along walkways. Species richness and total abundance were related to the availability of dark rooms and the number of buildings in the temple. Land use elements only had a weak effect, but scrub and grassland, even though they were few, are critical for bats. We conclude that retaining undisturbed dark rooms with small exits in temples and other dimly lit areas and having natural areas around temples are vital for bat conservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Agriculture , Animals , Humans , Pandemics , Trees
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760558

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic affected people all over the world, including the Czech Republic (CZ). In the CZ, a number of measures were applied in 2020 to reduce the contact between people and their mobility. This article dealt with the importance of forests during the pandemic. Data from 2019 and 2020 were compared. The qualitative data were obtained from two nationwide surveys, the first focused on forest attendance and forest fruit collection (about 1000 respondents per year), the second on the motivation to visit the forests (about 3700 respondents per year). The quantitative data were obtained on the regional level by analysing data from mobility counters. The impact of government restrictions was assessed. Findings: (1) there was a significant increase in the number of people who frequently visited the forest in 2020; (2) in 2020, the amount of households that collected forest fruits increased and was the highest for the monitored period; (3) the increased forest attendance significantly corresponded to the government restrictions. The analysis confirmed the great importance of forests for the citizens and, at the same time, the increased pressure on the forests' use-forest attendance and forest crops picking-(especially suburban ones) in times of COVID-19 restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Conservation of Natural Resources , Czech Republic/epidemiology , Forests , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trees
8.
Environ Res ; 203: 111795, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330810

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 epidemic period, people showed a stronger connection to the environment within their communities. Although tree canopy in residential areas has been shown to positively affect psychological distress, it is not clear whether the COVID-19 epidemic played a role in this process. Elucidation of the relationship between tree canopy and the impact on psychological distress during the COVID-19 epidemic could provide valuable information as to the best methods to help individuals cope with urban mental stress events. METHODS: A total of 15 randomly selected residential areas of Beijing were enrolled in this repeated cross-sectional study. A total of 900 residents were included in the two-waves of the investigation (450 residents per wave) before and during the COVID-19 epidemic (i.e., May 2019 and May 2020). Psychological distress was estimated using the 12-question General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Tree canopy coverage (TCC) was measured through visual interpretation based on the 2013 data sources (World View 2 satellite imagery of Beijing urban areas with a resolution of 0.5 m). The demographic characteristics, distance to the nearest surrounding green or blue space, residential area house price, household density, and construction year were also collected in this study. A multivariate logistic regression, relative risk due to interaction (RERI), and synergy index (SI) were used to explore the relationships among tree canopy, COVID-19, and psychological distress. RESULTS: The negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on mental health was significant, with the prevalence of psychological distress increased 7.84 times (aOR = 7.84, 95% CI = 4.67-13.95) during the COVID-19 epidemic period. Tree canopy coverage in the group without psychological distress was significantly higher than that of the psychologically distressed group (31.07 ± 11.38% vs. 27.87 ± 12.97%, P = 0.005). An increase in 1% of TCC, was related to a 5% decrease in the prevalence of psychological distress (aOR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.93-0.98). An antagonism joint action between tree canopy and the COVID-19 epidemic existed (RERI = 1.09, 95% CI = 0.72-1.47; SI = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.05-0.52), and persisted enhancing only in medium (26.45%-33.21%) and above TCC level. Correlation of GHQ items and TCC significantly differed between the COVID-19 non-epidemic and epidemic periods, with the effects of tree canopy on GHQ-12 items covering topics, such as social function and depression, presumably absent because of epidemic limitations. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that the COVID-19 epidemic harmed mental health and verified the positive effects of residential tree canopy on psychological distress in Beijing. We suggest paying more attention to residents in areas of low TCC and dealing with psychological distress caused by public health stress events based on tree canopy strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Psychological Distress , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Trees
9.
Nature ; 584(7820): 175-176, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-832197
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