Articles for student critiques.

Overview: Wildlife conservation requires knowledge of multiple disciplines from sociology and anthropology through GIS and genomics. This course really embraces the dual themes of ecology and evolution of East African biota, and the challenges of biodiversity conservation. Here we have chosen a series of peer-reviewed articles that run this gamut. We also think that we can all improve our critical thinking ‘chops’ and this exercise will help in this domain as well. Rather than have you prepare a PowerPoint presentation, we would like you to come prepared to discuss your article orally. You should print off a copy of the article and bring it with you for your reference. We will have PDF copies of all articles as well. I would also like you to prepare and bring handouts for 20 that simply include the citation and the abstract for your focal article. You will have time in the initial days of the course to ask us questions should any arise.

In your presentation, we would like you to mention the article citation, indicate the objectives of the research, provide a succinct overview of their methods and a summary of their major findings, and embed the article in the broader context of major themes in ecology, evolution and conservation. At various junctures throughout the course we will set aside time for sessions where each of you will lead an exploration centred on your paper – for undergrads about 8-10 minutes for your overview and then subsequent discussion (3-4 minutes). Grad students will be expected to undertake a more thorough analysis with an approximately 15 minute overview plus 5-10 minute discussion.

Origins and patterns of biodiversity:

  • Hagen, O. A. Skeels, R.E. Onstein and W. Jetz. 2021. Earth history events shaped the evolution of uneven biodiversity across tropical moist forests. PNAS 118(40) e2026347118. Presenter: Alyssa
  • Dagallier, L.-P.M.J., Janssens, S.B., Dauby, G., Blach-Overgaard, A., Mackinder, B.A., Droissart, V., Svenning, J.-C., Sosef, M.S.M., Stévart, T., Harris, D.J., Sonké, B., Wieringa, J.J., Hardy, O.J. and Couvreur, T.L.P. 2020. Cradles and museums of generic plant diversity across tropical Africa. New Phytol, 225: 2196-2213. Presenter: Madeleine
  • Barreto, E, Graham, CH, Rangel, TF. 2019. Environmental factors explain the spatial mismatches between species richness and phylogenetic diversity of terrestrial mammals. Global Ecol Biogeogr. 28: 1855– 1865. Presenter: Andrea

Tropical ecology:

  •  Xing, X., Jacquemyn, H., Gai, X., Gao, Y., Liu, Q., Zhao, Z. and Guo, S. 2019. The impact of life form on the architecture of orchid mycorrhizal networks in tropical forest. Oikos 128: 1254-1264. Presenter: May
  • Adriano Marcos Da Silva, Luís Paulo Pires & Celine De Melo. 2022. Forest dependent birds are the main frugivorous species in mutualistic networks from the Brazilian Cerrado, Écoscience 29: 167-175. Presenter: Kaida
  • Charles, GK, Riginos, C, Veblen, KE, Kimuyu, DM, Young, TP. 2021. Termite mound cover and abundance respond to herbivore-mediated biotic changes in a Kenyan savanna. Ecology and Evolution 11: 7226– 7238. Presenter: Grace

(Some) Threats:

  • Newbold, T., Oppenheimer, P., Etard, A. et al. 2020. Tropical and Mediterranean biodiversity is disproportionately sensitive to land-use and climate change. Nature Ecology Evolution 4: 1630–1638. Presenter: Rachel
  • Lily G. C. Genevier, Tahira Jamil, Dionysios E. Raitsos, George Krokos, Ibrahim Hoteit. 2019. Marine heatwaves reveal coral reef zones susceptible to bleaching in the Red Sea. Global Change Biology 25: 2338-2351. Presenter: Sol
  • van Velden, J.L., Wilson, K., Lindsey, P.A. et al. 2020. Bushmeat hunting and consumption is a pervasive issue in African savannahs: insights from four protected areas in Malawi. Biodiversity Conservation 29: 1443–1464. Presenter: Arjun

(Some) Solutions:

  • Garnett, S.T., Burgess, N.D., Fa, J.E. et al. 2018. A spatial overview of the global importance of Indigenous lands for conservation. Nature Sustainability 1: 369-374. Presenter: Meg
  • Poorter, L. et al (+80 authors). 2022. Multidimensional tropical forest recovery. Science 374: 1370-1376. DOI: 10.1126/science.abh3629 Presenter: Allen

Some other interesting papers …

  • Polissar, P.J., Rose, C., Uno, K.T. et al. Synchronous rise of African C4 ecosystems 10 million years ago in the absence of aridification. Nat. Geosci. 12, 657–660 (2019).
  • Williams, S.H., Scriven, S.A., Burslem, D.F.R.P., Hill, J.K., Reynolds, G., Agama, A.L., Kugan, F., Maycock, C.R., Khoo, E., Hastie, A.Y.L., Sugau, J.B., Nilus, R., Pereira, J.T., Tsen, S.L.T., Lee, L.Y., Juiling, S., Hodgson, J.A., Cole, L.E.S., Asner, G.P., Evans, L.J. and Brodie, J.F. 2020. Incorporating connectivity into conservation planning for the optimal representation of multiple species and ecosystem services. Conservation Biology 34: 934-942.