Science.gov

Sample records for conserving biodiversity efficiently

  1. Conserving biodiversity efficiently: what to do, where, and when.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Kerrie A; Underwood, Emma C; Morrison, Scott A; Klausmeyer, Kirk R; Murdoch, William W; Reyers, Belinda; Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Marquet, Pablo A; Rundel, Phil W; McBride, Marissa F; Pressey, Robert L; Bode, Michael; Hoekstra, Jon M; Andelman, Sandy; Looker, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Kareiva, Peter; Shaw, M Rebecca; Possingham, Hugh P

    2007-09-01

    Conservation priority-setting schemes have not yet combined geographic priorities with a framework that can guide the allocation of funds among alternate conservation actions that address specific threats. We develop such a framework, and apply it to 17 of the world's 39 Mediterranean ecoregions. This framework offers an improvement over approaches that only focus on land purchase or species richness and do not account for threats. We discover that one could protect many more plant and vertebrate species by investing in a sequence of conservation actions targeted towards specific threats, such as invasive species control, land acquisition, and off-reserve management, than by relying solely on acquiring land for protected areas. Applying this new framework will ensure investment in actions that provide the most cost-effective outcomes for biodiversity conservation. This will help to minimise the misallocation of scarce conservation resources. PMID:17713985

  2. Biodiversity gains from efficient use of private sponsorship for flagship species conservation

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Joseph R.; Maloney, Richard; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2015-01-01

    To address the global extinction crisis, both efficient use of existing conservation funding and new sources of funding are vital. Private sponsorship of charismatic ‘flagship’ species conservation represents an important source of new funding, but has been criticized as being inefficient. However, the ancillary benefits of privately sponsored flagship species conservation via actions benefiting other species have not been quantified, nor have the benefits of incorporating such sponsorship into objective prioritization protocols. Here, we use a comprehensive dataset of conservation actions for the 700 most threatened species in New Zealand to examine the potential biodiversity gains from national private flagship species sponsorship programmes. We find that private funding for flagship species can clearly result in additional species and phylogenetic diversity conserved, via conservation actions shared with other species. When private flagship species funding is incorporated into a prioritization protocol to preferentially sponsor shared actions, expected gains can be more than doubled. However, these gains are consistently smaller than expected gains in a hypothetical scenario where private funding could be optimally allocated among all threatened species. We recommend integrating private sponsorship of flagship species into objective prioritization protocols to sponsor efficient actions that maximize biodiversity gains, or wherever possible, encouraging private donations for broader biodiversity goals. PMID:25808885

  3. Biodiversity gains from efficient use of private sponsorship for flagship species conservation.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Joseph R; Maloney, Richard; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-04-22

    To address the global extinction crisis, both efficient use of existing conservation funding and new sources of funding are vital. Private sponsorship of charismatic 'flagship' species conservation represents an important source of new funding, but has been criticized as being inefficient. However, the ancillary benefits of privately sponsored flagship species conservation via actions benefiting other species have not been quantified, nor have the benefits of incorporating such sponsorship into objective prioritization protocols. Here, we use a comprehensive dataset of conservation actions for the 700 most threatened species in New Zealand to examine the potential biodiversity gains from national private flagship species sponsorship programmes. We find that private funding for flagship species can clearly result in additional species and phylogenetic diversity conserved, via conservation actions shared with other species. When private flagship species funding is incorporated into a prioritization protocol to preferentially sponsor shared actions, expected gains can be more than doubled. However, these gains are consistently smaller than expected gains in a hypothetical scenario where private funding could be optimally allocated among all threatened species. We recommend integrating private sponsorship of flagship species into objective prioritization protocols to sponsor efficient actions that maximize biodiversity gains, or wherever possible, encouraging private donations for broader biodiversity goals. PMID:25808885

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics. PMID:21092321

  8. Comparative genomics for biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Grueber, Catherine E.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic approaches are gathering momentum in biology and emerging opportunities lie in the creative use of comparative molecular methods for revealing the processes that influence diversity of wildlife. However, few comparative genomic studies are performed with explicit and specific objectives to aid conservation of wild populations. Here I provide a brief overview of comparative genomic approaches that offer specific benefits to biodiversity conservation. Because conservation examples are few, I draw on research from other areas to demonstrate how comparing genomic data across taxa may be used to inform the characterisation of conservation units and studies of hybridisation, as well as studies that provide conservation outcomes from a better understanding of the drivers of divergence. A comparative approach can also provide valuable insight into the threatening processes that impact rare species, such as emerging diseases and their management in conservation. In addition to these opportunities, I note areas where additional research is warranted. Overall, comparing and contrasting the genomic composition of threatened and other species provide several useful tools for helping to preserve the molecular biodiversity of the global ecosystem. PMID:26106461

  9. Biodiversity conservation in running waters

    SciTech Connect

    Allan, J.D. ); Flecker, A.S. )

    1993-01-01

    In the concerns about biodiversity conservation, fresh waters have received less attention than tropical forests and oceans. However, running waters harbor a diverse panoply of species, habitats, and ecosystems, including some of the most threatened and many having great value to human society. An overview of the biological diversity of running waters and the state of imperilment is presented. Six major factors that threaten destruction of running water species and ecosystems are discussed: habitat loss and degradation; species invasions; overharvesting; secondary extinctions; chemical and organic pollution; global climate change. General measures for recovery and restoration of running waters conclude the article.

  10. On biodiversity conservation and poverty traps

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Christopher B.; Travis, Alexander J.; Dasgupta, Partha

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a special feature on biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. We define and explain the core concepts and then identify four distinct classes of mechanisms that define important interlinkages between biodiversity and poverty. The multiplicity of candidate mechanisms underscores a major challenge in designing policy appropriate across settings. This framework is then used to introduce the ensuing set of papers, which empirically explore these various mechanisms linking poverty traps and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873176

  11. 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.

  12. Geography of conservation spending, biodiversity, and culture.

    PubMed

    McClanahan, T R; Rankin, P S

    2016-10-01

    We used linear and multivariate models to examine the associations between geography, biodiversity, per capita economic output, national spending on conservation, governance, and cultural traits in 55 countries. Cultural traits and social metrics of modernization correlated positively with national spending on conservation. The global distribution of this spending culture was poorly aligned with the distribution of biodiversity. Specifically, biodiversity was greater in the tropics where cultures tended to spend relatively less on conservation and tended to have higher collectivism, formalized and hierarchical leadership, and weaker governance. Consequently, nations lacking social traits frequently associated with modernization, environmentalism, and conservation spending have the largest component of Earth's biodiversity. This has significant implications for setting policies and priorities for resource management given that biological diversity is rapidly disappearing and cultural traits change slowly. Therefore, we suggest natural resource management adapt to and use characteristics of existing social organization rather than wait for or promote social values associated with conservation spending. Supporting biocultural traditions, engaging leaders to increase conservation commitments, cross-national efforts that complement attributes of cultures, and avoiding interference with nature may work best to conserve nature in collective and hierarchical societies. Spending in modernized nations may be a symbolic response to a symptom of economic development and environmental degradation, and here conservation actions need to ensure that biodiversity is not being lost. PMID:26991737

  13. Use of habitats as surrogates of biodiversity for efficient coral reef conservation planning in Pacific Ocean islands.

    PubMed

    Dalleau, Mayeul; Andréfouët, Serge; Wabnitz, Colette C C; Payri, Claude; Wantiez, Laurent; Pichon, Michel; Friedman, Kim; Vigliola, Laurent; Benzoni, Francesca

    2010-04-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been highlighted as a means toward effective conservation of coral reefs. New strategies are required to more effectively select MPA locations and increase the pace of their implementation. Many criteria exist to design MPA networks, but generally, it is recommended that networks conserve a diversity of species selected for, among other attributes, their representativeness, rarity, or endemicity. Because knowledge of species' spatial distribution remains scarce, efficient surrogates are urgently needed. We used five different levels of habitat maps and six spatial scales of analysis to identify under which circumstances habitat data used to design MPA networks for Wallis Island provided better representation of species than random choice alone. Protected-area site selections were derived from a rarity-complementarity algorithm. Habitat surrogacy was tested for commercial fish species, all fish species, commercially harvested invertebrates, corals, and algae species. Efficiency of habitat surrogacy varied by species group, type of habitat map, and spatial scale of analysis. Maps with the highest habitat thematic complexity provided better surrogates than simpler maps and were more robust to changes in spatial scales. Surrogates were most efficient for commercial fishes, corals, and algae but not for commercial invertebrates. Conversely, other measurements of species-habitat associations, such as richness congruence and composition similarities provided weak results. We provide, in part, a habitat-mapping methodology for designation of MPAs for Pacific Ocean islands that are characterized by habitat zonations similar to Wallis. Given the increasing availability and affordability of space-borne imagery to map habitats, our approach could appreciably facilitate and improve current approaches to coral reef conservation and enhance MPA implementation. PMID:20105207

  14. Biodiversity Conservation and Conservation Biotechnology Tools

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This special issue is dedicated to the in vitro tools and methods used to conserve the genetic diversity of rare and threatened species from around the world. Species that are on the brink of extinction, due to the rapid loss of genetic diversity and habitat, come mainly from resource poor areas the...

  15. Biodiversity, conservation biology, and rational choice.

    PubMed

    Frank, David

    2014-03-01

    This paper critically discusses two areas of Sahotra Sarkar's recent work in environmental philosophy: biodiversity and conservation biology and roles for decision theory in incorporating values explicitly in the environmental policy process. I argue that Sarkar's emphasis on the practices of conservation biologists, and especially the role of social and cultural values in the choice of biodiversity constituents, restricts his conception of biodiversity to particular practical conservation contexts. I argue that life scientists have many reasons to measure many types of diversity, and that biodiversity metrics could be value-free. I argue that Sarkar's emphasis on the limitations of normative decision theory is in tension with his statement that decision theory can "put science and ethics together." I also challenge his claim that multi-criteria decision tools lacking axiomatic foundations in preference and utility theory are "without a rational basis," by presenting a case of a simple "outranking" multi-criteria decision rule that can violate a basic normative requirement of preferences (transitivity) and ask whether there may nevertheless be contexts in which such a procedure might assist decision makers. PMID:24216191

  16. Macroeconomic policy, growth, and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Lawn, Philip

    2008-12-01

    To successfully achieve biodiversity conservation, the amount of ecosystem structure available for economic production must be determined by, and subject to, conservation needs. As such, the scale of economic systems must remain within the limits imposed by the need to preserve critical ecosystems and the regenerative and waste assimilative capacities of the ecosphere. These limits are determined by biophysical criteria, yet macroeconomics involves the use of economic instruments designed to meet economic criteria that have no capacity to achieve biophysically based targets. Macroeconomic policy cannot, therefore, directly solve the biodiversity erosion crisis. Nevertheless, good macroeconomic policy is still important given that bad macroeconomy policy is likely to reduce human well-being and increase the likelihood of social upheaval that could undermine conservation efforts. PMID:19076875

  17. A conservation agenda for the Pantanal's biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Alho, C J R; Sabino, J

    2011-04-01

    The Pantanal's biodiversity constitutes a valuable natural resource, in economic, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, scientific and educational terms. The vegetation plus the seasonal productivity support a diverse and abundant fauna. Many endangered species occur in the region, and waterfowl are exceptionally abundant during the dry season. Losses of biodiversity and its associated natural habitats within the Pantanal occur as a result of unsustainable land use. Implementation of protected areas is only a part of the conservation strategy needed. We analyse biodiversity threats to the biome under seven major categories: 1) conversion of natural vegetation into pasture and agricultural crops, 2) destruction or degradation of habitat mainly due to wild fire, 3) overexploitation of species mainly by unsustainable fishing, 4) water pollution, 5) river flow modification with implantation of small hydroelectric plants, 6) unsustainable tourism, and 7) introduction of invasive exotic species. PMID:21537606

  18. 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

  19. Conserving tropical biodiversity via market forces and spatial targeting.

    PubMed

    Bateman, Ian J; Coombes, Emma; Fitzherbert, Emily; Binner, Amy; Bad'ura, Tomáš; Carbone, Chris; Fisher, Brendan; Naidoo, Robin; Watkinson, Andrew R

    2015-06-16

    The recent report from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity [(2010) Global Biodiversity Outlook 3] acknowledges that ongoing biodiversity loss necessitates swift, radical action. Protecting undisturbed lands, although vital, is clearly insufficient, and the key role of unprotected, private land owned is being increasingly recognized. Seeking to avoid common assumptions of a social planner backed by government interventions, the present work focuses on the incentives of the individual landowner. We use detailed data to show that successful conservation on private land depends on three factors: conservation effectiveness (impact on target species), private costs (especially reductions in production), and private benefits (the extent to which conservation activities provide compensation, for example, by enhancing the value of remaining production). By examining the high-profile issue of palm-oil production in a major tropical biodiversity hotspot, we show that the levels of both conservation effectiveness and private costs are inherently spatial; varying the location of conservation activities can radically change both their effectiveness and private cost implications. We also use an economic choice experiment to show that consumers' willingness to pay for conservation-grade palm-oil products has the potential to incentivize private producers sufficiently to engage in conservation activities, supporting vulnerable International Union for Conservation of Nature Red Listed species. However, these incentives vary according to the scale and efficiency of production and the extent to which conservation is targeted to optimize its cost-effectiveness. Our integrated, interdisciplinary approach shows how strategies to harness the power of the market can usefully complement existing--and to-date insufficient--approaches to conservation. PMID:26077906

  20. Conserving tropical biodiversity via market forces and spatial targeting

    PubMed Central

    Bateman, Ian J.; Coombes, Emma; Fitzherbert, Emily; Binner, Amy; Bad’ura, Tomáš; Carbone, Chris; Fisher, Brendan; Naidoo, Robin; Watkinson, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    The recent report from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity [(2010) Global Biodiversity Outlook 3] acknowledges that ongoing biodiversity loss necessitates swift, radical action. Protecting undisturbed lands, although vital, is clearly insufficient, and the key role of unprotected, private land owned is being increasingly recognized. Seeking to avoid common assumptions of a social planner backed by government interventions, the present work focuses on the incentives of the individual landowner. We use detailed data to show that successful conservation on private land depends on three factors: conservation effectiveness (impact on target species), private costs (especially reductions in production), and private benefits (the extent to which conservation activities provide compensation, for example, by enhancing the value of remaining production). By examining the high-profile issue of palm-oil production in a major tropical biodiversity hotspot, we show that the levels of both conservation effectiveness and private costs are inherently spatial; varying the location of conservation activities can radically change both their effectiveness and private cost implications. We also use an economic choice experiment to show that consumers' willingness to pay for conservation-grade palm-oil products has the potential to incentivize private producers sufficiently to engage in conservation activities, supporting vulnerable International Union for Conservation of Nature Red Listed species. However, these incentives vary according to the scale and efficiency of production and the extent to which conservation is targeted to optimize its cost-effectiveness. Our integrated, interdisciplinary approach shows how strategies to harness the power of the market can usefully complement existing—and to-date insufficient—approaches to conservation. PMID:26077906

  1. Global Priorities for Marine Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Selig, Elizabeth R.; Turner, Will R.; Troëng, Sebastian; Wallace, Bryan P.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Kaschner, Kristin; Lascelles, Ben G.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Mittermeier, Russell A.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity. PMID:24416151

  2. 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…

  3. Participation in Biodiversity Conservation: Motivations and Barriers of Australian Landholders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, Katie; Cocklin, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation programs that appeal to landholders' motivations and minimise their barriers to participation may result in both increased uptake rates and improved ecological outcomes. To understand their motivations and barriers to conserve biodiversity, qualitative interviews were conducted with 45 landholders who had participated in…

  4. Economic valuation for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Beaumont, N J; Austen, M C; Mangi, S C; Townsend, M

    2008-03-01

    Policy makers are increasingly recognising the role of environmental valuation to guide and support the management and conservation of biodiversity. This paper presents a goods and services approach to determine the economic value of marine biodiversity in the UK, with the aim of clarifying the role of valuation in the management of marine biodiversity. The goods and services resulting from UK marine biodiversity are detailed, and 8 of the 13 services are valued in monetary terms. It is found that a decline in UK marine biodiversity could result in a varying, and at present unpredictable, change in the provision of goods and services, including reduced resilience and resistance to change, declining marine environmental health, reduced fisheries potential, and loss of recreational opportunities. The results suggest that this approach can facilitate biodiversity management by enabling the optimal allocation of limited management resources and through raising awareness of the importance of marine biodiversity. PMID:18191954

  5. Engaging Pupils in Decision-Making about Biodiversity Conservation Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grace, Marcus; Byrne, Jenny

    2010-01-01

    Our pupils' generation will eventually have the daunting responsibility of making decisions about local and global biodiversity. School provides an early opportunity for them to enter into formal discussion about the science and values associated with biodiversity conservation; but the crowded curriculum offers little time for such activities.…

  6. Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges.

    PubMed

    Dudgeon, David; Arthington, Angela H; Gessner, Mark O; Kawabata, Zen-Ichiro; Knowler, Duncan J; Lévêque, Christian; Naiman, Robert J; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Soto, Doris; Stiassny, Melanie L J; Sullivan, Caroline A

    2006-05-01

    Freshwater biodiversity is the over-riding conservation priority during the International Decade for Action - 'Water for Life' - 2005 to 2015. Fresh water makes up only 0.01% of the World's water and approximately 0.8% of the Earth's surface, yet this tiny fraction of global water supports at least 100000 species out of approximately 1.8 million - almost 6% of all described species. Inland waters and freshwater biodiversity constitute a valuable natural resource, in economic, cultural, aesthetic, scientific and educational terms. Their conservation and management are critical to the interests of all humans, nations and governments. Yet this precious heritage is in crisis. Fresh waters are experiencing declines in biodiversity far greater than those in the most affected terrestrial ecosystems, and if trends in human demands for water remain unaltered and species losses continue at current rates, the opportunity to conserve much of the remaining biodiversity in fresh water will vanish before the 'Water for Life' decade ends in 2015. Why is this so, and what is being done about it? This article explores the special features of freshwater habitats and the biodiversity they support that makes them especially vulnerable to human activities. We document threats to global freshwater biodiversity under five headings: overexploitation; water pollution; flow modification; destruction or degradation of habitat; and invasion by exotic species. Their combined and interacting influences have resulted in population declines and range reduction of freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Conservation of biodiversity is complicated by the landscape position of rivers and wetlands as 'receivers' of land-use effluents, and the problems posed by endemism and thus non-substitutability. In addition, in many parts of the world, fresh water is subject to severe competition among multiple human stakeholders. Protection of freshwater biodiversity is perhaps the ultimate conservation challenge

  7. 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

  8. Biodiversity conservation status in the Republic of Kosovo with focus on biodiversity centres.

    PubMed

    Zeqir, Veselaj; Behxhet, Mustafa; Avni, Hajdari; Zenel, Krasniqi

    2012-04-01

    This paper presents the most recent results on Kosovo biodiversity conservation efforts with focus on two main biodiversity centers of Kosovo: Sharri mountain (already declared as National Park) and Bjeshket e Nemuna mountains in process of designation as a National park. The study presents collection of up to date publications on biodiversity of Kosovo. Of course, there is still to be investigated particularly in the field of lower plants as well invertebrate fauna species. Beside the small territory of 10,887 km2, Kosovo is quite rich in both plant and animal biodiversity. Up to date 1800 vascular plant species have been recorded, while expected number is about 2500 species. Number of higher vertebrates is 210, while the invertebrates are not studied with exception of Lepidoptera with about 150 species. There is no Red List of species for Kosovo developed yet, while some short term conservation measures have already taken place. PMID:23424833

  9. Conserving biodiversity: A research agenda for development agencies

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This book was written to assist development agencies in identifying the kinds of biological, economic and cultural research that need to be funding to provide an information base for conserving biodiversity. The presentation is concise and non-technical with summaries of data and ideas relevant to biodiversity. The human role in accelerating biotic loss is discussed, and stragies for sustainable land use and restoration of degraded lands are among several topics.

  10. Typology of public outreach for biodiversity conservation projects in Spain.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Amanda; Iniesta-Arandia, Irene; Muñoz-Santos, Maria; Martín-López, Berta; Jacobson, Susan K; Benayas, Javier

    2014-06-01

    Conservation education and outreach programs are a key approach to promote public understanding of the importance of biodiversity conservation. We reviewed 85 biodiversity conservation projects supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment's Biodiversity Foundation. Through content analysis and descriptive statistics, we examined how the projects carried out communication, education, and public awareness and participation (CEPA) actions. We also used multivariate statistical analysis to develop a typology of 4 classes of biodiversity conservation projects on the basis of CEPA implementation. The classifications were delineated by purpose of CEPA, level of integration of CEPA actions, type of CEPA goals, main CEPA stakeholders, and aim of conservation. Our results confirm the existence of 2 key positions: CEPA has intrinsic value (i.e., they supposed the implementation of any CEPA action indirectly supported conservation) and CEPA is an instrument for achieving conservation goals. We also found that most CEPA actions addressed general audiences and school children, ignored minority groups and women, and did not include evaluation. The characteristics of the 4 types of projects and their frequency of implementation in the sample reflect the need for better integration of different types of actions (communication, education, and participation) and improved fostering of participation of multiple stakeholders in developing policy and implementing management strategies. PMID:24400698

  11. 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

  12. Conserving critical sites for biodiversity provides disproportionate benefits to people.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Frank W; Turner, Will R; Brooks, Thomas M

    2012-01-01

    Protecting natural habitats in priority areas is essential to halt the loss of biodiversity. Yet whether these benefits for biodiversity also yield benefits for human well-being remains controversial. Here we assess the potential human well-being benefits of safeguarding a global network of sites identified as top priorities for the conservation of threatened species. Conserving these sites would yield benefits--in terms of a) climate change mitigation through avoidance of CO(2) emissions from deforestation; b) freshwater services to downstream human populations; c) retention of option value; and d) benefits to maintenance of human cultural diversity--significantly exceeding those anticipated from randomly selected sites within the same countries and ecoregions. Results suggest that safeguarding sites important for biodiversity conservation provides substantial benefits to human well-being. PMID:22666337

  13. Group Decisions in Biodiversity Conservation: Implications from Game Theory

    PubMed Central

    Frank, David M.; Sarkar, Sahotra

    2010-01-01

    Background Decision analysis and game theory [1], [2] have proved useful tools in various biodiversity conservation planning and modeling contexts [3]–[5]. This paper shows how game theory may be used to inform group decisions in biodiversity conservation scenarios by modeling conflicts between stakeholders to identify Pareto–inefficient Nash equilibria. These are cases in which each agent pursuing individual self–interest leads to a worse outcome for all, relative to other feasible outcomes. Three case studies from biodiversity conservation contexts showing this feature are modeled to demonstrate how game–theoretical representation can inform group decision-making. Methodology and Principal Findings The mathematical theory of games is used to model three biodiversity conservation scenarios with Pareto–inefficient Nash equilibria: (i) a two–agent case involving wild dogs in South Africa; (ii) a three–agent raptor and grouse conservation scenario from the United Kingdom; and (iii) an n–agent fish and coral conservation scenario from the Philippines. In each case there is reason to believe that traditional mechanism–design solutions that appeal to material incentives may be inadequate, and the game–theoretical analysis recommends a resumption of further deliberation between agents and the initiation of trust—and confidence—building measures. Conclusions and Significance Game theory can and should be used as a normative tool in biodiversity conservation contexts: identifying scenarios with Pareto–inefficient Nash equilibria enables constructive action in order to achieve (closer to) optimal conservation outcomes, whether by policy solutions based on mechanism design or otherwise. However, there is mounting evidence [6] that formal mechanism–design solutions may backfire in certain cases. Such scenarios demand a return to group deliberation and the creation of reciprocal relationships of trust. PMID:20523732

  14. Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption.

    PubMed

    Machovina, Brian; Feeley, Kenneth J; Ripple, William J

    2015-12-01

    The consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of the most powerful negative forces affecting the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and biological diversity. Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss, and both livestock and feedstock production are increasing in developing tropical countries where the majority of biological diversity resides. Bushmeat consumption in Africa and southeastern Asia, as well as the high growth-rate of per capita livestock consumption in China are of special concern. The projected land base required by 2050 to support livestock production in several megadiverse countries exceeds 30-50% of their current agricultural areas. Livestock production is also a leading cause of climate change, soil loss, water and nutrient pollution, and decreases of apex predators and wild herbivores, compounding pressures on ecosystems and biodiversity. It is possible to greatly reduce the impacts of animal product consumption by humans on natural ecosystems and biodiversity while meeting nutritional needs of people, including the projected 2-3 billion people to be added to human population. We suggest that impacts can be remediated through several solutions: (1) reducing demand for animal-based food products and increasing proportions of plant-based foods in diets, the latter ideally to a global average of 90% of food consumed; (2) replacing ecologically-inefficient ruminants (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep) and bushmeat with monogastrics (e.g. poultry, pigs), integrated aquaculture, and other more-efficient protein sources; and (3) reintegrating livestock production away from single-product, intensive, fossil-fuel based systems into diverse, coupled systems designed more closely around the structure and functions of ecosystems that conserve energy and nutrients. Such efforts would also impart positive impacts on human health through reduction of diseases of nutritional extravagance. PMID:26231772

  15. Identification of areas in Brazil that optimize conservation of forest carbon, jaguars, and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    De Barros, Alan E; MacDonald, Ewan A; Matsumoto, Marcelo H; Paula, Rogério C; Nijhawan, Sahil; Malhi, Y; MacDonald, David W

    2014-04-01

    A major question in global environmental policy is whether schemes to reduce carbon pollution through forest management, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), can also benefit biodiversity conservation in tropical countries. We identified municipalities in Brazil that are priorities for reducing rates of deforestation and thus preserving carbon stocks that are also conservation targets for the endangered jaguar (Panthera onca) and biodiversity in general. Preliminary statistical analysis showed that municipalities with high biodiversity were positively associated with high forest carbon stocks. We used a multicriteria decision analysis to identify municipalities that offered the best opportunities for the conservation of forest carbon stocks and biodiversity conservation under a range of scenarios with different rates of deforestation and carbon values. We further categorized these areas by their representativeness of the entire country (through measures such as percent forest cover) and an indirect measure of cost (number of municipalities). The municipalities that offered optimal co-benefits for forest carbon stocks and conservation were termed REDDspots (n = 159), and their spatial distribution was compared with the distribution of current and proposed REDD projects (n = 135). We defined REDDspots as the municipalities that offer the best opportunities for co-benefits between the conservation of forest carbon stocks, jaguars, and other wildlife. These areas coincided in 25% (n = 40) of municipalities. We identified a further 95 municipalities that may have the greatest potential to develop additional REDD+ projects while also targeting biodiversity conservation. We concluded that REDD+ strategies could be an efficient tool for biodiversity conservation in key locations, especially in Amazonian and Atlantic Forest biomes. PMID:24372997

  16. Targeting global conservation funding to limit immediate biodiversity declines

    PubMed Central

    Waldron, Anthony; Mooers, Arne O.; Miller, Daniel C.; Nibbelink, Nate; Redding, David; Kuhn, Tyler S.; Roberts, J. Timmons; Gittleman, John L.

