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

    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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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

    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 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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  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

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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

    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

  10. 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

  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 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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

    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 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

  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.

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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)

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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...

  5. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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.

  11. ASSESSMENT OF ATMOSPHERIC DEPOSITION ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    CAMD works with research scientists and organizations in the academic community to assess and better understand the impacts of atmospheric deposition of power sector pollutant emissions on terrestrial and aquatic (including freshwater and marine) ecosystems. See peer review pr...

  12. Integrating Ecosystem Services Into Health Impact Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Health Impact Assessment (HIA) provides a methodology for incorporating considerations of public health into planning and decision-making processes. HIA promotes interdisciplinary action, stakeholder participation, and timeliness and takes into account equity, sustainability, and...

  13. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research within the field of life cycle impact assessment has greatly improved since the work of Heijungs and Guinee in 1992. Methodologies are currently available to address specific locations within North America, Europe and Asia. Internationally researchers are working togethe...

  14. Devising an Environmental Impact Assessment Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Catalano, Ralph A.

    1975-01-01

    The need for personnel trained in understanding environmental impact statements has become apparent. In an attempt to fill this need, the University of California developed a program designed to produce a select number of graduates qualified to assess environmental impact statements. (MA)

  15. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Biodiversity informatics is a relatively new discipline extending computer science in the context of biodiversity data, and its development to date has not been uniform throughout the world. Digitizing effort and capacity building are costly, and ways should be found to prioritize them rationally. The proposed 'Biodiversity Informatics Potential (BIP) Index' seeks to fulfill such a prioritization role. We propose that the potential for biodiversity informatics be assessed through three concepts: (a) the intrinsic biodiversity potential (the biological richness or ecological diversity) of a country; (b) the capacity of the country to generate biodiversity data records; and (c) the availability of technical infrastructure in a country for managing and publishing such records. Methods Broadly, the techniques used to construct the BIP Index were rank correlation, multiple regression analysis, principal components analysis and optimization by linear programming. We built the BIP Index by finding a parsimonious set of country-level human, economic and environmental variables that best predicted the availability of primary biodiversity data accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) network, and constructing an optimized model with these variables. The model was then applied to all countries for which sufficient data existed, to obtain a score for each country. Countries were ranked according to that score. Results Many of the current GBIF participants ranked highly in the BIP Index, although some of them seemed not to have realized their biodiversity informatics potential. The BIP Index attributed low ranking to most non-participant countries; however, a few of them scored highly, suggesting that these would be high-return new participants if encouraged to contribute towards the GBIF mission of free and open access to biodiversity data. Conclusions The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to

  16. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, E. M.; Bowman, W. D.; Clark, C. M.; Compton, J. E.; Pardo, L. H.; Soong, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biodiversity has been described as the diversity of life on earth within species, between species and in ecosystems. Biodiversity contributes to regulating ecosystem services like climate, flood, disease, and water quality regulation. Biodiversity also supports and sustains ecosystem services that provide material goods like food, fiber, fuel, timber and water, and to non-material benefits like educational, recreational, spiritual, and aesthetic ecosystem services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment estimated that the rate of biodiversity loss due to human activity in the last 50 years has been more rapid than at any other time in human history, and that many of the drivers of biodiversity loss are increasing. The strongest drivers of biodiversity loss include habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive species, climate change, and pollution, including pollution from reactive nitrogen. Of these stressors, climate change and reactive nitrogen from anthropogenic activities are causing some of the most rapid changes. Climate change is causing warming trends that result in consistent patterns of poleward and elevational range shifts of flora and fauna, causing changes in biodiversity. Warming has also resulted in changes in phenology, particularly the earlier onset of spring events, migration, and lengthening of the growing season, disrupting predator-prey and plant-pollinator interactions. In addition to warming, elevated carbon dioxide by itself can affect biodiversity by influencing plant growth, soil water, tissue stoichiometry, and trophic interactions. Nitrogen enrichment also impacts ecosystems and biodiversity in a variety of ways. Nitrogen enhances plant growth, but has been shown to favor invasive, fast-growing species over native species adapted to low nitrogen conditions. Although there have been a limited number of empirical studies on climate change and nitrogen interactions, inferences can be drawn from observed responses to each stressor by itself. For

  17. Biodiversity comparison between paired organic and conventional fields in Puducherry, India.

    PubMed

    Padmavathy, A; Poyyamoli, G

    2013-12-01

    Modern intensive chemical agriculture and its expansion have caused a dramatic decline in the agro-biodiversity throughout the world. Recently, accumulating evidences indicate that organic farming is a sustainable farming system that can potentially reduce the biodiversity loss and conserve biodiversity. This chapter investigates the impacts on biodiversity in paired organic and conventional agricultural plots, to determine whether organic agriculture can deliver biodiversity benefits including enhanced ecosystem services. The study assessed a wide range of taxa through different methods-plants by quadrates; soil microbes; earthworms by counting; butterflies and dragonflies by pollard walk method; other arthropods by visual searching and pitfall traps; reptiles by hand capture method; molluscs by hand picking and dredging; amphibians-frogs by direct sighted/visual encountered and birds by direct sighting, calls and variable width line-transect method. Habitat area, composition and management on organic fields were likely to favor higher levels of biodiversity by supporting more numbers of species, dominance and abundance across most taxa. Overall organic hedgerows harbored larger biodiversity during both pre-harvest and post harvest period. Species richness, dominance and abundance of most taxa are lost after harvest in both conventional and organic fields due lack of habit, habitat and microclimate. However, the magnitude of the response varied among the taxa. Organic fields are the systems less dependent on external inputs restore and rejuvenate environment resulting in higher biodiversity that promotes higher sustainable production on a long-term basis. PMID:24506034

  18. Assessment for Learning: Effects and Impact

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flórez, María Teresa; Sammons, Pamela

    2013-01-01

    The idea that schools can impact positively on student outcomes is a crucial driver in the rise of interest in school improvement research and practice. This review focuses on assessment for learning. Assessment for learning (AfL)--where the first priority is to promote learning--is a key means of initiating improvement. This review proposes that…

  19. Climate impact assessment, United States

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-02-01

    This report considers unusual or abnormal meteorological or geophysical events (unusual in time, location, intensity, frequency or persistence) that will likely have an impact on societal or economic activities in a special and significant manner. This report considers: 1) violent meteorological events such as damaging thunderstorms, tornadoes, and tropical and winter storms, 2) non-violent meteorological events, including mild, unusually pleasant weather, lack of precipitation, and temperature extremes, 3) meteorologically related events, particularly drought, floods, forest fires and ice jams, and 4) geophysical events such as avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamies, waves, tides and shoreline erosion.

  20. Environmental services of biodiversity.

    PubMed Central

    Myers, N

    1996-01-01

    Humans derive many utilitarian benefits from the environmental services of biotas and ecosystems. This is often advanced as a prime argument to support conservation of biodiversity. There is much to be said for this viewpoint, as is documented in this paper through a summary assessment of several categories of environmental services, including regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, hydrological functions, soil protection, crop pollination, pest control, recreation and ecotourism, and a number of miscellaneous services. It is shown that the services are indeed significant, whether in ecological or economic senses. Particularly important is the factor of ecosystem resilience, which appears to underpin many of the services. It should not be supposed, however, that environmental services stem necessarily and exclusively from biodiversity. While biodiversity often plays a key role, the services can also derive from biomass and other attributes of biotas. The paper concludes with a brief overview assessment of economic values at issue and an appraisal of the implications for conservation planning. PMID:11607645

  1. Biodiversity Analysis of Vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. J. Hansen

    2001-06-01

    The Nevada Test Site (NTS) located in south central Nevada encompasses approximately 3,561 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 1996-1998, more than 1,500 ecological landform units were sampled at the NTS for numerous biotic and abiotic parameters. These data provide a basis for spatial evaluations of biodiversity over landscape scales at the NTS. Species diversity maps (species richness vs. species abundance) have been produced. Differences in ecosystem diversity at the ecoregion, alliance, association, and ecological landform unit levels 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 (elevation, soil, precipitation) and anthropogenic disturbance on biodiversity are assessed.

  2. Wilderness and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittermeier, R. A.; Mittermeier, C. G.; Brooks, T. M.; Pilgrim, J. D.; Konstant, W. R.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Kormos, C.

    2003-09-01

    Human pressure threatens many species and ecosystems, so conservation efforts necessarily prioritize saving them. However, conservation should clearly be proactive wherever possible. In this article, we assess the biodiversity conservation value, and specifically the irreplaceability in terms of species endemism, of those of the planet's ecosystems that remain intact. We find that 24 wilderness areas, all > 1 million hectares, are > 70% intact and have human densities of less than or equal to five people per km2. This wilderness covers 44% of all land but is inhabited by only 3% of people. Given this sparse population, wilderness conservation is cost-effective, especially if ecosystem service value is incorporated. Soberingly, however, most wilderness is not speciose: only 18% of plants and 10% of terrestrial vertebrates are endemic to individual wildernesses, the majority restricted to Amazonia, Congo, New Guinea, the Miombo-Mopane woodlands, and the North American deserts. Global conservation strategy must target these five wildernesses while continuing to prioritize threatened biodiversity hotspots.

  3. Hypervelocity impact damage assessment for Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coronado, Alex R.; Gibbins, Martin N.; Stern, Paul H.

    1988-01-01

    To inhibit damage and limit the probability of penetration of the Space Station pressure wall by micrometeoroids and orbital debris, a shield placed away from the wall is used to form a double wall. To determine shield effectiveness and assess impact damage, existing test data were reviewed and additional testing was performed for Space Station double wall designs. Empirical spallation and penetration functions derived from the data show that shield thickness and impact angle affect the damage to the wall. Thick shields reduce wall damage for low angle impacts but increase damage for oblique impacts. Multilayer insulation between the shield and wall reduces impact damage to the wall. A relationship between impact velocity and spall damage to the wall is demonstrated. Preliminary test results on Li-Al shield material indicate possible improved effectiveness over Al shields.

  4. Great Apes and Biodiversity Offset Projects in Africa: The Case for National Offset Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Kormos, Rebecca; Kormos, Cyril F.; Humle, Tatyana; Lanjouw, Annette; Rainer, Helga; Victurine, Ray; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Diallo, Mamadou S.; Rylands, Anthony B.; Williamson, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    The development and private sectors are increasingly considering “biodiversity offsets” as a strategy to compensate for their negative impacts on biodiversity, including impacts on great apes and their habitats in Africa. In the absence of national offset policies in sub-Saharan Africa, offset design and implementation are guided by company internal standards, lending bank standards or international best practice principles. We examine four projects in Africa that are seeking to compensate for their negative impacts on great ape populations. Our assessment of these projects reveals that not all apply or implement best practices, and that there is little standardization in the methods used to measure losses and gains in species numbers. Even if they were to follow currently accepted best-practice principles, we find that these actions may still fail to contribute to conservation objectives over the long term. We advocate for an alternative approach in which biodiversity offset and compensation projects are designed and implemented as part of a National Offset Strategy that (1) takes into account the cumulative impacts of development in individual countries, (2) identifies priority offset sites, (3) promotes aggregated offsets, and (4) integrates biodiversity offset and compensation projects with national biodiversity conservation objectives. We also propose supplementary principles necessary for biodiversity offsets to contribute to great ape conservation in Africa. Caution should still be exercised, however, with regard to offsets until further field-based evidence of their effectiveness is available. PMID:25372894

  5. Great apes and biodiversity offset projects in Africa: the case for national offset strategies.

    PubMed

    Kormos, Rebecca; Kormos, Cyril F; Humle, Tatyana; Lanjouw, Annette; Rainer, Helga; Victurine, Ray; Mittermeier, Russell A; Diallo, Mamadou S; Rylands, Anthony B; Williamson, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    The development and private sectors are increasingly considering "biodiversity offsets" as a strategy to compensate for their negative impacts on biodiversity, including impacts on great apes and their habitats in Africa. In the absence of national offset policies in sub-Saharan Africa, offset design and implementation are guided by company internal standards, lending bank standards or international best practice principles. We examine four projects in Africa that are seeking to compensate for their negative impacts on great ape populations. Our assessment of these projects reveals that not all apply or implement best practices, and that there is little standardization in the methods used to measure losses and gains in species numbers. Even if they were to follow currently accepted best-practice principles, we find that these actions may still fail to contribute to conservation objectives over the long term. We advocate for an alternative approach in which biodiversity offset and compensation projects are designed and implemented as part of a National Offset Strategy that (1) takes into account the cumulative impacts of development in individual countries, (2) identifies priority offset sites, (3) promotes aggregated offsets, and (4) integrates biodiversity offset and compensation projects with national biodiversity conservation objectives. We also propose supplementary principles necessary for biodiversity offsets to contribute to great ape conservation in Africa. Caution should still be exercised, however, with regard to offsets until further field-based evidence of their effectiveness is available. PMID:25372894

  6. A multi-scale metrics approach to forest fragmentation for Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Eunyoung; Song, Wonkyong; Lee, Dongkun

    2013-09-15

    Forests are becoming severely fragmented as a result of land development. South Korea has responded to changing community concerns about environmental issues. The nation has developed and is extending a broad range of tools for use in environmental management. Although legally mandated environmental compliance requirements in South Korea have been implemented to predict and evaluate the impacts of land-development projects, these legal instruments are often insufficient to assess the subsequent impact of development on the surrounding forests. It is especially difficult to examine impacts on multiple (e.g., regional and local) scales in detail. Forest configuration and size, including forest fragmentation by land development, are considered on a regional scale. Moreover, forest structure and composition, including biodiversity, are considered on a local scale in the Environmental Impact Assessment process. Recently, the government amended the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, including the SEA, EIA, and small-scale EIA, to require an integrated approach. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to establish an impact assessment system that minimizes the impacts of land development using an approach that is integrated across multiple scales. This study focused on forest fragmentation due to residential development and road construction sites in selected Congestion Restraint Zones (CRZs) in the Greater Seoul Area of South Korea. Based on a review of multiple-scale impacts, this paper integrates models that assess the impacts of land development on forest ecosystems. The applicability of the integrated model for assessing impacts on forest ecosystems through the SEIA process is considered. On a regional scale, it is possible to evaluate the location and size of a land-development project by considering aspects of forest fragmentation, such as the stability of the forest structure and the degree of fragmentation. On a local scale, land-development projects should

  7. Lac Télé structure, Republic of Congo: Geological setting of a cryptozoological and biodiversity hotspot, and evidence against an impact origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Master, Sharad

    2010-11-01

    Lac Télé is a large lake, ˜5.6 km in diameter, with an ovoid shape, situated at 17°10'E, 1°20'N, in the great tropical rain forest region of the Republic of Congo. This lake has attracted widespread attention, mainly because of the legends among the local people that it harbours a strange animal known as the Mokele-Mbembe, but also because it is situated in a region that is a hotbed of biodiversity and conservation efforts with respect to various endangered mammalian species, including gorillas and chimpanzees. Because of its appearance, Lac Télé has been regarded as a possible meteorite impact structure. Various expeditions, studying cryptozoology, conservation ecology, biodiversity, and the impact hypothesis, have visited Lac Télé in the past several decades. The Lac Télé structure is located in the NW part of the intracratonic Congo Basin, in a region dominated by Holocene alluvium, dense tropical rain forest, and swamps which form part of the basin of the Likouala aux Herbes, a multi-branched meandering river flowing over very low gradients into the Sangha river, a major tributary of the Congo river. Previous bathymetric studies have shown that the average depth of Lac Télé is only 4 m, including organic-rich silty sediments. The structure is that of a flat-bottomed dish. Modelling of the Lac Télé as an impact structure indicates a number of features which ought to be present. The absence of any of these features, coupled with the irregular ovoid shape, the palynological record, and the location of the structure at the intersection of major regional lineaments, is regarded as evidence against the impact hypothesis. Lac Télé as an isolated lake ecosystem is not unique in the Congo Basin, and there are several other similar small shallow isolated lakes surrounded by rain forest and marshes, some of which formed by damming of drainage systems by neotectonic faults. It is suggested that the formation of Lac Télé may be related to its location

  8. Optimizing carbon storage and biodiversity protection in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Wheeler, Charlotte; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2014-07-01

    With the rapidly expanding ecological footprint of agriculture, the design of farmed landscapes will play an increasingly important role for both carbon storage and biodiversity protection. Carbon and biodiversity can be enhanced by integrating natural habitats into agricultural lands, but a key question is whether benefits are maximized by including many small features throughout the landscape ('land-sharing' agriculture) or a few large contiguous blocks alongside intensive farmland ('land-sparing' agriculture). In this study, we are the first to integrate carbon storage alongside multi-taxa biodiversity assessments to compare land-sparing and land-sharing frameworks. We do so by sampling carbon stocks and biodiversity (birds and dung beetles) in landscapes containing agriculture and forest within the Colombian Chocó-Andes, a zone of high global conservation priority. We show that woodland fragments embedded within a matrix of cattle pasture hold less carbon per unit area than contiguous primary or advanced secondary forests (>15 years). Farmland sites also support less diverse bird and dung beetle communities than contiguous forests, even when farmland retains high levels of woodland habitat cover. Landscape simulations based on these data suggest that land-sparing strategies would be more beneficial for both carbon storage and biodiversity than land-sharing strategies across a range of production levels. Biodiversity benefits of land-sparing are predicted to be similar whether spared lands protect primary or advanced secondary forests, owing to the close similarity of bird and dung beetle communities between the two forest classes. Land-sparing schemes that encourage the protection and regeneration of natural forest blocks thus provide a synergy between carbon and biodiversity conservation, and represent a promising strategy for reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on tropical ecosystems. However, further studies examining a wider range of ecosystem

  9. Education and biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Ahearn, S.K.

    1988-01-01

    This study focuses on the importance of developing educational programs about biological diversity in order to preserve it more effectively. The study is divided into two parts. Part I is a needs assessment consisting of the results of: (1) a survey and checklist of land management and education/interpretive practices in natural areas of the United States, (2) a study of ecology research reports, (3) interviews of scientists, land managers, and environmental educators in natural areas, and (4) an analysis of popular published environmental-education activity and curriculum guides. From this, a set of needs was identified for purposes of planning activities for teaching about biodiversity in natural areas. Part II consists of sample activities that represent ways to incorporate current knowledge of biodiversity into education/interpretive programming on nature preserves, parks, and wildlife refuges. The ideas focus mainly on developing an understanding of what biodiversity looks like, from the scale of the habitat to the landscape, and from the genetic level to the ecosystem level. The activities are grouped according to six major topics: open space, marine resources, energy, solid waste, surface waters, and freshwater wetlands, and groundwater.

  10. Untapped potential of health impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Mirko S; Krieger, Gary R; Divall, Mark J; Cissé, Guéladio; Wielga, Mark; Singer, Burton H; Tanner, Marcel; Utzinger, Jürg

    2013-04-01

    The World Health Organization has promoted health impact assessment (HIA) for over 20 years. At the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), HIA was discussed as a critical method for linking health to "green economy" and "institutional framework" strategies for sustainable development. In countries having a high human development index (HDI), HIA has been added to the overall assessment suite that typically includes potential environmental and social impacts, but it is rarely required as part of the environmental and social impact assessment for large development projects. When they are performed, project-driven HIAs are governed by a combination of project proponent and multilateral lender performance standards rather than host country requirements. Not surprisingly, in low-HDI countries HIA is missing from the programme and policy arena in the absence of an external project driver. Major drivers of global change (e.g. population growth and urbanization, growing pressure on natural resources and climate change) inordinately affect low- and medium-HDI countries; however, in such countries HIA is conspicuously absent. If the cloak of HIA invisibility is to be removed, it must be shown that HIA is useful and beneficial and, hence, an essential component of the 21st century's sustainable development agenda. We analyse where and how HIA can become fully integrated into the impact assessment suite and argue that the impact of HIA must not remain obscure. PMID:23599554

  11. Untapped potential of health impact assessment

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, Gary R; Divall, Mark J; Cissé, Guéladio; Wielga, Mark; Singer, Burton H; Tanner, Marcel; Utzinger, Jürg

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The World Health Organization has promoted health impact assessment (HIA) for over 20 years. At the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), HIA was discussed as a critical method for linking health to “green economy” and “institutional framework” strategies for sustainable development. In countries having a high human development index (HDI), HIA has been added to the overall assessment suite that typically includes potential environmental and social impacts, but it is rarely required as part of the environmental and social impact assessment for large development projects. When they are performed, project-driven HIAs are governed by a combination of project proponent and multilateral lender performance standards rather than host country requirements. Not surprisingly, in low-HDI countries HIA is missing from the programme and policy arena in the absence of an external project driver. Major drivers of global change (e.g. population growth and urbanization, growing pressure on natural resources and climate change) inordinately affect low- and medium-HDI countries; however, in such countries HIA is conspicuously absent. If the cloak of HIA invisibility is to be removed, it must be shown that HIA is useful and beneficial and, hence, an essential component of the 21st century’s sustainable development agenda. We analyse where and how HIA can become fully integrated into the impact assessment suite and argue that the impact of HIA must not remain obscure. PMID:23599554

  12. Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission: Kinetic impactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Michel, P.; Jutzi, M.; Rivkin, A. S.; Stickle, A.; Barnouin, O.; Ernst, C.; Atchison, J.; Pravec, P.; Richardson, D. C.

    2016-02-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor to deflect an asteroid. AIDA is an international cooperation, consisting of two mission elements: the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the ESA Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) rendezvous mission. The primary goals of AIDA are (i) to test our ability to perform a spacecraft impact on a potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid and (ii) to measure and characterize the deflection caused by the impact. The AIDA target will be the binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos, with the deflection experiment to occur in late September, 2022. The DART impact on the secondary member of the binary at ~7 km/s is expected to alter the binary orbit period by about 4 minutes, assuming a simple transfer of momentum to the target, and this period change will be measured by Earth-based observatories. The AIM spacecraft will characterize the asteroid target and monitor results of the impact in situ at Didymos. The DART mission is a full-scale kinetic impact to deflect a 150 m diameter asteroid, with known impactor conditions and with target physical properties characterized by the AIM mission. Predictions for the momentum transfer efficiency of kinetic impacts are given for several possible target types of different porosities, using Housen and Holsapple (2011) crater scaling model for impact ejecta mass and velocity distributions. Results are compared to numerical simulation results using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code of Jutzi and Michel (2014) with good agreement. The model also predicts that the ejecta from the DART impact may make Didymos into an active asteroid, forming an ejecta coma that may be observable from Earth-based telescopes. The measurements from AIDA of the momentum transfer from the DART impact, the crater size and morphology, and the evolution of an ejecta coma will

  13. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines.

    PubMed

    Butchart, Stuart H M; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Almond, Rosamunde E A; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E; Carr, Geneviève M; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Hernández Morcillo, Monica; Oldfield, Thomasina E E; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D; Vié, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2010-05-28

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing. PMID:20430971

  14. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  15. A model-based evaluation of the impacts of urban expansion on flow variability and aquatic biodiversity in the Big River watershed in eastern Missouri (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knouft, J.; Chu, M. L.

