Science.gov

Sample records for achieve biodiversity conservation

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Biodiversity offsets and the challenge of achieving no net loss.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Toby A; VON Hase, Amrei; Brownlie, Susie; Ekstrom, Jonathan M M; Pilgrim, John D; Savy, Conrad E; Stephens, R T Theo; Treweek, Jo; Ussher, Graham T; Ward, Gerri; Ten Kate, Kerry

    2013-12-01

    Businesses, governments, and financial institutions are increasingly adopting a policy of no net loss of biodiversity for development activities. The goal of no net loss is intended to help relieve tension between conservation and development by enabling economic gains to be achieved without concomitant biodiversity losses. biodiversity offsets represent a necessary component of a much broader mitigation strategy for achieving no net loss following prior application of avoidance, minimization, and remediation measures. However, doubts have been raised about the appropriate use of biodiversity offsets. We examined what no net loss means as a desirable conservation outcome and reviewed the conditions that determine whether, and under what circumstances, biodiversity offsets can help achieve such a goal. We propose a conceptual framework to substitute the often ad hoc approaches evident in many biodiversity offset initiatives. The relevance of biodiversity offsets to no net loss rests on 2 fundamental premises. First, offsets are rarely adequate for achieving no net loss of biodiversity alone. Second, some development effects may be too difficult or risky, or even impossible, to offset. To help to deliver no net loss through biodiversity offsets, biodiversity gains must be comparable to losses, be in addition to conservation gains that may have occurred in absence of the offset, and be lasting and protected from risk of failure. Adherence to these conditions requires consideration of the wider landscape context of development and offset activities, timing of offset delivery, measurement of biodiversity, accounting procedures and rule sets used to calculate biodiversity losses and gains and guide offset design, and approaches to managing risk. Adoption of this framework will strengthen the potential for offsets to provide an ecologically defensible mechanism that can help reconcile conservation and development. Balances de Biodiversidad y el Reto de No Obtener PĂ

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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


  5. 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


  6. Synergies and trade-offs in achieving global biodiversity targets.

    PubMed

    Di Marco, Moreno; Butchart, Stuart H M; Visconti, Piero; Buchanan, Graeme M; Ficetola, Gentile F; Rondinini, Carlo

    2016-02-01

    After their failure to achieve a significant reduction in the global rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, world governments adopted 20 new ambitious Aichi biodiversity targets to be met by 2020. Efforts to achieve one particular target can contribute to achieving others, but different targets may sometimes require conflicting solutions. Consequently, lack of strategic thinking might result, once again, in a failure to achieve global commitments to biodiversity conservation. We illustrate this dilemma by focusing on Aichi Target 11. This target requires an expansion of terrestrial protected area coverage, which could also contribute to reducing the loss of natural habitats (Target 5), reducing human-induced species decline and extinction (Target 12), and maintaining global carbon stocks (Target 15). We considered the potential impact of expanding protected areas to mitigate global deforestation and the consequences for the distribution of suitable habitat for >10,000 species of forest vertebrates (amphibians, birds, and mammals). We first identified places where deforestation might have the highest impact on remaining forests and then identified places where deforestation might have the highest impact on forest vertebrates (considering aggregate suitable habitat for species). Expanding protected areas toward locations with the highest deforestation rates (Target 5) or the highest potential loss of aggregate species' suitable habitat (Target 12) resulted in partially different protected area network configurations (overlapping with each other by about 73%). Moreover, the latter approach contributed to safeguarding about 30% more global carbon stocks than the former. Further investigation of synergies and trade-offs between targets would shed light on these and other complex interactions, such as the interaction between reducing overexploitation of natural resources (Targets 6, 7), controlling invasive alien species (Target 9), and preventing extinctions of native

  7. 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, Bårbara; 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

  8. 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, Bårbara; 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.