    2013-01-01

    Inadequate funding levels are a major impediment to effective global biodiversity conservation and are likely associated with recent failures to meet United Nations biodiversity targets. Some countries are more severely underfunded than others and therefore represent urgent financial priorities. However, attempts to identify these highly underfunded countries have been hampered for decades by poor and incomplete data on actual spending, coupled with uncertainty and lack of consensus over the relative size of spending gaps. Here, we assemble a global database of annual conservation spending. We then develop a statistical model that explains 86% of variation in conservation expenditures, and use this to identify countries where funding is robustly below expected levels. The 40 most severely underfunded countries contain 32% of all threatened mammalian diversity and include neighbors in some of the world’s most biodiversity-rich areas (Sundaland, Wallacea, and Near Oceania). However, very modest increases in international assistance would achieve a large improvement in the relative adequacy of global conservation finance. Our results could therefore be quickly applied to limit immediate biodiversity losses at relatively little cost. PMID:23818619

  17. Young People's Views on the Importance of Conserving Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grace, Marcus; Sharp, John

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the findings of a study of the views of 15 and 16 year-olds on the importance of biodiversity conservation. Reports general disapproval for human economic activities that might threaten wildlife with extinction, although significantly fewer boys than girls held this view. (Contains 16 references.) (Author/YDS)

  18. Neglected wild life: Parasitic biodiversity as a conservation target.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Andrés; Nichols, Elizabeth

    2013-12-01

    Parasites appropriate host resources to feed and/or to reproduce, and lower host fitness to varying degrees. As a consequence, they can negatively impact human and animal health, food production, economic trade, and biodiversity conservation. They can also be difficult to study and have historically been regarded as having little influence on ecosystem organization and function. Not surprisingly, parasitic biodiversity has to date not been the focus of much positive attention from the conservation community. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that parasites are extremely diverse, have key roles in ecological and evolutionary processes, and that infection may paradoxically result in ecosystem services of direct human relevance. Here we argue that wildlife parasites should be considered meaningful conservation targets no less relevant than their hosts. We discuss their numerical and functional importance, current conservation status, and outline a series of non-trivial challenges to consider before incorporating parasite biodiversity in conservation strategies. We also suggest that addressing the key knowledge gaps and communication deficiencies that currently impede broad discussions about parasite conservation requires input from wildlife parasitologists. PMID:24533340

  19. Neglected wild life: Parasitic biodiversity as a conservation target☆

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Andrés; Nichols, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Parasites appropriate host resources to feed and/or to reproduce, and lower host fitness to varying degrees. As a consequence, they can negatively impact human and animal health, food production, economic trade, and biodiversity conservation. They can also be difficult to study and have historically been regarded as having little influence on ecosystem organization and function. Not surprisingly, parasitic biodiversity has to date not been the focus of much positive attention from the conservation community. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that parasites are extremely diverse, have key roles in ecological and evolutionary processes, and that infection may paradoxically result in ecosystem services of direct human relevance. Here we argue that wildlife parasites should be considered meaningful conservation targets no less relevant than their hosts. We discuss their numerical and functional importance, current conservation status, and outline a series of non-trivial challenges to consider before incorporating parasite biodiversity in conservation strategies. We also suggest that addressing the key knowledge gaps and communication deficiencies that currently impede broad discussions about parasite conservation requires input from wildlife parasitologists. PMID:24533340

  20. A phylogenetic approach to conserving Amazonian biodiversity.

    PubMed

    López-Osorio, Federico; Miranda-Esquivel, Daniel Rafael

    2010-10-01

    Amazonia is a highly threatened rainforest that encompasses a major proportion of Earth's biological diversity. Our main goal was to establish conservation priorities for Amazonia's areas of endemism on the basis of measures of evolutionary distinctiveness. We considered two previously identified sets of areas of endemism. The first set consisted of eight large areas used traditionally in biogeographical studies: Belém, Tapajós, Xingu, Guiana, Rondônia, Imeri, Inambari, and Napo. The second set consisted of 16 smaller areas that were subdivisions of the larger areas. We assembled a data set of 50 phylogenies that represented 16 orders and 1715 distributional records. We identified priority conservation areas for the areas of endemism according to node-based metrics of evolutionary distinctiveness. We contrasted these results with priority areas identified on the basis of raw species richness and species endemicity. For the larger areas, we identified Guiana and Inambari as the first- and second-most important areas for conservation. The remaining areas in this first group scored half (e.g., Napo) or less than Guiana and Inambari on all indices. For the smaller areas, a subdivision of Guiana (i.e., Guyana and the Brazilian states of Roraima and Amazonas) was at the top of the ranking and was followed by a subdivision of Inambari (i.e., northwestern portion of Amazonas) and then another subdivision of Guiana (i.e., Suriname, French Guiana, and the Brazilian state of Amapá). The distinctiveness-based rankings of the priority of areas correlated directly with those derived from species richness and species endemicity. Current conservation strategies in Amazonia, although they rely on many other criteria apart from phylogeny, are focusing on the most important areas for conservation we identified here. PMID:20337680

  1. Is community-based ecotourism a good use of biodiversity conservation funds?

    PubMed

    Kiss, Agnes

    2004-05-01

    Community-based ecotourism (CBET) has become a popular tool for biodiversity conservation, based on the principle that biodiversity must pay for itself by generating economic benefits, particularly for local people. There are many examples of projects that produce revenues for local communities and improve local attitudes towards conservation, but the contribution of CBET to conservation and local economic development is limited by factors such as the small areas and few people involved, limited earnings, weak linkages between biodiversity gains and commercial success, and the competitive and specialized nature of the tourism industry. Many CBET projects cited as success stories actually involve little change in existing local land and resource-use practices, provide only a modest supplement to local livelihoods, and remain dependent on external support for long periods, if not indefinitely. Investment in CBET might be justified in cases where such small changes and benefits can yield significant conservation and social benefits, although it must still be recognized as requiring a long term funding commitment. Here, I aim to identify conditions under which CBET is, and is not, likely to be effective, efficient and sustainable compared with alternative approaches for conserving biodiversity. I also highlight the need for better data and more rigorous analysis of both conservation and economic impacts. PMID:16701261

  2. Conservation of biodiversity through taxonomy, data publication, and collaborative infrastructures.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark J; Vanhoorne, Bart; Appeltans, Ward

    2015-08-01

    Taxonomy is the foundation of biodiversity science because it furthers discovery of new species. Globally, there have never been so many people involved in naming species new to science. The number of new marine species described per decade has never been greater. Nevertheless, it is estimated that tens of thousands of marine species, and hundreds of thousands of terrestrial species, are yet to be discovered; many of which may already be in specimen collections. However, naming species is only a first step in documenting knowledge about their biology, biogeography, and ecology. Considering the threats to biodiversity, new knowledge of existing species and discovery of undescribed species and their subsequent study are urgently required. To accelerate this research, we recommend, and cite examples of, more and better communication: use of collaborative online databases; easier access to knowledge and specimens; production of taxonomic revisions and species identification guides; engagement of nonspecialists; and international collaboration. "Data-sharing" should be abandoned in favor of mandated data publication by the conservation science community. Such a step requires support from peer reviewers, editors, journals, and conservation organizations. Online data publication infrastructures (e.g., Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Ocean Biogeographic Information System) illustrate gaps in biodiversity sampling and may provide common ground for long-term international collaboration between scientists and conservation organizations. PMID:25858475

  3. Model for quantifying the synergies between farmland biodiversity conservation and water protection at catchment scale.

    PubMed

    Helin, Janne; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Korpela, Eeva-Liisa; Kuussaari, Mikko

    2013-12-15

    This paper studies joint provision of two environmental non-market commodities related to agriculture: biodiversity conservation and water protection. We provide an optimising tool for analysing spatial dependencies of multifunctional agriculture at catchment scale. We show that efficiency gains can be achieved by spatial allocation and choice of the type of vegetation. In particular, inclusion of meadow nectar plants in the founding grass seed mixture of set-asides was found out to be an economically efficient measure to promote biodiversity and water protection on warm, steep slopes. PMID:24201218

  4. Beyond predictions: biodiversity conservation in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Terence P; Jackson, Stephen T; House, Joanna I; Prentice, Iain Colin; Mace, Georgina M

    2011-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to become a major threat to biodiversity in the 21st century, but accurate predictions and effective solutions have proved difficult to formulate. Alarming predictions have come from a rather narrow methodological base, but a new, integrated science of climate-change biodiversity assessment is emerging, based on multiple sources and approaches. Drawing on evidence from paleoecological observations, recent phenological and microevolutionary responses, experiments, and computational models, we review the insights that different approaches bring to anticipating and managing the biodiversity consequences of climate change, including the extent of species' natural resilience. We introduce a framework that uses information from different sources to identify vulnerability and to support the design of conservation responses. Although much of the information reviewed is on species, our framework and conclusions are also applicable to ecosystems, habitats, ecological communities, and genetic diversity, whether terrestrial, marine, or fresh water. PMID:21454781

  5. Fish biodiversity and conservation in South America.

    PubMed

    Reis, R E; Albert, J S; Di Dario, F; Mincarone, M M; Petry, P; Rocha, L A

    2016-07-01

    The freshwater and marine fish faunas of South America are the most diverse on Earth, with current species richness estimates standing above 9100 species. In addition, over the last decade at least 100 species were described every year. There are currently about 5160 freshwater fish species, and the estimate for the freshwater fish fauna alone points to a final diversity between 8000 and 9000 species. South America also has c. 4000 species of marine fishes. The mega-diverse fish faunas of South America evolved over a period of >100 million years, with most lineages tracing origins to Gondwana and the adjacent Tethys Sea. This high diversity was in part maintained by escaping the mass extinctions and biotic turnovers associated with Cenozoic climate cooling, the formation of boreal and temperate zones at high latitudes and aridification in many places at equatorial latitudes. The fresh waters of the continent are divided into 13 basin complexes, large basins consolidated as a single unit plus historically connected adjacent coastal drainages, and smaller coastal basins grouped together on the basis of biogeographic criteria. Species diversity, endemism, noteworthy groups and state of knowledge of each basin complex are described. Marine habitats around South America, both coastal and oceanic, are also described in terms of fish diversity, endemism and state of knowledge. Because of extensive land use changes, hydroelectric damming, water divergence for irrigation, urbanization, sedimentation and overfishing 4-10% of all fish species in South America face some degree of extinction risk, mainly due to habitat loss and degradation. These figures suggest that the conservation status of South American freshwater fish faunas is better than in most other regions of the world, but the marine fishes are as threatened as elsewhere. Conserving the remarkable aquatic habitats and fishes of South America is a growing challenge in face of the rapid anthropogenic changes of the 21

  6. Conservation archaeogenomics: ancient DNA and biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Hofman, Courtney A; Rick, Torben C; Fleischer, Robert C; Maldonado, Jesús E

    2015-09-01

    There is growing consensus that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch characterized by human domination of the ecosystems of the Earth. With the future uncertain, we are faced with understanding how global biodiversity will respond to anthropogenic perturbations. The archaeological record provides perspective on human-environment relations through time and across space. Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses of plant and animal remains from archaeological sites are particularly useful for understanding past human-environment interactions, which can help guide conservation decisions during the environmental changes of the Anthropocene. Here, we define the emerging field of conservation archaeogenomics, which integrates archaeological and genomic data to generate baselines or benchmarks for scientists, managers, and policy-makers by evaluating climatic and human impacts on past, present, and future biodiversity. PMID:26169594

  7. Photosharing websites may improve Hemiptera biodiversity knowledge and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Goula, Marta; Sesma, José-Manuel; Vivas, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Internet photosharing websites is a very recent and powerful tool for the study of biodiversity, and a meeting point of general public fond of nature and professional naturalists. The article discusses when an uploaded picture is scientifically valuable, and the benefits of structured hosting websites for the most fruitful information retrieval. Examples are given of faunistic, biological, ecological and conservation results concerning Hemiptera provided by information download from photosharing websites. PMID:24003310

  8. Increasing participation in incentive programs for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Sorice, Michael G; Oh, Chi-Ok; Gartner, Todd; Snieckus, Mary; Johnson, Rhett; Donlan, C Josh

    2013-07-01

    Engaging private landowners in conservation activities for imperiled species is critical to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Market-based approaches can incentivize conservation behaviors on private lands by shifting the benefit-cost ratio of engaging in activities that result in net conservation benefits for target species. In the United States and elsewhere, voluntary conservation agreements with financial incentives are becoming an increasingly common strategy. While the influence of program design and delivery of voluntary conservation programs is often overlooked, these aspects are critical to achieving the necessary participation to attain landscape-scale outcomes. Using a sample of family-forest landowners in the southeast United States, we show how preferences for participation in a conservation program to protect an at-risk species, the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), are related to program structure, delivery, and perceived efficacy. Landowners were most sensitive to programs that are highly controlling, require permanent conservation easements, and put landowners at risk for future regulation. Programs designed with greater levels of compensation and that support landowners' autonomy to make land management decisions can increase participation and increase landowner acceptance of program components that are generally unfavorable, like long-term contracts and permanent easements. There is an inherent trade-off between maximizing participation and maximizing the conservation benefits when designing a conservation incentive program. For conservation programs targeting private lands to achieve landscape-level benefits, they must attract a critical level of participation that creates a connected mosaic of conservation benefits. Yet, programs with attributes that strive to maximize conservation benefits within a single agreement (and reduce risks of failure) are likely to have lower participation, and thus lower landscape benefits. Achieving

  9. Biodiversity conservation in agriculture requires a multi-scale approach

    PubMed Central

    Gonthier, David J.; Ennis, Katherine K.; Farinas, Serge; Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Iverson, Aaron L.; Batáry, Péter; Rudolphi, Jörgen; Tscharntke, Teja; Cardinale, Bradley J.; Perfecto, Ivette

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss—one of the most prominent forms of modern environmental change—has been heavily driven by terrestrial habitat loss and, in particular, the spread and intensification of agriculture. Expanding agricultural land-use has led to the search for strong conservation strategies, with some suggesting that biodiversity conservation in agriculture is best maximized by reducing local management intensity, such as fertilizer and pesticide application. Others highlight the importance of landscape-level approaches that incorporate natural or semi-natural areas in landscapes surrounding farms. Here, we show that both of these practices are valuable to the conservation of biodiversity, and that either local or landscape factors can be most crucial to conservation planning depending on which types of organisms one wishes to save. We performed a quantitative review of 266 observations taken from 31 studies that compared the impacts of localized (within farm) management strategies and landscape complexity (around farms) on the richness and abundance of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species in agro-ecosystems. While both factors significantly impacted species richness, the richness of sessile plants increased with less-intensive local management, but did not significantly respond to landscape complexity. By contrast, the richness of mobile vertebrates increased with landscape complexity, but did not significantly increase with less-intensive local management. Invertebrate richness and abundance responded to both factors. Our analyses point to clear differences in how various groups of organisms respond to differing scales of management, and suggest that preservation of multiple taxonomic groups will require multiple scales of conservation. PMID:25100703

  10. Cranes, crops and conservation: understanding human perceptions of biodiversity conservation in South Korea's Civilian Control Zone.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin-Oh; Steiner, Frederick; Mueller, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    South Korea's Civilian Control Zone (CCZ), a relatively untouched area due to tight military oversight since the end of Korean War, has received considerable attention nationally and internationally for its rich biodiversity. However, the exclusion of local communities from the process of defining problems and goals and of setting priorities for biodiversity conservation has halted a series of biodiversity conservation efforts. Through qualitative research, we explored CCZ farmers' views of key problems and issues and also the sources of their opposition to the government-initiated conservation approaches. Key findings include the farmers' concerns about the impact of conservation restrictions on their access to necessary resources needed to farm, wildlife impacts on the value of rice and other agricultural goods they produce, and farmers' strong distrust of government, the military, and planners, based on their experiences with past conservation processes. The findings regarding farmers' perceptions should prove useful for the design of future participatory planning processes for biodiversity conservation in the CCZ. This case highlights how conservative measures, perceived to be imposed from above--however scientifically valuable--can be undermined and suggests the value that must be placed on communication among planners and stakeholders. PMID:20924581

  11. Cranes, Crops and Conservation: Understanding Human Perceptions of Biodiversity Conservation in South Korea's Civilian Control Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jin-Oh; Steiner, Frederick; Mueller, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    South Korea's Civilian Control Zone (CCZ), a relatively untouched area due to tight military oversight since the end of Korean War, has received considerable attention nationally and internationally for its rich biodiversity. However, the exclusion of local communities from the process of defining problems and goals and of setting priorities for biodiversity conservation has halted a series of biodiversity conservation efforts. Through qualitative research, we explored CCZ farmers' views of key problems and issues and also the sources of their opposition to the government-initiated conservation approaches. Key findings include the farmers' concerns about the impact of conservation restrictions on their access to necessary resources needed to farm, wildlife impacts on the value of rice and other agricultural goods they produce, and farmers' strong distrust of government, the military, and planners, based on their experiences with past conservation processes. The findings regarding farmers' perceptions should prove useful for the design of future participatory planning processes for biodiversity conservation in the CCZ. This case highlights how conservative measures, perceived to be imposed from above—however scientifically valuable—can be undermined and suggests the value that must be placed on communication among planners and stakeholders.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Evaluating biodiversity conservation around a large Sumatran protected area.

    PubMed

    Linkie, Matthew; Smith, Robert J; Zhu, Yu; Martyr, Deborah J; Suedmeyer, Beth; Pramono, Joko; Leader-Williams, Nigel

    2008-06-01

    Many of the large, donor-funded community-based conservation projects that seek to reduce biodiversity loss in the tropics have been unsuccessful. There is, therefore, a need for empirical evaluations to identify the driving factors and to provide evidence that supports the development of context-specific conservation projects. We used a quantitative approach to measure, post hoc, the effectiveness of a US$19 million Integrated Conservation and Development Project (ICDP) that sought to reduce biodiversity loss through the development of villages bordering Kerinci Seblat National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia. We focused on the success of the ICDP component that disbursed a total of US$1.5 million through development grants to 66 villages in return for their commitment to stop illegally clearing the forest. To investigate whether the ICDP lowered deforestation rates in focal villages, we selected a subset of non-ICDP villages that had similar physical and socioeconomic features and compared their respective deforestation rates. Village participation in the ICDP and its development schemes had no effect on deforestation. Instead, accessible areas where village land-tenure had been undermined by the designation of selective-logging concessions tended to have the highest deforestation rates. Our results indicate that the goal of the ICDP was not met and, furthermore, suggest that both law enforcement inside the park and local property rights outside the park need to be strengthened. Our results also emphasize the importance of quantitative approaches in helping to inform successful and cost-effective strategies for tropical biodiversity conservation. PMID:18336620

  15. 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

    consistent among taxonomic groups for forest and open-habitat species, respectively. Synthesis and applications. Our meta-analysis provides support for wider use of retention forestry since it moderates negative harvesting impacts on biodiversity. Hence, it is a promising approach for integrating biodiversity conservation and production forestry, although identifying optimal solutions between these two goals may need further attention. Nevertheless, retention forestry will not substitute for conservation actions targeting certain highly specialized species associated with forest-interior or open-habitat conditions. Our meta-analysis provides support for wider use of retention forestry since it moderates negative harvesting impacts on biodiversity. Hence, it is a promising approach for integrating biodiversity conservation and production forestry, although identifying optimal solutions between these two goals may need further attention. Nevertheless, retention forestry will not substitute for conservation actions targeting certain highly specialized species associated with forest-interior or open-habitat conditions. PMID:25552747

  16. How Should Beta-Diversity Inform Biodiversity Conservation?

    PubMed

    Socolar, Jacob B; Gilroy, James J; Kunin, William E; Edwards, David P

    2016-01-01

    To design robust protected area networks, accurately measure species losses, or understand the processes that maintain species diversity, conservation science must consider the organization of biodiversity in space. Central is beta-diversity--the component of regional diversity that accumulates from compositional differences between local species assemblages. We review how beta-diversity is impacted by human activities, including farming, selective logging, urbanization, species invasions, overhunting, and climate change. Beta-diversity increases, decreases, or remains unchanged by these impacts, depending on the balance of processes that cause species composition to become more different (biotic heterogenization) or more similar (biotic homogenization) between sites. While maintaining high beta-diversity is not always a desirable conservation outcome, understanding beta-diversity is essential for protecting regional diversity and can directly assist conservation planning. PMID:26701706

  17. Maximizing species conservation in continental Ecuador: a case of systematic conservation planning for biodiverse regions.

    PubMed

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2014-06-01

    Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277

  18. Maximizing species conservation in continental Ecuador: a case of systematic conservation planning for biodiverse regions

    PubMed Central

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277

  19. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) and biodiversity conservation: some bioinformatics challenges

    PubMed Central

    Faith, Daniel P.; Baker, Andrew M.

    2007-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation addresses information challenges through estimations encapsulated in measures of diversity. A quantitative measure of phylogenetic diversity, “PD”, has been defined as the minimum total length of all the phylogenetic branches required to span a given set of taxa on the phylogenetic tree (Faith 1992a). While a recent paper incorrectly characterizes PD as not including information about deeper phylogenetic branches, PD applications over the past decade document the proper incorporation of shared deep branches when assessing the total PD of a set of taxa. Current PD applications to macroinvertebrate taxa in streams of New South Wales, Australia illustrate the practical importance of this definition. Phylogenetic lineages, often corresponding to new, “cryptic”, taxa, are restricted to a small number of stream localities. A recent case of human impact causing loss of taxa in one locality implies a higher PD value for another locality, because it now uniquely represents a deeper branch. This molecular-based phylogenetic pattern supports the use of DNA barcoding programs for biodiversity conservation planning. Here, PD assessments side-step the contentious use of barcoding-based “species” designations. Bio-informatics challenges include combining different phylogenetic evidence, optimization problems for conservation planning, and effective integration of phylogenetic information with environmental and socio-economic data. PMID:19455206

  20. Conserving biodiversity in managed forests: Lessons from natural forests

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, A.J. ); Spies, T.A.; Swanson, F.J.; Ohmann, J.L. )

    1991-06-01

    In this article, the authors review patterns of disturbance and succession in natural forests in the Coastal Northwest and compare structure and composition across an age gradient of unmanaged stands. Stand and landscape patterns in managed forests are then examined and compared with those in natural forests. They draw on the results to offer guidance on the management of Coastal Northwest forests that are dedicated to both wood production and conservation of biodiversity. Finally, the authors suggest that the lessons learned from natural forests here may be useful in other biomes, where unmanaged forests are rare and standards for designing seminatural forests are not available.

  1. 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

  2. Satellite remote sensing, biodiversity research and conservation of the future

    PubMed Central

    Pettorelli, Nathalie; Safi, Kamran; Turner, Woody

    2014-01-01

    Assessing and predicting ecosystem responses to global environmental change and its impacts on human well-being are high priority targets for the scientific community. The potential for synergies between remote sensing science and ecology, especially satellite remote sensing and conservation biology, has been highlighted by many in the past. Yet, the two research communities have only recently begun to coordinate their agendas. Such synchronization is the key to improving the potential for satellite data effectively to support future environmental management decision-making processes. With this themed issue, we aim to illustrate how integrating remote sensing into ecological research promotes a better understanding of the mechanisms shaping current changes in biodiversity patterns and improves conservation efforts. Added benefits include fostering innovation, generating new research directions in both disciplines and the development of new satellite remote sensing products. PMID:24733945

  3. Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Brook, Barry W; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-06-01

    Modern society uses massive amounts of energy. Usage rises as population and affluence increase, and energy production and use often have an impact on biodiversity or natural areas. To avoid a business-as-usual dependence on coal, oil, and gas over the coming decades, society must map out a future energy mix that incorporates alternative sources. This exercise can lead to radically different opinions on what a sustainable energy portfolio might entail, so an objective assessment of the relative costs and benefits of different energy sources is required. We evaluated the land use, emissions, climate, and cost implications of 3 published but divergent storylines for future energy production, none of which was optimal for all environmental and economic indicators. Using multicriteria decision-making analysis, we ranked 7 major electricity-generation sources (coal, gas, nuclear, biomass, hydro, wind, and solar) based on costs and benefits and tested the sensitivity of the rankings to biases stemming from contrasting philosophical ideals. Irrespective of weightings, nuclear and wind energy had the highest benefit-to-cost ratio. Although the environmental movement has historically rejected the nuclear energy option, new-generation reactor technologies that fully recycle waste and incorporate passive safety systems might resolve their concerns and ought to be more widely understood. Because there is no perfect energy source however, conservation professionals ultimately need to take an evidence-based approach to consider carefully the integrated effects of energy mixes on biodiversity conservation. Trade-offs and compromises are inevitable and require advocating energy mixes that minimize net environmental damage. Society cannot afford to risk wholesale failure to address energy-related biodiversity impacts because of preconceived notions and ideals. PMID:25490854

  4. Closing yield gaps: perils and possibilities for biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Phalan, Ben; Green, Rhys; Balmford, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Increasing agricultural productivity to ‘close yield gaps’ creates both perils and possibilities for biodiversity conservation. Yield increases often have negative impacts on species within farmland, but at the same time could potentially make it more feasible to minimize further cropland expansion into natural habitats. We combine global data on yield gaps, projected future production of maize, rice and wheat, the distributions of birds and their estimated sensitivity to changes in crop yields to map where it might be most beneficial for bird conservation to close yield gaps as part of a land-sparing strategy, and where doing so might be most damaging. Closing yield gaps to attainable levels to meet projected demand in 2050 could potentially help spare an area equivalent to that of the Indian subcontinent. Increasing yields this much on existing farmland would inevitably reduce its biodiversity, and therefore we advocate efforts both to constrain further increases in global food demand, and to identify the least harmful ways of increasing yields. The land-sparing potential of closing yield gaps will not be realized without specific mechanisms to link yield increases to habitat protection (and restoration), and therefore we suggest that conservationists, farmers, crop scientists and policy-makers collaborate to explore promising mechanisms. PMID:24535392

  5. Biodiversity funds and conservation needs in the EU under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Lung, Tobias; Meller, Laura; van Teeffelen, Astrid J.A.; Thuiller, Wilfried; Cabeza, Mar

    2014-01-01

    Despite ambitious biodiversity policy goals, less than a fifth of the European Union’s (EU) legally protected species and habitats show a favorable conservation status. The recent EU biodiversity strategy recognizes that climate change adds to the challenge of halting biodiversity loss, and that an optimal distribution of financial resources is needed. Here, we analyze recent EU biodiversity funding from a climate change perspective. We compare the allocation of funds to the distribution of both current conservation priorities (within and beyond Natura 2000) and future conservation needs at the level of NUTS-2 regions, using modelled bird distributions as indicators of conservation value. We find that funding is reasonably well aligned with current conservation efforts but poorly fit with future needs under climate change, indicating obstacles for implementing adaptation measures. We suggest revising EU biodiversity funding instruments for the 2014-2020 budget period to better account for potential climate change impacts on biodiversity. PMID:25264456

  6. Biodiversity funds and conservation needs in the EU under climate change.

    PubMed

    Lung, Tobias; Meller, Laura; van Teeffelen, Astrid J A; Thuiller, Wilfried; Cabeza, Mar

    2014-07-01

    Despite ambitious biodiversity policy goals, less than a fifth of the European Union's (EU) legally protected species and habitats show a favorable conservation status. The recent EU biodiversity strategy recognizes that climate change adds to the challenge of halting biodiversity loss, and that an optimal distribution of financial resources is needed. Here, we analyze recent EU biodiversity funding from a climate change perspective. We compare the allocation of funds to the distribution of both current conservation priorities (within and beyond Natura 2000) and future conservation needs at the level of NUTS-2 regions, using modelled bird distributions as indicators of conservation value. We find that funding is reasonably well aligned with current conservation efforts but poorly fit with future needs under climate change, indicating obstacles for implementing adaptation measures. We suggest revising EU biodiversity funding instruments for the 2014-2020 budget period to better account for potential climate change impacts on biodiversity. PMID:25264456

  7. Conservation Covenants on Private Land: Issues with Measuring and Achieving Biodiversity Outcomes in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzsimons, James A.; Carr, C. Ben

    2014-09-01

    Conservation covenants and easements have become essential tools to secure biodiversity outcomes on private land, and to assist in meeting international protection targets. In Australia, the number and spatial area of conservation covenants has grown significantly in the past decade. Yet there has been little research or detailed policy analysis of conservation covenanting in Australia. We sought to determine how conservation covenanting agencies were measuring the biodiversity conservation outcomes achieved on covenanted properties, and factors inhibiting or contributing to measuring these outcomes. In addition, we also investigated the drivers and constraints associated with actually delivering the biodiversity outcomes, drawing on detailed input from covenanting programs. Although all conservation covenanting programs had the broad aim of maintaining or improving biodiversity in their covenants in the long term, the specific stated objectives of conservation covenanting programs varied. Programs undertook monitoring and evaluation in different ways and at different spatial and temporal scales. Thus, it was difficult to determine the extent Australian conservation covenanting agencies were measuring the biodiversity conservation outcomes achieved on covenanted properties on a national scale. Lack of time available to covenantors to undertake management was one of the biggest impediments to achieving biodiversity conservation outcomes. A lack of financial resources and human capital to monitor, knowing what to monitor, inconsistent monitoring methodologies, a lack of benchmark data, and length of time to achieve outcomes were all considered potential barriers to monitoring the biodiversity conservation outcomes of conservation covenants.

