• Raising awareness of anaerobic digestion in the UK - Views of key stakeholders

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (Macrothink Institute, 31/12/2014)
      Meeting rising energy demand and sustainable development goals at the same time is a major challenge for policy makers in the 21st century. The situation is further stressed by a rising world population, climate change, natural disasters and food security concerns. Renewable energy technologies such as anaerobic digestion (AD) proffer one solution for policy makers to overcome some of the challenges to sustainable development. The technology has been widely adopted in some parts of Europe (e.g. Germany, Denmark, Austria and Sweden), the United States and also parts of Asia and Africa. However in the United Kingdom (UK), the technology is under-developed, as was recognised in its anaerobic digestion strategy and action plan of 2011. This study focused on identifying options for raising awareness of AD technology in the UK. 21 key stakeholders divided into groups according to their expertise, were interviewed to explore their views on the areas of focus in the UK strategy and action plan regarding raising awareness of the technology. The results revealed that aligning AD with sustainable development goals, community AD and localism, small AD plants, provision of an available market for AD products, building UK skills and diversifying biogas use from AD are positive options for raising awareness of AD in the UK. Challenges to these options and possible solutions to the challenges were also identified and discussed.
    • Recovery of high mountain Alpine lakes after the eradication of introduced brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis using non-chemical methods

      Tiberti, Rocco; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Brighenti, Stefano; Iacobuzio, Rocco; Liautaud, Kevin; Rolla, Matteo; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Bassano, Bruno; University of Pavia; Gran Paradiso National Park; University of Trento; Fondazione Edmund Mach; Swansea University; University of Chester (Springer, 31/10/2018)
      Fish stocking is a serious threat to originally fishless mountain lakes. We used non-chemical eradication methods (i.e. gillnetting and electrofishing) in four high mountain lakes in the Gran Paradiso National Park (Western Italian Alps) to eradicate alien brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Data of amphibians, macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, chlorophyll-a, nutrient concentrations, and water transparency were used as indicators of the recovery process. All treated lakes were returned to their original fishless condition in spite of their different sizes and habitat complexity, without permanent negative side-effects for native species. Several ecological indicators showed that many impacts of introduced fish can be reversed over a short time period following eradication. The present study adds to a still growing body of specialized literature on the recovery of habitats after the eradication of alien species and provides further evidence that physical eradication methods are effective and can be part of a more general strategy for the conservation of high mountain lake biota.
    • Geoconservation and geodiversity: What? Who? Where? - and why should I care?

      Nicholls, Keith H.; Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Institute of Civil Engineering Publishing, 31/08/2015)
      Whilst "geoconservation" is a relatively new sub-discipline in academic geology and earth science departments, this presentation argues that an appreciation of our 'geodiversity' is an important but often overlooked element of the background to development work. For practising engineering geologists or geotechnical engineers, taking up a role in one of the formal geoconservation bodies (be it a local geoconservation group, a Trust or a Geopark) can be a useful networking tool, can offer increased geological awareness and be a source of beneficial continuing Professional development (CPD)). However, the value of geoconservation needs to be brought to a wider audience, since at the moment threats to elements of geological natural heritage are only addressed when important geological landscapes are threatened by development (such as have been seen at Siccar Point and at Wenlock Edge in recent months). Because geodiversity is only rarely fully considered in the planning process, it can be difficult to differentiate between genuine local concern, and irrational "Nimbyism". It is time that those of us working in the geotechnical industry who have backgrounds in geology, drive forward an agenda that establishes our geological heritage as a cause for consern alongside ecology and archaeology. Failure to do so reflects badly on us as individuals and as an industry.
    • Survey of reproduction and calf rearing in Asian and African elephants in European zoos