    2013-12-01

    Natural flow regimes in aquatic systems sustain biodiversity and provide support for basic ecological processes. Nevertheless, the hydrology of aquatic systems is heavily impacted by human activities including land use changes associated with urbanization. Small increases in urban expansion can greatly increase surface runoff while decreasing infiltration. These changes in land use can also affect aquifer recharge and alter streamflow, thus impacting water quality, aquatic biodiversity, and ecosystem productivity. However, there are few studies predicting the effects of various levels of urbanization on flow regimes and the subsequent impacts of these flow alterations on ecosystem endpoints at the watershed scale. We quantified the potential effects of varying degrees of urban expansion on the discharge, velocity, and water depth in the Big River watershed in eastern Missouri using a physically-based watershed model, MIKE-SHE, and a 1D hydrodynamic river model, MIKE-11. Five land cover scenarios corresponding to increasing levels of urban expansion were used to determine the sensitivity of flow in the Big River watershed to increasing urbanization. Results indicate that the frequency of low flow events decreases as urban expansion increases, while the frequency of average and high-flow events increases as urbanization increases. We used current estimates of flow from the MIKE-SHE model to predict variation in fish species richness at 44 sites across the watershed based on standardized fish collections from each site. This model was then used with flow estimates from the urban expansion hydrological models to predict potential changes in fish species richness as urban areas increase. Responses varied among sites with some areas predicted to experience increases in species richness while others are predicted to experience decreases in species richness. Taxonomic identity of species also appeared to influence results with the number of species of Cyprinidae (minnows

  16. Biodiversity and Industry Ecosystem Management

    PubMed

    COLEMAN

    1996-11-01

    / The term biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they comprise, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health, a closely related concept, is described in terms of a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability and sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the face of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish "near-trump" (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-wide, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute

  17. A Screening Method for Assessing Cumulative Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Alexeeff, George V.; Faust, John B.; August, Laura Meehan; Milanes, Carmen; Randles, Karen; Zeise, Lauren; Denton, Joan

    2012-01-01

    The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Environmental Justice Action Plan calls for guidelines for evaluating “cumulative impacts.” As a first step toward such guidelines, a screening methodology for assessing cumulative impacts in communities was developed. The method, presented here, is based on the working definition of cumulative impacts adopted by Cal/EPA [1]: “Cumulative impacts means exposures, public health or environmental effects from the combined emissions and discharges in a geographic area, including environmental pollution from all sources, whether single or multi-media, routinely, accidentally, or otherwise released. Impacts will take into account sensitive populations and socio-economic factors, where applicable and to the extent data are available.” The screening methodology is built on this definition as well as current scientific understanding of environmental pollution and its adverse impacts on health, including the influence of both intrinsic, biological factors and non-intrinsic socioeconomic factors in mediating the effects of pollutant exposures. It addresses disparities in the distribution of pollution and health outcomes. The methodology provides a science-based tool to screen places for relative cumulative impacts, incorporating both the pollution burden on a community- including exposures to pollutants, their public health and environmental effects- and community characteristics, specifically sensitivity and socioeconomic factors. The screening methodology provides relative rankings to distinguish more highly impacted communities from less impacted ones. It may also help identify which factors are the greatest contributors to a community’s cumulative impact. It is not designed to provide quantitative estimates of community-level health impacts. A pilot screening analysis is presented here to illustrate the application of this methodology. Once guidelines are adopted, the methodology can serve as a screening

  18. Developing perturbations for Climate Change Impact Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewitson, Bruce

    Following the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report [TAR; IPCC, 2001], and the paucity of climate change impact assessments from developing nations, there has been a significant growth in activities to redress this shortcoming. However, undertaking impact assessments (in relation to malaria, crop stress, regional water supply, etc.) is contingent on available climate-scale scenarios at time and space scales of relevance to the regional issues of importance. These scales are commonly far finer than even the native resolution of the Global Climate Models (GCMs) (the principal tools for climate change research), let alone the skillful resolution (scales of aggregation at which GCM observational error is acceptable for a given application) of GCMs.Consequently, there is a growing demand for regional-scale scenarios, which in turn are reliant on techniques to downscale from GCMs, such as empirical downscaling or nested Regional Climate Models (RCMs). These methods require significant skill, experiential knowledge, and computational infrastructure in order to derive credible regional-scale scenarios. In contrast, it is often the case that impact assessment researchers in developing nations have inadequate resources with limited access to scientists in the broader international scientific community who have the time and expertise to assist. However, where developing effective downscaled scenarios is problematic, it is possible that much useful information can still be obtained for impact assessments by examining the system sensitivity to largerscale climate perturbations. Consequently, one may argue that the early phase of assessing sensitivity and vulnerability should first be characterized by evaluation of the first-order impacts, rather than immediately addressing the finer, secondary factors that are dependant on scenarios derived through downscaling.

  19. Scale issues in the assessment of ecological impacts using a GIS-based habitat model - A case study for the Stockholm region

    SciTech Connect

    Gontier, Mikael . E-mail: gontier@kth.se

    2007-07-15

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) provide two interlinked platforms for the assessment of impacts on biodiversity caused by human developments. Although it might be too early to draw conclusions on the efficiency of SEA to assess such impacts, a number of persistent problems have been identified in the case of EIA. Some of these shortcomings concern the lack of proper prediction and impact quantification, and the inadequate/insufficient assessment of cumulative effects. A number of problems are related to the scale(s) at which the assessment is performed. SEA may provide a more adequate framework than EIA to discuss scale-related issues (i.e. cumulative impacts) but it also requires the use of adapted tools. This paper presents a case study where a GIS-based habitat model for the lesser spotted woodpecker is tested, validated and applied to a planning scenario in the Stockholm region in Sweden. The results show that the method adopted offers great prospects to contribute to a better assessment of biodiversity-related impacts. Even though some limitations remain in the form of data requirement and interpretation of the results, the model produced continuous, quantified predictions over the study area and provided a relevant basis for the assessment of cumulative effects. Furthermore, this paper discusses potential conflicts between different scales involved in the assessment - related to administrative boundaries, ecological processes, data availability, the method adopted to perform the assessment and temporal aspects.

  20. Macroecology of biodiversity: disentangling local and regional effects.

    PubMed

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bennett, Jonathan A; Zobel, Martin

    2016-07-01

    Contents 404 I. 404 II. 404 III. 405 IV. 406 V. 407 VI. 408 409 References 409 SUMMARY: Macroecology of biodiversity disentangles local and regional drivers of biodiversity by exploring large-scale biodiversity relationships with environmental or biotic gradients, generalizing local biodiversity relationships across regions, or comparing biodiversity patterns among species groups. A macroecological perspective is also important at local scales: a full understanding of local biodiversity drivers, including human impact, demands that regional processes be taken into account. This requires knowledge of which species could inhabit a site (the species pool), including those that are currently absent (dark diversity). Macroecology of biodiversity is currently advancing quickly owing to an unprecedented accumulation of biodiversity data, new sampling techniques and analytical methods, all of which better equip us to face current and future challenges in ecology and biodiversity conservation. PMID:27040897

  1. Imbibing Wisdom of Environmental Impact Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Ian

    1992-01-01

    Describes a learning module for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the relationship between EIA objectives and those of the module. Discusses constraints influencing the form of the subject and the range of possible training techniques. Presents details of the module's structure and comments on its approach. (Contains 16 references.) (MDH)

  2. A process-driven sedimentary habitat modelling approach, explaining seafloor integrity and biodiversity assessment within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galparsoro, Ibon; Borja, Ángel; Kostylev, Vladimir E.; Rodríguez, J. Germán; Pascual, Marta; Muxika, Iñigo

    2013-10-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) seeks to achieve good environmental status, by 2020, for European seas. This study analyses the applicability of a process-driven benthic sedimentary habitat model, to be used in the implementation of the MSFD in relation to biodiversity and seafloor integrity descriptors for sedimentary habitats. Our approach maps the major environmental factors influencing soft-bottom macrobenthic community structure and the life-history traits of species. Among the 16 environmental variables considered, a combination of water depth, mean grain size, a wave-induced sediment resuspension index and annual bottom maximum temperature, are the most significant factors explaining the variability in the structure of benthic communities in the study area. These variables are classified into those representing the ‘Disturbance' and ‘Scope for Growth' components of the environment. It was observed that the habitat classes defined in the process-driven model reflected different structural and functional characteristics of the benthos. Moreover, benthic community structure anomalies due to human pressures could also be detected within the model produced. Thus, the final process-driven habitat map can be considered as being highly useful for seafloor integrity and biodiversity assessment, within the European MSFD as well as for conservation, environmental status assessment and managing human activities, especially within the marine spatial planning process.

  3. Big moving day for biodiversity? A macroecological assessment of the scope for assisted colonization as a conservation strategy under global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svenning, Jens-Christian; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Lenoir, Jonathan; Normand, Signe; Skov, Flemming

    2009-11-01

    Future climate change constitutes a major threat to Earth's biodiversity. If anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, 21st century climate change is likely to exceed the natural adaptive capacity of many natural ecosystems and a large proportion of species may risk extinction. A recurrent finding is that the degree of negative impact depends strongly on the dispersal potential of the species. However, there is a growing realization that many, if not most species would be unlikely to disperse as fast and far as required. As a consequence, it has been proposed that species at risk should be actively translocated into unoccupied, but environmentally suitable areas that are likely to stay suitable over the next 100 or more years (assisted colonization or assisted migration). This solution is controversial, though, reflecting negative experiences with introduced exotics and probably also the traditional emphasis in conservation management on preserving a certain local, often historical situation with a static species composition, and a tendency among ecologists to think of biological communities as generally saturated with species. Using the European flora as a case study, we here estimate the main environmental controls of plant species richness, assess how the maximum observed species richness depends on these environmental controls, and based here on estimate how many species could at least be added to an area before further species additions would perhaps inevitably lead to corresponding losses locally. Our results suggest that there is substantial room for additional plant species across most areas of Europe, indicating that there is considerable scope for implementing assisted colonization as a proactive conservation strategy under global warming without necessarily implicating negative effects on the native flora in the areas targeted for establishment of translocated populations. Notably, our results suggest that 50% of the cells in Northern

  4. Highly diverse, poorly studied and uniquely threatened by climate change: an assessment of marine biodiversity on South Georgia's continental shelf.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Oliver T; Barnes, David K A; Griffiths, Huw J

    2011-01-01

    We attempt to quantify how significant the polar archipelago of South Georgia is as a source of regional and global marine biodiversity. We evaluate numbers of rare, endemic and range-edge species and how the faunal structure of South Georgia may respond to some of the fastest warming waters on the planet. Biodiversity data was collated from a comprehensive review of reports, papers and databases, collectively representing over 125 years of polar exploration. Classification of each specimen was recorded to species level and fully geo-referenced by depth, latitude and longitude. This information was integrated with physical data layers (e.g. temperature, salinity and flow) providing a visualisation of South Georgia's biogeography across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, placing it in the wider context of the Southern Hemisphere. This study marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front. Through it we identify the South Georgian shelf as the most speciose region of the Southern Ocean recorded to date. Marine biodiversity was recorded as rich across taxonomic levels with 17,732 records yielding 1,445 species from 436 families, 51 classes and 22 phyla. Most species recorded were rare, with 35% recorded only once and 86% recorded <10 times. Its marine fauna is marked by the cumulative dominance of endemic and range-edge species, potentially at their thermal tolerance limits. Consequently, our data suggests the ecological implications of environmental change to the South Georgian marine ecosystem could be severe. If sea temperatures continue to rise, we suggest that changes will include depth profile shifts of some fauna towards cooler Antarctic Winter Water (90-150 m), the loss of some range-edge species from regional waters, and the wholesale extinction at a global scale of some of South Georgia's endemic species. PMID:21647236

  5. Assessment of current and proposed nature reserves of Mexico based on their capacity to protect geophysical features and biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    Mexico currently has 144 nature reserves covering approximately 9.1% of its land area. These reserves were established for a variety of reasons - often unrelated to the protection of biodiversity. In 2000 in response to a growing concern about the lack of organized conservation reserve planning to protect the important threatened biological and physical features of Mexico, the Mexican Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) proposed the establishment of 151 new reserves for Mexico covering 51,429,500 ha. We compiled a GIS analysis using digital thematic maps of physical and biological features to examine how the existing and proposed reserves serve to protect the biodiversity and physical features of the country. Using a conservation target of placing a minimum of 12% of the land area of each important biophysical feature in nature reserves, we found that the 144 existing nature reserves covering 18 million ha (9% of the country) only meet that target for elevation ranges >3000 m and areas with poor soils. These mountainous areas represent less than 1% of the country. The gaps in the existing nature reserves network occur mainly at lower and intermediate elevations (<3000 m) areas with xeric, tropical, and temperate ecosystems, and high productivity soils. The areas proposed by CONABIO increase the proportion of protected lands in the country to over 27% and most of the conservation targets for geophysical features, and land cover, categories are met. Whether this area would be sufficient to maintain viable populations and ecological integrity of species and ecosystems is unknown. Even with the new reserves, low elevation coastal lands would be below the conservation target in the nature reserves. To include a representative sample of these lands would be difficult as these are the same areas where the majority of people live. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Highly Diverse, Poorly Studied and Uniquely Threatened by Climate Change: An Assessment of Marine Biodiversity on South Georgia's Continental Shelf

    PubMed Central

    Hogg, Oliver T.; Barnes, David K. A.; Griffiths, Huw J.

    2011-01-01

    We attempt to quantify how significant the polar archipelago of South Georgia is as a source of regional and global marine biodiversity. We evaluate numbers of rare, endemic and range-edge species and how the faunal structure of South Georgia may respond to some of the fastest warming waters on the planet. Biodiversity data was collated from a comprehensive review of reports, papers and databases, collectively representing over 125 years of polar exploration. Classification of each specimen was recorded to species level and fully geo-referenced by depth, latitude and longitude. This information was integrated with physical data layers (e.g. temperature, salinity and flow) providing a visualisation of South Georgia's biogeography across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, placing it in the wider context of the Southern Hemisphere. This study marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front. Through it we identify the South Georgian shelf as the most speciose region of the Southern Ocean recorded to date. Marine biodiversity was recorded as rich across taxonomic levels with 17,732 records yielding 1,445 species from 436 families, 51 classes and 22 phyla. Most species recorded were rare, with 35% recorded only once and 86% recorded <10 times. Its marine fauna is marked by the cumulative dominance of endemic and range-edge species, potentially at their thermal tolerance limits. Consequently, our data suggests the ecological implications of environmental change to the South Georgian marine ecosystem could be severe. If sea temperatures continue to rise, we suggest that changes will include depth profile shifts of some fauna towards cooler Antarctic Winter Water (90–150 m), the loss of some range-edge species from regional waters, and the wholesale extinction at a global scale of some of South Georgia's endemic species. PMID:21647236

  7. Making Robust Policy Decisions Using Global Biodiversity Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, Emily; Collen, Ben; Barausse, Alberto; Blanchard, Julia L.; Costelloe, Brendan T.; Sullivan, Kathryn M. E.; Underwood, Fiona M.; Burn, Robert W.; Fritz, Steffen; Jones, Julia P. G.; McRae, Louise; Possingham, Hugh P.; Milner-Gulland, E. J.

    2012-01-01

    In order to influence global policy effectively, conservation scientists need to be able to provide robust predictions of the impact of alternative policies on biodiversity and measure progress towards goals using reliable indicators. We present a framework for using biodiversity indicators predictively to inform policy choices at a global level. The approach is illustrated with two case studies in which we project forwards the impacts of feasible policies on trends in biodiversity and in relevant indicators. The policies are based on targets agreed at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Nagoya in October 2010. The first case study compares protected area policies for African mammals, assessed using the Red List Index; the second example uses the Living Planet Index to assess the impact of a complete halt, versus a reduction, in bottom trawling. In the protected areas example, we find that the indicator can aid in decision-making because it is able to differentiate between the impacts of the different policies. In the bottom trawling example, the indicator exhibits some counter-intuitive behaviour, due to over-representation of some taxonomic and functional groups in the indicator, and contrasting impacts of the policies on different groups caused by trophic interactions. Our results support the need for further research on how to use predictive models and indicators to credibly track trends and inform policy. To be useful and relevant, scientists must make testable predictions about the impact of global policy on biodiversity to ensure that targets such as those set at Nagoya catalyse effective and measurable change. PMID:22815938

  8. Combination of beehive matrices analysis and ant biodiversity to study heavy metal pollution impact in a post-mining area (Sardinia, Italy).

    PubMed

    Satta, Alberto; Verdinelli, Marcello; Ruiu, Luca; Buffa, Franco; Salis, Severyn; Sassu, Antonio; Floris, Ignazio

    2012-11-01

    Mining activities represent a major source of environment contamination. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of bees and ants as bioindicators to detect the heavy metal impact in post-mining areas. A biomonitoring programme involving a combination of honeybee hive matrices analysis and ant biodiversity survey was conducted over a 3-year period. The experimental design involved three monitoring stations where repeated sampling activities focused on chemical detection of cadmium (Cd), chrome (Cr) and lead (Pb) from different matrices, both from hosted beehives (foraging bees, honey and pollen) and from the surrounding environment (stream water and soil). At the same time, ant biodiversity (number and abundance of species) was determined through a monitoring programme based on the use of pitfall traps placed in different habitats inside each mining site. The heavy metal content detected in stream water from the control station was always below the analytical limit of quantification. In the case of soil, the content of Cd and Pb from the control was lower than that of mining sites. The mean heavy metal concentrations in beehive matrices from mining sites were mainly higher than the control, and as a result of regression and discriminant analysis, forager bee sampling was an efficient environmental pollution bioindicator. Ant collection and identification highlighted a wide species variety with differences among habitats mostly associated with vegetation features. A lower variability was observed in the polluted landfill characterised by lack of vegetation. Combined biomonitoring with forager bees and ants represents a reliable tool for heavy metal environmental impact studies. PMID:22532121

  9. Minidoka Dam Wildlife Impact Assessment: Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Robert C.; Meuleman, G. Allyn

    1989-03-01

    A wildlife impact assessment has been developed for the US Bureau of Reclamation's Minidoka Dam and Reservoir in south central Idaho. This assessment was conducted to fulfill requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Program. Specific objectives of this study included the following: select target wildlife species, and identify their current status and management goals; estimate the net effects on target wildlife species resulting from hydroelectric development and operation; recommend protection, mitigation, and enhancement goals for target wildlife species affected by hydroelectric development and operation; and consult and coordinate impact assessment activities with the Northwest Power Planning Council, Bonneville Power Administration, US Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, and other entities expressing interest in the project. 62 refs., 2 figs., 11 tabs.

  10. An Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, K. S.

    2009-09-01

    National economy and life of millions of poor largely related to climate sensitive natural resource base and a densely populated 7500 Km long low-lying coastline make India highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Significant changes in the amount, intensity and seasonality of rainfall and extremes in temperature observed in different states are serious challenges to the securities in food, water and energy. Vagaries in monsoons and associated setbacks in agriculture that represents 35% GDP affect economy and rural life, leading to social issues like migration and spread of terrorism. Impact on forest affects the biodiversity, economy and life of tribals. Water availability in certain states has been falling sharply due to the changes in the amount as well as the seasonality of rainfall. Increase in rainfall intensity erodes topsoil in the Western Ghats Mountain and reduces the streamflow and reservoir capacity. Retreat of the Himalayan glaciers may add to the severity of hydrological extremes in the entire north India in the coming years. Irregular onset of monsoon and change in seasonality have already affected the plant biodiversity in the southern state of Kerala. Some seasonal plants became extinct because of the prolonged dry season. Almost all parts of India are increasingly becoming prone to floods or droughts. Drylands are potentially threatened by desertification. Changes in the frequency, intensity and track of cyclones and rising sea level are of serious concern in the coastal zones. Decreasing trend in fish catch in the southern coasts is linked to the changes in coastal circulation, SST and upwelling patterns. Coral environments also suffer from this. Cold waves and heat waves are becoming severe, extending to new regions and resulting in casualties. New viruses and vectors spread fatal deceases, expanding geographical extent. Climate change is likely to retard the present economic growth, because of the massive investment required for

  11. Life cycle assessment based evaluation of regional impacts from agricultural production at the Peruvian coast.

    PubMed

    Bartl, Karin; Verones, Francesca; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2012-09-18

    Crop and technology choices in agriculture, which largely define the impact of agricultural production on the environment, should be considered in agricultural development planning. A life cycle assessment of the dominant crops produced in a Peruvian coastal valley was realized, in order to establish regionalized life cycle inventories for Peruvian products and to provide the basis for a regional evaluation of the impacts of eutrophication, acidification, human toxicity, and biodiversity loss due to water use. Five scenarios for the year 2020 characterized by different crop combinations and irrigation systems were considered as development options. The results of the regional assessment showed that a business-as-usual scenario, extrapolating current trends of crop cultivation, would lead to an increase in nitrate leaching with eutrophying effects. On the other hand, scenarios of increased application of drip irrigation and of mandarin area expansion would lead to a decrease in nitrate leaching. In all scenarios the human toxicity potential would decrease slightly, while an increase in irrigation water use would benefit the biodiversity of a nearby groundwater-fed wetland. Comparisons with results from other studies confirmed the importance of regionalized life cycle inventories. The results can be used as decision support for local farmers and authorities. PMID:22894858

  12. Valuation of ecotoxicological impacts from tributyltin based on a quantitative environmental assessment framework.

    PubMed

    Noring, Maria; Håkansson, Cecilia; Dahlgren, Elin

    2016-02-01

    In the scientific literature, few valuations of biodiversity and ecosystem services following the impacts of toxicity are available, hampered by the lack of ecotoxicological documentation. Here, tributyltin is used to conduct a contingent valuation study as well as cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of measures for improving the environmental status in Swedish coastal waters of the Baltic Sea. Benefits considering different dimensions when assessing environmental status are highlighted and a quantitative environmental assessment framework based on available technology, ecological conditions, and economic valuation methodology is developed. Two scenarios are used in the valuation study: (a) achieving good environmental status by 2020 in accordance with EU legislation (USD 119 household(-1) year(-1)) and (b) achieving visible improvements by 2100 due to natural degradation (USD 108 household(-1) year(-1)) during 8 years. The later scenario was used to illustrate an application of the assessment framework. The CBA results indicate that both scenarios might generate a welfare improvement. PMID:26178630

  13. Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between food production, biodiversity, and ecosystem services - TALE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Martin; Cord, Anna; Demiguel, Ángel; Holzkämper, Annelie; Kaim, Andrea; Kirchner, Mathias; Lienhoop, Nele; Nieto Romero, Marta; Nitsch, Heike; Rutz, Cordula; Saa, Antonio; Schmid, Erwin; Schönhart, Martin; Schramek, Jörg; Strauch, Michael; Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria; van der Zanden, Emma H.; Verburg, Peter; Willaarts, Bárbara; Zarrineh, Nina; Rivas, David; Hagemann, Nina

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to improve our understanding of the synergies between biodiversity, food and energy production and other regulating or cultural ecosystem services (ESS) and the development of technical and policy measures to support these synergies. Procedures to quantify synergies and trade-offs between ESS and biodiversity are considered as promising solutions to close this gap. The BiodivERsA project TALE aims at developing such methodologies in a set of representative European agricultural landscapes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and Spain. This will be done by using i) a framework that links process-based, integrated, and statistical models with optimization algorithms, and ii) a set of land use scenarios and land use policies, iii) a systematic stakeholder integration process that allows the incorporation of expert knowledge in all phases of the research project to safeguard that research results are of practical relevance. Moreover, the project not only addresses experts but provides an innovative online learning environment that is accessible also for students and the general public.

  14. A terrain-based paired-site sampling design to assess biodiversity losses from eastern hemlock decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, J.A.; Smith, D.R.; Snyder, C.D.; Lemarie, D.P.

    2002-01-01

    Biodiversity surveys are often hampered by the inability to control extraneous sources of variability introduced into comparisons of populations across a heterogenous landscape. If not specifically accounted for a priori, this noise can weaken comparisons between sites, and can make it difficult to draw inferences about specific ecological processes. We developed a terrain-based, paired-site sampling design to analyze differences in aquatic biodiversity between streams draining eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests, and those draining mixed hardwood forests in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (USA). The goal of this design was to minimize variance due to terrain influences on stream communities, while representing the range of hemlock dominated stream environments present in the park. We used geographic information systems (GIS) and cluster analysis to define and partition hemlock dominated streams into terrain types based on topographic variables and stream order. We computed similarity of forest stands within terrain types and used this information to pair hemlock-dominated streams with hardwood counterparts prior to sampling. We evaluated the effectiveness of the design through power analysis and found that power to detect differences in aquatic invertebrate taxa richness was highest when sites were paired and terrain type was included as a factor in the analysis. Precision of the estimated difference in mean richness was nearly doubled using the terrain-based, paired site design in comparison to other evaluated designs. Use of this method allowed us to sample stream communities representative of park-wide forest conditions while effectively controlling for landscape variability.

  15. Assessing Meaningful Impact: Moving Beyond the Numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buxner, S.; Bass, K.; Castori, P.; Wenger, M.