  8. Optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation in China: a systematic conservation planning perspective.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ruidong; Long, Yongcheng; Malanson, George P; Garber, Paul A; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Diqiang; Zhao, Peng; Wang, Longzhu; Duo, Hairui

    2014-01-01

    By addressing several key features overlooked in previous studies, i.e. human disturbance, integration of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and principles of complementarity and representativeness, we present the first national-scale systematic conservation planning for China to determine the optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation. We compiled a spatial database on the distributions of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and modeled a human disturbance index (HDI) by aggregating information using several socioeconomic proxies. We ran Marxan with two scenarios (HDI-ignored and HDI-considered) to investigate the effects of human disturbance, and explored the geographic patterns of the optimized spatial conservation priorities. Compared to when HDI was ignored, the HDI-considered scenario resulted in (1) a marked reduction (∼9%) in the total HDI score and a slight increase (∼7%) in the total area of the portfolio of priority units, (2) a significant increase (∼43%) in the total irreplaceable area and (3) more irreplaceable units being identified in almost all environmental zones and highly-disturbed provinces. Thus the inclusion of human disturbance is essential for cost-effective priority-setting. Attention should be targeted to the areas that are characterized as moderately-disturbed, <2,000 m in altitude, and/or intermediately- to extremely-rugged in terrain to identify potentially important regions for implementing cost-effective conservation. We delineated 23 primary large-scale priority areas that are significant for conserving China's biodiversity, but those isolated priority units in disturbed regions are in more urgent need of conservation actions so as to prevent immediate and severe biodiversity loss. This study presents a spatially optimized national-scale portfolio of conservation priorities--effectively representing the overall biodiversity of China while minimizing conflicts with economic

  9. Optimized Spatial Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation in China: A Systematic Conservation Planning Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ruidong; Long, Yongcheng; Malanson, George P.; Garber, Paul A.; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Diqiang; Zhao, Peng; Wang, Longzhu; Duo, Hairui

    2014-01-01

    By addressing several key features overlooked in previous studies, i.e. human disturbance, integration of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and principles of complementarity and representativeness, we present the first national-scale systematic conservation planning for China to determine the optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation. We compiled a spatial database on the distributions of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and modeled a human disturbance index (HDI) by aggregating information using several socioeconomic proxies. We ran Marxan with two scenarios (HDI-ignored and HDI-considered) to investigate the effects of human disturbance, and explored the geographic patterns of the optimized spatial conservation priorities. Compared to when HDI was ignored, the HDI-considered scenario resulted in (1) a marked reduction (∼9%) in the total HDI score and a slight increase (∼7%) in the total area of the portfolio of priority units, (2) a significant increase (∼43%) in the total irreplaceable area and (3) more irreplaceable units being identified in almost all environmental zones and highly-disturbed provinces. Thus the inclusion of human disturbance is essential for cost-effective priority-setting. Attention should be targeted to the areas that are characterized as moderately-disturbed, <2,000 m in altitude, and/or intermediately- to extremely-rugged in terrain to identify potentially important regions for implementing cost-effective conservation. We delineated 23 primary large-scale priority areas that are significant for conserving China's biodiversity, but those isolated priority units in disturbed regions are in more urgent need of conservation actions so as to prevent immediate and severe biodiversity loss. This study presents a spatially optimized national-scale portfolio of conservation priorities – effectively representing the overall biodiversity of China while minimizing conflicts with economic

  10. Ecological-economic optimization of biodiversity conservation under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wintle, Brendan A.; Bekessy, Sarah A.; Keith, David A.; van Wilgen, Brian W.; Cabeza, Mar; Schröder, Boris; Carvalho, Silvia B.; Falcucci, Alessandra; Maiorano, Luigi; Regan, Tracey J.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2011-10-01

    Substantial investment in climate change research has led to dire predictions of the impacts and risks to biodiversity. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth assessment report cites 28,586 studies demonstrating significant biological changes in terrestrial systems. Already high extinction rates, driven primarily by habitat loss, are predicted to increase under climate change. Yet there is little specific advice or precedent in the literature to guide climate adaptation investment for conserving biodiversity within realistic economic constraints. Here we present a systematic ecological and economic analysis of a climate adaptation problem in one of the world's most species-rich and threatened ecosystems: the South African fynbos. We discover a counterintuitive optimal investment strategy that switches twice between options as the available adaptation budget increases. We demonstrate that optimal investment is nonlinearly dependent on available resources, making the choice of how much to invest as important as determining where to invest and what actions to take. Our study emphasizes the importance of a sound analytical framework for prioritizing adaptation investments. Integrating ecological predictions in an economic decision framework will help support complex choices between adaptation options under severe uncertainty. Our prioritization method can be applied at any scale to minimize species loss and to evaluate the robustness of decisions to uncertainty about key assumptions.

  11. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W.; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-01-01

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar. PMID:25561675

  12. How effective are biodiversity conservation payments in Mexico?

    PubMed

    Costedoat, Sébastien; Corbera, Esteve; Ezzine-de-Blas, Driss; Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Baylis, Kathy; Castillo-Santiago, Miguel Angel

    2015-01-01

    We assess the additional forest cover protected by 13 rural communities located in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico, as a result of the economic incentives received through the country's national program of payments for biodiversity conservation. We use spatially explicit data at the intra-community level to define a credible counterfactual of conservation outcomes. We use covariate-matching specifications associated with spatially explicit variables and difference-in-difference estimators to determine the treatment effect. We estimate that the additional conservation represents between 12 and 14.7 percent of forest area enrolled in the program in comparison to control areas. Despite this high degree of additionality, we also observe lack of compliance in some plots participating in the PES program. This lack of compliance casts doubt on the ability of payments alone to guarantee long-term additionality in context of high deforestation rates, even with an augmented program budget or extension of participation to communities not yet enrolled. PMID:25807118

  13. How Effective Are Biodiversity Conservation Payments in Mexico?

    PubMed Central

    Costedoat, Sébastien; Corbera, Esteve; Ezzine-de-Blas, Driss; Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Baylis, Kathy; Castillo-Santiago, Miguel Angel

    2015-01-01

    We assess the additional forest cover protected by 13 rural communities located in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico, as a result of the economic incentives received through the country's national program of payments for biodiversity conservation. We use spatially explicit data at the intra-community level to define a credible counterfactual of conservation outcomes. We use covariate-matching specifications associated with spatially explicit variables and difference-in-difference estimators to determine the treatment effect. We estimate that the additional conservation represents between 12 and 14.7 percent of forest area enrolled in the program in comparison to control areas. Despite this high degree of additionality, we also observe lack of compliance in some plots participating in the PES program. This lack of compliance casts doubt on the ability of payments alone to guarantee long-term additionality in context of high deforestation rates, even with an augmented program budget or extension of participation to communities not yet enrolled. PMID:25807118

  14. Anthropogenic disturbances jeopardize biodiversity conservation within tropical rainforest reserves.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Iván A; Piñero, Daniel; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Sarukhán, José

    2016-05-10

    Anthropogenic disturbances affecting tropical forest reserves have been documented, but their ecological long-term cumulative effects are poorly understood. Habitat fragmentation and defaunation are two major anthropogenic threats to the integrity of tropical reserves. Based on a long-term (four decades) study, we document how these disturbances synergistically disrupt ecological processes and imperil biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning at Los Tuxtlas, the northernmost tropical rainforest reserve in the Americas. Deforestation around this reserve has reduced the reserve to a medium-sized fragment (640 ha), leading to an increased frequency of canopy-gap formation. In addition, hunting and habitat loss have caused the decline or local extinction of medium and large herbivores. Combining empirical, experimental, and modeling approaches, we support the hypothesis that such disturbances produced a demographic explosion of the long-lived (≈120 y old, maximum height of 7 m) understory palm Astrocaryum mexicanum, whose population has increased from 1,243-4,058 adult individuals per hectare in only 39 y (annual growth rate of ca 3%). Faster gap formation increased understory light availability, enhancing seed production and the growth of immature palms, whereas release from mammalian herbivory and trampling increased survival of seedlings and juveniles. In turn, the palm's demographic explosion was followed by a reduction of tree species diversity, changing forest composition, altering the relative contribution of trees to forest biomass, and disrupting litterfall dynamics. We highlight how indirect anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., palm proliferation) on otherwise protected areas threaten tropical conservation, a phenomenon that is currently eroding the planet's richest repositories of biodiversity. PMID:27071122

  15. Implications of human value shift and persistence for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Manfredo, Michael J; Teel, Tara L; Dietsch, Alia M

    2016-04-01

    Large-scale change in human values and associated behavior change is believed by some to be the ultimate solution to achieve global biodiversity conservation. Yet little is known about the dynamics of values. We contribute to this area of inquiry by examining the trajectory of values affecting views of wildlife in North America. Using data from a 19-state study in the United States and global data from the Schwartz Value Survey, we explored questions of value persistence and change and the nature of attitudinal responses regarding wildlife conservation issues. We found support, based on subjects' ancestry, for the supposition that domination is a prevalent American value orientation toward wildlife that has origins in European Judeo-Christian traditions. Independent of that effect, we also found indications of change. Modernization is contributing to a shift from domination to mutualism value orientations, which is fostering attitudes less centered on human interests and seemingly more consistent with a biocentric philosophy. Our findings suggest that if value shift could be achieved in a purposeful way, then significant and widespread behavior change believed necessary for long-term conservation success may indeed be possible. In particular, greater emphasis on mutualism values may help provide the context for more collaborative approaches to support future conservation efforts. However, given the societal forces at play, it is not at all clear that human-engineered value shift is tenable. Instead of developing strategies aimed at altering values, it may be more productive to create strategies that recognize and work within the boundaries of existing values. Whereas values appear to be in a period of flux, it will be difficult to predict future trends without a better understanding of value formation and shift, particularly under conditions of rapid social-ecological change. PMID:26315988

  16. Energy Conservation vs. Energy Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Somasundaram, Sriram

    2010-09-30

    Energy conservation is considered by some as synonymous with energy efficiency, but to others, it has a meaning of getting fewer or lower quality energy services. The degree of confusion between these meanings varies widely by individual, culture, historic period and language spoken. In the context of this document, energy conservation means to keep from being lost or wasted; saved, and energy efficiency means the ability to produce a desired effect or product with a minimum of effort, expense or waste.

  17. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier.

    PubMed

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  18. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier

    PubMed Central

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  19. Orchid conservation in the biodiversity hotspot of southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qiang; Chen, Jin; Corlett, Richard T; Fan, XuLi; Yu, DongLi; Yang, HongPei; Gao, JiangYun

    2015-12-01

    Xishuangbanna is on the northern margins of tropical Asia in southwestern China and has the largest area of tropical forest remaining in the country. It is in the Indo-Burma hotspot and contains 16% of China's vascular flora in <0.2% of the country's total area (19,690 km(2) ). Rapid expansion of monoculture crops in the last 20 years, particularly rubber, threatens this region's exceptional biodiversity. To understand the effects of land-use change and collection on orchid species diversity and determine protection priorities, we conducted systematic field surveys, observed markets, interviewed orchid collectors, and then determined the conservation status of all orchids. We identified 426 orchid species in 115 genera in Xishuangbanna: 31% of all orchid species that occur in China. Species richness was highest at 1000-1200 m elevation. Three orchid species were assessed as possibly extinct in the wild, 15 as critically endangered, 82 as endangered, 124 as vulnerable, 186 as least concern, and 16 as data deficient. Declines over 20 years in harvested species suggested over-collection was the major threat, and utility value (i.e., medicinal or ornamental value) was significantly related to endangerment. Expansion of rubber tree plantations was less of a threat to orchids than to other taxa because only 75 orchid species (17.6%) occurred below the 1000-m-elevation ceiling for rubber cultivation, and most of these (46) occurred in nature reserves. However, climate change is projected to lift this ceiling to around 1300 m by 2050, and the limited area at higher elevations reduces the potential for upslope range expansion. The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is committed to achieving zero plant extinctions in Xishuangbanna, and orchids are a high priority. Appropriate in and ex situ conservation strategies, including new protected areas and seed banking, have been developed for every threatened orchid species and are being implemented. PMID:26372504

  20. A lack of response of the financial behaviors of biodiversity conservation nonprofits to changing economic conditions.

    PubMed

    Larson, Eric R; Boyer, Alison G; Armsworth, Paul R

    2014-12-01

    The effectiveness of conservation organizations is determined in part by how they adapt to changing conditions. Over the previous decade, economic conditions in the United States (US) showed marked variation including a period of rapid growth followed by a major recession. We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC). For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions. Similarly, more detailed examination of conservation expenditures and land acquisition practices of TNC revealed only one significant relationship with economic conditions: TNC accepted a greater proportion of conservation easements as donated in more difficult economic conditions. Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions. PMID:25512840

  1. A lack of response of the financial behaviors of biodiversity conservation nonprofits to changing economic conditions

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Eric R; Boyer, Alison G; Armsworth, Paul R

    2014-01-01

    The effectiveness of conservation organizations is determined in part by how they adapt to changing conditions. Over the previous decade, economic conditions in the United States (US) showed marked variation including a period of rapid growth followed by a major recession. We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC). For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions. Similarly, more detailed examination of conservation expenditures and land acquisition practices of TNC revealed only one significant relationship with economic conditions: TNC accepted a greater proportion of conservation easements as donated in more difficult economic conditions. Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions. PMID:25512840

  2. BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION INCENTIVE PROGRAMS FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FORESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In many countries, a large proportion of forest biodiversity exists on private land. Legal restrictions are often inadequate to prevent loss of habitat and encourage forest owners to manage areas for biodiversity, especially when these management actions require time, money, and ...

  3. Status and trends in Arctic biodiversity - Synthesis: implications for conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arctic biodiversity – the multitude of species and ecosystems in the land north of the tree line together with the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas – is an irreplaceable cultural, aesthetic, scientific, ecological, economic and spiritual asset. For Arctic peoples, biodiversity has been the very basis ...

  4. Status of Biodiversity and Its Conservation in the Kobadak River Basin of Maheshpur Upazila, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uddin, Jashim Md.

    2015-01-01

    This research project represents the Status of Biodiversity and Its Conservation of Kobadak River basin of Maheshpur Upazila. The study was designed to develop a set of information about the present condition of biodiversity of the study area. Both primary and secondary data have been used to fulfill the survey successfully. Primary data have been…

  5. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  6. Importance of baseline specification in evaluating conservation interventions and achieving no net loss of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bull, J W; Gordon, A; Law, E A; Suttle, K B; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2014-06-01

    There is an urgent need to improve the evaluation of conservation interventions. This requires specifying an objective and a frame of reference from which to measure performance. Reference frames can be baselines (i.e., known biodiversity at a fixed point in history) or counterfactuals (i.e., a scenario that would have occurred without the intervention). Biodiversity offsets are interventions with the objective of no net loss of biodiversity (NNL). We used biodiversity offsets to analyze the effects of the choice of reference frame on whether interventions met stated objectives. We developed 2 models to investigate the implications of setting different frames of reference in regions subject to various biodiversity trends and anthropogenic impacts. First, a general analytic model evaluated offsets against a range of baseline and counterfactual specifications. Second, a simulation model then replicated these results with a complex real world case study: native grassland offsets in Melbourne, Australia. Both models showed that achieving NNL depended upon the interaction between reference frame and background biodiversity trends. With a baseline, offsets were less likely to achieve NNL where biodiversity was decreasing than where biodiversity was stable or increasing. With a no-development counterfactual, however, NNL was achievable only where biodiversity was declining. Otherwise, preventing development was better for biodiversity. Uncertainty about compliance was a stronger determinant of success than uncertainty in underlying biodiversity trends. When only development and offset locations were considered, offsets sometimes resulted in NNL, but not across an entire region. Choice of reference frame determined feasibility and effort required to attain objectives when designing and evaluating biodiversity offset schemes. We argue the choice is thus of fundamental importance for conservation policy. Our results shed light on situations in which biodiversity offsets may

  7. SELECTING INDICATORS OF BIODIVERSITY FOR CONSERVATION PLANNING: IDENTIFYING THE MECHANISMS BEHIND INDICATOR GROUP PERFORMANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most conservation planning is constrained by time and funding. In particular, the selection of areas to protect biodiversity must often be completed with limited data on species distributions. Consequently, different groups of species have been proposed as indicators or surroga...

  8. Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Schröter, Matthias; Rusch, Graciela M.; Barton, David N.; Blumentrath, Stefan; Nordén, Björn

    2014-01-01

    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%. PMID:25393951

  9. Large expansion of oil industry in the Ecuadorian Amazon: biodiversity vulnerability and conservation alternatives.

    PubMed

    Lessmann, Janeth; Fajardo, Javier; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2016-07-01

    Ecuador will experience a significant expansion of the oil industry in its Amazonian region, one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. In view of the changes that are about to come, we explore the conflicts between oil extraction interests and biodiversity protection and apply systematic conservation planning to identify priority areas that should be protected in different oil exploitation scenarios. First, we quantified the current extent of oil blocks and protected zones and their overlap with two biodiversity indicators: 25 ecosystems and 745 species (whose distributions were estimated via species distribution models). With the new scheme of oil exploitation, oil blocks cover 68% (68,196 km(2)) of the Ecuadorian Amazon; half of it occupied by new blocks open for bids in the southern Amazon. This region is especially vulnerable to biodiversity losses, because peaks of species diversity, 19 ecosystems, and a third of its protected zones coincide spatially with oil blocks. Under these circumstances, we used Marxan software to identify priority areas for conservation outside oil blocks, but their coverage was insufficient to completely represent biodiversity. Instead, priority areas that include southern oil blocks provide a higher representation of biodiversity indicators. Therefore, preserving the southern Amazon becomes essential to improve the protection of Amazonian biodiversity in Ecuador, and avoiding oil exploitation in these areas (33% of the extent of southern oil blocks) should be considered a conservation alternative. Also, it is highly recommended to improve current oil exploitation technology to reduce environmental impacts in the region, especially within five oil blocks that we identified as most valuable for the conservation of biodiversity. The application of these and other recommendations depends heavily on the Ecuadorian government, which needs to find a better balance between the use of the Amazon resources and biodiversity conservation

  10. Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation

    PubMed Central

    Durán, América P.; Duffy, James P.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation. PMID:25143040

  11. Biocomplexity and conservation of biodiversity hotspots: three case studies from the Americas.

    PubMed

    Callicott, J Baird; Rozzi, Ricardo; Delgado, Luz; Monticino, Michael; Acevedo, Miguel; Harcombe, Paul

    2007-02-28

    The perspective of 'biocomplexity' in the form of 'coupled natural and human systems' represents a resource for the future conservation of biodiversity hotspots in three direct ways: (i) modelling the impact on biodiversity of private land-use decisions and public land-use policies, (ii) indicating how the biocultural history of a biodiversity hotspot may be a resource for its future conservation, and (iii) identifying and deploying the nodes of both the material and psycho-spiritual connectivity between human and natural systems in service to conservation goals. Three biocomplexity case studies of areas notable for their biodiversity, selected for their variability along a latitudinal climate gradient and a human-impact gradient, are developed: the Big Thicket in southeast Texas, the Upper Botanamo River Basin in eastern Venezuela, and the Cape Horn Archipelago at the austral tip of Chile. More deeply, the biocomplexity perspective reveals alternative ways of understanding biodiversity itself, because it directs attention to the human concepts through which biodiversity is perceived and understood. The very meaning of biodiversity is contestable and varies according to the cognitive lenses through which it is perceived. PMID:17255039

  12. 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

  13. Plant Conservation in the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Hotspot

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Caribbean Islands, comprising the Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles and some islands located off the northern coast of South America, represent the most important insular system of the New World. As one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots, these islands represent a global priority for conservatio...

  14. Biodiversity and Habitat Markets—Policy, Economic, and Ecological implications of Market-Based Conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pindilli, Emily; Casey, Frank

    2015-01-01

    This report is a primer on market-like and market-based mechanisms designed to conserve biodiversity and habitat. The types of markets and market-based approaches that were implemented or are emerging to benefit biodiversity and habitat in the United States are examined. The central approaches considered in this report include payments for ecosystem services, conservation banks, habitat exchanges, and eco-labels. Based on literature reviews and input from experts and practitioners, the report characterizes each market-based approach including policy context and structure; the theoretical basis for applying market-based approaches; the ecological effectiveness of practices and tools for measuring performance; and the future outlook for biodiversity and habitat markets. This report draws from previous research and serves as a summary of pertinent information associated with biodiversity and habitat markets while providing references to materials that go into greater detail on specific topics.

  15. Overcoming Hurdles: Teaching Guides To Interpret Biodiversity Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohl, Jon; Brown, Cynthia; Humke, Matt

    2001-01-01

    Highlights the development and use of bilingual nature guide training. Examines work at the RARE Center for tropical conservation in Central America. Speculates about the future of conservation interpretation. (DDR)

  16. SPECIES RICHNESS AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PRIORITIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Patterns in the geographic distribution of seven species groups were used to identify important areas for conservation in British Columbia, Canada. Potential priority sites for conservation were determined using an integer programming algorithm that maximized the number of speci...

  17. Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes.

    PubMed

    Scherr, Sara J; McNeely, Jeffrey A

    2008-02-12

    The dominant late twentieth century model of land use segregated agricultural production from areas managed for biodiversity conservation. This module is no longer adequate in much of the world. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment confirmed that agriculture has dramatically increased its ecological footprint. Rural communities depend on key components of biodiversity and ecosystem services that are found in non-domestic habitats. Fortunately, agricultural landscapes can be designed and managed to host wild biodiversity of many types, with neutral or even positive effects on agricultural production and livelihoods. Innovative practitioners, scientists and indigenous land managers are adapting, designing and managing diverse types of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes to generate positive co-benefits for production, biodiversity and local people. We assess the potentials and limitations for successful conservation of biodiversity in productive agricultural landscapes, the feasibility of making such approaches financially viable, and the organizational, governance and policy frameworks needed to enable ecoagriculture planning and implementation at a globally significant scale. We conclude that effectively conserving wild biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will require increased research, policy coordination and strategic support to agricultural communities and conservationists. PMID:17652072

  18. The social implications of using drones for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Sandbrook, Chris

    2015-11-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, or 'drones', appear to offer a flexible, accurate and affordable solution to some of the technical challenges of nature conservation monitoring and law enforcement. However, little attention has been given to their possible social impacts. In this paper, I review the possible social impacts of using drones for conservation, including on safety, privacy, psychological wellbeing, data security and the wider understanding of conservation problems. I argue that negative social impacts are probable under some circumstances and should be of concern for conservation for two reasons: (1) because conservation should follow good ethical practice; and (2) because negative social impacts could undermine conservation effectiveness in the long term. The paper concludes with a call for empirical research to establish whether the identified social risks of drones occur in reality and how they could be mitigated, and for self-regulation of drone use by the conservation sector to ensure good ethical practice and minimise the risk of unintended consequences. PMID:26508350

  19. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J.; Yamaura, Yuichi; Kurisu, Kiyo; Hanaki, Keisuke

    2016-01-01

    Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals’ emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children’s affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children’s willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences. PMID:27231925

  20. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children's Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J; Yamaura, Yuichi; Kurisu, Kiyo; Hanaki, Keisuke

    2016-01-01

    Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals' emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children's affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children's willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences. PMID:27231925

  1. Unravelling biodiversity, evolution and threats to conservation in the Sahara-Sahel.

    PubMed

    Brito, José C; Godinho, Raquel; Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Pleguezuelos, Juan M; Rebelo, Hugo; Santos, Xavier; Vale, Cândida G; Velo-Antón, Guillermo; Boratyński, Zbyszek; Carvalho, Sílvia B; Ferreira, Sónia; Gonçalves, Duarte V; Silva, Teresa L; Tarroso, Pedro; Campos, João C; Leite, João V; Nogueira, Joana; Alvares, Francisco; Sillero, Neftalí; Sow, Andack S; Fahd, Soumia; Crochet, Pierre-André; Carranza, Salvador

    2014-02-01

    Deserts and arid regions are generally perceived as bare and rather homogeneous areas of low diversity. The Sahara is the largest warm desert in the world and together with the arid Sahel displays high topographical and climatic heterogeneity, and has experienced recent and strong climatic oscillations that have greatly shifted biodiversity distribution and community composition. The large size, remoteness and long-term political instability of the Sahara-Sahel, have limited knowledge on its biodiversity. However, over the last decade, there have been an increasing number of published scientific studies based on modern geomatic and molecular tools, and broad sampling of taxa of these regions. This review tracks trends in knowledge about biodiversity patterns, processes and threats across the Sahara-Sahel, and anticipates needs for biodiversity research and conservation. Recent studies are changing completely the perception of regional biodiversity patterns. Instead of relatively low species diversity with distribution covering most of the region, studies now suggest a high rate of endemism and larger number of species, with much narrower and fragmented ranges, frequently limited to micro-hotspots of biodiversity. Molecular-based studies are also unravelling cryptic diversity associated with mountains, which together with recent distribution atlases, allows identifying integrative biogeographic patterns in biodiversity distribution. Mapping of multivariate environmental variation (at 1 km × 1 km resolution) of the region illustrates main biogeographical features of the Sahara-Sahel and supports recently hypothesised dispersal corridors and refugia. Micro-scale water-features present mostly in mountains have been associated with local biodiversity hotspots. However, the distribution of available data on vertebrates highlights current knowledge gaps that still apply to a large proportion of the Sahara-Sahel. Current research is providing insights into key

  2. Importance of Baseline Specification in Evaluating Conservation Interventions and Achieving No Net Loss of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Bull, J W; Gordon, A; Law, E A; Suttle, K B; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2014-01-01

    There is an urgent need to improve the evaluation of conservation interventions. This requires specifying an objective and a frame of reference from which to measure performance. Reference frames can be baselines (i.e., known biodiversity at a fixed point in history) or counterfactuals (i.e., a scenario that would have occurred without the intervention). Biodiversity offsets are interventions with the objective of no net loss of biodiversity (NNL). We used biodiversity offsets to analyze the effects of the choice of reference frame on whether interventions met stated objectives. We developed 2 models to investigate the implications of setting different frames of reference in regions subject to various biodiversity trends and anthropogenic impacts. First, a general analytic model evaluated offsets against a range of baseline and counterfactual specifications. Second, a simulation model then replicated these results with a complex real world case study: native grassland offsets in Melbourne, Australia. Both models showed that achieving NNL depended upon the interaction between reference frame and background biodiversity trends. With a baseline, offsets were less likely to achieve NNL where biodiversity was decreasing than where biodiversity was stable or increasing. With a no-development counterfactual, however, NNL was achievable only where biodiversity was declining. Otherwise, preventing development was better for biodiversity. Uncertainty about compliance was a stronger determinant of success than uncertainty in underlying biodiversity trends. When only development and offset locations were considered, offsets sometimes resulted in NNL, but not across an entire region. Choice of reference frame determined feasibility and effort required to attain objectives when designing and evaluating biodiversity offset schemes. We argue the choice is thus of fundamental importance for conservation policy. Our results shed light on situations in which biodiversity offsets may

  3. Biodiversity conservation and indigenous land management in the era of self-determination.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Paige M; Peterson, Markus J

    2009-12-01

    Indigenous people inhabit approximately 85% of areas designated for biodiversity conservation worldwide. They also continue to struggle for recognition and preservation of cultural identities, lifestyles, and livelihoods--a struggle contingent on control and protection of traditional lands and associated natural resources (hereafter, self-determination). Indigenous lands and the biodiversity they support are increasingly threatened because of human population growth and per capita consumption. Application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to tribal lands in the United States provides a rich example of the articulation between biodiversity conservation and indigenous peoples' struggle for self-determination. We found a paradoxical relationship whereby tribal governments are simultaneously and contradictory sovereign nations; yet their communities depend on the U.S. government for protection through the federal-trust doctrine. The unique legal status of tribal lands, their importance for conserving federally protected species, and federal environmental regulations' failure to define applicability to tribal lands creates conflict between tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and constitutional authority. We reviewed Secretarial Order 3206, the U.S. policy on "American Indian tribal rights, federal-tribal trust responsibilities, and the ESA," and evaluated how it influences ESA implementation on tribal lands. We found improved biodiversity conservation and tribal self-determination requires revision of the fiduciary relationship between the federal government and the tribes to establish clear, legal definitions regarding land rights, applicability of environmental laws, and financial responsibilities. Such actions will allow provision of adequate funding and training to tribal leaders and resource managers, government agency personnel responsible for biodiversity conservation and land management, and environmental policy makers. Increased capacity, cooperation, and

  4. Combining Landscape-Level Conservation Planning and Biodiversity Offset Programs: A Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Underwood, Jared G.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss is major factor in the endangerment and extinction of species around the world. One promising strategy to balance continued habitat loss and biodiversity conservation is that of biodiversity offsets. However, a major concern with offset programs is their consistency with landscape-level conservation goals. While merging offset polices and landscape-level conservation planning is thought to provide advantages over a traditional disconnected approach, few such landscape-level conservation-offset plans have been designed and implemented, so the effectiveness of such a strategy remains uncertain. In this study, we quantitatively assess the conservation impact of combining landscape-level conservation planning and biodiversity offset programs by comparing regions of San Diego County, USA with the combined approach to regions with only an offset program. This comparison is generally very difficult due to a variety of complicating factors. We overcome these complications and quantify the benefits to rare and threatened species of implementing a combined approach by assessing the amount of each species' predicted distribution, and the number of documented locations, conserved in comparison to the same metric for areas with an offset policy alone. We found that adoption of the combined approach has increased conservation for many rare species, often 5-10 times more than in the comparison area, and that conservation has been focused in the areas most important for these species. The level of conservation achieved reduces uncertainty that these species will persist in the region into the future. This San Diego County example demonstrates the potential benefits of combining landscape-level conservation planning and biodiversity offset programs.

