Thomas A Worthington

Thomas A Worthington
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Zoology

PhD Environmental Sciences

About

71
Publications
30,217
Reads
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1,264
Citations
Citations since 2016
51 Research Items
1152 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
March 2017 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Research Associate
April 2015 - April 2016
Cardiff University
Position
  • Research Associate
November 2011 - April 2015
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2006 - April 2010
University of Southampton
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
September 2003 - September 2004
University of East Anglia
Field of study
  • Applied Ecology and Conservation
October 2000 - July 2003
University of East Anglia
Field of study
  • Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species are challenging because the multi-scale factors that relate to their decline or inhibit their recovery are often unknown. To further exacerbate matters, the perceptions associated with the mechanisms of species decline are often viewed myopically rather than across the entire species range....
Technical Report
Full-text available
Rapid losses of mangroves over the past 50 years have had negative consequences on the environment, the climate, and humanity, through diminished benefits such as carbon storage, coastal protection and fish production. Restoration of mangrove forests is possible, and has already been undertaken in many settings, but such efforts have been piecemeal...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove forests are found on sheltered coastlines in tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate regions. These forests support unique biodiversity and provide a range of benefits to coastal communities, but as a result of large-scale conversion for aquaculture, agriculture, and urbanization, mangroves are considered increasingly threatened eco...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, carbon-rich mangrove forests are deforested and degraded due to land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). The impact of mangrove deforestation on carbon emissions has been reported on a global scale; however, uncertainty remains at subnational scales due to geographical variability and field data limitations. We present an assessment of blu...
Article
Better land stewardship is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement's temperature goal, particularly in the tropics, where greenhouse gas emissions from the destruction of ecosystems are largest, and where the potential for additional land carbon storage is greatest. As countries enhance their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Ag...
Article
Full-text available
Estimating the distribution, extent and change of coastal ecosystems is essential for monitoring global change. However, spatial models developed to estimate the distribution of land cover types require accurate and up-to-date reference data to support model development, model training and data validations. Owing to the labor-intensive tasks requir...
Article
Full-text available
The need for conservation action to be cost‐effective is widely accepted, resulting in increased interest and effort to assess effectiveness. Assessing the financial and economic costs of conservation is equally important for assessing cost‐effectiveness, yet their measurement and assessment are repeatedly identified as lacking. The healthcare sect...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove forests store high amounts of carbon, protect communities from storms, and support fisheries. Mangroves exist in complex social-ecological systems, hence identifying socioeconomic conditions associated with decreasing losses and increasing gains remains challenging albeit important. The impact of national governance and conservation polici...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activities have severely degraded the ecological integrity of global freshwater systems. Migratory freshwater fishes are especially threatened by the cumulative effects of multiple stressors and fragmentation, particularly those that impede access to critical habitats. To stimulate the conservation and protection of these species, we...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are a globally important ecosystem that provides a wide range of ecosystem system services, such as carbon capture and storage, coastal protection and fisheries enhancement. Mangroves have significantly reduced in global extent over the last 50 years, primarily as a result of deforestation caused by the expansion of agriculture and aquacu...
Article
Full-text available
The biodiversity of marine and coastal habitats is experiencing unprecedented change. While there are well-known drivers of these changes, such as overexploitation, climate change and pollution, there are also relatively unknown emerging issues that are poorly understood or recognized that have potentially positive or negative impacts on marine and...
Article
Tidal wetlands are expected to respond dynamically to global environmental change, but the extent to which wetland losses have been offset by gains remains poorly understood. We developed a global analysis of satellite data to simultaneously monitor change in three highly interconnected intertidal ecosystem types—tidal flats, tidal marshes, and man...
Article
Full-text available
Many types of guidance documents inform conservation by providing practical recommendations for the management of species and habitats. To ensure effective decisions are made, such guidance should be based upon relevant and up-to-date evidence. We reviewed conservation guidance for mitigation and management of species and habitats in the United Kin...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are often cleared for aquaculture, agriculture, and coastal development despite the range of benefits for people and nature that they provide. In response to these losses, there are multiple global, and regional efforts aimed at accelerating mangrove forest restoration, resulting in many restoration projects being implemented and managed...
Article
There is an urgent need to halt and reverse loss of mangroves and seagrass to protect and increase the ecosystem services they provide to coastal communities, such as enhancing coastal resilience and contributing to climate stability.1,2 Ambitious targets for their recovery can inspire public and private investment in conservation,3 but the expecte...
Article
Marine ecosystems have been used, impacted by, and managed by human populations for millennia. As ecosystem degradation has been a common outcome of these activities, marine management increasingly considers ecosystem restoration. Currently, there is no coherent data recording format or framework for marine restoration projects. As a result, data a...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are known for large carbon stocks and high sequestration rates in biomass and soils, making these intertidal wetlands a cost-effective strategy for some nations to compensate for a portion of their carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions. However, few countries have the national-level inventories required to support the inclusion of mangroves in...
Article
Full-text available
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prohibits commercial trans-national trade in pangolin specimens. However, African pangolins are continually trafficked to Asia for traditional medicine, with Nigeria considered a key hub. Using reported Nigeria-linked pangolin seizure data and interviews wit...
