Science.gov

Sample records for biodiversity impact assessment

  1. Treatment of biodiversity issues in impact assessment of electricity power transmission lines: A Finnish case review

    SciTech Connect

    Soederman, Tarja . E-mail: tarja.soderman@ymparisto.fi

    2006-05-15

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process concerning the route of a 400 kV power transmission line between Loviisa and Hikiae in southern Finland was reviewed in order to assess how biodiversity issues are treated and to provide suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness of treatment of biodiversity issues in impact assessment of linear development projects. The review covered the whole assessment process, including interviews of stakeholders, participation in the interest group meetings and review of all documents from the project. The baseline studies and assessment of direct impacts in the case study were detailed but the documentation, both the assessment programme and the assessment report, only gave a partial picture of the assessment process. All existing information, baseline survey and assessment methods should be addressed in the scoping phase in order to promote interaction between all stakeholders. In contrast to the assessment of the direct effects, which first emphasized impacts on the nationally important and protected flying squirrel but later expanded to deal with the assessment of impacts on ecologically important sites, the indirect and cumulative impacts of the power line were poorly addressed. The public was given the opportunity to become involved in the EIA process. However, they were more concerned with impacts on their properties and less so on biodiversity and species protection issues. This suggests that the public needs to become more informed about locally important features of biodiversity.

  2. Biodiversity Impact Assessment of roads: an approach based on ecosystem rarity

    SciTech Connect

    Geneletti, Davide

    2003-05-01

    Biodiversity has become one of the central environmental issues in the framework of recent policies and international conventions for the promotion of sustainable development. The reduction of habitat worldwide is currently considered as the main threat to biodiversity conservation. Transportation infrastructures, and above all road networks, are blamed for highly contributing to the decrease in both the quantity and the quality of natural habitat. Therefore, a sound Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) in road planning and development needs to be coupled to other commonly considered aspects. This paper presents an approach to contribute to BIA of road projects that focuses on one type of impact: the direct loss of ecosystems. The first step consists in mapping the different ecosystem types, and in evaluating their relevance for biodiversity conservation. This is based on the assessment of ecosystem's rarity. Rarity is a measure of how frequently an ecosystem type is found within a given area. Its relevance is confirmed by the fact that the protection of rare ecosystems is often considered as the single most important function of biodiversity conservation. Subsequently, the impact of a road project can be quantified by spatially computing the expected losses of each ecosystem type. To illustrate the applicability of the methodology, a case study is presented dealing with the assessment of alternative routes for a highway development in northern Italy.

  3. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Alkemade, Rob; Reid, Robin S.; van den Berg, Maurits; de Leeuw, Jan; Jeuken, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss. PMID:22308313

  4. High-resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment using species habitat suitability models.

    PubMed

    de Baan, Laura; Curran, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss. The assessment of land use impacts in decision-support tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) requires spatially explicit models, but existing approaches are either not spatially differentiated or modeled at very coarse scales (e.g., biomes or ecoregions). In this paper, we develop a high-resolution (900 m) assessment method for land use impacts on biodiversity based on habitat suitability models (HSM) of mammal species. This method considers potential land use effects on individual species, and impacts are weighted by the species' conservation status and global rarity. We illustrate the method using a case study of crop production in East Africa, but the underlying HSMs developed by the Global Mammals Assessment are available globally. We calculate impacts of three major export crops and compare the results to two previously developed methods (focusing on local and regional impacts, respectively) to assess the relevance of the methodological innovations proposed in this paper. The results highlight hotspots of product-related biodiversity impacts that help characterize the links among agricultural production, consumption, and biodiversity loss. PMID:25584628

  5. Assessing land-use impacts on biodiversity using an expert systems tool

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crist, P.J.; Kohley, T.W.; Oakleaf, J.

    2000-01-01

    Habitat alteration, in the form of land-use development, is a leading cause of biodiversity loss in the U.S. and elsewhere. Although statutes in the U.S. may require consideration of biodiversity in local land-use planning and regulation, local governments lack the data, resources, and expertise to routinely consider biotic impacts that result from permitted land uses. We hypothesized that decision support systems could aid solution of this problem. We developed a pilot biodiversity expert systems tool (BEST) to test that hypothesis and learn what additional scientific and technological advancements are required for broad implementation of such a system. BEST uses data from the U.S. Geological Survey's Gap Analysis Program (GAP) and other data in a desktop GIS environment. The system provides predictions of conflict between proposed land uses and biotic elements and is intended for use at the start of the development review process. Key challenges were the development of categorization systems that relate named land-use types to ecological impacts, and relate sensitivities of biota to ecological impact levels. Although the advent of GAP and sophisticated desktop GIS make such a system feasible for broad implementation, considerable ongoing research is required to make the results of such a system scientifically sound, informative, and reliable for the regulatory process. We define a role for local government involvement in biodiversity impact assessment, the need for a biodiversity decision support system, the development of a prototype system, and scientific needs for broad implementation of a robust and reliable system.

  6. Accounting for uncertainty factors in biodiversity impact assessment: lessons from a case study

    SciTech Connect

    Geneletti, D.; Beinat, E.; Chung, C.F.; Fabbri, A.G.; Scholten, H.J

    2003-07-01

    For an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to effectively contribute to decision-making, it must include one crucial step: the estimation of the uncertainty factors affecting the impact evaluation and of their effect on the evaluation results. Knowledge of the uncertainties better orients the strategy of the decision-makers and underlines the most critical data or methodological steps of the procedure. Accounting for uncertainty factors is particularly relevant when dealing with ecological impacts, whose forecasts are typically affected by a high degree of simplification. By means of a case study dealing with the evaluation of road alternatives, this paper explores and discusses the main uncertainties that are related to the typical stages of a biodiversity impact assessment: uncertainty in the data that are used, in the methodologies that are applied, and in the value judgments provided by the experts. Subsequently, the effects of such uncertainty factors are tracked back to the result of the evaluation, i.e., to the relative performance of the project alternatives under consideration. This allows to test the sensitivity of the results, and consequently to provide a more informative ranking of the alternatives. The papers concludes by discussing the added-value for decision-making provided by uncertainty analysis within EIA.

  7. How the biodiversity sciences may aid biological tools and ecological engineering to assess the impact of climatic changes.

    PubMed

    Morand, S; Guégan, J-F

    2008-08-01

    This paper addresses how climate changes interact with other global changes caused by humans (habitat fragmentation, changes in land use, bioinvasions) to affect biodiversity. Changes in biodiversity at all levels (genetic, population and community) affect the functioning of ecosystems, in particular host-pathogen interactions, with major consequences in health ecology (emergence and re-emergence; the evolution of virulence and resistance). In this paper, the authors demonstrate that the biodiversity sciences, epidemiological theory and evolutionary ecology are indispensable in assessing the impact of climate changes, and also for modelling the evolution of host-pathogen interactions in a changing environment. The next step is to apply health ecology to the science of ecological engineering. PMID:18819665

  8. Using biodiversity methods to assess the impacts of oil and gas development in tropical rain forests

    SciTech Connect

    Reagan, D.P.; Silva del Poso, X. |

    1995-06-01

    Oil and gas development in tropical rain forests has attracted international attention because of the potentially adverse effects on the forest ecosystems. Biodiversity is a topic of particular concern, but is difficult to assess for small areas of disturbance. In July 1992 we used light traps to compare insect diversity at canopy and ground level as a means of detecting the impacts of an exploratory well site and related facilities within mature Amazonian rain forest in the Oriente Province of Ecuador. Replicate samples were collected at the well site, in a nearby area of agricultural development, and in a reference site within mature forest. Species richness was determined, and diversity indices were calculated for each set of samples. Results indicated that changes in diversity could be detected in the canopy and at ground level at the well site, but that the reduction in diversity was small. Biological diversity was substantially reduced in the area of agricultural development. Limitations and possible applications of this approach are discussed.

  9. BIODIVERSITY AND HUMAN IMPACTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The basic issue that drives all concerns about biodiversity is theaccelerating and irreplaceable loss of genes, species, populations,and ecosystems through environmental degradation such asdeforestation, strip mining and other developmental projects. Associated with these losses ...

  10. Basin-wide Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems and Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mekong ecosystems are under pressure from a number of "drivers", including rapid economic development, population growth, unsustainable resource use, and climate change. Ecological modeling can help assess vulnerability and impacts of these drivers on the Lower Mekong Basin.

  11. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart, III; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This technical input to the National Climate Assessment synthesizes our scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and what strategies might be employed to decrease current and future risks. Building on past assessments of how climate change and other stressors are affecting ecosystems in the United States and around the world, we approach the subject from several different perspectives. First, we review the observed and projected impacts on biodiversity, with a focus on genes, species, and assemblages of species. Next, we examine how climate change is affecting ecosystem structural elements—such as biomass, architecture, and heterogeneity—and functions—specifically, as related to the fluxes of energy and matter. People experience climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems as changes in ecosystem services; people depend on ecosystems for resources that are harvested, their role in regulating the movement of materials and disturbances, and their recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value. Thus, we review newly emerging research to determine how human activities and a changing climate are likely to alter the delivery of these ecosystem services. This technical input also examines two cross-cutting topics. First, we recognize that climate change is happening against the backdrop of a wide range of other environmental and anthropogenic stressors, many of which have caused dramatic ecosystem degradation already. This broader range of stressors interacts with climate change, and complicates our abilities to predict and manage the impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the services they support. The

  12. Spatial Rule-Based Assessment of Habitat Potential to Predict Impact of Land Use Changes on Biodiversity at Municipal Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide

    2011-03-01

    In human dominated landscapes, ecosystems are under increasing pressures caused by urbanization and infrastructure development. In Alpine valleys remnant natural areas are increasingly affected by habitat fragmentation and loss. In these contexts, there is a growing risk of local extinction for wildlife populations; hence assessing the consequences on biodiversity of proposed land use changes is extremely important. The article presents a methodology to assess the impacts of land use changes on target species at a local scale. The approach relies on the application of ecological profiles of target species for habitat potential (HP) assessment, using high resolution GIS-data within a multiple level framework. The HP, in this framework, is based on a species-specific assessment of the suitability of a site, as well of surrounding areas. This assessment is performed through spatial rules, structured as sets of queries on landscape objects. We show that by considering spatial dependencies in habitat assessment it is possible to perform better quantification of impacts of local-level land use changes on habitats.

  13. Improving consideration of biodiversity in NEPA assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsch, A. )

    1993-01-01

    Loss of biological diversity is a major national, as well as global, environmental problem. Several federal agencies have begun to develop strategies to conserve biodiversity, but most agencies have not done so. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can play an important role in assessing losses and identifying mitigating measures. In most cases, environmental impact assessments have addressed components of biodiversity, such as endangered species, rather than provided the more comprehensive assessments that will be required over the long run. Strategies to conserve biodiversity must be developed on a regional, landscape, or ecosystem scale, taking into account cumulative effects of development. Such strategies can also provide the framework for project-specific NEPA assessments. Progress in applying the pragmatic methods, techniques, and strategies that are now emerging will be limited by the recognition and priority agencies are willing to assign to biodiversity conservation in their programs. Despite current efforts, a more specific legislative mandate probably will be needed to assure adequate action to minimize losses of biological resources.

  14. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piragnolo, M.; Pirotti, F.; Vettore, A.; Salogni, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology for risk assessment of anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed for Veneto Region, in order to simplify and improve the quality of EIA procedure (VINCA). Habitats and species, animals and plants, are protected by European Directive 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC but they are subject at hazard due to pollution produced by human activities. Biodiversity risks may conduct to deterioration and disturbance in ecological niches, with consequence of loss of biodiversity. Ecological risk assessment applied on Natura 2000 network, is needed to best practice of management and monitoring of environment and natural resources. Threats, pressure and activities, stress and indicators may be managed by geodatabase and analysed using GIS technology. The method used is the classic risk assessment in ecological context, and it defines the natural hazard as influence, element of risk as interference and vulnerability. Also it defines a new parameter called pressure. It uses risk matrix for the risk analysis on spatial and temporal scale. The methodology is qualitative and applies the precautionary principle in environmental assessment. The final product is a matrix which excludes the risk and could find application in the development of a territorial information system.

  15. Impacts of river water consumption on aquatic biodiversity in life cycle assessment--a proposed method, and a case study for Europe.

    PubMed

    Tendall, Danielle M; Hellweg, Stefanie; Pfister, Stephan; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Gaillard, Gérard

    2014-03-18

    In the context of climate change and food provisioning for a growing global population, the impacts of water consumption on aquatic biodiversity (e.g., river water consumption for irrigation) should be considered in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). A previous LCIA method quantifying the potential impacts of river water consumption on fish biodiversity, using a species-discharge relationship (SDR), constituted an essential first step. This method is however limited in terms of regionalization and taxa considered, and predicts the potential risk of local species loss only. Here, we address these shortcomings by developing region-specific SDRs for Europe at various scales (continent, country, and eco-region), and including macro-invertebrate biodiversity. SDR exponents vary from 0.06 to 0.45 between regions, underlining the importance of such regionalization. Furthermore, we provide a new regionalized method which considers the location of water consumption within a river basin, by integrating the concept of longitudinal river zonation. This involves the use of a novel measure of potential loss of species richness, standardizing local species loss to an equivalent of global extinction and reflecting species vulnerability. The new method is applied in a Swiss case-study. The consideration of the location of water consumption within a basin was found to be of high importance in the assessment: potential species loss varied between 4.22 × 10(-3) and 3.95 × 10(-1) species (2 orders of magnitude) depending on location. This work thus provides enhancements in the assessment of potential impacts of river water consumption on aquatic biodiversity and contributes to the ecological relevance of the method. PMID:24506171

  16. Bio-safe, A Policy and Legislation Based Model For The Assessment of Impacts of Flood Prevention Measures On Biodiversity In River Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Nooij, R. J. W.; Bio-Safe Team

    Within the framework of IRMA-SPONGE, a transnational version of the model BIO- SAFE (Spreadsheet Application For Evaluation of BIOdiversity) for the rivers Rhine and Meuse was developed. The model was specifically designed for policy and leg- islation based impact assessment of flood risk reduction measures on biodiversity in floodplains. BIO-SAFE is an assessment model that quantifies the policy and legisla- tion status of species in river basins for several taxonomic groups. The model uses data on presence of species and ecotopes. Results show that the BIO-SAFE method enables the user to express politically and legally based biodiversity values in quantitative terms and to compare biodiversity values for various taxonomic groups, landscape- ecological units (e.g. ecotopes) and physical planning scenarios. BIO-SAFE gives in- formation regarding the degree to which floodplain designs, observed or predicted trends of floodplain developments or actual values meet goals set in (inter)national agreements. Assessments with BIO-SAFE, in an early stage of the planning process, of actual situations and different scenarios for an area can help direct the planning process in the stage where this is still possible. Because of its policy-based character, BIO-SAFE yields complementary information to more established ecological biodi- versity indices and to single- species habitat models and ecological network analysis. Flood defence measures can lead to an increase of policy and legislation based bio- diversity values if already very valuable ecotopes are conserved and an increase of diversity of ecotopes is realised. Flood defence measures can also endanger these val- ues. In order to achieve optimal results regarding the attuning of conservation and development of biodiversity values on the one hand and flood defence measures on the other, it is recommended to aim at a balance between creating space in width and creating space in the depth. Uniform solutions must be avoided

  17. Biodiversity in environmental assessment-current practice and tools for prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Gontier, Mikael . E-mail: gontier@kth.se; Balfors, Berit . E-mail: balfors@kth.se; Moertberg, Ulla . E-mail: mortberg@kth.se

    2006-04-15

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity. Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment are essential instruments used in physical planning to address such problems. Yet there are no well-developed methods for quantifying and predicting impacts of fragmentation on biodiversity. In this study, a literature review was conducted on GIS-based ecological models that have potential as prediction tools for biodiversity assessment. Further, a review of environmental impact statements for road and railway projects from four European countries was performed, to study how impact prediction concerning biodiversity issues was addressed. The results of the study showed the existing gap between research in GIS-based ecological modelling and current practice in biodiversity assessment within environmental assessment.

  18. [Impact of pesticides on biodiversity in agricultural areas].

    PubMed

    Wu, Chunhua; Chen, Xin

    2004-02-01

    Large amount application of pesticides caused a lot of ecological and environmental problems, among which, the impact of pesticides on biodiversity was most important. In this paper, an overview of the impacts of pesticides on biodiversity in agricultural areas, including the community structure of insects, populations of soil invertebrates and microorganisms, and plant communities was provided, and the reasonable use of pesticides and the measures of protecting biodiversity in agricultural areas were also put forward. PMID:15146653

  19. Combined impacts of global changes on biodiversity across the USA

    PubMed Central

    Bellard, C.; Leclerc, C.; Courchamp, F.

    2015-01-01

    Most studies of the effects of global changes on biodiversity focus on a single threat, but multiple threats lead to species extinction. We lack spatially explicit assessments of the intensity of multiple threats and their impacts on biodiversity. Here, we used a novel metric of cumulative threats and impacts to assess the consequences of multiple threats on 196 endemic species across the USA. We predict that large areas with high cumulative impact scores for amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles will be concentrated in the eastern part of the USA by the 2050 s and 2080 s. These high cumulative impact values are due mainly to the presence of invasive species, climate change, cropland and pasture areas; additionally, a significant proportion of endemic species are vulnerable to some of these threats where they occur. This analysis provides a useful means of identifying where conservation measures and monitoring programs that should consider multiple threats should be implemented in the future. PMID:26149694

  20. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Janetos, Anthony C.; Hansen, Lara; Inouye, David; Kelly, Brendan; Meyerson, Laura; Peterson, Bill; Shaw, Rebecca

    2008-05-27

    This synthesis and assessment report bulds on extensive scientific literature and series of recent assessments of the historical and potential impacts of climate change and climate variability on managed and unmanaged ecosystems.

  1. Assessing biodiversity loss due to land use with Life Cycle Assessment: are we there yet?

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Danielle M; Teixeira, Ricardo FM; Ostermann, Ole P

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystems are under increasing pressure from human activities, with land use and land-use change at the forefront of the drivers that provoke global and regional biodiversity loss. The first step in addressing the challenge of how to reverse the negative outlook for the coming years starts with measuring environmental loss rates and assigning responsibilities. Pinpointing the global pressures on biodiversity is a task best addressed using holistic models such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is the leading method for calculating cradle-to-grave environmental impacts of products and services; it is actively promoted by many public policies, and integrated as part of environmental information systems within private companies. LCA already deals with the potential biodiversity impacts of land use, but there are significant obstacles to overcome before its models grasp the full reach of the phenomena involved. In this review, we discuss some pressing issues that need to be addressed. LCA mainly introduces biodiversity as an endpoint category modeled as a loss in species richness due to the conversion and use of land over time and space. The functional and population effects on biodiversity are mostly absent due to the emphasis on species accumulation with limited geographic and taxonomical reach. Current land-use modeling activities that use biodiversity indicators tend to oversimplify the real dynamics and complexity of the interactions of species among each other and with their habitats. To identify the main areas for improvement, we systematically reviewed LCA studies on land use that had findings related to global change and conservation ecology. We provide suggestion as to how to address some of the issues raised. Our overall objective was to encourage companies to monitor and take concrete steps to address the impacts of land use on biodiversity on a broader geographical scale and along increasingly globalized supply chains. PMID:25143302

  2. Temperature impacts on deep-sea biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

    Temperature is considered to be a fundamental factor controlling biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but precisely what role temperature plays in modulating diversity is still not clear. The deep ocean, lacking light and in situ photosynthetic primary production, is an ideal model system to test the effects of temperature changes on biodiversity. Here we synthesize current knowledge on temperature-diversity relationships in the deep sea. Our results from both present and past deep-sea assemblages suggest that, when a wide range of deep-sea bottom-water temperatures is considered, a unimodal relationship exists between temperature and diversity (that may be right skewed). It is possible that temperature is important only when at relatively high and low levels but does not play a major role in the intermediate temperature range. Possible mechanisms explaining the temperature-biodiversity relationship include the physiological-tolerance hypothesis, the metabolic hypothesis, island biogeography theory, or some combination of these. The possible unimodal relationship discussed here may allow us to identify tipping points at which on-going global change and deep-water warming may increase or decrease deep-sea biodiversity. Predicted changes in deep-sea temperatures due to human-induced climate change may have more adverse consequences than expected considering the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to temperature changes. PMID:25523624

  3. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Dobson, A. ); Carper, R. )

    1993-10-30

    Traditional herbalists act as a first-level screen for plants which may contain chemicals with significant pharmaceutical potential. Unfortunately, the destruction of rain forests is likely to lead to the extinction of many plant species before their potential can be explored. 165,000 km[sup 2] of tropical forest and 90,000 km[sup 2] of range land are destroyed or degraded each year, an annual attrition rate of about 1% for tropical forest. If these losses continue until only land set aside in parks is left, 66% of plant and 69% of animal species may be lost. The burning of forests to clear land for human settlement also makes a significant contribution to the greenhouse gases that are raising global mean temperatures. There are synergisms--here between rainforest destruction, loss of biodiversity, and global climate change--with potential impacts on health. Some aspects will be explored more fully in the contributions on vector-borne diseases and direct impacts and in the collaborative review of monitoring with which the series ends.

  4. Road-networks, a practical indicator of human impacts on biodiversity in Tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosaka, T.; Yamada, T.; Okuda, T.

    2014-02-01

    Tropical forests sustain the most diverse plants and animals in the world, but are also being lost most rapidly. Rapid assessment and monitoring using remote sensing on biodiversity of tropical forests is needed to predict and evaluate biodiversity loss by human activities. Identification of reliable indicators of forest biodiversity and/or its loss is an urgent issue. In the present paper, we propose the density of road networks in tropical forests can be a good and practical indicator of human impacts on biodiversity in tropical forests through reviewing papers and introducing our preliminary survey in peninsular Malaysia. Many previous studies suggest a strong negative impact of forest roads on biodiversity in tropical rainforests since they changes microclimate, soil properties, drainage patterns, canopy openness and forest accessibility. Moreover, our preliminary survey also showed that even a narrow logging road (6 m wide) significantly lowered abundance of dung beetles (well-known bio-indicator in biodiversity survey in tropical forests) near the road. Since these road networks are readily to be detected with remote sensing approach such as aerial photographs and Lider, regulation and monitoring of the road networks using remote sensing techniques is a key to slow down the rate of biodiversity loss due to forest degradation in tropical forests.

  5. Quantifying Land Use Impacts on Biodiversity: Combining Species-Area Models and Vulnerability Indicators.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Verones, Francesca; de Baan, Laura; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2015-08-18

    Habitat degradation and subsequent biodiversity damage often take place far from the place of consumption because of globalization and the increasing level of international trade. Informing consumers and policy makers about the biodiversity impacts "hidden" in the life cycle of imported products is an important step toward achieving sustainable consumption patterns. Spatially explicit methods are needed in life cycle assessment to accurately quantify biodiversity impacts of products and processes. We use the Countryside species-area relationship (SAR) to quantify regional species loss due to land occupation and transformation for five taxa and six land use types in 804 terrestrial ecoregions. Further, we calculate vulnerability scores for each ecoregion based on the fraction of each species' geographic range (endemic richness) hosted by the ecoregion and the IUCN assigned threat level of each species. Vulnerability scores are multiplied with SAR-predicted regional species loss to estimate potential global extinctions per unit of land use. As a case study, we assess the land use biodiversity impacts of 1 kg of bioethanol produced using six different feed stocks in different parts of the world. Results show that the regions with highest biodiversity impacts differed markedly when the vulnerability of species was included. PMID:26197362

  6. Preliminary Assessment of Sponge Biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Thacker, Robert W.; Díaz, M. Cristina; de Voogd, Nicole J.; van Soest, Rob W. M.; Freeman, Christopher J.; Mobley, Andrew S.; LaPietra, Jessica; Cope, Kevin; McKenna, Sheila

    2010-01-01

    Background Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled fishes, mollusks, crustaceans, macroalgae, and sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings A single member of the dive team conducted surveys of sponge biodiversity during eight dives at six locations, at depths ranging from 15 to 30 m. This preliminary assessment documented the presence of 45 species pooled across multiple locations. Rarefaction analysis estimated that only 48 to 84% of species diversity was sampled by this limited effort, clearly indicating a need for additional surveys. An analysis of historical collections from Saba and Saba Bank revealed an additional 36 species, yielding a total of 81 sponge species recorded from this area. Conclusions/Significance This observed species composition is similar to that found on widespread Caribbean reefs, indicating that the sponge fauna of Saba Bank is broadly representative of the Caribbean as a whole. A robust population of the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, appeared healthy with none of the signs of disease or bleaching reported from other Caribbean reefs; however, more recent reports of anchor chain damage to these sponges suggests that human activities can have dramatic impacts on these communities. Opportunities to protect this extremely large habitat should be pursued, as Saba Bank may serve as a significant reservoir of sponge species diversity. PMID:20502643

  7. Spatial patterns of agricultural expansion determine impacts on biodiversity and carbon storage

    PubMed Central

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sharp, Richard P.; Mandle, Lisa; Sim, Sarah; Johnson, Justin; Butnar, Isabela; Milà i Canals, Llorenç; Eichelberger, Bradley A.; Ramler, Ivan; Mueller, Carina; McLachlan, Nikolaus; Yousefi, Anahita; King, Henry; Kareiva, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    The agricultural expansion and intensification required to meet growing food and agri-based product demand present important challenges to future levels and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Influential actors such as corporations, governments, and multilateral organizations have made commitments to meeting future agricultural demand sustainably and preserving critical ecosystems. Current approaches to predicting the impacts of agricultural expansion involve calculation of total land conversion and assessment of the impacts on biodiversity or ecosystem services on a per-area basis, generally assuming a linear relationship between impact and land area. However, the impacts of continuing land development are often not linear and can vary considerably with spatial configuration. We demonstrate what could be gained by spatially explicit analysis of agricultural expansion at a large scale compared with the simple measure of total area converted, with a focus on the impacts on biodiversity and carbon storage. Using simple modeling approaches for two regions of Brazil, we find that for the same amount of land conversion, the declines in biodiversity and carbon storage can vary two- to fourfold depending on the spatial pattern of conversion. Impacts increase most rapidly in the earliest stages of agricultural expansion and are more pronounced in scenarios where conversion occurs in forest interiors compared with expansion into forests from their edges. This study reveals the importance of spatially explicit information in the assessment of land-use change impacts and for future land management and conservation. PMID:26082547

  8. Biodiversity impacts from salinity increase in a coastal wetland.

    PubMed

    Amores, Maria José; Verones, Francesca; Raptis, Catherine; Juraske, Ronnie; Pfister, Stephan; Stoessel, Franziska; Antón, Assumpció; Castells, Francesc; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2013-06-18

    A Life Cycle Impact Assessment method was developed to evaluate the environmental impact associated with salinity on biodiversity in a Spanish coastal wetland. The developed characterization factor consists of a fate and an effect factor and equals 3.16 × 10(-1) ± 1.84 × 10(-1) PAF · m(3) · yr · m(-3) (PAF: Potentially Affected Fraction of species) indicating a "potential loss of 0.32 m(3) ecosystem" for a water consumption rate of 1 m(3) · yr(-1). As a result of groundwater consumption with a rate of 1 m(3) · yr(-1), the PAF in the lost cubic meter of ecosystem equals 0.05, which has been proposed as the maximum tolerable effect to keep the ecosystem intact. The fate factor was calculated from seasonal water balances of the wetland Albufera de Adra. The effect factor was obtained from the fitted curve of the potentially affected fraction of native wetland species due to salinity and can be applied to other wetlands with similar species composition. In order to test the applicability of the characterization factor, an assessment of water consumption of greenhouse crops in the area was conducted as a case study. Results converted into ecosystem quality damage using the ReCiPe method were compared to other categories. While tomatoes are responsible for up to 30% of the impact of increased salinity due to water consumption on ecosystem quality in the studied area, melons have the largest impact per tonne produced. PMID:23597228

  9. Mitigation for one & all: An integrated framework for mitigation of development impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services

    SciTech Connect

    Tallis, Heather; Kennedy, Christina M.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Goldstein, Joshua; Kiesecker, Joseph M.

    2015-11-15

    Emerging development policies and lending standards call for consideration of ecosystem services when mitigating impacts from development, yet little guidance exists to inform this process. Here we propose a comprehensive framework for advancing both biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. We have clarified a means for choosing representative ecosystem service targets alongside biodiversity targets, identified servicesheds as a useful spatial unit for assessing ecosystem service avoidance, impact, and offset options, and discuss methods for consistent calculation of biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation ratios. We emphasize the need to move away from area- and habitat-based assessment methods for both biodiversity and ecosystem services towards functional assessments at landscape or seascape scales. Such comprehensive assessments more accurately reflect cumulative impacts and variation in environmental quality, social needs and value preferences. The integrated framework builds on the experience of biodiversity mitigation while addressing the unique opportunities and challenges presented by ecosystem service mitigation. These advances contribute to growing potential for economic development planning and execution that will minimize impacts on nature and maximize human wellbeing. - Highlights: • This is the first framework for biodiversity and ecosystem service mitigation. • Functional, landscape scale assessments are ideal for avoidance and offsets. • Servicesheds define the appropriate spatial extent for ecosystem service mitigation. • Mitigation ratios should be calculated consistently and based on standard factors. • Our framework meets the needs of integrated mitigation assessment requirements.

  10. How global extinctions impact regional biodiversity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shan; Davies, T Jonathan; Gittleman, John L

    2012-04-23

    Phylogenetic diversity (PD) represents the evolutionary history of a species assemblage and is a valuable measure of biodiversity because it captures not only species richness but potentially also genetic and functional diversity. Preserving PD could be critical for maintaining the functional integrity of the world's ecosystems, and species extinction will have a large impact on ecosystems in areas where the ecosystem cost per species extinction is high. Here, we show that impacts from global extinctions are linked to spatial location. Using a phylogeny of all mammals, we compare regional losses of PD against a model of random extinction. At regional scales, losses differ dramatically: several biodiversity hotspots in southern Asia and Amazonia will lose an unexpectedly large proportion of PD. Global analyses may therefore underestimate the impacts of extinction on ecosystem processes and function because they occur at finer spatial scales within the context of natural biogeography. PMID:21957091

  11. ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS ON BIODIVERSITY: A FRAMEWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ON DOD LANDS WITHIN THE CALIFORNIA MOJAVE DESERT: A RESEARCH PLAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of the research proposed in this document is to evaluate the effects of human activities on biodiversity and related environmental concerns within the Mojave ecoregion of California both at the present and in 2020. While planning efforts and analyses are ongoing withi...

  12. Aquatic biodiversity assessment for the lazy.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Constanze; Schubert, Grit; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien

    2016-02-01

    The world is covered in DNA. In any ecosystem, extracellular DNA fragments can be found that once formed the genomes of a variety of micro- and macroorganisms. A few years ago, it was proposed to use this environmental DNA (eDNA) as a source of information on local vertebrate biodiversity (Ficetola et al. 2008; Taberlet et al. 2012). This idea offered an elegant solution to take up the gauntlet of rapidly increasing monitoring needs. Coupled with barcoding efforts, it promised to be cost-efficient in many respects, for example man-hours and taxonomic expertise. Ecologists and conservation biologists with an interest in aquatic ecosystems have enthusiastically adopted and pioneered this new method, producing dozens of eDNA studies. Most of these studies have, however, focused on a single or a few aquatic species. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Valentini et al. (2016) move the field a step further by demonstrating that metabarcoding approaches - which simultaneously target large groups of organisms such as amphibians or fish - can match and sometimes even outperform other inventory methods. PMID:26876232

  13. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, E.O.; Peter, F.M.

    1988-01-01

    In tropical forests, on coral reefs, and in other threatened habitats, countless plant, animal, and microbial species face possible extinction - their names unknown, their numbers uncounted, their value unreckoned. Although popular attention has focused on the plight of more visible and widely known species like the whooping crane or the African elephant, most-experts agree that the loss of less-obvious organisms could be much more devastating. This is the subject of the volume. It calls attention to a most urgent global problem: the rapidly accelerating loss of plant and animal species to increasing human-population pressure and the demands of economic development. The book explores biodiversity from a wide variety of viewpoints.

  14. Minimizing the biodiversity impact of Neotropical oil palm development.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Prescott, Graham W; Cardenas, Johann S; Castañeda, Pamela González del Pliego; Sánchez, Andrés; Rojas-Murcia, Luis E; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2015-04-01

    Oil palm agriculture is rapidly expanding in the Neotropics, at the expense of a range of natural and seminatural habitats. A key question is how this expansion should be managed to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity. Focusing on the Llanos of Colombia, a mixed grassland-forest system identified as a priority zone for future oil palm development, we survey communities of ants, dung beetles, birds and herpetofauna occurring in oil palm plantations and the other principal form of agriculture in the region--improved cattle pasture--together with those of surrounding natural forests. We show that oil palm plantations have similar or higher species richness across all four taxonomic groups than improved pasture. For dung beetles, species richness in oil palm was equal to that of forest, whereas the other three taxa had highest species richness in forests. Hierarchical modelling of species occupancy probabilities indicated that oil palm plantations supported a higher proportion of species characteristic of forests than did cattle pastures. Across the bird community, occupancy probabilities within oil palm were positively influenced by increasing forest cover in a surrounding 250 m radius, whereas surrounding forest cover did not strongly influence the occurrence of other taxonomic groups in oil palm. Overall, our results suggest that the conversion of existing improved pastures to oil palm has limited negative impacts on biodiversity. As such, existing cattle pastures of the Colombian Llanos could offer a key opportunity to meet governmental targets for oil palm development without incurring significant biodiversity costs. Our results also highlight the value of preserving remnant forests within these agricultural landscapes, protecting high biodiversity and exporting avian 'spill-over' effects into oil palm plantations. PMID:25175402

  15. Assessing global marine biodiversity status within a coupled socio-ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Selig, Elizabeth R; Longo, Catherine; Halpern, Benjamin S; Best, Benjamin D; Hardy, Darren; Elfes, Cristiane T; Scarborough, Courtney; Kleisner, Kristin M; Katona, Steven K

    2013-01-01

    People value the existence of a variety of marine species and habitats, many of which are negatively impacted by human activities. The Convention on Biological Diversity and other international and national policy agreements have set broad goals for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. However, efforts to conserve biodiversity cannot be effective without comprehensive metrics both to assess progress towards meeting conservation goals and to account for measures that reduce pressures so that positive actions are encouraged. We developed an index based on a global assessment of the condition of marine biodiversity using publically available data to estimate the condition of species and habitats within 151 coastal countries. Our assessment also included data on social and ecological pressures on biodiversity as well as variables that indicate whether good governance is in place to reduce them. Thus, our index is a social as well as ecological measure of the current and likely future status of biodiversity. As part of our analyses, we set explicit reference points or targets that provide benchmarks for success and allow for comparative assessment of current conditions. Overall country-level scores ranged from 43 to 95 on a scale of 1 to 100, but countries that scored high for species did not necessarily score high for habitats. Although most current status scores were relatively high, likely future status scores for biodiversity were much lower in most countries due to negative trends for both species and habitats. We also found a strong positive relationship between the Human Development Index and resilience measures that could promote greater sustainability by reducing pressures. This relationship suggests that many developing countries lack effective governance, further jeopardizing their ability to maintain species and habitats in the future. PMID:23593188

  16. Assessing Global Marine Biodiversity Status within a Coupled Socio-Ecological Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Selig, Elizabeth R.; Longo, Catherine; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Best, Benjamin D.; Hardy, Darren; Elfes, Cristiane T.; Scarborough, Courtney; Kleisner, Kristin M.; Katona, Steven K.

