Spatial Distribution and Conservation of Speckled Hind and Warsaw Grouper in the Atlantic Ocean off the Southeastern U.S.

PLOS ONE, 19 November 2013

By Nicholas A. Farmer and Mandy Karnauskas

“There is broad interest in the development of efficient marine protected areas (MPAs) to reduce bycatch and end overfishing of speckled hind (Epinephelus drummondhayi) and warsaw grouper (Hyporthodus nigritus) in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern U.S. We assimilated decades of data from many fishery-dependent, fishery-independent, and anecdotal sources to describe the spatial distribution of these data limited stocks. A spatial classification model was developed to categorize depth-grids based on the distribution of speckled hind and warsaw grouper point observations and identified benthic habitats. Logistic regression analysis was used to develop a quantitative model to predict the spatial distribution of speckled hind and warsaw grouper as a function of depth, latitude, and habitat.

Point and spawning observations.

Point and spawning observations.

“Models, controlling for sampling gear effects, were selected based on AIC and 10-fold cross validation. The best-fitting model for warsaw grouper included latitude and depth to explain 10.8% of the variability in probability of detection, with a false prediction rate of 28–33%. The best-fitting model for speckled hind, per cross-validation, included latitude and depth to explain 36.8% of the variability in probability of detection, with a false prediction rate of 25–27%. The best-fitting speckled hind model, per AIC, also included habitat, but had false prediction rates up to 36%. Speckled hind and warsaw grouper habitats followed a shelf-edge hardbottom ridge from North Carolina to southeast Florida, with speckled hind more common to the north and warsaw grouper more common to the south. The proportion of habitat classifications and model-estimated stock contained within established and proposed MPAs was computed. Existing MPAs covered 10% of probable shelf-edge habitats for speckled hind and warsaw grouper, protecting 3–8% of speckled hind and 8% of warsaw grouper stocks. Proposed MPAs could add 24% more probable shelf-edge habitat, and protect an additional 14–29% of speckled hind and 20% of warsaw grouper stocks.”

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Human Infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China, 2013

Eurosurveillance, Volume 18, Issue 47, 21 November 2013

By W. Liu, K. Yang, X. Qi, K. Xu, H. Ji, J. Ai, A. Ge, Y. Wu, Y. Li, Q Dai, Q. Liang, C. Bao, R. Bergquist, F. Tang, and Y. Zhu

“Descriptive and geographic information system methods were used to depict the spatial and temporal characteristics of the outbreak of human infection with a novel avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China, the peak of which appeared between 28 March and 18 April 2013. As of 31 May 2013, there was a total of 131 reported human infections in China, with a cumulative mortality of 29% (38/131). The outbreak affected 10 provinces, with 106 of the cases being concentrated in the eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu.


“Statistically significant spatial clustering of cumulative human cases was identified by the Cuzick–Edwards’ k-nearest neighbour method. Three spatio-temporal clusters of cases were detected by space–time scan analysis. The principal cluster covered 18 counties in Zhejiang during 3 to 18 April (relative risk (RR): 26.39;p<0.0001), while two secondary clusters in March and April covered 21 counties along the provincial boundary between Shanghai and Jiangsu (RR: 6.35;p<0.0001) and two counties in Jiangsu (RR: 72.48;p=0.0025). The peak of the outbreak was in the eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu that was characterised by statistically significant spatio-temporal aggregation, with a particularly high incidence in March and April 2013.”