  5. Resident motivations and willingness-to-pay for urban biodiversity conservation in Guangzhou (China).

    PubMed

    Chen, Wendy Y; Jim, C Y

    2010-05-01

    The monetary assessment of biodiversity measures the welfare damages brought by biodiversity losses and the cost-benefit analysis of conservation projects in a socio-economic context. The contingent valuation method could include motivational factors to strengthen economic analysis of nature conservation. This study analyzed Guangzhou residents' motivations and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for an urban biodiversity conservation program in the National Baiyun Mountain Scenic Area (BMSA). The peri-urban natural site, offering refuge to some endemic species, is under increasing development pressures for recreational and residential use. A questionnaire survey was conducted in the Guangzhou metropolitan area during June to October 2007. We interviewed face-to-face 720 stratified sampled households to probe residents' attitudes towards the city's environmental issues, motivations for urban nature conservation, and WTP for biodiversity conservation. Principal component analysis identified five motivational factors, including environmental benefit, ecological diversity, nature-culture interaction, landscape-recreation function, and intergenerational sustainability, which illustrated the general economic values of urban nature. Logistic regression was applied to predict the probability of people being willing to pay for the urban biodiversity conservation in BMSA. The significant predictors of WTP included household income and the factor nature-culture interaction. The median WTP estimated RMB149/household (about US$19.5/household) per year and an aggregate of RMB291 million (approximately US$38.2 million) annually to support the urban conservation project. Including public motivations into contingent valuation presents a promising approach to conduct cost-benefit analysis of public projects in China. PMID:20354852

  6. Resident Motivations and Willingness-to-Pay for Urban Biodiversity Conservation in Guangzhou (China)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wendy Y.; Jim, C. Y.

    2010-05-01

    The monetary assessment of biodiversity measures the welfare damages brought by biodiversity losses and the cost-benefit analysis of conservation projects in a socio-economic context. The contingent valuation method could include motivational factors to strengthen economic analysis of nature conservation. This study analyzed Guangzhou residents’ motivations and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for an urban biodiversity conservation program in the National Baiyun Mountain Scenic Area (BMSA). The peri-urban natural site, offering refuge to some endemic species, is under increasing development pressures for recreational and residential use. A questionnaire survey was conducted in the Guangzhou metropolitan area during June to October 2007. We interviewed face-to-face 720 stratified sampled households to probe residents’ attitudes towards the city’s environmental issues, motivations for urban nature conservation, and WTP for biodiversity conservation. Principal component analysis identified five motivational factors, including environmental benefit, ecological diversity, nature-culture interaction, landscape-recreation function, and intergenerational sustainability, which illustrated the general economic values of urban nature. Logistic regression was applied to predict the probability of people being willing to pay for the urban biodiversity conservation in BMSA. The significant predictors of WTP included household income and the factor nature-culture interaction. The median WTP estimated RMB149/household (about US19.5/household) per year and an aggregate of RMB291 million (approximately US38.2 million) annually to support the urban conservation project. Including public motivations into contingent valuation presents a promising approach to conduct cost-benefit analysis of public projects in China.

  7. Biodiversity and Archeological Conservation Connected: Aragonite Shell Middens Increase Plant Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Vanderplank, Sula E.; Mata, Sergio; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2014-01-01

    Natural and cultural heritage sites frequently have nonoverlapping or even conflicting conservation priorities, because human impacts have often resulted in local extirpations and reduced levels of native biodiversity. Over thousands of years, the predictable winter rains of northwestern Baja California have weathered calcium from the clam shells deposited by indigenous peoples in middens along the coast. The release of this calcium has changed soil properties, remediated sodic and saline soils, and resulted in a unique microhabitat that harbors plant assemblages very different from those of the surrounding matrix. Native plant biodiversity and landscape heterogeneity are significantly increased on the anthropogenic soils of these shell middens. Protection of this cultural landscape in the Anthropocene will further both archeological and biodiversity conservation in these anthropogenic footprints from the Holocene. Along these coasts, natural and cultural heritage priorities are overlapping and mutually beneficial. PMID:26955068

  8. Challenges in global biodiversity conservation and solutions that cross sociology, politics, economics and ecology

    PubMed Central

    Hoban, Sean; Vernesi, Cristiano

    2012-01-01

    The study and practice of conservation biology is inherently interdisciplinary, addresses short and long time-scales and occurs within complex human–natural interfaces. Zoos and aquaria, in partnership with researchers, other non-government organizations, government, industry and educators, are combining knowledge of species and ecosystems with economics, psychology and law to create solutions for conserving biodiversity. From 22 to 25 May, the Conservation Forum of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria was a venue for discussing conservation research, education and interventions, from the scale of villages to global policy. PMID:22832128

  9. Targeted conservation to safeguard a biodiversity hotspot from climate and land-cover change.

    PubMed

    Struebig, Matthew J; Wilting, Andreas; Gaveau, David L A; Meijaard, Erik; Smith, Robert J; Fischer, Manuela; Metcalfe, Kristian; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie

    2015-02-01

    Responses of biodiversity to changes in both land cover and climate are recognized [1] but still poorly understood [2]. This poses significant challenges for spatial planning as species could shift, contract, expand, or maintain their range inside or outside protected areas [2-4]. We examine this problem in Borneo, a global biodiversity hotspot [5], using spatial prioritization analyses that maximize species conservation under multiple environmental-change forecasts. Climate projections indicate that 11%-36% of Bornean mammal species will lose ≥ 30% of their habitat by 2080, and suitable ecological conditions will shift upslope for 23%-46%. Deforestation exacerbates this process, increasing the proportion of species facing comparable habitat loss to 30%-49%, a 2-fold increase on historical trends. Accommodating these distributional changes will require conserving land outside existing protected areas, but this may be less than anticipated from models incorporating deforestation alone because some species will colonize high-elevation reserves. Our results demonstrate the increasing importance of upland reserves and that relatively small additions (16,000-28,000 km(2)) to the current conservation estate could provide substantial benefits to biodiversity facing changes to land cover and climate. On Borneo, much of this land is under forestry jurisdiction, warranting targeted conservation partnerships to safeguard biodiversity in an era of global change. PMID:25619764

  10. Optimal investment for enhancing social concern about biodiversity conservation: a dynamic approach.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joung Hun; Iwasa, Yoh

    2012-11-01

    To maintain biodiversity conservation areas, we need to invest in activities, such as monitoring the condition of the ecosystem, preventing illegal exploitation, and removing harmful alien species. These require a constant supply of resources, the level of which is determined by the concern of the society about biodiversity conservation. In this paper, we study the optimal fraction of the resources to invest in activities for enhancing the social concern y(t) by environmental education, museum displays, publications, and media exposure. We search for the strategy that maximizes the time-integral of the quality of the conservation area x(t) with temporal discounting. Analyses based on dynamic programming and Pontryagin's maximum principle show that the optimal control consists of two phases: (1) in the first phase, the social concern level approaches to the final optimal value y(∗), (2) in the second phase, resources are allocated to both activities, and the social concern level is kept constant y(t) = y(∗). If the social concern starts from a low initial level, the optimal path includes a period in which the quality of the conservation area declines temporarily, because all the resources are invested to enhance the social concern. When the support rate increases with the quality of the conservation area itself x(t) as well as with the level of social concern y(t), both variables may increase simultaneously in the second phase. We discuss the implication of the results to good management of biodiversity conservation areas. PMID:22789811

  11. Can rice field channels contribute to biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazilian wetlands?

    PubMed

    Maltchik, Leonardo; Rolon, Ana Silvia; Stenert, Cristina; Machado, Iberê Farina; Rocha, Odete

    2011-12-01

    Conservation of species in agroecosystems has attracted attention. Irrigation channels can improve habitats and offer conditions for freshwater species conservation. Two questions from biodiversity conservation point of view are: 1) Can the irrigated channels maintain a rich diversity of macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and amphibians over the cultivation cycle? 2) Do richness, abundance and composition of aquatic species change over the rice cultivation cycle? For this, a set of four rice field channels was randomly selected in Southern Brazilian wetlands. In each channel, six sample collection events were carried out over the rice cultivation cycle (June 2005 to June 2006). A total of 160 taxa were identified in irrigated channels, including 59 macrophyte species, 91 taxa of macroinvertebrate and 10 amphibian species. The richness and abundance of macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and amphibians did not change significantly over the rice cultivation cycle. However, the species composition of these groups in the irrigation channels varied between uncultivated and cultivated periods. Our results showed that the species diversity found in the irrigation channels, together with the permanence of water enables these man-made aquatic networks to function as important systems that can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in regions where the wetlands were converted into rice fields. The conservation of the species in agriculture, such as rice field channels, may be an important alternative for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil, where more than 90% of wetland systems have already been lost and the remaining ones are still at high risk due to the expansion of rice production. PMID:22208101

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Incentivizing biodiversity conservation in artisanal fishing communities through territorial user rights and business model innovation.

    PubMed

    Gelcich, Stefan; Donlan, C Josh

    2015-08-01

    Territorial user rights for fisheries are being promoted to enhance the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. Using Chile as a case study, we designed a market-based program aimed at improving fishers' livelihoods while incentivizing the establishment and enforcement of no-take areas within areas managed with territorial user right regimes. Building on explicit enabling conditions (i.e., high levels of governance, participation, and empowerment), we used a place-based, human-centered approach to design a program that will have the necessary support and buy-in from local fishers to result in landscape-scale biodiversity benefits. Transactional infrastructure must be complex enough to capture the biodiversity benefits being created, but simple enough so that the program can be scaled up and is attractive to potential financiers. Biodiversity benefits created must be commoditized, and desired behavioral changes must be verified within a transactional context. Demand must be generated for fisher-created biodiversity benefits in order to attract financing and to scale the market model. Important design decisions around these 3 components-supply, transactional infrastructure, and demand-must be made based on local social-ecological conditions. Our market model, which is being piloted in Chile, is a flexible foundation on which to base scalable opportunities to operationalize a scheme that incentivizes local, verifiable biodiversity benefits via conservation behaviors by fishers that could likely result in significant marine conservation gains and novel cross-sector alliances. PMID:25737027

  15. How to maximally support local and regional biodiversity in applied conservation? Insights from pond management.

    PubMed

    Lemmens, Pieter; Mergeay, Joachim; De Bie, Tom; Van Wichelen, Jeroen; De Meester, Luc; Declerck, Steven A J

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity and nature values in anthropogenic landscapes often depend on land use practices and management. Evaluations of the association between management and biodiversity remain, however, comparatively scarce, especially in aquatic systems. Furthermore, studies also tend to focus on a limited set of organism groups at the local scale, whereas a multi-group approach at the landscape scale is to be preferred. This study aims to investigate the effect of pond management on the diversity of multiple aquatic organism groups (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, several groups of macro-invertebrates, submerged and emergent macrophytes) at local and regional spatial scales. For this purpose, we performed a field study of 39 shallow man-made ponds representing five different management types. Our results indicate that fish stock management and periodic pond drainage are crucial drivers of pond biodiversity. Furthermore, this study provides insight in how the management of eutrophied ponds can contribute to aquatic biodiversity. A combination of regular draining of ponds with efforts to keep ponds free of fish seems to be highly beneficial for the biodiversity of many groups of aquatic organisms at local and regional scales. Regular draining combined with a stocking of fish at low biomass is also preferable to infrequent draining and lack of fish stock control. These insights are essential for the development of conservation programs that aim long-term maintenance of regional biodiversity in pond areas across Europe. PMID:23951328

  16. How to Maximally Support Local and Regional Biodiversity in Applied Conservation? Insights from Pond Management

    PubMed Central

    Lemmens, Pieter; Mergeay, Joachim; De Bie, Tom; Van Wichelen, Jeroen; De Meester, Luc; Declerck, Steven A. J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity and nature values in anthropogenic landscapes often depend on land use practices and management. Evaluations of the association between management and biodiversity remain, however, comparatively scarce, especially in aquatic systems. Furthermore, studies also tend to focus on a limited set of organism groups at the local scale, whereas a multi-group approach at the landscape scale is to be preferred. This study aims to investigate the effect of pond management on the diversity of multiple aquatic organism groups (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, several groups of macro-invertebrates, submerged and emergent macrophytes) at local and regional spatial scales. For this purpose, we performed a field study of 39 shallow man-made ponds representing five different management types. Our results indicate that fish stock management and periodic pond drainage are crucial drivers of pond biodiversity. Furthermore, this study provides insight in how the management of eutrophied ponds can contribute to aquatic biodiversity. A combination of regular draining of ponds with efforts to keep ponds free of fish seems to be highly beneficial for the biodiversity of many groups of aquatic organisms at local and regional scales. Regular draining combined with a stocking of fish at low biomass is also preferable to infrequent draining and lack of fish stock control. These insights are essential for the development of conservation programs that aim long-term maintenance of regional biodiversity in pond areas across Europe. PMID:23951328

  17. Local participation in biodiversity conservation initiatives: a comparative analysis of different models in South East Mexico.

    PubMed

    Méndez-López, María Elena; García-Frapolli, Eduardo; Pritchard, Diana J; Sánchez González, María Consuelo; Ruiz-Mallén, Isabel; Porter-Bolland, Luciana; Reyes-Garcia, Victoria

    2014-12-01

    In Mexico, biodiversity conservation is primarily implemented through three schemes: 1) protected areas, 2) payment-based schemes for environmental services, and 3) community-based conservation, officially recognized in some cases as Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas. In this paper we compare levels of local participation across conservation schemes. Through a survey applied to 670 households across six communities in Southeast Mexico, we document local participation during the creation, design, and implementation of the management plan of different conservation schemes. To analyze the data, we first calculated the frequency of participation at the three different stages mentioned, then created a participation index that characterizes the presence and relative intensity of local participation for each conservation scheme. Results showed that there is a low level of local participation across all the conservation schemes explored in this study. Nonetheless, the payment for environmental services had the highest local participation while the protected areas had the least. Our findings suggest that local participation in biodiversity conservation schemes is not a predictable outcome of a specific (community-based) model, thus implying that other factors might be important in determining local participation. This has implications on future strategies that seek to encourage local involvement in conservation. PMID:25105990

  18. Characterising and predicting benthic biodiversity for conservation planning in deepwater environments.

    PubMed

    Dunstan, Piers K; Althaus, Franziska; Williams, Alan; Bax, Nicholas J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding patterns of biodiversity in deep sea systems is increasingly important because human activities are extending further into these areas. However, obtaining data is difficult, limiting the ability of science to inform management decisions. We have used three different methods of quantifying biodiversity to describe patterns of biodiversity in an area that includes two marine reserves in deep water off southern Australia. We used biological data collected during a recent survey, combined with extensive physical data to model, predict and map three different attributes of biodiversity: distributions of common species, beta diversity and rank abundance distributions (RAD). The distribution of each of eight common species was unique, although all the species respond to a depth-correlated physical gradient. Changes in composition (beta diversity) were large, even between sites with very similar environmental conditions. Composition at any one site was highly uncertain, and the suite of species changed dramatically both across and down slope. In contrast, the distributions of the RAD components of biodiversity (community abundance, richness, and evenness) were relatively smooth across the study area, suggesting that assemblage structure (i.e. the distribution of abundances of species) is limited, irrespective of species composition. Seamounts had similar biodiversity based on metrics of species presence, beta diversity, total abundance, richness and evenness to the adjacent continental slope in the same depth ranges. These analyses suggest that conservation objectives need to clearly identify which aspects of biodiversity are valued, and employ an appropriate suite of methods to address these aspects, to ensure that conservation goals are met. PMID:22606271

  19. Conservation planning for biodiversity and wilderness: a real-world example.

    PubMed

    Ceauşu, Silvia; Gomes, Inês; Pereira, Henrique Miguel

    2015-05-01

    Several of the most important conservation prioritization approaches select markedly different areas at global and regional scales. They are designed to maximize a certain biodiversity dimension such as coverage of species in the case of hotspots and complementarity, or composite properties of ecosystems in the case of wilderness. Most comparisons between approaches have ignored the multidimensionality of biodiversity. We analyze here the results of two species-based methodologies-hotspots and complementarity-and an ecosystem-based methodology-wilderness-at local scale. As zoning of protected areas can increase the effectiveness of conservation, we use the data employed for the management plan of the Peneda-Gerês National Park in Portugal. We compare the approaches against four criteria: species representativeness, wilderness coverage, coverage of important areas for megafauna, and for regulating ecosystem services. Our results suggest that species- and ecosystem-based approaches select significantly different areas at local scale. Our results also show that no approach covers well all biodiversity dimensions. Species-based approaches cover species distribution better, while the ecosystem-based approach favors wilderness, areas important for megafauna, and for ecosystem services. Management actions addressing different dimensions of biodiversity have a potential for contradictory effects, social conflict, and ecosystem services trade-offs, especially in the context of current European biodiversity policies. However, biodiversity is multidimensional, and management and zoning at local level should reflect this aspect. The consideration of both species- and ecosystem-based approaches at local scale is necessary to achieve a wider range of conservation goals. PMID:25835944

  20. Conservation Planning for Biodiversity and Wilderness: A Real-World Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceauşu, Silvia; Gomes, Inês; Pereira, Henrique Miguel

    2015-05-01

    Several of the most important conservation prioritization approaches select markedly different areas at global and regional scales. They are designed to maximize a certain biodiversity dimension such as coverage of species in the case of hotspots and complementarity, or composite properties of ecosystems in the case of wilderness. Most comparisons between approaches have ignored the multidimensionality of biodiversity. We analyze here the results of two species-based methodologies—hotspots and complementarity—and an ecosystem-based methodology—wilderness—at local scale. As zoning of protected areas can increase the effectiveness of conservation, we use the data employed for the management plan of the Peneda-Gerês National Park in Portugal. We compare the approaches against four criteria: species representativeness, wilderness coverage, coverage of important areas for megafauna, and for regulating ecosystem services. Our results suggest that species- and ecosystem-based approaches select significantly different areas at local scale. Our results also show that no approach covers well all biodiversity dimensions. Species-based approaches cover species distribution better, while the ecosystem-based approach favors wilderness, areas important for megafauna, and for ecosystem services. Management actions addressing different dimensions of biodiversity have a potential for contradictory effects, social conflict, and ecosystem services trade-offs, especially in the context of current European biodiversity policies. However, biodiversity is multidimensional, and management and zoning at local level should reflect this aspect. The consideration of both species- and ecosystem-based approaches at local scale is necessary to achieve a wider range of conservation goals.

  1. Efficiency and concordance of alternative methods for minimizing opportunity costs in conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Susan E; Williams, Kristen J; Mitchell, David K

    2008-08-01

    Scarce resources and competing land-use goals necessitate efficient biodiversity conservation. Combining multicriteria analysis with conservation decision-support tools improves efficiency of conservation planning by maximizing outcomes for biodiversity while minimizing opportunity costs to society. An opportunity cost is the benefit that could have been received by taking an alternative course of action (i.e., costs to society of protecting an area for biodiversity rather than developing it for some other use). Although different ways of integrating multiple opportunity costs into conservation planning have been suggested, there have been no tests as to which method is most efficient. We compared the relative efficiency of 3 such procedures(Faith & Walker [1996], Sarkar et al. [2004], and a procedure of our own design) in a systematic conservation-planning framework for the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. We devised 14 opportunity costs and assigned these to 3 scenarios representing different conservation planning concerns: food security, macro-economic development, and biodiversity persistence. For each scenario, we compared the efficiency of the 3 methods in terms of amount of biodiversity protected relative to total expenditure for each opportunity cost. All 3 methods captured similar amounts of biodiversity, but differed in total cost. Our method had the least overall cost and was therefore most efficient. Nevertheless, there was a high correlation and geographical concordance among all 3 methods, indicating a high degree of spatial overlap. This suggests that choosing an appropriate approach may often depend on contextual factors related to the design of the planning question, rather than efficiency alone. PMID:18637906

  2. Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Sgrò, Carla M; Lowe, Andrew J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2011-01-01

    Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation. PMID:25567976

  3. Constraints of philanthropy on determining the distribution of biodiversity conservation funding.

    PubMed

    Larson, Eric R; Howell, Stephen; Kareiva, Peter; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-02-01

    Caught between ongoing habitat destruction and funding shortfalls, conservation organizations are using systematic planning approaches to identify places that offer the highest biodiversity return per dollar invested. However, available tools do not account for the landscape of funding for conservation or quantify the constraints this landscape imposes on conservation outcomes. Using state-level data on philanthropic giving to and investments in land conservation by a large nonprofit organization, we applied linear regression to evaluate whether the spatial distribution of conservation philanthropy better explained expenditures on conservation than maps of biodiversity priorities, which were derived from a planning process internal to the organization and return on investment (ROI) analyses based on data on species richness, land costs, and existing protected areas. Philanthropic fund raising accounted for considerably more spatial variation in conservation spending (r(2) = 0.64) than either of the 2 systematic conservation planning approaches (r(2) = 0.08-0.21). We used results of one of the ROI analyses to evaluate whether increases in flexibility to reallocate funding across space provides conservation gains. Small but plausible "tax" increments of 1-10% on states redistributed to the optimal funding allocation from the ROI analysis could result in gains in endemic species protected of 8.5-80.2%. When such increases in spatial flexibility are not possible, conservation organizations should seek to cultivate increased support for conservation in priority locations. We used lagged correlations of giving to and spending by the organization to evaluate whether investments in habitat protection stimulate future giving to conservation. The most common outcome at the state level was that conservation spending quarters correlated significantly and positively with lagged fund raising quarters. In effect, periods of high fund raising for biodiversity followed (rather than

  4. Evaluation of ecosystem services for good balance between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Adachi, M.; Yamagata, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Saigusa, N.; Sekine, H.

    2011-12-01

    For appropriate decision making in ecosystem management for global warming prevention and biodiversity conservation, a reliable and practical method to evaluate ecosystem services is necessary. For this purpose, we are conducting a project focusing on the evaluation of ecosystem services with a financial support from the Ministry of Environment, Japan, during the period from 2011 to 2013. The project is titled "Development of a method for evaluation of ecosystem services aiming at trade-off mitigation between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation" (Environmental Research Fund, No. F-1101) and jointly conducted through collaboration among: the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Japan-Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Mitsubishi Research Institute. The objectives of the project include: (1) integration of observational data from field sites and satellites related to ecosystem functions, (2) development of a practical evaluation method of ecosystem services, and (3) contribution to mitigate conflicts between environmental mitigation options such as climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation. In this project, we have a couple of candidate sites in Asian region to conduct field studies including in situ observation of forest biomass, leaf area index, canopy structure, in conjunction with corresponding satellite observations. These data on functional traits will be related with important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, water supply, and genetic resource stemming from biodiversity.

  5. Economic benefits of biodiversity exceed costs of conservation at an African rainforest reserve.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Robin; Adamowicz, Wiktor L

    2005-11-15

    Economic research on biodiversity conservation has focused on the costs of conservation reserves and the benefits of intact ecosystems; however, no study has simultaneously considered the costs and benefits of species diversity, a fundamental component of biodiversity. We quantified the costs and benefits of avian biodiversity at a rainforest reserve in Uganda through a combination of economic surveys of tourists, spatial land-use analyses, and species-area relationships. Our results show that revising entrance fees and redistributing ecotourism revenues would protect 114 of 143 forest bird species (80%) under current market conditions. This total would increase to 131 species (approximately 90%) if entrance fees were optimized to capture the tourist's willingness to pay for forest visits and the chance of seeing increased numbers of bird species. In contrast, the cost of purchasing agricultural land for ecological rehabilitation of the avian habitat would be economically prohibitive. These results suggest that local biodiversity markets could play a positive role in tropical conservation strategies if the appropriate institutions for redistribution can be developed. PMID:16267131

  6. The importance of conserving biodiversity outside of protected areas in mediterranean ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robin L; Underwood, Emma C

    2011-01-01

    Mediterranean-type ecosystems constitute one of the rarest terrestrial biomes and yet they are extraordinarily biodiverse. Home to over 250 million people, the five regions where these ecosystems are found have climate and coastal conditions that make them highly desirable human habitats. The current conservation landscape does not reflect the mediterranean biome's rarity and its importance for plant endemism. Habitat conversion will clearly outpace expansion of formal protected-area networks, and conservationists must augment this traditional strategy with new approaches to sustain the mediterranean biota. Using regional scale datasets, we determine the area of land in each of the five regions that is protected, converted (e.g., to urban or industrial), impacted (e.g., intensive, cultivated agriculture), or lands that we consider to have conservation potential. The latter are natural and semi-natural lands that are unprotected (e.g., private range lands) but sustain numerous native species and associated habitats. Chile has the greatest proportion of its land (75%) in this category and California-Mexico the least (48%). To illustrate the potential for achieving mediterranean biodiversity conservation on these lands, we use species-area curves generated from ecoregion scale data on native plant species richness and vertebrate species richness. For example, if biodiversity could be sustained on even 25% of existing unprotected, natural and semi-natural lands, we estimate that the habitat of more than 6,000 species could be represented. This analysis suggests that if unprotected natural and semi-natural lands are managed in a manner that allows for persistence of native species, we can realize significant additional biodiversity gains. Lasting biodiversity protection at the scale needed requires unprecedented collaboration among stakeholders to promote conservation both inside and outside of traditional protected areas, including on lands where people live and work

  7. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments. PMID:21935363

  8. The Effect of Carbon Credits on Savanna Land Management and Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Douglass, Lucinda L.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J.; Roxburgh, Stephen H.; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A.

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1–2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments. PMID:21935363

  9. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    PubMed

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  10. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas

    PubMed Central

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  11. Emerging issues in biodiversity & conservation management: The need for a palaeoecological perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froyd, C. A.; Willis, K. J.

    2008-09-01

    The study of Quaternary environmental change is directly applicable to on-going issues of global conservation. Palaeoecological research techniques provide the tools to address some of the key questions presently being asked by conservation ecologists and land management organizations. But is this type of analysis currently being utilized to its full potential? Are the results of palaeoenvironmental analyses routinely applied to practical issues of natural resource management, and if not what can be done to expand the application of this research within the conservation community? This paper reviews recent developments in the application of the analysis of late Quaternary environmental change to key environmental issues of biodiversity and conservation management and examines areas which could be strengthened in the future including: (i) determination of baselines and natural ecosystem variability; (ii) understanding ecological thresholds and resilience; (iii) climate change conservation strategies; (iv) biological invasions; and (v) conservation and culture.

  12. Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, M Jahi

    2013-01-01

    Strong feedback between global biodiversity loss and persistent, extreme rural poverty are major challenges in the face of concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This paper examines the role of industrial agricultural intensification and market integration as exogenous socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty traps in Latin America. We then analyze the potential of a food sovereignty framework, based on protecting the viability of a diverse agroecological matrix while supporting rural livelihoods and global food production. We review several successful examples of this approach, including ecological land reform in Brazil, agroforestry, milpa, and the uses of wild varieties in smallholder systems in Mexico and Central America. We highlight emergent research directions that will be necessary to assess the potential of the food sovereignty model to promote both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. PMID:24555109

  13. Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Chappell, M Jahi; Wittman, Hannah; Bacon, Christopher M; Ferguson, Bruce G; Barrios, Luis García; Barrios, Raúl García; Jaffee, Daniel; Lima, Jefferson; Méndez, V Ernesto; Morales, Helda; Soto-Pinto, Lorena; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-01-01

    Strong feedback between global biodiversity loss and persistent, extreme rural poverty are major challenges in the face of concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This paper examines the role of industrial agricultural intensification and market integration as exogenous socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty traps in Latin America. We then analyze the potential of a food sovereignty framework, based on protecting the viability of a diverse agroecological matrix while supporting rural livelihoods and global food production. We review several successful examples of this approach, including ecological land reform in Brazil, agroforestry, milpa, and the uses of wild varieties in smallholder systems in Mexico and Central America. We highlight emergent research directions that will be necessary to assess the potential of the food sovereignty model to promote both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. PMID:24555109

  14. Synergies and trade-offs between food security and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molotoks, Amy

    2016-04-01

    Human land use activities have transformed a large proportion of the world's land surface and in particular, the expansion of agriculture has been a major driver in global land use change. The conversion of natural ecosystems to crop and pasture lands has contributed significantly to deforestation and associated biodiversity loss through habitat destruction. This loss has raised concerns about associated loss of ecological functions which directly support over one billion people worldwide. Furthermore, agriculture itself is heavily reliant on a number of ecosystem services which are essential for crop production. It is therefore essential that the global problems of food insecurity and biodiversity loss are not viewed independently as the methods used to address one will necessarily involve choices affecting the other. This poster will examine the relationship between food security provision and biodiversity hotspots by using global spatial datasets of land use and conservation value.