    2013-01-01

    People value the existence of a variety of marine species and habitats, many of which are negatively impacted by human activities. The Convention on Biological Diversity and other international and national policy agreements have set broad goals for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. However, efforts to conserve biodiversity cannot be effective without comprehensive metrics both to assess progress towards meeting conservation goals and to account for measures that reduce pressures so that positive actions are encouraged. We developed an index based on a global assessment of the condition of marine biodiversity using publically available data to estimate the condition of species and habitats within 151 coastal countries. Our assessment also included data on social and ecological pressures on biodiversity as well as variables that indicate whether good governance is in place to reduce them. Thus, our index is a social as well as ecological measure of the current and likely future status of biodiversity. As part of our analyses, we set explicit reference points or targets that provide benchmarks for success and allow for comparative assessment of current conditions. Overall country-level scores ranged from 43 to 95 on a scale of 1 to 100, but countries that scored high for species did not necessarily score high for habitats. Although most current status scores were relatively high, likely future status scores for biodiversity were much lower in most countries due to negative trends for both species and habitats. We also found a strong positive relationship between the Human Development Index and resilience measures that could promote greater sustainability by reducing pressures. This relationship suggests that many developing countries lack effective governance, further jeopardizing their ability to maintain species and habitats in the future. PMID:23593188

  17. A Fragile Cornucopia: Assessing the Status of U.S. Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stein, Bruce A.

    2001-01-01

    Presents a national status assessment of biodiversity for the United States. Discusses a catalog of biodiversity, the condition of species, and the legacy of extinctions in the area. Provides information for many of the states. (DDR)

  18. A meta-analysis of soil biodiversity impacts on the carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Graaff, M.-A.; Adkins, J.; Kardol, P.; Throop, H. L.

    2014-11-01

    Loss of biodiversity can impact ecosystem functioning, such as altering carbon (C) cycling rates. Soils are the largest terrestrial C reservoir, containing more C globally than the biotic and atmospheric pools together. As such, soil C cycling, and the processes controlling it, have the potential to affect atmospheric CO2 concentrations and subsequent climate change. Despite the growing evidence of links between plant diversity and soil C cycling, there is a dearth of information on whether similar relationships exist between biodiversity of soil organisms (microbes and soil fauna) and C cycling. This is despite increasing recognition that soil communities display high levels of both taxonomic and functional diversity and are key drivers of fluxes of C between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we used meta-analysis and regression analysis to quantitatively assess how soil biodiversity affects soil C cycling pools and processes (i.e., soil C respiration, litter decomposition, and plant biomass). We compared the response of pool amd process variables to changes in biodiversity both within and across trophic groups of organisms. Overall, loss of soil diversity significantly reduced soil C respiration (-27.5%) and plant tissue decomposition (-18%), but did not affect above- and belowground plant biomass. Detailed analyses showed that loss of within-group biodiversity significantly reduced soil C respiration, while loss of across-group diversity did not. Decomposition was negatively affected by losses of both within-group and across-group diversity. Further, loss of microbial diversity strongly reduced soil C respiration (-41%). In contrast, plant tissue decomposition was negatively affected by loss of soil faunal diversity, but was unaffected by loss of microbial diversity. Taken together, our findings show that loss of soil biodiversity can strongly affect soil C cycling processes, and highlight the importance of diversity across organismal groups for

  19. Impact of land use on the biodiversity integrity of the moist sub-biome of the grassland biome, South Africa.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, T G; Kuyler, P

    2009-01-01

    South Africa's moist grassland harbours globally significant biodiversity, supplies essential ecosystem services, supports crop and livestock agriculture, forestry and settlement, yet is poorly conserved. Ongoing transformation and limited opportunity for expanding the protected area network require instead that biodiversity conservation is 'mainstreamed' within other land uses. This exercise sought to identify the relative compatibility of 10 land uses (conservation, livestock or game ranching, tourism/recreation, rural settlement, dryland cropping, irrigated cropping, dairy farming, plantation forestry, and urban settlement) with maintaining biodiversity integrity. This was assessed using 46 indicators for biodiversity integrity that covered landscape composition, structure, and functioning. Data was integrated into a single measure per land use through application of the analytic hierarchy process, with supporting information gained from interviews with experts. The rank order of importance amongst indicators was landscape structure, functioning and composition. Consistent differences among land uses for all three categories revealed two clear groupings. Conservation, livestock or game ranching had the lowest impact and retained substantial natural asset, while that for tourism/recreation was intermediate. All other land uses had a severe impact. Impact on biodiversity integrity depended mainly on the extent of transformation and fragmentation, which accounted for the greatest impact on habitats and species, and impairment of landscape functioning. It is suggested that a strategic intervention for maintaining biodiversity integrity of moist grassland is to support livestock or game ranching and limit ongoing urban sprawl. PMID:18082314

  20. Assessing the Cost of Global Biodiversity and Conservation Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Jenkins, Richard B.; Boe, Kaia; Hoffmann, Michael; Angulo, Ariadne; Bachman, Steve; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Carpenter, Kent E.; Comer, Pat J.; Cox, Neil; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Darwall, William R. T.; Fishpool, Lincoln D. C.; Goettsch, Bárbara; Heath, Melanie; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hutton, Jon; Johnson, Tim; Joolia, Ackbar; Keith, David A.; Langhammer, Penny F.; Luedtke, Jennifer; Nic Lughadha, Eimear; Lutz, Maiko; May, Ian; Miller, Rebecca M.; Oliveira-Miranda, María A.; Parr, Mike; Pollock, Caroline M.; Ralph, Gina; Rodríguez, Jon Paul; Rondinini, Carlo; Smart, Jane; Stuart, Simon; Symes, Andy; Tordoff, Andrew W.; Young, Bruce; Kingston, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge products comprise assessments of authoritative information supported by standards, governance, quality control, data, tools, and capacity building mechanisms. Considerable resources are dedicated to developing and maintaining knowledge products for biodiversity conservation, and they are widely used to inform policy and advise decision makers and practitioners. However, the financial cost of delivering this information is largely undocumented. We evaluated the costs and funding sources for developing and maintaining four global biodiversity and conservation knowledge products: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, Protected Planet, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. These are secondary data sets, built on primary data collected by extensive networks of expert contributors worldwide. We estimate that US$160 million (range: US$116–204 million), plus 293 person-years of volunteer time (range: 278–308 person-years) valued at US$ 14 million (range US$12–16 million), were invested in these four knowledge products between 1979 and 2013. More than half of this financing was provided through philanthropy, and nearly three-quarters was spent on personnel costs. The estimated annual cost of maintaining data and platforms for three of these knowledge products (excluding the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for which annual costs were not possible to estimate for 2013) is US$6.5 million in total (range: US$6.2–6.7 million). We estimated that an additional US$114 million will be needed to reach pre-defined baselines of data coverage for all the four knowledge products, and that once achieved, annual maintenance costs will be approximately US$12 million. These costs are much lower than those to maintain many other, similarly important, global knowledge products. Ensuring that biodiversity and conservation knowledge products are sufficiently up to date, comprehensive and accurate is fundamental to inform decision

  1. Assessing the Cost of Global Biodiversity and Conservation Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Jenkins, Richard B; Boe, Kaia; Hoffmann, Michael; Angulo, Ariadne; Bachman, Steve; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Carpenter, Kent E; Comer, Pat J; Cox, Neil; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Darwall, William R T; Di Marco, Moreno; Fishpool, Lincoln D C; Goettsch, Bárbara; Heath, Melanie; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hutton, Jon; Johnson, Tim; Joolia, Ackbar; Keith, David A; Langhammer, Penny F; Luedtke, Jennifer; Nic Lughadha, Eimear; Lutz, Maiko; May, Ian; Miller, Rebecca M; Oliveira-Miranda, María A; Parr, Mike; Pollock, Caroline M; Ralph, Gina; Rodríguez, Jon Paul; Rondinini, Carlo; Smart, Jane; Stuart, Simon; Symes, Andy; Tordoff, Andrew W; Woodley, Stephen; Young, Bruce; Kingston, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge products comprise assessments of authoritative information supported by standards, governance, quality control, data, tools, and capacity building mechanisms. Considerable resources are dedicated to developing and maintaining knowledge products for biodiversity conservation, and they are widely used to inform policy and advise decision makers and practitioners. However, the financial cost of delivering this information is largely undocumented. We evaluated the costs and funding sources for developing and maintaining four global biodiversity and conservation knowledge products: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, Protected Planet, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. These are secondary data sets, built on primary data collected by extensive networks of expert contributors worldwide. We estimate that US$160 million (range: US$116-204 million), plus 293 person-years of volunteer time (range: 278-308 person-years) valued at US$ 14 million (range US$12-16 million), were invested in these four knowledge products between 1979 and 2013. More than half of this financing was provided through philanthropy, and nearly three-quarters was spent on personnel costs. The estimated annual cost of maintaining data and platforms for three of these knowledge products (excluding the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for which annual costs were not possible to estimate for 2013) is US$6.5 million in total (range: US$6.2-6.7 million). We estimated that an additional US$114 million will be needed to reach pre-defined baselines of data coverage for all the four knowledge products, and that once achieved, annual maintenance costs will be approximately US$12 million. These costs are much lower than those to maintain many other, similarly important, global knowledge products. Ensuring that biodiversity and conservation knowledge products are sufficiently up to date, comprehensive and accurate is fundamental to inform decision-making for

  2. Impacts of biodiversity loss escalate through time as redundancy fades.

    PubMed

    Reich, Peter B; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Mueller, Kevin; Hobbie, Sarah E; Flynn, Dan F B; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2012-05-01

    Plant diversity generally promotes biomass production, but how the shape of the response curve changes with time remains unclear. This is a critical knowledge gap because the shape of this relationship indicates the extent to which loss of the first few species will influence biomass production. Using two long-term (≥13 years) biodiversity experiments, we show that the effects of diversity on biomass productivity increased and became less saturating over time. Our analyses suggest that effects of diversity-dependent ecosystem feedbacks and interspecific complementarity accumulate over time, causing high-diversity species combinations that appeared functionally redundant during early years to become more functionally unique through time. Consequently, simplification of diverse ecosystems will likely have greater negative impacts on ecosystem functioning than has been suggested by short-term experiments. PMID:22556253

  3. Integrating ecological risk assessments across levels of organization using the Franklin-Noss model of biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Brugger, K.E.; Tiebout, H.M. III |

    1994-12-31

    Wildlife toxicologists pioneered methodologies for assessing ecological risk to nontarget species. Historically, ecological risk assessments (ERAS) focused on a limited array of species and were based on a relatively few population-level endpoints (mortality, reproduction). Currently, risk assessment models are becoming increasingly complex that factor in multi-species interactions (across trophic levels) and utilize an increasingly diverse number of ecologically significant endpoints. This trend suggests the increasing importance of safeguarding not only populations of individual species, but also the overall integrity of the larger biotic systems that support them. In this sense, ERAs are in alignment with Conservation Biology, an applied science of ecological knowledge used to conserve biodiversity. A theoretical conservation biology model could be incorporated in ERAs to quantify impacts to biodiversity (structure, function or composition across levels of biological organization). The authors suggest that the Franklin-Noss model for evaluating biodiversity, with its nested, hierarchical approach, may provide a suitable paradigm for assessing and integrating the ecological risk that chemical contaminants pose to biological systems from the simplest levels (genotypes, individual organisms) to the most complex levels of organization (communities and ecosystems). The Franklin-Noss model can accommodate the existing ecotoxicological database and, perhaps more importantly, indicate new areas in which critical endpoints should be identified and investigated.

  4. A meta-analysis of soil biodiversity impacts on the carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Graaff, M.-A.; Adkins, J.; Kardol, P.; Throop, H. L.

    2015-03-01

    Loss of biodiversity impacts ecosystem functions, such as carbon (C) cycling. Soils are the largest terrestrial C reservoir, containing more C globally than the biotic and atmospheric pools together. As such, soil C cycling, and the processes controlling it, has the potential to affect atmospheric CO2 concentrations and subsequent climate change. Despite the growing evidence of links between plant diversity and soil C cycling, there is a dearth of information on whether similar relationships exist between soil biodiversity and C cycling. This knowledge gap occurs even though there has been increased recognition that soil communities display high levels of both taxonomic and functional diversity and are key drivers of fluxes of C between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we used meta-analysis and regression analysis to quantitatively assess how soil biodiversity affects soil C cycling pools and processes (i.e., soil C respiration, litter decomposition, and plant biomass). We compared the response of process variables to changes in diversity both within and across groups of soil organisms that differed in body size, a grouping that typically correlates with ecological function. When studies that manipulated both within- and across-body size group diversity were included in the meta-analysis, loss of diversity significantly reduced soil C respiration (-27.5%) and plant tissue decomposition (-18%) but did not affect above- or belowground plant biomass. The loss of within-group diversity significantly reduced soil C respiration, while loss of across-group diversity did not. Decomposition was negatively affected both by loss of within-group and across-group diversity. Furthermore, loss of microbial diversity strongly reduced soil C respiration (-41%). In contrast, plant tissue decomposition was negatively affected by loss of soil faunal diversity but was unaffected by loss of microbial diversity. Taken together, our findings show that loss of soil

  5. Assessing paleo-biodiversity using low proxy influx.

    PubMed

    Blarquez, Olivier; Finsinger, Walter; Carcaillet, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    We developed an algorithm to improve richness assessment based on paleoecological series, considering sample features such as their temporal resolutions or their volumes. Our new method can be applied to both high- and low-count size proxies, i.e. pollen and plant macroremain records, respectively. While pollen generally abounds in sediments, plant macroremains are generally rare, thus leading to difficulties to compute paleo-biodiversity indices. Our approach uses resampled macroremain influxes that enable the computation of the rarefaction index for the low influx records. The raw counts are resampled to a constant resolution and sample volume by interpolating initial sample ages at a constant time interval using the age∼depth model. Then, the contribution of initial counts and volume to each interpolated sample is determined by calculating a proportion matrix that is in turn used to obtain regularly spaced time series of pollen and macroremain influx. We applied this algorithm to sedimentary data from a subalpine lake situated in the European Alps. The reconstructed total floristic richness at the study site increased gradually when both pollen and macroremain records indicated a decrease in relative abundances of shrubs and an increase in trees from 11,000 to 7,000 cal BP. This points to an ecosystem change that favored trees against shrubs, whereas herb abundance remained stable. Since 6,000 cal BP, local richness decreased based on plant macroremains, while pollen-based richness was stable. The reconstructed richness and evenness are interrelated confirming the difficulty to distinguish these two aspects for the studies in paleo-biodiversity. The present study shows that low-influx bio-proxy records (here macroremains) can be used to reconstruct stand diversity and address ecological issues. These developments on macroremain and pollen records may contribute to bridge the gap between paleoecology and biodiversity studies. PMID:23776556

  6. A freshwater biodiversity hotspot under pressure - assessing threats and identifying conservation needs for ancient Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostoski, G.; Albrecht, C.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2010-12-01

    Immediate conservation measures for world-wide freshwater resources are of eminent importance. This is particularly true for so-called ancient lakes. While these lakes are famous for being evolutionary theatres, often displaying an extraordinarily high degree of biodiversity and endemism, in many cases these biota are also experiencing extreme anthropogenic impact. Lake Ohrid, a major European biodiversity hotspot situated in a trans-frontier setting on the Balkans, is a prime example for a lake with a magnitude of narrow range endemic taxa that are under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Unfortunately, evidence for a "creeping biodiversity crisis" has accumulated over the last decades, and major socio-political changes have gone along with human-mediated environmental changes. Based on field surveys, monitoring data, published records, and expert interviews, we aimed to (1) assess threats to Lake Ohrids' (endemic) biodiversity, (2) summarize existing conservation activities and strategies, and (3) outline future conservation needs for Lake Ohrid. We compiled threats to both specific taxa (and in cases to particular species) as well as to the lake ecosystems itself. Major conservation concerns identified for Lake Ohrid are: (1) watershed impacts, (2) agriculture and forestry, (3) tourism and population growth, (4) non-indigenous species, (5) habitat alteration or loss, (6) unsustainable exploitation of fisheries, and (7) global climate change. Among the major (well-known) threats with high impact are nutrient input (particularly of phosphorus), habitat conversion and silt load. Other threats are potentially of high impact but less well known. Such threats include pollution with hazardous substances (from sources such as mines, former industries, agriculture) or climate change. We review and discuss institutional responsibilities, environmental monitoring and ecosystem management, existing parks and reserves, biodiversity and species measures, international

  7. Biogenic CO2 fluxes, changes in surface albedo and biodiversity impacts from establishment of a miscanthus plantation.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Susanne V; Cherubini, Francesco; Michelsen, Ottar

    2014-12-15

    Depletion in oil resources and environmental concern related to the use of fossil fuels has increased the interest in using second generation biomass as alternative feedstock for fuels and materials. However, the land use and land use change for producing second generation (2G) biomass impacts the environment in various ways, of which not all are usually considered in life cycle assessment. This study assesses the biogenic CO2 fluxes, surface albedo changes and biodiversity impacts for 100 years after changing land use from forest or fallow land to miscanthus plantation in Wisconsin, US. Climate change impacts are addressed in terms of effective forcing, a mid-point indicator which can be used to compare impacts from biogenic CO2 fluxes and albedo changes. Biodiversity impacts are assessed through elaboration on two different existing approaches, to express the change in biodiversity impact from one human influenced state to another. Concerning the impacts from biogenic CO2 fluxes, in the case of conversion from a forest to a miscanthus plantation (case A) there is a contribution to global warming, whereas when a fallow land is converted (case B), there is a climate cooling. When the effects from albedo changes are included, both scenarios show a net cooling impact, which is more pronounced in case B. Both cases reduce biodiversity in the area where the miscanthus plantation is established, though most in case A. The results illustrate the relevance of these issues when considering environmental impacts of land use and land use change. The apparent trade-offs in terms of environmental impacts further highlight the importance of including these aspects in LCA of land use and land use changes, in order to enable informed decision making. PMID:25194521

  8. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Rebecca J.

    2010-01-01

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity. PMID:20980318

  9. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective.

    PubMed

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity. PMID:20980318

  10. A freshwater biodiversity hotspot under pressure - assessing threats and identifying conservation needs for ancient Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostoski, G.; Albrecht, C.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2010-07-01

    Freshwater habitats and species living in freshwater are generally more prone to extinction than terrestrial or marine ones. Immediate conservation measures for world-wide freshwater resources are thus of eminent importance. This is particularly true for so called ancient lakes. While these lakes are famous for being evolutionary theatres, often displaying an extraordinarily high degree of biodiversity and endemism, in many cases these biota are also experiencing extreme anthropogenic impact. Lake Ohrid, the European biodiversity hotspot, is a prime example for a lake with a magnitude of narrow range endemic taxa that are under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Unfortunately, evidence for a "creeping biodiversity crisis" has accumulated over the last decades, and major socio-political changes have gone along with human-mediated environmental changes. Based on field surveys, monitoring data, published records, and expert interviews, we aimed to (1) assess threats to Lake Ohrids' (endemic) biodiversity, (2) summarize existing conservation activities and strategies, and (3) outline future conservation needs for Lake Ohrid. We compiled threats to both specific taxa (and in cases to particular species) as well as to the lake ecosystems itself. Major conservation concerns identified for Lake Ohrid are: (1) watershed impacts, (2) agriculture and forestry, (3) tourism and population growth, (4) non-indigenous species, (5) habitat alteration or loss, (6) unsustainable exploitation of fisheries, and (7) global climate change. Of the 11 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) threat classes scored, seven have moderate and three severe impacts. These latter threat classes are energy production and mining, biological resource use, and pollution. We review and discuss institutional responsibilities, environmental monitoring and ecosystem management, existing parks and reserves, biodiversity and species measures, international conservation

  11. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Karlson, Mårten Mörtberg, Ulla Balfors, Berit

    2014-09-15

    Transport infrastructure has a wide array of effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and road and railway networks are increasingly being associated with a loss of biodiversity worldwide. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are two legal frameworks that concern physical planning, with the potential to identify, predict, mitigate and/or compensate transport infrastructure effects with negative impacts on biodiversity. The aim of this study was to review the treatment of ecological impacts in environmental assessment of transport infrastructure plans and projects. A literature review on the topic of EIA, SEA, biodiversity and transport infrastructure was conducted, and 17 problem categories on the treatment of biodiversity were formulated by means of a content analysis. A review of environmental impact statements and environmental reports (EIS/ER) produced between 2005 and 2013 in Sweden and the UK was then conducted using the list of problems as a checklist. The results show that the treatment of ecological impacts has improved substantially over the years, but that some impacts remain problematic; the treatment of fragmentation, the absence of quantitative analysis and that the impact assessment study area was in general delimited without consideration for the scales of ecological processes. Actions to improve the treatment of ecological impacts could include improved guidelines for spatial and temporal delimitation, and the establishment of a quantitative framework including tools, methods and threshold values. Additionally, capacity building and further method development of EIA and SEA friendly spatial ecological models can aid in clarifying the costs as well as the benefits in development/biodiversity tradeoffs. - Highlights: • The treatment of ecological impacts in EIA and SEA has improved. • Quantitative methods for ecological impact assessment were rarely used • Fragmentation effects were recognized

  12. Inferential monitoring of global change impact on biodiversity through remote sensing and species distribution modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangermano, Florencia

    2009-12-01

    The world is suffering from rapid changes in both climate and land cover which are the main factors affecting global biodiversity. These changes may affect ecosystems by altering species distributions, population sizes, and community compositions, which emphasizes the need for a rapid assessment of biodiversity status for conservation and management purposes. Current approaches on monitoring biodiversity rely mainly on long term observations of predetermined sites, which require large amounts of time, money and personnel to be executed. In order to overcome problems associated with current field monitoring methods, the main objective of this dissertation is the development of framework for inferential monitoring of the impact of global change on biodiversity based on remotely sensed data coupled with species distribution modeling techniques. Several research pieces were performed independently in order to fulfill this goal. First, species distribution modeling was used to identify the ranges of 6362 birds, mammals and amphibians in South America. Chapter 1 compares the power of different presence-only species distribution methods for modeling distributions of species with different response curves to environmental gradients and sample sizes. It was found that there is large variability in the power of the methods for modeling habitat suitability and species ranges, showing the importance of performing, when possible, a preliminary gradient analysis of the species distribution before selecting the method to be used. Chapter 2 presents a new methodology for the redefinition of species range polygons. Using a method capable of establishing the uncertainty in the definition of existing range polygons, the automated procedure identifies the relative importance of bioclimatic variables for the species, predicts their ranges and generates a quality assessment report to explore prediction errors. Analysis using independent validation data shows the power of this

  13. ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF THE SOLAR ORBIT ON TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, F.; Bailer-Jones, C. A. L.

    2013-05-10

    The terrestrial record shows a significant variation in the extinction and origination rates of species during the past half-billion years. Numerous studies have claimed an association between this variation and the motion of the Sun around the Galaxy, invoking the modulation of cosmic rays, gamma rays, and comet impact frequency as a cause of this biodiversity variation. However, some of these studies exhibit methodological problems, or were based on coarse assumptions (such as a strict periodicity of the solar orbit). Here we investigate this link in more detail, using a model of the Galaxy to reconstruct the solar orbit and thus a predictive model of the temporal variation of the extinction rate due to astronomical mechanisms. We compare these predictions as well as those of various reference models with paleontological data. Our approach involves Bayesian model comparison, which takes into account the uncertainties in the paleontological data as well as the distribution of solar orbits consistent with the uncertainties in the astronomical data. We find that various versions of the orbital model are not favored beyond simpler reference models. In particular, the distribution of mass extinction events can be explained just as well by a uniform random distribution as by any other model tested. Although our negative results on the orbital model are robust to changes in the Galaxy model, the Sun's coordinates, and the errors in the data, we also find that it would be very difficult to positively identify the orbital model even if it were the true one. (In contrast, we do find evidence against simpler periodic models.) Thus, while we cannot rule out there being some connection between solar motion and biodiversity variations on the Earth, we conclude that it is difficult to give convincing positive conclusions of such a connection using current data.

  14. Estimating biodiversity impacts without field surveys: A case study in northern Borneo.

    PubMed

    Kitzes, Justin; Shirley, Rebekah

    2016-02-01

    In many regions of the world, biodiversity surveys are not routinely conducted prior to activities that lead to land conversion, such as development projects. Here we use top-down methods based on global range maps and bottom-up methods based on macroecological scaling laws to illuminate the otherwise hidden biodiversity impacts of three large hydroelectric dams in the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo. Our retrospective impact assessment finds that the three reservoirs inundate habitat for 331 species of birds (3 million individuals) and 164 species of mammals (110 million individuals). A minimum of 2100 species of trees (900 million individuals) and 17 700 species of arthropods (34 billion individuals) are estimated to be affected by the dams. No extinctions of bird, mammal, or tree species are expected due to habitat loss following reservoir inundation, while 4-7 arthropod species extinctions are predicted. These assessment methods are applicable to any data-limited system undergoing land-use change. PMID:26169084

  15. Molecular markers for the assessment of chicken biodiversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three main aspects of chicken biodiversity are dealt within this report: (a) cluster analysis based on autosomal microsatellites, (b) microsatellites on the sex chromosomes, and (c) SNP-based biodiversity. (a) Cluster analysis of autosomal microsatellites: We used 29 microsatellites to genotype 2000...

  16. Assessing macroinvertebrate biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems: advances and challenges in DNA-based approaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessing the biodiversity of macroinvertebrate faunas in freshwater ecosystems is an essential component of both basic ecological inquiry and applied ecological assessments. Aspects of taxonomic diversity and composition in freshwater communities are widely used to quantify wate...

  17. The impact of chemical pollution on biodiversity and ecosystem services: the need for an improved understanding

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) provided a framework that acknowledges biodiversity as one key factor for ensuring the continuous supply of ecosystem services, facilitating ecosystem stability and consequently as a critical basis for sustainable development. The close...

  18. Recent Trends in Local-Scale Marine Biodiversity Reflect Community Structure and Human Impacts.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; O'Connor, Mary I; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Dunic, Jillian; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Hensel, Marc J S; Kearns, Patrick J

    2015-07-20

    The modern biodiversity crisis reflects global extinctions and local introductions. Human activities have dramatically altered rates and scales of processes that regulate biodiversity at local scales. Reconciling the threat of global biodiversity loss with recent evidence of stability at fine spatial scales is a major challenge and requires a nuanced approach to biodiversity change that integrates ecological understanding. With a new dataset of 471 diversity time series spanning from 1962 to 2015 from marine coastal ecosystems, we tested (1) whether biodiversity changed at local scales in recent decades, and (2) whether we can ignore ecological context (e.g., proximate human impacts, trophic level, spatial scale) and still make informative inferences regarding local change. We detected a predominant signal of increasing species richness in coastal systems since 1962 in our dataset, though net species loss was associated with localized effects of anthropogenic impacts. Our geographically extensive dataset is unlikely to be a random sample of marine coastal habitats; impacted sites (3% of our time series) were underrepresented relative to their global presence. These local-scale patterns do not contradict the prospect of accelerating global extinctions but are consistent with local species loss in areas with direct human impacts and increases in diversity due to invasions and range expansions in lower impact areas. Attempts to detect and understand local biodiversity trends are incomplete without information on local human activities and ecological context. PMID:26166784

  19. "Studies on biodiversity of Vietnam and Laos" 1998-2005: examining the impact.

    PubMed

    Soejarto, Djaja Doel; Zhang, Hong Jie; Fong, Harry H S; Tan, Ghee T; Ma, Cui Ying; Gyllenhaal, Charlotte; Riley, Mary C; Kadushin, Marian R; Franzblau, Scott G; Bich, Truong Quang; Cuong, Nguyen Manh; Hiep, Nguyen Tien; Loc, Phan Ke; Xuan, Le Thi; Hai, Nong Van; Hung, Nguyen Van; Chien, Nguyen Quyet; Binh, Le Tran; Vu, Bui Minh; Ly, Ho Minh; Southavong, Bounhong; Sydara, Kongmany; Bouamanivong, S; Pezzuto, John M; Rose, William C; Dietzman, Gregg R; Miller, Byron E; Thuy, Tran Van

    2006-03-01

    The impact of the University of Illinois at Chicago-based Vietnam-Laos International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) Program "Studies on Biodiversity of Vietnam and Laos", which has been in operation for the period of 1998-2005, touches on five major areas of endeavor: (a) biodiversity inventory and conservation; (b) studies on medicinal plants; (c) drug discovery and development; (d) economic development; and (e) issues on intellectual property rights and benefit sharing in natural products drug discovery and development. Highlights are presented and the significance is discussed. PMID:16562860

  20. Comment on "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    PubMed

    Hölker, Franz; Beare, Doug; Dörner, Hendrik; di Natale, Antonio; Rätz, Hans-Joachim; Temming, Axel; Casey, John

    2007-06-01

    Worm et al. (Research Articles, 3 November 2006, p. 787) investigated the importance of biodiversity to marine ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales. In projecting the extent of future fisheries collapse, we argue that the authors inappropriately extrapolated beyond their available observations and used data on marine reserves and fishery closures that are not representative of global fisheries. PMID:17540886

  1. Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Leadley, Paul; Thuiller, Wilfried; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-01-01

    Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species, community, ecosystem and biome scales, notably showing that species can respond to climate change challenges by shifting their climatic niche along three non-exclusive axes: time (e.g., phenology), space (e.g., range) and self (e.g., physiology). Then, we present the principal specificities and caveats of the most common approaches used to estimate future biodiversity at global and sub-continental scales and we synthesize their results. Finally, we highlight several challenges for future research both in theoretical and applied realms. Overall, our review shows that current estimates are very variable, depending on the method, taxonomic group, biodiversity loss metrics, spatial scales and time periods considered. Yet, the majority of models indicate alarming consequences for biodiversity, with the worst-case scenarios leading to extinction rates that would qualify as the sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth. PMID:22257223

  2. Biodiversity Offsets: Two New Zealand Case Studies and an Assessment Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, David A.

    2009-04-01

    Biodiversity offsets are increasingly being used for securing biodiversity conservation outcomes as part of sustainable economic development to compensate for the residual unavoidable impacts of projects. Two recent New Zealand examples of biodiversity offsets are reviewed—while both are positive for biodiversity conservation, the process by which they were developed and approved was based more on the precautionary principal than on any formal framework. Based on this review and the broader offset literature, an environmental framework for developing and approving biodiversity offsets, comprising six principles, is outlined: (1) biodiversity offsets should only be used as part of an hierarchy of actions that first seeks to avoid impacts and then minimizes the impacts that do occur; (2) a guarantee is provided that the offset proposed will occur; (3) biodiversity offsets are inappropriate for certain ecosystem (or habitat) types because of their rarity or the presence of threatened species within them; (4) offsets most often involve the creation of new habitat, but can include protection of existing habitat where there is currently no protection; (5) a clear currency is required that allows transparent quantification of values to be lost and gained in order to ensure ecological equivalency between cleared and offset areas; (6) offsets must take into account both the uncertainty involved in obtaining the desired outcome for the offset area and the time-lag that is involved in reaching that point.

  3. Wildfires in Bamboo-Dominated Amazonian Forest: Impacts on Above-Ground Biomass and Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Jos; Silveira, Juliana M.; Mestre, Luiz A. M.; Andrade, Rafael B.; Camacho D'Andrea, Gabriela; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z.; Numata, Izaya; Lacau, Sébastien; Cochrane, Mark A.

    2012-01-01

    Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires. We sampled understorey and canopy vegetation, birds using both mist nets and point counts, coprophagous dung beetles and the leaf-litter ant fauna. Fire had limited influence upon either faunal or floral species richness or community structure responses, and stems <10 cm DBH were the only group to show highly significant (p = 0.001) community turnover in burned forests. Mean aboveground live biomass was statistically indistinguishable in the unburned and burned plots, although there was a significant increase in the total abundance of dead stems in burned plots. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that wildfires had much less effect upon forest structure and biodiversity in these south-western Amazonian forests than in central and eastern Amazonia, where most fire research has been undertaken to date. We discuss potential reasons for the apparent greater resilience of our study plots to wildfire, examining the role of fire intensity, bamboo dominance, background rates of disturbance, landscape and soil conditions. PMID:22428035

  4. Wildfires in bamboo-dominated Amazonian forest: impacts on above-ground biomass and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Silveira, Juliana M; Mestre, Luiz A M; Andrade, Rafael B; Camacho D'Andrea, Gabriela; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Numata, Izaya; Lacau, Sébastien; Cochrane, Mark A

    2012-01-01

    Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires. We sampled understorey and canopy vegetation, birds using both mist nets and point counts, coprophagous dung beetles and the leaf-litter ant fauna. Fire had limited influence upon either faunal or floral species richness or community structure responses, and stems <10 cm DBH were the only group to show highly significant (p = 0.001) community turnover in burned forests. Mean aboveground live biomass was statistically indistinguishable in the unburned and burned plots, although there was a significant increase in the total abundance of dead stems in burned plots. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that wildfires had much less effect upon forest structure and biodiversity in these south-western Amazonian forests than in central and eastern Amazonia, where most fire research has been undertaken to date. We discuss potential reasons for the apparent greater resilience of our study plots to wildfire, examining the role of fire intensity, bamboo dominance, background rates of disturbance, landscape and soil conditions. PMID:22428035

  5. Incorporating biodiversity considerations into environmental impact analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-01

    The report presents the results of consultations by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) concerning the consideration of biological diversity in analyses prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report is intended to provide background on the emerging, complex subject of biodiversity, outline some general concepts that underlie biological diversity analysis and management, describe how the issue is currently addressed in NEPA analyses, and provide options for agencies undertaking NEPA analyses that consider biodiversity. The report does not establish new requirements for such analyses. It is not, and should not be viewed as, formal CEQ guidance on the matter, nor are the recommendations in the report intended to be legally binding. The report does not mean to suggest the biodiversity analyses should be included in every NEPA document, without regard to the degree of potential impact on biodiversity of the action under review.