    2014-07-01

    Evaluation of program impacts is an essential part of program implementation from proposal writing, justifying expenses to funders, making improvements to programs, and demonstrating the value of program to stakeholders. Often, funding agencies ask for metrics but may not ask for more substantive outcomes. Alternatively, funding agencies are now asking for more and more evidence of program impacts resulting in broad questions about the type of assessments that are most appropriate for program evaluation. Assessing meaningful impacts presents no one-size-fits-all solution for all programs. Appropriate assessment is based on program goals, audience, activitie s, and resources. Panelists led a discussion about how to choose meaningful assessment for different situations, presenting examples from their own work. One of the best indicators of the value of a teacher professional development workshop is whether teachers can apply what they have learned to their classroom practice. Kristin Bass spoke about her experience documenting classroom implementation for the Galileo Educator Network (GEN) professional development project.

  16. Roles of social impact assessment practitioners

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Cecilia H.M. Ho, Wing-chung

    2015-01-15

    The effectiveness of social impact assessment (SIA) hinges largely on the capabilities and ethics of the practitioners, yet few studies have dedicated to discuss the expectations for these professionals. Recognising this knowledge gap, we employed the systemic review approach to construct a framework of roles of SIA practitioners from literature. Our conceptual framework encompasses eleven roles, namely project manager of SIA, practitioner of SIA methodologies, social researcher, social strategy developer, social impact management consultant, community developer, visionary, public involvement specialist, coordinator, SIA researcher, and educator. Although these roles have been stratified into three overarching categories, the project, community and SIA development, they are indeed interrelated and should be examined together. The significance of this study is threefold. First, it pioneers the study of the roles of SIA practitioners in a focused and systematic manner. Second, it informs practitioners of the expectations of them thereby fostering professionalism. Third, it prepares the public for SIAs by elucidating the functions and values of the assessment. - Highlights: • We adopt systematic review to construct a framework of roles of social impact assessment (SIA) practitioners from literature. • We use three overarching categorises to stratify the eleven roles we proposed. • This work is a novel attempt to study the work as a SIA practitioner and build a foundation for further exploration. • The framework informs practitioners of the expectations on them thus reinforcing professionalism. • The framework also prepares the public for SIAs by elucidating the functions and values of the assessment.

  17. Land Transformation and Occupation Impacts of Farming Practices for the Production of Soybean in Mato Grosso, Brazil, Using Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lathuilliere, M. J.; Miranda, E. J.; Couto, E. G.; Johnson, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    The state of Mato Grosso is the largest producer of soybean in Brazil with production continuously increasing since 2000 through a near tripling of cropland area under soybean cultivation. This increase in production has occurred by land cover transformation (extensification into natural ecosystems, e.g. forest to crop) and land use intensification (increase in area by conversion of already cleared land, e.g. pasture to crop), largely to satisfy international demand. In this study, we assess cradle-to-farm gate impacts of soybean production in Mato Grosso using life cycle impact assessment applied to data collected from 110 farms. We combine 21 impact indicators of land transformation and occupation (i.e. land use and land cover change) to show impacts of life cycle stages of production to land, air, water, resource use, biodiversity and ecosystem services. The greatest damage to human health and ecosystem quality came from land transformation which primarily takes place in the tropical forest (Amazon) and savanna (Cerrado/Cerradão) biomes. Soybean production in tropical forest landscapes has greater impacts on climate regulation, biotic production and groundwater recharge compared to production in native savanna areas, while impacts on biodiversity, erosion and soil water purification are roughly equivalent for tropical forest vs. savanna transformation and occupation. Soybean production practices showed hot spots of damage to environmental quality and resources from phosphorous fertilizer application and diesel consumption in machinery through impact pathways such as terrestrial and aquatic acidification and the use of non-renewable energy. Life cycle impact assessment modeling can provide further information into the production process to enlighten decision making with respect to impacts occurring along the soybean product supply chain.

  18. 40 CFR 227.22 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Assessment of impact. 227.22 Section... FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Other Uses of the Ocean § 227.22 Assessment of impact. The assessment of impact on other...

  19. Cryptic biodiversity loss linked to global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bálint, M.; Domisch, S.; Engelhardt, C. H. M.; Haase, P.; Lehrian, S.; Sauer, J.; Theissinger, K.; Pauls, S. U.; Nowak, C.

    2011-09-01

    Global climate change (GCC) significantly affects distributional patterns of organisms, and considerable impacts on biodiversity are predicted for the next decades. Inferred effects include large-scale range shifts towards higher altitudes and latitudes, facilitation of biological invasions and species extinctions. Alterations of biotic patterns caused by GCC have usually been predicted on the scale of taxonomically recognized morphospecies. However, the effects of climate change at the most fundamental level of biodiversity--intraspecific genetic diversity--remain elusive. Here we show that the use of morphospecies-based assessments of GCC effects will result in underestimations of the true scale of biodiversity loss. Species distribution modelling and assessments of mitochondrial DNA variability in nine montane aquatic insect species in Europe indicate that future range contractions will be accompanied by severe losses of cryptic evolutionary lineages and genetic diversity within these lineages. These losses greatly exceed those at the scale of morphospecies. We also document that the extent of range reduction may be a useful proxy when predicting losses of genetic diversity. Our results demonstrate that intraspecific patterns of genetic diversity should be considered when estimating the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

  20. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, W.G.

    1996-11-01

    Biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health is a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability an sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the fact of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish {open_quotes}near-trump{close_quotes} (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-side, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute incrementally to the broader agenda of rebuilding or maintaining biodiversity. 40 refs., 8 figs.

  1. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William G.

    1996-11-01

    The term biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they comprise, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health, a closely related concept, is described in terms of a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability and sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the face of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish “near-trump” (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-wide, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute

  2. From impact assessment to recommendation: How are the impact assessment results presented and used?

    SciTech Connect

    Sager, T.

    1995-07-01

    Most work on impact assessment (IA) deals with data, technique, and procedures for making the assessment. While these things can influence the final choice of planning alternative, it is equally important how the assessment results are used in the political decision process. The case material concerns integrated transportation and land use plans for the 10 largest urban regions in Norway. It is demonstrated that application of the impact assessment results varies widely among the cities. The information potential of the impact calculations is considerably underexploited in many cases, and assessment results seem too easily ignored in the process of reaching a recommendation on planning strategy. Some factors are identified and discussed in an attempt to shed light on this phenomenon.

  3. AIDA: Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Patrick; Cheng, A.; Galvez, A.; Reed, C.; Carnelli, I.; Abell, P.; Ulamec, S.; Rivkin, A.; Biele, J.; Murdoch, N.

    2015-03-01

    AIDA (Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment) is a project of a joint mission demonstration of asteroid deflection and characterisation of the kinetic impact effects. It involves the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (with support from members of NASA centers including Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and the European Space Agency (with support from members of the french CNRS/Cte dAzur Observatory and the german DLR). This assessment will be done using a binary asteroid target. AIDA consists of two independent but mutually supporting mission concepts, one of which is the asteroid kinetic impactor and the other is the characterisation spacecraft. The objective and status of the project will be presented.

  4. Species for the screening assessment. Columbia River Comprehensive Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, J.M.; Brandt, C.A.; Dauble, D.D.; Maughan, A.D.; O`Neil, T.K.

    1996-03-01

    Because of past nuclear production operations along the Columbia River, there is intense public and tribal interest in assessing any residual Hanford Site related contamination along the river from the Hanford Reach to the Pacific Ocean. The Columbia River Comprehensive Impact Assessment was proposed to address these concerns. The assessment of the Columbia River is being conducted in phases. The initial phase is a screening assessment of the risk, which addresses current environmental conditions for a range of potential uses. One component of the screening assessment estimates the risk from contaminants in the Columbia River to the environment. The objective of the ecological risk assessment is to determine whether contaminants from the Columbia River pose a significant threat to selected receptor species that exist in the river and riparian communities of the study area. This report (1) identifies the receptor species selected for the screening assessment of ecological risk and (2) describes the selection process. The species selection process consisted of two tiers. In Tier 1, a master species list was developed that included many plant and animal species known to occur in the aquatic and riparian systems of the Columbia River between Priest Rapids Dam and the Columbia River estuary. This master list was reduced to 368 species that occur in the study area (Priest Rapids Dam to McNary Dam). In Tier 2, the 181 Tier 1 species were qualitatively ranked based on a scoring of their potential exposure and sensitivity to contaminants using a conceptual exposure model for the study area.

  5. Experience and lessons from health impact assessment for human rights impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Salcito, Kendyl; Utzinger, Jürg; Krieger, Gary R; Wielga, Mark; Singer, Burton H; Winkler, Mirko S; Weiss, Mitchell G

    2015-01-01

    As globalisation has opened remote parts of the world to foreign investment, global leaders at the United Nations and beyond have called on multinational companies to foresee and mitigate negative impacts on the communities surrounding their overseas operations. This movement towards corporate impact assessment began with a push for environmental and social inquiries. It has been followed by demands for more detailed assessments, including health and human rights. In the policy world the two have been joined as a right-to-health impact assessment. In the corporate world, the right-to-health approach fulfils neither managers' need to comprehensively understand impacts of a project, nor rightsholders' need to know that the full suite of their human rights will be safe from violation. Despite the limitations of a right-to-health tool for companies, integration of health into human rights provides numerous potential benefits to companies and the communities they affect. Here, a detailed health analysis through the human rights lens is carried out, drawing on a case study from the United Republic of Tanzania. This paper examines the positive and negative health and human rights impacts of a corporate operation in a low-income setting, as viewed through the human rights lens, considering observations on the added value of the approach. It explores the relationship between health impact assessment (HIA) and human rights impact assessment (HRIA). First, it considers the ways in which HIA, as a study directly concerned with human welfare, is a more appropriate guide than environmental or social impact assessment for evaluating human rights impacts. Second, it considers the contributions HRIA can make to HIA, by viewing determinants of health not as direct versus indirect, but as interrelated. PMID:26377091

  6. AIDA: The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvez, A.; Carnelli, I.; Michel, P.; Cheng, A. F.; Reed, C.; Ulamec, S.; Biele, J.; Abell, P.; Landis, R.

    2013-09-01

    The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, a joint effort of ESA, JHU/APL, NASA, OCA, and DLR, is the first demonstration of asteroid deflection and assessment via kinetic impact. AIDA consists of two independent but mutually supporting mission elements, one of which is the asteroid kinetic impactor and the other is the characterization spacecraft. These two missions are, respectively, JHU/APL's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the European Space Agency's Asteroid Investigation Mission (AIM) missions. As in the separate DART and AIM studies, the target of this mission is the binary asteroid [65803] Didymos in October, 2022. For a successful joint mission, one spacecraft, DART, would impact the secondary of the Didymos system while AIM would observe and measure any change in the relative orbit. AIM will be the first probe to characterise a binary asteroid, especially from the dynamical point of view, but also considering its interior and subsurface composition. The mission concept focuses on the monitoring aspects i.e., the capability to determine in-situ the key physical properties of a binary asteroid playing a role in the system's dynamic behavior. DART will be the first ever space mission to deflect the trajectory of an asteroid in a measurable way.- It is expected that the deflection can be measured as a change in the relative orbit period with a precision better than 10%. The joint AIDA mission will return vital data to determine the momentum transfer efficiency of the kinetic impact [1,2].

  7. Life cycle assessment part 2: current impact assessment practice.

    PubMed

    Pennington, D W; Potting, J; Finnveden, G; Lindeijer, E; Jolliet, O; Rydberg, T; Rebitzer, G

    2004-07-01

    Providing our society with goods and services contributes to a wide range of environmental impacts. Waste generation, emissions and the consumption of resources occur at many stages in a product's life cycle-from raw material extraction, energy acquisition, production and manufacturing, use, reuse, recycling, through to ultimate disposal. These all contribute to impacts such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, photooxidant formation (smog), eutrophication, acidification, toxicological stress on human health and ecosystems, the depletion of resources and noise-among others. The need exists to address these product-related contributions more holistically and in an integrated manner, providing complimentary insights to those of regulatory/process-oriented methodologies. A previous article (Part 1, Rebitzer et al., 2004) outlined how to define and model a product's life cycle in current practice, as well as the methods and tools that are available for compiling the associated waste, emissions and resource consumption data into a life cycle inventory. This article highlights how practitioners and researchers from many domains have come together to provide indicators for the different impacts attributable to products in the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase of life cycle assessment (LCA). PMID:15051247

  8. Assessment and monitoring of long-term forest cover changes (1920-2013) in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, C. Sudhakar; Jha, C. S.; Dadhwal, V. K.

    2016-02-01

    Western Ghats are considered as one of the global biodiversity hotspots. There is an information gap on conservation status of the biodiversity hotspots. This study has quantified estimates of deforestation in the Western Ghats over a period of past nine decades. The classified forest cover maps for 1920, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013 indicates 95,446 (73.1%), 63,123 (48.4%), 62,286 (47.7%), 61,551 (47.2%), 61,511 (47.1%) and 61,511 km2 (47.1%) of the forest area, respectively. The rates of deforestation have been analyzed in different time phases, i.e., 1920-1975, 1975-1985, 1985-1995, 1995-2005 and 2005-2013. The grid cells of 1 km2 have been generated for time series analysis and describing spatial changes in forests. The net rate of deforestation was found to be 0.75 during 1920-1975, 0.13 during 1975-1985, 0.12 during 1985-1995 and 0.01 during 1995-2005. Overall forest loss in Western Ghats was estimated as 33,579 km2 (35.3% of the total forest) from 1920's to 2013. Land use change analysis indicates highest transformation of forest to plantations, followed by agriculture and degradation to scrub. The dominant forest type is tropical semi-evergreen which comprises 21,678 km2 (35.2%) of the total forest area of Western Ghats, followed by wet evergreen forest (30.6%), moist deciduous forest (24.8%) and dry deciduous forest (8.1%) in 2013. Even though it has the highest population density among the hotspots, there is no quantifiable net rate of deforestation from 2005 to 2013 which indicates increased measures of conservation.

  9. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  10. Biodiversity of rangelands

    SciTech Connect

    West, N.E. )

    1993-01-01

    Biodiversity is a multifaceted phenomenon involving the variety of organisms present, the genetic differences among them, and the communities, ecosystems, and landscape patterns in which they occur. Society will increasingly value biodiversity and influence the passage of laws and writing of regulations involving biodiversity which rangeland managers will have to abide by over the coming decades. Even private and developing world rangelands will be affected. While taxonomic knowledge of vertebrates and vascular plants and their abundance, rarity, and distribution, in the developed nations is generally adequate, the same cannot be said of the developing world. Furthermore, adequate knowledge of invertebrates, nonvascular plants, and microbes is deficient everywhere. Although the basis of variation at all higher levels, genetic variation within rangeland species, even the major ones, has barely been assessed. Obtaining statistically adequate data on populations of rare species that are small and secretive is well nigh impossible. There are many means of measuring community diversity, but all of them are value laden. That is, choice of variables to measure and how they are indexed betrays what one considers are important. One should be more forthright in stating to the users the biases of these methods. There are many other, more useful ways to describe community-level diversity besides the traditional focus on species. Ungulate grazing is an important process in many ecosystems. Thus, removal of grazing destabilizes some systems. Livestock grazing will actually increase the chances of survival of some species. Sustainable development will depend on finding balance between use and protection, from range sites to landscapes, and even on a global basis. 120 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Pastures and biodiversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers often plant monocultures or simple grass-legume mixtures in their pastures. Increased biodiversity in pastures may be one tool to improve sustainability and productivity. This fact sheet addresses some common questions regarding biodiversity in pastures. Very broadly, biodiversity refers to ...

  12. Impacts of a Warming Arctic - Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    2004-12-01

    The Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social, and economic changes, many of which have already begun. Changes in arctic climate will also affect the rest of the world through increased global warming and rising sea levels. Impacts of a Warming Arctic is a plain language synthesis of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), designed to be accessible to policymakers and the broader public. The ACIA is a comprehensively researched, fully referenced, and independently reviewed evaluation of arctic climate change. It has involved an international effort by hundreds of scientists. This report provides vital information to society as it contemplates its responses to one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is illustrated in full color throughout.

  13. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  14. Environmental Impact Assessment and Space Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viikari, L.

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a common tool for environment a l protection and management on Earth today, as prior assessment of the environmental consequences of planned activities. It is meant to provide the decision-makers with as comprehensive as possible information about the different environmental effects the proposed activity would entail, including alternative courses of action and the zero-alternative (i.e. the no action alternative). Additionally, plans for mitigation in respect of each alternative are to be outlined. The assessments take account of i.a. environmental impacts on ecosystems, diminution of aesthetic and scientific values, long-term or cumulative effects, as well as transfrontier implications. They also consider issues such as pollution control, environmental protection measures, reporting, post-project analysis, rehabilitation and so on. Also uncertainties in the assessment process are to be expressly presented. Most importantly, a common requirement also is that the results of the impact studies are presented in a way comprehensible to the g neral public,e too. Although the central aspect of the EIA is to provide the decision-makers with scientific information, the process also has other important implications. One of the most relevant of them is the involvement of those people potentially affected in some way by the proposed activity: most EIA systems require in some way the participation of the public, alongside with the relevant governmental authorities and other stake-holders. Such public involvement has various aims and goals: it may serve as a testimony to good governance in general, or be considered in more practical terms as improved planning, due to the concrete contribution of the public to the decision-making process. Obviously, it also is a tool for reducing conflict and developing wider support for the eventual decisions. In short, it enables the public to gain information about planned activities and influence

  15. Assessing the regional impacts of increased energy maize cultivation on farmland birds.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Karoline; Glemnitz, Michael

    2014-02-01

    The increasing cultivation of energy crops in Germany substantially affects the habitat function of agricultural landscapes. Precise ex ante evaluations regarding the impacts of this cultivation on farmland bird populations are rare. The objective of this paper was to implement a methodology to assess the regional impacts of increasing energy maize cultivation on the habitat quality of agricultural lands for farmland birds. We selected five farmland bird indicator species with varying habitat demands. Using a crop suitability modelling approach, we analysed the availability of potential habitat areas according to different land use scenarios for a real landscape in Northeast Germany. The model was based on crop architecture, cultivation period, and landscape preconditions. Our results showed that the habitat suitability of different crops varied between bird species, and scenario calculations revealed an increase and a decrease in the size of the potential breeding and feeding habitats, respectively. The effects observed in scenario 1 (increased energy maize by 15%) were not reproduced in all cases in scenario 2 (increased energy maize by 30%). Spatial aggregation of energy maize resulted in a negative effect for some species. Changes in the composition of the farmland bird communities, the negative effects on farmland bird species limited in distribution and spread and the relevance of the type of agricultural land use being replaced by energy crops are also discussed. In conclusion, we suggest a trade-off between biodiversity and energy targets by identifying biodiversity-friendly energy cropping systems. PMID:24323319

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. Children Prioritize Virtual Exotic Biodiversity over Local Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Ballouard, Jean-Marie; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1) a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2) an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords) was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect “virtual” (unseen, exotic) rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity. PMID:21829710

  18. Wilderness and biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Mittermeier, R. A.; Mittermeier, C. G.; Brooks, T. M.; Pilgrim, J. D.; Konstant, W. R.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Kormos, C.

    2003-01-01

    Human pressure threatens many species and ecosystems, so conservation efforts necessarily prioritize saving them. However, conservation should clearly be proactive wherever possible. In this article, we assess the biodiversity conservation value, and specifically the irreplaceability in terms of species endemism, of those of the planet's ecosystems that remain intact. We find that 24 wilderness areas, all > 1 million hectares, are > 70% intact and have human densities of less than or equal to five people per km2. This wilderness covers 44% of all land but is inhabited by only 3% of people. Given this sparse population, wilderness conservation is cost-effective, especially if ecosystem service value is incorporated. Soberingly, however, most wilderness is not speciose: only 18% of plants and 10% of terrestrial vertebrates are endemic to individual wildernesses, the majority restricted to Amazonia, Congo, New Guinea, the Miombo-Mopane woodlands, and the North American deserts. Global conservation strategy must target these five wildernesses while continuing to prioritize threatened biodiversity hotspots. PMID:12930898

  19. Assessing the risk of impact of farming intensification on calcareous grasslands in Europe: a quantitative implementation of the MIRABEL framework.

    PubMed

    Petit, Sandrine; Elbersen, Berien

    2006-09-01

    Intensification of farming practices is still a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe, despite the implementation of policies that aim to reverse this trend. A conceptual framework called MIRABEL was previously developed that enabled a qualitative and expert-based assessment of the impact of agricultural intensification on ecologically valuable habitats. We present a quantitative update of the previous assessment that uses newly available pan-European spatially explicit data on pressures and habitats at risk. This quantitative assessment shows that the number of calcareous grasslands potentially at risk of eutrophication and overgrazing is rapidly increasing in Europe. Decreases in nitrogen surpluses and stocking densities that occurred between 1990 and 2000 have rarely led to values that were below the ecological thresholds. At the same time, a substantial proportion of calcareous grassland that has so far experienced low values for indicators of farming intensification has faced increases between 1990 and 2000 and could well become at high risk from farming intensification in the near future. As such, this assessment is an early warning signal, especially for habitats located in areas that have traditionally been farmed extensively. When comparing the outcome of this assessment with the previous qualitative MIRABEL assessment, it appears that if pan-European data are useful to assess the intensity of the pressures, more work is needed to identify regional variations in the response of biodiversity to such pressures. This is where a qualitative approach based on regional expertise should be used to complement data-driven assessments. PMID:17240762

  20. Relating costs to the user value of farmland biodiversity measurements.

    PubMed

    Targetti, S; Herzog, F; Geijzendorffer, I R; Pointereau, P; Viaggi, D

    2016-01-01

    The impact of agricultural management on global biodiversity highlights the need for farm-scale monitoring programmes capable of determining the performance of agriculture practices. Yet the identification of appropriate indicators is a challenging process and one that involves considering a number of different aspects and requirements. Besides the attention given to scientific effectiveness, relevant but less studied issues related to biodiversity measurements include the economic feasibility of monitoring programmes and the relevance of indicators for different end-users. In this paper, we combine an analytic assessment of costs and a stakeholder-based evaluation of the usefulness of a set of biodiversity-related parameters (habitat mapping, vegetation, bees, earthworms, spiders, and a farmer questionnaire) tested for scientific consistency in 12 European case studies and on more than 14,000 ha of farmland. The results point to the possibility of meeting the expectations of different end-users (administrators, farmers and consumers) with a common indicator set. Combining costs and usefulness also suggests the possibility of designing more efficient monitoring approaches involving private agencies and networks of volunteers and farmers for the field data collection at different stages of a monitoring programme. Although complex, such an approach would make it possible to enhance the effectiveness of available funds for farmland biodiversity monitoring. PMID:26457535

  1. Guidelines for Using Movement Science to Inform Biodiversity Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, Philip S.; Lentini, Pia E.; Alacs, Erika; Bau, Sana; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Burns, Emma L.; Driscoll, Don A.; Guja, Lydia K.; Kujala, Heini; Lahoz-Monfort, José J.; Mortelliti, Alessio; Nathan, Ran; Rowe, Ross; Smith, Annabel L.

    2015-10-01

    Substantial advances have been made in our understanding of the movement of species, including processes such as dispersal and migration. This knowledge has the potential to improve decisions about biodiversity policy and management, but it can be difficult for decision makers to readily access and integrate the growing body of movement science. This is, in part, due to a lack of synthesis of information that is sufficiently contextualized for a policy audience. Here, we identify key species movement concepts, including mechanisms, types, and moderators of movement, and review their relevance to (1) national biodiversity policies and strategies, (2) reserve planning and management, (3) threatened species protection and recovery, (4) impact and risk assessments, and (5) the prioritization of restoration actions. Based on the review, and considering recent developments in movement ecology, we provide a new framework that draws links between aspects of movement knowledge that are likely the most relevant to each biodiversity policy category. Our framework also shows that there is substantial opportunity for collaboration between researchers and government decision makers in the use of movement science to promote positive biodiversity outcomes.