  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dudgeon, David; Arthington, Angela H; Gessner, Mark O; Kawabata, Zen-Ichiro; Knowler, Duncan J; LĂ©vĂȘque, Christian; Naiman, Robert J; Prieur-Richard, Anne-HĂ©lĂšne; 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  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

    LĂłpez-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, RondÎnia, 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 Amapå). 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. Conserving tropical biodiversity via market forces and spatial targeting

    PubMed Central

    Bateman, Ian J.; Coombes, Emma; Fitzherbert, Emily; Binner, Amy; Bad’ura, Tomáơ; 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

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

    PubMed

    Bateman, Ian J; Coombes, Emma; Fitzherbert, Emily; Binner, Amy; Bad'ura, TomĂĄĆĄ; 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hofman, Courtney A; Rick, Torben C; Fleischer, Robert C; Maldonado, JesĂșs 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Helin, Janne; HyytiÀinen, 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.; Batåry, 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    CeauƟu, Silvia; Gomes, InĂȘs; 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-GerĂȘs 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)

    CeauƟu, Silvia; Gomes, InĂȘs; 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-GerĂȘs 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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, JesĂșs; 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, JesĂșs; 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Ivån A; Piñero, Daniel; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Sarukhån, 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. 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


  11. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Lessmann, Janeth; Fajardo, Javier; Muñoz, JesĂșs; 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Durån, 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Brito, JosĂ© C; Godinho, Raquel; MartĂ­nez-FreirĂ­a, Fernando; Pleguezuelos, Juan M; Rebelo, Hugo; Santos, Xavier; Vale, CĂąndida G; Velo-AntĂłn, Guillermo; BoratyƄski, Zbyszek; Carvalho, SĂ­lvia B; Ferreira, SĂłnia; Gonçalves, Duarte V; Silva, Teresa L; Tarroso, Pedro; Campos, JoĂŁo C; Leite, JoĂŁo V; Nogueira, Joana; Alvares, Francisco; Sillero, NeftalĂ­; Sow, Andack S; Fahd, Soumia; Crochet, Pierre-AndrĂ©; 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Maltchik, Leonardo; Rolon, Ana Silvia; Stenert, Cristina; Machado, IberĂȘ 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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; Sånchez Gonzålez, 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

  5. 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

  6. Achieving open access to conservation science.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Richard A; Lee, Jasmine R; Watson, James E M

    2014-12-01

    Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees. PMID:25158824

  7. 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

  8. Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change

    PubMed Central

    SgrĂČ, 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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 GarcĂ­a; Barrios, RaĂșl GarcĂ­a; Jaffee, Daniel; Lima, Jefferson; MĂ©ndez, 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    SnÀll, Tord; LehtomÀki, 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SnÀll, Tord; LehtomÀki, 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    GallĂŁo, 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

  3. Achieving Open Access to Conservation Science

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Richard A; Lee, Jasmine R; Watson, James E M

    2014-01-01

    Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees. ObtenciĂłn de Acceso Abierto a la Ciencia de la ConservaciĂłn Resumen La ciencia de la conservaciĂłn es una

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    GĂŒneralp, 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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, BalĂĄzs 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

  20. 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, BalĂĄzs 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Williams, P H; AraĂșjo, 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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; AricĂČ, 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.; FernĂĄndez, David F. DĂ­a 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

  8. Conservation and Achievement Test Performance among Fifth-Graders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silliphant, Virginia M.; Cox, David L.

    The relationship between conservation and achievement is examined on specific tests and test items on the Stanford Achievement Test Battery used in the elementary years. Specifically, performance on two tests (Word Meaning and Arithmetic Concepts) were analyzed according to subjects level of thinking (concrete or formal) for total score,


  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rösch, Verena; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph; Batåry, 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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; JaffrĂ©, 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlinszky, A.; DeĂĄk, 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.

  7. 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


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

    PubMed

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, BenoĂźt

    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

  9. 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, BenoĂźt

    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).