  6. Improving marine biodiversity offsetting: A proposed methodology for better assessing losses and gains.

    PubMed

    Bas, Adeline; Jacob, Céline; Hay, Julien; Pioch, Sylvain; Thorin, Sébastien

    2016-06-15

    Although the limitations of implementing the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, these studies have drawn mainly on feedback concerning terrestrial ecosystems. In the case of development projects in marine and coastal environments, certain issues must be tackled to improve existing practice. This article focuses on the methodologies used to assess both the ecological losses resulting from a development project and the ecological gains generated by an offset measure. The originality of this article is to propose a standardized, operational approach regardless of the development project and the ecosystem impacted that (i) enhances avoidance and reduction efforts and (ii) assesses biodiversity offset needs based on data available in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The proposed hybrid method combines a multi-criteria analysis of the state of the environment, inspired by the Unified Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM), and a more accurate assessment at indicator level inspired by Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA). The steps of the method, from the selection of biophysical indicators to offset sizing, are described and are then applied to two EIA case studies: one related to a port extension and the other to an offshore wind farm. PMID:27019359

  7. Social challenge of biodiversity conservation

    SciTech Connect

    Castilleja, G.; Poole, P.J.; Geisler, C.C.; Davis, S.H.

    1993-12-31

    ;Contents: Introduction; Opportunities for Collaboration between the Global Environment Facility and Non-Governmental Organizations; Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity Protection; and Adapting Social Impact Assessment to Protected Area Development.

  8. Impacts on Coralligenous Outcrop Biodiversity of a Dramatic Coastal Storm

    PubMed Central

    Teixidó, Núria; Casas, Edgar; Cebrián, Emma; Linares, Cristina; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2013-01-01

    Extreme events are rare, stochastic perturbations that can cause abrupt and dramatic ecological change within a short period of time relative to the lifespan of organisms. Studies over time provide exceptional opportunities to detect the effects of extreme climatic events and to measure their impacts by quantifying rates of change at population and community levels. In this study, we show how an extreme storm event affected the dynamics of benthic coralligenous outcrops in the NW Mediterranean Sea using data acquired before (2006–2008) and after the impact (2009–2010) at four different sites. Storms of comparable severity have been documented to occur occasionally within periods of 50 years in the Mediterranean Sea. We assessed the effects derived from the storm comparing changes in benthic community composition at sites exposed to and sheltered from this extreme event. The sites analyzed showed different damage from severe to negligible. The most exposed and impacted site experienced a major shift immediately after the storm, represented by changes in the species richness and beta diversity of benthic species. This site also showed higher compositional variability immediately after the storm and over the following year. The loss of cover of benthic species resulted between 22% and 58%. The damage across these species (e.g. calcareous algae, sponges, anthozoans, bryozoans, tunicates) was uneven, and those with fragile forms were the most impacted, showing cover losses up to 50 to 100%. Interestingly, small patches survived after the storm and began to grow slightly during the following year. In contrast, sheltered sites showed no significant changes in all the studied parameters, indicating no variations due to the storm. This study provides new insights into the responses to large and rare extreme events of Mediterranean communities with low dynamics and long-lived species, which are among the most threatened by the effects of global change. PMID:23326496

  9. Phylogenetic and Functional Metagenomic Profiling for Assessing Microbial Biodiversity in Environmental Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Kisand, Veljo; Valente, Angelica; Lahm, Armin; Tanet, Gerard; Lettieri, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    Decisions guiding environmental management need to be based on a broad and comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity and functional capability within ecosystems. Microbes are of particular importance since they drive biogeochemical cycles, being both producers and decomposers. Their quick and direct responses to changes in environmental conditions modulate the ecosystem accordingly, thus providing a sensitive readout. Here we have used direct sequencing of total DNA from water samples to compare the microbial communities of two distinct coastal regions exposed to different anthropogenic pressures: the highly polluted Port of Genoa and the protected area of Montecristo Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Analysis of the metagenomes revealed significant differences in both microbial diversity and abundance between the two areas, reflecting their distinct ecological habitats and anthropogenic stress conditions. Our results indicate that the combination of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics tools presents a new approach to monitor the diversity and the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Integration of metagenomics into environmental monitoring campaigns should enable the impact of the anthropogenic pressure on microbial biodiversity in various ecosystems to be better assessed and also predicted. PMID:22952724

  10. A technology framework to analyse the Climate Change impact on biodiversity species distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Khalsa, S. J.; Geller, G. N.; O'Tuama, E.; Thomas, D.; Mazzetti, P.; Santoro, M.

    2009-04-01

    Several biodiversity application scenarios require modeling the impact of climate change on species distribution. For this purpose, heterogeneous data resources and modeling services are required to interoperate. An information technology and service framework to study the Climate Change impact on biodiversity species distribution is presented. This framework allows the development of relevant biodiversity application scenarios. These draw on data and information exchange from a series of systems interconnected through SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) applying established international standards as well as Community interoperability arrangements. The overall system architecture consists of six main logical components: - Biodiversity Data Provider: a component which is able to provide biodiversity data. - Climatological Data Provider: a component which is able to provide climatological data. - Catalog: a component which is able to perform queries on the available biodiversity and climatological datasets. - Model Provider: a component which is able to run ENM (Ecological Niche Models) on the selected biodiversity and climatological datasets. - Use Scenario Controller: a component which acts as a workflow controller implementing the business process of a typical biodiversity scenario. It is controlled by the user through the GUI. - Graphical User Interface (GUI): The component for user interaction. It controls the workflow manager to perform the required operations for implementing the biodiversity basic scenario. These components play the three typical roles of a SOA where Consumers discover Providers through a Registry. In our framework Data and Model providers are the Service Providers; the GUI-Controller pair acts as a Consumer and the Catalog plays the role of the Registry. Where necessary it also acts as a Broker between Consumer and Providers. This fourth component is necessary for heterogeneous and federated systems. The framework was conceived and

  11. Impacts of Dams and Global Warming on Fish Biodiversity in the Indo-Burma Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Nam, So; Samejima, Hiromitsu; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Grudpan, Chaiwut; Grudpan, Jarungjit; Magtoon, Wichan; Musikasinthorn, Prachya; Nguyen, Phuong Thanh; Praxaysonbath, Bounthob; Sato, Tomoyuki; Shimatani, Yukihiro; Suvarnaraksha, Apinun; Tanaka, Wataru; Thach, Phanara; Tran, Dac Dinh; Yamashita, Tomomi

    2016-01-01

    Both hydropower dams and global warming pose threats to freshwater fish diversity. While the extent of global warming may be reduced by a shift towards energy generation by large dams in order to reduce fossil-fuel use, such dams profoundly modify riverine habitats. Furthermore, the threats posed by dams and global warming will interact: for example, dams constrain range adjustments by fishes that might compensate for warming temperatures. Evaluation of their combined or synergistic effects is thus essential for adequate assessment of the consequences of planned water-resource developments. We made projections of the responses of 363 fish species within the Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspot to the separate and joint impacts of dams and global warming. The hotspot encompasses the Lower Mekong Basin, which is the world’s largest freshwater capture fishery. Projections for 81 dam-building scenarios revealed progressive impacts upon projected species richness, habitable area, and the proportion of threatened species as generating capacity increased. Projections from 126 global-warming scenarios included a rise in species richness, a reduction in habitable area, and an increase in the proportion of threatened species; however, there was substantial variation in the extent of these changes among warming projections. Projections from scenarios that combined the effects of dams and global warming were derived either by simply adding the two threats, or by combining them in a synergistic manner that took account of the likelihood that habitat shifts under global warming would be constrained by river fragmentation. Impacts on fish diversity under the synergistic projections were 10–20% higher than those attributable to additive scenarios, and were exacerbated as generating capacity increased—particularly if CO2 emissions remained high. The impacts of dams, especially those on river mainstreams, are likely to be greater, more predictable and more immediately

  12. Reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation in tropical forests using reduced-impact logging

    PubMed Central

    Bicknell, Jake E; Struebig, Matthew J; Davies, Zoe G; Baraloto, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Over 20% of the world's tropical forests have been selectively logged, and large expanses are allocated for future timber extraction. Reduced-impact logging (RIL) is being promoted as best practice forestry that increases sustainability and lowers CO2 emissions from logging, by reducing collateral damage associated with timber extraction. RIL is also expected to minimize the impacts of selective logging on biodiversity, although this is yet to be thoroughly tested. We undertake the most comprehensive study to date to investigate the biodiversity impacts of RIL across multiple taxonomic groups. We quantified birds, bats and large mammal assemblage structures, using a before-after control-impact (BACI) design across 20 sample sites over a 5-year period. Faunal surveys utilized point counts, mist nets and line transects and yielded >250 species. We examined assemblage responses to logging, as well as partitions of feeding guild and strata (understorey vs. canopy), and then tested for relationships with logging intensity to assess the primary determinants of community composition. Community analysis revealed little effect of RIL on overall assemblages, as structure and composition were similar before and after logging, and between logging and control sites. Variation in bird assemblages was explained by natural rates of change over time, and not logging intensity. However, when partitioned by feeding guild and strata, the frugivorous and canopy bird ensembles changed as a result of RIL, although the latter was also associated with change over time. Bats exhibited variable changes post-logging that were not related to logging, whereas large mammals showed no change at all. Indicator species analysis and correlations with logging intensities revealed that some species exhibited idiosyncratic responses to RIL, whilst abundance change of most others was associated with time. Synthesis and applications. Our study demonstrates the relatively benign effect of reduced-impact

  13. Impacts of Dams and Global Warming on Fish Biodiversity in the Indo-Burma Hotspot.

    PubMed

    Kano, Yuichi; Dudgeon, David; Nam, So; Samejima, Hiromitsu; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Grudpan, Chaiwut; Grudpan, Jarungjit; Magtoon, Wichan; Musikasinthorn, Prachya; Nguyen, Phuong Thanh; Praxaysonbath, Bounthob; Sato, Tomoyuki; Shibukawa, Koichi; Shimatani, Yukihiro; Suvarnaraksha, Apinun; Tanaka, Wataru; Thach, Phanara; Tran, Dac Dinh; Yamashita, Tomomi; Utsugi, Kenzo

    2016-01-01

    Both hydropower dams and global warming pose threats to freshwater fish diversity. While the extent of global warming may be reduced by a shift towards energy generation by large dams in order to reduce fossil-fuel use, such dams profoundly modify riverine habitats. Furthermore, the threats posed by dams and global warming will interact: for example, dams constrain range adjustments by fishes that might compensate for warming temperatures. Evaluation of their combined or synergistic effects is thus essential for adequate assessment of the consequences of planned water-resource developments. We made projections of the responses of 363 fish species within the Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspot to the separate and joint impacts of dams and global warming. The hotspot encompasses the Lower Mekong Basin, which is the world's largest freshwater capture fishery. Projections for 81 dam-building scenarios revealed progressive impacts upon projected species richness, habitable area, and the proportion of threatened species as generating capacity increased. Projections from 126 global-warming scenarios included a rise in species richness, a reduction in habitable area, and an increase in the proportion of threatened species; however, there was substantial variation in the extent of these changes among warming projections. Projections from scenarios that combined the effects of dams and global warming were derived either by simply adding the two threats, or by combining them in a synergistic manner that took account of the likelihood that habitat shifts under global warming would be constrained by river fragmentation. Impacts on fish diversity under the synergistic projections were 10-20% higher than those attributable to additive scenarios, and were exacerbated as generating capacity increased-particularly if CO2 emissions remained high. The impacts of dams, especially those on river mainstreams, are likely to be greater, more predictable and more immediately pressing for

  14. Global evidence of positive impacts of freshwater biodiversity on fishery yields

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Robert Alan; Darwall, William Robert Thomas; Eigenbrod, Felix; Tittensor, Derek

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aim An often‐invoked benefit of high biodiversity is the provision of ecosystem services. However, evidence for this is largely based on data from small‐scale experimental studies of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function that may have little relevance to real‐world systems. Here, large‐scale biodiversity datasets are used to test the relationship between the yield of inland capture fisheries and species richness from 100 countries. Location Inland waters of Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. Methods A multimodel inference approach was used to assess inland fishery yields at the country level against species richness, waterside human population, area, elevation and various climatic variables, to determine the relative importance of species richness to fisheries yields compared with other major large‐scale drivers. Secondly, the mean decadal variation in fishery yields at the country level for 1981–2010 was regressed against species richness to assess if greater diversity reduces the variability in yields over time. Results Despite a widespread reliance on targeting just a few species of fish, freshwater fish species richness is highly correlated with yield (R 2 = 0.55) and remains an important and statistically significant predictor of yield once other macroecological drivers are controlled for. Freshwater richness also has a significant negative relationship with variability of yield over time in Africa (R 2 = 0.16) but no effect in Europe. Main conclusions The management of inland waters should incorporate the protection of freshwater biodiversity, particularly in countries with the highest‐yielding inland fisheries as these also tend to have high freshwater biodiversity. As these results suggest a link between biodiversity and stable, high‐yielding fisheries, an important win–win outcome may be possible for food security and conservation of freshwater ecosystems. However, findings also highlight the urgent

  15. Climate change and biodiversity conservation: impacts, adaptation strategies and future research directions

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kai MA

    2009-01-01

    The impacts of climate change pose fundamental challenges for current approaches to biodiversity conservation. Changing temperature and precipitation regimes will interact with existing drivers such as habitat loss to influence species distributions despite their protection within reserve boundaries. In this report we summarize a suite of current adaptation proposals for conservation, and highlight some key issues to be resolved. PMID:20948670

  16. SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT OF WETLAND FUNCTION: A PLANNING TOOL FOR PROTECTION OF WETLAND SPECIES BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    We present a synoptic assessment intended to maximize the benefits to wetland species biodiversity gained through Clean Water Act regulatory efforts within 225 sub-basins in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (U.S. EPA, Region 7), USA. Our assessment provides a method for identi...

  17. SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT OF WETLAND FUNCTION: A PLANNING TOOL FOR PROTECTION OF WETLAND SPECIES BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    We present a synoptic assessment intended to maximize the benefits to wetland species biodiversity gained through Clean Water Act regulatory efforts within 225 sub-basins in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (U.S. EPA, Region 7) USA. Our assessment provides a method for identif...

  18. Assessing macroinvertebrate biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems: Advances and challenges in dna-based approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pfrender, M.E.; Ferrington, L.C., Jr.; Hawkins, C.P.; Hartzell, P.L.; Bagley, M.; Jackson, S.; Courtney, G.W.; Larsen, D.P.; Creutzburg, B.R.; Levesque, C.A.; Epler, J.H.; Morse, J.C.; Fend, S.; Petersen, M.J.; Ruiter, D.; Schindel, D.; Whiting, M.

    2010-01-01

    Assessing the biodiversity of macroinvertebrate fauna in freshwater ecosystems is an essential component of both basic ecological inquiry and applied ecological assessments. Aspects of taxonomic diversity and composition in freshwater communities are widely used to quantify water quality and measure the efficacy of remediation and restoration efforts. The accuracy and precision of biodiversity assessments based on standard morphological identifications are often limited by taxonomic resolution and sample size. Morphologically based identifications are laborious and costly, significantly constraining the sample sizes that can be processed. We suggest that the development of an assay platform based on DNA signatures will increase the precision and ease of quantifying biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. Advances in this area will be particularly relevant for benthic and planktonic invertebrates, which are often monitored by regulatory agencies. Adopting a genetic assessment platform will alleviate some of the current limitations to biodiversity assessment strategies. We discuss the benefits and challenges associated with DNA-based assessments and the methods that are currently available. As recent advances in microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies will facilitate a transition to DNA-based assessment approaches, future research efforts should focus on methods for data collection, assay platform development, establishing linkages between DNA signatures and well-resolved taxonomies, and bioinformatics. ?? 2010 by The University of Chicago Press.

  19. Hydropower and Developmental Projects on Himalayan Region: Impact on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uniyal, Vp

    2010-05-01

    The hydel potential of the Beas basin is estimated to be 4,050 mw with significant contribution of Parbati, one of the major tributaries of river Beas in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The potential of river Parbati has been harnessed in three stages comprising Stage-I (750 MW), Stage-II (800 MW) and Stage-III (501 MW). These projects are being planned to be implemented by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC). NHPC has planned development of the basin with construction of Stage-II initially, and completion of balance investigations of Stage-I and Stage-III before taking up these for construction. The Parbati stage-II is a run-of-the-river scheme to harness hydro potential of the lower reaches of the river Parbati. The project is "Inter basin transfer" type. The river is being diverted at village Pulga in Parbati valley by a diversion tunnel and the powerhouse is being constructed in Sainj valley, adjacent to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). A gross head of 859 m between Pulga and Suind will be utilized for generating 800 MW power. The project proposes a total network of 80.75 km roads to be constructed in dam complex, Sheelagarh complex, power house complex. Considerable loss of wildlife and biodiversity in three valleys is expected to occur. The construction of proposed diversion dam near Pulga in Parbati valley will result in significant loss of upper temperate forested habitats (2700-2900 m). This habitats is characterized by upper temperate coniferous forests and its associated understory vegetation that are home of many endangered floral and faunal species such as: Himalayan musk deer, serow, goral, black bear, common leopard, Western tragopan, cheer pheasant, koklass and monal pheasant. These habitats are now being lost on a permanent basis due to construction of dam and human pressure.

  20. Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Andrew A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Hudson, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    An introduction to the theme issue that includes papers that identify how, where and why infectious diseases in wildlife emerge, while also addressing their possible conservation impacts. PMID:22966135

  1. Global forecasts of urban expansion to 2030 and direct impacts on biodiversity and carbon pools

    PubMed Central

    Seto, Karen C.; Güneralp, Burak; Hutyra, Lucy R.

    2012-01-01

    Urban land-cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. However, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to nearly 5 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change and explore the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue and all areas with high probabilities of urban expansion undergo change, then by 2030, urban land cover will increase by 1.2 million km2, nearly tripling the global urban land area circa 2000. This increase would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, with the highest rates of forecasted urban growth to take place in regions that were relatively undisturbed by urban development in 2000: the Eastern Afromontane, the Guinean Forests of West Africa, and the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hotspots. Within the pan-tropics, loss in vegetation biomass from areas with high probability of urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr−1), equal to ∼5% of emissions from tropical deforestation and land-use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and vegetation carbon losses. PMID:22988086

  2. Global Forecasts of Urban Expansion to 2030 and Direct Impacts on Biodiversity and Carbon Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seto, K. C.; Guneralp, B.; Hutyra, L.

    2012-12-01

    Urban land cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. Yet, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to 4.3 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop the first global probabilistic forecasts of urban land cover change and explore the impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue, then by 2030, urban land cover will expand between 800,000 and 3.3 million km2, representing a doubling to five-fold increase from the global urban land cover in 2000. This would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, including the Guinean forests of West Africa, Tropical Andes, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Within the pan-tropics, loss in forest biomass from urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr-1), equal to approximately 5% of emissions from tropical land use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and forest carbon losses.

  3. Global forecasts of urban expansion to 2030 and direct impacts on biodiversity and carbon pools.

    PubMed

    Seto, Karen C; Güneralp, Burak; Hutyra, Lucy R

    2012-10-01

    Urban land-cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. However, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to nearly 5 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change and explore the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue and all areas with high probabilities of urban expansion undergo change, then by 2030, urban land cover will increase by 1.2 million km(2), nearly tripling the global urban land area circa 2000. This increase would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, with the highest rates of forecasted urban growth to take place in regions that were relatively undisturbed by urban development in 2000: the Eastern Afromontane, the Guinean Forests of West Africa, and the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hotspots. Within the pan-tropics, loss in vegetation biomass from areas with high probability of urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr(-1)), equal to ∼5% of emissions from tropical deforestation and land-use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and vegetation carbon losses. PMID:22988086

  4. Assessing vertebrate biodiversity in a kelp forest ecosystem using environmental DNA.

    PubMed

    Port, Jesse A; O'Donnell, James L; Romero-Maraccini, Ofelia C; Leary, Paul R; Litvin, Steven Y; Nickols, Kerry J; Yamahara, Kevan M; Kelly, Ryan P

    2016-01-01

    Preserving biodiversity is a global challenge requiring data on species' distribution and abundance over large geographic and temporal scales. However, traditional methods to survey mobile species' distribution and abundance in marine environments are often inefficient, environmentally destructive, or resource-intensive. Metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a new means to assess biodiversity and on much larger scales, but adoption of this approach for surveying whole animal communities in large, dynamic aquatic systems has been slowed by significant unknowns surrounding error rates of detection and relevant spatial resolution of eDNA surveys. Here, we report the results of a 2.5 km eDNA transect surveying the vertebrate fauna present along a gradation of diverse marine habitats associated with a kelp forest ecosystem. Using PCR primers that target the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene of marine fishes and mammals, we generated eDNA sequence data and compared it to simultaneous visual dive surveys. We find spatial concordance between individual species' eDNA and visual survey trends, and that eDNA is able to distinguish vertebrate community assemblages from habitats separated by as little as ~60 m. eDNA reliably detected vertebrates with low false-negative error rates (1/12 taxa) when compared to the surveys, and revealed cryptic species known to occupy the habitats but overlooked by visual methods. This study also presents an explicit accounting of false negatives and positives in metabarcoding data, which illustrate the influence of gene marker selection, replication, contamination, biases impacting eDNA count data and ecology of target species on eDNA detection rates in an open ecosystem. PMID:26586544

  5. Spatial patterns of biodiversity in the Black Sea: An assessment using benthic polychaetes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surugiu, Victor; Revkov, Nikolai; Todorova, Valentina; Papageorgiou, Nafsika; Valavanis, Vasilis; Arvanitidis, Christos

    2010-06-01

    The current study broadens the biodiversity information available for the Black Sea and neighbouring regions and improves our knowledge about the polychaete biogeographic patterns to be discerned in them. There appears to be a well-defined zoogeocline from the Marmara Sea and Bosphorus Strait to the inner parts of the region (Azov Sea), depicted both as a multivariate pattern and in terms of species (or taxa) numbers. The emergent multivariate pattern complies, to a certain extent, with Jakubova's (1935) views: three main sectors can be defined in the basin: (a) Prebosphoric, (b) the Black Sea and, (c) the Azov Sea, whereas the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea show less faunal affinities with the afore-mentioned sectors. Patterns derived both from the cosmopolitan and Atlanto-Mediterranean species closely follow the one coming from the polychaete species and genera inventories. As a general trend, species numbers decrease along with the decrease in salinity towards the inner parts of the region. The trend is homologous to that seen in the benthic invertebrate inventories of all the major European semi-enclosed regional seas. Salinity and food availability appear to be the dominant abiotic factors correlated, though weakly, with the various patterns deriving from the taxonomic/zoogeographic categories. With the exception of the Anatolia, polychaete inventories from all sectors appear to be random samples of the total inventory of the region, in terms of taxonomic distinctness values. Therefore, these sectoral inventories can be used for future biodiversity/environmental impact assessment studies. A massive invasion of Mediterranean species after the opening of the Black Sea, in the lower Quaternary period, appears to be the likely biogeographic mechanism through which the old Sarmatic fauna was almost completely replaced by species of marine origin.

  6. Quantifying habitat impacts of natural gas infrastructure to facilitate biodiversity offsetting

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Isabel L; Bull, Joseph W; Milner-Gulland, Eleanor J; Esipov, Alexander V; Suttle, Kenwyn B

    2014-01-01

    Habitat degradation through anthropogenic development is a key driver of biodiversity loss. One way to compensate losses is “biodiversity offsetting” (wherein biodiversity impacted is “replaced” through restoration elsewhere). A challenge in implementing offsets, which has received scant attention in the literature, is the accurate determination of residual biodiversity losses. We explore this challenge for offsetting gas extraction in the Ustyurt Plateau, Uzbekistan. Our goal was to determine the landscape extent of habitat impacts, particularly how the footprint of “linear” infrastructure (i.e. roads, pipelines), often disregarded in compensation calculations, compares with “hub” infrastructure (i.e. extraction facilities). We measured vegetation cover and plant species richness using the line-intercept method, along transects running from infrastructure/control sites outward for 500 m, accounting for wind direction to identify dust deposition impacts. Findings from 24 transects were extrapolated to the broader plateau by mapping total landscape infrastructure network using GPS data and satellite imagery. Vegetation cover and species richness were significantly lower at development sites than controls. These differences disappeared within 25 m of the edge of the area physically occupied by infrastructure. The current habitat footprint of gas infrastructure is 220 ± 19 km2 across the Ustyurt (total ∼ 100,000 km2), 37 ± 6% of which is linear infrastructure. Vegetation impacts diminish rapidly with increasing distance from infrastructure, and localized dust deposition does not conspicuously extend the disturbance footprint. Habitat losses from gas extraction infrastructure cover 0.2% of the study area, but this reflects directly eliminated vegetation only. Impacts upon fauna pose a more difficult determination, as these require accounting for behavioral and demographic responses to disturbance by elusive mammals, including threatened species

  7. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight.

    PubMed

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Ahumada, Jorge A; O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R; Willig, Michael R; Winarni, Nurul L; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  8. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A.; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H.; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R.; Willig, Michael R.; Winarni, Nurul L.; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world’s species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3–8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  9. Forecasting Impacts of Climate Change on Indicators of British Columbia's Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, Keith Richard

    Understanding the relationships between biodiversity and climate is essential for predicting the impact of climate change on broad-scale landscape processes. Utilizing indirect indicators of biodiversity derived from remotely sensed imagery, we present an approach to forecast shifts in the spatial distribution of biodiversity. Indirect indicators, such as remotely sensed plant productivity metrics, representing landscape seasonality, minimum growth, and total greenness have been linked to species richness over broad spatial scales, providing unique capacity for biodiversity modeling. Our goal is to map future spatial distributions of plant productivity metrics based on expected climate change and to quantify anticipated change to park habitat in British Columbia. Using an archival dataset sourced from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite from the years 1987 to 2007 at 1km spatial resolution, corresponding historical climate data, and regression tree modeling, we developed regional models of the relationships between climate and annual productivity growth. Historical interconnections between climate and annual productivity were coupled with three climate change scenarios modeled by the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis (CCCma) to predict and map productivity components to the year 2065. Results indicate we can expect a warmer and wetter environment, which may lead to increased productivity in the north and higher elevations. Overall, seasonality is expected to decrease and greenness productivity metrics are expected to increase. The Coastal Mountains and high elevation edge habitats across British Columbia are forecasted to experience the greatest amount of change. In the future, protected areas may have potential higher greenness and lower seasonality as represented by indirect biodiversity indicators. The predictive model highlights potential gaps in protection along the central interior and Rocky Mountains. Protected

  10. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Thomas M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Burgess, Neil D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E

    2016-01-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird &Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID:26881749

  11. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S.L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-01-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID:26881749

  12. Biodiversity Assessment Using Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering and Spectral Unmixing over Hyperspectral Images

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Ollantay; Manian, Vidya; Chinea, J. Danilo

    2013-01-01

    Hyperspectral images represent an important source of information to assess ecosystem biodiversity. In particular, plant species richness is a primary indicator of biodiversity. This paper uses spectral variance to predict vegetation richness, known as Spectral Variation Hypothesis. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering is our primary tool to retrieve clusters whose Shannon entropy should reflect species richness on a given zone. However, in a high spectral mixing scenario, an additional unmixing step, just before entropy computation, is required; cluster centroids are enough for the unmixing process. Entropies computed using the proposed method correlate well with the ones calculated directly from synthetic and field data. PMID:24132230

  13. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mieszkowska, N.; Sugden, H.; Firth, L. B.; Hawkins, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. PMID:25157190

  14. Mapping Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This document features a lesson plan that examines how maps help scientists protect biodiversity and how plants and animals are adapted to specific ecoregions by comparing biome, ecoregion, and habitat. Samples of instruction and assessment are included. (KHR)

  15. Biodiversity Assessment in Incomplete Inventories: Leaf Litter Ant Communities in Several Types of Bornean Rain Forest

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiffer, Martin; Mezger, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment of tropical taxa is hampered by their tremendous richness, which leads to large numbers of singletons and incomplete inventories in survey studies. Species estimators can be used for assessment of alpha diversity, but calculation of beta diversity is hampered by pseudo-turnover of species in undersampled plots. To assess the impact of unseen species, we investigated different methods, including an unbiased estimator of Shannon beta diversity that was compared to biased calculations. We studied alpha and beta diversity of a diverse ground ant assemblage from the Southeast Asian island of Borneo in different types of tropical forest: diperocarp forest, alluvial forest, limestone forest and heath forests. Forests varied in plant composition, geology, flooding regimes and other environmental parameters. We tested whether forest types differed in species composition and if species turnover was a function of the distance between plots at different spatial scales. As pseudo-turnover may bias beta diversity we hypothesized a large effect of unseen species reducing beta diversity. We sampled 206 ant species (25% singletons) from ten subfamilies and 55 genera. Diversity partitioning among the four forest types revealed that whereas alpha species richness and alpha Shannon diversity were significantly smaller than expected, beta-diversity for both measurements was significantly higher than expected by chance. This result was confirmed when we used the unbiased estimation of Shannon diversity: while alpha diversity was much higher, beta diversity differed only slightly from biased calculations. Beta diversity as measured with the Chao-Sørensen or Morisita-Horn Index correlated with distance between transects and between sample points, indicating a distance decay of similarity between communities. We conclude that habitat heterogeneity has a high influence on ant diversity and species turnover in tropical sites and that unseen species may have only

  16. Reduced-impact logging and biodiversity conservation: a case study from Borneo.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Larsen, Trond H; Hsu, Wayne W; Benedick, Suzan; Wilcove, David S

    2012-03-01

    A key driver of rain forest degradation is rampant commercial logging. Reduced-impact logging (RIL) techniques dramatically reduce residual damage to vegetation and soils, and they enhance the long-term economic viability of timber operations when compared to conventionally managed logging enterprises. Consequently, the application of RIL is increasing across the tropics, yet our knowledge of the potential for RIL also to reduce the negative impacts of logging on biodiversity is minimal. We compare the impacts of RIL on birds, leaf-litter ants, and dung beetles during a second logging rotation in Sabah, Borneo, with the impacts of conventional logging (CL) as well as with primary (unlogged) forest. Our study took place 1-8 years after the cessation of logging. The species richness and composition of RIL vs. CL forests were very similar for each taxonomic group. Both RIL and CL differed significantly from unlogged forests in terms of bird and ant species composition (although both retained a large number of the species found in unlogged forests), whereas the composition of dung beetle communities did not differ significantly among forest types. Our results show little difference in biodiversity between RIL and CL over the short-term. However, biodiversity benefits from RIL may accrue over longer time periods after the cessation of logging. We highlight a severe lack of studies investigating this possibility. Moreover, if RIL increases the economic value of selectively logged forests (e.g., via REDD+, a United Nations program: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), it could help prevent them from being converted to agricultural plantations, which results in a tremendous loss of biodiversity. PMID:22611854

  17. A modelling approach for the assessment of the effects of Common Agricultural Policy measures on farmland biodiversity in the EU27.

    PubMed

    Overmars, Koen P; Helming, John; van Zeijts, Henk; Jansson, Torbjörn; Terluin, Ida

    2013-09-15

    In this paper we describe a methodology to model the impacts of policy measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on farm production, income and prices, and on farmland biodiversity. Two stylised scenarios are used to illustrate how the method works. The effects of CAP measures, such as subsidies and regulations, are calculated and translated into changes in land use and land-use intensity. These factors are then used to model biodiversity with a species-based indicator on a 1 km scale in the EU27. The Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact Modelling System (CAPRI) is used to conduct the economic analysis and Dyna-CLUE (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects) is used to model land use changes. An indicator that expresses the relative species richness was used as the indicator for biodiversity in agricultural areas. The methodology is illustrated with a baseline scenario and two scenarios that include a specific policy. The strength of the methodology is that impacts of economic policy instruments can be linked to changes in agricultural production, prices and incomes, on the one hand, and to biodiversity effects, on the other - with land use and land-use intensity as the connecting drivers. The method provides an overall assessment, but for detailed impact assessment at landscape, farm or field level, additional analysis would be required. PMID:23708145

  18. Biodiversity losses and conservation trade-offs: Assessing future urban growth scenarios for a North American trade corridor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Boykin, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    The Sonoran Desert and Apache Highlands ecoregions of North America are areas of exceptionally high plant and vertebrate biodiversity. However, much of the vertebrate biodiversity is supported by only a few vegetation types with limited distributions, some of which are increasingly threatened by changing land uses. We assessed the impacts of two future urban growth scenarios on biodiversity in a binational watershed in Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. We quantified and mapped terrestrial vertebrate species richness using Wildlife Habitat Relation models and validated the results with data from National Park Service biological inventories. Future urban growth, based on historical trends, was projected to the year 2050 for 1) a “Current Trends” scenario and, 2) a “Megalopolis” scenario that represented a transnational growth corridor with open-space conservation attributes. Based on Current Trends, 45% of existing riparian woodland (267 of 451species), and 34% of semi-desert grasslands (215 of 451 species) will be lost, whereas, in the Megalopolis scenario, these types would decline by 44% and 24% respectively. Outcomes of the two models suggest a trade-off at the taxonomic class level: Current Trends would reduce and fragment mammal and herpetofauna habitat, while Megalopolis would result in loss of avian-rich riparian habitat.