  2. Guidelines for Using Movement Science to Inform Biodiversity Policy.

    PubMed

    Barton, Philip S; Lentini, Pia E; Alacs, Erika; Bau, Sana; Buckley, Yvonne M; Burns, Emma L; Driscoll, Don A; Guja, Lydia K; Kujala, Heini; Lahoz-Monfort, José J; Mortelliti, Alessio; Nathan, Ran; Rowe, Ross; Smith, Annabel L

    2015-10-01

    Substantial advances have been made in our understanding of the movement of species, including processes such as dispersal and migration. This knowledge has the potential to improve decisions about biodiversity policy and management, but it can be difficult for decision makers to readily access and integrate the growing body of movement science. This is, in part, due to a lack of synthesis of information that is sufficiently contextualized for a policy audience. Here, we identify key species movement concepts, including mechanisms, types, and moderators of movement, and review their relevance to (1) national biodiversity policies and strategies, (2) reserve planning and management, (3) threatened species protection and recovery, (4) impact and risk assessments, and (5) the prioritization of restoration actions. Based on the review, and considering recent developments in movement ecology, we provide a new framework that draws links between aspects of movement knowledge that are likely the most relevant to each biodiversity policy category. Our framework also shows that there is substantial opportunity for collaboration between researchers and government decision makers in the use of movement science to promote positive biodiversity outcomes. PMID:26099570

  3. Biodiversity of air-borne microorganisms at Halley Station, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Pearce, David A; Hughes, K A; Lachlan-Cope, T; Harangozo, S A; Jones, A E

    2010-03-01

    A study of air-borne microbial biodiversity over an isolated scientific research station on an ice-shelf in continental Antarctica was undertaken to establish the potential source of microbial colonists. The study aimed to assess: (1) whether microorganisms were likely to have a local (research station) or distant (marine or terrestrial) origin, (2) the effect of changes in sea ice extent on microbial biodiversity and (3) the potential human impact on the environment. Air samples were taken above Halley Research Station during the austral summer and austral winter over a 2-week period. Overall, a low microbial biodiversity was detected, which included many sequence replicates. No significant patterns were detected in the aerial biodiversity between the austral summer and the austral winter. In common with other environmental studies, particularly in the polar regions, many of the sequences obtained were from as yet uncultivated organisms. Very few marine sequences were detected irrespective of the distance to open water, and around one-third of sequences detected were similar to those identified in human studies, though both of these might reflect prevailing wind conditions. The detected aerial microorganisms were markedly different from those obtained in earlier studies over the Antarctic Peninsula in the maritime Antarctic. PMID:20091326

  4. 75 FR 51468 - Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-20

    ... SECURITY Office of the Secretary Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web AGENCY: Privacy Office... Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making available thirty-five Privacy Impact Assessments on various...'s Web site between October 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. DATES: The Privacy Impact Assessments will...

  5. The spatial relationships between geodiversity and biodiversity; the Dębnica catchment, Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najwer, Alicja; Borysiak, Janina; Gudowicz, Joanna; Mazurek, Małgorzata; Zwoliński, Zbigniew

    2016-04-01

    Natural environment consists of a variety of correlated abiotic and biotic systems, which are responsible for diversity in nature. Geodiversity determines biodiversity but occasionally an inverse relationship may occur, e.g. the impact of diversity and multiplicity of species on the character of biogenic sediments. Recognizing parts of the territory that are the most diversified turns out to be a very crucial for management and planning of natural protected areas. The main aim of the presentation is to determine spatial relationships between geodiversity and biodiversity using a unique combination of maps for the Dębnica catchment (West Pomerania, Poland) as well as an attempt to integrate geodiversity and biodiversity assessments of the lowland areas of the postglacial origin. The collected field and literature data, both analogue and digital, allowed for assessing geodiversity and biodiversity. Seven factor maps were obtained, i.e. five maps for the diversity of abiotic elements (lithology, relative heights, landform fragmentation, hydrological elements and mesoclimate) and two for the diversity of biotic elements (potential natural vegetation and real vegetation based on hemeroby and vegetation origin), which became the basis for the creation of the final geodiversity and biodiversity maps. A unique combination of geodiversity and biodiversity maps in the catchment of Dębnica was created. These combinations reflect the coexistence of five distinguished classes of geodiversity and biodiversity assessment and their spatial relationships occurring between individual units. In Dębnica catchment there are all possible cases of 25 unique categories. The largest areas are units of low geodiversity with medium and high biodiversity (47.05%), high geodiversity with medium and high biodiversity (22.89%) and medium geodiversity with medium biodiversity (14.37%). Units of low biodiversity in combination with geodiversity occupy only 7% of the whole catchment area of D

  6. Non-Linear Interactions Determine the Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Estuarine Benthic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C. L.

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches. PMID:23861863

  7. Integrated Climate Change Impacts Assessment in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayan, D. R.; Franco, G.; Meyer, R.; Anderson, M.; Bromirski, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    This paper summarizes lessons learned from an ongoing series of climate change assessments for California, conducted by the scientific community and State and local agencies. A series of three Assessments have considered vulnerability and adaptation issues for both managed and natural systems. California's vulnerability is many faceted, arising because of an exceptionally drought prone climate, open coast and large estuary exposure to sea level rise, sensitive ecosystems and complex human footprint and economy. Key elements of the assessments have been a common set of climate and sea-level rise scenarios, based upon IPCC GCM simulations. Regionalized and localized output from GCM projections was provided to research teams investigating water supply, agriculture, coastal resources, ecosystem services, forestry, public health, and energy demand and hydropower generation. The assessment results are helping to investigate the broad range of uncertainty that is inherent in climate projections, and users are becoming better equipped to process an envelope of potential climate and impacts. Some projections suggest that without changes in California's present fresh-water delivery system, serious water shortages would take place, but that technical solutions are possible. Under a warmer climate, wildfire vulnerability is heightened markedly in some areas--estimated increases in burned area by the end of the 21st Century exceed 100% of the historical area burned in much of the forested areas of Northern California Along California coast and estuaries, projected rise in mean sea level will accelerate flooding occurrences, prompting the need for better education and preparedness. Many policymakers and agency personnel in California are factoring in results from the assessments and recognize the need for a sustained assessment process. An ongoing challenge, of course, is to achieve more engagement with a broader community of decision makers, and notably with the private sector.

  8. Biodiversity and climate change in relation to the Natura 2000 network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harley, M.; de Soye, Y.; Dickson, B.; Tucker, G.; Keder, G.

    2009-04-01

    This project will provide the European Commission (EC) with an overview of the likely impacts of climate change on biodiversity in the European Union (EU), particularly within the Natura 2000 (N2K) network of protected areas, and indications of how the design and implementation of current policy might need to be adapted to ensure that the EU delivers its commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond. The study will identify those species and associated habitats that are likely to be most vulnerable to climate change and the steps required to protect the integrity of the network from negative effects. The study will also assess the impacts of large-scale renewable energy schemes (wind parks, hydroelectric schemes and tidal barrages) on biodiversity and produce guidelines on the sorts of measures that might be used to maintain and protect N2K sites.

  9. The Substantial First Impact of Bottom Fishing on Rare Biodiversity Hotspots: A Dilemma for Evidence-Based Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Robert; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M.; Gell, Fiona R.; Holt, Rohan H. F.; Holt, Terry; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S.; Seed, Ray; Skates, Lucie R.; Stringell, Thomas B.; Sanderson, William G.

    2013-01-01

    This study describes the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfish-reefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.). One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallop-dredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90%) or scallop dredge (59%), as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids) were recorded in the trawl track. The severity of the two types of impact reflected the undisturbed status of the habitats compared to previous studies. As a ‘priority habitat’ the nature of the impacts described on M. modiolus communities are important to the development of conservation management policy and indicators of condition in Marine Protected Areas (EU Habitats Directive) as well as indicators of ‘Good Environmental Status’ under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Conservation managers are under pressure to support decisions with good quality evidence. Elsewhere, indirect studies have shown declines of M. modiolus biogenic communities in fishing grounds. However, given the protected status of the rare habitat, premeditated demonstration of direct impact is unethical or illegal in Marine Protected Areas. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact from fishing gear whilst at the same time reflecting on the dilemma of evidence-based conservation management. PMID:23967063

  10. Global biodiversity monitoring: from data sources to essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Proenca, Vania; Martin, Laura J.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Fernandez, Miguel; McRae, Louise; Belnap, Jayne; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Gregory, Richard D.; Honrado, Joao P; Jürgens, Norbert; Opige, Michael; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Tiago, Patricia; van Sway, Chris A

    2016-01-01

    Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) consolidate information from varied biodiversity observation sources. Here we demonstrate the links between data sources, EBVs and indicators and discuss how different sources of biodiversity observations can be harnessed to inform EBVs. We classify sources of primary observations into four types: extensive and intensive monitoring schemes, ecological field studies and satellite remote sensing. We characterize their geographic, taxonomic and temporal coverage. Ecological field studies and intensive monitoring schemes inform a wide range of EBVs, but the former tend to deliver short-term data, while the geographic coverage of the latter is limited. In contrast, extensive monitoring schemes mostly inform the population abundance EBV, but deliver long-term data across an extensive network of sites. Satellite remote sensing is particularly suited to providing information on ecosystem function and structure EBVs. Biases behind data sources may affect the representativeness of global biodiversity datasets. To improve them, researchers must assess data sources and then develop strategies to compensate for identified gaps. We draw on the population abundance dataset informing the Living Planet Index (LPI) to illustrate the effects of data sources on EBV representativeness. We find that long-term monitoring schemes informing the LPI are still scarce outside of Europe and North America and that ecological field studies play a key role in covering that gap. Achieving representative EBV datasets will depend both on the ability to integrate available data, through data harmonization and modeling efforts, and on the establishment of new monitoring programs to address critical data gaps.

  11. Comparing Two Approaches for Assessing Observation Impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Todling, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    Langland and Baker introduced an approach to assess the impact of observations on the forecasts. In that approach, a state-space aspect of the forecast is defined and a procedure is derived ultimately relating changes in the aspect with changes in the observing system. Some features of the state-space approach are to be noted: the typical choice of forecast aspect is rather subjective and leads to incomplete assessment of the observing system, it requires availability of a verification state that is in practice correlated with the forecast, and it involves the adjoint operator of the entire data assimilation system and is thus constrained by the validity of this operator. This article revisits the topic of observation impacts from the perspective of estimation theory. An observation-space metric is used to allow inferring observation impact on the forecasts without the limitations just mentioned. Using differences of observation-minus-forecast residuals obtained from consecutive forecasts leads to the following advantages: (i) it suggests a rather natural choice of forecast aspect that directly links to the data assimilation procedure, (ii) it avoids introducing undesirable correlations in the forecast aspect since verification is done against the observations, and (iii) it does not involve linearization and use of adjoints. The observation-space approach has the additional advantage of being nearly cost free and very simple to implement. In its simplest form it reduces to evaluating the statistics of observationminus- background and observation-minus-analysis residuals with traditional methods. Illustrations comparing the approaches are given using the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System.

  12. Groundwater resources impact assessment for triazine herbicides

    SciTech Connect

    Waldman, E.; Barrett, M.R.; Behl, E.

    1996-10-01

    The Environmental Fate and Ground Water Branch of EPA`s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has conducted a Water Resources Impact Assessment of the potential for triazine herbicides to be transported to ground and surface waters (only ground-water is discussed in this paper). The herbicides discussed in this document include atrazine, cyanazine, simazine, and prometon. Part of OPP`s regulatory mission is to prevent contamination of ground and surface water resources resulting from the normal use of registered pesticides. OPP has recently produced several resource documents to support such activities at the federal, state, and local levels (e.g., the Pesticides and Ground-Water Strategy and the Pesticides in Ground Water Database). This Water Resources Impact Assessment will also be useful in assisting state and regional agencies in customizing risk reduction strategies and to implement proposed pollution prevention measures. Major conclusions include: Atrazine is the most frequently detected pesticide in ground water in virtually the entire Midwestern United States, and especially in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. The Pesticides in Ground Water Database 1992 Report indicates that atrazine has been detected in 32 out of the 40 states that have reported monitoring data, and in 1,512 wells (6%) of the wells sampled. Based on EPA`s National Pesticide Survey (NPS), 4.7% of rural domestic drinking water wells in the U.S. (490,000 wells) are estimated to contain atrazine, mostly at concentrations less than 0.12 {mu}g/L (the MCL for atrazine is 3 {mu}g/L). Triazine herbicides other than atrazine (simazine, cyanazine, and prometon) have had much less impact on ground-water quality than atrazine, primarily because they are less intensively used.

  13. A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets.

    PubMed

    Tittensor, Derek P; Walpole, Matt; Hill, Samantha L L; Boyce, Daniel G; Britten, Gregory L; Burgess, Neil D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Leadley, Paul W; Regan, Eugenie C; Alkemade, Rob; Baumung, Roswitha; Bellard, Céline; Bouwman, Lex; Bowles-Newark, Nadine J; Chenery, Anna M; Cheung, William W L; Christensen, Villy; Cooper, H David; Crowther, Annabel R; Dixon, Matthew J R; Galli, Alessandro; Gaveau, Valérie; Gregory, Richard D; Gutierrez, Nicolas L; Hirsch, Tim L; Höft, Robert; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie R; Karmann, Marion; Krug, Cornelia B; Leverington, Fiona J; Loh, Jonathan; Lojenga, Rik Kutsch; Malsch, Kelly; Marques, Alexandra; Morgan, David H W; Mumby, Peter J; Newbold, Tim; Noonan-Mooney, Kieran; Pagad, Shyama N; Parks, Bradley C; Pereira, Henrique M; Robertson, Tim; Rondinini, Carlo; Santini, Luca; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Schindler, Stefan; Sumaila, U Rashid; Teh, Louise S L; van Kolck, Jennifer; Visconti, Piero; Ye, Yimin

    2014-10-10

    In 2010, the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related "Aichi Targets" to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets. We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive statistical framework that incorporated the specific properties of individual time series. On current trajectories, results suggest that despite accelerating policy and management responses to the biodiversity crisis, the impacts of these efforts are unlikely to be reflected in improved trends in the state of biodiversity by 2020. We highlight areas of societal endeavor requiring additional efforts to achieve the Aichi Targets, and provide a baseline against which to assess future progress. PMID:25278504

  14. STRATEGIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF CLIMATE SCENARIOS FOR IMPACT ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    In order to create a strategy for the development of climate scenarios for use in impact assessment, potential techniques of development were reviewed and the information needs of potential users assessed. vailable techniques were assessed through literature reviews and consultat...

  15. Essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pereira, H.M.; Ferrier, S.; Walters, M.; Geller, G.N.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Scholes, R.J.; Bruford, M.W.; Brummitt, N.; Butchart, S.H.M.; Cardoso, A.C.; Coops, N.C.; Dulloo, E.; Faith, D.P.; Freyhof, J.; Gregory, R.D.; Heip, C.; Höft, R.; Hurtt, G.; Jetz, W.; Karp, D.S.; McGeoch, M.A.; Obura, D.; Onada, Y.; Pettorelli, N.; Reyers, B.; Sayre, R.; Scharlemann, J.P.W.; Stuart, S.N.; Turak, E.; Walpole, M.; Wegmann, M.

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the rate of biodiversity loss and averting dangerous biodiversity change are international goals, reasserted by the Aichi Targets for 2020 by Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) after failure to meet the 2010 target (1, 2). However, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular, timely data on biodiversity change (3). With the first plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) soon under way, partners from the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) (4) are developing—and seeking consensus around—Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) that could form the basis of monitoring programs worldwide.

  16. Assessing Impacts of Climate Change on Forests: The State of Biological Modeling

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Dale, V. H.; Rauscher, H. M.

    1993-04-06

    Models that address the impacts to forests of climate change are reviewed by four levels of biological organization: global, regional or landscape, community, and tree. The models are compared as to their ability to assess changes in greenhouse gas flux, land use, maps of forest type or species composition, forest resource productivity, forest health, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat. No one model can address all of these impacts, but landscape transition models and regional vegetation and land-use models consider the largest number of impacts. Developing landscape vegetation dynamics models of functional groups is suggested as a means to integrate the theory of both landscape ecology and individual tree responses to climate change. Risk assessment methodologies can be adapted to deal with the impacts of climate change at various spatial and temporal scales. Four areas of research development are identified: (1) linking socioeconomic and ecologic models, (2) interfacing forest models at different scales, (3) obtaining data on susceptibility of trees and forest to changes in climate and disturbance regimes, and (4) relating information from different scales.

  17. Assessing impacts of climate change on forests: The state of biological modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, V.H.; Rauscher, H.M.

    1993-04-06

    Models that address the impacts to forests of climate change are reviewed by four levels of biological organization: global, regional or landscape, community, and tree. The models are compared as to their ability to assess changes in greenhouse gas flux, land use, maps of forest type or species composition, forest resource productivity, forest health, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat. No one model can address all of these impacts, but landscape transition models and regional vegetation and land-use models consider the largest number of impacts. Developing landscape vegetation dynamics models of functional groups is suggested as a means to integrate the theory of both landscape ecology and individual tree responses to climate change. Risk assessment methodologies can be adapted to deal with the impacts of climate change at various spatial and temporal scales. Four areas of research development are identified: (1) linking socioeconomic and ecologic models, (2) interfacing forest models at different scales, (3) obtaining data on susceptibility of trees and forest to changes in climate and disturbance regimes, and (4) relating information from different scales.

  18. A critical review of environmental impact statements in Sri Lanka with particular reference to ecological impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Samarakoon, Miriya; Rowan, John S

    2008-03-01

    This article critically reviews environmental assessment (EA) practices in Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on ecology. An overview is provided of the domestic and international influences which have shaped the administrative process which is currently a two-tiered scheme. An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) provides a preliminary screening tool, prior to the requirement for a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan national archives showed that 463 EAs were completed in the period 1981-2005, with the bulk of these in the more populated Western and North Western Provinces. Two-thirds were IEE surveys, while the remaining third advanced to full EIA. A representative sample of 130 EAs (both IEEs and full EIAs) spanning a broad range of project types, scales, and environmental settings was selected to evaluate the quality of the ecological investigations within the published environmental impact statements (EISs). These were assigned into five classes of "explanatory power", on the basis of their scientific content in relation to survey, analysis, and reporting of ecological interests. Within most EISs, the ecological impact assessment (EcIA) was restricted to the lowest two categories of ecological assessment, i.e., tokenistic presentation of reconnaissance-level species lists without further analysis of the development implications for individual organisms or communities. None of the assessments reviewed provided statistically rigorous analysis, which would be required if ecological impact studies are to include quantitative and testable predictions of impact, which could then be followed up by appropriate post-impact monitoring programs. Attention to key local issues such as biodiversity or ecosystem services, which also have strong social dimensions in the developing world, was also notably underrepresented. It was thus concluded that despite the existence of a sound legislative framework in Sri Lanka, the analysis

  19. A Critical Review of Environmental Impact Statements in Sri Lanka with Particular Reference to Ecological Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samarakoon, Miriya; Rowan, John S.

    2008-03-01

    This article critically reviews environmental assessment (EA) practices in Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on ecology. An overview is provided of the domestic and international influences which have shaped the administrative process which is currently a two-tiered scheme. An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) provides a preliminary screening tool, prior to the requirement for a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan national archives showed that 463 EAs were completed in the period 1981 2005, with the bulk of these in the more populated Western and North Western Provinces. Two-thirds were IEE surveys, while the remaining third advanced to full EIA. A representative sample of 130 EAs (both IEEs and full EIAs) spanning a broad range of project types, scales, and environmental settings was selected to evaluate the quality of the ecological investigations within the published environmental impact statements (EISs). These were assigned into five classes of “explanatory power”, on the basis of their scientific content in relation to survey, analysis, and reporting of ecological interests. Within most EISs, the ecological impact assessment (EcIA) was restricted to the lowest two categories of ecological assessment, i.e., tokenistic presentation of reconnaissance-level species lists without further analysis of the development implications for individual organisms or communities. None of the assessments reviewed provided statistically rigorous analysis, which would be required if ecological impact studies are to include quantitative and testable predictions of impact, which could then be followed up by appropriate post-impact monitoring programs. Attention to key local issues such as biodiversity or ecosystem services, which also have strong social dimensions in the developing world, was also notably underrepresented. It was thus concluded that despite the existence of a sound legislative framework in Sri Lanka, the

  20. AIDA: the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-07-01

    The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission is a joint cooperation between European and US space agencies that consists of two separate and independent spacecraft that will be launched to a binary asteroid system, the near-Earth asteroid Didymos, to assess the possibility of deflecting an asteroid trajectory by using a kinetic impactor. The European Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) is under Phase A/B1 study at ESA from March 2015 until summer 2016. AIM is set to rendez-vous with the asteroid system a few months prior to the impact by the US Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft to fully characterize the smaller of the two binary components. AIM is a unique mission as it will be the first time that a spacecraft will investigate the surface, subsurface, and internal properties of a small binary near Earth asteroid. In addition it will perform various important technology demonstrations that can serve other space missions: AIM will release a set of CubeSats in deep space and a lander on the surface of the smaller asteroid and for the first time, deep-space inter-satellite linking will be demonstrated between the main spacecraft, the CubeSats, and the lander, and data will also be transmitted from interplanetary space to Earth by a laser communication system. The knowledge obtained by this mission will have great implications for our understanding of the history of the Solar System. Small asteroids are believed to result from collisions and other processes (e.g., spinup, shaking) that made them what they are now. Having direct information on their surface and internal properties will allow us to understand how these processes work and transform these small bodies as well as, for this particular case, how a binary system forms. So far, our understanding of the collisional process and the validation of numerical simulations of the impact process rely on impact experiments at laboratory scales. With DART, thanks to the characterization of the

  1. Pacific issues of biodiversity, health and nutrition.

    PubMed

    Englberger, Lois; Lorens, Adelino; Guarino, Luigi; Taylor, Mary; Snowdon, Wendy; Maddison, Marie; Mieger, Judy; Thomson, Lex; Lippwe, Kipier; Rimon, Betarim; Fitzgerald, Maureen H; Tibon, Jorelik; Sohhrab, Sepehr; Ehmes, Okean; Rally, Jim; Shed, Patterson

    2007-09-01

    Neglect of traditional food systems has led to serious nutrition and health problems throughout the Pacific Islands. At the same time, there is concern about the loss of traditional knowledge, customs and culture related to local foods, and of biodiversity. However, there is still a great diversity of nutrient-rich local food crops in the Pacific, along with considerable knowledge about these foods, their methods of production, harvesting, storage, and preparation. An integrated approach is needed in order to make a meaningful impact on increased production, marketing/processing and use of local food crops and foods for better health and nutrition, requiring greater collaboration between the health sector and agencies in other sectors. Priorities for action include: documentation and assessment of traditional food systems, including analysis of local foods and crop varieties for their nutrient content; innovative means of increasing awareness of the values of local foods among the general public and policy makers; conservation of rare varieties of crops and food trees and protection of the environment; and an increased focus on small-scale processing and marketing of local foods. Overriding all of this is the urgent need to mainstream consideration of these important issues into relevant national and regional policies. The rubric "Biodiversity for Health and Nutrition" incorporates all of these issues and provides a framework within which all partner agencies can be involved. PMID:19588616

  2. Assessing the Economic Impacts of Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazo, J. K.

    2008-05-01

    Understanding the socio-economic impacts of weather provides a basis for prioritizing actions to mitigate and respond to weather events and understanding the value of improvements in weather forecasts. In this talk we discuss two studies of the economic impacts of weather: (1) an empirical study of the sensitivity of state-sector level economic activity to weather variability and (2) an assessment of the quality of data on storm damages in the US as primarily collected through the National Weather Service's Storm Data Program. In the first study, 24 years of state level sector economic data and historical weather observations are used to form a panel combining weather information with economic data. A translog function is estimated of sectoral sensitivity and vulnerability to weather variability. Eleven sectors are ranked based on their degree of sensitivity to weather, states more sensitive to weather impacts are identified, and the aggregate dollar amount of variation in U.S. economic activity attributable to weather variability is calculated. Estimates indicate that US economic output varies by about 3.4% due to weather variability. While considerably smaller than prior estimates, our estimate represents about 469 billion a year in 2007 dollars. In our work to update and revise damage data in the Extreme Weather Sourcebook (www.sip.ucar.edu/sourcebook), we have confronted issues concerning the depth, accuracy and consistency of storm damage data collection. This type of data has been used in many studies exploring changes in weather impacts over time but there has been little recognition of the quality of the data. In the second study reported here, we examine issues with weather induced damage data quality to prompt a dialogue about reliability of scattered and inconsistent data from multiple sources. We hope this will lead to efforts to reduce the error in reported damages and to better reporting and organization of storm damage data in the future. We advocate

  3. Integrated environmental impact assessment: a Canadian example.

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Roy E.; Ooi, Maria

    2003-01-01

    The Canadian federal process for environmental impact assessment (EIA) integrates health, social, and environmental aspects into either a screening, comprehensive study, or a review by a public panel, depending on the expected severity of potential adverse environmental effects. In this example, a Public Review Panel considered a proposed diamond mining project in Canada's northern territories, where 50% of the population are Aboriginals. The Panel specifically instructed the project proposer to determine how to incorporate traditional knowledge into the gathering of baseline information, preparing impact prediction, and planning mitigation and monitoring. Traditional knowledge is defined as the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and/or local communities developed from experience gained over the centuries and adapted to local culture and environment. The mining company was asked to consider in its EIA: health, demographics, social and cultural patterns; services and infrastructure; local, regional and territorial economy; land and resource use; employment, education and training; government; and other matters. Cooperative efforts between government, industry and the community led to a project that coordinated the concerns of all interested stakeholders and the needs of present and future generations, thereby meeting the goals of sustainable development. The mitigation measures that were implemented take into account: income and social status, social support networks, education, employment and working conditions, physical environments, personal health practices and coping skills, and health services. PMID:12894328

  4. Catalysis-by-design impacts assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Fassbender, L L; Young, J K; Sen, R K

    1991-05-01

    Catalyst researchers have always recognized the need to develop a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of catalytic processes, and have hoped that it would lead to developing a theoretical predictive base to guide the search for new catalysts. This understanding allows one to develop a set of hierarchical models, from fundamental atomic-level ab-initio models to detailed engineering simulations of reactor systems, to direct the search for optimized, efficient catalyst systems. During the last two decades, the explosions of advanced surface analysis techniques have helped considerably to develop the building blocks for understanding various catalytic reactions. An effort to couple these theoretical and experimental advances to develop a set of hierarchical models to predict the nature of catalytic materials is a program entitled Catalysis-by-Design (CRD).'' In assessing the potential impacts of CBD on US industry, the key point to remember is that the value of the program lies in developing a novel methodology to search for new catalyst systems. Industrial researchers can then use this methodology to develop proprietary catalysts. Most companies involved in catalyst R D have two types of ongoing projects. The first type, what we call market-driven R D,'' are projects that support and improve upon a company's existing product lines. Project of the second type, technology-driven R D,'' are longer term, involve the development of totally new catalysts, and are initiated through scientists' research ideas. The CBD approach will impact both types of projects. However, this analysis indicates that the near-term impacts will be on market-driven'' projects. The conclusions and recommendations presented in this report were obtained by the authors through personal interviews with individuals involved in a variety of industrial catalyst development programs and through the three CBD workshops held in the summer of 1989. 34 refs., 7 figs., 7 tabs.