Preprint
Full-text available
The need for conservation action to be cost-effective is widely accepted and this has prompted an increased interest and effort to assess effectiveness. Assessing financial costs of conservation is equally important, yet its measurement and assessment are repeatedly identified as lacking. The healthcare sector however, has made substantial progress...
Article
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration offers immense potential to return hundreds of millions of hectares of degraded tropical landscapes to functioning ecosystems. Well-designed restoration can tackle multiple Sustainable Development Goals, driving synergistic benefits for biodiversity, ecosystem services, agricultural and timber production, and...
Book
Full-text available
A global review of mangrove forests - extent, condition, protection, ecosystem services, restoration, global mapping, policy, economics, community engagement
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic and natural disturbances can cause degradation of ecosystems, reducing their capacity to sustain biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. Understanding the extent of ecosystem degradation is critical for estimating risks to ecosystems, yet there are few existing methods to map degradation at the ecosystem scale and none using free...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 20 years, innovations have led to the development of exciting new technologies and novel applications of established technologies, collectively increasing the scale, scope, and quality of research possible in tidal marsh systems. Thus, ecological research on marshes is being revolutionized, in the same way as ecological research more...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which prey traits combine to influence the abundance of predators is still poorly understood, particularly for mixed predators in sympatry and in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we characterise prey use and distribution in iconic bird (grey wagtails and Eurasian dippers) and fish species (brown trout and Atlantic salmon) to assess...
Article
Coastal salt marshes are distributed widely across the globe and are considered essential habitat for many fish and crustacean species. Yet, the literature on fishery support by salt marshes has largely been based on a few geographically distinct model systems, and as a result, inadequately captures the hierarchical nature of salt marsh pattern, pr...
Article
Myanmar is highly biodiverse, with more than 16,000 plant, 314 mammal, 1131 bird, 293 reptile, and 139 amphibian species. Supporting this biodiversity is a variety of natural ecosystems—mostly undescribed—including tropical and subtropical forests, savannas, seasonally inundated wetlands, extensive shoreline and tidal systems, and alpine ecosystems...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are critical nursery habitats for fish and invertebrates, providing livelihoods for many coastal communities. Despite their importance, there is currently no estimate of the number of fishers engaged in mangrove associated fisheries, nor of the fishing intensity associated with mangroves at a global scale. We address these gaps by develop...
Article
Full-text available
Accurately evaluating ecosystem status is vital for effective conservation. The Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the global standard for assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse. Such tools are particularly needed for large, dynamic ecosystem complexes, such as the Indian Sundarbans...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove forests provide many ecosystem services but are among the world's most threatened ecosystems. Mangroves vary substantially according to their geomorphic and sedimentary setting; while several conceptual frameworks describe these settings, their spatial distribution has not been quantified. Here, we present a new global mangrove biophysical...
Article
Full-text available
As climate change continues to threaten human and natural systems, the search for cost-effective and practical mitigation solutions is gaining momentum. Reforestation has recently been identified as a promising nature-based climate solution. Yet there are context-dependent biophysical, financial, land-use and operational constraints to reforestatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Myanmar is highly biodiverse, with more than 16,000 plant, 314 mammal, 1131 bird, 293 reptile, and 139 amphibian species. Supporting this biodiversity is a variety of natural ecosystems-mostly undescribed-including tropical and subtropical forests, savannas, seasonally inundated wetlands, extensive shoreline and tidal systems, and alpine ecosystems...
Article
Full-text available
Aligning nature protection with human well-being for the UN Sustainable Development Goals implies that conservation monitoring should indicate the sustainability of ecosystem services (ES). Here we test the value of the ES cascade framework using national, multi-decadal data for an iconic freshwater fish, the Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. For the fi...
Article
Conservation science is a crisis-oriented discipline focused on reducing human impacts on nature. To explore how the field has changed over the past two decades, we analyzed 3245 applications for oral presentations submitted to the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) in Cambridge, UK. SCCS has been running every year since 2000, aims...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, carbon-rich mangrove forests are deforested and degraded due to land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). The impact of mangrove deforestation on carbon emissions has been reported on a global scale; however, uncertainty remains at subnational scales due to geographical variability and field data limitations. We present an assessment of blu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conservation science is a crisis-oriented discipline focused on delivering robust answers to reducing human impacts on nature. To explore how the field might have changed during the past two decades, we analyzed 3,245 applications for oral presentations submitted to the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) in Cambridge, UK. SCCS has be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rapid losses of mangroves over the past 50 years have had negative consequences on the environment, climate, and humanity, through diminished benefits such as carbon storage, coastal protection and fish production. Restoration of mangrove forests is possible, and has already been undertaken in many settings, but such efforts have been piecemeal, an...
Preprint
Full-text available
The need to monitor and protect biodiversity has never been greater, yet resources are often constrained economically. The ecosystem service paradigm could promote nature conservation while sustaining economic activity and other societal benefits, but most efforts to assess biodiversity-ecosystem service (B-ES) links have focused on diversity measu...