  19. Impact of offshore gas platforms on the structural and functional biodiversity of nematodes.

    PubMed

    Fraschetti, S; Guarnieri, G; Gambi, C; Bevilacqua, S; Terlizzi, A; Danovaro, R

    2016-04-01

    The Mediterranean Sea hosts hundreds of offshore gas platforms, whose activity represents a potential threat to marine ecosystems. Evidence from several studies indicates that nematodes can be highly sensitive to changes in the environmental quality. Here, we investigated the response of nematode assemblages to the presence of offshore gas platforms (located in the central Mediterranean Sea) in terms of spatial heterogeneity, structural and functional diversity. Since the effect of the investigated offshore platforms on macrofaunal assemblages were previously assessed by Terlizzi et al. (2008), the study provided also the opportunity to compare the response of different benthic compartments to the same impact related to fossil fuel extraction on marine environments. The platforms had a significant impact on nematode assemblages up to 1000 m distance from the structure. The effects were evident in term of: a) more homogeneous spatial distribution of nematode assemblages, b) increased trophic diversity of deposit feeders and c) changes in life strategies with an increase of opportunistic species in sediments closer to the platforms. Such effects seemed to be related to the dimension of the platform structures, rather than to chemical pollution or changes in food availability. These findings suggest that the platforms exert a physical alteration of the surrounding environment that is reflected by altered structural and functional traits of nematode biodiversity. The use of nematodes for monitoring the effects of the platforms only partially matched with the results obtained using macrofauna, providing further insights on potential outcomes on the functional response of marine assemblages to fossil fuel extraction. PMID:26878347

  20. Biodiversity and biological impact of ocean disposal of carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

    Shirayama, Yoshihisa

    1998-07-01

    Five major characteristics of deep-sea organisms that are relevant to the carbon dioxide ocean sequestration are pointed out. They are (1) low biological activities, (2) long life span, (3) high sensitivity to the environmental disturbance, (4) high species diversity, and (5) low density. These characteristics suggest the deep-sea species are sensitive to the environmental disturbance, and once they are damaged, they may easily become extinct or it might take a long time to recover. To get public acceptance for ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide, the authors need a reliable assessment of its affects on the deep-sea ecosystem based on an accurate model. For a better modeling, data regarding the long-term (chronic) effect of slightly increased concentration of carbon dioxide on the deep-sea organisms are prerequisite. Precise data regarding such biological characteristics can be obtained only from in-situ experiments. To develop a system for ecophysiological in-situ experiments of deep-sea organisms is thus as important as solving the technological problems related to the ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide.

  1. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Lawrence N; Newbold, Tim; Contu, Sara; Hill, Samantha L L; Lysenko, Igor; De Palma, Adriana; Phillips, Helen R P; Senior, Rebecca A; Bennett, Dominic J; Booth, Hollie; Choimes, Argyrios; Correia, David L P; Day, Julie; Echeverría-Londoño, Susy; Garon, Morgan; Harrison, Michelle L K; Ingram, Daniel J; Jung, Martin; Kemp, Victoria; Kirkpatrick, Lucinda; Martin, Callum D; Pan, Yuan; White, Hannah J; Aben, Job; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Adum, Gilbert B; Aguilar-Barquero, Virginia; Aizen, Marcelo A; Ancrenaz, Marc; Arbeláez-Cortés, Enrique; Armbrecht, Inge; Azhar, Badrul; Azpiroz, Adrián B; Baeten, Lander; Báldi, András; Banks, John E; Barlow, Jos; Batáry, Péter; Bates, Adam J; Bayne, Erin M; Beja, Pedro; Berg, Åke; Berry, Nicholas J; Bicknell, Jake E; Bihn, Jochen H; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Boekhout, Teun; Boutin, Céline; Bouyer, Jérémy; Brearley, Francis Q; Brito, Isabel; Brunet, Jörg; Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Buscardo, Erika; Cabra-García, Jimmy; Calviño-Cancela, María; Cameron, Sydney A; Cancello, Eliana M; Carrijo, Tiago F; Carvalho, Anelena L; Castro, Helena; Castro-Luna, Alejandro A; Cerda, Rolando; Cerezo, Alexis; Chauvat, Matthieu; Clarke, Frank M; Cleary, Daniel F R; Connop, Stuart P; D'Aniello, Biagio; da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Darvill, Ben; Dauber, Jens; Dejean, Alain; Diekötter, Tim; Dominguez-Haydar, Yamileth; Dormann, Carsten F; Dumont, Bertrand; Dures, Simon G; Dynesius, Mats; Edenius, Lars; Elek, Zoltán; Entling, Martin H; Farwig, Nina; Fayle, Tom M; Felicioli, Antonio; Felton, Annika M; Ficetola, Gentile F; Filgueiras, Bruno K C; Fonte, Steven J; Fraser, Lauchlan H; Fukuda, Daisuke; Furlani, Dario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Garden, Jenni G; Gheler-Costa, Carla; Giordani, Paolo; Giordano, Simonetta; Gottschalk, Marco S; Goulson, Dave; Gove, Aaron D; Grogan, James; Hanley, Mick E; Hanson, Thor; Hashim, Nor R; Hawes, Joseph E; Hébert, Christian; Helden, Alvin J; Henden, John-André; Hernández, Lionel; Herzog, Felix; Higuera-Diaz, Diego; Hilje, Branko; Horgan, Finbarr G; Horváth, Roland; Hylander, Kristoffer; Isaacs-Cubides, Paola; Ishitani, Masahiro; Jacobs, Carmen T; Jaramillo, Víctor J; Jauker, Birgit; Jonsell, Mats; Jung, Thomas S; Kapoor, Vena; Kati, Vassiliki; Katovai, Eric; Kessler, Michael; Knop, Eva; Kolb, Annette; Kőrösi, Ádám; Lachat, Thibault; Lantschner, Victoria; Le Féon, Violette; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Légaré, Jean-Philippe; Letcher, Susan G; Littlewood, Nick A; López-Quintero, Carlos A; Louhaichi, Mounir; Lövei, Gabor L; Lucas-Borja, Manuel Esteban; Luja, Victor H; Maeto, Kaoru; Magura, Tibor; Mallari, Neil Aldrin; Marin-Spiotta, Erika; Marshall, E J P; Martínez, Eliana; Mayfield, Margaret M; Mikusinski, Grzegorz; Milder, Jeffrey C; Miller, James R; Morales, Carolina L; Muchane, Mary N; Muchane, Muchai; Naidoo, Robin; Nakamura, Akihiro; Naoe, Shoji; Nates-Parra, Guiomar; Navarrete Gutierrez, Dario A; Neuschulz, Eike L; Noreika, Norbertas; Norfolk, Olivia; Noriega, Jorge Ari; Nöske, Nicole M; O'Dea, Niall; Oduro, William; Ofori-Boateng, Caleb; Oke, Chris O; Osgathorpe, Lynne M; Paritsis, Juan; Parra-H, Alejandro; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Peres, Carlos A; Persson, Anna S; Petanidou, Theodora; Phalan, Ben; Philips, T Keith; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F; Presley, Steven J; Proença, Vânia; Quaranta, Marino; Quintero, Carolina; Redpath-Downing, Nicola A; Reid, J Leighton; Reis, Yana T; Ribeiro, Danilo B; Richardson, Barbara A; Richardson, Michael J; Robles, Carolina A; Römbke, Jörg; Romero-Duque, Luz Piedad; Rosselli, Loreta; Rossiter, Stephen J; Roulston, T'ai H; Rousseau, Laurent; Sadler, Jonathan P; Sáfián, Szabolcs; Saldaña-Vázquez, Romeo A; Samnegård, Ulrika; Schüepp, Christof; Schweiger, Oliver; Sedlock, Jodi L; Shahabuddin, Ghazala; Sheil, Douglas; Silva, Fernando A B; Slade, Eleanor M; Smith-Pardo, Allan H; Sodhi, Navjot S; Somarriba, Eduardo J; Sosa, Ramón A; Stout, Jane C; Struebig, Matthew J; Sung, Yik-Hei; Threlfall, Caragh G; Tonietto, Rebecca; Tóthmérész, Béla; Tscharntke, Teja; Turner, Edgar C; Tylianakis, Jason M; Vanbergen, Adam J; Vassilev, Kiril; Verboven, Hans A F; Vergara, Carlos H; Vergara, Pablo M; Verhulst, Jort; Walker, Tony R; Wang, Yanping; Watling, James I; Wells, Konstans; Williams, Christopher D; Willig, Michael R; Woinarski, John C Z; Wolf, Jan H D; Woodcock, Ben A; Yu, Douglas W; Zaitsev, Andrey S; Collen, Ben; Ewers, Rob M; Mace, Georgina M; Purves, Drew W; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2014-12-01

    Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species' threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project - and avert - future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups - including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems - http://www.predicts.org.uk). We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015. PMID:25558364

  2. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Lawrence N; Newbold, Tim; Contu, Sara; Hill, Samantha L L; Lysenko, Igor; De Palma, Adriana; Phillips, Helen R P; Senior, Rebecca A; Bennett, Dominic J; Booth, Hollie; Choimes, Argyrios; Correia, David L P; Day, Julie; Echeverría-Londoño, Susy; Garon, Morgan; Harrison, Michelle L K; Ingram, Daniel J; Jung, Martin; Kemp, Victoria; Kirkpatrick, Lucinda; Martin, Callum D; Pan, Yuan; White, Hannah J; Aben, Job; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Adum, Gilbert B; Aguilar-Barquero, Virginia; Aizen, Marcelo A; Ancrenaz, Marc; Arbeláez-Cortés, Enrique; Armbrecht, Inge; Azhar, Badrul; Azpiroz, Adrián B; Baeten, Lander; Báldi, András; Banks, John E; Barlow, Jos; Batáry, Péter; Bates, Adam J; Bayne, Erin M; Beja, Pedro; Berg, Åke; Berry, Nicholas J; Bicknell, Jake E; Bihn, Jochen H; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Boekhout, Teun; Boutin, Céline; Bouyer, Jérémy; Brearley, Francis Q; Brito, Isabel; Brunet, Jörg; Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Buscardo, Erika; Cabra-García, Jimmy; Calviño-Cancela, María; Cameron, Sydney A; Cancello, Eliana M; Carrijo, Tiago F; Carvalho, Anelena L; Castro, Helena; Castro-Luna, Alejandro A; Cerda, Rolando; Cerezo, Alexis; Chauvat, Matthieu; Clarke, Frank M; Cleary, Daniel F R; Connop, Stuart P; D'Aniello, Biagio; da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Darvill, Ben; Dauber, Jens; Dejean, Alain; Diekötter, Tim; Dominguez-Haydar, Yamileth; Dormann, Carsten F; Dumont, Bertrand; Dures, Simon G; Dynesius, Mats; Edenius, Lars; Elek, Zoltán; Entling, Martin H; Farwig, Nina; Fayle, Tom M; Felicioli, Antonio; Felton, Annika M; Ficetola, Gentile F; Filgueiras, Bruno K C; Fonte, Steven J; Fraser, Lauchlan H; Fukuda, Daisuke; Furlani, Dario; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Garden, Jenni G; Gheler-Costa, Carla; Giordani, Paolo; Giordano, Simonetta; Gottschalk, Marco S; Goulson, Dave; Gove, Aaron D; Grogan, James; Hanley, Mick E; Hanson, Thor; Hashim, Nor R; Hawes, Joseph E; Hébert, Christian; Helden, Alvin J; Henden, John-André; Hernández, Lionel; Herzog, Felix; Higuera-Diaz, Diego; Hilje, Branko; Horgan, Finbarr G; Horváth, Roland; Hylander, Kristoffer; Isaacs-Cubides, Paola; Ishitani, Masahiro; Jacobs, Carmen T; Jaramillo, Víctor J; Jauker, Birgit; Jonsell, Mats; Jung, Thomas S; Kapoor, Vena; Kati, Vassiliki; Katovai, Eric; Kessler, Michael; Knop, Eva; Kolb, Annette; Kőrösi, Ádám; Lachat, Thibault; Lantschner, Victoria; Le Féon, Violette; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Légaré, Jean-Philippe; Letcher, Susan G; Littlewood, Nick A; López-Quintero, Carlos A; Louhaichi, Mounir; Lövei, Gabor L; Lucas-Borja, Manuel Esteban; Luja, Victor H; Maeto, Kaoru; Magura, Tibor; Mallari, Neil Aldrin; Marin-Spiotta, Erika; Marshall, E J P; Martínez, Eliana; Mayfield, Margaret M; Mikusinski, Grzegorz; Milder, Jeffrey C; Miller, James R; Morales, Carolina L; Muchane, Mary N; Muchane, Muchai; Naidoo, Robin; Nakamura, Akihiro; Naoe, Shoji; Nates-Parra, Guiomar; Navarrete Gutierrez, Dario A; Neuschulz, Eike L; Noreika, Norbertas; Norfolk, Olivia; Noriega, Jorge Ari; Nöske, Nicole M; O'Dea, Niall; Oduro, William; Ofori-Boateng, Caleb; Oke, Chris O; Osgathorpe, Lynne M; Paritsis, Juan; Parra-H, Alejandro; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Peres, Carlos A; Persson, Anna S; Petanidou, Theodora; Phalan, Ben; Philips, T Keith; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F; Presley, Steven J; Proença, Vânia; Quaranta, Marino; Quintero, Carolina; Redpath-Downing, Nicola A; Reid, J Leighton; Reis, Yana T; Ribeiro, Danilo B; Richardson, Barbara A; Richardson, Michael J; Robles, Carolina A; Römbke, Jörg; Romero-Duque, Luz Piedad; Rosselli, Loreta; Rossiter, Stephen J; Roulston, T'ai H; Rousseau, Laurent; Sadler, Jonathan P; Sáfián, Szabolcs; Saldaña-Vázquez, Romeo A; Samnegård, Ulrika; Schüepp, Christof; Schweiger, Oliver; Sedlock, Jodi L; Shahabuddin, Ghazala; Sheil, Douglas; Silva, Fernando A B; Slade, Eleanor M; Smith-Pardo, Allan H; Sodhi, Navjot S; Somarriba, Eduardo J; Sosa, Ramón A; Stout, Jane C; Struebig, Matthew J; Sung, Yik-Hei; Threlfall, Caragh G; Tonietto, Rebecca; Tóthmérész, Béla; Tscharntke, Teja; Turner, Edgar C; Tylianakis, Jason M; Vanbergen, Adam J; Vassilev, Kiril; Verboven, Hans A F; Vergara, Carlos H; Vergara, Pablo M; Verhulst, Jort; Walker, Tony R; Wang, Yanping; Watling, James I; Wells, Konstans; Williams, Christopher D; Willig, Michael R; Woinarski, John C Z; Wolf, Jan H D; Woodcock, Ben A; Yu, Douglas W; Zaitsev, Andrey S; Collen, Ben; Ewers, Rob M; Mace, Georgina M; Purves, Drew W; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups – including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems – http://www.predicts.org.uk). We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015. PMID:25558364

  3. Biodiversity conservation and NEPA

    SciTech Connect

    Southerland, M.T. )

    1993-01-01

    The Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recently developed new guidelines to facilitate the consideration of biodiversity in the preparation and review of environmental impact assessments. The purpose of these efforts is to facilitate the incorporation of biodiversity considerations into the ecological analyses of all federal agencies. Because federal decisions requiring environmental impact assessments under NEPA affect hundreds of millions of federal and non-federal lands and waters, improved consideration of the impacts of federal activities is essential to stemming the loss of biological diversity in the United States. The designation of ecosystems or habitats'' of concern is a useful first step identifying risks to biodiversity. After reviewing the status and trends of habitats within eight major regions of the US, the EPA guidelines identify habitats contributing to regional and global biodiversity such as remnant prairies, riparian habitats, and old-growth forests. This document also discusses how the impacts on habitats vary with the different activities of land conversion, timber harvesting, grazing, mining, and water management.

  4. Integrating diverse scientific and practitioner knowledge in ecological risk analysis: a case study of biodiversity risk assessment in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dana, G V; Kapuscinski, A R; Donaldson, J S

    2012-05-15

    Ecological risk analysis (ERA) is a structured evaluation of threats to species, natural communities, and ecosystem processes from pollutants and toxicants and more complicated living stressors such as invasive species, genetically modified organisms, and biological control agents. Such analyses are typically conducted by a narrowly-focused group of scientific experts using technical information. We evaluate whether the inclusion of more diverse experts and practitioners in ERA improved the ecological knowledge base about South African biodiversity and the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops. We conducted two participatory ERA workshops in South Africa, analyzing potential impacts of GM maize on biodiversity. The first workshop involved only four biological scientists, who were joined by 18 diverse scientists and practitioners in the second, and we compared the ERA process and results between the two using descriptive statistics and semi-structured interview responses. The addition of diverse experts and practitioners led to a more comprehensive understanding of biological composition of the agro-ecosystem and a more ecologically relevant set of hazards, but impeded hazard prioritization and the generation of precise risk assessment values. Results suggest that diverse participation can improve the scoping or problem formulation of the ERA, by generating an ecologically robust set of information on which to base the subsequent, more technical risk assessment. The participatory ERA process also increased the transparency of the ERA by exposing the logic and rationale for decisions made at each step. PMID:22266478

  5. How Well Does LCA Model Land Use Impacts on Biodiversity?--A Comparison with Approaches from Ecology and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Curran, Michael; de Souza, Danielle Maia; Antón, Assumpció; Teixeira, Ricardo F M; Michelsen, Ottar; Vidal-Legaz, Beatriz; Sala, Serenella; Milà i Canals, Llorenç

    2016-03-15

    The modeling of land use impacts on biodiversity is considered a priority in life cycle assessment (LCA). Many diverging approaches have been proposed in an expanding literature on the topic. The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is engaged in building consensus on a shared modeling framework to highlight best-practice and guide model application by practitioners. In this paper, we evaluated the performance of 31 models from both the LCA and the ecology/conservation literature (20 from LCA, 11 from non-LCA fields) according to a set of criteria reflecting (i) model completeness, (ii) biodiversity representation, (iii) impact pathway coverage, (iv) scientific quality, and (v) stakeholder acceptance. We show that LCA models tend to perform worse than those from ecology and conservation (although not significantly), implying room for improvement. We identify seven best-practice recommendations that can be implemented immediately to improve LCA models based on existing approaches in the literature. We further propose building a "consensus model" through weighted averaging of existing information, to complement future development. While our research focuses on conceptual model design, further quantitative comparison of promising models in shared case studies is an essential prerequisite for future informed model choice. PMID:26830787

  6. Hydrologic drivers of tree biodiversity: The impact of climate change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.; Konar, M.; Muneepeerakul, R.; Azaele, S.; Bertuzzo, E.; Rinaldo, A.

    2009-12-01

    Biodiversity of forests is of major importance for society. The possible impact of climate change on the characteristics of tree diversity is a topic of crucial importance with relevant implications for conservation campaigns and resource management. Here we present the main results of the expected biodiversity changes in the Mississippi-Missouri River Basin (MMRS) and two of its subregions under different scenarios of possible climate change. A mechanistic neutral metapopulation model is developed to study the main drivers of large scale biodiversity signatures in the MMRS system. The region is divided into 824 Direct Tributary Areas (DTAs), each one characterized by its own habitat capacity. Data for the spatial occurrence of the 231 species present in the system is taken from the US Forest Service Inventory and Analysis Database. The model has permeable boundaries to account for immigration from the regions surrounding the MMRS. The model accounts for key aspects of ecological dynamics (e.g., birth, death, speciation, and migration) and is fundamentally driven by the mean annual precipitation characteristic of each of the DTAs in the system. It is found that such a simple model, with only four parameters, yields an excellent representation of the observed local species richness (LSR), between-community (β) diversity, and species rank-occupancy function. The mean annual rainfall of each DTA is then changed according to the climate scenarios and new habitat capacities are thus obtained throughout the MMRS and its subregions. The resulting large-scale biodiversity signatures are computed and compared with those of the present scenario, showing that there are very important changes arising from the climate change conditions. For the dry scenarios, it is shown that there is a considerable decrease of species richness, both at local and regional scales, and a contraction of species' geographic ranges. These findings link the hydrologic and ecological dynamics of the

  7. Bottle Traps and Dipnetting: Evaluation of two Sampling Techniques for Assessing Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity in Depressional Wetlands.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serieyssol, C. A.; Bouchard, R. W.; Sealock, A. W.; Rufer, M. M.; Chirhart, J.; Genet, J.; Ferrington, L. C.

    2005-05-01

    Dipnet (DN) sampling is routinely employed for macroinvertebrate bioassessments, however it has been shown that some taxa are more effectively sampled with activity traps, commonly called Bottle Traps (BT). In 2001, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency used both DN and BT sampling in nine depressional wetlands in the North Central Hardwood Forest Ecoregion to evaluate macroinvertebrate biodiversity for the purpose of assessing water quality and developing biological criteria. Both methods, consisting of five bottle trap samples and two dip net samples per wetland, were collected from each of two sites in each wetland. To determine the performance of each method in documenting biodiversity, we compared taxa and their abundances by wetland, for each type of sample. DN sampling was more effective, with 44 of 140 macroinvertebrate taxa only identified from DN, compared to 14 only from BT. By contrast, BT more effectively collected leeches and beetles, especially active swimmers such as Tropisternus and several genera of Dytiscidae. However, taxa richness patterns for BT and DN were not strongly correlated. Consequently, we conclude these two sampling methods complement each other, providing a better overall picture of macroinvertebrate biodiversity, and should be used jointly when investigating macroinvertebrate biodiversity in depressional wetlands.

  8. Assessing the Primary Data Hosted by the Spanish Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

    PubMed Central

    Otegui, Javier; Ariño, Arturo H.; Encinas, María A.; Pando, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    In order to effectively understand and cope with the current ‘biodiversity crisis’, having large-enough sets of qualified data is necessary. Information facilitators such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) are ensuring increasing availability of primary biodiversity records by linking data collections spread over several institutions that have agreed to publish their data in a common access schema. We have assessed the primary records that one such publisher, the Spanish node of GBIF (GBIF.ES), hosts on behalf of a number of institutions, considered to be a highly representative sample of the total mass of available data for a country in order to know the quantity and quality of the information made available. Our results may provide an indication of the overall fitness-for-use in these data. We have found a number of patterns in the availability and accrual of data that seem to arise naturally from the digitization processes. Knowing these patterns and features may help deciding when and how these data can be used. Broadly, the error level seems low. The available data may be of capital importance for the development of biodiversity research, both locally and globally. However, wide swaths of records lack data elements such as georeferencing or taxonomical levels. Although the remaining information is ample and fit for many uses, improving the completeness of the records would likely increase the usability span for these data. PMID:23372828

  9. The Impacts of Oil Palm on Recent Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss

    PubMed Central

    Pimm, Stuart L.; Jenkins, Clinton N.; Smith, Sharon J.

    2016-01-01

    Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil globally, with demand projected to increase substantially in the future. Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical moist forests, some of them quite recently. The conversion to date, and future expansion, threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions. Today, consumer pressure is pushing companies toward deforestation-free sources of palm oil. To guide interventions aimed at reducing tropical deforestation due to oil palm, we analysed recent expansions and modelled likely future ones. We assessed sample areas to find where oil palm plantations have recently replaced forests in 20 countries, using a combination of high-resolution imagery from Google Earth and Landsat. We then compared these trends to countrywide trends in FAO data for oil palm planted area. Finally, we assessed which forests have high agricultural suitability for future oil palm development, which we refer to as vulnerable forests, and identified critical areas for biodiversity that oil palm expansion threatens. Our analysis reveals regional trends in deforestation associated with oil palm agriculture. In Southeast Asia, 45% of sampled oil palm plantations came from areas that were forests in 1989. For South America, the percentage was 31%. By contrast, in Mesoamerica and Africa, we observed only 2% and 7% of oil palm plantations coming from areas that were forest in 1989. The largest areas of vulnerable forest are in Africa and South America. Vulnerable forests in all four regions of production contain globally high concentrations of mammal and bird species at risk of extinction. However, priority areas for biodiversity conservation differ based on taxa and criteria used. Government regulation and voluntary market interventions can help incentivize the expansion of oil palm plantations in ways that protect biodiversity-rich ecosystems. PMID:27462984

  10. The Impacts of Oil Palm on Recent Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss.

    PubMed

    Vijay, Varsha; Pimm, Stuart L; Jenkins, Clinton N; Smith, Sharon J

    2016-01-01

    Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil globally, with demand projected to increase substantially in the future. Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical moist forests, some of them quite recently. The conversion to date, and future expansion, threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions. Today, consumer pressure is pushing companies toward deforestation-free sources of palm oil. To guide interventions aimed at reducing tropical deforestation due to oil palm, we analysed recent expansions and modelled likely future ones. We assessed sample areas to find where oil palm plantations have recently replaced forests in 20 countries, using a combination of high-resolution imagery from Google Earth and Landsat. We then compared these trends to countrywide trends in FAO data for oil palm planted area. Finally, we assessed which forests have high agricultural suitability for future oil palm development, which we refer to as vulnerable forests, and identified critical areas for biodiversity that oil palm expansion threatens. Our analysis reveals regional trends in deforestation associated with oil palm agriculture. In Southeast Asia, 45% of sampled oil palm plantations came from areas that were forests in 1989. For South America, the percentage was 31%. By contrast, in Mesoamerica and Africa, we observed only 2% and 7% of oil palm plantations coming from areas that were forest in 1989. The largest areas of vulnerable forest are in Africa and South America. Vulnerable forests in all four regions of production contain globally high concentrations of mammal and bird species at risk of extinction. However, priority areas for biodiversity conservation differ based on taxa and criteria used. Government regulation and voluntary market interventions can help incentivize the expansion of oil palm plantations in ways that protect biodiversity-rich ecosystems. PMID:27462984

  11. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P < 0.001). Indicators of biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P < 0.001). Our analyses thus

  12. Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs

    PubMed Central

    Brodersen, Jakob; Seehausen, Ole

    2014-01-01

    While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after major loss of diversity has occurred. The extensive efforts in ecological monitoring have generated large data sets of unique value to macro-scale and long-term ecological research, but the insights gained from such data sets could be multiplied by the inclusion of evolutionary biological approaches. We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation. Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems. We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys. PMID:25553061

  13. Environmental screening tools for assessment of infrastructure plans based on biodiversity preservation and global warming (PEIT, Spain)

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Montero, Luis G.

    2010-04-15

    Most Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) research has been concerned with SEA as a procedure, and there have been relatively few developments and tests of analytical methodologies. The first stage of the SEA is the 'screening', which is the process whereby a decision is taken on whether or not SEA is required for a particular programme or plan. The effectiveness of screening and SEA procedures will depend on how well the assessment fits into the planning from the early stages of the decision-making process. However, it is difficult to prepare the environmental screening for an infrastructure plan involving a whole country. To be useful, such methodologies must be fast and simple. We have developed two screening tools which would make it possible to estimate promptly the overall impact an infrastructure plan might have on biodiversity and global warming for a whole country, in order to generate planning alternatives, and to determine whether or not SEA is required for a particular infrastructure plan.

  14. Development of innovative tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good environmental status, within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, María C.

    2014-05-01

    Marine natural resources and ecosystem services constitute the natural capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Good governance requires a quantification of the interactions and trade-offs among ecosystem services and understanding of how biodiversity underpins ecosystem functions and services across time, scales and sectors. Marine biodiversity is a key descriptor for the assessment within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), approved in 2008, which comprises a total of 11 descriptors. However, the relationships between pressures from human activities and climatic influences and their effects on marine biological diversity are still only partially understood. Hence, these relationships need to be better understood in order to fully achieve a good environmental status (GEnS), as required by the MSFD. This contribution is based upon the FP7 EU project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status), which focus on developing innovative conceptual frameworks, methods and coherent, shared protocols to provide consistent datasets and knowledge at different scales, within four regional seas (Black Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic Sea). This project is developing innovative approaches to valuate biodiversity and ecosystem services and to develop public goods and sustainable economic activities from them. The research will benefit sea users and stakeholders, and will contribute to assess and monitor the environmental status of marine waters. The main objectives are: (i) to improve our understanding of the impact of human activities and variations associated to climate on marine biodiversity, (ii) to test indicators (referred in the Commission Decision on GEnS) and develop new ones for assessment at several ecological levels (species, habitat, ecosystems) and for the characterization and status classification of the marine waters, (iii) to develop, test

  15. Biodiversity Monitoring at the Tonle Sap Lake of Cambodia: A Comparative Assessment of Local Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seak, Sophat; Schmidt-Vogt, Dietrich; Thapa, Gopal B.

    2012-10-01

    This paper assesses local biodiversity monitoring methods practiced in the Tonle Sap Lake of Cambodia. For the assessment we used the following criteria: methodological rigor, perceived cost, ease of use (user friendliness), compatibility with existing activities, and effectiveness of intervention. Constraints and opportunities for execution of the methods were also considered. Information was collected by use of: (1) key informant interview, (2) focus group discussion, and (3) researcher's observation. The monitoring methods for fish, birds, reptiles, mammals and vegetation practiced in the research area have their unique characteristics of generating data on biodiversity and biological resources. Most of the methods, however, serve the purpose of monitoring biological resources rather than biodiversity. There is potential that the information gained through local monitoring methods can provide input for long-term management and strategic planning. In order to realize this potential, the local monitoring methods should be better integrated with each other, adjusted to existing norms and regulations, and institutionalized within community-based organization structures.

  16. Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Tisdell, Clement A

    2011-02-01

    Economic evaluations are essential for assessing the desirability of biodiversity conservation. This article highlights significant advances in theories and methods of economic evaluation and their relevance and limitations as a guide to biodiversity conservation; considers the implications of the phylogenetic similarity principle for the survival of species; discusses consequences of the Noah's Ark problem for selecting features of biodiversity to be saved; analyzes the extent to which the precautionary principle can be rationally used to support the conservation of biodiversity; explores the impact of market extensions, market and other institutional failures, and globalization on biodiversity loss; examines the relationship between the rate of interest and biodiversity depletion; and investigates the implications of intergenerational equity for biodiversity conservation. The consequences of changes in biodiversity for sustainable development are given particular attention. PMID:21332494

  17. Community Impact Assessment Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northern Alberta Development Council, Peace River.

    This handbook is intended for communities that wish to undertake their own community impact assessment (CIA). The goal is to enable communities to plan for changes before they occur, so they can cope with changes when they do occur. CIA involves forecasting and evaluating the full range of unintended consequences for the community of development…

  18. Environmental Impact Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castrilli, Joseph; Block, Elizabeth

    1975-01-01

    Increasing concern with pollution and the energy crisis surfaced the need for environmental impact assessment. Certain requirements for such statements have been identified by different Canadian groups. Among them are the need for total citizen involvement and the utilization of these statements, once completed. (MA)

  19. Fifteen forms of biodiversity trend in the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    McGill, Brian J; Dornelas, Maria; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Magurran, Anne E

    2015-02-01

    Humans are transforming the biosphere in unprecedented ways, raising the important question of how these impacts are changing biodiversity. Here we argue that our understanding of biodiversity trends in the Anthropocene, and our ability to protect the natural world, is impeded by a failure to consider different types of biodiversity measured at different spatial scales. We propose that ecologists should recognize and assess 15 distinct categories of biodiversity trend. We summarize what is known about each of these 15 categories, identify major gaps in our current knowledge, and recommend the next steps required for better understanding of trends in biodiversity. PMID:25542312

  20. Role of DNA barcoding in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation: An update

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Subrata; Aloufi, Abdulhadi A.; Ansari, Abid A.; Ghosh, Sankar K.

    2015-01-01

    More than two third area of our planet is covered by oceans and assessment of marine biodiversity is a challenging task. With the increasing global population, there is a tendency to exploit marine resources for food, energy and other requirements. This puts pressure on the fragile marine environment and necessitates sustainable conservation efforts. Marine species identification using traditional taxonomical methods is often burdened with taxonomic controversies. Here we discuss the comparatively new concept of DNA barcoding and its significance in marine perspective. This molecular technique can be useful in the assessment of cryptic species which is widespread in marine environment and linking the different life cycle stages to the adult which is difficult to accomplish in the marine ecosystem. Other advantages of DNA barcoding include authentication and safety assessment of seafood, wildlife forensics, conservation genetics and detection of invasive alien species (IAS). Global DNA barcoding efforts in the marine habitat include MarBOL, CeDAMar, CMarZ, SHARK-BOL, etc. An overview on DNA barcoding of different marine groups ranging from the microbes to mammals is revealed. In conjugation with newer and faster techniques like high-throughput sequencing, DNA barcoding can serve as an effective modern tool in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation. PMID:26980996

  1. Role of DNA barcoding in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation: An update.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Subrata; Aloufi, Abdulhadi A; Ansari, Abid A; Ghosh, Sankar K

    2016-03-01

    More than two third area of our planet is covered by oceans and assessment of marine biodiversity is a challenging task. With the increasing global population, there is a tendency to exploit marine resources for food, energy and other requirements. This puts pressure on the fragile marine environment and necessitates sustainable conservation efforts. Marine species identification using traditional taxonomical methods is often burdened with taxonomic controversies. Here we discuss the comparatively new concept of DNA barcoding and its significance in marine perspective. This molecular technique can be useful in the assessment of cryptic species which is widespread in marine environment and linking the different life cycle stages to the adult which is difficult to accomplish in the marine ecosystem. Other advantages of DNA barcoding include authentication and safety assessment of seafood, wildlife forensics, conservation genetics and detection of invasive alien species (IAS). Global DNA barcoding efforts in the marine habitat include MarBOL, CeDAMar, CMarZ, SHARK-BOL, etc. An overview on DNA barcoding of different marine groups ranging from the microbes to mammals is revealed. In conjugation with newer and faster techniques like high-throughput sequencing, DNA barcoding can serve as an effective modern tool in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation. PMID:26980996

  2. Predictive models for fish assemblages in eastern USA streams: implications for assessing biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meador, Michael R.; Carlisle, Daren M.

    2009-01-01

    Management and conservation of aquatic systems require the ability to assess biological conditions and identify changes in biodiversity. Predictive models for fish assemblages were constructed to assess biological condition and changes in biodiversity for streams sampled in the eastern United States as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment Program. Separate predictive models were developed for northern and southern regions. Reference sites were designated using land cover and local professional judgment. Taxonomic completeness was quantified based on the ratio of the number of observed native fish species expected to occur to the number of expected native fish species. Models for both regions accurately predicted fish species composition at reference sites with relatively high precision and low bias. In general, species that occurred less frequently than expected (decreasers) tended to prefer riffle areas and larger substrates, such as gravel and cobble, whereas increaser species (occurring more frequently than expected) tended to prefer pools, backwater areas, and vegetated and sand substrates. In the north, the percentage of species identified as increasers and the percentage identified as decreasers were equal, whereas in the south nearly two-thirds of the species examined were identified as decreasers. Predictive models of fish species can provide a standardized indicator for consistent assessments of biological condition at varying spatial scales and critical information for an improved understanding of fish species that are potentially at risk of loss with changing water quality conditions.