  5. 40 CFR 227.22 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 227.22 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN DUMPING CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Other Uses of the Ocean § 227.22 Assessment of impact. The assessment of impact on other...

  6. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C.; McGuire, A. David; Reich, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche–efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche–efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species’ inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  7. Practitioners, professional cultures, and perceptions of impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, Richard K.; Hart, Andrew; Freeman, Claire; Coutts, Brian; Colwill, David; Hughes, Andrew

    2012-01-15

    The very nature of impact assessment (IA) means that it often involves practitioners from a very wide range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds, which open the possibility that how IA is perceived and practised may vary according to the professional background of the practitioner. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which a practitioner's professional background influences their perceptions of the adequacy of impact assessment in New Zealand under the Resource Management Act (RMA). Information gathered concerned professional affiliations, training, understanding of impact assessment practise, and perceptions of adequacy in relation to impact assessment. The results showed a dominance of a legalistic, operational perspective of impact assessment under the Resource Management Act, across all the main professions represented in the study. However, among preparers of impact assessments there was clear evidence of differences between the four main professional groups - surveyors, planners, engineers and natural scientists - in the way they see the nature and purpose of impact assessment, the practical steps involved, and what constitutes adequacy. Similarly, impact assessment reviewers - predominantly planners and lawyers - showed variations in their expectations of impact assessment depending on their respective professional affiliation. Although in many cases the differences seem to be more of a matter of emphasis, rather than major disputes on what constitutes a good process, even those differences can add up to rather distinct professional cultures of impact assessment. The following factors are seen as leading to the emergence of such professional cultures: different professions often contribute in different ways to an impact assessment, affecting their perception of the nature and purpose of the process; impact assessment training will usually be a secondary concern, compared with the core professional training, which will be

  8. Rapid Characterisation of Vegetation Structure to Predict Refugia and Climate Change Impacts across a Global Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Schut, Antonius G. T.; Wardell-Johnson, Grant W.; Yates, Colin J.; Keppel, Gunnar; Baran, Ireneusz; Franklin, Steven E.; Hopper, Stephen D.; Van Niel, Kimberley P.; Mucina, Ladislav; Byrne, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    Identification of refugia is an increasingly important adaptation strategy in conservation planning under rapid anthropogenic climate change. Granite outcrops (GOs) provide extraordinary diversity, including a wide range of taxa, vegetation types and habitats in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR). However, poor characterization of GOs limits the capacity of conservation planning for refugia under climate change. A novel means for the rapid identification of potential refugia is presented, based on the assessment of local-scale environment and vegetation structure in a wider region. This approach was tested on GOs across the SWAFR. Airborne discrete return Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data and Red Green and Blue (RGB) imagery were acquired. Vertical vegetation profiles were used to derive 54 structural classes. Structural vegetation types were described in three areas for supervised classification of a further 13 GOs across the region. Habitat descriptions based on 494 vegetation plots on and around these GOs were used to quantify relationships between environmental variables, ground cover and canopy height. The vegetation surrounding GOs is strongly related to structural vegetation types (Kappa = 0.8) and to its spatial context. Water gaining sites around GOs are characterized by taller and denser vegetation in all areas. The strong relationship between rainfall, soil-depth, and vegetation structure (R2 of 0.8–0.9) allowed comparisons of vegetation structure between current and future climate. Significant shifts in vegetation structural types were predicted and mapped for future climates. Water gaining areas below granite outcrops were identified as important putative refugia. A reduction in rainfall may be offset by the occurrence of deeper soil elsewhere on the outcrop. However, climate change interactions with fire and water table declines may render our conclusions conservative. The LiDAR-based mapping approach presented enables the

  9. Rapid characterisation of vegetation structure to predict refugia and climate change impacts across a global biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Schut, Antonius G T; Wardell-Johnson, Grant W; Yates, Colin J; Keppel, Gunnar; Baran, Ireneusz; Franklin, Steven E; Hopper, Stephen D; Van Niel, Kimberley P; Mucina, Ladislav; Byrne, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    Identification of refugia is an increasingly important adaptation strategy in conservation planning under rapid anthropogenic climate change. Granite outcrops (GOs) provide extraordinary diversity, including a wide range of taxa, vegetation types and habitats in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR). However, poor characterization of GOs limits the capacity of conservation planning for refugia under climate change. A novel means for the rapid identification of potential refugia is presented, based on the assessment of local-scale environment and vegetation structure in a wider region. This approach was tested on GOs across the SWAFR. Airborne discrete return Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data and Red Green and Blue (RGB) imagery were acquired. Vertical vegetation profiles were used to derive 54 structural classes. Structural vegetation types were described in three areas for supervised classification of a further 13 GOs across the region. Habitat descriptions based on 494 vegetation plots on and around these GOs were used to quantify relationships between environmental variables, ground cover and canopy height. The vegetation surrounding GOs is strongly related to structural vegetation types (Kappa = 0.8) and to its spatial context. Water gaining sites around GOs are characterized by taller and denser vegetation in all areas. The strong relationship between rainfall, soil-depth, and vegetation structure (R(2) of 0.8-0.9) allowed comparisons of vegetation structure between current and future climate. Significant shifts in vegetation structural types were predicted and mapped for future climates. Water gaining areas below granite outcrops were identified as important putative refugia. A reduction in rainfall may be offset by the occurrence of deeper soil elsewhere on the outcrop. However, climate change interactions with fire and water table declines may render our conclusions conservative. The LiDAR-based mapping approach presented enables the

  10. Assessing Impact Submissions for REF 2014: An Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manville, Catriona; Guthrie, Susan; Henham, Marie-Louise; Garrod, Bryn; Sousa, Sonia; Kirtley, Anne; Castle-Clarke, Sophie; Ling, Tom

    2015-01-01

    The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). For the first time, part of the assessment included the wider impact of research. RAND Europe was commissioned to evaluate the assessment process of the impact element of REF submissions, and to explore the…

  11. Explore the impacts of river flow and quality on biodiversity for water resources management by AI techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Fi-John; Tsai Tsai, Wen-Ping; Chang, Li-Chiu

    2016-04-01

    Water resources development is very challenging in Taiwan due to her diverse geographic environment and climatic conditions. To pursue sustainable water resources development, rationality and integrity is essential for water resources planning. River water quality and flow regimes are closely related to each other and affect river ecosystems simultaneously. This study aims to explore the complex impacts of water quality and flow regimes on fish community in order to comprehend the situations of the eco-hydrological system in the Danshui River of northern Taiwan. To make an effective and comprehensive strategy for sustainable water resources management, this study first models fish diversity through implementing a hybrid artificial neural network (ANN) based on long-term observational heterogeneity data of water quality, stream flow and fish species in the river. Then we use stream flow to estimate the loss of dissolved oxygen based on back-propagation neural networks (BPNNs). Finally, the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) is established for river flow management over the Shihmen Reservoir which is the main reservoir in this study area. In addition to satisfying the water demands of human beings and ecosystems, we also consider water quality for river flow management. The ecosystem requirement takes the form of maximizing fish diversity, which can be estimated by the hybrid ANN. The human requirement is to provide a higher satisfaction degree of water supply while the water quality requirement is to reduce the loss of dissolved oxygen in the river among flow stations. The results demonstrate that the proposed methodology can offer diversified alternative strategies for reservoir operation and improve reservoir operation strategies for producing downstream flows that could better meet both human and ecosystem needs as well as maintain river water quality. Keywords: Artificial intelligence (AI), Artificial neural networks (ANNs), Non

  12. Biodiversity in forage stands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers often plant monocultures or simple grass-legume mixtures in their pastures. Increased biodiversity in pastures may be one tool to improve sustainability and productivity. For this production guide, we will focus on plant biodiversity because it is the most amenable to management in pastures....

  13. Application of Non-Human Biota Assessment Methodologies to the Assessment of Potential Impacts from a Nuclear Waste Repository

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, K.L.; Robinson, C.A.; Ikonen, A.T.K.

    2007-07-01

    The protection of the environment from the effects of ionising radiation has become increasingly more topical over the last few years as the intentions enshrined in international principles and agreements have become more binding through national and international law. For example, the Directive on impact of certain projects on the environment (EIA Directive 85/337/EEC) [CEC, 1985], amended in 1997 [CEC, 1997], places a mandatory requirement on all EU Member States to conduct environmental impact assessments for a range of project having potential impact on the environment, including radioactive waste disposal. Such assessments must consider humans, fauna and flora, the abiotic environment (soil, water, air), material assets and cultural heritage as well as the interactions between these factors. In Finland, Posiva Oy are responsible for the overall repository programme for spent nuclear fuel and, as such, are conducting the Safety Case Assessment for a proposed geological repository for nuclear waste. Within the European legislation framework, the Finnish regulatory body requires that the repository safety case assessment should include not only human radiological safety, but also an assessment of the potential impact upon populations of non-human biota. Specifically, the Safety Case should demonstrate that there will be: - no decline in the biodiversity of currently living populations; - no significant detriment to populations of fauna and flora; and, - no detrimental effects on individuals of domestic animals and rare plants and animals. At present, there are no internationally agreed criteria that explicitly address protection of the environment from ionising radiation. However, over recent years a number of assessment methodologies have been developed including, at a European level, the Framework for the Assessment of Environmental impact (FASSET) and Environmental Risks from Ionising Contaminants (ERICA). The International Committee on Radiation Protection

  14. Hollow rhodoliths increase Svalbard's shelf biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Teichert, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Rhodoliths are coralline red algal assemblages that commonly occur in marine habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes. They form rigid structures of high-magnesium calcite and have a good fossil record. Here I show that rhodoliths are ecosystem engineers in a high Arctic environment that increase local biodiversity by providing habitat. Gouged by boring mussels, originally solid rhodoliths become hollow ecospheres intensely colonised by benthic organisms. In the examined shelf areas, biodiversity in rhodolith-bearing habitats is significantly greater than in habitats without rhodoliths and hollow rhodoliths yield a greater biodiversity than solid ones. This biodiversity, however, is threatened because hollow rhodoliths take a long time to form and are susceptible to global change and anthropogenic impacts such as trawl net fisheries that can destroy hollow rhodoliths. Rhodoliths and other forms of coralline red algae play a key role in a plurality of environments and need improved management and protection plans. PMID:25382656

  15. Hollow rhodoliths increase Svalbard's shelf biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teichert, Sebastian

    2014-11-01

    Rhodoliths are coralline red algal assemblages that commonly occur in marine habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes. They form rigid structures of high-magnesium calcite and have a good fossil record. Here I show that rhodoliths are ecosystem engineers in a high Arctic environment that increase local biodiversity by providing habitat. Gouged by boring mussels, originally solid rhodoliths become hollow ecospheres intensely colonised by benthic organisms. In the examined shelf areas, biodiversity in rhodolith-bearing habitats is significantly greater than in habitats without rhodoliths and hollow rhodoliths yield a greater biodiversity than solid ones. This biodiversity, however, is threatened because hollow rhodoliths take a long time to form and are susceptible to global change and anthropogenic impacts such as trawl net fisheries that can destroy hollow rhodoliths. Rhodoliths and other forms of coralline red algae play a key role in a plurality of environments and need improved management and protection plans.

  16. Management implications of the biodiversity and socio-economic impacts of shrimp trawler by-catch in Bahía de Kino, Sonora, México.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Lorayne; Blinick, Naomi S; Fleishman, Abram B

    2012-01-01

    The shrimp fishery is the most economically important fishery in Mexico. The trawler-based portion of this fishery results in high rates of by-catch. This study quantifies and describes the biodiversity of by-catch associated with trawling in the Bahía de Kino region of Sonora, Mexico. Data were collected from 55 trawls, on six boats, over 14 nights, during November of 2003, 2004, 2006-2009. By-catch rates within trawl samples averaged 85.9% measured by weight. A total of 183 by-catch species were identified during the course of this study, including 97 species of bony fish from 43 families, 19 species of elasmobranchs from 12 families, 66 species of invertebrates from eight phyla, and one species of marine turtle; seven of the documented by-catch species are listed on the IUCN Red List, CITES, or the Mexican NOM-059-ECOL-2010; 35 species documented in the by-catch are also targeted by local artisanal fishers. Some of the species frequently captured as juveniles in the by-catch are economically important to small-scale fishers in the region, and are particularly sensitive to overexploitation due to their life histories. This study highlights the need for further research quantifying the impacts of high levels of by-catch upon small-scale fishing economies in the region and presents strong ecological and economic rationale for by-catch management within the shrimp fishery of the Gulf of California. Site-specific by-catch management plans should be piloted in the Bahía de Kino region to address the growing momentum in national and international fisheries policy regimes toward the reduction of by-catch in shrimp fisheries. PMID:22719827

  17. Management Implications of the Biodiversity and Socio-Economic Impacts of Shrimp Trawler By-Catch in Bahía de Kino, Sonora, México

    PubMed Central

    Meltzer, Lorayne; Blinick, Naomi S.; Fleishman, Abram B.

    2012-01-01

    The shrimp fishery is the most economically important fishery in Mexico. The trawler-based portion of this fishery results in high rates of by-catch. This study quantifies and describes the biodiversity of by-catch associated with trawling in the Bahía de Kino region of Sonora, Mexico. Data were collected from 55 trawls, on six boats, over 14 nights, during November of 2003, 2004, 2006–2009. By-catch rates within trawl samples averaged 85.9% measured by weight. A total of 183 by-catch species were identified during the course of this study, including 97 species of bony fish from 43 families, 19 species of elasmobranchs from 12 families, 66 species of invertebrates from eight phyla, and one species of marine turtle; seven of the documented by-catch species are listed on the IUCN Red List, CITES, or the Mexican NOM-059-ECOL-2010; 35 species documented in the by-catch are also targeted by local artisanal fishers. Some of the species frequently captured as juveniles in the by-catch are economically important to small-scale fishers in the region, and are particularly sensitive to overexploitation due to their life histories. This study highlights the need for further research quantifying the impacts of high levels of by-catch upon small-scale fishing economies in the region and presents strong ecological and economic rationale for by-catch management within the shrimp fishery of the Gulf of California. Site-specific by-catch management plans should be piloted in the Bahía de Kino region to address the growing momentum in national and international fisheries policy regimes toward the reduction of by-catch in shrimp fisheries. PMID:22719827

  18. COMBINING CLIMATE MODEL PREDICTIONS, HYDROLOGICAL MODELING, AND ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING ALGORITHMS TO PREDICT THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The results of this research will provide a broad taxonomic and regional assessment of the impacts of climate change on aquatic species in the United States by producing predictions of current and future habitat quality for aquatic taxa based on multiple climate change scen...

  19. Status of Marine Biodiversity of the China Seas

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1) a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2) the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3) coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4) mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5) a threatened seagrass field, and (6) an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007), the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction), particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are characterized by

  20. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    PubMed

    Liu, J Y

    2013-01-01

    China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1) a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2) the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3) coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4) mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5) a threatened seagrass field, and (6) an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007), the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction), particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are characterized by

  1. Dung Beetle Community and Functions along a Habitat-Disturbance Gradient in the Amazon: A Rapid Assessment of Ecological Functions Associated to Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Braga, Rodrigo F.; Korasaki, Vanesca; Andresen, Ellen; Louzada, Julio

    2013-01-01

    Although there is increasing interest in the effects of habitat disturbance on community attributes and the potential consequences for ecosystem functioning, objective approaches linking biodiversity loss to functional loss are uncommon. The objectives of this study were to implement simultaneous assessment of community attributes (richness, abundance and biomass, each calculated for total-beetle assemblages as well as small- and large-beetle assemblages) and three ecological functions of dung beetles (dung removal, soil perturbation and secondary seed dispersal), to compare the effects of habitat disturbance on both sets of response variables, and their relations. We studied dung beetle community attributes and functions in five land-use systems representing a disturbance gradient in the Brazilian Amazon: primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. All response variables were affected negatively by the intensification of habitat disturbance regimes, but community attributes and ecological functions did not follow the same pattern of decline. A hierarchical partitioning analysis showed that, although all community attributes had a significant effect on the three ecological functions (except the abundance of small beetles on all three ecological functions and the biomass of small beetles on secondary dispersal of large seed mimics), species richness and abundance of large beetles were the community attributes with the highest explanatory value. Our results show the importance of measuring ecological function empirically instead of deducing it from community metrics. PMID:23460906

  2. Dung beetle community and functions along a habitat-disturbance gradient in the Amazon: a rapid assessment of ecological functions associated to biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Braga, Rodrigo F; Korasaki, Vanesca; Andresen, Ellen; Louzada, Julio

    2013-01-01

    Although there is increasing interest in the effects of habitat disturbance on community attributes and the potential consequences for ecosystem functioning, objective approaches linking biodiversity loss to functional loss are uncommon. The objectives of this study were to implement simultaneous assessment of community attributes (richness, abundance and biomass, each calculated for total-beetle assemblages as well as small- and large-beetle assemblages) and three ecological functions of dung beetles (dung removal, soil perturbation and secondary seed dispersal), to compare the effects of habitat disturbance on both sets of response variables, and their relations. We studied dung beetle community attributes and functions in five land-use systems representing a disturbance gradient in the Brazilian Amazon: primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. All response variables were affected negatively by the intensification of habitat disturbance regimes, but community attributes and ecological functions did not follow the same pattern of decline. A hierarchical partitioning analysis showed that, although all community attributes had a significant effect on the three ecological functions (except the abundance of small beetles on all three ecological functions and the biomass of small beetles on secondary dispersal of large seed mimics), species richness and abundance of large beetles were the community attributes with the highest explanatory value. Our results show the importance of measuring ecological function empirically instead of deducing it from community metrics. PMID:23460906

  3. Assessing the impacts of climate change on natural resource systems

    SciTech Connect

    Frederick, K.D.; Rosenberg, N.J.

    1994-11-30

    This volume is a collection of papers addressing the theme of potential impacts of climatic change. Papers are entitled Integrated Assessments of the Impacts of Climatic Change on Natural Resources: An Introductory Editorial; Framework for Integrated Assessments of Global Warming Impacts; Modeling Land Use and Cover as Part of Global Environmental Change; Assessing Impacts of Climatic Change on Forests: The State of Biological Modeling; Integrating Climatic Change and Forests: Economic and Ecological Assessments; Environmental Change in Grasslands: Assessment using Models; Assessing the Socio-economic Impacts of Climatic Change on Grazinglands; Modeling the Effects of Climatic Change on Water Resources- A Review; Assessing the Socioeconomic Consequences of Climate Change on Water Resources; and Conclusions, Remaining Issues, and Next Steps.

  4. Developing the RIAM method (rapid impact assessment matrix) in the context of impact significance assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Ijaes, Asko; Kuitunen, Markku T.; Jalava, Kimmo

    2010-02-15

    In this paper the applicability of the RIAM method (rapid impact assessment matrix) is evaluated in the context of impact significance assessment. The methodological issues considered in the study are: 1) to test the possibilities of enlarging the scoring system used in the method, and 2) to compare the significance classifications of RIAM and unaided decision-making to estimate the consistency between these methods. The data used consisted of projects for which funding had been applied for via the European Union's Regional Development Trust in the area of Central Finland. Cases were evaluated with respect to their environmental, social and economic impacts using an assessment panel. The results showed the scoring framework used in RIAM could be modified according to the problem situation at hand, which enhances its application potential. However the changes made in criteria B did not significantly affect the final ratings of the method, which indicates the high importance of criteria A1 (importance) and A2 (magnitude) to the overall results. The significance classes obtained by the two methods diverged notably. In general the ratings given by RIAM tended to be smaller compared to intuitive judgement implying that the RIAM method may be somewhat conservative in character.

  5. Determining Vulnerability Importance in Environmental Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Toro, Javier; Duarte, Oscar; Requena, Ignacio; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2012-01-15

    The concept of vulnerability has been used to describe the susceptibility of physical, biotic, and social systems to harm or hazard. In this sense, it is a tool that reduces the uncertainties of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) since it does not depend exclusively on the value assessments of the evaluator, but rather is based on the environmental state indicators of the site where the projects or activities are being carried out. The concept of vulnerability thus reduces the possibility that evaluators will subjectively interpret results, and be influenced by outside interests and pressures during projects. However, up until now, EIA has been hindered by a lack of effective methods. This research study analyzes the concept of vulnerability, defines Vulnerability Importance and proposes its inclusion in qualitative EIA methodology. The method used to quantify Vulnerability Importance is based on a set of environmental factors and indicators that provide a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. The results obtained in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method since there is a direct relation between this value and the environmental state of the departments analyzed. - Research Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The concept of vulnerability could be considered defining Vulnerability Importance included in qualitative EIA methodology. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The use of the concept of environmental vulnerability could reduce the subjectivity of qualitative methods of EIA. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A method to quantify the Vulnerability Importance proposed provides a comprehensive overview of the environmental state. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Results in Colombia highlight the usefulness and objectivity of this method.