  15. Multi-scale marine biodiversity patterns inferred efficiently from habitat image processing.

    PubMed

    Mellin, Camille; Parrott, Lael; Andréfouët, Serge; Bradshaw, Corey J A; MacNeil, M Aaron; Caley, M Julian

    2012-04-01

    Cost-effective proxies of biodiversity and species abundance, applicable across a range of spatial scales, are needed for setting conservation priorities and planning action. We outline a rapid, efficient, and low-cost measure of spectral signal from digital habitat images that, being an effective proxy for habitat complexity, correlates with species diversity and requires little image processing or interpretation. We validated this method for coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, across a range of spatial scales (1 m to 10 km), using digital photographs of benthic communities at the transect scale and high-resolution Landsat satellite images at the reef scale. We calculated an index of image-derived spatial heterogeneity, the mean information gain (MIG), for each scale and related it to univariate (species richness and total abundance summed across species) and multivariate (species abundance matrix) measures of fish community structure, using two techniques that account for the hierarchical structure of the data: hierarchical (mixed-effect) linear models and distance-based partial redundancy analysis. Over the length and breadth of the GBR, MIG alone explained up to 29% of deviance in fish species richness, 33% in total fish abundance, and 25% in fish community structure at multiple scales, thus demonstrating the possibility of easily and rapidly exploiting spatial information contained in digital images to complement existing methods for inferring diversity and abundance patterns among fish communities. Thus, the spectral signal of unprocessed remotely sensed images provides an efficient and low-cost way to optimize the design of surveys used in conservation planning. In data-sparse situations, this simple approach also offers a viable method for rapid assessment of potential local biodiversity, particularly where there is little local capacity in terms of skills or resources for mounting in-depth biodiversity surveys. PMID:22645811

  16. Reframing the land-sparing/land-sharing debate for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Kremen, Claire

    2015-10-01

    Conservation biologists are devoting an increasing amount of energy to debating whether land sparing (high-yielding agriculture on a small land footprint) or land sharing (low-yielding, wildlife-friendly agriculture on a larger land footprint) will promote better outcomes for local and global biodiversity. In turn, concerns are mounting about how to feed the world, given increasing demands for food. In this review, I evaluate the land-sparing/land-sharing framework--does the framework stimulate research and policy that can reconcile agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation, or is a revised framing needed? I review (1) the ecological evidence in favor of sparing versus sharing; (2) the evidence from land-use change studies that assesses whether a relationship exists between agricultural intensification and land sparing; and (3) how that relationship may be affected by socioeconomic and political factors. To address the trade-off between biodiversity conservation and food production, I then ask which forms of agricultural intensification can best feed the world now and in the future. On the basis of my review, I suggest that the dichotomy of the land-sparing/land-sharing framework limits the realm of future possibilities to two, largely undesirable, options for conservation. Both large, protected regions and favorable surrounding matrices are needed to promote biodiversity conservation; they work synergistically and are not mutually exclusive. A "both-and" framing of large protected areas surrounded by a wildlife-friendly matrix suggests different research priorities from the "either-or" framing of sparing versus sharing. Furthermore, wildlife-friendly farming methods such as agroecology may be best adapted to provide food for the world's hungry people. PMID:26213864

  17. Green Infrastructure Design Based on Spatial Conservation Prioritization and Modeling of Biodiversity Features and Ecosystem Services.

    PubMed

    Snäll, Tord; Lehtomäki, Joona; Arponen, Anni; Elith, Jane; Moilanen, Atte

    2016-02-01

    There is high-level political support for the use of green infrastructure (GI) across Europe, to maintain viable populations and to provide ecosystem services (ES). Even though GI is inherently a spatial concept, the modern tools for spatial planning have not been recognized, such as in the recent European Environment Agency (EEA) report. We outline a toolbox of methods useful for GI design that explicitly accounts for biodiversity and ES. Data on species occurrence, habitats, and environmental variables are increasingly available via open-access internet platforms. Such data can be synthesized by statistical species distribution modeling, producing maps of biodiversity features. These, together with maps of ES, can form the basis for GI design. We argue that spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) methods are effective tools for GI design, as the overall SCP goal is cost-effective allocation of conservation efforts. Corridors are currently promoted by the EEA as the means for implementing GI design, but they typically target the needs of only a subset of the regional species pool. SCP methods would help to ensure that GI provides a balanced solution for the requirements of many biodiversity features (e.g., species, habitat types) and ES simultaneously in a cost-effective manner. Such tools are necessary to make GI into an operational concept for combating biodiversity loss and promoting ES. PMID:26395184

  18. Green Infrastructure Design Based on Spatial Conservation Prioritization and Modeling of Biodiversity Features and Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snäll, Tord; Lehtomäki, Joona; Arponen, Anni; Elith, Jane; Moilanen, Atte

    2016-02-01

    There is high-level political support for the use of green infrastructure (GI) across Europe, to maintain viable populations and to provide ecosystem services (ES). Even though GI is inherently a spatial concept, the modern tools for spatial planning have not been recognized, such as in the recent European Environment Agency (EEA) report. We outline a toolbox of methods useful for GI design that explicitly accounts for biodiversity and ES. Data on species occurrence, habitats, and environmental variables are increasingly available via open-access internet platforms. Such data can be synthesized by statistical species distribution modeling, producing maps of biodiversity features. These, together with maps of ES, can form the basis for GI design. We argue that spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) methods are effective tools for GI design, as the overall SCP goal is cost-effective allocation of conservation efforts. Corridors are currently promoted by the EEA as the means for implementing GI design, but they typically target the needs of only a subset of the regional species pool. SCP methods would help to ensure that GI provides a balanced solution for the requirements of many biodiversity features (e.g., species, habitat types) and ES simultaneously in a cost-effective manner. Such tools are necessary to make GI into an operational concept for combating biodiversity loss and promoting ES.

  19. Conservation of geo- and -biodiversity in Lithuania: are there conflicts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skridlaite, Grazina; Motiejunaite, Jurga

    2014-05-01

    Lithuanian surface is sculptured by more than five glaciers, which retreated c. 10 000 years ago. After the ice sheets melted in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, and other neighbouring countries, they left numerous erratic boulders and boulder fields. Hundreds of single boulders and boulder fields are declared as natural monuments in Lithuania and other countries and are variably protected. Tens of single boulders and boulder fields are included into the Geosites database at the Lithuanian Geological Survey. Rapid weather changes in Lithuania cause the weathering of erratic boulders. However, the fastest erosion is by overgrowing cryptogams: lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, algae, cyanobacteria and bryophytes. Lichens are among the first colonizers of rock surfaces, and their impact on stonework heritage is rather well documented. Hard rocks (e.g. granites) are weathering considerably slower than soft or relatively soft sandstones, dolomites or marbles; however serious impact is visible on stones with inscriptions, drawings and open surfaces of the protected nature monuments. Lichens gradually cover whole boulder surfaces obscuring their geological value and contributing to the surface weathering in Lithuania and neighbouring countries where numerous protected stony nature monuments occur. The 73 of the 723 species of lichenized and allied fungi in Lithuania are confined to hard acid rocks. Eight of these acid rock-dwelling species are included in the Lithuanian Red Data Book, some of them have high threat category or are thought to be extinct now. There is no conservation conflict between the red-listed saxicolous lichens and their substrate where the species are confined to wild boulder meadows. Here lichens and their boulder substrate suffer from excessive growth and overshadowing from surrounding vascular plants, also from pollution which change stone surface properties and induce encroachment of more aggressive species than the usual slow-growing acid rock

  20. Taxonomic distinctness and conservation of a new high biodiversity subterranean area in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gallão, Jonas E; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2015-03-01

    Subterranean environments, even though they do not possess a primary production (photosynthesis), may present high biodiversity, faunistic originality, endemism, phylogenetic isolations and unique ecological and/or evolution events, in addition to rare taxa. Studies investigating the biological diversity in Neotropical caves are relatively rare and recent, and most of them have been conducted in Brazil. We sampled caves from the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, and through sampling sufficiency tests and richness estimators, we demonstrate that the normatization for the Brazilian cave laws is not adequate for its conservation and that only α diversity index is not enough to verify faunistic patterns. We suggest that a phylogenetic diversity index be more robust and accurate for conservation purposes, particularly the Taxonomic Distinctness index. Moreover, we propose that the sandstone complex caves from Chapada Diamantina National Park need to be classified as being of high subterranean biodiversity in a global scope. PMID:25673471

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluating the success of conservation actions in safeguarding tropical forest biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Thomas M; Wright, S Joseph; Sheil, Douglas

    2009-12-01

    We reviewed the evidence on the extent and efficacy of conservation of tropical forest biodiversity for each of the classes of conservation action defined by the new International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification. Protected areas are the most tested conservation approach, and a number of studies show they are generally effective in slowing deforestation. There is some documentation of the extent of sustainable timber management in tropical forest, but little information on other landscape-conservation tactics. The extent and effectiveness of ex situ species conservation is quite well known. Forty-one tropical-forest species now survive only in captivity. Other single-species conservation actions are not as well documented. The potential of policy mechanisms, such as international conventions and provision of funds, to slow extinctions in tropical forests is considerable, but the effects of policy are difficult to measure. Finally, interventions to promote tropical conservation by supporting education and livelihoods, providing incentives, and furthering capacity building are all thought to be important, but their extent and effectiveness remain poorly known. For birds, the best studied taxon, the sum of such conservation actions has averted one-fifth of the extinctions that would otherwise have occurred over the last century. Clearly, tropical forest conservation works, but more is needed, as is critical assessment of what works in what circumstances, if mass extinction is to be averted. PMID:20078645

  3. Striking a balance between biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic viability in the design of marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Klein, C J; Chan, A; Kircher, L; Cundiff, A J; Gardner, N; Hrovat, Y; Scholz, A; Kendall, B E; Airamé, S

    2008-06-01

    The establishment of marine protected areas is often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing. We considered consumptive and nonconsumptive interests of multiple stakeholders (i.e., fishers, scuba divers, conservationists, managers, scientists) in the systematic design of a network of marine protected areas along California's central coast in the context of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. With advice from managers, administrators, and scientists, a representative group of stakeholders defined biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic goals that accommodated social needs and conserved marine ecosystems, consistent with legal requirements. To satisfy biodiversity goals, we targeted 11 marine habitats across 5 depth zones, areas of high species diversity, and areas containing species of special status. We minimized adverse socioeconomic impacts by minimizing negative effects on fishers. We included fine-scale fishing data from the recreational and commercial fishing sectors across 24 fisheries. Protected areas designed with consideration of commercial and recreational fisheries reduced potential impact to the fisheries approximately 21% more than protected areas designed without consideration of fishing effort and resulted in a small increase in the total area protected (approximately 3.4%). We incorporated confidential fishing data without revealing the identity of specific fisheries or individual fishing grounds. We sited a portion of the protected areas near land parks, marine laboratories, and scientific monitoring sites to address nonconsumptive socioeconomic goals. Our results show that a stakeholder-driven design process can use systematic conservation-planning methods to successfully produce options for network design that satisfy multiple conservation and socioeconomic objectives. Marine protected areas that incorporate multiple stakeholder interests without compromising biodiversity conservation goals are more likely to protect

  4. Hydrological services and biodiversity conservation under forestation scenarios: comparing options to improve watershed management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalho-Santos, Claudia; Nunes, João Pedro; Sousa-Silva, Rita; Gonçalves, João; Pradinho Honrado, João

    2015-04-01

    Humans rely on ecosystems for the provision of hydrological services, namely water supply and water damage mitigation, and promoting forests is a widely used management strategy for the provision of hydrological services. Therefore, it is important to model how forests will contribute for this provision, taking into account the environmental characteristics of each region, as well as the spatio-temporal patterns of societal demand. In addition, ensuring forest protection and the delivery of forest ecosystem services is one of the aims included in the European Union biodiversity strategy to 2020. On the other hand, forest management for hydrological services must consider possible trade-offs with other services provision, as well as with biodiversity conservation. Accurate modeling and mapping of both hydrological services and biodiversity conservation value is thus important to support spatial planning and land management options involving forests. The objectives of this study were: to analyze the provision and spatial dynamics of hydrological services under two forest cover change scenarios (oak and eucalyptus/pine) compared to the current shrubland-dominated landscape; and to evaluate their spatial trade-offs with biodiversity conservation value. The Vez watershed (250km2), in northwest Portugal, was used as case-study area. SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was applied to simulate the provision of hydrological services (water supply quantity, timing and quality; soil erosion and flood regulation), and was calibrated against daily discharge, sediments, nitrates and evapotranspiration. Good agreement was obtained between model predictions and field measurements. The maps for each service under the different scenarios were produced at the Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU) level. Biodiversity conservation value was based on nature protection regimes and on expert valuation applied to a land cover map. Statistical correlations between hydrological services provision

  5. Biodiversity and Environmental Gradients Across the Tropical Pacific Islands: A New Strategy for Research and Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Dombois, Dieter

    The theory of island biogeography of MacArthur and Wilson (1967) represents a first attempt at developing a unifying concept for biodiversity research across islands and fragmented biomes. It uses two physical parameters, distance (or isolation) and size of area to define species equilibria. This contribution expands on the theory by adding a third physical parameter, elevation (or topography), to focus on biodiversity relationships. This third parameter allows island ecosystems to be connected horizontally across Pacific-wide biomes. It also permits the establishment of ecological gradients across the Pacific to study and compare the structure and function of enriched versus impoverished biodiversities in similar habitats. In combination with this horizontal approach, a vertical approach is suggested for interdisciplinary research. For this, the fresh-water flow or hydrology is seen as the unifying parameter that links several ecosystems in an upland/lowland relationship. The two approaches represent a new strategy for biodiversity research and conservation in the Pacific area. A biodiversity transect with ILTER (International Long-Term Ecological Research) sites forming a network from Eastern and Northern Polynesia to Borneo, and including the oceanic archipelagoes near the American continents, is currently envisioned by the PSA (Pacific Science Association) Task Force on Biodiversity (Kitayama and Mueller-Dombois 1997). This new program, which has evolved from a first synthesis of Pacific island vegetation and landscapes (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998) is to become a contribution to the DIVERSITAS program launched in 1994 under the auspices of the IUBS (International Union of Biological Sciences) and the International Council of Scientific Unions in Paris, and by DIWPA (Diversitas in Western Pacific and Asia in Kyoto).

  6. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Moore, Cordelia H; Radford, Ben T; Possingham, Hugh P; Heyward, Andrew J; Stewart, Romola R; Watts, Matthew E; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J; Harvey, Euan S; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W; Lowe, Ryan J; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-01-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia-a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation. PMID:27556689

  7. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-01-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia–a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation. PMID:27556689

  8. Accommodating Dynamic Oceanographic Processes and Pelagic Biodiversity in Marine Conservation Planning

    PubMed Central

    Grantham, Hedley S.; Game, Edward T.; Lombard, Amanda T.; Hobday, Alistair J.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Beckley, Lynnath E.; Pressey, Robert L.; Huggett, Jenny A.; Coetzee, Janet C.; van der Lingen, Carl D.; Petersen, Samantha L.; Merkle, Dagmar; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2011-01-01

    Pelagic ecosystems support a significant and vital component of the ocean's productivity and biodiversity. They are also heavily exploited and, as a result, are the focus of numerous spatial planning initiatives. Over the past decade, there has been increasing enthusiasm for protected areas as a tool for pelagic conservation, however, few have been implemented. Here we demonstrate an approach to plan protected areas that address the physical and biological dynamics typical of the pelagic realm. Specifically, we provide an example of an approach to planning protected areas that integrates pelagic and benthic conservation in the southern Benguela and Agulhas Bank ecosystems off South Africa. Our aim was to represent species of importance to fisheries and species of conservation concern within protected areas. In addition to representation, we ensured that protected areas were designed to consider pelagic dynamics, characterized from time-series data on key oceanographic processes, together with data on the abundance of small pelagic fishes. We found that, to have the highest likelihood of reaching conservation targets, protected area selection should be based on time-specific data rather than data averaged across time. More generally, we argue that innovative methods are needed to conserve ephemeral and dynamic pelagic biodiversity. PMID:21311757

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. When worlds collide: challenges and opportunities for conservation of biodiversity in the Hawaiian Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Pratt, Thane K.; Banko, Paul C.; Jacobi, James D.; Woodworth, Bethany L.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter identifies four key challenges and opportunities for long-term conservation of biodiversity in the Hawaii's Islands. Following are the challenges that need to be resolved for remaining species of native forest birds to survive into the next century: invasive species, landscape processes, social factors, and climate change. These challenges are also relevant to other threatened terrestrial taxonomic groups (i.e., plants and invertebrates) in the Hawaiian Islands. Such threats are familiar to conservation biologists the world over, but rarely do they act as synergistically as they do in the Hawaiian Islands. The chapter reviews conservation successes and failures in Hawaii, and provides an example of the possible future course of conservation in other island communities.

  13. 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.

  14. Biodiversity conservation and drug discovery: Can they be combined? The Suriname and Madagascar experiences

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Shugeng; Kingston, David G. I.

    2009-01-01

    The approach to new drugs through natural products has proved to be the single most successful strategy for the discovery of new drugs, but in recent years its use has been deemphasized by many pharmaceutical companies in favor of approaches based on combinatorial chemistry and genomics, among others. Drug discovery from natural sources requires continued access to plant, marine, and microbial biomass, and so the preservation of tropical rainforests is an important part of our drug discovery program. Sadly, many of the tropical forests of the world are under severe environmental pressure, and deforestation is a serious problem in most tropical countries. One way to combat this loss is to demonstrate their value as potential sources of new pharmaceutical or agrochemical products. As part of an effort to integrate biodiversity conservation and drug discovery with economic development, we initiated an International Cooperative biodiversity Group (ICBG) to discover potential pharmaceuticals from the plant biodiversity of Suriname and Madagascar. The Group, established with funding from agencies of the United States government, involved participants from the USA, Suriname, and Madagascar. The basic approach was to search for bioactive plants in the Suriname and Malagasy flora, and to isolate their bioactive constituents by the best available methods, but the work included capacity building as well as research. Progress on this project will be reported, drawing on results obtained from the isolation of bioactive natural products from Suriname and Madagascar. The benefits of this general approach to biodiversity and drug discovery will also be discussed. PMID:20161050

  15. Futures of global urban expansion: uncertainties and implications for biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Güneralp, B.; Seto, K. C.

    2013-03-01

    Urbanization will place significant pressures on biodiversity across the world. However, there are large uncertainties in the amount and location of future urbanization, particularly urban land expansion. Here, we present a global analysis of urban extent circa 2000 and probabilistic forecasts of urban expansion for 2030 near protected areas and in biodiversity hotspots. We estimate that the amount of urban land within 50 km of all protected area boundaries will increase from 450 000 km2 circa 2000 to 1440 000 ± 65 000 km2 in 2030. Our analysis shows that protected areas around the world will experience significant increases in urban land within 50 km of their boundaries. China will experience the largest increase in urban land near protected areas with 304 000 ± 33 000 km2 of new urban land to be developed within 50 km of protected area boundaries. The largest urban expansion in biodiversity hotspots, over 100 000 ± 25 000 km2, is forecasted to occur in South America. Uncertainties in the forecasts of the amount and location of urban land expansion reflect uncertainties in their underlying drivers including urban population and economic growth. The forecasts point to the need to reconcile urban development and biodiversity conservation strategies.

  16. Biodiversity conservation and drug discovery: Can they be combined? The Suriname and Madagascar experiences.

    PubMed

    Cao, Shugeng; Kingston, David G I

    2009-08-01

    The approach to new drugs through natural products has proved to be the single most successful strategy for the discovery of new drugs, but in recent years its use has been deemphasized by many pharmaceutical companies in favor of approaches based on combinatorial chemistry and genomics, among others.Drug discovery from natural sources requires continued access to plant, marine, and microbial biomass, and so the preservation of tropical rainforests is an important part of our drug discovery program. Sadly, many of the tropical forests of the world are under severe environmental pressure, and deforestation is a serious problem in most tropical countries. One way to combat this loss is to demonstrate their value as potential sources of new pharmaceutical or agrochemical products.As part of an effort to integrate biodiversity conservation and drug discovery with economic development, we initiated an International Cooperative biodiversity Group (ICBG) to discover potential pharmaceuticals from the plant biodiversity of Suriname and Madagascar. The Group, established with funding from agencies of the United States government, involved participants from the USA, Suriname, and Madagascar. The basic approach was to search for bioactive plants in the Suriname and Malagasy flora, and to isolate their bioactive constituents by the best available methods, but the work included capacity building as well as research. Progress on this project will be reported, drawing on results obtained from the isolation of bioactive natural products from Suriname and Madagascar. The benefits of this general approach to biodiversity and drug discovery will also be discussed. PMID:20161050

  17. Ecosystem service provision: an operational way for marine biodiversity conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Cognetti, Giuseppe; Maltagliati, Ferruccio

    2010-11-01

    Since no extensive conceptual framework has been developed on the issues of ecosystem service (ES) and service provider (SP) in the marine environment, we have made an attempt to apply these to the conservation and management of marine biodiversity. Within this context, an accurate individuation of SPs, namely the biological component of a given ecosystem that supports human activities is fundamental. SPs are the agents responsible for making the ES-based approach operational. The application of these concepts to the marine environment should be based on an model different to the terrestrial one. In the latter, the basic model envisages a matrix of a human-altered landscape with fragments of original biodiversity; conversely, in the marine environment the model provides fragments where human activities are carried out and the matrix is represented by the original biodiversity. We have identified three main classes of ES provision: in natural, disturbed and human-controlled environments. Economic valuation of marine ESs is an essential condition for making conservation strategies financially sustainable, as it may stimulate the perceived need for investing in protection and exploitation of marine resources. PMID:20933248

  18. Pseudoreplication in tropical forests and the resulting effects on biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Benjamin S; Sheil, Douglas; Salim, Hannah M W; Fletcher, Christine; Mustafa, Nur-Zati A; Luruthusamay, Joann C; Harrison, Rhett D; Butod, Elizabeth; Dzulkiply, Ahmad Dzamir; Kassim, Abd Rahman; Potts, Matthew D

    2013-04-01

    Tropical forest ecosystems are threatened by habitat conversion and other anthropogenic actions. Timber production forests can augment the conservation value of primary forest reserves, but studies of logging effects often yield contradictory findings and thus inhibit efforts to develop clear conservation strategies. We hypothesized that much of this variability reflects a common methodological flaw, simple pseudoreplication, that confounds logging effects with preexisting spatial variation. We reviewed recent studies of the effects of logging on biodiversity in tropical forests (n = 77) and found that 68% were definitively pseudoreplicated while only 7% were definitively free of pseudoreplication. The remaining proportion could not be clearly categorized. In addition, we collected compositional data on 7 taxa in 24 primary forest research plots and systematically analyzed subsets of these plots to calculate the probability that a pseudoreplicated comparison would incorrectly identify a treatment effect. Rates of false inference (i.e., the spurious detection of a treatment effect) were >0.5 for 2 taxa, 0.3-0.5 for 2 taxa, and <0.3 for 3 taxa. Our findings demonstrate that tropical conservation strategies are being informed by a body of literature that is rife with unwarranted inferences. Addressing pseudoreplication is essential for accurately assessing biodiversity in logged forests, identifying the relative merits of specific management practices and landscape configurations, and effectively balancing conservation with timber production in tropical forests. PMID:23282082

  19. Using economic instruments to overcome obstacles to in situ conservation of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    McNeely, Jeffrey A

    2006-03-01

    The leading direct cause of the loss of biodiversity is habitat alteration and disruption. If we are to address this cause directly, we need to find ways of changing the behavior of rural people. Experience has shown that this is done most effectively through the use of economic instruments, ranging from taxes that discourage over-exploitation, to direct payments for conservation activities carried out by rural land-owners or those occupying the land. In many parts of the world, governments provide incentives such as tax breaks to private land-owners. Other countries recognize specific use rights on particular parts of the land, enabling the land-owners to earn appropriate benefits. Since many protected areas have resident human populations, it is especially important that they be encouraged to contribute to the objectives of the protected area, and economic incentives offer an important way of doing so; they might, for example, be given employment in the protected area or in associated tourism activities. Direct payments to farmers for conserving watersheds is becoming increasingly popular, in both developed and developing countries. Improved conservation will require both removing perverse subsidies and developing a wide range of approaches for rewarding land-owners for biodiversity conservation activities. PMID:21395988

  20. Setting priorities for private land conservation in fire-prone landscapes: Are fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation competing or compatible objectives?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Butsic, Van; Bar-Massada, Avi; Keeley, Jon E.; Tracey, Jeff A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2016-01-01

    Although wildfire plays an important role in maintaining biodiversity in many ecosystems, fire management to protect human assets is often carried out by different agencies than those tasked for conserving biodiversity. In fact, fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation are often viewed as competing objectives. Here we explored the role of management through private land conservation and asked whether we could identify private land acquisition strategies that fulfill the mutual objectives of biodiversity conservation and fire risk reduction, or whether the maximization of one objective comes at a detriment to the other. Using a fixed budget and number of homes slated for development, we simulated 20 years of housing growth under alternative conservation selection strategies, and then projected the mean risk of fires destroying structures and the area and configuration of important habitat types in San Diego County, California, USA. We found clear differences in both fire risk projections and biodiversity impacts based on the way conservation lands are prioritized for selection, but these differences were split between two distinct groupings. If no conservation lands were purchased, or if purchases were prioritized based on cost or likelihood of development, both the projected fire risk and biodiversity impacts were much higher than if conservation lands were purchased in areas with high fire hazard or high species richness. Thus, conserving land focused on either of the two objectives resulted in nearly equivalent mutual benefits for both. These benefits not only resulted from preventing development in sensitive areas, but they were also due to the different housing patterns and arrangements that occurred as development was displaced from those areas. Although biodiversity conflicts may still arise using other fire management strategies, this study shows that mutual objectives can be attained through land-use planning in this region. These results likely

  1. Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Venter, Oscar; Sanderson, Eric W; Magrach, Ainhoa; Allan, James R; Beher, Jutta; Jones, Kendall R; Possingham, Hugh P; Laurance, William F; Wood, Peter; Fekete, Balázs M; Levy, Marc A; Watson, James E M

    2016-01-01

    Human pressures on the environment are changing spatially and temporally, with profound implications for the planet's biodiversity and human economies. Here we use recently available data on infrastructure, land cover and human access into natural areas to construct a globally standardized measure of the cumulative human footprint on the terrestrial environment at 1 km(2) resolution from 1993 to 2009. We note that while the human population has increased by 23% and the world economy has grown 153%, the human footprint has increased by just 9%. Still, 75% the planet's land surface is experiencing measurable human pressures. Moreover, pressures are perversely intense, widespread and rapidly intensifying in places with high biodiversity. Encouragingly, we discover decreases in environmental pressures in the wealthiest countries and those with strong control of corruption. Clearly the human footprint on Earth is changing, yet there are still opportunities for conservation gains. PMID:27552116

  2. Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Venter, Oscar; Sanderson, Eric W.; Magrach, Ainhoa; Allan, James R.; Beher, Jutta; Jones, Kendall R.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Laurance, William F.; Wood, Peter; Fekete, Balázs M.; Levy, Marc A.; Watson, James E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Human pressures on the environment are changing spatially and temporally, with profound implications for the planet's biodiversity and human economies. Here we use recently available data on infrastructure, land cover and human access into natural areas to construct a globally standardized measure of the cumulative human footprint on the terrestrial environment at 1 km2 resolution from 1993 to 2009. We note that while the human population has increased by 23% and the world economy has grown 153%, the human footprint has increased by just 9%. Still, 75% the planet's land surface is experiencing measurable human pressures. Moreover, pressures are perversely intense, widespread and rapidly intensifying in places with high biodiversity. Encouragingly, we discover decreases in environmental pressures in the wealthiest countries and those with strong control of corruption. Clearly the human footprint on Earth is changing, yet there are still opportunities for conservation gains. PMID:27552116

  3. Remote Sensing of Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation: A Review from the Perspective of Remote Sensing Specialists

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Franklin, Steven E.; Guo, Xulin; Cattet, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing, the science of obtaining information via noncontact recording, has swept the fields of ecology, biodiversity and conservation (EBC). Several quality review papers have contributed to this field. However, these papers often discuss the issues from the standpoint of an ecologist or a biodiversity specialist. This review focuses on the spaceborne remote sensing of EBC from the perspective of remote sensing specialists, i.e., it is organized in the context of state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, including instruments and techniques. Herein, the instruments to be discussed consist of high spatial resolution, hyperspectral, thermal infrared, small-satellite constellation, and LIDAR sensors; and the techniques refer to image classification, vegetation index (VI), inversion algorithm, data fusion, and the integration of remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). PMID:22163432

  4. Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals

    PubMed Central

    Broom, D. M.; Galindo, F. A.; Murgueitio, E.