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

    PubMed

    MurguĂ­a, Diego I; Bringezu, Stefan; Schaldach, RĂŒdiger

    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

  11. 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 â

  12. Views from the Field: Conservation Educators' and Practitioners' Perceptions of Education as a Strategy for Achieving Conservation Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ardoin, Nicole M.; Heimlich, Joe E.

    2013-01-01

    This article presents data from a mixed-methods study that collected data through surveys (n = 656), interviews (n = 15), and discussion groups (n = 75) to explore the use of social strategies such as education and outreach by non-governmental organizations and government agencies to reach outcomes related to biodiversity conservation and resource


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

    PubMed

    Silva-Rocha, Iolanda; Salvi, Daniele; Sillero, NeftalĂ­; 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sillero, NeftalĂ­; 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  19. Achieving conservation science that bridges the knowledge-action boundary.

    PubMed

    Cook, Carly N; Mascia, Michael B; Schwartz, Mark W; Possingham, Hugh P; Fuller, Richard A

    2013-08-01

    There are many barriers to using science to inform conservation policy and practice. Conservation scientists wishing to produce management-relevant science must balance this goal with the imperative of demonstrating novelty and rigor in their science. Decision makers seeking to make evidence-based decisions must balance a desire for knowledge with the need to act despite uncertainty. Generating science that will effectively inform management decisions requires that the production of information (the components of knowledge) be salient (relevant and timely), credible (authoritative, believable, and trusted), and legitimate (developed via a process that considers the values and perspectives of all relevant actors) in the eyes of both researchers and decision makers. We perceive 3 key challenges for those hoping to generate conservation science that achieves all 3 of these information characteristics. First, scientific and management audiences can have contrasting perceptions about the salience of research. Second, the pursuit of scientific credibility can come at the cost of salience and legitimacy in the eyes of decision makers, and, third, different actors can have conflicting views about what constitutes legitimate information. We highlight 4 institutional frameworks that can facilitate science that will inform management: boundary organizations (environmental organizations that span the boundary between science and management), research scientists embedded in resource management agencies, formal links between decision makers and scientists at research-focused institutions, and training programs for conservation professionals. Although these are not the only approaches to generating boundary-spanning science, nor are they mutually exclusive, they provide mechanisms for promoting communication, translation, and mediation across the knowledge-action boundary. We believe that despite the challenges, conservation science should strive to be a boundary science, which

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Making Biodiversity Conservation Happen: The Role of Environmental Education and Communication. A GreenCOM Discussion Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster-Turley, Pat

    This discussion paper is intended for policy makers, program managers, technical specialists, and others seeking new tools and ideas with which to achieve environmentally sustainable development. Effective techniques from the field of environmental education and communication (EE&C) that can help biodiversity conservationists and program managers


  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Achieving Conservation Science that Bridges the Knowledge–Action Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Carly N; Mascia, Michael B; Schwartz, Mark W; Possingham, Hugh P; Fuller, Richard A

    2013-01-01

    There are many barriers to using science to inform conservation policy and practice. Conservation scientists wishing to produce management-relevant science must balance this goal with the imperative of demonstrating novelty and rigor in their science. Decision makers seeking to make evidence-based decisions must balance a desire for knowledge with the need to act despite uncertainty. Generating science that will effectively inform management decisions requires that the production of information (the components of knowledge) be salient (relevant and timely), credible (authoritative, believable, and trusted), and legitimate (developed via a process that considers the values and perspectives of all relevant actors) in the eyes of both researchers and decision makers. We perceive 3 key challenges for those hoping to generate conservation science that achieves all 3 of these information characteristics. First, scientific and management audiences can have contrasting perceptions about the salience of research. Second, the pursuit of scientific credibility can come at the cost of salience and legitimacy in the eyes of decision makers, and, third, different actors can have conflicting views about what constitutes legitimate information. We highlight 4 institutional frameworks that can facilitate science that will inform management: boundary organizations (environmental organizations that span the boundary between science and management), research scientists embedded in resource management agencies, formal links between decision makers and scientists at research-focused institutions, and training programs for conservation professionals. Although these are not the only approaches to generating boundary-spanning science, nor are they mutually exclusive, they provide mechanisms for promoting communication, translation, and mediation across the knowledge–action boundary. We believe that despite the challenges, conservation science should strive to be a boundary science, which