      Hartley, Matt; Stanley, Christina R.; University of Chester (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 31/07/2016)
      Acyclicity, conception failure, abortion, stillbirth, dystocia, infanticide and neonatal mortality have all been reported as causes of reproductive failure in zoo elephants. These events are often reported as single case reports or in specific studies focused on a particular stage in the reproductive process. In North America wider surveys of reproduction in the zoo elephant population have been completed and repeated to provide data over a number of years. This study is the largest and most comprehensive study of reproduction in the European zoo elephant population to date. Two questionnaires collected data from throughout the reproductive process from assessing cyclicity to independence of the calf at 5 years old. Information was collected regarding 189 birth events. Many causative and contributing factors such as obesity, infectious disease, husbandry, facilities, stress, behaviour, herd size and social grouping have been proposed. The importance of these was assessed and where possible association identified using statistical analysis. In African elephants, this study found that age, obesity, reproductive pathology and dominance, identified as important risk factors for failure to conceive in the American zoo elephant population were of low importance. The most significant cause in Europe was lack of access to a compatible bull. In Asian elephants reproductive failure was much less common but when it did occur age and reproductive pathologies were significant factors as found in previous studies. Previous studies have found that age, obesity and infanticide were considered as the most important risk factors in the period from birth to rearing. In this survey it was found that herd stability and compatibility, allomothering or maternal experience and management at parturition can significantly influence reproductive success. Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes virus was confirmed as the biggest cause of calf mortality. This work provides evidence to support changes to elephant management in European zoos in order to encourage development of social and affiliative herd behaviours and improve reproductive success.
    • Interleukin-17 Expression in the Barrett’s Metaplasia-Dysplasia-Adenocarcinoma Sequence

      Bannister, Jim R.; Khan, Abdul L.; Eccleston, David W.; Deol-Poonia, Ranjeev K.; Hughes, Stephen F.; University of Chester; Aintree University Hospital (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 30/12/2012)
      Introduction. This pilot study evaluated the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 along the Barrett’s metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence by establishing the expression levels of IL-17 in columnar epithelium, intestinal metaplastic cells, and dysplastic/glandular neoplastic cells. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to examine the accumulation of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 in forty () formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded oesophageal archived specimens across a range of endoscopic diagnostic categories, and a highly significant difference was found, where , in IL-17 expression (Kruskall Wallis and Mann-Whitney ) between all the cell types examined. There was also a strong positive correlation (Spearman's rank correlation) between disease progression and IL-17 expression (, , ), IL-17 expression was absent or absent/weak in columnar epithelium, weak to moderate in columnar metaplastic cells, and moderate to strong in dysplastic/neoplastic cells, which demonstrated that the elevation of IL-17 expression occurs in the progression of the disease. Understanding the differential expression of IL-17 between benign and malignant tissue potentially has a significant diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value. Ultimately, this selective biomarker may be employed in routine clinical practice for the screening of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
    • Thermal niche predicts recent changes in range size for bird species

      Scridel, D.; Bogliani, G.; Pedrini, P.; Iemma, A.; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Brambilla, M.; Museo delle Scienze, Trento; University of Pavia, University of Chester, Fondzione Lombardia per l'Ambiente (Inter-Research Science Center (IR), 30/08/2017)
      Species’ distributions are strongly affected by climate, and climate change is affecting species and populations. Thermal niches are widely used as proxies for estimating thermal sensitivity of species, and have been frequently related to community composition, population trends and latitudinal/elevational shifts in distribution. To our knowledge, no work has yet explored the relationship between thermal niche and change in range size (changes in the number of occupied spatial units over time) in birds. In this study, we related a 30 yr change in range size to species thermal index (STI: average temperature at occurrence sites) and to other factors (i.e. birds’ associated habitats, body mass, hunting status) potentially affecting bird populations/range size. We analysed trends of breeding bird range in Italy for a suite of poorly studied cold-adapted animals potentially sensitive to global warming, and for a related group of control species taxonomically similar and with comparable mass but mainly occurring at lower/warmer sites. We found a strong positive correlation between change in range size and STI, confirming that recent climatic warming has favoured species of warmer climates and adversely affected species occupying colder areas. A model including STI and birds’ associated habitats was not so strongly supported, with forest species performing better than alpine open habitat and agricultural ones. In line with previous works highlighting effects of recent climate change on community composition, species’ population trends and poleward/upward distributional shifts, we found STI to be the most important predictor of change in range size variation in breeding birds.
    • Even better by disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (30/04/1997)
    • Patterns of behaviour, group structure and reproductive status predict levels of glucocorticoid metabolites in zoo-housed ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