  3. Towards a meaningful assessment of marine ecological impacts in life cycle assessment (LCA).

    PubMed

    Woods, John S; Veltman, Karin; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Verones, Francesca; Hertwich, Edgar G

    2016-01-01

    Human demands on marine resources and space are currently unprecedented and concerns are rising over observed declines in marine biodiversity. A quantitative understanding of the impact of industrial activities on the marine environment is thus essential. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a widely applied method for quantifying the environmental impact of products and processes. LCA was originally developed to assess the impacts of land-based industries on mainly terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. As such, impact indicators for major drivers of marine biodiversity loss are currently lacking. We review quantitative approaches for cause-effect assessment of seven major drivers of marine biodiversity loss: climate change, ocean acidification, eutrophication-induced hypoxia, seabed damage, overexploitation of biotic resources, invasive species and marine plastic debris. Our review shows that impact indicators can be developed for all identified drivers, albeit at different levels of coverage of cause-effect pathways and variable levels of uncertainty and spatial coverage. Modeling approaches to predict the spatial distribution and intensity of human-driven interventions in the marine environment are relatively well-established and can be employed to develop spatially-explicit LCA fate factors. Modeling approaches to quantify the effects of these interventions on marine biodiversity are less well-developed. We highlight specific research challenges to facilitate a coherent incorporation of marine biodiversity loss in LCA, thereby making LCA a more comprehensive and robust environmental impact assessment tool. Research challenges of particular importance include i) incorporation of the non-linear behavior of global circulation models (GCMs) within an LCA framework and ii) improving spatial differentiation, especially the representation of coastal regions in GCMs and ocean-carbon cycle models. PMID:26826362

  4. Biodiversity assessment among two Nebraska prairies: a comparison between traditional and phylogenetic diversity indices

    PubMed Central

    Aust, Shelly K.; Ahrendsen, Dakota L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth’s biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species’ evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics. New information In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and

  5. Biodiversity Performs!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This document features a lesson plan in which students work in teams to act out different ecosystem services, describe several free services that biodiversity provides to human, and explain how these services make life on earth possible. Samples of instruction and assessment are included. (KHR)

  6. Impact of Tannery Effluent on the Self-purification Capacity and Biodiversity Level of a River.

    PubMed

    Mengistie, Embialle; Ambelu, Argaw; Van Gerven, Tom; Smets, Ilse

    2016-03-01

    The present study investigates the impact of tannery effluents on the self-purification capacity and the local macroinvertebrate community of one natural stream. As the concentration of chromium and sulfide increased from up- to downstream sites, the reduction of suspended solids, 5-days biological oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand and nitrification capacity decreased by 61 %, 21 %, 30 % and 74 %, respectively. Similarly, the share of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera on the macroinvertebrate community decreased from 24 % to 0 %. Also the diversity (Simpson's) index and the correlation between the physicochemical parameters, BOD5 reduction, the macroinvertebrate abundance and the chromium concentration underpin the importance of the contamination by tannery effluents for the degradation of the stream habitat quality. In conclusion, although the physicochemical parameters indicate that the self-purification of the river can be maintained for a certain stream section, the biodiversity of the river is severely compromised. PMID:26781632

  7. Trophic and Non-Trophic Interactions in a Biodiversity Experiment Assessed by Next-Generation Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Tiede, Julia; Wemheuer, Bernd; Traugott, Michael; Daniel, Rolf; Tscharntke, Teja; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity affects species richness and abundance of taxa at higher trophic levels. However, plant diversity effects on omnivores (feeding on multiple trophic levels) and their trophic and non-trophic interactions are not yet studied because appropriate methods were lacking. A promising approach is the DNA-based analysis of gut contents using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Here, we integrate NGS-based analysis into the framework of a biodiversity experiment where plant taxonomic and functional diversity were manipulated to directly assess environmental interactions involving the omnivorous ground beetle Pterostichus melanarius. Beetle regurgitates were used for NGS-based analysis with universal 18S rDNA primers for eukaryotes. We detected a wide range of taxa with the NGS approach in regurgitates, including organisms representing trophic, phoretic, parasitic, and neutral interactions with P. melanarius. Our findings suggest that the frequency of (i) trophic interactions increased with plant diversity and vegetation cover; (ii) intraguild predation increased with vegetation cover, and (iii) neutral interactions with organisms such as fungi and protists increased with vegetation cover. Experimentally manipulated plant diversity likely affects multitrophic interactions involving omnivorous consumers. Our study therefore shows that trophic and non-trophic interactions can be assessed via NGS to address fundamental questions in biodiversity research. PMID:26859146

  8. Trophic and Non-Trophic Interactions in a Biodiversity Experiment Assessed by Next-Generation Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Tiede, Julia; Wemheuer, Bernd; Traugott, Michael; Daniel, Rolf; Tscharntke, Teja; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity affects species richness and abundance of taxa at higher trophic levels. However, plant diversity effects on omnivores (feeding on multiple trophic levels) and their trophic and non-trophic interactions are not yet studied because appropriate methods were lacking. A promising approach is the DNA-based analysis of gut contents using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Here, we integrate NGS-based analysis into the framework of a biodiversity experiment where plant taxonomic and functional diversity were manipulated to directly assess environmental interactions involving the omnivorous ground beetle Pterostichus melanarius. Beetle regurgitates were used for NGS-based analysis with universal 18S rDNA primers for eukaryotes. We detected a wide range of taxa with the NGS approach in regurgitates, including organisms representing trophic, phoretic, parasitic, and neutral interactions with P. melanarius. Our findings suggest that the frequency of (i) trophic interactions increased with plant diversity and vegetation cover; (ii) intraguild predation increased with vegetation cover, and (iii) neutral interactions with organisms such as fungi and protists increased with vegetation cover. Experimentally manipulated plant diversity likely affects multitrophic interactions involving omnivorous consumers. Our study therefore shows that trophic and non-trophic interactions can be assessed via NGS to address fundamental questions in biodiversity research. PMID:26859146

  9. Impact of Globalization on Sugarcane Pests, Biodiversity and the Environment: A Review of the 2009 Entomology Workshop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 7th International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT) Entomology Workshop was held from 20 to 24 April 2009 in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina under the theme: “Impact of Globalization on Sugar Cane Pests, Biodiversity and the Environment”. Technical sessions held over three days were g...

  10. Spatial Representativeness of Environmental DNA Metabarcoding Signal for Fish Biodiversity Assessment in a Natural Freshwater System

    PubMed Central

    Civade, Raphaël; Dejean, Tony; Valentini, Alice; Roset, Nicolas; Raymond, Jean-Claude; Bonin, Aurélie; Taberlet, Pierre; Pont, Didier

    2016-01-01

    In the last few years, the study of environmental DNA (eDNA) has drawn attention for many reasons, including its advantages for monitoring and conservation purposes. So far, in aquatic environments, most of eDNA research has focused on the detection of single species using species-specific markers. Recently, species inventories based on the analysis of a single generalist marker targeting a larger taxonomic group (eDNA metabarcoding) have proven useful for bony fish and amphibian biodiversity surveys. This approach involves in situ filtering of large volumes of water followed by amplification and sequencing of a short discriminative fragment from the 12S rDNA mitochondrial gene. In this study, we went one step further by investigating the spatial representativeness (i.e. ecological reliability and signal variability in space) of eDNA metabarcoding for large-scale fish biodiversity assessment in a freshwater system including lentic and lotic environments. We tested the ability of this approach to characterize large-scale organization of fish communities along a longitudinal gradient, from a lake to the outflowing river. First, our results confirm that eDNA metabarcoding is more efficient than a single traditional sampling campaign to detect species presence, especially in rivers. Second, the species list obtained using this approach is comparable to the one obtained when cumulating all traditional sampling sessions since 1995 and 1988 for the lake and the river, respectively. In conclusion, eDNA metabarcoding gives a faithful description of local fish biodiversity in the study system, more specifically within a range of a few kilometers along the river in our study conditions, i.e. longer than a traditional fish sampling site. PMID:27359116

  11. Contribution of natural history collection data to biodiversity assessment in national parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connell, A.F., Jr.; Gilbert, A.T.; Hatfield, J.S.

    2004-01-01

    There has been mounting interest in the use of museum and herbaria collections to assess biodiversity; information is often difficult to locate and access, however, and few recommendations are available for effectively using natural history collections. As part of an effort to inventory vertebrates and vascular plants in U.S. national parks, we searched manually and by computer for specimens originating within or adjacent to 14 parks throughout the northeastern United States. We compared the number of specimens located to collection size to determine whether there was any effect on detection rate of specimens. We evaluated the importance of park characteristics (e.g., age since establishment, size, theme [natural vs. cultural]) for influencing the number of specimens found in a collection. We located >31,000 specimens and compiled associated records (hereafter referred to as specimens) from 78 collections; >9000 specimens were park-significant, originating either within park boundaries or in the local township where the park was located. We found >2000 specimens by means of manual searches, which cost $0.001?0.15 per specimen searched and $0.81?151.95 per specimen found. Collection effort appeared relatively uniform between 1890 and 1980, with low periods corresponding to significant sociopolitical events. Detection rates for specimens were inversely related to collection size. Although specimens were most often located in collections within the region of interest, specimens can be found anywhere, particularly in large collections international in scope, suggesting that global searches will be necessary to evaluate historical biodiversity. Park characteristics indicated that more collecting effort occurred within or adjacent to larger parks established for natural resources than in smaller historical sites. Because many institutions have not yet established electronic databases for collections, manual searches can be useful for retrieving specimens. Our results

  12. Assessing Fishing and Marine Biodiversity Changes Using Fishers' Perceptions: The Spanish Mediterranean and Gulf of Cadiz Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Coll, Marta; Carreras, Marta; Ciércoles, Cristina; Cornax, Maria-José; Gorelli, Giulia; Morote, Elvira; Sáez, Raquel

    2014-01-01

    Background The expansion of fishing activities has intensively transformed marine ecosystems worldwide. However, available time series do not frequently cover historical periods. Methodology Fishers' perceptions were used to complement data and characterise changes in fishing activity and exploited ecosystems in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Cadiz. Fishers' interviews were conducted in 27 fishing harbours of the area, and included 64 fishers from ages between 20 to >70 years old to capture the experiences and memories of various generations. Results are discussed in comparison with available independent information using stock assessments and international convention lists. Principal Findings According to fishers, fishing activity substantially evolved in the area with time, expanding towards deeper grounds and towards areas more distant from the coast. The maximum amount of catch ever caught and the weight of the largest species ever captured inversely declined with time. Fishers (70%) cited specific fishing grounds where depletion occurred. They documented ecological changes of marine biodiversity during the last half of the century: 94% reported the decline of commercially important fish and invertebrates and 61% listed species that could have been extirpated, with frequent mentions to cartilaginous fish. Declines and extirpations were in line with available quantitative evaluations from stock assessments and international conventions, and were likely linked to fishing impacts. Conversely, half of interviewed fishers claimed that several species had proliferated, such as cephalopods, jellyfish, and small-sized fish. These changes were likely related to trophic cascades due to fishing and due to climate change effects. The species composition of depletions, local extinctions and proliferations showed differences by region suggesting that regional dynamics are important when analysing biodiversity changes. Conclusions/Significance Using fishers

  13. Impacts of N-depostion on biodiversity in a grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S.; Luth, D.

    2003-12-01

    Nitrogen deposition threatens biodiversity in many ecosystems across the globe, and poses a range of scientific and policy challenges. Grassland ecosystems on nutrient-poor serpentine soils provide a model system for understanding local and regional impacts of N-deposition on biodiversity. A population of the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly crashed from 3500 butterflies in 1997 to likely extinction in 2003. Non-native annual grass crowded out larval hostplants over much of the habitat, primarily driven by nitrogen deposition from tailpipe emissions of NH3 from 100,000 vehicles per day on a roadway bisecting the habitat. NH3 levels (measured with passive monitors) are elevated adjacent to the roadway, but are near background levels 400 m away. Grass cover was higher closer to and downwind of the road, and hostplant cover was inversely related to grass cover. Results from a first-order model show that N-deposition levels adjacent to the roadway are similar (>10 kg-N ha-1 yr-1) to levels downwind of the heavily urbanized Santa Clara Valley (where grass invasions have led to the extinction of large populations via vigorous grass invasions). This local butterfly extinction is unexpected fallout of the adoption of three-way catalytic converters in 1990s. The only known occurrence of an endangered plant, Pentachaeta bellidiflora, exists west of the freeway and may be at long term risk. Invasions of nitrophilous grasses and other weedy species into N-limited grasslands and shrublands appear to be a common response to increased atmospheric deposition in semi-arid areas.

  14. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A.; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels. PMID:27408583

  15. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels. PMID:27408583

  16. Improving biodiversity assessment of anuran amphibians using DNA barcoding of tadpoles. Case studies from Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Grosjean, Stéphane; Ohler, Annemarie; Chuaynkern, Yodchaiy; Cruaud, Corinne; Hassanin, Alexandre

    2015-05-01

    Amphibian populations are dramatically declining, while their inventory is far from being achieved. Tadpoles are usually overlooked from biodiversity survey, whereas their consideration will optimize species counts and knowledge of their ecological and developmental requirements is essential in conservation planning. Two mitochondrial markers, 16S (397 new sequences obtained) and COI (343 new sequences obtained), are used to test DNA barcoding on a set of larval and adult Asian amphibians represented by 83 recognized species from 65 sites. The advantages and drawbacks of each marker are assessed, COI barcoding being advocated for global DNA barcoding, whereas 16S suits for taxonomically or geographically restricted DNA barcoding. About half of the collected tadpoles were badly identified or incompletely named in the field. All tadpole sequences (except one case of probable introgressive hybridization) were correctly assigned to their respective species. Finally six clusters of tadpole sequences without conspecific adults were revealed, stressing the importance of collecting and taking into account tadpoles in biodiversity survey and conservation planning. PMID:25936275

  17. Assessment of regional-scale primary production in terrestrial ecosystems to estimate the possible influence of future climate change on biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, Hibiki; Nishina, Kazuya; Ito, Akihiko

    2015-04-01

    In recent decades, climate change including global warming has progressed worldwide and their influences on ecosystem structure and function that provide various goods and services to humans' well-being are of the greatest concerns. The ecosystem function and services are tightly coupled with the biodiversity particularly via food web and biogeochemical cycles, and here carbon is one of the central elements that also affect atmospheric CO2 concentration. Therefore mechanistic and quantitative understandings of the consequences among on-going climate change, ecosystem function, and biodiversity are urgent issues for seeking a better adaptation strategy. In order to tackle such tasks in the current environmental and ecological sciences, efforts have been made by numerous scientists and/or organizations to clarify the current status of and threats to biodiversity, responses of biogeochemical cycles to meteorological variables, and to construct climate change scenarios considering economic activities. However, to gain insights into the possible influence of climate change on biodiversity via altered ecosystem functions over broad temporal and spatial scales ranging from past to near-future periods and from landscape to global scales, further efforts to find the consequences are required, since the assessment of the influence of climate change on biodiversity is straightforward but difficult. For decades in climate change science, carbon flux between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems has attracted intensive attention as it connects the atmosphere and biosphere. Carbon flux in the biosphere is not only a process of biogeochemical material flux but also is an element to drive biological and ecological processes in ecosystems via food web beginning from photosynthetic carbon fixation by plants. Therefore focusing on photosynthetic production by plants, i.e. primary production of the ecosystem, may help us to estimate the possible influence of climate change on

  18. A generic approach to integrate biodiversity considerations in screening and scoping for EIA

    SciTech Connect

    Slootweg, Roel; Kolhoff, Arend

    2003-10-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires parties to apply environmental impact assessment (EIA) to projects that potentially negatively impact on biodiversity. As members of the International Association of Impact Assessment, the authors have developed a conceptual framework to integrate biodiversity considerations in EIA. By defining biodiversity in terms of composition, structure, and key processes, and by describing the way in which human activities affect these so-called components of biodiversity, it is possible to assess the potential impacts of human activities on biodiversity. Furthermore, the authors have translated this conceptual framework in generic guidelines for screening and scoping in impact assessment. Countries can use these generic guidelines to further operationalise the framework within the existing national procedures for impact assessment. This paper is fully coherent and partly overlapping with the guidelines recently adopted by the CBD, but differs in the sense that it provides more scientific background and is less policy-oriented.

  19. Mitigating Nitrogen Deposition Impacts on Biodiversity in California: Generating Funding for Weed Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S. B.

    2013-12-01

    The impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on biodiversity are widespread and profound; N-inputs have far exceeded any historical range of variability and are altering ecosystem structure and function worldwide. Overwhelming scientific evidence documents acute threats to numerous California ecosystems and imperiled species through increased growth of invasive annual grasses and forbs, yet policy responses lag far behind the science. Since 2001, a confluence of several projects (gas-fired powerplants and highway improvements) in Santa Clara County set powerful precedents for mitigation of N-deposition impacts on ecosystems via the Endangered Species Act, with a focus on the Bay checkerspot butterfly. These projects have culminated in the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan, a 50-year $665,000,000 mitigation plan to conserve and manage habitat for 19 target species. Elsewhere, powerplants in San Diego and Contra Costa Counties have provided mitigation funds for habitat restoration and weed management. Building on these precedents, the California Invasive Plant Council, California Native Plant Society, and other groups are forming a coalition to extend this mitigation across California to generate money for weed management. Key elements of this incipient campaign include: 1) education of regulatory agencies, activists, and decision-makers about the threat; 2) generation of standard EIR comments with project specifics for developments that increase traffic or generate nitrogen emissions; 3) encouraging state and federal wildlife agencies to raise the issue in consultations and Habitat Conservation Plans; 4) policy and legal research to chart a course through the regulatory and political landscape; 5) collating research on impacts and development of tools to document those impacts; 6) media outreach, and 7) coalition building. The main mitigation strategy is funding for local weed management and stewardship groups through fees. There is a desperate need for stable long

  20. Impacts of Digital Imaging versus Drawing on Student Learning in Undergraduate Biodiversity Labs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basey, John M.; Maines, Anastasia P.; Francis, Clinton D.; Melbourne, Brett

    2014-01-01

    We examined the effects of documenting observations with digital imaging versus hand drawing in inquiry-based college biodiversity labs. Plant biodiversity labs were divided into two treatments, digital imaging (N = 221) and hand drawing (N = 238). Graduate-student teaching assistants (N = 24) taught one class in each treatment. Assessments…

  1. Habitat engineering by the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) in a boreal coastal lagoon: impact on biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaiko, Anastasija; Daunys, Darius; Olenin, Sergej

    2009-03-01

    Habitat engineering role of the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas) was studied in the Curonian lagoon, a shallow water body in the SE Baltic. Impacts of live zebra mussel clumps and its shell deposits on benthic biodiversity were differentiated and referred to unmodified (bare) sediments. Zebra mussel bed was distinguished from other habitat types by higher benthic invertebrate biomass, abundance, and species richness. The impact of live mussels on biodiversity was more pronounced than the effect of shell deposits. The structure of macrofaunal community in the habitats with >103 g/m2 of shell deposits devoid of live mussels was similar to that found within the zebra mussel bed. There was a continuous shift in species composition and abundance along the gradient ‘bare sediments—shell deposits—zebra mussel bed’. The engineering impact of zebra mussel on the benthic community became apparent both in individual patches and landscape-level analyses.

  2. Characterizing landscape pattern for a national biodiversity assessment using coarse resolution satellite imagery

    SciTech Connect

    Hunsaker, C.T.; Schwartz, P.M.; Jackson, B.L.

    1995-06-01

    Landscape pattern or structure is important for understanding ecosystem processes and characterizing potential habitat for species. Thus pattern metrics are being used in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency`s Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program and Biodiversity Research Consortium. Metrics were calculated for the conterminous United States using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometry data (1 km cells) classified into 14 and 45 land cover classes. Analysis units were 640-km hexagons with a sample size of 11,700. Pattern metrics included dominance, contagion, shape complexity, number of patches, patch size, and proportion of cover classes and potential edge types. General patterns are described for large regions including their similarity or lack thereof between the two land cover classifications as well as within a classification for filtered (4-km patch filter) and unfiltered data. The filter size was based on the smallest area we had confidence in being correctly classified.

  3. Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Arnell, Andrew P; Contu, Sara; De Palma, Adriana; Ferrier, Simon; Hill, Samantha L L; Hoskins, Andrew J; Lysenko, Igor; Phillips, Helen R P; Burton, Victoria J; Chng, Charlotte W T; Emerson, Susan; Gao, Di; Pask-Hale, Gwilym; Hutton, Jon; Jung, Martin; Sanchez-Ortiz, Katia; Simmons, Benno I; Whitmee, Sarah; Zhang, Hanbin; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2016-07-15

    Land use and related pressures have reduced local terrestrial biodiversity, but it is unclear how the magnitude of change relates to the recently proposed planetary boundary ("safe limit"). We estimate that land use and related pressures have already reduced local biodiversity intactness--the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems--beyond its recently proposed planetary boundary across 58.1% of the world's land surface, where 71.4% of the human population live. Biodiversity intactness within most biomes (especially grassland biomes), most biodiversity hotspots, and even some wilderness areas is inferred to be beyond the boundary. Such widespread transgression of safe limits suggests that biodiversity loss, if unchecked, will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development. PMID:27418509

  4. Trophic status and meiofauna biodiversity in the Northern Adriatic Sea: Insights for the assessment of good environmental status.

    PubMed

    Bianchelli, Silvia; Pusceddu, Antonio; Buschi, Emanuela; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-02-01

    The Descriptor 5 (Eutrophication) of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims at preventing the negative effects of eutrophication. However, in coastal systems all indicators based on water column parameters fail in identifying the trophic status and its effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We investigated benthic trophic status, in terms of sedimentary organic matter quantity, composition and quality, along with meiofaunal abundance, richness of taxa and community composition in three coastal sites (N Adriatic Sea) affected by different levels of anthropogenic stressors. We show that, on the basis of organic matter quantity and composition, the investigated areas can be classified from oligo-to mesotrophic, whereas using meiofauna as a descriptor, their environmental quality ranged from sufficient to moderately impacted. Our results show that the benthic trophic status based on organic matter variables, is not sufficient to provide a sound assessment of the environmental quality in marine coastal ecosystems. However, data reported here indicate that the integration of the meiofaunal variable allows providing robust assessments of the marine environmental status. PMID:26562451

  5. The Multiple Impacts of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Arthropod Biodiversity and on their Patterns of Interactions with Host Plants.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durán-Barrón, César; Valenzuela, Jorge; López, Sara; Lombera, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Tropical rain forest fragmentation affects biotic interactions in distinct ways. Little is known, however, about how fragmentation affects animal trophic guilds and their patterns of interactions with host plants. In this study, we analyzed changes in biotic interactions in forest fragments by using a multitrophic approach. For this, we classified arthropods associated with Heliconia aurantiaca herbs into broad trophic guilds (omnivores, herbivores and predators) and assessed the topological structure of intrapopulation plant-arthropod networks in fragments and continuous forests. Habitat type influenced arthropod species abundance, diversity and composition with greater abundance in fragments but greater diversity in continuous forest. According to trophic guilds, coleopteran herbivores were more abundant in continuous forest and overall omnivores in fragments. Continuous forest showed a greater diversity of interactions than fragments. Only in fragments, however, did the arthropod community associated with H aurantiaca show a nested structure, suggesting novel and/or opportunistic host-arthropod associations. Plants, omnivores and predators contributed more to nestedness than herbivores. Therefore, Heliconia-arthropod network properties do not appear to be maintained in fragments mainly caused by the decrease of herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of the impact of fragmentation on the structure and dynamics of multitrophic arthropod communities associated with a particular plant species of the highly biodiverse tropical forests. Nevertheless, further replication of study sites is needed to strengthen the conclusion that forest fragmentation negatively affects arthropod assemblages. PMID:26731271

  6. The Multiple Impacts of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Arthropod Biodiversity and on their Patterns of Interactions with Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durán-Barrón, César; Valenzuela, Jorge; López, Sara; Lombera, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Tropical rain forest fragmentation affects biotic interactions in distinct ways. Little is known, however, about how fragmentation affects animal trophic guilds and their patterns of interactions with host plants. In this study, we analyzed changes in biotic interactions in forest fragments by using a multitrophic approach. For this, we classified arthropods associated with Heliconia aurantiaca herbs into broad trophic guilds (omnivores, herbivores and predators) and assessed the topological structure of intrapopulation plant-arthropod networks in fragments and continuous forests. Habitat type influenced arthropod species abundance, diversity and composition with greater abundance in fragments but greater diversity in continuous forest. According to trophic guilds, coleopteran herbivores were more abundant in continuous forest and overall omnivores in fragments. Continuous forest showed a greater diversity of interactions than fragments. Only in fragments, however, did the arthropod community associated with H aurantiaca show a nested structure, suggesting novel and/or opportunistic host-arthropod associations. Plants, omnivores and predators contributed more to nestedness than herbivores. Therefore, Heliconia-arthropod network properties do not appear to be maintained in fragments mainly caused by the decrease of herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of the impact of fragmentation on the structure and dynamics of multitrophic arthropod communities associated with a particular plant species of the highly biodiverse tropical forests. Nevertheless, further replication of study sites is needed to strengthen the conclusion that forest fragmentation negatively affects arthropod assemblages. PMID:26731271

  7. Pollination ecology and the possible impacts of environmental change in the Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Ryan D.; Hopper, Stephen D.; Dixon, Kingsley W.

    2010-01-01

    The Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot contains an exceptionally diverse flora on an ancient, low-relief but edaphically diverse landscape. Since European colonization, the primary threat to the flora has been habitat clearance, though climate change is an impending threat. Here, we review (i) the ecology of nectarivores and biotic pollination systems in the region, (ii) the evidence that trends in pollination strategies are a consequence of characteristics of the landscape, and (iii) based on these discussions, provide predictions to be tested on the impacts of environmental change on pollination systems. The flora of southwestern Australia has an exceptionally high level of vertebrate pollination, providing the advantage of highly mobile, generalist pollinators. Nectarivorous invertebrates are primarily generalist foragers, though an increasing number of colletid bees are being recognized as being specialized at the level of plant family or more rarely genus. While generalist pollination strategies dominate among insect-pollinated plants, there are some cases of extreme specialization, most notably the multiple evolutions of sexual deception in the Orchidaceae. Preliminary data suggest that bird pollination confers an advantage of greater pollen movement and may represent a mechanism for minimizing inbreeding in naturally fragmented populations. The effects of future environmental change are predicted to result from a combination of the resilience of pollination guilds and changes in their foraging and dispersal behaviour. PMID:20047877

  8. Linking community and disease ecology: the impact of biodiversity on pathogen transmission.

    PubMed

    Roche, Benjamin; Dobson, Andrew P; Guégan, Jean-François; Rohani, Pejman

    2012-10-19

    The increasing number of zoonotic diseases spilling over from a range of wild animal species represents a particular concern for public health, especially in light of the current dramatic trend of biodiversity loss. To understand the ecology of these multi-host pathogens and their response to environmental degradation and species extinctions, it is necessary to develop a theoretical framework that takes into account realistic community assemblages. Here, we present a multi-host species epidemiological model that includes empirically determined patterns of diversity and composition derived from community ecology studies. We use this framework to study the interaction between wildlife diversity and directly transmitted pathogen dynamics. First, we demonstrate that variability in community composition does not affect significantly the intensity of pathogen transmission. We also show that the consequences of community diversity can differentially impact the prevalence of pathogens and the number of infectious individuals. Finally, we show that ecological interactions among host species have a weaker influence on pathogen circulation than inter-species transmission rates. We conclude that integration of a community perspective to study wildlife pathogens is crucial, especially in the context of understanding and predicting infectious disease emergence events. PMID:22966136

  9. Performance comparison of genetic markers for high-throughput sequencing-based biodiversity assessment in complex communities.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Aibin; Bailey, Sarah A; Heath, Daniel D; Macisaac, Hugh J

    2014-09-01

    Metabarcode surveys of DNA extracted from environmental samples are increasingly popular for biodiversity assessment in natural communities. Such surveys rely heavily on robust genetic markers. Therefore, analysis of PCR efficiency and subsequent biodiversity estimation for different types of genetic markers and their corresponding primers is important. Here, we test the PCR efficiency and biodiversity recovery potential of three commonly used genetic markers - nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (18S), mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S ribosomal RNA (mt16S) - using 454 pyrosequencing of a zooplankton community collected from Hamilton Harbour, Ontario. We found that biodiversity detection power and PCR efficiency varied widely among these markers. All tested primers for COI failed to provide high-quality PCR products for pyrosequencing, but newly designed primers for 18S and 16S passed all tests. Furthermore, multiple analyses based on large-scale pyrosequencing (i.e. 1/2 PicoTiter plate for each marker) showed that primers for 18S recover more (38 orders) groups than 16S (10 orders) across all taxa, and four vs. two orders and nine vs. six families for Crustacea. Our results showed that 18S, using newly designed primers, is an efficient and powerful tool for profiling biodiversity in largely unexplored communities, especially when amplification difficulties exist for mitochondrial markers such as COI. Universal primers for higher resolution markers such as COI are still needed to address the possible low resolution of 18S for species-level identification. PMID:24655333

  10. A hierarchical classification of benthic biodiversity and assessment of protected areas in the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Turner, Joel; Grantham, Hedley S; Kaiser, Stefanie; Constable, Andrew; Nicoll, Rob; Raymond, Ben; Post, Alexandra; Brandt, Angelika; Beaver, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    An international effort is underway to establish a representative system of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean to help provide for the long-term conservation of marine biodiversity in the region. Important to this undertaking is knowledge of the distribution of benthic assemblages. Here, our aim is to identify the areas where benthic marine assemblages are likely to differ from each other in the Southern Ocean including near-shore Antarctica. We achieve this by using a hierarchical spatial classification of ecoregions, bathomes and environmental types. Ecoregions are defined according to available data on biogeographic patterns and environmental drivers on dispersal. Bathomes are identified according to depth strata defined by species distributions. Environmental types are uniquely classified according to the geomorphic features found within the bathomes in each ecoregion. We identified 23 ecoregions and nine bathomes. From a set of 28 types of geomorphic features of the seabed, 562 unique environmental types were classified for the Southern Ocean. We applied the environmental types as surrogates of different assemblages of biodiversity to assess the representativeness of existing MPAs. We found that 12 ecoregions are not represented in MPAs and that no ecoregion has their full range of environmental types represented in MPAs. Current MPA planning processes, if implemented, will substantially increase the representation of environmental types particularly within 8 ecoregions. To meet internationally agreed conservation goals, additional MPAs will be needed. To assist with this process, we identified 107 spatially restricted environmental types, which should be considered for inclusion in future MPAs. Detailed supplementary data including a spatial dataset are provided. PMID:25032993

  11. A Hierarchical Classification of Benthic Biodiversity and Assessment of Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Douglass, Lucinda L.; Turner, Joel; Grantham, Hedley S.; Kaiser, Stefanie; Constable, Andrew; Nicoll, Rob; Raymond, Ben; Post, Alexandra; Brandt, Angelika; Beaver, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    An international effort is underway to establish a representative system of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean to help provide for the long-term conservation of marine biodiversity in the region. Important to this undertaking is knowledge of the distribution of benthic assemblages. Here, our aim is to identify the areas where benthic marine assemblages are likely to differ from each other in the Southern Ocean including near-shore Antarctica. We achieve this by using a hierarchical spatial classification of ecoregions, bathomes and environmental types. Ecoregions are defined according to available data on biogeographic patterns and environmental drivers on dispersal. Bathomes are identified according to depth strata defined by species distributions. Environmental types are uniquely classified according to the geomorphic features found within the bathomes in each ecoregion. We identified 23 ecoregions and nine bathomes. From a set of 28 types of geomorphic features of the seabed, 562 unique environmental types were classified for the Southern Ocean. We applied the environmental types as surrogates of different assemblages of biodiversity to assess the representativeness of existing MPAs. We found that 12 ecoregions are not represented in MPAs and that no ecoregion has their full range of environmental types represented in MPAs. Current MPA planning processes, if implemented, will substantially increase the representation of environmental types particularly within 8 ecoregions. To meet internationally agreed conservation goals, additional MPAs will be needed. To assist with this process, we identified 107 spatially restricted environmental types, which should be considered for inclusion in future MPAs. Detailed supplementary data including a spatial dataset are provided. PMID:25032993

  12. Biodiversity Pressure Maps to evaluate the impact of land use and land cover change on Endangered Ecological Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chisholm, L. A.; Gill, N.

    2014-12-01

    The dynamics of biodiversity are associated with human activities such as land use and land cover change (LULCC). An integrated spatial approach to identify the effects of LULCC is helpful to determine the impact or pressure of human activities on biodiversity. The concept of creating 'biodiversity pressure maps' includes the use of spatial technologies (remote sensing, GIS) over time on areas of sensitivity, for example, areas classified as endangered ecological communities (EEC). The use of a cross-tabulation matrix often forms the basis of creating pressure maps, yet spatial datasets appropriate as input are not always available. The focus of this study was to investigate and evaluate spatial datasets and cross-tabulation techniques useful for producing biodiversity pressure maps. A method will be presented in the form of a case study for an area in the Shoalhaven Local Government Area on the south coast of NSW, Australia. This area is a focus of investigation of the spatial distribution of invasive plants and landholder management practices.

  13. REDD+ projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo: impacts on future emissions, income and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosnier, Aline; Bocqueho, Geraldine; Mant, Rebecca; Obersteiner, Michael; Havlik, Petr; Kapos, Val; Fritz, Steffen; Botrill, Leo

    2014-05-01

    The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) encompasses a large rainforest area which has been rather preserved up to now. However, pressure on the forests is increasing with high population growth, transition toward political stability and the abundance of minerals in the country. REDD+ is a developing mechanism under the UNFCCC that aims to support developing countries that want to make efforts to reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The REDD+ strategy in DRC combines an independent national fund and independent REDD+ projects at the local level that are at the initial stage of implementation. The objective of this paper is to assess i) emissions reduction due to the implementation of the REDD+ pilot projects taking into account potential leakage and ii) potential co-benefits of REDD+ pilot projects in terms of biodiversity and rural income by 2030. We use the land use economic model CongoBIOM adapted from GLOBIOM which represents land-based activities and land use changes at a 50x50km resolution level. It includes domestic and international demand for agricultural products, fuel wood and minerals which are the main deforestation drivers in the Congo Basin region. Finally, we run a sensitivity analysis on emissions from land use change according to three different above and below ground living biomass estimates: downscaled FAO, NASA and WHRC.