    2013-01-01

    What is the future for livestock agriculture in the world? Consumers have concerns about sustainability but many widely used livestock production methods do not satisfy consumers' requirements for a sustainable system. However, production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there. Conservation need not just involve tiny islands of natural vegetation in a barren world of agriculture, as there can be great increases in biodiversity in farmed areas. Herbivores, especially ruminants that consume materials inedible by humans, are important for human food in the future. However, their diet should not be just ground-level plants. Silvopastoral systems, pastures with shrubs and trees as well as herbage, are described which are normally more productive than pasture alone. When compared with widely used livestock production systems, silvopastoral systems can provide efficient feed conversion, higher biodiversity, enhanced connectivity between habitat patches and better animal welfare, so they can replace existing systems in many parts of the world and should be further developed. PMID:24068362

  5. Biodiversity inventories and conservation of the marine fishes of Bootless Bay, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The effective management and conservation of biodiversity is predicated on clearly defined conservation targets. Species number is frequently used as a metric for conservation prioritization and monitoring changes in ecosystem health. We conducted a series of synoptic surveys focusing on the fishes of the Bootless Bay region of Papua New Guinea to generate a checklist of fishes of the region. Bootless Bay lies directly south of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and experiences the highest human population density of any marine area in the country. Our checklist will set a baseline against which future environmental changes can be tracked. Results We generated a checklist of 488 fish species in 72 families found in Bootless Bay during a two-week sampling effort. Using incident-based methods of species estimation, we extrapolate there to be approximately 940 fish species in Bootless Bay, one of the lowest reported numbers in Papua New Guinea. Conclusions Our data suggest that the Bootless Bay ecosystem of Papua New Guinea, while diverse in absolute terms, has lower fish biodiversity compared to other shallow marine areas within the country. These differences in faunal diversity are most likely a combination of unequal sampling effort as well as biophysical factors within Bootless Bay compounded by historical and/or contemporary anthropogenic disturbances. PMID:22849436

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Using probability of persistence to identify important areas for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed Central

    Williams, P H; Araújo, M B

    2000-01-01

    Most attempts to identify important areas for biodiversity have sought to represent valued features from what is known of their current distribution, and have treated all included records as equivalent. We develop the idea that a more direct way of planning for conservation success is to consider the probability of persistence for the valued features. Probabilities also provide a consistent basis for integrating the many pattern and process factors affecting conservation success. To apply the approach, we describe a method for seeking networks of conservation areas that maximize probabilities of persistence across species. With data for European trees, this method requires less than half as many areas as an earlier method to represent all species with a probability of at least 0.95 (where possible). Alternatively, for trials choosing any number of areas between one and 50, the method increases the mean probability among species by more than 10%. This improvement benefits the least-widespread species the most and results in greater connectivity among selected areas. The proposed method can accommodate local differences in viability, vulnerability, threats, costs, or other social and political constraints, and is applicable in principle to any surrogate measure for biodiversity value. PMID:11075708

  9. Protecting Important Sites for Biodiversity Contributes to Meeting Global Conservation Targets

    PubMed Central

    Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Evans, Mike I.; Quader, Suhel; Aricò, Salvatore; Arinaitwe, Julius; Balman, Mark; Bennun, Leon A.; Bertzky, Bastian; Besançon, Charles; Boucher, Timothy M.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Burfield, Ian J.; Burgess, Neil D.; Chan, Simba; Clay, Rob P.; Crosby, Mike J.; Davidson, Nicholas C.; De Silva, Naamal; Devenish, Christian; Dutson, Guy C. L.; Fernández, David F. Día z; Fishpool, Lincoln D. C.; Fitzgerald, Claire; Foster, Matt; Heath, Melanie F.; Hockings, Marc; Hoffmann, Michael; Knox, David; Larsen, Frank W.; Lamoreux, John F.; Loucks, Colby; May, Ian; Millett, James; Molloy, Dominic; Morling, Paul; Parr, Mike; Ricketts, Taylor H.; Seddon, Nathalie; Skolnik, Benjamin; Stuart, Simon N.; Upgren, Amy; Woodley, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. We analyzed PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs) and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs) (referred to collectively hereafter as ‘important sites’). Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites). Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs). While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45–1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79–1.49% annually for AZEs). Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. We conclude that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends. PMID:22457717

  10. Sleeping sickness and its relationship with development and biodiversity conservation in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Neil E; Mubanga, Joseph; Machila, Noreen; Atkinson, Peter M; Dzingirai, Vupenyu; Welburn, Susan C

    2015-01-01

    The Luangwa Valley has a long historical association with Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) and is a recognised geographical focus of this disease. It is also internationally acclaimed for its high biodiversity and contains many valuable habitats. Local inhabitants of the valley have developed sustainable land use systems in co-existence with wildlife over centuries, based on non-livestock keeping practices largely due to the threat from African Animal Trypanosomiasis. Historical epidemics of human sleeping sickness have influenced how and where communities have settled and have had a profound impact on development in the Valley. Historical attempts to control trypanosomiasis have also had a negative impact on conservation of biodiversity.Centralised control over wildlife utilisation has marginalised local communities from managing the wildlife resource. To some extent this has been reversed by the implementation of community based natural resource management programmes in the latter half of the 20(th) century and the Luangwa Valley provides some of the earliest examples of such programmes. More recently, there has been significant uncontrolled migration of people into the mid-Luangwa Valley driven by pressure on resources in the eastern plateau region, encouragement from local chiefs and economic development in the tourist centre of Mfuwe. This has brought changing land-use patterns, most notably agricultural development through livestock keeping and cotton production. These changes threaten to alter the endemically stable patterns of HAT transmission and could have significant impacts on ecosystem health and ecosystem services.In this paper we review the history of HAT in the context of conservation and development and consider the impacts current changes may have on this complex social-ecological system. We conclude that improved understanding is required to identify specific circumstances where win-win trade-offs can be achieved between the conservation of

  11. Conservation Action Planning: Lessons learned from the St. Marys River watershed biodiversity conservation planning process

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Patterson, Tamatha A.; Grundel, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Conservation Action Planning (CAP) is an adaptive management planning process refined by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and embraced worldwide as the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. The CAP process facilitates open, multi-institutional collaboration on a common conservation agenda through organized actions and quantified results. While specifically designed for conservation efforts, the framework is adaptable and flexible to multiple scales and can be used for any collaborative planning effort. The CAP framework addresses inception; design and development of goals, measures, and strategies; and plan implementation and evaluation. The specific components of the CAP include defining the project scope and conservation targets; assessing the ecological viability; ascertaining threats and surrounding situation; identifying opportunities and designing strategies for action; and implementing actions and monitoring results. In 2007, TNC and a multidisciplinary graduate student team from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment initiated a CAP for the St. Marys River, the connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, and its local watershed. The students not only gained experience in conservation planning, but also learned lessons that notably benefited the CAP process and were valuable for any successful collaborative effort—a dedicated core team improved product quality, accelerated the timeline, and provided necessary support for ongoing efforts; an academic approach in preparation for engagement in the planning process brought applicable scientific research to the forefront, enhanced workshop facilitation, and improved stakeholder participation; and early and continuous interactions with regional stakeholders improved cooperation and built a supportive network for collaboration.

  12. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Widespread Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies in the UK.

    PubMed

    Gove, Benedict; Williams, Leah J; Beresford, Alison E; Roddis, Philippa; Campbell, Colin; Teuten, Emma; Langston, Rowena H W; Bradbury, Richard B

    2016-01-01

    Renewable energy will potentially make an important contribution towards the dual aims of meeting carbon emission reduction targets and future energy demand. However, some technologies have considerable potential to impact on the biodiversity of the environments in which they are placed. In this study, an assessment was undertaken of the realistic deployment potential of a range of renewable energy technologies in the UK, considering constraints imposed by biodiversity conservation priorities. We focused on those energy sources that have the potential to make important energy contributions but which might conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives. These included field-scale solar, bioenergy crops, wind energy (both onshore and offshore), wave and tidal stream energy. The spatially-explicit analysis considered the potential opportunity available for each technology, at various levels of ecological risk. The resultant maps highlight the energy resource available, physical and policy constraints to deployment, and ecological sensitivity (based on the distribution of protected areas and sensitive species). If the technologies are restricted to areas which currently appear not to have significant ecological constraints, the total potential energy output from these energy sources was estimated to be in the region of 5,547 TWh/yr. This would be sufficient to meet projected energy demand in the UK, and help to achieve carbon reduction targets. However, we highlight two important caveats. First, further ecological monitoring and surveillance is required to improve understanding of wildlife distributions and therefore potential impacts of utilising these energy sources. This is likely to reduce the total energy available, especially at sea. Second, some of the technologies under investigation are currently not deployed commercially. Consequently this potential energy will only be available if continued effort is put into developing these energy sources

  13. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Widespread Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies in the UK

    PubMed Central

    Gove, Benedict; Williams, Leah J.; Beresford, Alison E.; Roddis, Philippa; Campbell, Colin; Teuten, Emma; Langston, Rowena H. W.; Bradbury, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Renewable energy will potentially make an important contribution towards the dual aims of meeting carbon emission reduction targets and future energy demand. However, some technologies have considerable potential to impact on the biodiversity of the environments in which they are placed. In this study, an assessment was undertaken of the realistic deployment potential of a range of renewable energy technologies in the UK, considering constraints imposed by biodiversity conservation priorities. We focused on those energy sources that have the potential to make important energy contributions but which might conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives. These included field-scale solar, bioenergy crops, wind energy (both onshore and offshore), wave and tidal stream energy. The spatially-explicit analysis considered the potential opportunity available for each technology, at various levels of ecological risk. The resultant maps highlight the energy resource available, physical and policy constraints to deployment, and ecological sensitivity (based on the distribution of protected areas and sensitive species). If the technologies are restricted to areas which currently appear not to have significant ecological constraints, the total potential energy output from these energy sources was estimated to be in the region of 5,547 TWh/yr. This would be sufficient to meet projected energy demand in the UK, and help to achieve carbon reduction targets. However, we highlight two important caveats. First, further ecological monitoring and surveillance is required to improve understanding of wildlife distributions and therefore potential impacts of utilising these energy sources. This is likely to reduce the total energy available, especially at sea. Second, some of the technologies under investigation are currently not deployed commercially. Consequently this potential energy will only be available if continued effort is put into developing these energy sources

  14. Integrating habitat status, human population pressure, and protection status into biodiversity conservation priority setting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shi, H.; Singh, A.; Kant, S.; Zhu, Z.; Waller, E.

    2005-01-01

    Priority setting is an essential component of biodiversity conservation. Existing methods to identify priority areas for conservation have focused almost entirely on biological factors. We suggest a new relative ranking method for identifying priority conservation areas that integrates both biological and social aspects. It is based on the following criteria: the habitat's status, human population pressure, human efforts to protect habitat, and number of endemic plant and vertebrate species. We used this method to rank 25 hotspots, 17 megadiverse countries, and the hotspots within each megadiverse country. We used consistent, comprehensive, georeferenced, and multiband data sets and analytical remote sensing and geographic information system tools to quantify habitat status, human population pressure, and protection status. The ranking suggests that the Philippines, Atlantic Forest, Mediterranean Basin, Caribbean Islands, Caucasus, and Indo-Burma are the hottest hotspots and that China, the Philippines, and India are the hottest megadiverse countries. The great variation in terms of habitat, protected areas, and population pressure among the hotspots, the megadiverse countries, and the hotspots within the same country suggests the need for hotspot- and country-specific conservation policies. ??2005 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in Tropical Landscapes: Towards a Common Agenda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroth, Götz; McNeely, Jeffrey A.

    2011-08-01

    Trade-offs between ecosystem conservation and agricultural production can more easily be addressed by shifting the view from the plot scale to the scale of the landscape and integrating biodiversity friendly land use systems into development strategies. The provision of ecosystem services such as watershed protection and carbon sequestration by natural and complex agro-ecosystems can play an important role in making such integrated landscape approaches viable. This special issue brings together papers that were presented at a symposium on agroforestry and landscape scale conservation at the Second World Agroforestry Congress in Nairobi in August 2009. It is divided into two sections focusing on: (1) the biological mechanisms and implications of landscape scale conservation strategies as influenced by land use, especially agroforestry; and (2) the economic drivers and public policies that determine to a large extent the success of agroforestry-based landscape conservation strategies. The contributions provide evidence both for the potential and limitations of agroforestry in landscape scale conservation and development strategies and highlight the importance of economic incentives and policies to promote integrated landscape solutions. This introductory paper summarizes and discusses the contributions and concludes with policy recommendations and research needs.

  16. Species distributions, land values, and efficient conservation

    PubMed

    Ando; Camm; Polasky; Solow

    1998-03-27

    Efforts at species conservation in the United States have tended to be opportunistic and uncoordinated. Recently, however, ecologists and economists have begun to develop more systematic approaches. Here, the problem of efficiently allocating scarce conservation resources in the selection of sites for biological reserves is addressed. With the use of county-level data on land prices and the incidence of endangered species, it is shown that accounting for heterogeneity in land prices results in a substantial increase in efficiency in terms of either the cost of achieving a fixed coverage of species or the coverage attained from a fixed budget. PMID:9516117

  17. Between-country collaboration and consideration of costs increase conservation planning efficiency in the Mediterranean Basin

    PubMed Central

    Kark, Salit; Levin, Noam; Grantham, Hedley S.; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2009-01-01

    The importance of global and regional coordination in conservation is growing, although currently, the majority of conservation programs are applied at national and subnational scales. Nevertheless, multinational programs incur transaction costs and resources beyond what is required in national programs. Given the need to maximize returns on investment within limited conservation budgets, it is crucial to quantify how much more biodiversity can be protected by coordinating multinational conservation efforts when resources are fungible. Previous studies that compared different scales of conservation decision-making mostly ignored spatial variability in biodiversity threats and the cost of actions. Here, we developed a simple integrating metric, taking into account both the cost of conservation and threats to biodiversity. We examined the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, which encompasses over 20 countries. We discovered that for vertebrates to achieve similar conservation benefits, one would need substantially more money and area if each country were to act independently as compared to fully coordinated action across the Basin. A fully coordinated conservation plan is expected to save approximately US$67 billion, 45% of total cost, compared with the uncoordinated plan; and if implemented over a 10-year period, the plan would cost ≈0.1% of the gross national income of all European Union (EU) countries annually. The initiative declared in the recent Paris Summit for the Mediterranean provides a political basis for such complex coordination. Surprisingly, because many conservation priority areas selected are located in EU countries, a partly coordinated solution incorporating only EU-Mediterranean countries is almost as efficient as the fully coordinated scenario. PMID:19717457

  18. Between-country collaboration and consideration of costs increase conservation planning efficiency in the Mediterranean Basin.

    PubMed

    Kark, Salit; Levin, Noam; Grantham, Hedley S; Possingham, Hugh P

    2009-09-01

    The importance of global and regional coordination in conservation is growing, although currently, the majority of conservation programs are applied at national and subnational scales. Nevertheless, multinational programs incur transaction costs and resources beyond what is required in national programs. Given the need to maximize returns on investment within limited conservation budgets, it is crucial to quantify how much more biodiversity can be protected by coordinating multinational conservation efforts when resources are fungible. Previous studies that compared different scales of conservation decision-making mostly ignored spatial variability in biodiversity threats and the cost of actions. Here, we developed a simple integrating metric, taking into account both the cost of conservation and threats to biodiversity. We examined the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, which encompasses over 20 countries. We discovered that for vertebrates to achieve similar conservation benefits, one would need substantially more money and area if each country were to act independently as compared to fully coordinated action across the Basin. A fully coordinated conservation plan is expected to save approximately US$67 billion, 45% of total cost, compared with the uncoordinated plan; and if implemented over a 10-year period, the plan would cost approximately 0.1% of the gross national income of all European Union (EU) countries annually. The initiative declared in the recent Paris Summit for the Mediterranean provides a political basis for such complex coordination. Surprisingly, because many conservation priority areas selected are located in EU countries, a partly coordinated solution incorporating only EU-Mediterranean countries is almost as efficient as the fully coordinated scenario. PMID:19717457

  19. Biodiversity conservation across taxa and landscapes requires many small as well as single large habitat fragments.

    PubMed

    Rösch, Verena; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph; Batáry, Péter

    2015-09-01

    Agricultural intensification has been shown to reduce biodiversity through processes such as habitat degradation and fragmentation. We tested whether several small or single large habitat fragments (re-visiting the 'single large or several small' debate) support more species across a wide range of taxonomic groups (plants, leafhoppers, true bugs, snails). Our study comprised 14 small (<1 ha) and 14 large (1.5-8 ha) fragments of calcareous grassland in Central Germany along orthogonal gradients of landscape complexity and habitat connectivity. Each taxon was sampled on six plots per fragment. Across taxa, species richness did not differ between large and small fragments, whereas species-area accumulation curves showed that both overall and specialist species richness was much higher on several small fragments of calcareous grassland than on few large fragments. On average, 85% of the overall species richness was recorded on all small fragments taken together (4.6 ha), whereas the two largest ones (15.1 ha) only accounted for 37% of the species. This could be due to the greater geographic extent covered by many small fragments. However, community composition differed strongly between large and small fragments, and some of the rarest specialist species appeared to be confined to large fragments. The surrounding landscape did not show any consistent effects on species richness and community composition. Our results show that both single large and many small fragments are needed to promote landscape-wide biodiversity across taxa. We therefore question the focus on large fragments only and call for a new diversified habitat fragmentation strategy for biodiversity conservation. PMID:25911274

  20. Mapping Biodiversity and Setting Conservation Priorities for SE Queensland’s Rainforests Using DNA Barcoding

    PubMed Central

    Shapcott, Alison; Forster, Paul I.; Guymer, Gordon P.; McDonald, William J. F.; Faith, Daniel P.; Erickson, David; Kress, W. John

    2015-01-01

    Australian rainforests have been fragmented due to past climatic changes and more recently landscape change as a result of clearing for agriculture and urban spread. The subtropical rainforests of South Eastern Queensland are significantly more fragmented than the tropical World Heritage listed northern rainforests and are subject to much greater human population pressures. The Australian rainforest flora is relatively taxonomically rich at the family level, but less so at the species level. Current methods to assess biodiversity based on species numbers fail to adequately capture this richness at higher taxonomic levels. We developed a DNA barcode library for the SE Queensland rainforest flora to support a methodology for biodiversity assessment that incorporates both taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships. We placed our SE Queensland phylogeny based on a three marker DNA barcode within a larger international rainforest barcode library and used this to calculate phylogenetic diversity (PD). We compared phylo- diversity measures, species composition and richness and ecosystem diversity of the SE Queensland rainforest estate to identify which bio subregions contain the greatest rainforest biodiversity, subregion relationships and their level of protection. We identified areas of highest conservation priority. Diversity was not correlated with rainforest area in SE Queensland subregions but PD was correlated with both the percent of the subregion occupied by rainforest and the diversity of regional ecosystems (RE) present. The patterns of species diversity and phylogenetic diversity suggest a strong influence of historical biogeography. Some subregions contain significantly more PD than expected by chance, consistent with the concept of refugia, while others were significantly phylogenetically clustered, consistent with recent range expansions. PMID:25803607

  1. Using the Global Environment Facility for developing Integrated Conservation and Development (ICAD) models -- Papua New Guinea`s Biodiversity Conservation Management Programme

    SciTech Connect

    Kula, G.; Jefferies, B.

    1995-03-01

    The unprecedented level of support that has been pledged to strengthen Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) biodiversity conservation initiatives has re-identified an important fact that technical and infrastructure support must be complemented by programs that provide realistic opportunities for developing national capacity. Indications are that the next five years will present a range of challenging opportunities for the department to move from the intensive period of planning, which has been the focus of attention during the first phase of the National Forestry and Conservation Action Programme (NFCAP), into a sustained period of policy and project application. This paper examines processes under which strengthening programs contribute to national development objectives and complement accomplishment of the Department of Environment and Conservation Strategic Plan. An overview of the Global Environment Facility-Integrated Conservation and Development (ICAD) Project and coordination effort that are being made for biodiversity conservation projects in Papua New Guinea, are addressed.

  2. Identifying local-scale wilderness for on-ground conservation actions within a global biodiversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shiwei; Wu, Ruidong; Hua, Chaolang; Ma, Jianzhong; Wang, Wenli; Yang, Feiling; Wang, Junjun

    2016-05-01

    Protecting wilderness areas (WAs) is a crucial proactive approach to sustain biodiversity. However, studies identifying local-scale WAs for on-ground conservation efforts are still very limited. This paper investigated the spatial patterns of wilderness in a global biodiversity hotspot – Three Parallel Rivers Region (TPRR) in southwest China. Wilderness was classified into levels 1 to 10 based on a cluster analysis of five indicators, namely human population density, naturalness, fragmentation, remoteness, and ruggedness. Only patches characterized by wilderness level 1 and ≥1.0 km2 were considered WAs. The wilderness levels in the northwest were significantly higher than those in the southeast, and clearly increased with the increase in elevation. The WAs covered approximately 25% of TPRR’s land, 89.3% of which was located in the >3,000 m elevation zones. WAs consisted of 20 vegetation types, among which temperate conifer forest, cold temperate shrub and alpine ecosystems covered 79.4% of WAs’ total area. Most WAs were still not protected yet by existing reserves. Topography and human activities are the primary influencing factors on the spatial patterns of wilderness. We suggest establishing strictly protected reserves for most large WAs, while some sustainable management approaches might be more optimal solutions for many highly fragmented small WAs.

  3. Identifying local-scale wilderness for on-ground conservation actions within a global biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Lin, Shiwei; Wu, Ruidong; Hua, Chaolang; Ma, Jianzhong; Wang, Wenli; Yang, Feiling; Wang, Junjun

    2016-01-01

    Protecting wilderness areas (WAs) is a crucial proactive approach to sustain biodiversity. However, studies identifying local-scale WAs for on-ground conservation efforts are still very limited. This paper investigated the spatial patterns of wilderness in a global biodiversity hotspot - Three Parallel Rivers Region (TPRR) in southwest China. Wilderness was classified into levels 1 to 10 based on a cluster analysis of five indicators, namely human population density, naturalness, fragmentation, remoteness, and ruggedness. Only patches characterized by wilderness level 1 and ≥1.0 km(2) were considered WAs. The wilderness levels in the northwest were significantly higher than those in the southeast, and clearly increased with the increase in elevation. The WAs covered approximately 25% of TPRR's land, 89.3% of which was located in the >3,000 m elevation zones. WAs consisted of 20 vegetation types, among which temperate conifer forest, cold temperate shrub and alpine ecosystems covered 79.4% of WAs' total area. Most WAs were still not protected yet by existing reserves. Topography and human activities are the primary influencing factors on the spatial patterns of wilderness. We suggest establishing strictly protected reserves for most large WAs, while some sustainable management approaches might be more optimal solutions for many highly fragmented small WAs. PMID:27181186

  4. Identifying local-scale wilderness for on-ground conservation actions within a global biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shiwei; Wu, Ruidong; Hua, Chaolang; Ma, Jianzhong; Wang, Wenli; Yang, Feiling; Wang, Junjun

    2016-01-01

    Protecting wilderness areas (WAs) is a crucial proactive approach to sustain biodiversity. However, studies identifying local-scale WAs for on-ground conservation efforts are still very limited. This paper investigated the spatial patterns of wilderness in a global biodiversity hotspot – Three Parallel Rivers Region (TPRR) in southwest China. Wilderness was classified into levels 1 to 10 based on a cluster analysis of five indicators, namely human population density, naturalness, fragmentation, remoteness, and ruggedness. Only patches characterized by wilderness level 1 and ≥1.0 km2 were considered WAs. The wilderness levels in the northwest were significantly higher than those in the southeast, and clearly increased with the increase in elevation. The WAs covered approximately 25% of TPRR’s land, 89.3% of which was located in the >3,000 m elevation zones. WAs consisted of 20 vegetation types, among which temperate conifer forest, cold temperate shrub and alpine ecosystems covered 79.4% of WAs’ total area. Most WAs were still not protected yet by existing reserves. Topography and human activities are the primary influencing factors on the spatial patterns of wilderness. We suggest establishing strictly protected reserves for most large WAs, while some sustainable management approaches might be more optimal solutions for many highly fragmented small WAs. PMID:27181186

  5. Seed plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness in conservation planning within a global biodiversity hotspot in eastern Asia.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J B; Yu, Haiying; Li, Heng

    2015-12-01

    One of the main goals of conservation biology is to understand the factors shaping variation in biodiversity across the planet. This understanding is critical for conservation planners to be able to develop effective conservation strategies. Although many studies have focused on species richness and the protection of rare and endemic species, less attention has been paid to the protection of the phylogenetic dimension of biodiversity. We explored how phylogenetic diversity, species richness, and phylogenetic community structure vary in seed plant communities along an elevational gradient in a relatively understudied high mountain region, the Dulong Valley, in southeastern Tibet, China. As expected, phylogenetic diversity was well correlated with species richness among the elevational bands and among communities. At the community level, evergreen broad-leaved forests had the highest levels of species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region. Evergreen broad-leaved forests were phylogenetically overdispersed, whereas other vegetation types tended to be phylogenetically clustered. We suggest that communities with high species richness or overdispersed phylogenetic structure should be a focus for biodiversity conservation within the Dulong Valley because these areas may help maximize the potential of this flora to respond to future global change. In biodiversity hotspots worldwide, we suggest that the phylogenetic structure of a community may serve as a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity in the context of conservation planning. PMID:26371469

  6. Molecular Biogeography: Towards an Integrated Framework for Conserving Pan-African Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Moodley, Yoshan; Bruford, Michael W.