      Smith, Tessa E.; McCusker, Cara; Stevens, Jeroen M. G.; Elwood, Robert W.; University of Chester; Queens University of Belfast; Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belguim (Karger Publishing, 30/01/2016)
      In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David’s scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs.
    • The effect of rainfall upon the behaviour and use of under-road culverts in four amphibian species

      Gleeson, Timothy; Petrovan, Silviu; Muir, Anna; University of Chester (Oxford Academic, 29/04/2019)
      Habitat fragmentation and road mortalities are major contributors towards declines in amphibian populations. This has seen the introduction of culverts, passages that run under roads and provide safe passage for amphibians. Research investigating the effects of rainfall upon amphibian culvert use is limited. This study, conducted at Frankfield Loch in Glasgow, assesses how time elapsed since rainfall influences migration behaviour and the use of culverts across four different species; common toads (Bufo bufo), common frogs (Rana temporaria and newts, a group composed of smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) and palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Analysis of images taken by a custom made, time lapse camera found that significantly fewer common toads (r = 0.148, n = 468, p = 0.001) and common frogs (r = −0.175, n = 106, p = 0.037) used the culvert as time since rainfall increased. This may have been caused by the culvert not maintaining wet enough conditions for amphi- bians. The study also found that more newts (r = 0.272, n = 92, p = 0.004) and common toads (r = 0.531, n = 19, p = 0.010) were using the culvert to move away from Frankfield Loch as time since rainfall increased. An increase in juvenile newts was also observed as time since rainfall increased (r = 0.214, n = 92, p = 0.020). This may have been caused by a decrease in baro- metric pressure, which follows a decrease in rainfall, acting as a cue for migration and juvenile dispersal. The study recom- mends careful consideration of the design of each culvert, incorporating species-specific preferences and the requirements of juveniles. The study also suggests that where possible the culvert should be designed to hold water for longer.
    • Is Wounding Aggression in Zoo-housed Chimpanzees and Ring-tailed Lemurs related to Zoo Visitor Numbers?

      Hosey, Geoff; Melfi, Vicky; Formella, Isabel; Ward, Samantha J.; Tokarski, Marina; Brunger, Dave; Brice, Sara; Hill, Sonya P.; University of Bolton; Taronga Zoo; South Lakes Wild Animal Park; Nottingham Trent University; Chester Zoo; University of Chester (Wiley, 29/02/2016)
      Chimpanzees in laboratory colonies experience more wounds on week days than on weekends, which has been attributed to the increased number of people present during the week; thus the presence of more people was interpreted as stressful. If this were also true for primates in zoos, where high human presence is a regular feature, this would clearly be of concern. Here we examine wounding rates in two primate species (chimpanzees Pan troglodytes and ring-tailed lemurs Lemur catta) at three different zoos, to determine whether they correlate with mean number of visitors to the zoo. Wounding data were obtained from zoo electronic record keeping system (ZIMS™). The pattern of wounds did not correlate with mean gate numbers for those days for either species in any group. We conclude that there is no evidence that high visitor numbers result in increased woundings in these two species when housed in zoos.
    • Cleaner wrasse forage on ectoparasitic Digeneans (Phylum Platyhelminthes) that infect pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus)

      Cadwallader, Helen F.; Turner, J. R.; Oliver, Simon P.; Bangor University ; Bangor University ; University of Chester (Springer, 28/11/2014)
      This article discusses a study of ectoparasite specimens that were taken from the cloacas of dead pelagic thresher sharks caught in the central Visayas of the Philippines.
    • CD271-selected mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue enhance cartilage repair and are less angiogenic than plastic adherent mesenchymal stem cells.