  14. Toward an integrated monitoring framework to assess the effects of tropical forest degradation and recovery on carbon stocks and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Roitman, Iris; Aide, T Mitchell; Alencar, Ane; Anderson, Liana O; Aragão, Luiz; Asner, Gregory P; Barlow, Jos; Berenguer, Erika; Chambers, Jeffrey; Costa, Marcos H; Fanin, Thierry; Ferreira, Laerte G; Ferreira, Joice; Keller, Michael; Magnusson, William E; Morales-Barquero, Lucia; Morton, Douglas; Ometto, Jean P H B; Palace, Michael; Peres, Carlos A; Silvério, Divino; Trumbore, Susan; Vieira, Ima C G

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests harbor a significant portion of global biodiversity and are a critical component of the climate system. Reducing deforestation and forest degradation contributes to global climate-change mitigation efforts, yet emissions and removals from forest dynamics are still poorly quantified. We reviewed the main challenges to estimate changes in carbon stocks and biodiversity due to degradation and recovery of tropical forests, focusing on three main areas: (1) the combination of field surveys and remote sensing; (2) evaluation of biodiversity and carbon values under a unified strategy; and (3) research efforts needed to understand and quantify forest degradation and recovery. The improvement of models and estimates of changes of forest carbon can foster process-oriented monitoring of forest dynamics, including different variables and using spatially explicit algorithms that account for regional and local differences, such as variation in climate, soil, nutrient content, topography, biodiversity, disturbance history, recovery pathways, and socioeconomic factors. Generating the data for these models requires affordable large-scale remote-sensing tools associated with a robust network of field plots that can generate spatially explicit information on a range of variables through time. By combining ecosystem models, multiscale remote sensing, and networks of field plots, we will be able to evaluate forest degradation and recovery and their interactions with biodiversity and carbon cycling. Improving monitoring strategies will allow a better understanding of the role of forest dynamics in climate-change mitigation, adaptation, and carbon cycle feedbacks, thereby reducing uncertainties in models of the key processes in the carbon cycle, including their impacts on biodiversity, which are fundamental to support forest governance policies, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. PMID:26390852

  15. Biodiversity impact of the aeolian periglacial geomorphologic evolution of the Fontainebleau Massif (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

    erosion of the sand beneath the bordering sandstone benches, resulting in overhangs. These structures are the most common in the western district of the Fontainebleau Massif. Ponds develop on the tightly silicified and impermeable sandstone pans that form the "platières". There are permanent ponds and temporary wet zones, formed of interconnected or isolated depressions. The origin of these ponds has to be questioned with regard to the landscape shaping. Their origin is directly bound to the hollowing of uncemented, sandy zones, within the sandstone pans forming the "platières". Erosion by runoff cannot be considered; the only way to hollow them out is by deflation processes. No direct dating of the Quaternary dune and loess deposits of the Fontainebleau Massif exists. Nevertheless, dating of paleopodzols interlayered between drift sands, pond deposits and bones within congelifracts allow relating these periglacial features with the end of the last glacial period. For now, there is no dating to assess what belongs to older glacial periods. Distribution of the aeolian patterns The Fontainebleau Massif displays noteworthy morphological diversities in the various districts of the forest. Some of these differentiations result from geological features, but most of them are related to erosion processes, and among them deflation processes leaved different imprints in the western and eastern districts of the Fontainebleau Massif. The topography played an important role controlling the aeolian processes. Deflation was important in the westerly upwind district. In the westerly front face, aeolian erosion was activated by turbulences around the topographic obstacles. The reliefs funneled the winds and gave rise to swirls that hollow the blowouts. This area displays the sharpest and more chiseled landforms of the massif. Moreover, the sandstone scarps at the edge of the "platières" are high and uncovered, with frequent overhangs. The collapsed sandstone blocks of the "chaos" are

  16. Scoping for Social Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, Kristi M.; Ross, Helen

    2000-12-01

    Social assessment combines research, analytic, and participatory processes to identify, describe, and interpret changes in the ?human environment? that result from any of a wide variety of change agents -- projects, policies, or planning activities. Scoping for social impact assessment draws upon these same three processes - research, analysis, and participation - to: - Disclose information about the proposed action, preliminary estimates of impacts, and plans for the decision making and assessment effort - Initiate dialogue with the interested and potentially affected publics and decision makers - Establish the focus and level of detail of the assessment, identify particular issues that need to be addressed, and clarify how potentially affected publics will be consulted and involved. This chapter describes the function and key objectives of the scoping process, explains the assessment framework and the conventions and issues that set the context for the scoping process, provides some suggestions about how to plan and conduct scoping for a social assessment, and discusses some of the key issues that must be addressed in designing an effective scoping process for social impact assessment. Our approach recognises that social scientists may be involved in assessment tasks that involve other disciplinary areas. This may be an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA, the analysis of the impacts of policies or plans, or the combination of impact assessment with planning), or a planning process.

  17. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Procedure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stover, Lloyd V.

    Prepared by a firm of consulting engineers, this booklet outlines the procedural "whys and hows" of assessing environmental impact, particularly for the construction industry. Section I explores the need for environmental assessment and evaluation to determine environmental impact. It utilizes a review of the National Environmental Policy Act and…

  18. Bird biodiversity assessments in temperate forest: the value of point count versus acoustic monitoring protocols.

    PubMed

    Klingbeil, Brian T; Willig, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Effective monitoring programs for biodiversity are needed to assess trends in biodiversity and evaluate the consequences of management. This is particularly true for birds and faunas that occupy interior forest and other areas of low human population density, as these are frequently under-sampled compared to other habitats. For birds, Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) have been proposed as a supplement or alternative to point counts made by human observers to enhance monitoring efforts. We employed two strategies (i.e., simultaneous-collection and same-season) to compare point count and ARU methods for quantifying species richness and composition of birds in temperate interior forests. The simultaneous-collection strategy compares surveys by ARUs and point counts, with methods matched in time, location, and survey duration such that the person and machine simultaneously collect data. The same-season strategy compares surveys from ARUs and point counts conducted at the same locations throughout the breeding season, but methods differ in the number, duration, and frequency of surveys. This second strategy more closely follows the ways in which monitoring programs are likely to be implemented. Site-specific estimates of richness (but not species composition) differed between methods; however, the nature of the relationship was dependent on the assessment strategy. Estimates of richness from point counts were greater than estimates from ARUs in the simultaneous-collection strategy. Woodpeckers in particular, were less frequently identified from ARUs than point counts with this strategy. Conversely, estimates of richness were lower from point counts than ARUs in the same-season strategy. Moreover, in the same-season strategy, ARUs detected the occurrence of passerines at a higher frequency than did point counts. Differences between ARU and point count methods were only detected in site-level comparisons. Importantly, both methods provide similar estimates of species

  19. Bird biodiversity assessments in temperate forest: the value of point count versus acoustic monitoring protocols

    PubMed Central

    Willig, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    Effective monitoring programs for biodiversity are needed to assess trends in biodiversity and evaluate the consequences of management. This is particularly true for birds and faunas that occupy interior forest and other areas of low human population density, as these are frequently under-sampled compared to other habitats. For birds, Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) have been proposed as a supplement or alternative to point counts made by human observers to enhance monitoring efforts. We employed two strategies (i.e., simultaneous-collection and same-season) to compare point count and ARU methods for quantifying species richness and composition of birds in temperate interior forests. The simultaneous-collection strategy compares surveys by ARUs and point counts, with methods matched in time, location, and survey duration such that the person and machine simultaneously collect data. The same-season strategy compares surveys from ARUs and point counts conducted at the same locations throughout the breeding season, but methods differ in the number, duration, and frequency of surveys. This second strategy more closely follows the ways in which monitoring programs are likely to be implemented. Site-specific estimates of richness (but not species composition) differed between methods; however, the nature of the relationship was dependent on the assessment strategy. Estimates of richness from point counts were greater than estimates from ARUs in the simultaneous-collection strategy. Woodpeckers in particular, were less frequently identified from ARUs than point counts with this strategy. Conversely, estimates of richness were lower from point counts than ARUs in the same-season strategy. Moreover, in the same-season strategy, ARUs detected the occurrence of passerines at a higher frequency than did point counts. Differences between ARU and point count methods were only detected in site-level comparisons. Importantly, both methods provide similar estimates of species

  20. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Tak; Farnsworth, Keith D.; Reid, David G.; Rossberg, Axel G.

    2015-01-01

    Public concern over biodiversity loss is often rationalized as a threat to ecosystem functioning, but biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relations are hard to empirically quantify at large scales. We use a realistic marine food-web model, resolving species over five trophic levels, to study how total fish production changes with species richness. This complex model predicts that BEF relations, on average, follow simple Michaelis–Menten curves when species are randomly deleted. These are shaped mainly by release of fish from predation, rather than the release from competition expected from simpler communities. Ordering species deletions by decreasing body mass or trophic level, representing ‘fishing down the food web’, accentuates prey-release effects and results in unimodal relationships. In contrast, simultaneous unselective harvesting diminishes these effects and produces an almost linear BEF relation, with maximum multispecies fisheries yield at ≈40% of initial species richness. These findings have important implications for the valuation of marine biodiversity. PMID:25799523

  1. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release.

    PubMed

    Fung, Tak; Farnsworth, Keith D; Reid, David G; Rossberg, Axel G

    2015-01-01

    Public concern over biodiversity loss is often rationalized as a threat to ecosystem functioning, but biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relations are hard to empirically quantify at large scales. We use a realistic marine food-web model, resolving species over five trophic levels, to study how total fish production changes with species richness. This complex model predicts that BEF relations, on average, follow simple Michaelis-Menten curves when species are randomly deleted. These are shaped mainly by release of fish from predation, rather than the release from competition expected from simpler communities. Ordering species deletions by decreasing body mass or trophic level, representing 'fishing down the food web', accentuates prey-release effects and results in unimodal relationships. In contrast, simultaneous unselective harvesting diminishes these effects and produces an almost linear BEF relation, with maximum multispecies fisheries yield at ≈40% of initial species richness. These findings have important implications for the valuation of marine biodiversity. PMID:25799523

  2. Impacts of European livestock production: nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus and greenhouse gas emissions, land-use, water eutrophication and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leip, Adrian; Billen, Gilles; Garnier, Josette; Grizzetti, Bruna; Lassaletta, Luis; Reis, Stefan; Simpson, David; Sutton, Mark A.; de Vries, Wim; Weiss, Franz; Westhoek, Henk

    2015-11-01

    Livestock production systems currently occupy around 28% of the land surface of the European Union (equivalent to 65% of the agricultural land). In conjunction with other human activities, livestock production systems affect water, air and soil quality, global climate and biodiversity, altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. Here, we quantify the contribution of European livestock production to these major impacts. For each environmental effect, the contribution of livestock is expressed as shares of the emitted compounds and land used, as compared to the whole agricultural sector. The results show that the livestock sector contributes significantly to agricultural environmental impacts. This contribution is 78% for terrestrial biodiversity loss, 80% for soil acidification and air pollution (ammonia and nitrogen oxides emissions), 81% for global warming, and 73% for water pollution (both N and P). The agriculture sector itself is one of the major contributors to these environmental impacts, ranging between 12% for global warming and 59% for N water quality impact. Significant progress in mitigating these environmental impacts in Europe will only be possible through a combination of technological measures reducing livestock emissions, improved food choices and reduced food waste of European citizens.

  3. Biodiversity of Jinggangshan Mountain: The Importance of Topography and Geographical Location in Supporting Higher Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Gang; Huang, Fang-Fang; Liu, Jin-Gang; Liao, Wen-Bo; Wang, Ying-Yong; Ren, Si-Jie; Chen, Chun-Quan; Peng, Shao-Lin

    2015-01-01

    Diversity is mainly determined by climate and environment. In addition, topography is a complex factor, and the relationship between topography and biodiversity is still poorly understood. To understand the role of topography, i.e., altitude and slope, in biodiversity, we selected Jinggangshan Mountain (JGM), an area with unique topography, as the study area. We surveyed plant and animal species richness of JGM and compared the biodiversity and the main geographic characteristics of JGM with the adjacent 4 mountains. Gleason’s richness index was calculated to assess the diversity of species. In total, 2958 spermatophyte species, 418 bryophyte species, 355 pteridophyte species and 493 species of vertebrate animals were recorded in this survey. In general, the JGM biodiversity was higher than that of the adjacent mountains. Regarding topographic characteristics, 77% of JGM’s area was in the mid-altitude region and approximately 40% of JGM’s area was in the 10°–20° slope range, which may support more vegetation types in JGM area and make it a biodiversity hotspot. It should be noted that although the impact of topography on biodiversity was substantial, climate is still a more general factor driving the formation and maintenance of higher biodiversity. Topographic conditions can create microclimates, and both climatic and topographic conditions contribute to the formation of high biodiversity in JGM. PMID:25763820

  4. Global biodiversity assessment and hyper-cryptic species complexes: more than one species of elephant in the room?

    PubMed

    Adams, Mark; Raadik, Tarmo A; Burridge, Christopher P; Georges, Arthur

    2014-07-01

    Several recent estimates of global biodiversity have concluded that the total number of species on Earth lies near the lower end of the wide range touted in previous decades. However, none of these recent estimates formally explore the real "elephant in the room", namely, what proportion of species are taxonomically invisible to conventional assessments, and thus, as undiagnosed cryptic species, remain uncountable until revealed by multi-gene molecular assessments. Here we explore the significance and extent of so-called "hyper-cryptic" species complexes, using the Australian freshwater fish Galaxias olidus as a proxy for any organism whose taxonomy ought to be largely finalized when compared to those in little-studied or morphologically undifferentiated groups. Our comprehensive allozyme (838 fish for 54 putative loci), mtDNA (557 fish for 605 bp of cytb), and morphological (1963-3389 vouchers for 17-58 characters) assessment of this species across its broad geographic range revealed a 1500% increase in species-level biodiversity, and suggested that additional taxa may remain undiscovered. Importantly, while all 15 candidate species were morphologically diagnosable a posteriori from one another, single-gene DNA barcoding proved largely unsuccessful as an a priori method for species identification. These results lead us to draw two strong inferences of relevance to estimates of global biodiversity. First, hyper-cryptic complexes are likely to be common in many organismal groups. Second, no assessment of species numbers can be considered "best practice" in the molecular age unless it explicitly includes estimates of the extent of cryptic and hyper-cryptic biodiversity. [Galaxiidae; global estimates; hyper-diverse; mountain galaxias; species counts; species richness.]. PMID:24627185

  5. Spatial Variation in Fine Sediment Transfer and the Impact on Biodiversity: The River Esk, North Yorkshire UK.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bracken, L. J.; Warburton, J.

    2006-12-01

    Land use change, including the resulting changes in fine sediment supply, is seen as the most significant threat to global biodiversity (Sala et al. 2000). Silt is important for three reasons; firstly, it can act as a pollutant itself in silting up gravel spawning beds of fishes such as salmonids (Walling et al. 2003). Secondly it can have detrimental effects on conservation species such as freshwater pearl mussels through direct and indirect effects (pearl mussels rely on juvenile salmonids for lifecycle completion). Thirdly, sediment associated transport of nutrients and pollutants can result in long-term pollution problems detrimental to most species (Walling et al. 2001). However, some key conservation species such as lampreys require abundant silt for the larval lifecycle stage, as well as gravel for adult spawners. Hence, a plentiful silt supply and transport in river systems is not necessarily detrimental to some key biodiversity elements, but may be more damaging for others. This debate is compounded by a lack of data on silt in river systems. This paper; i) introduces Time Integrated Mass Flux Samples (TIMS) as a cheap, effective and efficient method of collecting data on spatial variations in fine sediment transfer; ii) presents data for variations in loads and specific yields of fine sediment in the River Esk (North Yorkshire, UK) and; iii) links these patterns of silt transfer to potential impacts of biodiversity and salmonids.

  6. The impact of logging on biodiversity and carbon sequestration in tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzolla Gatti, R.

    2012-04-01

    Tropical deforestation is one of the most relevant environmental issues at planetary scale. Forest clearcutting has dramatic effect on local biodiversity, on the terrestrial carbon sink and atmospheric GHGs balance. In terms of protection of tropical forests selective logging is, instead, often regarded as a minor or even positive management practice for the ecosystem and it is supported by international certifications. However, few studies are available on changes in the structure, biodiversity and ecosystem services due to the selective logging of African forests. This paper presents the results of a survey on tropical forests of West and Central Africa, with a comparison of long-term dynamics, structure, biodiversity and ecosystem services (such as the carbon sequestration) of different types of forests, from virgin primary to selectively logged and secondary forest. Our study suggests that there is a persistent effect of selective logging on biodiversity and carbon stock losses in the long term (up to 30 years since logging) and after repeated logging. These effects, in terms of species richness and biomass, are greater than the expected losses from commercial harvesting, implying that selective logging in West and Central Africa is impairing long term (at least until 30 years) ecosystem structure and services. A longer selective logging cycle (>30 years) should be considered by logging companies although there is not yet enough information to consider this practice sustainable.

  7. Biodiversity Mapping via Natura 2000 Conservation Status and Ebv Assessment Using Airborne Laser Scanning in Alkali Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlinszky, A.; Deák, B.; Kania, A.; Schroiff, A.; Pfeifer, N.

    2016-06-01

    Biodiversity is an ecological concept, which essentially involves a complex sum of several indicators. One widely accepted such set of indicators is prescribed for habitat conservation status assessment within Natura 2000, a continental-scale conservation programme of the European Union. Essential Biodiversity Variables are a set of indicators designed to be relevant for biodiversity and suitable for global-scale operational monitoring. Here we revisit a study of Natura 2000 conservation status mapping via airbone LIDAR that develops individual remote sensing-derived proxies for every parameter required by the Natura 2000 manual, from the perspective of developing regional-scale Essential Biodiversity Variables. Based on leaf-on and leaf-off point clouds (10 pt/m2) collected in an alkali grassland area, a set of data products were calculated at 0.5 ×0.5 m resolution. These represent various aspects of radiometric and geometric texture. A Random Forest machine learning classifier was developed to create fuzzy vegetation maps of classes of interest based on these data products. In the next step, either classification results or LIDAR data products were selected as proxies for individual Natura 2000 conservation status variables, and fine-tuned based on field references. These proxies showed adequate performance and were summarized to deliver Natura 2000 conservation status with 80% overall accuracy compared to field references. This study draws attention to the potential of LIDAR for regional-scale Essential Biodiversity variables, and also holds implications for global-scale mapping. These are (i) the use of sensor data products together with habitat-level classification, (ii) the utility of seasonal data, including for non-seasonal variables such as grassland canopy structure, and (iii) the potential of fuzzy mapping-derived class probabilities as proxies for species presence and absence.

  8. Secondary impact hazard assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    A series of light gas gun shots (4 to 7 km/sec) were performed with 5 mg nylon and aluminum projectiles to determine the size, mass, velocity, and spatial distribution of spall and ejecta from a number of graphite/epoxy targets. Similar determinations were also performed on a few aluminum targets. Target thickness and material were chosen to be representative of proposed Space Station structure. The data from these shots and other information were used to predict the hazard to Space Station elements from secondary particles resulting from impacts of micrometeoroids and orbital debris on the Space Station. This hazard was quantified as an additional flux over and above the primary micrometeoroid and orbital debris flux that must be considered in the design process. In order to simplify the calculations, eject and spall mass were assumed to scale directly with the energy of the projectile. Other scaling systems may be closer to reality. The secondary particles considered are only those particles that may impact other structure immediately after the primary impact. The addition to the orbital debris problem from these primary impacts was not addressed. Data from this study should be fed into the orbital debris model to see if Space Station secondaries make a significant contribution to orbital debris. The hazard to a Space Station element from secondary particles above and beyond the micrometeoroid and orbital debris hazard is categorized in terms of two factors: (1) the 'view factor' of the element to other Space Station structure or the geometry of placement of the element, and (2) the sensitivity to damage, stated in terms of energy. Several example cases were chosen, the Space Station module windows, windows of a Shuttle docked to the Space Station, the habitat module walls, and the photovoltaic solar cell arrays. For the examples chosen the secondary flux contributed no more than 10 percent to the total flux (primary and secondary) above a given calculated

  9. Secondary impact hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1986-06-01

    A series of light gas gun shots (4 to 7 km/sec) were performed with 5 mg nylon and aluminum projectiles to determine the size, mass, velocity, and spatial distribution of spall and ejecta from a number of graphite/epoxy targets. Similar determinations were also performed on a few aluminum targets. Target thickness and material were chosen to be representative of proposed Space Station structure. The data from these shots and other information were used to predict the hazard to Space Station elements from secondary particles resulting from impacts of micrometeoroids and orbital debris on the Space Station. This hazard was quantified as an additional flux over and above the primary micrometeoroid and orbital debris flux that must be considered in the design process. In order to simplify the calculations, eject and spall mass were assumed to scale directly with the energy of the projectile. Other scaling systems may be closer to reality. The secondary particles considered are only those particles that may impact other structure immediately after the primary impact. The addition to the orbital debris problem from these primary impacts was not addressed. Data from this study should be fed into the orbital debris model to see if Space Station secondaries make a significant contribution to orbital debris. The hazard to a Space Station element from secondary particles above and beyond the micrometeoroid and orbital debris hazard is categorized in terms of two factors: (1) the 'view factor' of the element to other Space Station structure or the geometry of placement of the element, and (2) the sensitivity to damage, stated in terms of energy. Several example cases were chosen, the Space Station module windows, windows of a Shuttle docked to the Space Station, the habitat module walls, and the photovoltaic solar cell arrays. For the examples chosen the secondary flux contributed no more than 10 percent to the total flux (primary and secondary) above a given calculated

  10. Rapid Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Method for Highly Diverse Benthic Communities: A Case Study of Mediterranean Coralligenous Outcrops

    PubMed Central

    Kipson, Silvija; Fourt, Maïa; Teixidó, Núria; Cebrian, Emma; Casas, Edgar; Ballesteros, Enric; Zabala, Mikel; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2011-01-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pressures urge enhanced knowledge and understanding of the current state of marine biodiversity. This baseline information is pivotal to explore present trends, detect future modifications and propose adequate management actions for marine ecosystems. Coralligenous outcrops are a highly diverse and structurally complex deep-water habitat faced with major threats in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite its ecological, aesthetic and economic value, coralligenous biodiversity patterns are still poorly understood. There is currently no single sampling method that has been demonstrated to be sufficiently representative to ensure adequate community assessment and monitoring in this habitat. Therefore, we propose a rapid non-destructive protocol for biodiversity assessment and monitoring of coralligenous outcrops providing good estimates of its structure and species composition, based on photographic sampling and the determination of presence/absence of macrobenthic species. We used an extensive photographic survey, covering several spatial scales (100s of m to 100s of km) within the NW Mediterranean and including 2 different coralligenous assemblages: Paramuricea clavata (PCA) and Corallium rubrum assemblage (CRA). This approach allowed us to determine the minimal sampling area for each assemblage (5000 cm2 for PCA and 2500 cm2 for CRA). In addition, we conclude that 3 replicates provide an optimal sampling effort in order to maximize the species number and to assess the main biodiversity patterns of studied assemblages in variability studies requiring replicates. We contend that the proposed sampling approach provides a valuable tool for management and conservation planning, monitoring and research programs focused on coralligenous outcrops, potentially also applicable in other benthic ecosystems. PMID:22073264

  11. Biodiversity Assessment of the Fishes of Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Jeffrey T.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Van Tassell, James L.; Hoetjes, Paul; Toller, Wes; Etnoyer, Peter; Smith, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity surveys were conducted on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles, to assess ichthyofaunal richness and to compare with published surveys of other Caribbean localities. The primary objective was to estimate the total species richness of the Saba Bank ichthyofauna. A variety of sampling techniques was utilized to survey the fish species of both the visually accessible megafauna and the camouflaged and small-sized species comprising the cryptic ichthyofauna. Based on results presented herein, the number of species known on Saba Bank is increased from 42 previously known species to 270 species. Expected species-accumulation curves demonstrate that the current estimate of species richness of fishes for Saba Bank under represents the actual richness, and our knowledge of the ichthyofauna has not plateaued. The total expected fish-species richness may be somewhere between 320 and 411 species. The Saba Bank ichthyofaunal assemblage is compared to fish assemblages found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Despite the absence of shallow or emergent shore habitats like mangroves, Saba Bank ranks as having the eighth highest ichthyofaunal richness of surveyed localities in the Greater Caribbean. Some degree of habitat heterogeneity was evident. Fore-reef, patch-reef, and lagoonal habitats were sampled. Fish assemblages were significantly different between habitats. Species richness was highest on the fore reef, but 11 species were found only at lagoonal sites. A comprehensive, annotated list of the fishes currently known to occur on Saba Bank, Netherland Antilles, is provided and color photographs of freshly collected specimens are presented for 165 of the listed species of Saba Bank fishes to facilitate identification and taxonomic comparison with similar taxa at other localities. Coloration of some species is shown for the first time. Preliminary analysis indicates that at least six undescribed new species were collected during the survey and these are indicated in the

  12. DNA Barcoding Simplifies Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops in Biodiverse Regions

    PubMed Central

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V.; Ronca, Sandra; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM) crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs) represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs) used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins). Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level) and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored. PMID:22567120

  13. DNA barcoding simplifies environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops in biodiverse regions.

    PubMed

    Nzeduru, Chinyere V; Ronca, Sandra; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    Transgenes encoding for insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis have been widely introduced into Genetically Modified (GM) crops to confer protection against insect pests. Concern that these transgenes may also harm beneficial or otherwise valued insects (so-called Non Target Organisms, NTOs) represents a major element of the Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs) used by all countries prior to commercial release. Compiling a comprehensive list of potentially susceptible NTOs is therefore a necessary part of an ERA for any Cry toxin-containing GM crop. In partly-characterised and biodiverse countries, NTO identification is slowed by the need for taxonomic expertise and time to enable morphological identifications. This limitation represents a potentially serious barrier to timely adoption of GM technology in some developing countries. We consider Bt Cry1A cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) in Nigeria as an exemplar to demonstrate how COI barcoding can provide a simple and cost-effective means of addressing this problem. Over a period of eight weeks, we collected 163 insects from cowpea flowers across the agroecological and geographic range of the crop in Nigeria. These individuals included 32 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) spanning four Orders and that could mostly be assigned to genus or species level. They included 12 Lepidopterans and two Coleopterans (both potentially sensitive to different groups of Cry proteins). Thus, barcode-assisted diagnoses were highly harmonised across groups (typically to genus or species level) and so were insensitive to expertise or knowledge gaps. Decisively, the entire study was completed within four months at a cost of less than 10,000 US$. The broader implications of the findings for food security and the capacity for safe adoption of GM technology are briefly explored. PMID:22567120

  14. Remotely Sensed Information and Field Data are both Essential to Assess Biodiversity CONDITION!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparrow, B.; Schaefer, M.; Scarth, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Christensen, R.; Lowe, A. J.; O'Neill, S.; Thurgate, N.; Wundke, D.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past year the TERN Ausplots facility has hosted a process to determine the definition of Biodiversity Condition in an Australian Continental Context, and conducted a wide collaborative process to determine which environmental attributes are required to be measures to accurately inform on biodiversity condition. A major output from this work was the acknowledgement that good quality data from both remotely sensed sources and good quality field collected data are both essential to provide the best information possible on biodiversity condition. This poster details some background to the project, the assesment of which attributes to measure, and if the are sources primarily from field based or remotely sensed measures. It then proceeds to provide three examples of ways in which the combination of data types provides a superior product as output, with one example being provided for the three cornerstone areas of condition: Structure, Function and Composition.

  15. Models of Marine Fish Biodiversity: Assessing Predictors from Three Habitat Classification Schemes.

    PubMed

    Yates, Katherine L; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M Julian; Radford, Ben T; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2016-01-01

    Prioritising biodiversity conservation requires knowledge of where biodiversity occurs. Such knowledge, however, is often lacking. New technologies for collecting biological and physical data coupled with advances in modelling techniques could help address these gaps and facilitate improved management outcomes. Here we examined the utility of environmental data, obtained using different methods, for developing models of both uni- and multivariate biodiversity metrics. We tested which biodiversity metrics could be predicted best and evaluated the performance of predictor variables generated from three types of habitat data: acoustic multibeam sonar imagery, predicted habitat classification, and direct observer habitat classification. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model metrics of fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and multivariate regression trees (MRT) to model biomass and abundance of fish functional groups. We compared model performance using different sets of predictors and estimated the relative influence of individual predictors. Models of total species richness and total abundance performed best; those developed for endemic species performed worst. Abundance models performed substantially better than corresponding biomass models. In general, BRT and MRTs developed using predicted habitat classifications performed less well than those using multibeam data. The most influential individual predictor was the abiotic categorical variable from direct observer habitat classification and models that incorporated predictors from direct observer habitat classification consistently outperformed those that did not. Our results show that while remotely sensed data can offer considerable utility for predictive modelling, the addition of direct observer habitat classification data can substantially improve model performance. Thus it appears that there are aspects of marine habitats that are important for modelling metrics of fish biodiversity that are

  16. Models of Marine Fish Biodiversity: Assessing Predictors from Three Habitat Classification Schemes

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Katherine L.; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M. Julian; Radford, Ben T.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.

    2016-01-01

    Prioritising biodiversity conservation requires knowledge of where biodiversity occurs. Such knowledge, however, is often lacking. New technologies for collecting biological and physical data coupled with advances in modelling techniques could help address these gaps and facilitate improved management outcomes. Here we examined the utility of environmental data, obtained using different methods, for developing models of both uni- and multivariate biodiversity metrics. We tested which biodiversity metrics could be predicted best and evaluated the performance of predictor variables generated from three types of habitat data: acoustic multibeam sonar imagery, predicted habitat classification, and direct observer habitat classification. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model metrics of fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and multivariate regression trees (MRT) to model biomass and abundance of fish functional groups. We compared model performance using different sets of predictors and estimated the relative influence of individual predictors. Models of total species richness and total abundance performed best; those developed for endemic species performed worst. Abundance models performed substantially better than corresponding biomass models. In general, BRT and MRTs developed using predicted habitat classifications performed less well than those using multibeam data. The most influential individual predictor was the abiotic categorical variable from direct observer habitat classification and models that incorporated predictors from direct observer habitat classification consistently outperformed those that did not. Our results show that while remotely sensed data can offer considerable utility for predictive modelling, the addition of direct observer habitat classification data can substantially improve model performance. Thus it appears that there are aspects of marine habitats that are important for modelling metrics of fish biodiversity that are

  17. Spatial variability of recent sedimentation in Lake Ohrid (Albania/Macedonia) - a complex interplay of natural and anthropogenic factors and their possible impact on biodiversity patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, H.; Wessels, M.; Albrecht, C.; Stich, H.-B.; Wagner, B.

    2010-05-01

    Lake Ohrid is likely of Pliocene age and thus commonly referred to as the oldest existing lake in Europe. In this study spatial variability of recent sediment composition is assessed using >50 basin wide distributed surface sediment samples. Analysis of biogeochemical bulk parameters, selected metals, pigment concentrations as well as grain size distributions revealed a significant spatial heterogeneity in surface sediment composition. It implies that sedimentation in Lake Ohrid is controlled by an interaction of multiple natural and anthropogenic factors and processes. Major factors controlling surface sediment composition are related to differences in geological catchment characteristics, anthropogenic land use, and a counter-clockwise rotating surface water current. In some instances processes controlling sediment composition also seem to impact distribution patterns of biodiversity, which suggests a common interaction of processes responsible for both patterns.

  18. Conservation planning for offsetting the impacts of development: a case study of biodiversity and renewable energy in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kreitler, Jason R.; Schloss, Carrie A.; Soong, Oliver; Lee Hannah; Davis, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    Balancing society’s competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species’ habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED) projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and could provide

  19. Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert

    PubMed Central

    Kreitler, Jason; Schloss, Carrie A.; Soong, Oliver; Hannah, Lee; Davis, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    Balancing society’s competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species’ habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED) projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and could provide

  20. Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert.

    PubMed

    Kreitler, Jason; Schloss, Carrie A; Soong, Oliver; Hannah, Lee; Davis, Frank W

    2015-01-01

    Balancing society's competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. The direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy, however, can displace species' habitat and negatively impact populations and natural communities if sited without ecological consideration. Offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool to mitigate residual impacts after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet the problem of efficiently designing a set of offset sites becomes increasingly complex where many species or many sites are involved. Spatial conservation prioritization tools are designed to handle this problem, but have seen little application to offset siting and analysis. To address this need we designed an offset siting support tool for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) of California, and present a case study of hypothetical impacts from solar development in the Western Mojave subsection. We compare two offset scenarios designed to mitigate a hypothetical 15,331 ha derived from proposed utility-scale solar energy development (USSED) projects. The first scenario prioritizes offsets based precisely on impacted features, while the second scenario offsets impacts to maximize biodiversity conservation gains in the region. The two methods only agree on 28% of their prioritized sites and differ in meeting species-specific offset goals. Differences between the two scenarios highlight the importance of clearly specifying choices and priorities for offset siting and mitigation in general. Similarly, the effects of background climate and land use change may lessen the durability or effectiveness of offsets if not considered. Our offset siting support tool was designed specifically for the DRECP area, but with minor code modification could work well in other offset analyses, and could provide

  1. When is the best time to sample aquatic macroinvertebrates in ponds for biodiversity assessment?

    PubMed

    Hill, M J; Sayer, C D; Wood, P J

    2016-03-01

    Ponds are sites of high biodiversity and conservation value, yet there is little or no statutory monitoring of them across most of Europe. There are clear and standardised protocols for sampling aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in ponds, but the most suitable time(s) to undertake the survey(s) remains poorly specified. This paper examined the aquatic macroinvertebrate communities from 95 ponds within different land use types over three seasons (spring, summer and autumn) to determine the most appropriate time to undertake sampling to characterise biodiversity. The combined samples from all three seasons provided the most comprehensive record of the aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa recorded within ponds (alpha and gamma diversity). Samples collected during the autumn survey yielded significantly greater macroinvertebrate richness (76% of the total diversity) than either spring or summer surveys. Macroinvertebrate diversity was greatest during autumn in meadow and agricultural ponds, but taxon richness among forest and urban ponds did not differ significantly temporally. The autumn survey provided the highest measures of richness for Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Odonata. However, richness of the aquatic insect order Trichoptera was highest in spring and lowest in autumn. The results illustrate that multiple surveys, covering more than one season, provide the most comprehensive representation of macroinvertebrate biodiversity. When sampling can only be undertaken on one occasion, the most appropriate time to undertake surveys to characterise the macroinvertebrate community biodiversity is during autumn, although this may need to be modified if other floral and faunal groups need to be incorporated into the sampling programme. PMID:26920128

  2. Health impact assessment in Korea

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Eunjeong; Lee, Youngsoo; Harris, Patrick; Koh, Kwangwook; Kim, Keonyeop

    2011-07-15

    Recently, Health Impact Assessment has gained great attention in Korea. First, the Ministry of Environment introduced HIA within existing Environment Impact Assessment. Second, the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs began an HIA program in 2008 in alliance with Healthy Cities. In this short report, these two different efforts are introduced and their opportunities and challenges discussed. We believe these two approaches complement each other and both need to be strengthened. We also believe that both can contribute to the development of health in policy and project development and ultimately to improvements in the Korean population's health.