  6. Screening assessment and requirements for a comprehensive assessment: Volume 1, Draft. Columbia River comprehensive impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    1997-04-01

    To evaluate the impact to the Columbia River from the Hanford Site-derived contaminants, the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington State Department of Ecology initiated a study referred to as the Columbia River Comprehensive Impact Assessment (CRCIA). To address concerns about the scope and direction of CRCIA as well as enhance regulator, tribal, stockholder, and public involvement, the CRCIA Management Team was formed in August 1995. The Team agreed to conduct CRCIA using a phased approach. The initial phase, includes two components: 1) a screening assessment to evaluate the potential impact to the river, resulting from current levels of Hanford-derived contaminants in order to support decisions on Interim Remedial Measures, and 2) a definition of the essential work remaining to provide an acceptable comprehensive river impact assessment. The screening assessment is described in Part I of this report. The essential work remaining is Part II of this report. The objective of the screening assessment is to identify areas where the greatest potential exists for adverse effects on humans or the environment. Part I of this report discusses the scope, technical approach, and results of the screening assessment. Part II defines a new paradigm for predecisional participation by those affected by Hanford cleanup decisions.

  7. Biodiversity, traditional medicine and public health: where do they meet?

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

    Given the increased use of traditional medicines, possibilities that would ensure its successful integration into a public health framework should be explored. This paper discusses some of the links between biodiversity and traditional medicine, and addresses their implications to public health. We explore the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to global and human health, the risks which human impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity present to human health and welfare. PMID:17376227

  8. 40 CFR 227.19 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Dumping on Esthetic, Recreational and Economic Values § 227.19 Assessment of impact. An overall assessment... on the effect on esthetic, recreational and economic values based on the factors set forth in...

  9. 40 CFR 227.19 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Dumping on Esthetic, Recreational and Economic Values § 227.19 Assessment of impact. An overall assessment... on the effect on esthetic, recreational and economic values based on the factors set forth in...

  10. Towards the global monitoring of biodiversity change.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Henrique M; David Cooper, H

    2006-03-01

    Governments have set the ambitious target of reducing biodiversity loss by the year 2010. The scientific community now faces the challenge of assessing the progress made towards this target and beyond. Here, we review current monitoring efforts and propose a global biodiversity monitoring network to complement and enhance these efforts. The network would develop a global sampling programme for indicator taxa (we suggest birds and vascular plants) and would integrate regional sampling programmes for taxa that are locally relevant to the monitoring of biodiversity change. The network would also promote the development of comparable maps of global land cover at regular time intervals. The extent and condition of specific habitat types, such as wetlands and coral reefs, would be monitored based on regional programmes. The data would then be integrated with other environmental and socioeconomic indicators to design responses to reduce biodiversity loss. PMID:16701487

  11. NSTAR Ion Thruster Plume Impact Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.; Pencil, Eric J.; Rawlin, Vincent K.; Kussmaul, Michael; Oden, Katessha

    1995-01-01

    Tests were performed to establish 30-cm ion thruster plume impacts, including plume characterizations via near and farfield ion current measurements, contamination, and sputtering assessments. Current density measurements show that 95% of the beam was enclosed within a 22 deg half-angle and that the thrust vector shifted by less than 0.3 deg during throttling from 2.3 to 0.5 kW. The beam flatness parameter was found to be 0.47, and the ratio of doubly charged to singly charged ion current density decreased from 15% at 2.3 kW to 5% at 0.5 kW. Quartz sample erosion measurements showed that the samples eroded at a rate of between 11 and 13 pm/khr at 25 deg from the thruster axis, and that the rate dropped by a factor of four at 40 deg. Good agreement was obtained between extrapolated current densities and those calculated from tantalum target erosion measurements. Quartz crystal microbalance and witness plate measurements showed that ion beam sputtering of the tank resulted in a facility material backflux rate of -10 A/hr in a large space simulation chamber.

  12. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Waterway Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Korfmacher, Katrina Smith; Aviles, Katia; Cummings, B.J.; Daniell, William; Erdmann, Jared; Garrison, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Health impact assessments (HIA) promote the consideration of health in a wide range of public decisions. Although each HIA is different, common pathways, evidence bases, and strategies for community engagement tend to emerge in certain sectors, such as urban redevelopment, natural resource extraction, or transportation planning. To date, a limited number of HIAs have been conducted on decisions affecting water resources and waterfronts. This review presents four recent HIAs of water-related decisions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Although the four cases are topically and geographically diverse, several common themes emerged from the consideration of health in water-related decisions. Water resource decisions are characterized by multiple competing uses, inter-institutional and inter-jurisdictional complexity, scientific uncertainty, long time scales for environmental change, diverse cultural and historical human values, and tradeoffs between private use and public access. These four case studies reveal challenges and opportunities of examining waterfront decisions through a “health lens”. This review analyzes these cases, common themes, and lessons learned for the future practice of HIA in the waterfront zone and beyond. PMID:25547399

  13. A landscape ecology approach identifies important drivers of urban biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

    Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss. PMID:25620599

  14. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

    Fungal habitats include soil, water, and extreme environments. With around 100,000 fungus species already described, it is estimated that 5.1 million fungus species exist on our planet, making fungi one of the largest and most diverse kingdoms of eukaryotes. Fungi show remarkable metabolic features due to a sophisticated genomic network and are important for the production of biotechnological compounds that greatly impact our society in many ways. In this review, we present the current state of knowledge on fungal biodiversity, with special emphasis on filamentous fungi and the most recent discoveries in the field of identification and production of biotechnological compounds. More than 250 fungus species have been studied to produce these biotechnological compounds. This review focuses on three of the branches generally accepted in biotechnological applications, which have been identified by a color code: red, green, and white for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial biotechnology, respectively. We also discuss future prospects for the use of filamentous fungi in biotechnology application. PMID:26810078

  15. Terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys for the preparation of environmental impact assessments; how can we do it better? A Western Australian example

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Graham G. . E-mail: g.thompson@ecu.edu.au

    2007-01-15

    The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in 2002 released Position Statement, No. 3, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection outlining how terrestrial fauna survey data are to be used and interpreted in the preparation of environmental impact assessments (EIA). In 2004, the EPA released its Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors, Terrestrial Fauna Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia, No. 56. This paper briefly assesses the adequacy of recent terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support publicly released EIAs and indicates that the EPA is not always adhering to its own position and guidance statements. This paper argues that the current fauna survey guidelines are in need of improvement. The approach and requirements of some other Australian states are briefly assessed to identify similarities and where improvements can be made to the Western Australian (WA) guidelines. This paper concludes with suggestions on how the process and the guidelines in WA can be revised to more adequately assess the impact of developments on terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity and ecosystem function. These suggestions may have relevance for other areas where fauna surveys are undertaken to support EIAs.

  16. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Timber Production in Mixed Uneven-Aged Mountain Forests: Identification of Ecological Intensification Pathways.

    PubMed

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, Benoît

    2015-11-01

    Mixed uneven-aged forests are considered favorable to the provision of multiple ecosystem services and to the conciliation of timber production and biodiversity conservation. However, some forest managers now plan to increase the intensity of thinning and harvesting operations in these forests. Retention measures or gap creation are considered to compensate potential negative impacts on biodiversity. Our objectives were to assess the effect of these management practices on timber production and biodiversity conservation and identify potential compensating effects between these practices, using the concept of ecological intensification as a framework. We performed a simulation study coupling Samsara2, a simulation model designed for spruce-fir uneven-aged mountain forests, an uneven-aged silviculture algorithm, and biodiversity models. We analyzed the effect of parameters related to uneven-aged management practices on timber production, biodiversity, and sustainability indicators. Our study confirmed that the indicators responded differently to management practices, leading to trade-offs situations. Increasing management intensity had negative impacts on several biodiversity indicators, which could be partly compensated by the positive effect of retention measures targeting large trees, non-dominant species, and deadwood. The impact of gap creation was more mitigated, with a positive effect on the diversity of tree sizes and deadwood but a negative impact on the spruce-fir mixing balance and on the diversity of the understory layer. Through the analysis of compensating effects, we finally revealed the existence of possible ecological intensification pathways, i.e., the possibility to increase management intensity while maintaining biodiversity through the promotion of nature-based management principles (gap creation and retention measures). PMID:26105969

  17. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Timber Production in Mixed Uneven-Aged Mountain Forests: Identification of Ecological Intensification Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, Benoît

    2015-11-01

    Mixed uneven-aged forests are considered favorable to the provision of multiple ecosystem services and to the conciliation of timber production and biodiversity conservation. However, some forest managers now plan to increase the intensity of thinning and harvesting operations in these forests. Retention measures or gap creation are considered to compensate potential negative impacts on biodiversity. Our objectives were to assess the effect of these management practices on timber production and biodiversity conservation and identify potential compensating effects between these practices, using the concept of ecological intensification as a framework. We performed a simulation study coupling Samsara2, a simulation model designed for spruce-fir uneven-aged mountain forests, an uneven-aged silviculture algorithm, and biodiversity models. We analyzed the effect of parameters related to uneven-aged management practices on timber production, biodiversity, and sustainability indicators. Our study confirmed that the indicators responded differently to management practices, leading to trade-offs situations. Increasing management intensity had negative impacts on several biodiversity indicators, which could be partly compensated by the positive effect of retention measures targeting large trees, non-dominant species, and deadwood. The impact of gap creation was more mitigated, with a positive effect on the diversity of tree sizes and deadwood but a negative impact on the spruce-fir mixing balance and on the diversity of the understory layer. Through the analysis of compensating effects, we finally revealed the existence of possible ecological intensification pathways, i.e., the possibility to increase management intensity while maintaining biodiversity through the promotion of nature-based management principles (gap creation and retention measures).

  18. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. PMID:25430966

  19. Interbasin water transfer, riverine connectivity, and spatial controls on fish biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Lynch, Heather J.; Muneepeerakul, Rachata; Muthukumarasamy, Arunachalam; Rodríguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Fagan, William F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Large-scale inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) projects are commonly proposed as solutions to water distribution and supply problems. These problems are likely to intensify under future population growth and climate change scenarios. Scarce data on the distribution of freshwater fishes frequently limits the ability to assess the potential implications of an IBWT project on freshwater fish communities. Because connectivity in habitat networks is expected to be critical to species' biogeography, consideration of changes in the relative isolation of riverine networks may provide a strategy for controlling impacts of IBWTs on freshwater fish communities Methods/Principal Findings Using empirical data on the current patterns of freshwater fish biodiversity for rivers of peninsular India, we show here how the spatial changes alone under an archetypal IBWT project will (1) reduce freshwater fish biodiversity system-wide, (2) alter patterns of local species richness, (3) expand distributions of widespread species throughout peninsular rivers, and (4) decrease community richness by increasing inter-basin similarity (a mechanism for the observed decrease in biodiversity). Given the complexity of the IBWT, many paths to partial or full completion of the project are possible. We evaluate two strategies for step-wise implementation of the 11 canals, based on economic or ecological considerations. We find that for each step in the project, the impacts on freshwater fish communities are sensitive to which canal is added to the network. Conclusions/Significance Importantly, ecological impacts can be reduced by associating the sequence in which canals are added to characteristics of the links, except for the case when all 11 canals are implemented simultaneously (at which point the sequence of canal addition is inconsequential). By identifying the fundamental relationship between the geometry of riverine networks and freshwater fish biodiversity, our results will aid in

  20. The Impact of a Computerized Dietary Assessment on Nutrition Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hensleigh, Katherine Elizabeth; Eddy, James M.; Wang, Min Qi; Dennison, Darwin; Chaney, J. Don

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, many health educators have integrated computer applications into their health education program interventions. The assessment of the impact of these interventions is limited. This study assessed the impact of the Pyramid Challenge nutrition software program on nutrition knowledge levels of students enrolled in traditional personal…

  1. 78 FR 12337 - Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... SECURITY Office of the Secretary Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web AGENCY: Privacy Office... of Records Notice, 77 FR 30297 (May 22, 2012). System: DHS/CBP/PIA-010 Analytical Framework for... Security (DHS) Privacy Office is making available thirty-eight Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) on...

  2. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601 Section 75.601 Education Office of the Secretary, Department of Education DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  3. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601 Section 75.601 Education Office of the Secretary, Department of Education DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  4. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601 Section 75.601 Education Office of the Secretary, Department of Education DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  5. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601 Section 75.601 Education Office of the Secretary, Department of Education DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  6. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601 Section 75.601 Education Office of the Secretary, Department of Education DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  7. Can retention forestry help conserve biodiversity? A meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Fedrowitz, Katja; Koricheva, Julia; Baker, Susan C; Lindenmayer, David B; Palik, Brian; Rosenvald, Raul; Beese, William; Franklin, Jerry F; Kouki, Jari; Macdonald, Ellen; Messier, Christian; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne; Gustafsson, Lena

    2014-01-01

    Industrial forestry typically leads to a simplified forest structure and altered species composition. Retention of trees at harvest was introduced about 25 years ago to mitigate negative impacts on biodiversity, mainly from clearcutting, and is now widely practiced in boreal and temperate regions. Despite numerous studies on response of flora and fauna to retention, no comprehensive review has summarized its effects on biodiversity in comparison to clearcuts as well as un-harvested forests. Using a systematic review protocol, we completed a meta-analysis of 78 studies including 944 comparisons of biodiversity between retention cuts and either clearcuts or un-harvested forests, with the main objective of assessing whether retention forestry helps, at least in the short term, to moderate the negative effects of clearcutting on flora and fauna. Retention cuts supported higher richness and a greater abundance of forest species than clearcuts as well as higher richness and abundance of open-habitat species than un-harvested forests. For all species taken together (i.e. forest species, open-habitat species, generalist species and unclassified species), richness was higher in retention cuts than in clearcuts. Retention cuts had negative impacts on some species compared to un-harvested forest, indicating that certain forest-interior species may not survive in retention cuts. Similarly, retention cuts were less suitable for some open-habitat species compared with clearcuts. Positive effects of retention cuts on richness of forest species increased with proportion of retained trees and time since harvest, but there were not enough data to analyse possible threshold effects, that is, levels at which effects on biodiversity diminish. Spatial arrangement of the trees (aggregated vs. dispersed) had no effect on either forest species or open-habitat species, although limited data may have hindered our capacity to identify responses. Results for different comparisons were largely

  8. An environmental impact assessment system for agricultural R and D

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, Geraldo Stachetti; Campanhola, Clayton; Kitamura, Paulo Choji

    2003-03-01

    A strategic planning process has been implemented at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency (Embrapa) to introduce sustainable agriculture concepts in all steps of Research and Development (R and D). An essential part of the devised mission statement called for the impact assessment of all technology innovation resulting from R and D, under field conditions (ex-post). However, methods for impact assessment of technology innovations at the farmstead level appropriate for the institutional context were lacking. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) system (AMBITEC-AGRO) developed to attend that demand is composed by a set of weighing matrices constructed in an electronic spreadsheet. Impact indicators are evaluated in the field in an interview/survey, and weighed according to their spatial scale and importance toward effecting environmental impacts. The results of these weighing procedures are expressed graphically in the assessment spreadsheets. Finally, the indicator evaluations are composed into an Environmental Impact Index for the agricultural technology innovation.

  9. Assessing Environmental Impact: A Secondary School Learning Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nous, Albert P.

    This packet contains information on teaching about environmental impact. Background information is included on the role of environmental impact on our society and environmental risk is also discussed. Environmental impacts are studied using Stages of Assessment. Learning activities and seven lesson plans include: (1) "The Community Initiative";…

  10. Student Teachers' Understanding of the Terminology, Distribution, and Loss of Biodiversity: Perspectives from a Biodiversity Hotspot and an Industrialized Country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiebelkorn, Florian; Menzel, Susanne

    2013-08-01

    The loss of biodiversity is one of the most urgent global environmental problems of our time. Public education and awareness building is key to successful biodiversity protection. Knowledgeable and skilled student teachers are a key component for the successful implementation of biodiversity education in schools. Yet, little empirical evidence exists on teachers' detailed understanding of biodiversity. This study aimed to assess student teachers' conceptions of the terminology as well as their understanding of the distribution and loss of biodiversity. Data were collected from a qualitative in-depth interview study of student biology teachers from Costa Rica and Germany ( n = 24). Both verbal and visual methods were used to elicit responses. The results show that participants from both countries equated biodiversity with species diversity and had misconceptions about genetic diversity. Costa Rican student teachers seemed to have a more local perspective on biodiversity and unanimously described their local biodiversity as high, and under threat. In contrast, German teachers showed a more global view and were mostly uncertain about the level and threat status of local biodiversity. Prevailing associations explaining the global distribution and loss of biodiversity were heavily based on everyday assumptions, such as the presence/absence of humans, cities, and industries. Additionally, the transnational character of many of the socioeconomic drivers causing biodiversity loss was largely neglected. Although most participants were unfamiliar with the scientific concept of biodiversity hotspots, they implicitly used a naive biodiversity hotspots concept to explain the distribution and loss of global biodiversity. The results are discussed in terms of the educational implications.

  11. Energy, Water and Fish: Biodiversity Impacts of Energy-Sector Water Demand in the United States Depend on Efficiency and Policy Measures

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Robert I.; Olden, Julian D.; Opperman, Jeffrey J.; Miller, William M.; Fargione, Joseph; Revenga, Carmen; Higgins, Jonathan V.; Powell, Jimmie

    2012-01-01

    Rising energy consumption in coming decades, combined with a changing energy mix, have the potential to increase the impact of energy sector water use on freshwater biodiversity. We forecast changes in future water use based on various energy scenarios and examine implications for freshwater ecosystems. Annual water withdrawn/manipulated would increase by 18–24%, going from 1,993,000–2,628,000 Mm3 in 2010 to 2,359,000–3,271,000 Mm3 in 2035 under the Reference Case of the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Water consumption would more rapidly increase by 26% due to increased biofuel production, going from 16,700–46,400 Mm3 consumption in 2010 to 21,000–58,400 Mm3 consumption in 2035. Regionally, water use in the Southwest and Southeast may increase, with anticipated decreases in water use in some areas of the Midwest and Northeast. Policies that promote energy efficiency or conservation in the electric sector would reduce water withdrawn/manipulated by 27–36 m3GJ−1 (0.1–0.5 m3GJ−1 consumption), while such policies in the liquid fuel sector would reduce withdrawal/manipulation by 0.4–0.7 m3GJ−1 (0.2–0.3 m3GJ−1 consumption). The greatest energy sector withdrawal/manipulation are for hydropower and thermoelectric cooling, although potential new EPA rules that would require recirculating cooling for thermoelectric plants would reduce withdrawal/manipulation by 441,000 Mm3 (20,300 Mm3 consumption). The greatest consumptive energy sector use is evaporation from hydroelectric reservoirs, followed by irrigation water for biofuel feedstocks and water used for electricity generation from coal. Historical water use by the energy sector is related to patterns of fish species endangerment, where water resource regions with a greater fraction of available surface water withdrawn by hydropower or consumed by the energy sector correlated with higher probabilities of imperilment. Since future increases in energy-sector surface water use will occur in

  12. Energy, water and fish: biodiversity impacts of energy-sector water demand in the United States depend on efficiency and policy measures.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Robert I; Olden, Julian D; Opperman, Jeffrey J; Miller, William M; Fargione, Joseph; Revenga, Carmen; Higgins, Jonathan V; Powell, Jimmie

    2012-01-01

    Rising energy consumption in coming decades, combined with a changing energy mix, have the potential to increase the impact of energy sector water use on freshwater biodiversity. We forecast changes in future water use based on various energy scenarios and examine implications for freshwater ecosystems. Annual water withdrawn/manipulated would increase by 18-24%, going from 1,993,000-2,628,000 Mm(3) in 2010 to 2,359,000-3,271,000 Mm(3) in 2035 under the Reference Case of the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Water consumption would more rapidly increase by 26% due to increased biofuel production, going from 16,700-46,400 Mm(3) consumption in 2010 to 21,000-58,400 Mm(3) consumption in 2035. Regionally, water use in the Southwest and Southeast may increase, with anticipated decreases in water use in some areas of the Midwest and Northeast. Policies that promote energy efficiency or conservation in the electric sector would reduce water withdrawn/manipulated by 27-36 m(3)GJ(-1) (0.1-0.5 m(3)GJ(-1) consumption), while such policies in the liquid fuel sector would reduce withdrawal/manipulation by 0.4-0.7 m(3)GJ(-1) (0.2-0.3 m(3)GJ(-1) consumption). The greatest energy sector withdrawal/manipulation are for hydropower and thermoelectric cooling, although potential new EPA rules that would require recirculating cooling for thermoelectric plants would reduce withdrawal/manipulation by 441,000 Mm(3) (20,300 Mm(3) consumption). The greatest consumptive energy sector use is evaporation from hydroelectric reservoirs, followed by irrigation water for biofuel feedstocks and water used for electricity generation from coal. Historical water use by the energy sector is related to patterns of fish species endangerment, where water resource regions with a greater fraction of available surface water withdrawn by hydropower or consumed by the energy sector correlated with higher probabilities of imperilment. Since future increases in energy-sector surface water use will occur

  13. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems and the biodiversity they support are experiencing growing pressure from various stressors (e.g. development, climate change, contaminants, etc.) while established research and monitoring programs remain largely uncoordinated, lacking the ability to effectively monitor, understand and report on biodiversity trends at the circumpolar scale. The maintenance of healthy arctic ecosystems is a global imperative as the Arctic plays a critical role in the Earth's physical, chemical and biological balance. A coordinated and comprehensive effort for monitoring arctic ecosystems is needed to facilitate effective and timely conservation and adaptation actions. The Arctic's size and complexity represents a significant challenge towards detecting and attributing important biodiversity trends. This demands a scaled, pan-arctic, ecosystem-based approach that not only identifies trends in biodiversity, but also identifies underlying causes. It is critical that this information be made available to generate effective strategies for adapting to changes now taking place in the Arctic—a process that ultimately depends on rigorous, integrated, and efficient monitoring programs that have the power to detect change within a "management" time frame. To meet these challenges and in response to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment's recommendation to expand and enhance arctic biodiversity monitoring, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council launched the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). The CBMP is led by Environment Canada on behalf of Canada and the Arctic Council. The CBMP is working with over 60 global partners to expand, integrate and enhance existing arctic biodiversity research and monitoring efforts to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to significant trends and pressures. Towards this end, the CBMP has established three Expert Monitoring Groups representing major Arctic

  14. Including the introduction of exotic species in life cycle impact assessment: the case of inland shipping.

    PubMed

    Hanafiah, Marlia M; Leuven, Rob S E W; Sommerwerk, Nike; Tockner, Klement; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2013-12-17

    While the ecological impact of anthropogenically introduced exotic species is considered a major threat for biodiversity and ecosystems functioning, it is generally not accounted for in the environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of products. In this article, we propose a framework that includes exotic species introduction in an LCA context. We derived characterization factors for exotic fish species introduction related to the transport of goods across the Rhine-Main-Danube canal. These characterization factors are expressed as the potentially disappeared fraction (PDF) of native freshwater fish species in the rivers Rhine and Danube integrated over space and time per amount of goods transported (PDF·m(3)·yr·kg(-1)). Furthermore, we quantified the relative importance of exotic fish species introduction compared to other anthropogenic stressors in the freshwater environment (i.e., eutrophication, ecotoxicity, greenhouse gases, and water consumption) for transport of goods through the Rhine-Main-Danube waterway. We found that the introduction of exotic fish species contributed to 70-85% of the total freshwater ecosystem impact, depending on the distance that goods were transported. Our analysis showed that it is relevant and feasible to include the introduction of exotic species in an LCA framework. The proposed framework can be further extended by including the impacts of other exotic species groups, types of water bodies and pathways for introduction. PMID:24251685

  15. Conserving Earth's Biodiversity. [CD-ROM and] Instructor's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    This CD-ROM is designed as an interactive learning tool to support teaching in highly interdisciplinary fields such as conservation of biodiversity. Topics introduced in the software include the impact of humans on natural landscapes, threats to biodiversity, methods and theories of conservation biology, environmental laws, and relevant economic…

  16. The power of bioenergy-related standards to protect biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hennenberg, K J; Dragisic, C; Haye, S; Hewson, J; Semroc, B; Savy, C; Wiegmann, K; Fehrenbach, H; Fritsche, U R

    2010-04-01

    The sustainable production of bioenergy is vital to avoiding negative impacts on environmental goods such as climate, soil, water, and especially biodiversity. We propose three key issues that should be addressed in any biodiversity risk-mitigation strategy: conservation of areas of significant biodiversity value; mitigation of negative effects related to indirect land-use change; and promotion of agricultural practices with few negative impacts on biodiversity. Focusing on biodiversity concerns, we compared principles and criteria set to address biodiversity and other environmental and social issues in seven standards (defined here as commodity-based standards or roundtables, or relevant European legislation): five voluntary initiatives related to bioenergy feedstocks, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (United Kingdom), and the European Renewable Energy Source Directive. Conservation of areas of significant biodiversity value was fairly well covered by these standards. Nevertheless, mitigation of negative impacts related to indirect land-use change was underrepresented. Although the EU directive, with its bonus system for the use of degraded land and a subquota system for noncrop biofuels, offered the most robust standards to mitigate potential negative effects, all of the standards fell short in promoting agricultural practices with low negative impacts on biodiversity. We strongly recommend that each standard be benchmarked against related standards, as we have done here, and that efforts should be made to strengthen the elements that are weak or missing. This would be a significant step toward achieving a bioenergy industry that safeguards Earth's living heritage. PMID:20028415

  17. Health and impact assessment: Are we seeing closer integration?

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, Richard K.