      Kohli, Nupur; Al-Delfi, Ibtesam R T; Snow, Martyn; Sakamoto, Takumi; Miyazaki, Tsuyoshi; Nakajima, Hideaki; Uchida, Kenzo; Johnson, William E B (Nature Research, 28/02/2019)
      CD271 is a marker of bone marrow MSCs with enhanced differentiation capacity for bone or cartilage repair. However, the nature of CD271+ MSCs from adipose tissue (AT) is less well understood. Here, we investigated the differentiation, wound healing and angiogenic capacity of plastic adherent MSCs (PA MSCs) versus CD271+ MSCs from AT. There was no difference in the extent to which PA MSCs and CD271+ MSCs formed osteoblasts, adipocytes or chondrocytes in vitro. In contrast, CD271+ MSCs transplanted into athymic rats significantly enhanced osteochondral wound healing with reduced vascularisation in the repair tissue compared to PA MSCs and control animals; there was little histological evidence of mature articular cartilage formation in all animals. Conditioned medium from CD271+ MSC cultures was less angiogenic than PA MSC conditioned medium, and had little effect on endothelial cell migration or endothelial tubule formation in vitro. The low angiogenic activity of CD271+ MSCs and improved early stage tissue repair of osteochondral lesions when transplanted, along with a comparable differentiation capacity along mesenchymal lineages when induced, suggests that these selected cells are a better candidate than PA MSCs for the repair of cartilaginous tissue.
    • Related flavonoids cause cooperative inhibition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺ ATPase by multimode mechanisms.

      Ogunbayo, Oluseye A.; Michelangeli, Francesco; University of Birmingham (Wiley, 27/01/2014)
      Flavonoids are group of plant-derived hydroxylated polycyclic molecules found in fruit and vegetables. They are known to bio-accumulate within humans and are considered to have beneficial health effects, including cancer chemoprotection. One mechanism proposed to explain this is that they are able to induce apoptosis in cancer cells by inhibiting a variety of kinases and also the Ca²⁺ ATPase. An investigation was undertaken with respect to the mechanism of inhibition for three flavonoids: quercetin, galangin and 3,6 dihydroxyflavone (3,6-DHF). Each inhibited the Ca²⁺ ATPase with K(i) values of 8.7, 10.3 and 5.4 μM, respectively, showing cooperative inhibition with n ~ 2. Given their similar structures, the flavonoids showed several differences in their mechanisms of inhibition. All three flavonoids stabilized the ATPase in the E₁ conformation and reduced [³²P]-ATP binding. However, both galangin and 3,6-DHF increased the affinity of Ca²⁺ for the ATPase by decreasing the Ca²⁺-dissociation rate constant, whereas quercetin had little effect. Ca²⁺-induced changes in tryptophan fluorescence levels were reduced in the presence of 3,6-DHF and galangin (but not with quercetin), indicating that Ca²⁺-associated changes within the transmembrane helices are altered. Both galangin and quercetin reduced the rates of ATP-dependent phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, whereas 3,6-DHF did not. Modelling studies suggest that flavonoids could potentially bind to two sites: one directly where nucleotides bind within ATP binding site and the other at a site close by. We hypothesize that interactions of these two neighbouring sites may account for both the cooperative inhibition and the multimode mechanisms of action seen with related flavonoids.
    • Monocytes/macrophages express CCR9 in rheumatoid arthritis and CCL25 stimulates their differentiation