Article
Full-text available
A recent paper claiming evidence of global insect declines achieved huge media attention, including claims of “insectaggedon” and a “collapse of nature.” Here, we argue that while many insects are declining in many places around the world, the study has important limitations that should be highlighted. We emphasise the robust evidence of large and...
Article
Full-text available
The development of a hydrologic foundation, essential for advancing our understanding of flow‐ecology relationships, was developed using the high‐resolution physics‐based distributed rainfall‐runoff model Vflo in a semi‐arid region. We compared the accuracy and bias associated with flow metrics that were generated using Vflo, gauge data, and draina...
Chapter
Unique genetic lineages of Micropterus species are increasingly recognized; however, little effort has been devoted to identifying their ecological relationships despite recognition of their conservation value by management agencies. Our study objectives were to determine young-of-year, first-summer survival, and examine overall channel-unit habita...
Article
Sclerochronology provides an important and widely used tool to examine annual environmental patterns in marine systems, but few similar tools have been developed to establish ecological indicators in freshwaters on a seasonal scale. Previous work using marine mussels as ecological indicators have practiced shell ashing, acetate peels, and thin sect...
Article
Ecohydrology combines empiricism, data analytics, and the integration of models to characterize linkages between ecological and hydrological processes. A challenge for practitioners is determining which models best generalizes heterogeneity in hydrological behavior, including water fluxes across spatial and temporal scales, integrating environmenta...
Article
Anthropogenic changes to the Great Plains rivers of North America have had a large, negative effect on a reproductive guild of pelagic-broadcast spawning (PBS) cyprinid fishes. The group is phylogenetically diverse, with multiple origins of the PBS mode. However, because of incomplete life-history information, PBS designation often relies only on h...
Article
Full-text available
Although numerous studies have assessed retention and survival of passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags, data are scattered and information gaps remain for many diminutive fishes. Our study objectives were to 1) systematically review PIT tag studies and summarize retention, growth, and survival data for warmwater fishes; and 2) conduct a labora...
Article
Full-text available
Decreases in the abundance and diversity of stream fishes in the North American Great Plains have been attributed to habitat fragmentation, altered hydrological and temperature regimes, and elevated levels of total dissolved solids and total suspended solids. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids, such as the Arkansas River Shiner Notropis girardi,...
Article
Truncated distributions of pelagophilic fishes have been observed across the Great Plains of North America, with water use and landscape fragmentation implicated as contributing factors. Developing conservation strategies for these species is hindered by the existence of multiple competing flow regime hypotheses related to species persistence. Our...
Article
Amphibian metamorphosis is complex and larval morphology and physiology are completely restructured during this time. Amphibians that live in unpredictable environments are often exposed to stressors that can directly and indirectly alter physiological systems during development, with subsequent consequences (carryover effects) later in life. In th...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental flows represent a legal mechanism to balance existing and future water uses and sustain non-use values. Here, we identify current challenges, provide examples where they are important, and suggest research advances that would benefit environmental flow science. Specifically, environmental flow science would benefit by (1) developing a...
Article
Variation in global climate during the Quaternary has helped shape current species distributions. The stenohaline fish fauna of the British Isles is generally thought to have colonised eastern England via a landbridge following the last glacial maximum. This theory is investigated using the nationally extinct burbot, Lota lota, as a model species....
Article
This study demonstrated that juvenile (glass) eels used a specific substrate (eel tiles) to circumvent a model Crump weir under an experimental setting. Upstream passage efficiency was 0 and 67% for the unmodified (no studded eel tiles on the downstream face; control) and modified (with studded eel tiles on the downstream face; treatment) setups ,...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic changes to the temperature regimes of rivers, whether through thermal pollution, removal of shade, or climate change, could affect community stability and cause phenological changes in aquatic species. This study examines the impact of a thermal discharge from a power station on the diversity and composition of the aquatic macroinvert...
Article
Crayfish in many headwater streams regularly cope with seasonal drought. However, it is unclear how landscape changes affect the long-term persistence of crayfish populations. We designed two laboratory experiments to investigate the acute effects of common landscape stressors on crayfish: water withdrawal and sedimentation. The first experiment te...
Conference Paper
Anthropogenic changes to riverine systems are pervasive and multifaceted with flow modifications often a driver of changing inchannel conditions. Climate and land-use change contribute to inchannel alterations by changing runoff patterns and constituents delivered to stream ecosystems. These threats combined create a difficult situation for managin...
Conference Paper
River fragmentation and associated flow alteration and habitat degradation are significant factors in the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. One group of imperilled fishes, pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids release semi-buoyant eggs that require sufficient velocities and river-fragment length during early development. However, it is unk...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to a...
Article
The Moore egg collector (MEC) was developed for quantitative and nondestructive capture of semibuoyant fish eggs. Previous studies have indicated that capture efficiency of the MEC was low and the use of one device did not adequately represent the spatial distribution within the water column of egg surrogates (gellan beads) of pelagic broadcast-spa...
Article
1. A major limitation to effective management of narrow-range crayfish populations is the paucity of information on the spatial distribution of crayfish species and a general understanding of the interacting environmental variables that drive current and future potential distributional patterns. 2. Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Modeling Soft...