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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


  1. 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

  2. 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


  3. 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

  4. Achieving effective landscape conservation: evolving demands adaptive metrics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid changes in demographics and on- and off-farm land use limit the impacts of U.S. conservation programs and present particular challenges to future conservation efforts. The fragmentation of landscape through urban, suburban, and peri-urban development, coincident with demographic shifts, has s...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Remm, Liina; LÔhmus, Piret; Leis, Mare; LÔhmus, 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Plant management and biodiversity conservation in NĂĄhuatl homegardens of the TehuacĂĄn Valley, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Tehuacån 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 Nåhuatl 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 Tehuacån 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

  19. 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

  20. 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; CÎté, 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. A review of the implications of heterozygosity and inbreeding on germplasm biodiversity and its conservation in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Jingade, A H; Vijayan, K; Somasundaram, P; Srivasababu, G K; Kamble, C K

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Silkworm genebanks assume paramount importance as the reservoirs of biodiversity and source of alleles that can be easily retrieved for genetic enhancement of popular breeds. More than 4000 Bombyx mori L (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) strains are currently available and these strains are maintained through continuous sibling mating. This repeated sibling mating makes the populations of each strain more homozygous, but leads to loss of unique and valuable genes through the process of inbreeding depression. Hence, it is essential to maintain a minimal degree of heterozygosity within the population of each silkworm strain, especially in the traditional geographic strains, to avoid such loss. As a result, accurate estimation of genetic diversity is becoming more important in silkworm genetic resources conservation. Application of molecular markers help estimate genetic diversity much more accurately than that of morphological traits. Since a minimal amount of heterozygosity in each silkworm strain is essential for better conservation by avoiding inbreeding depression, this article overviews both theoretical and practical importance of heterozygosity together with impacts of inbreeding depression and the merits and demerits of neutral molecular markers for measurements of both heterozygosity and inbreeding depression in the silkworm Bombyx mori. PMID:21521139

  4. Psycho-social processes in dealing with legal innovation in the community: insights from biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Castro, Paula; Mouro, Carla

    2011-06-01

    Mitigation measures for tackling the consequences of a changing climate will involve efforts of various types including the conservation of affected ecosystems. For this, communities throughout the world will be called on to change habits of land and water use. Many of these changes will emerge from the multilevel governance tools now commonly used for environmental protection. In this article, some tenets of a social psychology of legal innovation are proposed for approaching the psycho-social processes involved in how individuals, groups and communities respond to multilevel governance. Next, how this approach can improve our understanding of community-based conservation driven by legal innovation is highlighted. For this, the macro and micro level processes involved in the implementation of the European Natura 2000 Network of Protected Sites are examined. Finally, some insights gained from this example of multilevel governance through legal innovation will be enumerated as a contribution for future policy making aimed at dealing with climate change consequences. PMID:21240548

  5. Trust Species and Habitat Branch: using the innovative approaches of today to conserve biodiversity for tomorrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, Patricia; Walters, Katie D.

    2015-01-01

    The Trust Species and Habitats Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center includes a diverse group of scientists encompassing both traditional and specialized expertise in wildlife biology, ecosystem ecology, quantitative ecology, disease ecology, molecular genetics, and stable isotope geochemistry. Using our expertise and collaborating with others around the world, our goal is to provide the information, tools, and technologies that our partners need to support conservation, management, and restoration of terrestrial vertebrate populations, habitats, and ecosystem function in a changing world.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Aquatic biodiversity and the electric utility industry

    SciTech Connect

    Olmsted, L.L.; Bolin, J.W.