      Schmutz, Caroline; Cartwright, Alison; Williams, Helen; Haworth, Oliver; Williams, John H. H.; Filer, Andrew; Salmon, Mike; Buckley, Christopher D.; Middleton, Jim F.; Keele University/University of Birmingham ; Keele University ; University of Chester ; University of Birmingham ; University of Chester ; University of Birmingham ; University of Birmingham ; University of Birmingham ; Keele University/University of Bristol (BioMed Central, 25/08/2010)
      Abstract Introduction Monocytes/macrophages accumulate in the rheumatoid (RA) synovium where they play a central role in inflammation and joint destruction. Identification of molecules involved in their accumulation and differentiation is important to inform therapeutic strategies. This study investigated the expression and function of chemokine receptor CCR9 in the peripheral blood (PB) and synovium of RA, non-RA patients and healthy volunteers. Methods CCR9 expression on PB monocytes/macrophages was analysed by flow cytometry and in synovium by immunofluorescence. Chemokine receptor CCR9 mRNA expression was examined in RA and non-RA synovium, monocytes/macrophages from PB and synovial fluid (SF) of RA patients and PB of healthy donors using the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Monocyte differentiation and chemotaxis to chemokine ligand 25 (CCL25)/TECK were used to study CCR9 function. Results CCR9 was expressed by PB monocytes/macrophages in RA and healthy donors, and increased in RA. In RA and non-RA synovia, CCR9 co-localised with cluster of differentiation 14+ (CD14+) and cluster of differentiation 68+ (CD68+) macrophages, and was more abundant in RA synovium. CCR9 mRNA was detected in the synovia of all RA patients and in some non-RA controls, and monocytes/macrophages from PB and SF of RA and healthy controls. CCL25 was detected in RA and non-RA synovia where it co-localised with CD14+ and CD68+ cells. Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) increased CCR9 expression on human acute monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 monocytic cells. CCL25 induced a stronger monocyte differentiation in RA compared to healthy donors. CCL25 induced significant chemotaxis of PB monocytes but not consistently among individuals. Conclusions CCR9 expression by monocytes is increased in RA. CCL25 may be involved in the differentiation of monocytes to macrophages particularly in RA.
    • Development of an Automated Pain Facial Expression Detection System for Sheep (Ovis Aries).

      McLennan, Krista; Mahmoud, Marwa; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (MDPI, 25/04/2019)
      Detecting signs of pain in sheep is a challenging problem, as they are a prey species and would usually try to hide any signs that they are unwell or injured. This means that treating ill or injured sheep and preventing any further spread of contagious diseases such as footrot can be slow. The recent development and publication of a Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale (SPFES) has provided a tool to reliably detect pain in this species. However, due to the increase in intensification in farming and larger flock sizes being cared for by individual farmers, there is less time to spend monitoring sheep for changes in behaviour that may indicate illness or injury. Having an automated system that could detect changes in the facial expression of individual sheep would mean that farmers could receive information directly about particular individuals that need assessment. This would allow treatment to be provided in a timely and direct manner, reducing suffering. We have been developing the SPFES further in order for it to become an automated system. In this paper, we present our novel framework that integrates SPFES concepts with automatic facial expression analysis technologies.
    • A pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) gives birth at a cleaning station in the Philippines

      Oliver, Simon P.; Bicskos Kaszo, Attila E.; University of Chester ; The Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project (Springer, 23/12/2014)
      This article discusses photographic evidence captured on April 4, 2013, as the first record of a thresher shark giving birth.
    • Social stability in semiferal ponies: networks show interannual stability alongside seasonal flexibility