  3. The impacts of increasing drought on forest dynamics, structure, and biodiversity in the United States.

    PubMed

    Clark, James S; Iverson, Louis; Woodall, Christopher W; Allen, Craig D; Bell, David M; Bragg, Don C; D'Amato, Anthony W; Davis, Frank W; Hersh, Michelle H; Ibanez, Ines; Jackson, Stephen T; Matthews, Stephen; Pederson, Neil; Peters, Matthew; Schwartz, Mark W; Waring, Kristen M; Zimmermann, Niklaus E

    2016-07-01

    We synthesize insights from current understanding of drought impacts at stand-to-biogeographic scales, including management options, and we identify challenges to be addressed with new research. Large stand-level shifts underway in western forests already are showing the importance of interactions involving drought, insects, and fire. Diebacks, changes in composition and structure, and shifting range limits are widely observed. In the eastern US, the effects of increasing drought are becoming better understood at the level of individual trees, but this knowledge cannot yet be confidently translated to predictions of changing structure and diversity of forest stands. While eastern forests have not experienced the types of changes seen in western forests in recent decades, they too are vulnerable to drought and could experience significant changes with increased severity, frequency, or duration in drought. Throughout the continental United States, the combination of projected large climate-induced shifts in suitable habitat from modeling studies and limited potential for the rapid migration of tree populations suggests that changing tree and forest biogeography could substantially lag habitat shifts already underway. Forest management practices can partially ameliorate drought impacts through reductions in stand density, selection of drought-tolerant species and genotypes, artificial regeneration, and the development of multistructured stands. However, silvicultural treatments also could exacerbate drought impacts unless implemented with careful attention to site and stand characteristics. Gaps in our understanding should motivate new research on the effects of interactions involving climate and other species at the stand scale and how interactions and multiple responses are represented in models. This assessment indicates that, without a stronger empirical basis for drought impacts at the stand scale, more complex models may provide limited guidance. PMID:26898361

  4. Studying Ancient Anthropogenic Impacts on Current Floral Biodiversity in the Southern Levant as reflected by the Philistine Migration

    PubMed Central

    Frumin, Suembikya; Maeir, Aren M.; Kolska Horwitz, Liora; Weiss, Ehud

    2015-01-01

    Human migrations across geographic boundaries can facilitate the introduction of new husbandry practices and dispersal of plants and animals, resulting in changes in biodiversity. As previously demonstrated, the 12th century BCE Philistine migration–to the southern Levantine littoral, involved the transportation of pigs from Europe, engendering long term genetic displacement of local Near Eastern haplotypes. Building on this, and combining biogeographical methods of Floral List comparisons with archaeological data, we have elucidated the Philistine impact on Southern Levantine floral ecosystems. We demonstrate that previously unexploited local plants were incorporated into the Philistine milieu, and new species were introduced–from Europe, the Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia –resulting in the earliest locally cultivated sycamore, cumin, coriander, bay tree and opium poppy. This research has highlighted the impact of past cultures on the formation of floral ecosystems and their long-term effects on contemporary local biological diversity. PMID:26304818

  5. Studying Ancient Anthropogenic Impacts on Current Floral Biodiversity in the Southern Levant as reflected by the Philistine Migration.

    PubMed

    Frumin, Suembikya; Maeir, Aren M; Kolska Horwitz, Liora; Weiss, Ehud

    2015-01-01

    Human migrations across geographic boundaries can facilitate the introduction of new husbandry practices and dispersal of plants and animals, resulting in changes in biodiversity. As previously demonstrated, the 12th century BCE Philistine migration-to the southern Levantine littoral, involved the transportation of pigs from Europe, engendering long term genetic displacement of local Near Eastern haplotypes. Building on this, and combining biogeographical methods of Floral List comparisons with archaeological data, we have elucidated the Philistine impact on Southern Levantine floral ecosystems. We demonstrate that previously unexploited local plants were incorporated into the Philistine milieu, and new species were introduced-from Europe, the Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia -resulting in the earliest locally cultivated sycamore, cumin, coriander, bay tree and opium poppy. This research has highlighted the impact of past cultures on the formation of floral ecosystems and their long-term effects on contemporary local biological diversity. PMID:26304818

  6. Please mind the gap - Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Pearman, John K; Anlauf, Holger; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Coral reefs harbor the most diverse assemblages in the ocean, however, a large proportion of the diversity is cryptic and, therefore, undetected by standard visual census techniques. Cryptic and exposed communities differ considerably in species composition and ecological function. This study compares three different coral reef assessment protocols: i) visual benthic reef surveys: ii) visual census of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) plates; and iii) metabarcoding techniques of the ARMS (including sessile, 106-500 μm and 500-2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p < 0.001); revealing that Annelida were generally the dominant phyla (in terms of reads) of all fractions and reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but

  7. Impact of Fertilizing Pattern on the Biodiversity of a Weed Community and Wheat Growth

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Leilei; Cheng, Chuanpeng; Wan, Kaiyuan; Li, Ruhai; Wang, Daozhong; Tao, Yong; Pan, Junfeng; Xie, Juan; Chen, Fang

    2014-01-01

    Weeding and fertilization are important farming practices. Integrated weed management should protect or improve the biodiversity of farmland weed communities for a better ecological environment with not only increased crop yield, but also reduced use of herbicides. This study hypothesized that appropriate fertilization would benefit both crop growth and the biodiversity of farmland weed communities. To study the effects of different fertilizing patterns on the biodiversity of a farmland weed community and their adaptive mechanisms, indices of species diversity and responses of weed species and wheat were investigated in a 17-year field trial with a winter wheat-soybean rotation. This long term field trial includes six fertilizing treatments with different N, P and K application rates. The results indicated that wheat and the four prevalent weed species (Galium aparine, Vicia sativa, Veronica persica and Geranium carolinianum) showed different responses to fertilizer treatment in terms of density, plant height, shoot biomass, and nutrient accumulations. Each individual weed population exhibited its own adaptive mechanisms, such as increased internode length for growth advantages and increased light interception. The PK treatment had higher density, shoot biomass, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou Indices of weed community than N plus P fertilizer treatments. The N1/2PK treatment showed the same weed species number as the PK treatment. It also showed higher Shannon-Wiener and Pielou Indices of the weed community, although it had a lower wheat yield than the NPK treatment. The negative effects of the N1/2PK treatment on wheat yield could be balanced by the simultaneous positive effects on weed communities, which are intermediate in terms of the effects on wheat and weeds. PMID:24416223

  8. Impact of fertilizing pattern on the biodiversity of a weed community and wheat growth.

    PubMed

    Tang, Leilei; Cheng, Chuanpeng; Wan, Kaiyuan; Li, Ruhai; Wang, Daozhong; Tao, Yong; Pan, Junfeng; Xie, Juan; Chen, Fang

    2014-01-01

    Weeding and fertilization are important farming practices. Integrated weed management should protect or improve the biodiversity of farmland weed communities for a better ecological environment with not only increased crop yield, but also reduced use of herbicides. This study hypothesized that appropriate fertilization would benefit both crop growth and the biodiversity of farmland weed communities. To study the effects of different fertilizing patterns on the biodiversity of a farmland weed community and their adaptive mechanisms, indices of species diversity and responses of weed species and wheat were investigated in a 17-year field trial with a winter wheat-soybean rotation. This long term field trial includes six fertilizing treatments with different N, P and K application rates. The results indicated that wheat and the four prevalent weed species (Galium aparine, Vicia sativa, Veronica persica and Geranium carolinianum) showed different responses to fertilizer treatment in terms of density, plant height, shoot biomass, and nutrient accumulations. Each individual weed population exhibited its own adaptive mechanisms, such as increased internode length for growth advantages and increased light interception. The PK treatment had higher density, shoot biomass, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou Indices of weed community than N plus P fertilizer treatments. The N1/2PK treatment showed the same weed species number as the PK treatment. It also showed higher Shannon-Wiener and Pielou Indices of the weed community, although it had a lower wheat yield than the NPK treatment. The negative effects of the N1/2PK treatment on wheat yield could be balanced by the simultaneous positive effects on weed communities, which are intermediate in terms of the effects on wheat and weeds. PMID:24416223

  9. Biodiversity analysis of vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. J. Hansen

    2000-06-30

    The Nevada Test Site (NTS), located in south-central Nevada, encompasses approximately 3,500 square kilometers and straddles two major North American deserts, Mojave and Great Basin. Transitional areas between the two desert types have been created by gradients in elevation, precipitation, temperature, and soils. From 1996 to 1998, more than 1,500 ecological landform units were sampled at the NTS for numerous biotic and abiotic parameters. The data provide a basis for spatial evaluations of biodiversity over landscape scales at the NTS. Biodiversity maps (species richness vs. species abundance) have been produced. Differences in biodiversity among ecoregions and vegetation alliances are presented. Spatial distribution maps of species' presence and abundance provide evidence of where transition zones occur and the resulting impact on biodiversity. The influences of abiotic factors, such as elevation, soil, and precipitation, on biodiversity are assessed.

  10. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (videotape)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Originally developed for the US EPA Regions, this presentation is available to the general public via the internet. The presentation focuses on the basics of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) including the ISO 14040 series framework and a quick overview of each of the steps wi...

  11. Long-term impacts of forest ditching on non-aquatic biodiversity: conservation perspectives for a novel ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Remm, Liina; Lõhmus, Piret; Leis, Mare; Lõhmus, Asko

    2013-01-01

    Artificial drainage (ditching) is widely used to increase timber yield in northern forests. When the drainage systems are maintained, their environmental impacts are likely to accumulate over time and along accompanying management, notably after logging when new forest develops on decayed peat. Our study provides the first comprehensive documentation of long-term ditching impacts on terrestrial and arboreal biodiversity by comparing natural alder swamps and second-generation drained forests that have evolved from such swamps in Estonia. We explored species composition of four potentially drainage-sensitive taxonomic groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and snails), abundance of species of conservation concern, and their relationships with stand structure in two-ha plots representing four management types (ranging from old growth to clearcut). We found that drainage affected plot-scale species richness only weakly but it profoundly changed assemblage composition. Bryophytes and lichens were the taxonomic groups that were most sensitive both to drainage and timber-harvesting; in closed stands they responded to changed microhabitat structure, notably impoverished tree diversity and dead-wood supply. As a result, natural old-growth plots were the most species-rich and hosted several specific species of conservation concern. Because the most influential structural changes are slow, drainage impacts may be long hidden. The results also indicated that even very old drained stands do not provide quality habitats for old-growth species of drier forest types. However, drained forests hosted many threatened species that were less site type specific, including early-successional vascular plants and snails on clearcuts and retention cuts, and bryophytes and lichens of successional and old forests. We conclude that three types of specific science-based management tools are needed to mitigate ditching effects on forest biodiversity: (i) silvicultural techniques to

  12. Long-Term Impacts of Forest Ditching on Non-Aquatic Biodiversity: Conservation Perspectives for a Novel Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Remm, Liina; Lõhmus, Piret; Leis, Mare; Lõhmus, Asko

    2013-01-01

    Artificial drainage (ditching) is widely used to increase timber yield in northern forests. When the drainage systems are maintained, their environmental impacts are likely to accumulate over time and along accompanying management, notably after logging when new forest develops on decayed peat. Our study provides the first comprehensive documentation of long-term ditching impacts on terrestrial and arboreal biodiversity by comparing natural alder swamps and second-generation drained forests that have evolved from such swamps in Estonia. We explored species composition of four potentially drainage-sensitive taxonomic groups (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and snails), abundance of species of conservation concern, and their relationships with stand structure in two-ha plots representing four management types (ranging from old growth to clearcut). We found that drainage affected plot-scale species richness only weakly but it profoundly changed assemblage composition. Bryophytes and lichens were the taxonomic groups that were most sensitive both to drainage and timber-harvesting; in closed stands they responded to changed microhabitat structure, notably impoverished tree diversity and dead-wood supply. As a result, natural old-growth plots were the most species-rich and hosted several specific species of conservation concern. Because the most influential structural changes are slow, drainage impacts may be long hidden. The results also indicated that even very old drained stands do not provide quality habitats for old-growth species of drier forest types. However, drained forests hosted many threatened species that were less site type specific, including early-successional vascular plants and snails on clearcuts and retention cuts, and bryophytes and lichens of successional and old forests. We conclude that three types of specific science-based management tools are needed to mitigate ditching effects on forest biodiversity: (i) silvicultural techniques to

  13. Impact of biodiversity-climate futures on primary production and metabolism in a model benthic estuarine system

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding the effects of anthropogenically-driven changes in global temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide and biodiversity on the functionality of marine ecosystems is crucial for predicting and managing the associated impacts. Coastal ecosystems are important sources of carbon (primary production) to shelf waters and play a vital role in global nutrient cycling. These systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of human activities and will be the first areas impacted by rising sea levels. Within these coastal ecosystems, microalgal assemblages (microphytobenthos: MPB) are vital for autochthonous carbon fixation. The level of in situ production by MPB mediates the net carbon cycling of transitional ecosystems between net heterotrophic or autotrophic metabolism. In this study, we examine the interactive effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (370, 600, and 1000 ppmv), temperature (6°C, 12°C, and 18°C) and invertebrate biodiversity on MPB biomass in experimental systems. We assembled communities of three common grazing invertebrates (Hydrobia ulvae, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor) in monoculture and in all possible multispecies combinations. This experimental design specifically addresses interactions between the selected climate change variables and any ecological consequences caused by changes in species composition or richness. Results The effects of elevated CO2 concentration, temperature and invertebrate diversity were not additive, rather they interacted to determine MPB biomass, and overall this effect was negative. Diversity effects were underpinned by strong species composition effects, illustrating the importance of individual species identity. Conclusions Overall, our findings suggest that in natural systems, the complex interactions between changing environmental conditions and any associated changes in invertebrate assemblage structure are likely to reduce MPB biomass. Furthermore, these effects would be

  14. Similar diversity-disturbance responses to different physical impacts: three cases of small-scale biodiversity increase in the Belgian part of the North Sea.

    PubMed

    De Backer, Annelies; Van Hoey, Gert; Coates, Delphine; Vanaverbeke, Jan; Hostens, Kris

    2014-07-15

    Human activities at sea are still increasing. As biodiversity is a central topic in the management of our seas, it is important to understand how diversity responds to different disturbances related with physical impacts. We investigated the effects of three impacts, i.e. sand extraction, dredge disposal and offshore wind energy exploitation, on the soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblages in the Belgian part of the North Sea. We found similar diversity-disturbance responses, mainly related to the fact that different impacts caused similar environmental changes. We observed a sediment refinement which triggered a shift towards a heterogenic, dynamic (transitional) soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblage, with several species typically associated with muddy sands. This led to a local unexpected biodiversity increase in the impacted area. On a wider regional scale, the ever increasing human impacts might lead to a homogenization of the sediment, resulting in a more uniform, yet less diverse benthic ecosystem. PMID:24889315

  15. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  16. Biodiversity Prospecting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sittenfeld, Ana; Lovejoy, Annie

    1994-01-01

    Examines the use of biodiversity prospecting as a method for tropical countries to value biodiversity and contribute to conservation upkeep costs. Discusses the first agreement between a public interest organization and pharmaceutical company for the extraction of plant and animal materials in Costa Rica. (LZ)

  17. Assessing the geologic and climatic forcing of biodiversity and evolution surrounding the Gulf of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dolby, Greer; Bennett, Scott E K.; Lira-Noriega, Andres; Wilder, Benjamin T.; Munguia-Vega, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    For almost a century the Baja California peninsula (Peninsula), Gulf of California (Gulf), and broader Sonoran Desert region (figure 1) have drawn geologists and biologists alike to study its unique physical and evolutionary processes (e.g., Wittich 1920; Darton 1921; Nelson 1921; Johnston 1924; Beal 1948; Durham and Allison 1960). The challenge remains to untangle the long, intricate, and at times enigmatic geological and climatological histories that have shaped the high levels of endemism and biodiversity observed in the region today (Van Devender 1990; Grismer 2000; Riddle et al. 2000).

  18. The potential for biodiversity offsetting to fund effective invasive species control.

    PubMed

    Norton, David A; Warburton, Bruce

    2015-02-01

    Compensating for biodiversity losses in 1 location by conserving or restoring biodiversity elsewhere (i.e., biodiversity offsetting) is being used increasingly to compensate for biodiversity losses resulting from development. We considered whether a form of biodiversity offsetting, enhancement offsetting (i.e., enhancing the quality of degraded natural habitats through intensive ecological management), can realistically secure additional funding to control biological invaders at a scale and duration that results in enhanced biodiversity outcomes. We suggest that biodiversity offsetting has the potential to enhance biodiversity values through funding of invasive species control, but it needs to meet 7 key conditions: be technically possible to reduce invasive species to levels that enhance native biodiversity; be affordable; be sufficiently large to compensate for the impact; be adaptable to accommodate new strategic and tactical developments while not compromising biodiversity outcomes; acknowledge uncertainties associated with managing pests; be based on an explicit risk assessment that identifies the cost of not achieving target outcomes; and include financial mechanisms to provide for in-perpetuity funding. The challenge then for conservation practitioners, advocates, and policy makers is to develop frameworks that allow for durable and effective partnerships with developers to realize the full potential of enhancement offsets, which will require a shift away from traditional preservation-focused approaches to biodiversity management. PMID:25047072

  19. Assessing Undergraduate University Students' Level of Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour towards Biodiversity: A Case Study in Cyprus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nisiforou, Olympia; Charalambides, Alexandros George

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity is a key resource as it provides both goods and services to society. However, humans value these resources differently, especially when biodiversity is exploited for its economic potential; a destruction on a scale rarely seen before. In order to decrease the threats that biodiversity is facing due to human activity, globally (climate…

  20. Air-pollution effects on biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Barker, J.R.; Tingey, D.T.

    1992-04-01

    To address the issues of air pollution impacts on biodiversity, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory in Corvallis, OR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fisheries Research Center in Leetown, and the Electric Power Research Institute convened a workshop to evaluate current knowledge, identify information gaps, provide direction to research and assess policy issues. In order to obtain the most current and authoritative information possible, air pollution and biodiversity experts were invited to participate in a workshop and author the papers that make up this report. Each paper was presented and discussed, then collected in this document. The material has been organized into four parts: an introduction, an overview of air pollution exposure and effects, the consequences of air pollution on biodiversity, and policy issues and research needs.

  1. Impacts of inundation and drought on eukaryote biodiversity in semi-arid floodplain soils.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Darren S; Colloff, Matthew J; Rees, Gavin N; Chariton, Anthony A; Watson, Garth O; Court, Leon N; Hartley, Diana M; Morgan, Matthew J; King, Andrew J; Wilson, Jessica S; Hodda, Michael; Hardy, Christopher M

    2013-03-01

    Floodplain ecosystems are characterized by alternating wet and dry phases and periodic inundation defines their ecological character. Climate change, river regulation and the construction of levees have substantially altered natural flooding and drying regimes worldwide with uncertain effects on key biotic groups. In southern Australia, we hypothesized that soil eukaryotic communities in climate change affected areas of a semi-arid floodplain would transition towards comprising mainly dry-soil specialist species with increasing drought severity. Here, we used 18S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing to measure the eukaryote community composition in soils that had been depleted of water to varying degrees to confirm that reproducible transitional changes occur in eukaryotic biodiversity on this floodplain. Interflood community structures (3 years post-flood) were dominated by persistent rather than either aquatic or dry-specialist organisms. Only 2% of taxa were unique to dry locations by 8 years post-flood, and 10% were restricted to wet locations (inundated a year to 2 weeks post-flood). Almost half (48%) of the total soil biota were detected in both these environments. The discovery of a large suite of organisms able to survive nearly a decade of drought, and up to a year submerged supports the concept of inherent resilience of Australian semi-arid floodplain soil communities under increasing pressure from climatic induced changes in water availability. PMID:23379967

  2. Health impact assessment of global climate change: expanding on comparative risk assessment approaches for policy making.

    PubMed

    Patz, Jonathan; Campbell-Lendrum, Diarmid; Gibbs, Holly; Woodruff, Rosalie

    2008-01-01

    Climate change is projected to have adverse impacts on public health. Cobenefits may be possible from more upstream mitigation of greenhouse gases causing climate change. To help measure such cobenefits alongside averted disease-specific risks, a health impact assessment (HIA) framework can more comprehensively serve as a decision support tool. HIA also considers health equity, clearly part of the climate change problem. New choices for energy must be made carefully considering such effects as additional pressure on the world's forests through large-scale expansion of soybean and oil palm plantations, leading to forest clearing, biodiversity loss and disease emergence, expulsion of subsistence farmers, and potential increases in food prices and emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Investigators must consider the full range of policy options, supported by more comprehensive, flexible, and transparent assessment methods. PMID:18173382

  3. Assessing Undergraduate University Students' Level of Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour Towards Biodiversity: A case study in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisiforou, Olympia; Charalambides, Alexandros George

    2012-05-01

    Biodiversity is a key resource as it provides both goods and services to society. However, humans value these resources differently, especially when biodiversity is exploited for its economic potential; a destruction on a scale rarely seen before. In order to decrease the threats that biodiversity is facing due to human activity, globally (climate change) and locally (economic development), individuals must have fundamental knowledge and exhibit appropriate behaviour towards biodiversity and its values. Nevertheless, the effect of human's knowledge, policies and attitudes towards biodiversity's protection are often limited by insufficient education and public support. A balance between the use of resources and technology, reconciling economic development and the need to maintain biodiversity is a challenge. The current paper looks into the knowledge level, attitudes and behaviour of university students of the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the Cyprus University of Technology towards biodiversity. The investigation was carried out using a closed format questionnaire on a sample of first- and second-year university students (n = 44), in order to access their perceptions and attitudes towards environmental issues regarding biodiversity. The questionnaire was derived from relevant literature. The test results showed that there are significant differences with regard to the level of knowledge about biodiversity between the two groups. However, no significant differences were found on attitudes and behaviour towards biodiversity. The results have also shown that all students have a positive attitude towards biodiversity, while on the other hand, they find themselves, most of the time, unwilling to engage in environmental behaviour.

  4. Assessing Local and Surrounding Threats to the Protected Area Network in a Biodiversity Hotspot: The Hengduan Mountains of Southwest China

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xin; Liu, Guohua; Li, Zongshan; Wang, Hao; Zeng, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) not only serve as refuges of biodiversity conservation but are also part of large ecosystems and are vulnerable to change caused by human activity from surrounding lands, especially in biodiversity hotspots. Assessing threats to PAs and surrounding areas is therefore a critical step in effective conservation planning. We apply a threat framework as a means of quantitatively assessing local and surrounding threats to different types of PAs with gradient buffers, and to main ecoregions in the Hengduan Mountain Hotspot of southwest China. Our findings show that national protected areas (NPAs) have lower and significantly lower threat values (p<0.05) than provincial protected areas (PPAs) and other protected areas (OPAs), respectively, which indicates that NPAs are lands with a lower threat level and higher levels of protection and management. PAs have clear edge effects, as the proportion of areas with low threat levels decline dramatically in the 5-kilometer buffers just outside the PAs. However, NPAs suffered greater declines (58.3%) than PPAs (34.8%) and OPAs (33.4%) in the 5-kilometer buffers. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between the size of PAs and the proportion of areas with low threat levels that they contained in both PAs and PA buffers (p<0.01). To control or mitigate current threats at the regional scale, PA managers often require quantitative information related to threat intensities and spatial distribution. The threat assessment in the Hengduan Mountain Hotspot will be useful to policy makers and managers in their efforts to establish effective plans and target-oriented management strategies. PMID:26382763

  5. Assessing Local and Surrounding Threats to the Protected Area Network in a Biodiversity Hotspot: The Hengduan Mountains of Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Ye, Xin; Liu, Guohua; Li, Zongshan; Wang, Hao; Zeng, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) not only serve as refuges of biodiversity conservation but are also part of large ecosystems and are vulnerable to change caused by human activity from surrounding lands, especially in biodiversity hotspots. Assessing threats to PAs and surrounding areas is therefore a critical step in effective conservation planning. We apply a threat framework as a means of quantitatively assessing local and surrounding threats to different types of PAs with gradient buffers, and to main ecoregions in the Hengduan Mountain Hotspot of southwest China. Our findings show that national protected areas (NPAs) have lower and significantly lower threat values (p<0.05) than provincial protected areas (PPAs) and other protected areas (OPAs), respectively, which indicates that NPAs are lands with a lower threat level and higher levels of protection and management. PAs have clear edge effects, as the proportion of areas with low threat levels decline dramatically in the 5-kilometer buffers just outside the PAs. However, NPAs suffered greater declines (58.3%) than PPAs (34.8%) and OPAs (33.4%) in the 5-kilometer buffers. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between the size of PAs and the proportion of areas with low threat levels that they contained in both PAs and PA buffers (p<0.01). To control or mitigate current threats at the regional scale, PA managers often require quantitative information related to threat intensities and spatial distribution. The threat assessment in the Hengduan Mountain Hotspot will be useful to policy makers and managers in their efforts to establish effective plans and target-oriented management strategies. PMID:26382763

  6. High-Throughput Sequencing—The Key to Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Marine Metazoa?

    PubMed Central

    Mohrbeck, Inga; Raupach, Michael J.; Martínez Arbizu, Pedro; Knebelsberger, Thomas; Laakmann, Silke

    2015-01-01

    The applications of traditional morphological and molecular methods for species identification are greatly restricted by processing speed and on a regional or greater scale are generally considered unfeasible. In this context, high-throughput sequencing, or metagenetics, has been proposed as an efficient tool to document biodiversity. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of 454 pyrosequencing in marine metazoan community analysis using the 18S rDNA: V1-V2 region. Multiplex pyrosequencing of the V1-V2 region was used to analyze two pooled samples of DNA, one comprising 118 and the other 37 morphologically identified species, and one natural sample taken directly from a North Sea zooplankton community. A DNA reference library comprising all species represented in the pooled samples was created by Sanger sequencing, and this was then used to determine the optimal similarity threshold for species delineation. The optimal threshold was found at 99% species similarity, with 85% identification success. Pyrosequencing was able to identify between fewer species: 67% and 78% of the species in the two pooled samples. Also, a large number of sequences for three species that were not included in the pooled samples were amplified by pyrosequencing, suggesting preferential amplification of some genotypes and the sensitivity of this approach to even low levels of contamination. Conversely, metagenetic analysis of the natural zooplankton sample identified many more species (particularly gelatinous zooplankton and meroplankton) than morphological analysis of a formalin-fixed sample from the same sampling site, suggesting an increased level of taxonomic resolution with pyrosequencing. The study demonstrated that, based on the V1-V2 region, 454 sequencing does not provide accurate species differentiation and reliable taxonomic classification, as it is required in most biodiversity monitoring. The analysis of artificially prepared samples indicated that species detection in

  7. Assessment of Local Biodiversity Loss in Uranium Mining-Tales And Its Projections On Global Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

    In Min-Kush, northern Kyrgyzstan there are 8 mining tales with an estimate of 1 961 000 tones of industrial Uranium. Local ecosystem services have declined rapidly. We analyzed a terrestrial assemblage database of Uranium mine-tale to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and environmental changes. In the worst-affected habitats species richness reduced by 95.7%, total abundance by 60.9% and rarefaction-based richness by 72.5%. We estimate that, regional mountain ecosystem affected by this pressure reduced average within-sample richness (by 17.01%), total abundance (16.5%) and rarefaction-based richness (14.5%). Business-as-usual scenarios are the widely practiced in the region and moreover, due to economic constraints country can not afford any mitigation scenarios. We project that biodiversity loss and ecosystem service impairment will spread in the region through ground water, soil, plants, animals and microorganisms at the rate of 1km/year. Entire Tian-Shan mountain chain will be in danger within next 5-10 years. Our preliminary data shows that local people live in this area developed various forms of cancer, and the rate of premature death is as high as 40%. Strong international scientific and socio-economic partnership is needed to develop models and predictions.

  8. High-Throughput Sequencing-The Key to Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Marine Metazoa?

    PubMed

    Mohrbeck, Inga; Raupach, Michael J; Martínez Arbizu, Pedro; Knebelsberger, Thomas; Laakmann, Silke

    2015-01-01

    The applications of traditional morphological and molecular methods for species identification are greatly restricted by processing speed and on a regional or greater scale are generally considered unfeasible. In this context, high-throughput sequencing, or metagenetics, has been proposed as an efficient tool to document biodiversity. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of 454 pyrosequencing in marine metazoan community analysis using the 18S rDNA: V1-V2 region. Multiplex pyrosequencing of the V1-V2 region was used to analyze two pooled samples of DNA, one comprising 118 and the other 37 morphologically identified species, and one natural sample taken directly from a North Sea zooplankton community. A DNA reference library comprising all species represented in the pooled samples was created by Sanger sequencing, and this was then used to determine the optimal similarity threshold for species delineation. The optimal threshold was found at 99% species similarity, with 85% identification success. Pyrosequencing was able to identify between fewer species: 67% and 78% of the species in the two pooled samples. Also, a large number of sequences for three species that were not included in the pooled samples were amplified by pyrosequencing, suggesting preferential amplification of some genotypes and the sensitivity of this approach to even low levels of contamination. Conversely, metagenetic analysis of the natural zooplankton sample identified many more species (particularly gelatinous zooplankton and meroplankton) than morphological analysis of a formalin-fixed sample from the same sampling site, suggesting an increased level of taxonomic resolution with pyrosequencing. The study demonstrated that, based on the V1-V2 region, 454 sequencing does not provide accurate species differentiation and reliable taxonomic classification, as it is required in most biodiversity monitoring. The analysis of artificially prepared samples indicated that species detection in

  9. Backyard Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes a field trip experience for the Earth Odyssey project for elementary school students focusing on biodiversity. Introduces the concept of diversity, field work, species richness, and the connection between animals and their habitat. (YDS)

  10. Can ecosystem-scale translocations mitigate the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity? Promises, pitfalls, and possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Stéphane; Case, Bradley S.; Lefort, Marie-Caroline; Waterhouse, Benjamin R.; Wratten, Stephen D.

    2016-01-01

    Because ecological interactions are the first components of the ecosystem to be impacted by climate change, future forms of threatened-species and ecosystem management should aim at conserving complete, functioning communities rather than single charismatic species. A possible way forward is the deployment of ecosystem-scale translocation (EST), where above- and below-ground elements of a functioning terrestrial ecosystem (including vegetation and topsoil) are carefully collected and moved together. Small-scale attempts at such practice have been made for the purpose of ecological restoration. By moving larger subsets of functioning ecosystems from climatically unstable regions to more stable ones, EST could provide a practical means to conserve mature and complex ecosystems threatened by climate change. However, there are a number of challenges associated with EST in the context of climate change mitigation, in particular the choice of donor and receptor sites. With the aim of fostering discussion and debate about the EST concept, we  1) outline the possible promises and pitfalls of EST in mitigating the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity and 2) use a GIS-based approach to illustrate how  potential source and receptor sites, where EST could be trialed and evaluated globally, could be identified. PMID:26989475

  11. Organic Farming: Biodiversity Impacts Can Depend on Dispersal Characteristics and Landscape Context

    PubMed Central

    Feber, Ruth E.; Johnson, Paul J.; Bell, James R.; Chamberlain, Dan E.; Firbank, Leslie G.; Fuller, Robert J.; Manley, Will; Mathews, Fiona; Norton, Lisa R.; Townsend, Martin; Macdonald, David W.

    2015-01-01

    dispersal abilities generally. The evidence for interactions among landscape and farming system in their effects on spiders highlights the importance of developing strategies for managing farmland at the landscape-scale for most effective conservation of biodiversity. PMID:26309040

  12. Organic Farming: Biodiversity Impacts Can Depend on Dispersal Characteristics and Landscape Context.

    PubMed

    Feber, Ruth E; Johnson, Paul J; Bell, James R; Chamberlain, Dan E; Firbank, Leslie G; Fuller, Robert J; Manley, Will; Mathews, Fiona; Norton, Lisa R; Townsend, Martin; Macdonald, David W

    2015-01-01

    dispersal abilities generally. The evidence for interactions among landscape and farming system in their effects on spiders highlights the importance of developing strategies for managing farmland at the landscape-scale for most effective conservation of biodiversity. PMID:26309040

  13. Incorporating social concerns in environmental impact assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Wolfe, A.K.

    1990-03-01

    Social impact assessments most often focus on the population-driven impacts of projects. Such impacts may be insignificant when compared with social structural impacts of complex, controversial projects. This set of impacts includes social disruption, social group formation, and stigma effects. The National Environmental Policy Act does not explicitly call for assessment of, and assessors often are reluctant to address, these complex issues. This paper discusses why such impacts are critical to assess and gives examples of how they have been incorporated into environmental assessment documents. 6 refs.

  14. Agent-based modeling for the landuse change of hunter-gather societies and the impacts on biodiversity in Guyana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamura, T.; Fragoso, J.; Lambin, E.

    2012-12-01

    The interactions with animals are vital to the Amerindian, indigenous people, of Rupunini savannah-forest in Guyana. Their connections extend from basic energy and protein resource to spiritual bonding through "paring" to a certain animal in the forest. We collected extensive dataset of 23 indigenous communities for 3.5 years, consisting 9900 individuals from 1307 households, as well as animal observation data in 8 transects per communities (47,000 data entries). In this presentation, our research interest is to model the driver of land use change of the indigenous communities and its impacts on the ecosystem in the Rupunini area under global change. Overarching question we would like to answer with this program is to find how and why "tipping-point" from hunting gathering society to the agricultural society occurs in the future. Secondary question is what is the implication of the change to agricultural society in terms of biodiversity and carbon stock in the area, and eventually the well-being of Rupunini people. To answer the questions regarding the society shift in agriculture activities, we built as simulation with Agent-Based Modeling (Multi Agents Simulation). We developed this simulation by using Netlogo, the programming environment specialized for spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM). This simulation consists of four different process in the Rupunini landscape; forest succession, animal population growth, hunting of animals, and land clearing for agriculture. All of these processes are carried out by a set of computational unit, called "agents". In this program, there are four types of agents - patches, villages, households, and animals. Here, we describe the impacts of hunting on the biodiversity based on actual demographic data from one village named Crush Water. Animal population within the hunting territory of the village stabilized but Agouti/Paca dominates the landscape with little population of armadillos and peccaries. White-tailed deers

  15. An approach to integrate impact scoping with environmental impact assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Alan J.; Ross, William A.

