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Huang D, Hoeksema B, Affendi Y, Ang P, Chen C, Huang H et al. (2016)
Biodiversity and Conservation.
The South China Sea in the Central Indo-Pacific is a large semi-enclosed marine region that supports an extraordinary diversity of coral reef organisms (including stony corals), which varies spatially across the region. While one-third of the world’s reef corals are known to face heightened extinction risk from global climate and local impacts, prospects for the coral fauna in the South China Sea region amidst these threats remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyse coral species richness, rarity, and phylogenetic diversity among 16 reef areas in the region to estimate changes in species and evolutionary diversity during projected anthropogenic extinctions. Our results show that richness, rarity, and phylogenetic diversity differ considerably among reef areas in the region, and that their outcomes following projected extinctions cannot be predicted by species diversity alone. Although relative rarity and threat levels are high in species-rich areas such as West Malaysia and the Philippines, areas with fewer species such as northern Vietnam and Paracel Islands stand to lose disproportionately large amounts of phylogenetic diversity. Our study quantifies various biodiversity components of each reef area to inform conservation planners and better direct sparse resources to areas where they are needed most. It also provides a critical biological foundation for targeting reefs that should be included in a regional network of marine protected areas in the South China Sea
Keywords: IUCN Red List, Marine biodiversity, Phylogenetic diversity, Rarity, Scleractinia, Species richness
Moyes C, Shearer F, Huang Z, Wiebe A, Gibson H, Nijman V et al. (2016)
Predicting the geographical distributions of the macaque hosts and mosquito vectors of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in forested and non-forested areas.
Parasites & vectors 9(1) 242.
BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic pathogen, transmitted among macaques and to humans by anopheline mosquitoes. Information on P. knowlesi malaria is lacking in most regions so the first step to understand the geographical distribution of disease risk is to define the distributions of the reservoir and vector species. METHODS: We used macaque and mosquito species presence data, background data that captured sampling bias in the presence data, a boosted regression tree model and environmental datasets, including annual data for land classes, to predict the distributions of each vector and host species. We then compared the predicted distribution of each species with cover of each land class. RESULTS: Fine-scale distribution maps were generated for three macaque host species (Macaca fascicularis, M. nemestrina and M. leonina) and two mosquito vector complexes (the Dirus Complex and the Leucosphyrus Complex). The Leucosphyrus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with disturbed, but not intact, forest cover (> 60 % tree cover) whereas the Dirus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with 10-100 % tree cover as well as vegetation mosaics and cropland. Of the macaque species, M. nemestrina was mainly predicted to occur in forested areas whereas M. fascicularis was predicted to occur in vegetation mosaics, cropland, wetland and urban areas in addition to forested areas. CONCLUSIONS: The predicted M. fascicularis distribution encompassed a wide range of habitats where humans are found. This is of most significance in the northern part of its range where members of the Dirus Complex are the main P. knowlesi vectors because these mosquitoes were also predicted to occur in a wider range of habitats. Our results support the hypothesis that conversion of intact forest into disturbed forest (for example plantations or timber concessions), or the creation of vegetation mosaics, will increase the probability that members of the Leucosphyrus Complex occur at these locations, as well as bringing humans into these areas. An explicit analysis of disease risk itself using infection data is required to explore this further. The species distributions generated here can now be included in future analyses of P. knowlesi infection risk.
Keywords: Entomology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology, Tropical Medicine
Tangjitman K W (2015)
Predicting Vulnerability of Medicinal Plants Used by Karen People in Chiang Mai Province to Climatic Change
Environment and Natural Resources Journal 13(1) 61-69.
Anthropogenic climate change has already had an imp act on plant diversity and mortality around the world. To exemplify this issue, vulnerability o f medicinal plants used by the Karen in Chiang Mai Province to climatic change was investigated using species distribution model (SDM). A total of 244 medicinal plants species were evaluated. The greenh ouse gas emissions scenarios, A1B (medium-high emissions) and A2 (high emissions) were used to exa mine the potential future species distribution unde r climatic changes for the years 2050 and 2080. It wa s found that more than 60% of the plants were predicted to suffer significant losses in their sui table ranges by the years 2050 and 2080, respective ly. Following the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List criteria, four plant species were predicted to beco me extinct due to climate change in Chiang Mai Province under A1B or A2 scenarios by 2080. Raising the climate change awareness of the Karen people and supporting the sustainable use of medicinal pla nts will be crucial in preserving the medicinal pla nts. Cultivating threatened medicinal plants in the home -gardens of the Karen people is also recommended in order to decrease the effects of climate change on these plants
Keywords: Maxent, conservation, diversity loss, enthnobotany, extinction
Tangjitman K, Trisonthi C, Wongsawad C J (2015)
Potential impact of climatic change on medicinal plants used in the Karen women’s health care in northern Thailand
Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 37(3) 369-379.
Global climate change can be expected to drive losses in plant diversity. To exemplifying this issue , the potential impact of climate change on nine medicinal plants relating to Karen women’s healthcare in northern Thailand was investigated using species distribution models. Climatic and non-climatic variables were used to develop the distributi on models. The green- house gas emissions scenarios, A1B (medium-high emission) and A2 (high emission) were used to examin e the potential future species distribution for year 2050 and 2080. It was shown that a combination of climatic and non-climatic factors had strong effects on the distribution of medicinal plant species. Eight plant species were predicted to reduce suitable area in northern Thailand whereas one species is predicted to increase suitable area. Following IUCN Red Lis t criteria, seven of the studied plant species were categorized as critically endangered under A1B or A2 scenarios by 2080. T he importance of planning for climate change effects on the availability of wild-collected plant for rural population s was pointed ou
Keywords: ethnobotany, global warming, rural livelihoods, sp
Thongbai B, Rapior S, Hyde K, Wittstein K, Stadler M (2015)
Mycological Progress 14(10) 91.