      Stanley, Christina R.; Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia; Hager, Reinmar; Shultz, Susanne; University of Chester; University of Manchester; Liverpool John Moores University (Elsevier, 23/06/2017)
      Long-term relationships that underlie many stable mammalian groups often occur between philopatric kin. Although stable groups of nonrelatives appear to be less common, there is increasing evidence that social bonds between nonkin may confer sufficient intrinsic fitness benefits for these groups to persist. Here we evaluate whether social stability occurs in a bisexually dispersing species where social bonds have been shown to have reproductive benefits: the feral horse, Equus caballus. First, we quantified female social stability by applying a three-level framework to a 3-year data set of associations in semiferal ponies; this tested for stability at the individual, dyadic and subpopulation levels. Despite the relative weakness of these female bonds, we found significant social stability across all levels, as shown by stable association preferences, social networks and individual network positions. Second, we investigated how seasonality impacts on social bond strength and grouping patterns. We found seasonal fluctuations in female gregariousness, with a peak during the mating season. We therefore propose that significant social stability in female horses is coupled with a degree of flexibility that allows for effects of ecological fluctuations. Although social network analysis is widely used in behavioural ecological research, this is one of only a handful of studies to assess the temporal dynamics of networks over a significant timescale. Temporal stability in female relationships suggests that equid social structures are multifaceted: although bonds between stallions and mares are clearly strong, long-term relationships between mares underpin the social network structure. We suggest this framework could be used to assess social stability in other group-living species in order to improve our understanding of the nature of social bonds.
    • Behavioural and physiological adaptations to low-temperature environments in the common frog, Rana temporaria

      Muir, Anna P.; Biek, Roman; Mable, Barbara K.; University of Chester; University of Glasgow (BioMed Central, 23/05/2014)
      Background: Extreme environments can impose strong ecological and evolutionary pressures at a local level. Ectotherms are particularly sensitive to low-temperature environments, which can result in a reduced activity period, slowed physiological processes and increased exposure to sub-zero temperatures. The aim of this study was to assess the behavioural and physiological responses that facilitate survival in low-temperature environments. In particular, we asked: 1) do high-altitude common frog (Rana temporaria) adults extend the time available for larval growth by breeding at lower temperatures than low-altitude individuals?; and 2) do tadpoles sampled from high-altitude sites differ physiologically from those from low-altitude sites, in terms of routine metabolic rate (RMR) and freeze tolerance? Breeding date was assessed as the first day of spawn observation and local temperature recorded for five, paired high- and low-altitude R. temporaria breeding sites in Scotland. Spawn was collected and tadpoles raised in a common laboratory environment, where RMR was measured as oxygen consumed using a closed respiratory tube system. Freeze tolerance was measured as survival following slow cooling to the point when all container water had frozen. Results: We found that breeding did not occur below 5°C at any site and there was no significant relationship between breeding temperature and altitude, leading to a delay in spawning of five days for every 100 m increase in altitude. The relationship between altitude and RMR varied by mountain but was lower for individuals sampled from high- than low-altitude sites within the three mountains with the highest high-altitude sites (≥900 m). In contrast, individuals sampled from low-altitudes survived freezing significantly better than those from high-altitudes, across all mountains. Conclusions: Our results suggest that adults at high-altitude do not show behavioural adaptations in terms of breeding at lower temperatures. However, tadpoles appear to have the potential to adapt physiologically to surviving at high-altitude via reduced RMR but without an increase in freeze tolerance. Therefore, survival at high-altitude may be facilitated by physiological mechanisms that permit faster growth rates, allowing completion of larval development within a shorter time period, alleviating the need for adaptations that extend the time available for larval growth.
    • A call to action for climate change research on Caribbean dry forests

      Nelson, Howard P.; Devenish-Nelson, Eleanor S.; Rusk, Bonnie L.; Geary, Matthew; Lawrence, Andrew J.; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester; Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, St. Georges, Grenada (Springer, 23/04/2018)
      Tropical dry forest (TDF) is globally one of the most threatened forest types. In the insular Caribbean, limited land area and high population pressure have resulted in the loss of over 60% of TDF, yet local people’s reliance on these systems for ecosystem services is high. Given the sensitivity of TDF to shifts in precipitation regimes and the vulnerability of the Caribbean to climate change, this study examined what is currently known about the impacts of climate change on TDF in the region. A systematic review (n = 89) revealed that only two studies addressed the ecological response of TDF to climate change. Compared to the rapidly increasing knowledge of the effects of climate change on other Caribbean systems and on TDF in the wider neotropics, this paucity is alarming given the value of these forests. We stress the need for long-term monitoring of climate change responses of these critical ecosystems, including phenological and hotspot analyses as priorities.