    1992-07-01

    Impact scoping is the process of identifying important issues of a proposal and focusing the environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the high-priority issues. Although impact scoping in one form or another has been inherent to EIA for some time, documentation of its development and discussion of refinements to impact scoping processes have not been forthcoming. This article traces the development of impact scoping through time and highlights the need for such processes in EIA. A focused environmental assessment (FEA) approach to impact scoping that is suitable for implementation in an EIA is presented here and advantages of its use are delineated. FEA is a three-staged process that encourages impact scoping through progressive steps including impact identification, assessment and management planning. FEA combines a suite of EIA methods including: issues matrices, impact hypotheses, valued ecosystem components, and stakeholder participation sessions to effectively integrate impact scoping with EIA.

  16. Assessing biodiversity in Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Are nature reserves the answer?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cantu, C.; Wright, R.G.; Scott, J.M.; Strand, Espen

    2004-01-01

    The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, located in the northeastern portion of the country, currently has 26 state and three federal nature reserves covering approximately 4.5% of its land area. These reserves were established for a variety of reasons not necessarily related to conservation purposes. In 2000 in response to a growing concern about the lack of organized conservation reserve planning to protect the important biological and physical features of Mexico, the Mexican Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity proposed 12 new terrestrial reserves for Nuevo Leon. The new reserves, if established, would increase the proportion of protected lands in the state to almost 24% of the state's land area. We compiled a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis using digital thematic maps of physical and ecological features to examine how well the existing and proposed reserves incorporated the major biological and physical features of the state. The existing reserves are located primarily in regions with elevations > 1,000-1,500 m, on less productive soils, and are dominated by pine and oak forest cover types. As a result, the state's dominant biotic region - low elevation coastal plain with xeric scrub vegetation - is disproportionately under represented in the current reserve system. The new reserves would expand the protection of biophysical resources throughout the state. However, the inclusion of important resources in the low elevation coastal lands would still be limited.

  17. Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Luke; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Gardner, Toby A; Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Laurance, William F; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Sodhi, Navjot S

    2011-10-20

    Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests. PMID:21918513

  18. Noise impact on wildlife: An environmental impact assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, A.

    1977-01-01

    Various biological effects of noise on animals are discussed and a systematic approach for an impact assessment is developed. Further research is suggested to fully quantify noise impact on the species and its ecosystem.

  19. Rapid land-use change and its impacts on tropical biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurance, William F.

    Rates of forest conversion are extremely high in most tropical regions and these changes are known to have important impacts on biotas and ecosystems. I summarize available information on responses of wildlife and plant communities to habitat fragmentation, selective logging, surface fires, and hunting, which are four of the most widespread types of tropical land-use change. These changes alter forest ecosystems in complex ways and have varying impacts on different animal and plant species. In most human-dominated landscapes, forests are subjected to not one change but to two or more simultaneous alterations, the effects of which can be particularly destructive to tropical biotas. I illustrate this concept by describing the synergistic interactions between habitat fragmentation and surface fires, and between logging, fires, and hunting.

  20. A framework for combining social impact assessment and risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Mahmoudi, Hossein; Renn, Ortwin; Vanclay, Frank; Hoffmann, Volker; Karami, Ezatollah

    2013-11-15

    An increasing focus on integrative approaches is one of the current trends in impact assessment. There is potential to combine impact assessment with various other forms of assessment, such as risk assessment, to make impact assessment and the management of social risks more effective. We identify the common features of social impact assessment (SIA) and social risk assessment (SRA), and discuss the merits of a combined approach. A hybrid model combining SIA and SRA to form a new approach called, ‘risk and social impact assessment’ (RSIA) is introduced. RSIA expands the capacity of SIA to evaluate and manage the social impacts of risky projects such as nuclear energy as well as natural hazards and disasters such as droughts and floods. We outline the three stages of RSIA, namely: impact identification, impact assessment, and impact management. -- Highlights: • A hybrid model to combine SIA and SRA namely RSIA is proposed. • RSIA can provide the proper mechanism to assess social impacts of natural hazards. • RSIA can play the role of ex-post as well as ex-ante assessment. • For some complicated and sensitive cases like nuclear energy, conducting a RSIA is necessary.

  1. RETHINKING HUMAN HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT. (R825758)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most EIA programs around the world require the consideration of human health impacts. Yet relatively few EIA documents adequately address those impacts. This article examines how, why, and to what extent health impacts are analyzed in environmental impact assessments in the U.S. ...

  2. An experimental assessment of biodiversity and species turnover in terrestrial vs canopy leaf litter.

    PubMed

    Fagan, Laura L; Didham, Raphael K; Winchester, Neville N; Behan-Pelletier, Valerie; Clayton, Marilyn; Lindquist, Evert; Ring, Richard A

    2006-03-01

    similar in total biodiversity, it appears that local mite richness (alpha diversity) is higher on the ground, whereas species turnover between sites (beta diversity) is higher in the canopy. PMID:16228247

  3. Net present biodiversity value and the design of biodiversity offsets.

    PubMed

    Overton, Jacob McC; Stephens, R T Theo; Ferrier, Simon

    2013-02-01

    There is an urgent need to develop sound theory and practice for biodiversity offsets to provide a better basis for offset multipliers, to improve accounting for time delays in offset repayments, and to develop a common framework for evaluating in-kind and out-of-kind offsets. Here, we apply concepts and measures from systematic conservation planning and financial accounting to provide a basis for determining equity across type (of biodiversity), space, and time. We introduce net present biodiversity value (NPBV) as a theoretical and practical measure for defining the offset required to achieve no-net-loss. For evaluating equity in type and space we use measures of biodiversity value from systematic conservation planning. Time discount rates are used to address risk of non-repayment, and loss of utility. We illustrate these concepts and measures with two examples of biodiversity impact-offset transactions. Considerable further work is required to understand the characteristics of these approaches. PMID:22956430

  4. PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    At present, over 40% of the earth's land surface has been converted from its natural state to one dominated by human activities such as agriculture and development. The destruction and degradation of natural habitats has been clearly linked to the loss of biodiversity. Biodiver...

  5. Biodiversity Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biodiversity management is summarized for the global chickpea (Cicer arietinum) crop germplasm held in genebanks as ex situ collections. Morphological diversity is presented with the range of variation reported from the global collections. The largest collections are held at international agricult...

  6. Scaling Disturbance Instead of Richness to Better Understand Anthropogenic Impacts on Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Mayor, Stephen J.; Cahill, James F.; He, Fangliang; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    A primary impediment to understanding how species diversity and anthropogenic disturbance are related is that both diversity and disturbance can depend on the scales at which they are sampled. While the scale dependence of diversity estimation has received substantial attention, the scale dependence of disturbance estimation has been essentially overlooked. Here, we break from conventional examination of the diversity-disturbance relationship by holding the area over which species richness is estimated constant and instead manipulating the area over which human disturbance is measured. In the boreal forest ecoregion of Alberta, Canada, we test the dependence of species richness on disturbance scale, the scale-dependence of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, and the consistency of these patterns in native versus exotic species and among human disturbance types. We related field observed species richness in 1 ha surveys of 372 boreal vascular plant communities to remotely sensed measures of human disturbance extent at two survey scales: local (1 ha) and landscape (18 km2). Supporting the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, species richness-disturbance relationships were quadratic at both local and landscape scales of disturbance measurement. This suggests the shape of richness-disturbance relationships is independent of the scale at which disturbance is assessed, despite that local diversity is influenced by disturbance at different scales by different mechanisms, such as direct removal of individuals (local) or indirect alteration of propagule supply (landscape). By contrast, predictions of species richness did depend on scale of disturbance measurement: with high local disturbance richness was double that under high landscape disturbance. PMID:25951058

  7. Scaling disturbance instead of richness to better understand anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Stephen J; Cahill, James F; He, Fangliang; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    A primary impediment to understanding how species diversity and anthropogenic disturbance are related is that both diversity and disturbance can depend on the scales at which they are sampled. While the scale dependence of diversity estimation has received substantial attention, the scale dependence of disturbance estimation has been essentially overlooked. Here, we break from conventional examination of the diversity-disturbance relationship by holding the area over which species richness is estimated constant and instead manipulating the area over which human disturbance is measured. In the boreal forest ecoregion of Alberta, Canada, we test the dependence of species richness on disturbance scale, the scale-dependence of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, and the consistency of these patterns in native versus exotic species and among human disturbance types. We related field observed species richness in 1 ha surveys of 372 boreal vascular plant communities to remotely sensed measures of human disturbance extent at two survey scales: local (1 ha) and landscape (18 km2). Supporting the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, species richness-disturbance relationships were quadratic at both local and landscape scales of disturbance measurement. This suggests the shape of richness-disturbance relationships is independent of the scale at which disturbance is assessed, despite that local diversity is influenced by disturbance at different scales by different mechanisms, such as direct removal of individuals (local) or indirect alteration of propagule supply (landscape). By contrast, predictions of species richness did depend on scale of disturbance measurement: with high local disturbance richness was double that under high landscape disturbance. PMID:25951058

  8. Conceptualising the effectiveness of impact assessment processes

    SciTech Connect

    Chanchitpricha, Chaunjit; Bond, Alan

    2013-11-15

    This paper aims at conceptualising the effectiveness of impact assessment processes through the development of a literature-based framework of criteria to measure impact assessment effectiveness. Four categories of effectiveness were established: procedural, substantive, transactive and normative, each containing a number of criteria; no studies have previously brought together all four of these categories into such a comprehensive, criteria-based framework and undertaken systematic evaluation of practice. The criteria can be mapped within a cycle/or cycles of evaluation, based on the ‘logic model’, at the stages of input, process, output and outcome to enable the identification of connections between the criteria across the categories of effectiveness. This framework is considered to have potential application in measuring the effectiveness of many impact assessment processes, including strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental impact assessment (EIA), social impact assessment (SIA) and health impact assessment (HIA). -- Highlights: • Conceptualising effectiveness of impact assessment processes. • Identification of factors influencing effectiveness of impact assessment processes. • Development of criteria within a framework for evaluating IA effectiveness. • Applying the logic model to examine connections between effectiveness criteria.

  9. The impact of shifts in marine biodiversity hotspots on patterns of range evolution: Evidence from the Holocentridae (squirrelfishes and soldierfishes).

    PubMed

    Dornburg, Alex; Moore, Jon; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Eytan, Ron I; Near, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    One of the most striking biodiversity patterns is the uneven distribution of marine species richness, with species diversity in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) exceeding all other areas. However, the IAA formed fairly recently, and marine biodiversity hotspots have shifted across nearly half the globe since the Paleogene. Understanding how lineages have responded to shifting biodiversity hotspots represents a necessary historic perspective on the formation and maintenance of global marine biodiversity. Such evolutionary inferences are often challenged by a lack of fossil evidence that provide insights into historic patterns of abundance and diversity. The greatest diversity of squirrelfishes and soldierfishes (Holocentridae) is in the IAA, yet these fishes also represent some of the most numerous fossil taxa in deposits of the former West Tethyan biodiversity hotspot. We reconstruct the pattern of holocentrid range evolution using time-calibrated phylogenies that include most living species and several fossil lineages, demonstrating the importance of including fossil species as terminal taxa in ancestral area reconstructions. Holocentrids exhibit increased range fragmentation following the West Tethyan hotspot collapse. However, rather than originating within the emerging IAA hotspot, the IAA has acted as a reservoir for holocentrid diversity that originated in adjacent regions over deep evolutionary time scales. PMID:25407924

  10. Biodiversity impact of the aeolian periglacial geomorphologic evolution of the Fontainebleau Massif (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

    erosion of the sand beneath the bordering sandstone benches, resulting in overhangs. These structures are the most common in the western district of the Fontainebleau Massif. Ponds develop on the tightly silicified and impermeable sandstone pans that form the "platières". There are permanent ponds and temporary wet zones, formed of interconnected or isolated depressions. The origin of these ponds has to be questioned with regard to the landscape shaping. Their origin is directly bound to the hollowing of uncemented, sandy zones, within the sandstone pans forming the "platières". Erosion by runoff cannot be considered; the only way to hollow them out is by deflation processes. No direct dating of the Quaternary dune and loess deposits of the Fontainebleau Massif exists. Nevertheless, dating of paleopodzols interlayered between drift sands, pond deposits and bones within congelifracts allow relating these periglacial features with the end of the last glacial period. For now, there is no dating to assess what belongs to older glacial periods. Distribution of the aeolian patterns The Fontainebleau Massif displays noteworthy morphological diversities in the various districts of the forest. Some of these differentiations result from geological features, but most of them are related to erosion processes, and among them deflation processes leaved different imprints in the western and eastern districts of the Fontainebleau Massif. The topography played an important role controlling the aeolian processes. Deflation was important in the westerly upwind district. In the westerly front face, aeolian erosion was activated by turbulences around the topographic obstacles. The reliefs funneled the winds and gave rise to swirls that hollow the blowouts. This area displays the sharpest and more chiseled landforms of the massif. Moreover, the sandstone scarps at the edge of the "platières" are high and uncovered, with frequent overhangs. The collapsed sandstone blocks of the "chaos" are

  11. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    PubMed

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands. PMID:25817566

  12. Relevance of cryptic fishes in biodiversity assessments: A case study at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Jelks, H.L.; Rocha, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    Because cryptic fishes are difficult to accurately survey, they are undersampled components of coral reef habitats, and their ecological roles have been generally ignored. Fifty-eight enclosed stations were sampled in shoreline, nearshore reef, lagoon, backreef, forereef, and bank/shelf habitats with an ichthyocide (rotenone) at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Our samples included 55 families and 228 species, 60 previously unreported from St. Croix. Fish assemblages varied across habitat zones with the shoreline assemblage the most distinct. Only 8% of the species were present in all habitats. Multi-dimensional scaling plots of habitat characteristics and Bray-Curtis similarities of fish assemblages revealed similar patterns. Dominant and rare taxa are enumerated for each habitat sampled. Rotenone and visual census data are compared. While visual surveys accumulated more species per unit of effort, rotenone samples accumulated more species by area. Only 36% of the 228 species sampled with rotenone were visually detected, while 70% of the 115 species visually detected were also collected with rotenone. The use of rotenone is controversial but important for obtaining reasonably complete inventories of reef fishes. Misconceptions about rotenone and the advantages and limitations of alternative biodiversity assessment methods are discussed. ?? 2006 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.

  13. Biodiversity consequences of alternative future land use scenarios in Greater Yellowstone.

    PubMed

    Gude, Patricia H; Hansen, Andrew J; Jones, Danielle A

    2007-06-01

    Land use is rapidly expanding in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, primarily from growth in the number of rural homes. There is a need to project possible future land use and assess impacts on nature reserves as a guide to future management. We assessed the potential biodiversity impacts of alternative future land use scenarios in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. An existing regression-based simulation model was used to project three alternative scenarios of future rural home development. The spatial patterns of forecasted development were then compared to several biodiversity response variables that included cover types, species habitats, and biodiversity indices. We identified the four biodiversity responses most at risk of exurban development, designed growth management policies to protect these areas, and tested their effectiveness in two alternative future scenarios. We found that the measured biodiversity responses, including riparian habitat, elk winter range, migration corridors, and eight other land cover, habitat, and biodiversity indices, are likely to undergo substantial conversion (between 5% and 40%) to exurban development by 2020. Future habitat conversion to exurban development outside the region's nature reserves is likely to impact wildlife populations within the reserves. Existing growth management policies will provide minimal protection to biodiversity in this region. We identified specific growth management policies, including incentives to cluster future growth near towns, that can protect "at risk" habitat types without limiting overall growth in housing. PMID:17555214

  14. Enhancing impact: visualization of an integrated impact assessment strategy.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Gary R; Bouchard, Michel A; de Sa, Isabel Marques; Paris, Isabelle; Balge, Zachary; Williams, Dane; Singer, Burton H; Winkler, Mirko S; Utzinger, Jürg

    2012-05-01

    The environmental impact assessment process is over 40 years old and has dramatically expanded. Topics, such as social, health and human rights impact are now included. The main body of an impact analysis is generally hundreds of pages long and supported by countless technical appendices. For large, oil/gas, mining and water resources projects both the volume and technical sophistication of the reports has far exceeded the processing ability of host communities. Instead of informing and empowering, the reports are abstruse and overwhelming. Reinvention is required. The development of a visual integrated impact assessment strategy that utilizes remote sensing and spatial analyses is described. PMID:22639133

  15. A critical assessment of marine aquarist biodiversity data and commercial aquaculture: identifying gaps in culture initiatives to inform local fisheries managers.

    PubMed

    Murray, Joanna M; Watson, Gordon J

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry "greenwashing" from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately

  16. A Critical Assessment of Marine Aquarist Biodiversity Data and Commercial Aquaculture: Identifying Gaps in Culture Initiatives to Inform Local Fisheries Managers

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Joanna M.; Watson, Gordon J.

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry “greenwashing” from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately

  17. Assessing state-wide biodiversity in the Florida Gap analysis project

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearlstine, L.G.; Smith, S.E.; Brandt, L.A.; Allen, C.R.; Kitchens, W.M.; Stenberg, J.

    2002-01-01

    The Florida Gap (FI-Gap) project provides an assessment of the degree to which native animal species and natural communities are or are not represented in existing conservation lands. Those species and communities not adequately represented in areas being managed for native species constitute 'gaps' in the existing network of conservation lands. The United States Geological Survey Gap Analysis Program is a national effort and so, eventually, all 50 states will have completed it. The objective of FI-Gap was to provide broad geographic information on the status of terrestrial vertebrates, butterflies, skippers and ants and their respective habitats to address the loss of biological diversity. To model the distributions and potential habitat of all terrestrial species of mammals, breeding birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, skippers and ants in Florida, natural land cover was mapped to the level of dominant or co-dominant plant species. Land cover was classified from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery and auxiliary data such as the national wetlands inventory (NWI), soils maps, aerial imagery, existing land use/land cover maps, and on-the-ground surveys, Wildlife distribution models were produced by identifying suitable habitat for each species within that species' range, Mammalian models also assessed a minimum critical area required for sustainability of the species' population. Wildlife species richness was summarized against land stewardship ranked by an area's mandates for conservation protection. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Assessing biogeographic patterns in the changes in soil invertebrate biodiversity due to acidic deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Sugg, P.M.; Kuperman, R.G.; Loucks, O.L. |

    1995-09-01

    We are studying the response of soil faunal communities to a gradient in acidic deposition across midwestern hardwood forests. We have documented a pattern of population decrease and species loss for soil invertebrates along the acidification gradient. We now ask the following question: When confronted with apparent diversity changes along a region-wide pollution gradient, how can one assess the possibility of natural biogeographic gradients accounting for the pattern? As a first approximation, we use published range maps from taxonomic monographs to determine the percent of the regional fauna with ranges encompassing each site. For staphylinid beetles, range data show no sign of a biogeographic gradient. Yet for soil staphylinids, a large decrease is seen in alpha diversity (as species richness) from low to high acid dose sites (from 20 species to 8). Staphylinid species turnover is greatest in the transition from low to intermediate dose sites.

  19. Assessment of Helminth Biodiversity in Wild Rats Using 18S rDNA Based Metagenomics

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Isheng J.; Palomares-Rius, Juan Emilio; Yoshida, Ayako; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Maruyama, Haruhiko; Kikuchi, Taisei

    2014-01-01

    Parasite diversity has important implications in several research fields including ecology, evolutionary biology and epidemiology. Wide-ranging analysis has been restricted because of the difficult, highly specialised and time-consuming processes involved in parasite identification. In this study, we assessed parasite diversity in wild rats using 18S rDNA-based metagenomics. 18S rDNA PCR products were sequenced using an Illumina MiSeq sequencer and the analysis of the sequences using the QIIME software successfully classified them into several parasite groups. The comparison of the results with those obtained using standard methods including microscopic observation of helminth parasites in the rat intestines and PCR amplification/sequencing of 18S rDNA from isolated single worms suggests that this new technique is reliable and useful to investigate parasite diversity. PMID:25340824

  20. Handbook for value-impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Heaberlin, S.W.; Burnham, J.B.; Gallucci, R.H.V.; Mullen, M.F.; Nesse, R.J.; Nieves, L.A.; Tawil, J.J.; Triplett, M.B.; Weakley, S.A.; Wusterbarth, A.R.

    1983-12-01

    The basic purpose of this handbook is to document a set of systematic procedures for providing information that can be used in performing value-impact assessments of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulatory actions. The handbook describes a structured but flexible process for performing the assessment. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the value-impact assessment process. Chapter 2 describes the attributes most frequently affected by proposed NRC actions, provides guidance concerningthe appropriate level of effort to be devoted to the assessment, suggests a standard format for documenting the assessment, and discusses the treatment of uncertainty. Chapter 3 contains detailed methods for evaluating each of the attributes affected by a regulatory action. The handbook has five appendixes containing background information, technical data, and example applications of the value-impact assessment procedures. This edition of the handbook focuses primarily on assessing nuclear power reactor safety issues.

  1. Measuring biodiversity and sustainable management in forests and agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Nigel; Baldock, David; Nasi, Robert; Stolton, Sue

    2005-01-01

    Most of the world's biodiversity will continue to exist outside protected areas and there are also managed lands within many protected areas. In the assessment of millennium targets, there is therefore a need for indicators to measure biodiversity and suitability of habitats for biodiversity both across the whole landscape/seascape and in specific managed habitats. The two predominant land uses in many inhabited areas are forestry and agriculture and these are examined. Many national-level criteria and indicator systems already exist that attempt to assess biodiversity in forests and the impacts of forest management, but there is generally less experience in measuring these values in agricultural landscapes. Existing systems are reviewed, both for their usefulness in providing indicators and to assess the extent to which they have been applied. This preliminary gap analysis is used in the development of a set of indicators suitable for measuring progress towards the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests and agriculture. The paper concludes with a draft set of indicators for discussion, with suggestions including proportion of land under sustainable management, amount of produce from such land, area of natural or high quality semi-natural land within landscapes under sustainable management and key indicator species. PMID:15814357

  2. Invasions, DNA barcodes, and rapid biodiversity assessment using ants of Mauritius

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Using an understudied taxon (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) found on a tropical island (Mauritius) where native flora and fauna have been threatened by 400 years of habitat modification and introduced species, we tested whether estimated incidences of diversity and complementarity were similar when measured by standard morphological alpha-taxonomy or phylogenetic diversity (PD) based on a standardized mitochondrial barcode and corroborating nuclear marker. Results We found that costs related to site loss (considered loss of evolutionary history measured as loss of barcode PD) were not significantly different from predictions made either a) using standard morphology-based taxonomy, or b) measured using a nuclear marker. Integrating morphology and barcode results permitted us to identify a case of initially morphologically-cryptic variation as a new and endemic candidate species. However, barcode estimates of the relative importance of each site or network of sites were dramatically affected when the species in question was known to be indigenous or introduced. Conclusion This study goes beyond a mere demonstration of the rapid gains possible for diversity assessment using a standardized DNA barcode. Contextualization of these gains with ecological and natural history information is necessary to calibrate this wealth of standardized information. Without such an integrative approach, critical opportunities to advance knowledge will be missed. PMID:20003263

  3. Microsatellite marker-based assessment of the biodiversity of native bioethanol yeast strains.

    PubMed

    Antonangelo, Ana Teresa B F; Alonso, Diego P; Ribolla, Paulo E M; Colombi, Débora

    2013-08-01

    Although many Brazilian sugar mills initiate the fermentation process by inoculating selected commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, the unsterile conditions of the industrial sugar cane ethanol fermentation process permit the constant entry of native yeast strains. Certain of those native strains are better adapted and tend to predominate over the initial strain, which may cause problems during fermentation. In the industrial fermentation process, yeast cells are often exposed to stressful environmental conditions, including prolonged cell recycling, ethanol toxicity and osmotic, oxidative or temperature stress. Little is known about these S. cerevisiae strains, although recent studies have demonstrated that heterogeneous genome architecture is exhibited by some selected well-adapted Brazilian indigenous yeast strains that display high performance in bioethanol fermentation. In this study, 11 microsatellite markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of the native autochthonous S. cerevisiae strains in various Brazilian sugar mills. The resulting multilocus data were used to build a similarity-based phenetic tree and to perform a Bayesian population structure analysis. The tree revealed the presence of great genetic diversity among the strains, which were arranged according to the place of origin and the collection year. The population structure analysis revealed genotypic differences among populations; in certain populations, these genotypic differences are combined to yield notably genotypically diverse individuals. The high yeast diversity observed among native S. cerevisiae strains provides new insights on the use of autochthonous high-fitness strains with industrial characteristics as starter cultures at bioethanol plants. PMID:23765797

  4. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Galvez, A.; Carnelli, I.; Michel, P.; Rivkin, A.; Reed, C.

    2012-12-01

    To protect the Earth from a hazardous asteroid impact, various mitigation methods have been proposed, including deflection of the asteroid by a spacecraft impact. AIDA, consisting of two mission elements, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, is a demonstration of asteroid deflection. To date, there has been no such demonstration, and there is major uncertainty in the result of a spacecraft impact onto an asteroid, that is, the amount of deflection produced by a given momentum input from the impact. This uncertainty is in part due to unknown physical properties of the asteroid surface, such as porosity and strength, and in part due to poorly understood impact physics such that the momentum carried off by ejecta is highly uncertain. A first mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection would not only be a major step towards gaining the capability to mitigate an asteroid hazard, but in addition it would return unique information on an asteroid's strength, other surface properties, and internal structure. This information return would be highly relevant to future human exploration of asteroids. We report initial results of the AIDA joint mission concept study undertaken by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and ESA with support from NASA centers including Goddard, Johnson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For AIDA, the DART spacecraft impactor study is coordinated with an ESA study of the AIM mission, which would rendezvous with the same asteroid to measure effects of the impact. Unlike the previous Don Quijote mission study performed by ESA in 2005-2007, DART envisions an impactor spacecraft to intercept the secondary member of a binary near-Earth asteroid. DART includes ground-based observations to measure the deflection independently of the rendezvous spacecraft observations from AIM, which also measures deflection and provides detailed characterization of the target asteroid. The joint mission AIDA

  5. Ohio Aquatic Gap Analysis-An Assessment of the Biodiversity and Conservation Status of Native Aquatic Animal Species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Covert, S. Alex; Kula, Stephanie P.; Simonson, Laura A.

    2007-01-01

    The goal of the GAP Analysis Program is to keep common species common by identifying those species and habitats that are not yet adequately represented in the existing matrix of conservation lands. The Gap Analysis Program (GAP) is sponsored by the Biological Resources Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Ohio Aquatic GAP (OH-GAP) is a pilot project that is applying the GAP concept to aquatic-specifically, riverine-data. The mission of GAP is to provide regional assessments of the conservation status of native animal species and to facilitate the application of this information to land-management activities. OH-GAP accomplished this through * mapping aquatic habitat types, * mapping the predicted distributions of fish, crayfish, and bivalves, * documenting the presence of aquatic species in areas managed for conservation, * providing GAP results to the public, planners, managers, policy makers, and researchers, and * building cooperation with multiple organizations to apply GAP results to state and regional management activities. Gap analysis is a coarse-scale assessment of aquatic biodiversity and conservation; the goal is to identify gaps in the conservation of native aquatic species. It is not a substitute for biological field studies and monitoring programs. Gap analysis was conducted for the continuously flowing streams in Ohio. Lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and the Lake Erie islands were not included in this analysis. The streams in Ohio are in the Lake Erie and Ohio River watersheds and pass through six of the level III ecoregions defined by Omernik: the Eastern Corn Belt Plains, Southern Michigan/Northern Indiana Drift Plains, Huron/Erie Lake Plain, Erie Drift Plains, Interior Plateau, and the Western Allegheny Plateau. To characterize the aquatic habitats available to Ohio fish, crayfish, and bivalves, a classification system needed to be developed and mapped. The process of classification includes delineation of areas of relative

  6. Filling Gaps in Biodiversity Knowledge for Macrofungi: Contributions and Assessment of an Herbarium Collection DNA Barcode Sequencing Project

    PubMed Central

    Osmundson, Todd W.; Robert, Vincent A.; Schoch, Conrad L.; Baker, Lydia J.; Smith, Amy; Robich, Giovanni; Mizzan, Luca; Garbelotto, Matteo M.

    2013-01-01

    Despite recent advances spearheaded by molecular approaches and novel technologies, species description and DNA sequence information are significantly lagging for fungi compared to many other groups of organisms. Large scale sequencing of vouchered herbarium material can aid in closing this gap. Here, we describe an effort to obtain broad ITS sequence coverage of the approximately 6000 macrofungal-species-rich herbarium of the Museum of Natural History in Venice, Italy. Our goals were to investigate issues related to large sequencing projects, develop heuristic methods for assessing the overall performance of such a project, and evaluate the prospects of such efforts to reduce the current gap in fungal biodiversity knowledge. The effort generated 1107 sequences submitted to GenBank, including 416 previously unrepresented taxa and 398 sequences exhibiting a best BLAST match to an unidentified environmental sequence. Specimen age and taxon affected sequencing success, and subsequent work on failed specimens showed that an ITS1 mini-barcode greatly increased sequencing success without greatly reducing the discriminating power of the barcode. Similarity comparisons and nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordinations based on pairwise distance matrices proved to be useful heuristic tools for validating the overall accuracy of specimen identifications, flagging potential misidentifications, and identifying taxa in need of additional species-level revision. Comparison of within- and among-species nucleotide variation showed a strong increase in species discriminating power at 1–2% dissimilarity, and identified potential barcoding issues (same sequence for different species and vice-versa). All sequences are linked to a vouchered specimen, and results from this study have already prompted revisions of species-sequence assignments in several taxa. PMID:23638077

  7. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2012-12-01

    Humans have altered or replaced native ecosystems across more than three quarters of the terrestrial biosphere, creating new global patterns of biodiversity as a result of native species extinctions, domestication and anthropogenic introductions of nonnative species. These anthropogenic global changes in biodiversity have been portrayed as resulting primarily from recent and unprecedented human disturbances that are potentially indicative of catastrophic changes in the Earth system. Yet anthropogenic changes in species richness and community structure caused by human populations and their use of land have been widespread and profound in many regions since before the Holocene, and have been sustained for millennia in many regions, especially in the Temperate Zone. Beyond the anthropogenic megafaunal extinctions of the Pleistocene, habitat loss and fragmentation by agricultural land use has been sustained throughout the Holocene in many biomes at levels theoretically associated with major species extinctions. Anthropogenic patterns of species extinction differ greatly among taxa, with mammals and other larger fauna showing the greatest impacts. However, spatially explicit observations and models of contemporary global patterns of vascular plant species richness confirm that while native losses are likely significant across at least half of Earth's ice-free land, species richness has increased overall in most regional landscapes, mostly because nonnative species invasions tend to exceed native losses. Effective stewardship of biodiversity in the Anthropocene will require integrated global frameworks for observing, modeling and forecasting anthropogenic biodiversity change processes within the novel biotic communities created and sustained by human systems.; Percentage of terrestrial biomes converted to agricultural land over time. ; Conceptual diagram of biodiversity patterns associated with variations in population density, land use and land cover.

  8. Impact assessment: Eroding benefits through streamlining?

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Alan; Pope, Jenny; Morrison-Saunders, Angus; Retief, Francois; Gunn, Jill A.E.

    2014-02-15

    This paper argues that Governments have sought to streamline impact assessment in recent years (defined as the last five years) to counter concerns over the costs and potential for delays to economic development. We hypothesise that this has had some adverse consequences on the benefits that subsequently accrue from the assessments. This hypothesis is tested using a framework developed from arguments for the benefits brought by Environmental Impact Assessment made in 1982 in the face of the UK Government opposition to its implementation in a time of economic recession. The particular benefits investigated are ‘consistency and fairness’, ‘early warning’, ‘environment and development’, and ‘public involvement’. Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Western Australia are the jurisdictions tested using this framework. The conclusions indicate that significant streamlining has been undertaken which has had direct adverse effects on some of the benefits that impact assessment should deliver, particularly in Canada and the UK. The research has not examined whether streamlining has had implications for the effectiveness of impact assessment, but the causal link between streamlining and benefits does sound warning bells that merit further investigation. -- Highlights: • Investigation of the extent to which government has streamlined IA. • Evaluation framework was developed based on benefits of impact assessment. • Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Western Australia were examined. • Trajectory in last five years is attrition of benefits of impact assessment.

  9. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT SOPHISTICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    An international workshop was held in Brussels on 11/29-30/1998, to discuss LCIA Sophistication. LCA experts from North America, Europs, and Asia attended. Critical reviews of associated factors, including current limitations of available assessment methodologies, and comparison...

  10. Scenarios for future biodiversity loss due to multiple drivers reveal conflict between mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Thomas W. R.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2013-06-01

    We assess the potential for future biodiversity loss due to three interacting factors: energy withdrawal from ecosystems due to biomass harvest, habitat loss due to land-use change, and climate change. We develop four scenarios to 2050 with different combinations of high or low agricultural efficiency and high or low meat diets, and use species-energy and species-area relationships to estimate their effects on biodiversity. In our scenarios, natural ecosystems are protected except when additional land is necessary to fulfil the increasing dietary demands of the global population. Biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is used as a means of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere (and offsetting fossil fuel emissions). BECCS is based on waste biomass, with the addition of bio-energy crops only when already managed land is no longer needed for food production. Forecast biodiversity loss from natural biomes increases by more than a factor of five in going from high to low agricultural efficiency scenarios, due to destruction of productive habitats by the expansion of pasture. Biodiversity loss from energy withdrawal on managed land varies by a factor of two across the scenarios. Biodiversity loss due to climate change varies only modestly across the scenarios. Climate change is lowest in the ‘low meat high efficiency’ scenario, in which by 2050 around 660 million hectares of pasture are converted to biomass plantation that is used for BECCS. However, the resulting withdrawal of energy from managed ecosystems has a large negative impact on biodiversity. Although the effects of energy withdrawal and climate change on biodiversity cannot be directly compared, this suggests that using bio-energy to tackle climate change in order to limit biodiversity loss could instead have the opposite effect.