    2007-01-01

    Background Biogeographic models partition ecologically similar species assemblages into discrete ecoregions. However, the history, relationship and interactions between these regions and their assemblages have rarely been explored. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we develop a taxon-based approach that explicitly utilises molecular information to compare ecoregion history and status, which we exemplify using a continentally distributed mammalian species: the African bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus). We reveal unprecedented levels of genetic diversity and structure in this species and show that ecoregion biogeographic history better explains the distribution of molecular variation than phenotypic similarity or geography. We extend these data to explore ecoregion connectivity, identify core habitats and infer ecological affinities from them. Conclusions/Significance This analysis defines 28 key biogeographic regions for sub-Saharan Africa, and provides a valuable framework for the incorporation of genetic and biogeographic information into a more widely applicable model for the conservation of continental biodiversity. PMID:17520013

  7. Conservation priorities in a biodiversity hotspot: analysis of narrow endemic plant species in New Caledonia.

    PubMed

    Wulff, Adrien S; Hollingsworth, Peter M; Ahrends, Antje; Jaffré, Tanguy; Veillon, Jean-Marie; L'Huillier, Laurent; Fogliani, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    New Caledonia is a global biodiversity hotspot facing extreme environmental degradation. Given the urgent need for conservation prioritisation, we have made a first-pass quantitative assessment of the distribution of Narrow Endemic Species (NES) in the flora to identify species and sites that are potentially important for conservation action. We assessed the distributional status of all angiosperm and gymnosperm species using data from taxonomic descriptions and herbarium samples. We characterised species as being NES if they occurred in 3 or fewer locations. In total, 635 of the 2930 assessed species were classed as NES, of which only 150 have been subjected to the IUCN conservation assessment. As the distributional patterns of un-assessed species from one or two locations correspond well with assessed species which have been classified as Critically Endangered or Endangered respectively, we suggest that our distributional data can be used to prioritise species for IUCN assessment. We also used the distributional data to produce a map of "Hotspots of Plant Narrow Endemism" (HPNE). Combined, we used these data to evaluate the coincidence of NES with mining activities (a major source of threat on New Caledonia) and also areas of conservation protection. This is to identify species and locations in most urgent need of further conservation assessment and subsequent action. Finally, we grouped the NES based on the environments they occurred in and modelled the habitat distribution of these groups with a Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Model (MaxEnt). The NES were separable into three different groups based primarily on geological differences. The distribution of the habitat types for each group coincide partially with the HPNE described above and also indicates some areas which have high habitat suitability but few recorded NES. Some of these areas may represent under-sampled hotspots of narrow endemism and are priorities for further field work. PMID:24058470

  8. Conservation Priorities in a Biodiversity Hotspot: Analysis of Narrow Endemic Plant Species in New Caledonia

    PubMed Central

    Wulff, Adrien S.; Hollingsworth, Peter M.; Ahrends, Antje; Jaffré, Tanguy; Veillon, Jean-Marie; L’Huillier, Laurent; Fogliani, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    New Caledonia is a global biodiversity hotspot facing extreme environmental degradation. Given the urgent need for conservation prioritisation, we have made a first-pass quantitative assessment of the distribution of Narrow Endemic Species (NES) in the flora to identify species and sites that are potentially important for conservation action. We assessed the distributional status of all angiosperm and gymnosperm species using data from taxonomic descriptions and herbarium samples. We characterised species as being NES if they occurred in 3 or fewer locations. In total, 635 of the 2930 assessed species were classed as NES, of which only 150 have been subjected to the IUCN conservation assessment. As the distributional patterns of un-assessed species from one or two locations correspond well with assessed species which have been classified as Critically Endangered or Endangered respectively, we suggest that our distributional data can be used to prioritise species for IUCN assessment. We also used the distributional data to produce a map of “Hotspots of Plant Narrow Endemism” (HPNE). Combined, we used these data to evaluate the coincidence of NES with mining activities (a major source of threat on New Caledonia) and also areas of conservation protection. This is to identify species and locations in most urgent need of further conservation assessment and subsequent action. Finally, we grouped the NES based on the environments they occurred in and modelled the habitat distribution of these groups with a Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Model (MaxEnt). The NES were separable into three different groups based primarily on geological differences. The distribution of the habitat types for each group coincide partially with the HPNE described above and also indicates some areas which have high habitat suitability but few recorded NES. Some of these areas may represent under-sampled hotspots of narrow endemism and are priorities for further field work. PMID:24058470

  9. Use of ancient sedimentary DNA as a novel conservation tool for high-altitude tropical biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Boessenkool, Sanne; McGlynn, Gayle; Epp, Laura S; Taylor, David; Pimentel, Manuel; Gizaw, Abel; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Brochmann, Christian; Popp, Magnus

    2014-04-01

    Conservation of biodiversity may in the future increasingly depend upon the availability of scientific information to set suitable restoration targets. In traditional paleoecology, sediment-based pollen provides a means to define preanthropogenic impact conditions, but problems in establishing the exact provenance and ecologically meaningful levels of taxonomic resolution of the evidence are limiting. We explored the extent to which the use of sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) may complement pollen data in reconstructing past alpine environments in the tropics. We constructed a record of afro-alpine plants retrieved from DNA preserved in sediment cores from 2 volcanic crater sites in the Albertine Rift, eastern Africa. The record extended well beyond the onset of substantial anthropogenic effects on tropical mountains. To ensure high-quality taxonomic inference from the sedaDNA sequences, we built an extensive DNA reference library covering the majority of the afro-alpine flora, by sequencing DNA from taxonomically verified specimens. Comparisons with pollen records from the same sediment cores showed that plant diversity recovered with sedaDNA improved vegetation reconstructions based on pollen records by revealing both additional taxa and providing increased taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, combining the 2 measures assisted in distinguishing vegetation change at different geographic scales; sedaDNA almost exclusively reflects local vegetation, whereas pollen can potentially originate from a wide area that in highlands in particular can span several ecozones. Our results suggest that sedaDNA may provide information on restoration targets and the nature and magnitude of human-induced environmental changes, including in high conservation priority, biodiversity hotspots, where understanding of preanthropogenic impact (or reference) conditions is highly limited. PMID:24372820

  10. An international borderland of concern: Conservation of biodiversity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leslie,, David M., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of southern Texas is located on the United States-Mexico borderland and represents a 240-kilometer (150-mile) linear stretch that ends at the Gulf of Mexico. The LRGV represents a unique transition between temperate and tropical conditions and, as such, sustains an exceptionally high diversity of plants and animals—some of them found in few, or no other, places in the United States. Examples include Leopardus pardalis albescens (northern ocelot) and Falco femoralis septentrionalis (northern aplomado falcon)—both endangered in the United States and emblematic of the LRGV. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) manages three national wildlife refuges (Santa Ana, Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Laguna Atascosa) that together make up the South Texas Refuge Complex, which actively conserves biodiversity in about 76,006 hectares (187,815.5 acres) of native riparian and upland habitats in the LRGV. These diminished habitats harbor many rare, threatened, and endangered species. This report updates the widely used 1988 USFWS biological report titled “Tamaulipan Brushland of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas: Description, Human Impacts, and Management Options” by synthesizing nearly 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications that have resulted from biological and sociological research conducted specifically in the four Texas counties of the LRGV in the past nearly 30 years. This report has three goals: (1) synthesize scientific insights gained since 1988 related to the biology and management of the LRGV and its unique biota, focusing on flora and fauna of greatest conservation concern; (2) update ongoing challenges facing Federal and State agencies and organizations that focus on conservation or key natural resources in the LRGV; and (3) redefine conservation opportunities and land-acquisition strategies that are feasible and appropriate today, given the many new and expanding constraints that challenge conservation

  11. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E.; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Scope Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities’ utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Conclusions Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities. PMID:23825353

  12. 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.

  13. Biodiversity Conservation through Environmental Education for Sustainable Development--A Case Study from Puducherry, India

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramadoss, Alexandar; Poyya Moli, Gopalsamy

    2011-01-01

    Promoting students commitment to protect local biodiversity is an important goal of education for sustainable development in India and elsewhere. The main focus of the biodiversity education was to create knowledge, interest and necessary skills to solve various biodiversity problems with reference to the local context. In order to develop the…

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. Global direct pressures on biodiversity by large-scale metal mining: Spatial distribution and implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Murguía, Diego I; Bringezu, Stefan; Schaldach, Rüdiger

    2016-09-15

    Biodiversity loss is widely recognized as a serious global environmental change process. While large-scale metal mining activities do not belong to the top drivers of such change, these operations exert or may intensify pressures on biodiversity by adversely changing habitats, directly and indirectly, at local and regional scales. So far, analyses of global spatial dynamics of mining and its burden on biodiversity focused on the overlap between mines and protected areas or areas of high value for conservation. However, it is less clear how operating metal mines are globally exerting pressure on zones of different biodiversity richness; a similar gap exists for unmined but known mineral deposits. By using vascular plants' diversity as a proxy to quantify overall biodiversity, this study provides a first examination of the global spatial distribution of mines and deposits for five key metals across different biodiversity zones. The results indicate that mines and deposits are not randomly distributed, but concentrated within intermediate and high diversity zones, especially bauxite and silver. In contrast, iron, gold, and copper mines and deposits are closer to a more proportional distribution while showing a high concentration in the intermediate biodiversity zone. Considering the five metals together, 63% and 61% of available mines and deposits, respectively, are located in intermediate diversity zones, comprising 52% of the global land terrestrial surface. 23% of mines and 20% of ore deposits are located in areas of high plant diversity, covering 17% of the land. 13% of mines and 19% of deposits are in areas of low plant diversity, comprising 31% of the land surface. Thus, there seems to be potential for opening new mines in areas of low biodiversity in the future. PMID:27262340

  17. Spatiotemporal dynamics of surface water networks across a global biodiversity hotspot—implications for conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tulbure, Mirela G.; Kininmonth, Stuart; Broich, Mark

    2014-11-01

    The concept of habitat networks represents an important tool for landscape conservation and management at regional scales. Previous studies simulated degradation of temporally fixed networks but few quantified the change in network connectivity from disintegration of key features that undergo naturally occurring spatiotemporal dynamics. This is particularly of concern for aquatic systems, which typically show high natural spatiotemporal variability. Here we focused on the Swan Coastal Plain, a bioregion that encompasses a global biodiversity hotspot in Australia with over 1500 water bodies of high biodiversity. Using graph theory, we conducted a temporal analysis of water body connectivity over 13 years of variable climate. We derived large networks of surface water bodies using Landsat data (1999-2011). We generated an ensemble of 278 potential networks at three dispersal distances approximating the maximum dispersal distance of different water dependent organisms. We assessed network connectivity through several network topology metrics and quantified the resilience of the network topology during wet and dry phases. We identified ‘stepping stone’ water bodies across time and compared our networks with theoretical network models with known properties. Results showed a highly dynamic seasonal pattern of variability in network topology metrics. A decline in connectivity over the 13 years was noted with potential negative consequences for species with limited dispersal capacity. The networks described here resemble theoretical scale-free models, also known as ‘rich get richer’ algorithm. The ‘stepping stone’ water bodies are located in the area around the Peel-Harvey Estuary, a Ramsar listed site, and some are located in a national park. Our results describe a powerful approach that can be implemented when assessing the connectivity for a particular organism with known dispersal distance. The approach of identifying the surface water bodies that act as

  18. Efficient Conservative Reformulation Schemes for Lithium Intercalation

    SciTech Connect

    Urisanga, PC; Rife, D; De, S; Subramanian, VR

    2015-02-18

    Porous electrode theory coupled with transport and reaction mechanisms is a widely used technique to model Li-ion batteries employing an appropriate discretization or approximation for solid phase diffusion with electrode particles. One of the major difficulties in simulating Li-ion battery models is the need to account for solid phase diffusion in a second radial dimension r, which increases the computation time/cost to a great extent. Various methods that reduce the computational cost have been introduced to treat this phenomenon, but most of them do not guarantee mass conservation. The aim of this paper is to introduce an inherently mass conserving yet computationally efficient method for solid phase diffusion based on Lobatto III A quadrature. This paper also presents coupling of the new solid phase reformulation scheme with a macro-homogeneous porous electrode theory based pseudo 20 model for Li-ion battery. (C) The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS. All rights reserved.

  19. Snakes on the Balearic islands: an invasion tale with implications for native biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Silva-Rocha, Iolanda; Salvi, Daniele; Sillero, Neftalí; Mateo, Jose A; Carretero, Miguel A

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major conservation threat for biodiversity worldwide. Islands are particularly vulnerable to invasive species, especially Mediterranean islands which have suffered human pressure since ancient times. In the Balearic archipelago, reptiles represent an outstanding case with more alien than native species. Moreover, in the last decade a new wave of alien snakes landed in the main islands of the archipelago, some of which were originally snake-free. The identification of the origin and colonization pathways of alien species, as well as the prediction of their expansion, is crucial to develop effective conservation strategies. In this study, we used molecular markers to assess the allochthonous status and the putative origin of the four introduced snake species (Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Malpolon monspessulanus, Macroprotodon mauritanicus and Rhinechis scalaris) as well as ecological niche models to infer their patterns of invasion and expansion based on current and future habitat suitability. For most species, DNA sequence data suggested the Iberian Peninsula as the potential origin of the allochthonous populations, although the shallow phylogeographic structure of these species prevented the identification of a restricted source-area. For all of them, the ecological niche models showed a current low habitat suitability in the Balearic, which is however predicted to increase significantly in the next few decades under climate change scenarios. Evidence from direct observations and spatial distribution of the first-occurrence records of alien snakes (but also lizards and worm lizards) suggest the nursery trade, and in particular olive tree importation from Iberian Peninsula, as the main pathway of introduction of alien reptiles in the Balearic islands. This trend has been reported also for recent invasions in NE Spain, thus showing that olive trees transplantation may be an effective vector for bioinvasion across the Mediterranean. The

  20. Current models broadly neglect specific needs of biodiversity conservation in protected areas under climate change

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Protected areas are the most common and important instrument for the conservation of biological diversity and are called for under the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity. Growing human population densities, intensified land-use, invasive species and increasing habitat fragmentation threaten ecosystems worldwide and protected areas are often the only refuge for endangered species. Climate change is posing an additional threat that may also impact ecosystems currently under protection. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to include the potential impact of climate change when designing future nature conservation strategies and implementing protected area management. This approach would go beyond reactive crisis management and, by necessity, would include anticipatory risk assessments. One avenue for doing so is being provided by simulation models that take advantage of the increase in computing capacity and performance that has occurred over the last two decades. Here we review the literature to determine the state-of-the-art in modeling terrestrial protected areas under climate change, with the aim of evaluating and detecting trends and gaps in the current approaches being employed, as well as to provide a useful overview and guidelines for future research. Results Most studies apply statistical, bioclimatic envelope models and focus primarily on plant species as compared to other taxa. Very few studies utilize a mechanistic, process-based approach and none examine biotic interactions like predation and competition. Important factors like land-use, habitat fragmentation, invasion and dispersal are rarely incorporated, restricting the informative value of the resulting predictions considerably. Conclusion The general impression that emerges is that biodiversity conservation in protected areas could benefit from the application of modern modeling approaches to a greater extent than is currently reflected in the scientific literature. It is

  1. Snakes on the Balearic Islands: An Invasion Tale with Implications for Native Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Sillero, Neftalí; Mateo, Jose A.; Carretero, Miguel A.

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major conservation threat for biodiversity worldwide. Islands are particularly vulnerable to invasive species, especially Mediterranean islands which have suffered human pressure since ancient times. In the Balearic archipelago, reptiles represent an outstanding case with more alien than native species. Moreover, in the last decade a new wave of alien snakes landed in the main islands of the archipelago, some of which were originally snake-free. The identification of the origin and colonization pathways of alien species, as well as the prediction of their expansion, is crucial to develop effective conservation strategies. In this study, we used molecular markers to assess the allochthonous status and the putative origin of the four introduced snake species (Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Malpolon monspessulanus, Macroprotodon mauritanicus and Rhinechis scalaris) as well as ecological niche models to infer their patterns of invasion and expansion based on current and future habitat suitability. For most species, DNA sequence data suggested the Iberian Peninsula as the potential origin of the allochthonous populations, although the shallow phylogeographic structure of these species prevented the identification of a restricted source-area. For all of them, the ecological niche models showed a current low habitat suitability in the Balearic, which is however predicted to increase significantly in the next few decades under climate change scenarios. Evidence from direct observations and spatial distribution of the first-occurrence records of alien snakes (but also lizards and worm lizards) suggest the nursery trade, and in particular olive tree importation from Iberian Peninsula, as the main pathway of introduction of alien reptiles in the Balearic islands. This trend has been reported also for recent invasions in NE Spain, thus showing that olive trees transplantation may be an effective vector for bioinvasion across the Mediterranean. The

  2. Elderly Adi Women of Arunachal Pradesh: "Living Encyclopedias" and Cultural Refugia in Biodiversity Conservation of the Eastern Himalaya, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Ranjay K.; Rallen, Orik; Padung, Egul

    2013-09-01

    Elderly women of a particular socioecological system are considered to be "living encyclopedias" in biocultural knowledge systems. These women play a pivotal role in retaining and passing on biodiversity-related traditional knowledge to the next generations. Unfortunately the fast changing sociocultural values and the impact of modernity have rendered their knowledge somewhat less valuable and they are being treated as "cultural refugia." Our study on the importance of these women in the conservation of indigenous biodiversity was conducted in 14 randomly selected villages dominated by the Adi tribe of East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh (northeast India). Data were collected from 531 women (381 elderly and 150 young to middle aged) during 2003-2008 using conventional social science methods and participatory rural appraisal. One innovative method, namely "recipe contest," was devised to mobilize Adi women of each village in order to energies them and explore their knowledge relating to traditional foods, ethnomedicines, and conservation of indigenous biodiversity. Results indicated that 55 plant species are being used by elderly Adi women in their food systems, while 34 plant species are integral parts of ethnomedicinal practices. These women identified different plant species found under multistory canopies of community forests. Elderly women were particularly skilled in preparing traditional foods including beverages and held significantly greater knowledge of indigenous plants than younger women. Lifelong experiences and cultural diversity were found to influence the significance of biodiversity use and conservation. The conservation of biodiversity occurs in three different habitats: jhum lands (shifting cultivation), Morang forest (community managed forests), and home gardens. The knowledge and practice of elderly women about habitats and multistory vegetations, regenerative techniques, selective harvesting, and cultivation practices contribute

  3. Elderly Adi women of Arunachal Pradesh: "living encyclopedias" and cultural refugia in biodiversity conservation of the Eastern Himalaya, India.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ranjay K; Rallen, Orik; Padung, Egul

    2013-09-01

    Elderly women of a particular socioecological system are considered to be "living encyclopedias" in biocultural knowledge systems. These women play a pivotal role in retaining and passing on biodiversity-related traditional knowledge to the next generations. Unfortunately the fast changing sociocultural values and the impact of modernity have rendered their knowledge somewhat less valuable and they are being treated as "cultural refugia." Our study on the importance of these women in the conservation of indigenous biodiversity was conducted in 14 randomly selected villages dominated by the Adi tribe of East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh (northeast India). Data were collected from 531 women (381 elderly and 150 young to middle aged) during 2003-2008 using conventional social science methods and participatory rural appraisal. One innovative method, namely "recipe contest," was devised to mobilize Adi women of each village in order to energies them and explore their knowledge relating to traditional foods, ethnomedicines, and conservation of indigenous biodiversity. Results indicated that 55 plant species are being used by elderly Adi women in their food systems, while 34 plant species are integral parts of ethnomedicinal practices. These women identified different plant species found under multistory canopies of community forests. Elderly women were particularly skilled in preparing traditional foods including beverages and held significantly greater knowledge of indigenous plants than younger women. Lifelong experiences and cultural diversity were found to influence the significance of biodiversity use and conservation. The conservation of biodiversity occurs in three different habitats: jhum lands (shifting cultivation), Morang forest (community managed forests), and home gardens. The knowledge and practice of elderly women about habitats and multistory vegetations, regenerative techniques, selective harvesting, and cultivation practices contribute

  4. A Novel and Cost-Effective Monitoring Approach for Outcomes in an Australian Biodiversity Conservation Incentive Program

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, David B.; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J.; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L.; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme – the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program’s policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program’s initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program’s investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5–10% of a program’s funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies. PMID:23236399

  5. A novel and cost-effective monitoring approach for outcomes in an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive program.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, David B; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme - the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program's policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program's initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program's investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5-10% of a program's funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies. PMID:23236399

  6. Insular Ecosystems of the Southeastern United States- A Regional Synthesis to Support Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing Climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Wolfe, William J.

    2016-01-01

    In the southeastern United States, insular ecosystems—such as rock outcrops, depression wetlands, high-elevation balds, flood-scoured riparian corridors, and insular prairies and barrens—occupy a small fraction of land area but constitute an important source of regional and global biodiversity, including concentrations of rare and endemic plant taxa. Maintenance of this biodiversity depends upon regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, incorporating factors such as soil surface temperature, widely fluctuating hydrologic conditions, fires, flood scouring, and episodic droughts that may be subject to alteration by climate change. Over several decades, numerous localized, site-level investigations have yielded important information about the floristics, physical environments, and ecological dynamics of these insular ecosystems; however, the literature from these investigations has generally remained fragmented. This report consists of literature syntheses for eight categories of insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States, concerning (1) physical geography, (2) ecological determinants of community structures including vegetation dynamics and regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, (3) contributions to regional and global biodiversity, (4) historical and current anthropogenic threats and conservation approaches, and (5) key knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, particularly in terms of climate-change effects on biodiversity. This regional synthesis was undertaken to discern patterns across ecosystems, identify knowledge gaps, and lay the groundwork for future analyses of climate-change vulnerability. Findings from this synthesis indicate that, despite their importance to regional and global biodiversity, insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States have been subjected to a variety of direct and indirect human alterations. In many cases, important questions remain concerning key determinants of ecosystem function. In particular, few

  7. Steam conservation and boiler plant efficiency advancements

    SciTech Connect

    Fiorino, D.P.

    1999-07-01

    This paper examines several cost-effective steam conservation and boiler plant efficiency advancements that were implemented during a recently completed central steam boiler plant replacement project at a very large semiconductor manufacturing complex. They were: (1) Reheating of dehumidified clean room makeup air with heat extracted during precooling; (2) Preheating of deionization feedwater with refrigerant heat of condensation; (3) Preheating of boiler combustion air with heat extracted from boiler flue gas; (4) Preheating of boiler feedwater with heat extracted from gas turbine exhaust; (5) Variable-speed operation of boiler feedwater pumps and forced-draft fans; and (6) Preheating of boiler makeup water with heat extracted from boiler surface blow-down. The first two advancements (steam conservation measures) saved about $1,010,000 per year by using recovered waste heat rather than steam-derived heat at selected heating loads. The last four advancements (boiler plant efficiency measures) reduced the cost of steam produced by about 13%, or $293,500 per year, by reducing use of natural gas and electricity at the steam boiler plant. These advancements should prove of interest to industrial energy users faced with replacement of aging, inefficient boiler plants, rising fuel and power prices, and increasing pressures to reduce operating costs in order to enhance competitiveness.

  8. Patterns and perceptions of climate change in a biodiversity conservation hotspot.

    PubMed

    Hartter, Joel; Stampone, Mary D; Ryan, Sadie J; Kirner, Karen; Chapman, Colin A; Goldman, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    Quantifying local people's perceptions to climate change, and their assessments of which changes matter, is fundamental to addressing the dual challenge of land conservation and poverty alleviation in densely populated tropical regions To develop appropriate policies and responses, it will be important not only to anticipate the nature of expected changes, but also how they are perceived, interpreted and adapted to by local residents. The Albertine Rift region in East Africa is one of the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots due to dense smallholder agriculture, high levels of land and resource pressures, and habitat loss and conversion. Results of three separate household surveys conducted in the vicinity of Kibale National Park during the late 2000s indicate that farmers are concerned with variable precipitation. Many survey respondents reported that conditions are drier and rainfall timing is becoming less predictable. Analysis of daily rainfall data for the climate normal period 1981 to 2010 indicates that total rainfall both within and across seasons has not changed significantly, although the timing and transitions of seasons has been highly variable. Results of rainfall data analysis also indicate significant changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall distribution, including longer dry periods within rainy seasons, which may contribute to the perceived decrease in rainfall and can compromise food security. Our results highlight the need for fine-scale climate information to assist agro-ecological communities in developing effective adaptive management. PMID:22384244

  9. The evolution of Rare Pride: using evaluation to drive adaptive management in a biodiversity conservation organization.

    PubMed

    Jenks, Brett; Vaughan, Peter W; Butler, Paul J

    2010-05-01

    Rare Pride is a social marketing program that stimulates human behavior change in order to promote biodiversity conservation in critically threatened regions in developing countries. A series of formal evaluation studies, networking strategies, and evaluative inquiries have driven a 20-year process of adaptive management that has resulted in extensive programmatic changes within Pride. This paper describes the types of evaluation that Rare used to drive adaptive management and the changes it caused in Pride's theory-of-change and programmatic structure. We argue that (a) qualitative data gathered from partners and staff through structured interviews is most effective at identifying problems with current programs and procedures, (b) networking with other organizations is the most effective strategy for learning of new management strategies, and (c) quantitative data gathered through surveys is effective at measuring program impact and quality. Adaptive management has allowed Rare to increase its Pride program from implementing about two campaigns per year in 2001 to more than 40 per year in 2009 while improving program quality and maintaining program impact. PMID:19733908

  10. Patterns and Perceptions of Climate Change in a Biodiversity Conservation Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Hartter, Joel; Stampone, Mary D.; Ryan, Sadie J.; Kirner, Karen; Chapman, Colin A.; Goldman, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    Quantifying local people's perceptions to climate change, and their assessments of which changes matter, is fundamental to addressing the dual challenge of land conservation and poverty alleviation in densely populated tropical regions To develop appropriate policies and responses, it will be important not only to anticipate the nature of expected changes, but also how they are perceived, interpreted and adapted to by local residents. The Albertine Rift region in East Africa is one of the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots due to dense smallholder agriculture, high levels of land and resource pressures, and habitat loss and conversion. Results of three separate household surveys conducted in the vicinity of Kibale National Park during the late 2000s indicate that farmers are concerned with variable precipitation. Many survey respondents reported that conditions are drier and rainfall timing is becoming less predictable. Analysis of daily rainfall data for the climate normal period 1981 to 2010 indicates that total rainfall both within and across seasons has not changed significantly, although the timing and transitions of seasons has been highly variable. Results of rainfall data analysis also indicate significant changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall distribution, including longer dry periods within rainy seasons, which may contribute to the perceived decrease in rainfall and can compromise food security. Our results highlight the need for fine-scale climate information to assist agro-ecological communities in developing effective adaptive management. PMID:22384244

  11. Co-Benefits of Sustainable Forest Management in Biodiversity Conservation and Carbon Sequestration

    PubMed Central

    Imai, Nobuo; Samejima, Hiromitsu; Langner, Andreas; Ong, Robert C.; Kita, Satoshi; Titin, Jupiri; Chung, Arthur Y. C.; Lagan, Peter; Lee, Ying Fah; Kitayama, Kanehiro

    2009-01-01

    Background Sustainable forest management (SFM), which has been recently introduced to tropical natural production forests, is beneficial in maintaining timber resources, but information about the co-benefits for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration is currently lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings We estimated the diversity of medium to large-bodied forest-dwelling vertebrates using a heat-sensor camera trapping system and the amount of above-ground, fine-roots, and soil organic carbon by a combination of ground surveys and aerial-imagery interpretations. This research was undertaken both in SFM applied as well as conventionally logged production forests in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Our carbon estimation revealed that the application of SFM resulted in a net gain of 54 Mg C ha-1 on a landscape scale. Overall vertebrate diversity was greater in the SFM applied forest than in the conventionally logged forest. Specifically, several vertebrate species (6 out of recorded 36 species) showed higher frequency in the SFM applied forest than in the conventionally logged forest. Conclusions/Significance The application of SFM to degraded natural production forests could result in greater diversity and abundance of vertebrate species as well as increasing carbon storage in the tropical rain forest ecosystems. PMID:20011516

  12. Lessons from the past: Paleoecological insights for conserving biodiversity on southern Appalachian landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Delcourt, H.R.; Delcourt, P.A. )

    1994-06-01

    The southern Appalachian Mountains traditionally have been viewed as a center or origin for endemic species and a refuge for boreal and subtropical species at the peripheries of their ranges. High species richness observed today resulted in large part from shifts in ranges. Populations or rare northern species have persisted in the southern Appalachians since the Pleistocene because of habitat diversity maintained by natural geomorphic disturbances such as shifting stream courses in mountain gaps and landslides on steep slopes that create open glades within an otherwise forested landscape. Modern land use has resulted in a semi-natural landscape mosaic in which increasing fragmentation of forest islands had diminished landscape connectivity, removing travel corridors that were important to the survival of many taxa during the Quaternary. Accelerated climate change in a future Greenhouse world could result in more rapid turnover of species composition along regional ecotones, increasing the probability of local extinction for many species. To conserve biodiversity it is imperative to maintain a landscape matrix in the Appalachians that will maintain connectivity between patches of suitable habitat to allow for future northward range shifts.

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. Dependency of global primary bioenergy crop potentials in 2050 on food systems, yields, biodiversity conservation and political stability

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Karl-Heinz; Haberl, Helmut; Plutzar, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    The future bioenergy crop potential depends on (1) changes in the food system (food demand, agricultural technology), (2) political stability and investment security, (3) biodiversity conservation, (4) avoidance of long carbon payback times from deforestation, and (5) energy crop yields. Using a biophysical biomass-balance model, we analyze how these factors affect global primary bioenergy potentials in 2050. The model calculates biomass supply and demand balances for eleven world regions, eleven food categories, seven food crop types and two livestock categories, integrating agricultural forecasts and scenarios with a consistent global land use and NPP database. The TREND scenario results in a global primary bioenergy potential of 77 EJ/yr, alternative assumptions on food-system changes result in a range of 26–141 EJ/yr. Exclusion of areas for biodiversity conservation and inaccessible land in failed states reduces the bioenergy potential by up to 45%. Optimistic assumptions on future energy crop yields increase the potential by up to 48%, while pessimistic assumptions lower the potential by 26%. We conclude that the design of sustainable bioenergy crop production policies needs to resolve difficult trade-offs such as food vs. energy supply, renewable energy vs. biodiversity conservation or yield growth vs. reduction of environmental problems of intensive agriculture. PMID:23576836

  16. Forest management and biodiversity conservation based on natural ecosystem dynamics in northern Europe: the complexity challenge.

