Abstract. Many tropical islands, including Aruba, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Pacific Island countries, are entirely dependent on importing fossil fuels to meet their energy demands. Due to global warming, improving energy use efficiency and developing regionally available renewable energy resources are necessary to reduce carbon emissions. This review analyzed and identified biomass feedstocks to produce liquid biofuels targeting tropical islands, particularly focusing on Hawaii as a case study. Transportation and energy generation sectors consume 25.5% and 11.6%, respectively, of Hawaii's imported fossil fuels. Various nonedible feedstocks with information on their availability, production, and average yields of oils, fiber, sugars, and lipid content for liquid biofuels production are identified to add value to the total energy mix. The available biomass conversion technologies and production costs are summarized. In addition, a section on potentially using sewage sludge to produce biodiesel is also included. Based on a comparative analysis of kamani, croton, pongamia, jatropha, energycane, Leucaena hybrid, gliricidia, and eucalyptus feedstock resources, this study proposes that Hawaii and other similar tropical regions can potentially benefit from growing and producing economical liquid biofuels locally, especially for the transportation and electricity generation sectors.
A paramount challenge in coral reef ecology is to estimate the abundance and composition of the communities residing in such complex ecosystems. Traditional 2D projected surface cover estimates neglect the 3D structure of reefs and reef organisms, overlook communities residing in cryptic reef habitats (e.g., overhangs, cavities), and thus may fail to represent biomass estimates needed to assess trophic ecology and reef function. Here, we surveyed the 3D surface cover, biovolume, and biomass (i.e., ash-free dry weight) of all major benthic taxa on 12 coral reef stations on the island of Curaçao (Southern Caribbean) using structure-from-motion photogrammetry, coral point counts, in situ measurements, and elemental analysis. We then compared our 3D benthic community estimates to corresponding estimates of traditional 2D projected surface cover to explore the differences in benthic community composition using different metrics. Overall, 2D cover was dominated (52 ± 2%, mean ± SE) by non-calcifying phototrophs (macroalgae, turf algae, benthic cyanobacterial mats), but their contribution to total reef biomass was minor (3.2 ± 0.6%). In contrast, coral cover (32 ± 2%) more closely resembled coral biomass (27 ± 6%). The relative contribution of erect organisms, such as gorgonians and massive sponges, to 2D cover was twofold and 11-fold lower, respectively, than their contribution to reef biomass. Cryptic surface area (3.3 ± 0.2 m2 m−2planar reef) comprised half of the total reef substrate, rendering two thirds of coralline algae and almost all encrusting sponges (99.8%) undetected in traditional assessments. Yet, encrusting sponges dominated reef biomass (35 ± 18%). Based on our quantification of exposed and cryptic reef communities using different metrics, we suggest adjustments to current monitoring approaches and highlight ramifications for evaluating the ecological contributions of different taxa to overall reef function. To this end, our metric conversions can complement other benthic assessments to generate non-invasive estimates of the biovolume, biomass, and elemental composition (i.e., standing stocks of organic carbon and nitrogen) of Caribbean coral reef communities.
The shoot demography and rhizome growth of Syringodium filiforme Kutz. and Halodule wrightii Aschers. were studied, based on plant dating techniques, to account for their role as pioneer in the succession sequence of Canbbean seagrasses. Results demonstrated that these spe- cies are able to develop dense meadows, supporting bio- masses in excess of 500 g DW m" They produced more than 2000 g DW m-2yr-' due to their high leaf (5.0to 8 5 yr.') and rhizome (20 to 3.3 yr-') turnover. Rhizome growth and branch~ngrates were very high, allowing these seagrasses to rapidly occupy the space they colonise. The rapid rhizome turnover involved, however, a high shoot mortality rate and low 11fe expectancy (average shoot life expectancy 100 to 180d).This implies that, while these pioneer species are able to rapidly occupy the space they colonise, their established shoots cannot occupy that space for as long as the more long- lived species Thalassia testudinum. We suggest, therefore. that the role of seagrass species as pioneer or climax species is independent of their capacity to support dense, productive populations, and is closely related to shoot longevity and rhi- zome turnover.