    2011-07-15

    Health has always had a place in wider impact assessment activities, from the earliest days of the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States. However, early thinking tended to focus on health protection and environmental health issues, especially in relation to the effects of pollution. The adoption of wider models of health was reflected in impact assessment circles from the early 1990s, with particular emphasis on an integrated approach to impact assessment, especially at the project level, which would see health impact assessment benefiting from working with other forms of impact assessment, such as social and ecological. Yet twenty years later, integration still seems a distant prospect in many countries. In this paper I examine the case for integrating health considerations within the wider IA process, discuss some of the problems that have historically restricted progress towards this end, and explore the degree to which impact assessment practitioners have been successful in seeking to improve the consideration of health in IA. In New Zealand, project-level impact assessment is based on an integrated model under the Resource Management Act. In addition, HIA was recognised in the early 1990s as a valuable addition to the toolkit for project assessment. Since then policy-level HIA has grown supported by extensive capacity building. If health is being integrated into wider impact assessment, it should be happening in New Zealand where so many enabling conditions are met. Three major project proposals from New Zealand are examined, to characterise the broad trends in HIA development in New Zealand in the last ten years and to assess the degree to which health concerns are being reflected in wider impact assessments. The findings are discussed in the context of the issues outlined in the early part of the paper.

  18. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  19. Impacts assessment for the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Bay Area Economics

    1996-12-01

    This report documents the economic and other impacts that will be created by the National Ignition Facility (NIF) construction and ongoing operation, as well as the impacts that may be created by new technologies that may be developed as a result of NIF development and operation.

  20. Focusing Biodiversity Research on the Needs of Decision Makers

    PubMed

    SMYTHE; BERNABO; CARTER; JUTRO

    1996-11-01

    / The project on Biodiversity Uncertainties and Research Needs (BURN) ensures the advancement of usable knowledge on biodiversity by obtaining input from decision makers on their priority information needs about biodiversity and then using this input to engage leading scientists in designing policy-relevant research. Decision makers articulated concerns related to four issues: significance of biodiversity; status and trends of biodiversity; management for biodiversity; and the linkage of social, cultural, economic, legal, and biological objectives. Leading natural and social scientists then identified the research required to address the decision makers' needs and determined the probability of success. The diverse group of experts reached consensus on several fundamental issues, helping to clarify the role of biodiversity in land and resource management. The BURN participants identified several features that should be incorporated into policy-relevant research plans and management strategies for biodiversity. Research and assessment efforts should be: multidisciplinary and integrative, participatory with stakeholder involvement, hierarchical (multiple scales), and problem- and region-specific. The activities should be focused regionally within a global perspective. Meta-analysis of existing data is needed on all fronts to assess the state of the science. More specifically, the scientists recommended six priority research areas that should be pursued to address the information needs articulated by decision makers: (1) characterization of biodiversity, (2) environmental valuation, (3) management for sustainability-for humans and the environment (adaptive management), (4) information management strategies, (5) governance and stewardship issues, and (6) communication and outreach. Broad recommendations were developed for each research area to provide direction for research planning and resource management strategies. The results will directly benefit those groups that

  1. Assessing impacts of roads: Application of a standard assessment protocol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adaptive management of road networks depends on timely data that accurately reflect the impacts of network impacts on ecosystem processes and associated services. In the absence of reliable data, land managers are left with little more than observations and perceptions to support adaptive management...

  2. The use of multi-model ensembles from global climate models for impact assessment of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    The IPCC 4th Assessment Report was based on large datasets of projections of future climate produced by eighteen modelling groups worldwide who performed a set of coordinated climate experiments in which numerous global climate models (GCMs) have been run for a common set of experiments and various emission scenarios. These datasets are freely available form the IPCC Data Distribution Centre (www.ipcc-data.org) and can be used by the research community to assess the impact of changing climate on various systems of interest including impacts on agricultural crops and natural ecosystems, biodiversity and plant diseases. Multi-model ensembles (MME) emphasize the uncertainty in climate predictions resulting from structural differences in the global climate model design as well as uncertainty to variations of initial conditions or model parameters. This paper describes a methodology based on a stochastic weather generator for linking MME of predictions from GCMs with process-based impact models to assess impacts of climate change on biological or ecological systems. The latest version of the LARS-WG weather generator is described which allows seamlessly generating daily site-specific climate scenarios worldwide by utilising local daily weather and MME from GCMs. Examples of impacts on wheat in Europe, based on MME, are discussed, including changes in severity of drought and heat stress around flowering.

  3. NITARP: Impact Assessment, 2005-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebull, Luisa M.; Gorjian, V.; Brinkworth, C.; Squires, G. K.; Burtnyk, K.

    2014-01-01

    NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Training in Archival Research Program, gets educators involved in authentic astronomical research. We partner small groups of educators with a mentor professional astronomer for a year-long original research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The teams echo the entire research process, from writing a proposal, to doing the research, to writing up and presenting the results at an AAS meeting. The educators incorporate this experience into their classroom. This program differs from other programs that we know of that get real astronomy data into the classroom in that: (a) Each team works on an original, unique project. There are no canned labs here! (b) Each team presents their results in posters at the AAS, in science sessions (not just outreach sessions). The posters are distributed throughout the meeting, in amongst other researchers' work; the participants are not "given a free pass" because they are teachers. (c) The 'product' of this project is the scientific result, not a curriculum packet. (d) Because the teachers work with students throughout this project, the teachers have already begun to adapt their project to fit in their classroom environment. This poster will describe the program, with highlights of an impact assessment survey conducted of NITARP alumni in June 2013. Including all forms of the project from 2004-2013, there have been 80 educator participants from 33 states; 40 of them responded to our survey. There have been 37 science and 42 education AAS posters presented by NITARP-affiliated educators and scientists (with 8 more expected to be presented at this meeting). There have been 5 refereed journal articles in professional astronomy research journals that directly involve NITARP teachers and scientists (Howell et al. 2006, Guieu et al. 2010, Howell et al. 2008, Rebull et al., 2011, 2013), and 2 more astronomy journal articles describing

  4. The Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Estimates, Patterns, and Threats

    PubMed Central

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S.; Gasol, Josep M.; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M.; Lotze, Heike K.; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Saša; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet—undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  5. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

    PubMed

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S; Gasol, Josep M; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M; Lotze, Heike K; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Sasa; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  6. Assessing Ecological Impacts According to Land Use Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, S.; Lee, D. K.; Jeong, W.; Jeong, S. G.; Jin, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Land use patterns have changed by human activities, and it has affected the structure and dynamics of ecosystems. In particular, the conversion of forests into other land use has caused environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity. The evaluation of species and their habitat can be preferentially considered to prevent or minimize the adverse effects of land use change. The objective of study is identifying the impacts of environmental conditions on forest ecosystems by comparing ecological changes with time series spatial data. Species distribution models were developed for diverse species with presence data and time-series environmental variables, which allowed comparison of the habitat suitability and connectivity. Habitat suitability and connectivity were used to estimate impacts of forest ecosystems due to land use change. Our result suggested that the size and degree of ecological impacts are were different depending on the properties of land use change. The elements and species were greatly affected by the land use change according to the results. This study suggested that a methodology for measuring the interference of land use change in species habitat and connectivity. Furthermore, it will help to conserve and manage forest by identifying priority conservation areas with influence factor and scale.

  7. A qualitative method proposal to improve environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Toro, Javier; Requena, Ignacio; Duarte, Oscar; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2013-11-15

    In environmental impact assessment, qualitative methods are used because they are versatile and easy to apply. This methodology is based on the evaluation of the strength of the impact by grading a series of qualitative attributes that can be manipulated by the evaluator. The results thus obtained are not objective, and all too often impacts are eliminated that should be mitigated with corrective measures. However, qualitative methodology can be improved if the calculation of Impact Importance is based on the characteristics of environmental factors and project activities instead on indicators assessed by evaluators. In this sense, this paper proposes the inclusion of the vulnerability of environmental factors and the potential environmental impact of project activities. For this purpose, the study described in this paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. The results obtained in the case study of oil drilling in Colombia reflect greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts as well as a positive correlation between impact values, the environmental characteristics at and near the project location, and the technical characteristics of project activities. -- Highlights: • Concept of vulnerability has been used to calculate the importance impact assessment. • This paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. • The method includes the characteristics of environmental and project activities. • The application has shown greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts. • Better correlation between impact values, environment and the project has been shown.

  8. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Santiago, Rui; Sarrico, Claudia S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being one of the major reasons for the development of quality assessment, students seem relatively unaware of its potential impact. Since one of the main purposes of assessment is to provide students with information on the quality of universities, this lack of awareness brings in to question the effectiveness of assessment as a device for…

  9. The Impact of Assessment Tasks on Subsequent Examination Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gaal, Frank; De Ridder, Annemieke

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the impact of assessment tasks on examination result (measured by examination grades) is investigated. Although many describe the advantages of electronic assessment tasks, few studies have been undertaken which compare a traditional approach using a classical examination with a new approach using assessment tasks. The main…

  10. Assessing Atmospheric Water Injection from Oceanic Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierazzo, E.

    2005-01-01

    Collisions of asteroids and comets with the Earth s surface are rare events that punctuate the geologic record. Due to the vastness of Earth s oceans, oceanic impacts of asteroids or comets are expected to be about 4 times more frequent than land impacts. The resulting injections of oceanic water into the upper atmosphere can have important repercussions on Earth s climate and atmospheric circulation. However, the duration and overall effect of these large injections are still unconstrained. This work addresses atmospheric injections of large amounts of water in oceanic impacts.

  11. Anthropogenic disturbances are key to maintaining the biodiversity of grasslands.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Z Y; Jiao, F; Li, Y H; Kallenbach, Robert L

    2016-01-01

    Although anthropogenic disturbances are often perceived as detrimental to plant biodiversity, the relationship between biodiversity and disturbance remains unclear. Opinions diverge on how natural diversity is generated and maintained. We conducted a large-scale investigation of a temperate grassland system in Inner Mongolia and assessed the richness-disturbance relationship using grazing intensity, the primary anthropogenic disturbance in the region. Vascular plant-species richness peaked at an intermediate level of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results support the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, which provides a valid and useful measure of biodiversity at a metacommunity scale, indicating that anthropogenic disturbances are necessary to conserve the biodiversity of grassland systems. PMID:26903041

  12. Anthropogenic disturbances are key to maintaining the biodiversity of grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Z. Y.; Jiao, F.; Li, Y. H.; Kallenbach, Robert L.

    2016-01-01

    Although anthropogenic disturbances are often perceived as detrimental to plant biodiversity, the relationship between biodiversity and disturbance remains unclear. Opinions diverge on how natural diversity is generated and maintained. We conducted a large-scale investigation of a temperate grassland system in Inner Mongolia and assessed the richness-disturbance relationship using grazing intensity, the primary anthropogenic disturbance in the region. Vascular plant-species richness peaked at an intermediate level of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results support the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, which provides a valid and useful measure of biodiversity at a metacommunity scale, indicating that anthropogenic disturbances are necessary to conserve the biodiversity of grassland systems. PMID:26903041

  13. Assessing impacts of roads: application of a standard assessment protocol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duniway, Michael C.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive management of road networks depends on timely data that accurately reflect the impacts those systems are having on ecosystem processes and associated services. In the absence of reliable data, land managers are left with little more than observations and perceptions to support management decisions of road-associated disturbances. Roads can negatively impact the soil, hydrologic, plant, and animal processes on which virtually all ecosystem services depend. The Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (IIRH) protocol is a qualitative method that has been demonstrated to be effective in characterizing impacts of roads. The goal of this study were to develop, describe, and test an approach for using IIRH to systematically evaluate road impacts across large, diverse arid and semiarid landscapes. We developed a stratified random sampling approach to plot selection based on ecological potential, road inventory data, and image interpretation of road impacts. The test application on a semiarid landscape in southern New Mexico, United States, demonstrates that the approach developed is sensitive to road impacts across a broad range of ecological sites but that not all the types of stratification were useful. Ecological site and road inventory strata accounted for significant variability in the functioning of ecological processes but stratification based on apparent impact did not. Analysis of the repeatability of IIRH applied to road plots indicates that the method is repeatable but consensus evaluations based on multiple observers should be used to minimize risk of bias. Landscape-scale analysis of impacts by roads of contrasting designs (maintained dirt or gravel roads vs. non- or infrequently maintained roads) suggests that future travel management plans for the study area should consider concentrating traffic on fewer roads that are well designed and maintained. Application of the approach by land managers will likely provide important insights into

  14. Industrial Assessment Center Program Impact Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, M.A.

    2000-01-26

    This report presents the results of an evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) Program. The purpose of this program is to conduct energy, waste, and productivity assessments for small to medium-sized industrial firms. Assessments are conducted by 30 university-based industrial assessment centers. The purpose of this project was to evaluate energy and cost savings attributable to the assessments, the trained alumni, and the Websites sponsored by this program. How IAC assessments, alumni, and Web-based information may influence industrial energy efficiency decision making was also studied. It is concluded that appreciable energy and cost savings may be attributed to the IAC Program and that the IAC Program has resulted in more active and improved energy-efficiency decision making by industrial firms.

  15. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges.

    PubMed

    Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M; Berumen, Michael L; Büttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schätzle, Simone; Wörheide, Gert

    2016-04-30

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters. PMID:26776057

  16. Assessing the Impact of Tutorial Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ticknor, Cindy S.; Shaw, Kimberly A.; Howard, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    Many institutions struggle to develop a meaningful way to assess the effectiveness of drop-in tutorial services provided to students. This article discusses the development of a data collection system based on a visitor sign-in system that proved to be an efficient method of gathering assessment data, including frequency of visits, end-of-course…

  17. GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity Use Scenarios: Interoperability Infrastructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, Stefano; Santoro, Mattia

    2010-05-01

    In the last years, scientific community is producing great efforts in order to study the effects of climate change on life on Earth. In this general framework, a key role is played by the impact of climate change on biodiversity. To assess this, several use scenarios require the modeling of climatological change impact on the regional distribution of biodiversity species. Designing and developing interoperability infrastructures which enable scientists to search, discover, access and use multi-disciplinary resources (i.e. datasets, services, models, etc.) is currently one of the main research fields for the Earth and Space Science Informatics. This presentation introduces and discusses an interoperability infrastructure which implements the discovery, access, and chaining of loosely-coupled resources in the climatology and biodiversity domains. This allows to set up and run forecast and processing models. The presented framework was successfully developed and experimented in the context of GEOSS AIP-2 (Global Earth Observation System of Systems, Architecture Implementation Pilot- Phase 2) Climate Change & Biodiversity thematic Working Group. This interoperability infrastructure is comprised of the following main components and services: a)GEO Portal: through this component end user is able to search, find and access the needed services for the scenario execution; b)Graphical User Interface (GUI): this component provides user interaction functionalities. It controls the workflow manager to perform the required operations for the scenario implementation; c)Use Scenario controller: this component acts as a workflow controller implementing the scenario business process -i.e. a typical climate change & biodiversity projection scenario; d)Service Broker implementing Mediation Services: this component realizes a distributed catalogue which federates several discovery and access components (exposing them through a unique CSW standard interface). Federated components

  18. Cumulative impacts in environmental assessments: How well are they considered?

    SciTech Connect

    McCold, L.; Holman, J.

    1995-03-01

    The usual reason for preparing an environmental assessment (EA) is to ``provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether to prepare a finding of no significant impact or an environmental impact statement`` (40 CFR 1508.9). Significant impacts may result from direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts. Thus, in addition to assessing direct and indirect impacts, EAs should give enough evidence and analysis to determine whether or not the action contributes to a cumulatively significant impact. Consideration of cumulative impacts in NEPA documents in general, and EAs in particular, is less fully developed than consideration of impacts resulting solely from the proposed action. The authors analyzed 89 EAs to determine the extent to which their treatment of cumulative impacts met the requirements of 40 CFR 1508. Only 35 EAs (39 %) mentioned cumulative impacts. Of these, 8 stated that there were no cumulative impacts without supporting evidence; 5 identified a potential for cumulative impacts and concluded they were insignificant but presented no evidence or analysis to support the conclusion; 19 addressed cumulative impacts of some resources but not others; and 18 EAs identified past, present, and future actions that could, with the proposed action, contribute to cumulative impacts, but only actions of a similar type were identified, usually those in the agency`s area of responsibility. The paper presents several recommendations: (1) Past, present, and reasonably foreseeable actions that could affect resources affected by the proposed action should be identified at the same time as, and listed with, the proposed action. (2) For each resource, the discussion of cumulative impacts should follow immediately after the discussion of direct impacts to that resource. (3) Conclusions about cumulative impacts should be supported by data and analyses. (4) Agencies need a central review function to ensure the quality of their EAs.

  19. Health impact assessment needs in south-east Asian countries.

    PubMed Central

    Caussy, Deoraj; Kumar, Priti; Than Sein, U.

    2003-01-01

    A situation analysis was undertaken to assess impediments to health impact assessment (HIA) in the South-East Asia Region of WHO (SEARO). The countries of the region were assessed on the policy framework and procedures for HIA, existing infrastructure required to support HIA, the capacity for undertaking HIA, and the potential for intersectoral collaboration. The findings show that environmental impact assessment (EIA) is being used implicitly as a substitute for HIA, which is not explicitly or routinely conducted in virtually all countries of the Region. Therefore, policy, infrastructure, capacity, and intersectoral collaboration need strengthening for the routine implementation of HIA. PMID:12894329

  20. Pricing commodity outpatient procedures assessing the impact.

    PubMed

    Cleverley, William O

    2015-10-01

    Hospitals should carefully consider all relevant factors before choosing to lower prices and payments for certain outpatient commodity services in an effort to remain competitive in their market. Key steps to take in the evaluation process include: Determining current profitability. Assessing profitability by payer class. Understanding overall cost positions. Assessing the relative payment terms of current commercial contracts. Determining the net revenue effect of proposed changes. PMID:26595979

  1. An Initial Assessment of Hanford Impact Performed with the System Assessment Capability

    SciTech Connect

    Bryce, Robert W.; Kincaid, Charles T.; Eslinger, Paul W.; Morasch, Launa F.

    2002-09-27

    The System Assessment Capability is an integrated system of computer models and databases to assess the impact of waste remaining at Hanford. This tool will help decision makers and the public evaluate the cumulative effects of contamination from Hanford. This report describes the results of an initial assessment performed with the System Assessment Capability tools.

  2. Satellite Power System (SPS) environmental impacts, preliminary assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livingston, F. R.

    1978-01-01

    Present power plant assessment factors are used to present satellite power system (SPS) impacts. In contrast to oil, gas, nuclear and coal fueled power plants, the SPS and hydroelectric power plants produce air, water, and solid waste emissions only during the construction phase. Land use impacts result from the placement of rectennas used for microwave receiving and rectifying. Air quality impacts of the SPS resulting from the construction phase amount to 0.405 metric tons per megawatt year. Solid wastes impacts are 0.108 metric tons per year of operation. Other impacts such as those caused by heavy lift launch vehicle sites are also discussed.

  3. Berkeley's Course on Environmental Assessment and Impact Reporting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McColl, John G.; Nicholas, Tawna

    1976-01-01

    A four-quarter sequence of courses to assess environmental impact, to provide students with knowledge of environmental law, a strong interdisciplinary base, and an understanding of the processes of planning and policy formation, is described. (BT)

  4. Life Cycle Impact Assessment Research Developments and Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) developments are explained along with key publications which record discussions which comprised ISO 14042 and SETAC document development, UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative research, and research from public and private research institutions. It ...

  5. International Developments in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The author has been involved in international developments in comprehensive impact assessment since 1995. During that time she has participated in ISO 14040 series development, initiated and co-chaired three international workshops, participated in Society of Environmental Toxic...

  6. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, II

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research within the field of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) has greatly improved since the work of Heijungs and Guinee in 1992. Methodologies are currently available to address specific locations within North America, Europe, and Asia. Internationally, researchers are work...

  7. Impact of weather and climate scenarios on conservation assessment outcomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper reviews selected watershed studies of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) and interprets findings from the perspective of potential climate change impacts on conservation outcomes. Primary foci are runoff, soil erosion, sediment transport, watershed sediment yield, and asso...

  8. In Brief: Impacts of wind energy assessed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    2007-05-01

    By 2020, greater use of wind energy could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the U.S. energy sector by about 4.5%. However, greater effort is needed to address potentially negative impacts of this growing energy source, according to a new report from a committee of the U.S. National Research Council. Potential impacts of wind energy projects include deaths of birds and bats, reduced value of property located near a turbine, and habitat loss and fragmentation. However, because these are generally local projects, there is little information available to determine the cumulative effects of wind turbines over a whole region. The report makes several recommendations on how to improve regulation at the local, state, and federal levels. The report also sets out a guide for evaluating wind-energy projects, which includes questions about potential environmental, economic, cultural, and aesthetic impacts. The report, ``Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects,'' is available at http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11935

  9. Current Research in Land Use Impact Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a continuing debate on how to best evaluate land use impacts within the LCA framework. While this problem is spatially and temporally complex, recent advances in tool development are providing options to allow a GIS-based analysis of various ecosystem services given the...

  10. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT - MIDPOINTS VS. ENDPOINTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The question of whether to use midpoints or endpoints or both in an LCIA framework is often dependent upon the goal and scope and the decision that is being supported by the LCIA. LCIAs for Enlightenment may not require an aggregation of impact categories and may be most useful ...

  11. STRIP MINE DRAINAGE--AQUATIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall objective of this research program is to demonstrate methodologies for predicting, on the basis of characteristics of the site to be mined, the impact of strip mining on downstream biotic communities. To accomplish this objective and provide data for model verificatio...

  12. LONG TERM HYDROLOGICAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (LTHIA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    LTHIA is a universal Urban Sprawl analysis tool that is available to all at no charge through the Internet. It estimates impacts on runoff, recharge and nonpoint source pollution resulting from past or proposed land use changes. It gives long-term average annual runoff for a lan...

  13. Developments in Impact Assessment in North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    Beginning with a background of recent global developments in this area, this presentation will focus on how global research has impacted North America and how North America is providing additional developments to address the issues of the global economy. Recent developments inc...

  14. Community Level Impact Assessment--Extension Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woods, Mike D.; Doeksen, Gerald A.

    Using the Oklahoma State University (OSU) computerized community simulation model, extension professionals can provide local decision makers with information derived from an impact model that is dynamic, community specific, and easy to adapt to different communities. The four main sections of the OSU model are an economic account, a capital…

  15. Environmental impact assessment of the Dulang oilfield development project

    SciTech Connect

    Hasan, M.N. ); ))

    1988-01-01

    The authors discuss an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Dulang Oilfield Development Project, conducted to determine whether the project could proceed in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner. This is the first EIA for an offshore oilfield in Malaysian waters, and was conducted in anticipation of the Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment Order(1987)) which requires an EIA to be conducted for major oil and gas field development projects.