    PubMed

    Kuuluvainen, Timo

    2009-09-01

    Recent research in northern Europe has revised many long-held conceptions of the complexity of forest ecosystems and their natural structure and dynamics. The unveiling of the picture of natural characteristics of forest ecosystem structure and dynamics reveals much more diversity than its traditional complement, highlighting the importance of non-stand-replacing disturbances and the associated heterogeneous and dynamic stand and landscape structures. This increasing detail is a reflection of a fundamental change in the ecological understanding of forests as complex ecosystems. In particular, the generalization that the boreal forest is regulated by fierce stand-replacing disturbances, leading to the dominance of even-aged stand successions, has been disproved. However, this misconception has, until now, been repeated and used to legitimize the dominant practice of clear-cutting as a nature-based way to manage the forest. The practical conclusion of this review paper is that the dominating forest management model in North European boreal forests, which is based on the clear-cut harvesting of timber and growing of even-aged stands, is in contradiction with the variable and complex characteristics of the disturbance-succession cycle observed in naturally dynamic forests with negligible human impact. As a consequence, the structural variation of the boreal forest under management has been grossly truncated compared with its natural range. Because of this, and due to the scarcity of protection areas in many regions of northern Europe, it is not likely that the conservation of native biodiversity and ecological sustainability will be attained, assuming that the model of forest management remains unchanged. Thus, there is a strong incentive for change in the prevailing forest management model toward one that is based on natural ecosystem dynamics and an understanding of forests as complex systems. PMID:19860154

  17. Large-Scale Habitat Corridors for Biodiversity Conservation: A Forest Corridor in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Ramiadantsoa, Tanjona; Ovaskainen, Otso; Rybicki, Joel; Hanski, Ilkka

    2015-01-01

    In biodiversity conservation, habitat corridors are assumed to increase landscape-level connectivity and to enhance the viability of otherwise isolated populations. While the role of corridors is supported by empirical evidence, studies have typically been conducted at small spatial scales. Here, we assess the quality and the functionality of a large 95-km long forest corridor connecting two large national parks (416 and 311 km2) in the southeastern escarpment of Madagascar. We analyze the occurrence of 300 species in 5 taxonomic groups in the parks and in the corridor, and combine high-resolution forest cover data with a simulation model to examine various scenarios of corridor destruction. At present, the corridor contains essentially the same communities as the national parks, reflecting its breadth which on average matches that of the parks. In the simulation model, we consider three types of dispersers: passive dispersers, which settle randomly around the source population; active dispersers, which settle only in favorable habitat; and gap-avoiding active dispersers, which avoid dispersing across non-habitat. Our results suggest that long-distance passive dispersers are most sensitive to ongoing degradation of the corridor, because increasing numbers of propagules are lost outside the forest habitat. For a wide range of dispersal parameters, the national parks are large enough to sustain stable populations until the corridor becomes severely broken, which will happen around 2065 if the current rate of forest loss continues. A significant decrease in gene flow along the corridor is expected after 2040, and this will exacerbate the adverse consequences of isolation. Our results demonstrate that simulation studies assessing the role of habitat corridors should pay close attention to the mode of dispersal and the effects of regional stochasticity. PMID:26200351

  18. 77 FR 43723 - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-26

    ... Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of... procedures for loan and guarantee financial assistance in support of energy efficiency programs (EE Programs... implementing demand side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-grid and...

  19. Electrorheology for Efficient Energy Production and Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, R.; Du, Enpeng; Tao, Hong; Xu, Xiaojun; Liu, Yun

    2011-03-01

    At present, most of our energy comes from liquid fuels. The viscosity plays a very important role in liquid fuel production and conservation. For example, reducing the viscosity of crude oil is the key for oil extraction and its transportation from off-shore via deep water pipelines. Currently, the dominant method to reduce viscosity is to raise oil's temperature, which does not only require much energy, but also impacts the environment. Recently, based on the basic physics of viscosity, we proposed a new theory and developed a new technology, utilizing electrorheology to reduce the viscosity of liquid fuels. The method is energy-efficient, and the results are significant. When this technology is applied to crude oil, the suspended nanoscale paraffin particle, asphalt particles, and other particles are aggregated into micrometer-size streamline aggregates, leading to significant viscosity reduction. When the temperature is below 0circ; C and the water content inside the oil becomes ice, the viscosity reduction can be as high as 75%. Our recent neutron scattering experiment has verified the physical mechanism of viscosity reduction. In comparison with heating, to reach the same level of viscosity reduction, this technology requires less than 1% of the energy needed for heating. Moreover, this technology only takes several seconds to complete the viscosity reduction, while heating takes at least several minutes to complete.

  20. Barcoding Chrysomelidae: a resource for taxonomy and biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Magoga, Giulia; Sassi, Davide; Daccordi, Mauro; Leonardi, Carlo; Mirzaei, Mostafa; Regalin, Renato; Lozzia, Giuseppe; Montagna, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Mediterranean Region is one of the world’s biodiversity hot-spots, which is also characterized by high level of endemism. Approximately 2100 species of leaf beetle (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae) are known from this area, a number that increases year after year and represents 5/6% of the known species. These features, associated with the urgent need to develop a DNA-based species identification approach for a broad spectrum of leaf beetle species, prompted us to develop a database of nucleotide sequences, with a solid taxonomic background, for all the Chrysomelidae Latreille, 1802 sensu latu inhabiting the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean Chrysomelidae Barcoding project, which has started in 2009, involves more than fifty entomologists and molecular biologists from different European countries. Numerous collecting campaigns have been organized during the first seven years of the project, which led to the collection of more than 5000 leaf beetle specimens. In addition, during these collecting campaigns two new allochthonous species for Europe, namely Ophraella communa LeSage, 1986 and Colasposoma dauricum Mannerheim, 1849, were intercepted and some species new to science were discovered (e.g., Pachybrachis sassii Montagna, 2011 and Pachybrachis holerorum Montagna et al., 2013). DNA was extracted from 1006 specimens (~13% of the species inhabiting the Mediterranean region) and a total of 910 cox1 gene sequences were obtained (PCR amplification efficiency of 93.8%). Here we report the list of the barcoded subfamilies, genera and the number of species for which cox1 gene sequences were obtained; the metadata associated with each specimen and a list of problematic species for which marker amplification failed. In addition, the nucleotide divergence within and between species and genera was estimated and values of intraspecific nucleotide divergence greater than the average have been discussed. Cryptocephalus quadripunctatus G. A. Olivier, 1808

  1. Barcoding Chrysomelidae: a resource for taxonomy and biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Magoga, Giulia; Sassi, Davide; Daccordi, Mauro; Leonardi, Carlo; Mirzaei, Mostafa; Regalin, Renato; Lozzia, Giuseppe; Montagna, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    The Mediterranean Region is one of the world's biodiversity hot-spots, which is also characterized by high level of endemism. Approximately 2100 species of leaf beetle (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae) are known from this area, a number that increases year after year and represents 5/6% of the known species. These features, associated with the urgent need to develop a DNA-based species identification approach for a broad spectrum of leaf beetle species, prompted us to develop a database of nucleotide sequences, with a solid taxonomic background, for all the Chrysomelidae Latreille, 1802 sensu latu inhabiting the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean Chrysomelidae Barcoding project, which has started in 2009, involves more than fifty entomologists and molecular biologists from different European countries. Numerous collecting campaigns have been organized during the first seven years of the project, which led to the collection of more than 5000 leaf beetle specimens. In addition, during these collecting campaigns two new allochthonous species for Europe, namely Ophraella communa LeSage, 1986 and Colasposoma dauricum Mannerheim, 1849, were intercepted and some species new to science were discovered (e.g., Pachybrachis sassii Montagna, 2011 and Pachybrachis holerorum Montagna et al., 2013). DNA was extracted from 1006 specimens (~13% of the species inhabiting the Mediterranean region) and a total of 910 cox1 gene sequences were obtained (PCR amplification efficiency of 93.8%). Here we report the list of the barcoded subfamilies, genera and the number of species for which cox1 gene sequences were obtained; the metadata associated with each specimen and a list of problematic species for which marker amplification failed. In addition, the nucleotide divergence within and between species and genera was estimated and values of intraspecific nucleotide divergence greater than the average have been discussed. Cryptocephalus quadripunctatus G. A. Olivier, 1808, Cryptocephalus

  2. 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.

  3. 75 FR 30014 - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-28

    ... of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY... Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has experienced historic growth and unprecedented workload...

  4. Biodiversity Loss, the Motivation Problem, and the Future of Conservation Education in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grove-Fanning, William

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this dissertation is to make sense of two sets of reactions. On the one hand, Americans can barely lift a finger to help threatened and endangered species while on the other, they routinely come to the aid of human victims of disaster. I argue that in contrast to cases of human tragedy, for the biodiversity crisis conservationists…

  5. 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

  6. A Participatory Approach to University Teaching about Partnerships for Biodiversity Conservation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gladstone, William; Stanger, Robin; Phelps, Liz

    2006-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and habitats is one of the greatest threats to the environment and education has a critical role to play in addressing this issue. This paper describes a teaching activity for first-year university students studying sustainable resource management at the University of Newcastle which established a partnership between…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Scale in conservation planning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation planning has been widely embraced as a method to efficiently allocate limited resources to those aspects of biodiversity most in need of protection or management. However, in order to create successful strategies for long-term biodiversity protection and sustainability, explicit conside...

  11. Reconciling Agricultural Needs with Biodiversity and Carbon Conservation in a Savanna Transformation Frontier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegel, M. P.; Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.; Searchinger, T.

    2015-12-01

    Zambia is a major hotspot for agricultural development in the African savannas, which will be targeted for agricultural expansion to relieve food shortages and economic insecurity in the next few decades. Recent scholarship rejects the assumption that the large reserves of arable land in the African savannas could be converted to cropland with low ecological costs. In light of these findings, the selection of land for agricultural expansion must consider not only its potential productivity, but also the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss that would result from the land conversion. To examine these tradeoffs, we have developed a multi-objective optimization technique to seek scenarios for agricultural development in Zambia that simultaneously achieve production targets and minimize carbon, biodiversity, and economic cost constraints, while factoring in the inter-annual variability in crop production in this highly uncertain climate. Potential production is determined from well-characterized yield potential estimates while robust metrics of biodiversity and high resolution mapping of carbon storage provide fine scale estimates of ecological impact. We draw production targets for individual crops from potential development pathways, primarily export, commodity-crop driven expansion and identify ecologically responsible agricultural development scenarios that are resilient to climate change and meet these demands. In order to achieve a doubling of production of nine key crops, assuming a modest 20% overall increase in yield potential, we find a range of scenarios that use less than 1600 km2 of new land without infringing on any protected areas or exceeding 6.7 million tons of carbon emissions.

  12. Predaceous water beetles (Coleoptera, Hydradephaga) of the Lake St Lucia system, South Africa: biodiversity, community ecology and conservation implications

    PubMed Central

    Perissinotto, Renzo; Bird, Matthew S.; Bilton, David T.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Water beetles are one of the dominant macroinvertebrate groups in inland waters and are excellent ecological indicators, reflecting both the diversity and composition of the wider aquatic community. The predaceous water beetles (Hydradephaga) make up around one-third of known aquatic Coleoptera and, as predators, are a key group in the functioning of many aquatic habitats. Despite being relatively well-known taxonomically, ecological studies of these insects in tropical and subtropical systems remain rare. A dedicated survey of the hydradephagan beetles of the Lake St Lucia wetlands (South Africa) was undertaken between 2013 and 2015, providing the first biodiversity census for this important aquatic group in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Maputaland biodiversity hotspot. A total of 32 sites covering the entire spectrum of waterbody types were sampled over the course of three collecting trips. The Lake St Lucia wetlands support at least 68 species of Hydradephaga, a very high level of diversity comparing favourably with other hotspots on the African continent and elsewhere in the world and a number of taxa are reported for South Africa for the first time. This beetle assemblage is dominated by relatively widespread Afrotropical taxa, with few locally endemic species, supporting earlier observations that hotspots of species richness and centres of endemism are not always coincident. Although there was no significant difference in the number of species supported by the various waterbody types sampled, sites with the highest species richness were mostly temporary depression wetlands. This contrasts markedly with the distribution of other taxa in the same system, such as molluscs and dragonflies, which are most diverse in permanent waters. Our study is the first to highlight the importance of temporary depression wetlands and emphasises the need to maintain a variety of wetland habitats for aquatic conservation in this

  13. Predaceous water beetles (Coleoptera, Hydradephaga) of the Lake St Lucia system, South Africa: biodiversity, community ecology and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Perissinotto, Renzo; Bird, Matthew S; Bilton, David T

    2016-01-01

    Water beetles are one of the dominant macroinvertebrate groups in inland waters and are excellent ecological indicators, reflecting both the diversity and composition of the wider aquatic community. The predaceous water beetles (Hydradephaga) make up around one-third of known aquatic Coleoptera and, as predators, are a key group in the functioning of many aquatic habitats. Despite being relatively well-known taxonomically, ecological studies of these insects in tropical and subtropical systems remain rare. A dedicated survey of the hydradephagan beetles of the Lake St Lucia wetlands (South Africa) was undertaken between 2013 and 2015, providing the first biodiversity census for this important aquatic group in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Maputaland biodiversity hotspot. A total of 32 sites covering the entire spectrum of waterbody types were sampled over the course of three collecting trips. The Lake St Lucia wetlands support at least 68 species of Hydradephaga, a very high level of diversity comparing favourably with other hotspots on the African continent and elsewhere in the world and a number of taxa are reported for South Africa for the first time. This beetle assemblage is dominated by relatively widespread Afrotropical taxa, with few locally endemic species, supporting earlier observations that hotspots of species richness and centres of endemism are not always coincident. Although there was no significant difference in the number of species supported by the various waterbody types sampled, sites with the highest species richness were mostly temporary depression wetlands. This contrasts markedly with the distribution of other taxa in the same system, such as molluscs and dragonflies, which are most diverse in permanent waters. Our study is the first to highlight the importance of temporary depression wetlands and emphasises the need to maintain a variety of wetland habitats for aquatic conservation in this biodiverse

  14. Integrating biological and social values when prioritizing places for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Amy L; Kujala, Heini; Ives, Christopher D; Gordon, Ascelin; Lentini, Pia E; Wintle, Brendan A; Nicholson, Emily; Raymond, Christopher M

    2014-08-01

    The consideration of information on social values in conjunction with biological data is critical for achieving both socially acceptable and scientifically defensible conservation planning outcomes. However, the influence of social values on spatial conservation priorities has received limited attention and is poorly understood. We present an approach that incorporates quantitative data on social values for conservation and social preferences for development into spatial conservation planning. We undertook a public participation GIS survey to spatially represent social values and development preferences and used species distribution models for 7 threatened fauna species to represent biological values. These spatially explicit data were simultaneously included in the conservation planning software Zonation to examine how conservation priorities changed with the inclusion of social data. Integrating spatially explicit information about social values and development preferences with biological data produced prioritizations that differed spatially from the solution based on only biological data. However, the integrated solutions protected a similar proportion of the species' distributions, indicating that Zonation effectively combined the biological and social data to produce socially feasible conservation solutions of approximately equivalent biological value. We were able to identify areas of the landscape where synergies and conflicts between different value sets are likely to occur. Identification of these synergies and conflicts will allow decision makers to target communication strategies to specific areas and ensure effective community engagement and positive conservation outcomes. PMID:24617898

  15. Trade-Offs Between Biodiversity Conservation and Economic Development in Five Tropical Forest Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandker, Marieke; Ruiz-Perez, Manuel; Campbell, Bruce M.

    2012-10-01

    This study explores how conservation and development are interlinked and quantifies their reciprocal trade-offs. It identifies interventions which hold a promise to improve both conservation and development outcomes. The study finds that development trajectories can either be at the cost of conservation or can benefit conservation, but in all cases sustained poverty negatively affects conservation in the long term. Most scenarios with better outcomes for conservation come at a cost for development and the financial benefits of payments for environmental services (PES) are not sufficient to compensate for lost opportunities to earn cash. However, implementation of strategies for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in locations with low population densities come close to overcoming opportunity costs. Environmental services and subsistence income enhance the attractiveness of conservation scenarios to local people and in situations where these benefits are obvious, PES may provide the extra cash incentive to tip the balance in favor of such a scenario. The paper stresses the importance of external factors (such as industrial investments and the development of the national economy) in determining landscape scale outcomes, and suggests a negotiating and visioning role for conservation agencies.

  16. Biodiversity for billionaires: capitalism, conservation and the role of philanthropy in saving/selling nature.

    PubMed

    Holmes, George

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the role of philanthropy in conservation as a way of exploring how and why conservation might be becoming more neoliberal. It describes how conservation philanthropy supports capitalism both discursively and in more practical ways. Philanthropy is examined in terms of the two forces considered to be driving the neoliberalization of conservation — the need for capitalism to find new ways of making money, and the desire of conservationists to engage with capitalism as the best way of getting things done. It demonstrates how philanthropy can speak to both of these logics simultaneously, particularly through emerging ideas of philanthrocapitalism, which may be enhancing the neoliberalization of both philanthropy and conservation. PMID:22616124

  17. Land-sharing versus land-sparing logging: reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Gilroy, James J; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Larsen, Trond H; Andrews, David J R; Derhé, Mia A; Docherty, Teegan D S; Hsu, Wayne W; Mitchell, Simon L; Ota, Takahiro; Williams, Leah J; Laurance, William F; Hamer, Keith C; Wilcove, David S

    2014-01-01

    Selective logging is a major driver of rainforest degradation across the tropics. Two competing logging strategies are proposed to meet timber demands with the least impact on biodiversity: land sharing, which combines timber extraction with biodiversity protection across the concession; and land sparing, in which higher intensity logging is combined with the protection of intact primary forest reserves. We evaluate these strategies by comparing the abundances and species richness of birds, dung beetles and ants in Borneo, using a protocol that allows us to control for both timber yield and net profit across strategies. Within each taxonomic group, more species had higher abundances with land-sparing than land-sharing logging, and this translated into significantly higher species richness within land-sparing concessions. Our results are similar when focusing only on species found in primary forest and restricted in range to Sundaland, and they are independent of the scale of sampling. For each taxonomic group, land-sparing logging was the most promising strategy for maximizing the biological value of logging operations. PMID:23955803

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Is active management the key to the conservation of saproxylic biodiversity? Pollarding promotes the formation of tree hollows.

    PubMed

    Sebek, Pavel; Altman, Jan; Platek, Michal; Cizek, Lukas

    2013-01-01

    Trees with hollows are key features sustaining biodiversity in wooded landscapes. They host rich assemblages of often highly specialised organisms. Hollow trees, however, have become rare and localised in Europe. Many of the associated biota is thus declining or endangered. The challenge of its conservation, therefore, is to safeguard the presence of hollow trees in sufficient numbers. Populations of numerous species associated with tree hollows and dead wood are often found in habitats that were formed by formerly common traditional silvicultural practices such as coppicing, pollarding or pasture. Although it has been occasionally mentioned that such practices increase the formation of hollows and the availability of often sun-exposed dead wood, their effect has never been quantified. Our study examined the hollow incidence in pollard and non-pollard (unmanaged) willows and the effect of pollarding on incremental growth rate by tree ring analysis. The probability of hollow occurrence was substantially higher in pollard than in non-pollard trees. Young pollards, especially, form hollows much more often than non-pollards; for instance, in trees of 50 cm DBH, the probability of hollow ocurrence was ∼0.75 in pollards, but only ∼0.3 in non-pollards. No difference in growth rate was found. Pollarding thus leads to the rapid formation of tree hollows, a habitat usually associated with old trees. It is therefore potentially a very important tool in the restoration of saproxylic habitats and conservation of hollow-dependent fauna. If applied along e.g. roads and watercourses, pollarding could also be used to increase landscape connectivity for saproxylic organisms. In reserves where pollarding was formerly practiced, its restoration would be necessary to prevent loss of saproxylic biodiversity. Our results point to the importance of active management measures for maintaining availability, and spatial and temporal continuity of deadwood microhabitats. PMID:23544142

  1. A National Approach to Quantify and Map Biodiversity Conservation Metrics within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services, i.e., "services provided to humans from natural systems," have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have be...

  2. Observational natural history and morphological taxonomy are indispensable for future challenges in biodiversity and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Staab, Michael; Ohl, Michael; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-01-01

    Global biodiversity is rapidly declining, leading inevitably to a loss of ecosystem functionality when species and their associated life-history traits vanish. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, a large proportion of Earth's species are yet unknown and also for most described species science lacks a deeper understanding of the functional role of species and thus of ecosystems. In this Addendum we use the recent discovery of a new spider wasp with a unique natural history as an example to emphasize the importance to conduct basic observational natural history and traditional taxonomic research. We aim to encourage such ‘old-fashioned’ research and biologists from various research fields to report the many fascinating phenomena holding valuable natural history information they may encounter. Such detailed knowledge on species, their life-history traits, and their trophic interactions will be crucial to reliably address the challenges global change brings to the persistence of ecosystems. PMID:26845677

  3. Observational natural history and morphological taxonomy are indispensable for future challenges in biodiversity and conservation.

    PubMed

    Staab, Michael; Ohl, Michael; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-01-01

    Global biodiversity is rapidly declining, leading inevitably to a loss of ecosystem functionality when species and their associated life-history traits vanish. Unfortunately, even in the 21(st) century, a large proportion of Earth's species are yet unknown and also for most described species science lacks a deeper understanding of the functional role of species and thus of ecosystems. In this Addendum we use the recent discovery of a new spider wasp with a unique natural history as an example to emphasize the importance to conduct basic observational natural history and traditional taxonomic research. We aim to encourage such 'old-fashioned' research and biologists from various research fields to report the many fascinating phenomena holding valuable natural history information they may encounter. Such detailed knowledge on species, their life-history traits, and their trophic interactions will be crucial to reliably address the challenges global change brings to the persistence of ecosystems. PMID:26845677

  4. Plant management and biodiversity conservation in Náhuatl homegardens of the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Tehuacán Valley is one of the areas of Mesoamerica with the oldest history of plant management. Homegardens are among the most ancient management systems that currently provide economic benefits to people and are reservoirs of native biodiversity. Previous studies estimated that 30% of the plant richness of homegardens of the region are native plant species from wild populations. We studied in Náhuatl communities the proportion of native plant species maintained in homegardens, hypothesizing to find a proportion similar to that estimated at regional level, mainly plant resources maintained for edible, medicinal and ornamental purposes. Methods We analysed the composition of plant species of homegardens and their similarity with surrounding Cloud Forest (CF), Tropical Rainforest (TRF), Tropical Dry forest (TDF), and Thorn-Scrub Forest (TSF). We determined density, frequency and biomass of plant species composing homegardens and forests through vegetation sampling of a total of 30 homegardens and nine plots of forests, and documented ethnobotanical information on use, management, and economic benefits from plants maintained in homegardens. Results A total of 281 plant species was recorded with 12 use categories, 115 ornamental, 92 edible, and 50 medicinal plant species. We recorded 49.8 ± 23.2 (average ± S.D.) woody plant species (shrubs and trees) per homegarden. In total, 34% species are native to the Tehuacán Valley and nearly 16% are components of the surrounding forests. A total of 176 species were cultivated through seeds, vegetative propagules or transplanted entire individual plants, 71 tolerated, and 23 enhanced. The highest species richness and diversity were recorded in homegardens from the CF zone (199 species), followed by those from the TRF (157) and those from the TDF (141) zones. Conclusion Homegardens provide a high diversity of resources for subsistence of local households and significantly contribute to conservation of native

  5. Connectivity, biodiversity conservation and the design of marine reserve networks for coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almany, G. R.; Connolly, S. R.; Heath, D. D.; Hogan, J. D.; Jones, G. P.; McCook, L. J.; Mills, M.; Pressey, R. L.; Williamson, D. H.

    2009-06-01

    Networks of no-take reserves are important for protecting coral reef biodiversity from climate change and other human impacts. Ensuring that reserve populations are connected to each other and non-reserve populations by larval dispersal allows for recovery from disturbance and is a key aspect of resilience. In general, connectivity between reserves should increase as the distance between them decreases. However, enhancing connectivity may often tradeoff against a network’s ability to representatively sample the system’s natural variability. This “representation” objective is typically measured in terms of species richness or diversity of habitats, but has other important elements (e.g., minimizing the risk that multiple reserves will be impacted by catastrophic events). Such representation objectives tend to be better achieved as reserves become more widely spaced. Thus, optimizing the location, size and spacing of reserves requires both an understanding of larval dispersal and explicit consideration of how well the network represents the broader system; indeed the lack of an integrated theory for optimizing tradeoffs between connectivity and representation objectives has inhibited the incorporation of connectivity into reserve selection algorithms. This article addresses these issues by (1) updating general recommendations for the location, size and spacing of reserves based on emerging data on larval dispersal in corals and reef fishes, and on considerations for maintaining genetic diversity; (2) using a spatial analysis of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to examine potential tradeoffs between connectivity and representation of biodiversity and (3) describing a framework for incorporating environmental fluctuations into the conceptualization of the tradeoff between connectivity and representation, and that expresses both in a common, demographically meaningful currency, thus making optimization possible.

  6. Biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning, and economic incentives under cocoa agroforestry intensification.

    PubMed

    Bisseleua, D H B; Missoup, A D; Vidal, S

    2009-10-01

    World chocolate demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on tropical rainforests and wild species in cocoa-producing countries. Cocoa, "the chocolate tree," is traditionally produced under a diverse and dense canopy of shade trees that provide habitat for a high diversity of organisms. The current trend to reduce or eliminate shade cover raises concerns about the potential loss of biodiversity. Nevertheless, few studies have assessed the ecological consequences and economic trade-offs under different management options in cocoa plantations. Here we describe the relationships between ant ecology (species richness, community composition, and abundance) and vegetation structure, ecosystem functions, and economic profitability under different land-use management systems in 17 traditional cocoa forest gardens in southern Cameroon. We calculated an index of profitability, based on the net annual income per hectare. We found significant differences associated with the different land-use management systems for species richness and abundance of ants and species richness and density of trees. Ant species richness was significantly higher in floristically and structurally diverse, low-intensity, old cocoa systems than in intensive young systems. Ant species richness was significantly related to tree species richness and density. We found no clear relationship between profitability and biodiversity. Nevertheless, we suggest that improving the income and livelihood of smallholder cocoa farmers will require economic incentives to discourage further intensification and ecologically detrimental loss of shade cover. Certification programs for shade-grown cocoa may provide socioeconomic incentives to slow intensification. PMID:19765036

  7. 77 FR 54839 - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-06

    ... Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of... assistance in support of energy efficiency programs (EE Programs) sponsored and implemented by electric...@wdc.usda.gov . Correction In the Federal Register of July 26, 2012, in FR Doc. 2012-17784, on...

  8. Seventy-one important questions for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Parsons, E C M; Favaro, Brett; Aguirre, A Alonso; Bauer, Amy L; Blight, Louise K; Cigliano, John A; Coleman, Melinda A; Côté, Isabelle M; Draheim, Megan; Fletcher, Stephen; Foley, Melissa M; Jefferson, Rebecca; Jones, Miranda C; Kelaher, Brendan P; Lundquist, Carolyn J; McCarthy, Julie-Beth; Nelson, Anne; Patterson, Katheryn; Walsh, Leslie; Wright, Andrew J; Sutherland, William J

    2014-10-01

    The ocean provides food, economic activity, and cultural value for a large proportion of humanity. Our knowledge of marine ecosystems lags behind that of terrestrial ecosystems, limiting effective protection of marine resources. We describe the outcome of 2 workshops in 2011 and 2012 to establish a list of important questions, which, if answered, would substantially improve our ability to conserve and manage the world's marine resources. Participants included individuals from academia, government, and nongovernment organizations with broad experience across disciplines, marine ecosystems, and countries that vary in levels of development. Contributors from the fields of science, conservation, industry, and government submitted questions to our workshops, which we distilled into a list of priority research questions. Through this process, we identified 71 key questions. We grouped these into 8 subject categories, each pertaining to a broad component of marine conservation: fisheries, climate change, other anthropogenic threats, ecosystems, marine citizenship, policy, societal and cultural considerations, and scientific enterprise. Our questions address many issues that are specific to marine conservation, and will serve as a road map to funders and researchers to develop programs that can greatly benefit marine conservation. PMID:24779474

  9. 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

  10. Cycad biodiversity in the Bahama Archipelago and conservation genetics of the Critically Endangered Zamia lucayana (Zamiaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A conservation assessment for the three species of cycads native to the Bahamas Islands is presented. Results are based on extensive field surveys in all the islands where these species are found [Zamia angustifolia (native in Eleuthera), Z. integrifolia (native in Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Grand Ba...