Medicinal mushrooms have become a compelling topic because the bioactive compounds they contain promise a plethora of therapeutic properties. Hericium erinaceus commonly known as “Houtou” or “Shishigashira” in China and “Yamabushitake” in Japan, has commonly been prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), because its consumption has been shown to be beneficial to human health. The species is found throughout the northern hemisphere in Europe, Asia, and North America. Hericium erinaceus has been firmly established as an important medicinal mushroom and its numerous bioactive compounds have been developed into food supplements and alternative medicines. However, the correspondence of the active components that cause the observed effects is often not clear. The mushroom as well as the fermented mycelia have been reported to produce several classes of bioactive molecules, including polysaccharides, proteins, lectins, phenols, and terpenoids. Most interestingly, two classes of terpenoid compounds, hericenones and erinacines, from fruiting bodies and cultured mycelia, respectively, have been found to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis. In this review we examine the scientific literature to explore and highlight the scientific facts concerning medicinal properties of H. erinaceus. We provide up-to-date information on this mushroom, including its taxonomy and a summary of bioactive compounds that appear related to the therapeutic potential of H. erinaceus.
Keywords: Erinacines, Hericenones, Hericium erinaceus, Medicinal mushroom, Nerve growth factor (NGF), ß-glucans
Zha L, Wen T, Kang J, Hyde K (2015)
The Genus Bolivaritettix in Thailand (Orthoptera: Tetrigidae: Metrodorinae), with Three New Species and One New Record
Entomological News 125(2) 136-146.
Three species of Bolivaritettix (Orthoptera: Tetrigidae: Metrodorinae) are reported for Thailand. Bolivaritettix lativertexoides sp. nov., B. maculatus sp. nov. and B. chiangraiensis sp. nov. are described and illustrated with photographs and compared with similar species. A taxonomic review of the genus Bolivaritettix is provided and a key to species of Bolivaritettix known from Thailand is provided.
Keywords: Chiang Rai, distribution, diversity, new record, taxonomy
van Kleunen M, Dawson W, Essl F, Pergl J, Winter M, Weber E et al. (2015)
Nature 525(7567) 100-103.
All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch1, 2 is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage3. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Invasive species, Macroecology
Henk D, Shahar-Golan R, Devi K, Boyce K, Zhan N, Fedorova N et al. (2012)
Clonality Despite Sex: The Evolution of Host-Associated Sexual Neighborhoods in the Pathogenic Fungus Penicillium marneffei
PLoS Pathogens 8(10) e1002851.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Invasive species, Macroecology
Porretta D, Mastrantonio V, Bellini R, Somboon P, Urbanelli S (2012)
Glacial History of a Modern Invader: Phylogeography and Species Distribution Modelling of the Asian Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus
PLoS ONE 7(9) e44515.
Background The tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is one of the 100 most invasive species in the world and a vector of human diseases. In the last 30 years, it has spread from its native range in East Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Although this modern invasion has been the focus of many studies, the history of the species’ native populations remains poorly understood. Here, we aimed to assess the role of Pleistocene climatic changes in shaping the current distribution of the species in its native range. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the phylogeography, historical demography, and species distribution of Ae. albopictus native populations at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Individuals from 16 localities from East Asia were analyzed for sequence variation at two mitochondrial genes. No phylogeographic structure was observed across the study area. Demographic analyses showed a signature of population expansion that started roughly 70,000 years BP. The occurrence of a continuous and climatically suitable area comprising Southeast China, Indochinese Peninsula, and Sundaland during LGM was indicated by species distribution modelling. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario in which, during the last glacial phase, Ae. albopictus did not experience a fragmentation phase but rather persisted in interconnected populations and experienced demographic growth. The wide ecological flexibility of the species probably played a crucial role in its response to glacial-induced environmental changes. Currently, there is little information on the impact of Pleistocene climatic changes on animal species in East Asia. Most of the studies focused on forest-associated species and suggested cycles of glacial fragmentation and post-glacial expansion. The case of Ae. albopictus, which exhibits a pattern not previously observed in the study area, adds an important piece to our understanding of the Pleistocene history of East Asian biota.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Invasive species, Macroecology
Rajbhandary S, Hughes M, Phutthai T, Thomas D, Shrestha K (2011)
Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 63(1 & 2) 277-286.
The large genus Begonia began to diverge in Africa during the Oligocene. The current hotspot of diversity for the genus in China and Southeast Asia must therefore be the result of an eastward dispersal or migration across the Asian continent. To investigate the role of the Himalayas as a mesic corridor facilitating this migration, we constructed a time- calibrated molecular phylogeny using ITS sequence data. Himalayan species of Begonia were found to fall into two groups. The first is an unresolved grade of tuberous, deciduous species of unknown geographic origin, with evidence of endemic radiations in the Himalayan region beginning c. 7.4 Ma, coinciding with the onset of the Asian monsoon. The second is a group of evergreen rhizomatous species with a probable origin in China, which immigrated to the Himalayan region c. 5.1 Ma, coinciding with an intensification of the monsoon. The hypothesis of the Himalayas being a mesic migration route during the colonisation of Asia is not refuted, but further data is needed.
Keywords: Begonia, China, Himalayas, biogeography, molecular phylogeny, southeast Asia