  16. Towards improved socio-economic assessments of ocean acidification's impacts.

    PubMed

    Hilmi, Nathalie; Allemand, Denis; Dupont, Sam; Safa, Alain; Haraldsson, Gunnar; Nunes, Paulo A L D; Moore, Chris; Hattam, Caroline; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Fine, Maoz; Turley, Carol; Jeffree, Ross; Orr, James; Munday, Philip L; Cooley, Sarah R

    2013-01-01

    Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, economists and social scientists. But because ocean acidification is a new research area, significant knowledge gaps are preventing economists from estimating its welfare impacts. For instance, economic data on the impact of ocean acidification on significant markets such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism are very limited (if not non-existent), and non-market valuation studies on this topic are not yet available. Our paper summarizes the current understanding of future OA impacts and sets out what further information is required for economists to assess socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification. Our aim is to provide clear directions for multidisciplinary collaborative research. PMID:24391285

  17. Climate-smart management of biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nadeau, Christopher P.; Fuller, Angela K.; Rosenblatt, Daniel L.

    2015-01-01

    Determining where biodiversity is likely to be most vulnerable to climate change and methods to reduce that vulnerability are necessary first steps to incorporate climate change into biodiversity management plans. Here, we use a spatial climate change vulnerability assessment to (1) map the potential vulnerability of terrestrial biodiversity to climate change in the northeastern United States and (2) provide guidance on how and where management actions for biodiversity could provide long-term benefits under climate change (i.e., climate-smart management considerations). Our model suggests that biodiversity will be most vulnerable in Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia due to the combination of high climate change velocity, high landscape resistance, and high topoclimate homogeneity. Biodiversity is predicted to be least vulnerable in Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire because large portions of these states have low landscape resistance, low climate change velocity, and low topoclimate homogeneity. Our spatial climate-smart management considerations suggest that: (1) high topoclimate diversity could moderate the effects of climate change across 50% of the region; (2) decreasing local landscape resistance in conjunction with other management actions could increase the benefit of those actions across 17% of the region; and (3) management actions across 24% of the region could provide long-term benefits by promoting short-term population persistence that provides a source population capable of moving in the future. The guidance and framework we provide here should allow conservation organizations to incorporate our climate-smart management considerations into management plans without drastically changing their approach to biodiversity conservation.

  18. A knowledge-based approach to estimating the magnitude and spatial patterns of potential threats to soil biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Orgiazzi, Alberto; Panagos, Panos; Yigini, Yusuf; Dunbar, Martha B; Gardi, Ciro; Montanarella, Luca; Ballabio, Cristiano

    2016-03-01

    Because of the increasing pressures exerted on soil, below-ground life is under threat. Knowledge-based rankings of potential threats to different components of soil biodiversity were developed in order to assess the spatial distribution of threats on a European scale. A list of 13 potential threats to soil biodiversity was proposed to experts with different backgrounds in order to assess the potential for three major components of soil biodiversity: soil microorganisms, fauna, and biological functions. This approach allowed us to obtain knowledge-based rankings of threats. These classifications formed the basis for the development of indices through an additive aggregation model that, along with ad-hoc proxies for each pressure, allowed us to preliminarily assess the spatial patterns of potential threats. Intensive exploitation was identified as the highest pressure. In contrast, the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture was considered as the threat with least potential. The potential impact of climate change showed the highest uncertainty. Fourteen out of the 27 considered countries have more than 40% of their soils with moderate-high to high potential risk for all three components of soil biodiversity. Arable soils are the most exposed to pressures. Soils within the boreal biogeographic region showed the lowest risk potential. The majority of soils at risk are outside the boundaries of protected areas. First maps of risks to three components of soil biodiversity based on the current scientific knowledge were developed. Despite the intrinsic limits of knowledge-based assessments, a remarkable potential risk to soil biodiversity was observed. Guidelines to preliminarily identify and circumscribe soils potentially at risk are provided. This approach may be used in future research to assess threat at both local and global scale and identify areas of possible risk and, subsequently, design appropriate strategies for monitoring and protection of soil

  19. 40 CFR 227.19 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 227.19 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN DUMPING CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Esthetic, Recreational and Economic Values § 227.19 Assessment of impact. An overall...

  20. Federal Research Impact Assessment: State-of-the-Art.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kostoff, Ronald N.

    1994-01-01

    Describes the practice of federal evaluation of research impact through three approaches: retrospective methods; qualitative methods, including peer review; and quantitative methods. Recommended areas for study in federal research impact assessment are suggested, including predictive reliability, comparative studies, time and cost estimates,…

  1. Biodiversity in cities needs space: a meta-analysis of factors determining intra-urban biodiversity variation.

    PubMed

    Beninde, Joscha; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel

    2015-06-01

    Understanding varying levels of biodiversity within cities is pivotal to protect it in the face of global urbanisation. In the early stages of urban ecology studies on intra-urban biodiversity focused on the urban-rural gradient, representing a broad generalisation of features of the urban landscape. Increasingly, studies classify the urban landscape in more detail, quantifying separately the effects of individual urban features on biodiversity levels. However, while separate factors influencing biodiversity variation among cities worldwide have recently been analysed, a global analysis on the factors influencing biodiversity levels within cities is still lacking. We here present the first meta-analysis on intra-urban biodiversity variation across a large variety of taxonomic groups of 75 cities worldwide. Our results show that patch area and corridors have the strongest positive effects on biodiversity, complemented by vegetation structure. Local, biotic and management habitat variables were significantly more important than landscape, abiotic or design variables. Large sites greater than 50 ha are necessary to prevent a rapid loss of area-sensitive species. This indicates that, despite positive impacts of biodiversity-friendly management, increasing the area of habitat patches and creating a network of corridors is the most important strategy to maintain high levels of urban biodiversity. PMID:25865805

  2. Systems in peril: Climate change, agriculture and biodiversity in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cocklin, Chris; Dibden, Jacqui

    2009-11-01

    This paper reflects on the interplay amongst three closely linked systems - climate, agriculture and biodiversity - in the Australian context. The advance of a European style of agriculture has imperilled Australian biodiversity. The loss and degradation of biodiversity has, in turn, had negative consequences for agriculture. Climate change is imposing new pressures on both agriculture and biodiversity. From a policy and management perspective, though, it is possible to envisage mitigation and adaptation responses that would alleviate pressures on all three systems (climate, agriculture, biodiversity). In this way, the paper seeks to make explicit the important connections between science and policy. The paper outlines the distinctive features of both biodiversity and agriculture in the Australian context. The discussion then addresses the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, followed by an overview of how climate change is impacting on both of these systems. The final section of the paper offers some commentary on current policy and management strategies that are targeted at mitigating the loss of biodiversity and which may also have benefits in terms of climate change.

  3. Marine Biodiversity in Japanese Waters

    PubMed Central

    Fujikura, Katsunori; Lindsay, Dhugal; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Nishida, Shuhei; Shirayama, Yoshihisa

    2010-01-01

    To understand marine biodiversity in Japanese waters, we have compiled information on the marine biota in Japanese waters, including the number of described species (species richness), the history of marine biology research in Japan, the state of knowledge, the number of endemic species, the number of identified but undescribed species, the number of known introduced species, and the number of taxonomic experts and identification guides, with consideration of the general ocean environmental background, such as the physical and geological settings. A total of 33,629 species have been reported to occur in Japanese waters. The state of knowledge was extremely variable, with taxa containing many inconspicuous, smaller species tending to be less well known. The total number of identified but undescribed species was at least 121,913. The total number of described species combined with the number of identified but undescribed species reached 155,542. This is the best estimate of the total number of species in Japanese waters and indicates that more than 70% of Japan's marine biodiversity remains un-described. The number of species reported as introduced into Japanese waters was 39. This is the first attempt to estimate species richness for all marine species in Japanese waters. Although its marine biota can be considered relatively well known, at least within the Asian-Pacific region, considering the vast number of different marine environments such as coral reefs, ocean trenches, ice-bound waters, methane seeps, and hydrothermal vents, much work remains to be done. We expect global change to have a tremendous impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Japan is in a particularly suitable geographic situation and has a lot of facilities for conducting marine science research. Japan has an important responsibility to contribute to our understanding of life in the oceans. PMID:20689840

  4. Biodiversity in urban habitat patches.

    PubMed

    Angold, P G; Sadler, J P; Hill, M O; Pullin, A; Rushton, S; Austin, K; Small, E; Wood, B; Wadsworth, R; Sanderson, R; Thompson, K

    2006-05-01

    We examined the biodiversity of urban habitats in Birmingham (England) using a combination of field surveys of plants and carabid beetles, genetic studies of four species of butterflies, modelling the anthropochorous nature of the floral communities and spatially explicit modelling of selected mammal species. The aim of the project was to: (i) understand the ecological characteristics of the biota of cities model, (ii) examine the effects of habitat fragment size and connectivity upon the ecological diversity and individual species distributions, (iii) predict biodiversity in cities, and (iv) analyse the extent to which the flora and fauna utilise the 'urban greenways' both as wildlife corridors and as habitats in their own right. The results suggest that cities provide habitats for rich and diverse range of plants and animals, which occur sometimes in unlikely recombinant communities. The studies on carabids and butterflies illustrated the relative importance of habitat quality on individual sites as opposed to site location within the conurbation. This suggests that dispersal for most of our urban species is not a limiting factor in population persistence, although elements of the woodland carabid fauna did appear to have some geographical structuring. Theoretical models suggested that dormice and water voles may depend on linear habitats for dispersal. The models also indicated that other groups, such as small and medium sized mammals, may use corridors, although field-based research did not provide any evidence to suggest that plants or invertebrates use urban greenways for dispersal. This finding indicates the importance of identifying a target species or group of species for urban greenways intended as dispersal routeways rather than as habitat in their own right. Their importance for most groups is rather that greenways provide a chain of different habitats permeating the urban environment. We suggest that planners can have a positive impact on urban

  5. Life Cycle Impact Assessment for Land Use

    EPA Science Inventory

    According to the Millennium Assessment: “Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. This has ...

  6. Climate Change Impact Assessments for International Market Systems (CLIMARK)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, J. A.; Andresen, J.; Black, J.; Bujdoso, G.; Chmielewski, F.; Kirschke, D.; Kurlus, R.; Liszewska, M.; Loveridge, S.; Niedzwiedz, T.; Nizalov, D.; Rothwell, N.; Tan, P.; Ustrnul, Z.; von Witzke, H.; Zavalloni, C.; Zhao, J.; Zhong, S.

    2012-12-01

    The vast majority of climate change impact assessments evaluate how local or regional systems and processes may be affected by a future climate. Alternative strategies that extend beyond the local or regional scale are needed when assessing the potential impacts of climate change on international market systems, including agricultural commodities. These industries have multiple production regions that are distributed worldwide and are likely to be differentially impacted by climate change. Furthermore, for many industries and market systems, especially those with long-term climate-dependent investments, temporal dynamics need to be incorporated into the assessment process, including changing patterns of international trade, consumption and production, and evolving adaptation strategies by industry stakeholder groups. A framework for conducting climate change assessments for international market systems, developed as part of the CLIMARK (Climate Change and International Markets) project is outlined, and progress toward applying the framework for an impact assessment for the international tart cherry industry is described. The tart cherry industry was selected for analysis in part because tart cherries are a perennial crop requiring long-term investments by the producer. Components of the project include the preparation of fine resolution climate scenarios, evaluation of phenological models for diverse production regions, the development of a yield model for tart cherry production, new methods for incorporating individual decision making and adaptation options into impact assessments, and modification of international trade models for use in impact studies. Innovative aspects of the project include linkages between model components and evaluation of the mega-uncertainty surrounding the assessment outcomes. Incorporation of spatial and temporal dynamics provides a more comprehensive evaluation of climate change impacts and an assessment product of potentially greater

  7. Biodiversity scenarios neglect future land-use changes.

    PubMed

    Titeux, Nicolas; Henle, Klaus; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Regos, Adrián; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R; Cramer, Wolfgang; Verburg, Peter H; Brotons, Lluís

    2016-07-01

    Efficient management of biodiversity requires a forward-looking approach based on scenarios that explore biodiversity changes under future environmental conditions. A number of ecological models have been proposed over the last decades to develop these biodiversity scenarios. Novel modelling approaches with strong theoretical foundation now offer the possibility to integrate key ecological and evolutionary processes that shape species distribution and community structure. Although biodiversity is affected by multiple threats, most studies addressing the effects of future environmental changes on biodiversity focus on a single threat only. We examined the studies published during the last 25 years that developed scenarios to predict future biodiversity changes based on climate, land-use and land-cover change projections. We found that biodiversity scenarios mostly focus on the future impacts of climate change and largely neglect changes in land use and land cover. The emphasis on climate change impacts has increased over time and has now reached a maximum. Yet, the direct destruction and degradation of habitats through land-use and land-cover changes are among the most significant and immediate threats to biodiversity. We argue that the current state of integration between ecological and land system sciences is leading to biased estimation of actual risks and therefore constrains the implementation of forward-looking policy responses to biodiversity decline. We suggest research directions at the crossroads between ecological and environmental sciences to face the challenge of developing interoperable and plausible projections of future environmental changes and to anticipate the full range of their potential impacts on biodiversity. An intergovernmental platform is needed to stimulate such collaborative research efforts and to emphasize the societal and political relevance of taking up this challenge. PMID:26950650

  8. Development Impact Assessment (DIA) Case Study. South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, Sadie; Nawaz, Kathleen; Sandor, Debra

    2015-05-19

    This case study reviews South Africa’s experience in considering the impacts of climate change action on development goals, focusing on the South African energy sector and development impact assessments (DIAs) that have and could be used to influence energy policy or inform the selection of energy activities. It includes a review of assessments—conducted by government ministries, technical partners, and academic institutes and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—that consider employment, health, and water implications of possible energy sector actions, as well as multi-criteria impact assessments.

  9. Assessment of climate change impact on Eastern Washington agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An assessment of the potential impact of climate change and the concurrent increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration on eastern Washington State agriculture was conducted. Climate projections from four selected general circulation models (GCM) were chosen, and the assessment included the crops with ...

  10. Groundwater impact assessment report for the 284-WB Powerplant Ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, D.J.; Johnson, V.G.; Lindsey, K.A.

    1993-09-01

    As required by the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement Milestone M-17-00A), this report assesses the impact of wastewater discharged to the 284-WB Powerplant Ponds on groundwater quality. The assessment reported herein expands upon the initial analysis conducted between 1989 and 1990 for the Liquid Effluent Study Final Project Plan.

  11. Training for Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A.).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vougias, S.

    1988-01-01

    Deals with the methodology and practices for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Describes the EIA process, prediction process, alternative assessment methods, training needs, major activities, training provision and material, main deficiencies and the precautions, and real world training examples. (Author/YP)

  12. IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND MEASUREMENT PROGRAM (IAM)-(SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH, SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION, NRMRL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Impact Assessment and Measurement (IAM) program focuses on the research, development and application of environmental impact assessment and progress measurement for environmental decision making. Current projects include development of impact assessment methodologies, tools, ...

  13. Some common shortcomings in the treatment of impacts of linear infrastructures on natural habitat

    SciTech Connect

    Geneletti, Davide . E-mail: davide.geneletti@ing.unitn.it

    2006-04-15

    This paper aims at presenting and discussing some of the main shortcomings that affect the assessment of impacts on biodiversity in current Environmental Impact Assessment practice. In particular, the analysis focuses on one specific type of projects, linear infrastructures, and on one specific aspect of biodiversity, natural habitats. The review highlighted a number of limitations, affecting the baseline study, as well as the impact prediction and the impact assessment stages. Among the most critical shortcomings are the delimitation of the study area on a non-ecological basis, the lack of measurable indicators and quantitative predictions, and the fact that the assessment of the impact relevance, if carried out at all, is unclear and poorly structured. The results of this piece of research reaffirm the need for further research in the field of biodiversity and ecological impact assessment.

  14. Assessing Regional-Scale Impacts of Short Rotation Coppices on Ecosystem Services by Modeling Land-Use Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Schulze, Jule; Frank, Karin; Priess, Joerg A.; Meyer, Markus A.

    2016-01-01

    Meeting the world’s growing energy demand through bioenergy production involves extensive land-use change which could have severe environmental and social impacts. Second generation bioenergy feedstocks offer a possible solution to this problem. They have the potential to reduce land-use conflicts between food and bioenergy production as they can be grown on low quality land not suitable for food production. However, a comprehensive impact assessment that considers multiple ecosystem services (ESS) and biodiversity is needed to identify the environmentally best feedstock option, as trade-offs are inherent. In this study, we simulate the spatial distribution of short rotation coppices (SRCs) in the landscape of the Mulde watershed in Central Germany by modeling profit-maximizing farmers under different economic and policy-driven scenarios using a spatially explicit economic simulation model. This allows to derive general insights and a mechanistic understanding of regional-scale impacts on multiple ESS in the absence of large-scale implementation. The modeled distribution of SRCs, required to meet the regional demand of combined heat and power (CHP) plants for solid biomass, had little or no effect on the provided ESS. In the policy-driven scenario, placing SRCs on low or high quality soils to provide ecological focus areas, as required within the Common Agricultural Policy in the EU, had little effect on ESS. Only a substantial increase in the SRC production area, beyond the regional demand of CHP plants, had a relevant effect, namely a negative impact on food production as well as a positive impact on biodiversity and regulating ESS. Beneficial impacts occurred for single ESS. However, the number of sites with balanced ESS supply hardly increased due to larger shares of SRCs in the landscape. Regression analyses showed that the occurrence of sites with balanced ESS supply was more strongly driven by biophysical factors than by the SRC share in the landscape

  15. Assessing Regional-Scale Impacts of Short Rotation Coppices on Ecosystem Services by Modeling Land-Use Decisions.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Jule; Frank, Karin; Priess, Joerg A; Meyer, Markus A

    2016-01-01

    Meeting the world's growing energy demand through bioenergy production involves extensive land-use change which could have severe environmental and social impacts. Second generation bioenergy feedstocks offer a possible solution to this problem. They have the potential to reduce land-use conflicts between food and bioenergy production as they can be grown on low quality land not suitable for food production. However, a comprehensive impact assessment that considers multiple ecosystem services (ESS) and biodiversity is needed to identify the environmentally best feedstock option, as trade-offs are inherent. In this study, we simulate the spatial distribution of short rotation coppices (SRCs) in the landscape of the Mulde watershed in Central Germany by modeling profit-maximizing farmers under different economic and policy-driven scenarios using a spatially explicit economic simulation model. This allows to derive general insights and a mechanistic understanding of regional-scale impacts on multiple ESS in the absence of large-scale implementation. The modeled distribution of SRCs, required to meet the regional demand of combined heat and power (CHP) plants for solid biomass, had little or no effect on the provided ESS. In the policy-driven scenario, placing SRCs on low or high quality soils to provide ecological focus areas, as required within the Common Agricultural Policy in the EU, had little effect on ESS. Only a substantial increase in the SRC production area, beyond the regional demand of CHP plants, had a relevant effect, namely a negative impact on food production as well as a positive impact on biodiversity and regulating ESS. Beneficial impacts occurred for single ESS. However, the number of sites with balanced ESS supply hardly increased due to larger shares of SRCs in the landscape. Regression analyses showed that the occurrence of sites with balanced ESS supply was more strongly driven by biophysical factors than by the SRC share in the landscape. This

  16. Focusing biodiversity research on the needs of decision makers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smythe, Katie D.; Bernabo, J. Christopher; Carter, Thomas B.; Jutro, Peter R.

    1996-11-01

    The project on Biodiversity Uncertainties and Research Needs (BURN) ensures the advancement of usable knowledge on biodiversity by obtaining input from decision makers on their priority information needs about biodiversity and then using this input to engage leading scientists in designing policy-relevant research. Decision makers articulated concerns related to four issues: significance of biodiversity; status and trends of biodiversity; management for biodiversity; and the linkage of social, cultural, economic, legal, and biological objectives. Leading natural and social scientists then identified the research required to address the decision makers' needs and determined the probability of success. The diverse group of experts reached consensus on several fundamental issues, helping to clarify the role of biodiversity in land and resource management. The BURN participants identified several features that should be incorporated into policy-relevant research plans and management strategies for biodiversity. Research and assessment efforts should be: multidisciplinary and integrative, participatory with stakeholder involvement, hierarchical (multiple scales), and problem- and region-specific. The activities should be focused regionally within a global perspective. Meta-analysis of existing data is needed on all fronts to assess the state of the science. More specifically, the scientists recommended six priority research areas that should be pursued to address the information needs articulated by decision makers: (1) characterization of biodiversity, (2) environmental valuation, (3) management for sustainability—for humans and the environment (adaptive management), (4) information management strategies, (5) governance and stewardship issues, and (6) communication and outreach. Broad recommendations were developed for each research area to provide direction for research planning and resource management strategies. The results will directly benefit those groups that

  17. Relationships between Meiofaunal Biodiversity and Prokaryotic Heterotrophic Production in Different Tropical Habitats and Oceanic Regions

    PubMed Central

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production across seagrass, mangrove and reef sediments in the Caribbean, Celebes and Red Seas. For all variables we report the presence of differences among habitats within the same region, and among regions within the same habitat. In all regions, the richness of meiofaunal taxa in reef and seagrass sediments is higher than in mangrove sediments. The sediments of the Celebes Sea show the highest meiofaunal biodiversity. The composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies significantly among habitats in the same region. The nematode beta diversity among habitats within the same region is higher than the beta diversity among regions. Although one site per habitat was considered in each region, these results suggest that the composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies primarily among biogeographic regions, whereas the composition of nematode assemblages varies more considerably among habitats. Meiofauna and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production, even after the removal of covariate effects linked with longitude and the quantity and nutritional quality of organic matter, are positively and linearly linked both across regions and within each habitat type. Our results confirm that meiofauna and nematode biodiversity may influence benthic prokaryotic activity, which, in turn, implies that diversity loss could have negative impacts on ecosystem functioning in these systems. PMID:24603709

  18. CAN NEPA PROTECT BIODIVERSITY?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biodiversity has emerged as a prominent issue in the scientific andconservation communities, and is of increasing concern to thegeneral public. s with other "new" environmental probLems (e.g..global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion), biodiversityis difficult to evalu...

  19. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Thor; Brooks, Thomas M; Da Fonseca, Gustavo A B; Hoffmann, Michael; Lamoreux, John F; Machlis, Gary; Mittermeier, Cristina G; Mittermeier, Russell A; Pilgrim, John D

    2009-06-01

    Conservation efforts are only as sustainable as the social and political context within which they take place. The weakening or collapse of sociopolitical frameworks during wartime can lead to habitat destruction and the erosion of conservation policies, but in some cases, may also confer ecological benefits through altered settlement patterns and reduced resource exploitation. Over 90% of the major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred within countries containing biodiversity hotspots, and more than 80% took place directly within hotspot areas. Less than one-third of the 34 recognized hotspots escaped significant conflict during this period, and most suffered repeated episodes of violence. This pattern was remarkably consistent over these 5 decades. Evidence from the war-torn Eastern Afromontane hotspot suggests that biodiversity conservation is improved when international nongovernmental organizations support local protected area staff and remain engaged throughout the conflict. With biodiversity hotspots concentrated in politically volatile regions, the conservation community must maintain continuous involvement during periods of war, and biodiversity conservation should be incorporated into military, reconstruction, and humanitarian programs in the world's conflict zones. PMID:19236450

  20. Books, Biodiversity, and Beyond!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Governor, Donna; Helms, Sarah

    2007-01-01

    Reading in science class does not have to be boring, but it is no secret to students or teachers that textbooks are not much fun to read. It is always a challenge for teachers to find reading materials that would grab the interests of their students. In this article, the author relates how she used Biodiversity, a nonfiction book by Dorothy…