    1996-11-01

    Results for a 1995 survey of utility company biologists indicate that aquatic biodiversity is an emerging and poorly understood issue. As a result, there is some confusion about what aquatic biodiversity actually is, and how we can best conserve it. Only one fourth (24%) of the respondents said their company has a stated environmental policy that addresses biodiversity. Many respondents indicate that over the years they have not specially managed for biodiversity, but have been doing that through their efforts to assure balanced indigenous populations. While regulations are still the major driver for biological work, an increasing number of companies are involved in voluntary partnerships in managing water resources. Of these voluntary partnerships, 70% have biodiversity as a goal. Biodiversity is becoming an increasingly common subject of study, and a vast majority (75%) of the respondents suggested is should be a goal for utility for resource management. Conservation of aquatic biodiversity is a complex task, and to date most aquatic efforts have been directed toward fish and macroinvertebrates. Ecological research and technological development performed by the utility industry have resulted in a number of successful biopreservation and biorestoration success stories. A common theme to preserving or enhancing aquatic biodiversity is preserving aquatic habitat. Increasingly, ecosystem management is touted as the most likely approach to achieve success in preserving aquatic biodiversity. Several utilities are conducting progressive work in implementing ecosystem management. This paper presents the potential interactions between power plants and biodiversity, and overview of aquatic biodiversity preservations efforts within the electric utility industry, more detail on the results of the survey, and recent initiatives in ecosystem management. 17 refs., 1 tab.

  9. Conservation of Socioculturally Important Local Crop Biodiversity in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia: A Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balemie, Kebu; Singh, Ranjay K.

    2012-09-01

    In this study, we surveyed diversity in a range of local crops in the Lume and Gimbichu districts of Ethiopia, together with the knowledge of local people regarding crop uses, socio-economic importance, conservation, management and existing threats. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and participant observation. The study identified 28 farmers' varieties of 12 crop species. Among these, wheat ( Triticum turgidum) and tef ( Eragrostis tef) have high intra-specific diversity, with 9 and 6 varieties respectively. Self-seed supply or seed saving was the main (80 %) source of seeds for replanting. Agronomic performance (yield and pest resistance), market demand, nutritional and use diversity attributes of the crop varieties were highlighted as important criteria for making decisions regarding planting and maintenance. Over 74 % of the informants grow a combination of "improved" and farmers' varieties. Of the farmers' varieties, the most obvious decline and/or loss was reported for wheat varieties. Introduction of improved wheat varieties, pest infestation, shortage of land, low yield performance and climate variability were identified as the principal factors contributing to this loss or decline. Appropriate interventions for future conservation and sustainable use of farmers' varieties were suggested.

  10. Conservation of socioculturally important local crop biodiversity in the Oromia region of Ethiopia: a case study.

    PubMed

    Balemie, Kebu; Singh, Ranjay K

    2012-09-01

    In this study, we surveyed diversity in a range of local crops in the Lume and Gimbichu districts of Ethiopia, together with the knowledge of local people regarding crop uses, socio-economic importance, conservation, management and existing threats. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and participant observation. The study identified 28 farmers' varieties of 12 crop species. Among these, wheat (Triticum turgidum) and tef (Eragrostis tef) have high intra-specific diversity, with 9 and 6 varieties respectively. Self-seed supply or seed saving was the main (80 %) source of seeds for replanting. Agronomic performance (yield and pest resistance), market demand, nutritional and use diversity attributes of the crop varieties were highlighted as important criteria for making decisions regarding planting and maintenance. Over 74 % of the informants grow a combination of "improved" and farmers' varieties. Of the farmers' varieties, the most obvious decline and/or loss was reported for wheat varieties. Introduction of improved wheat varieties, pest infestation, shortage of land, low yield performance and climate variability were identified as the principal factors contributing to this loss or decline. Appropriate interventions for future conservation and sustainable use of farmers' varieties were suggested. PMID:22729809

  11. Seventy-One Important Questions for the Conservation of Marine Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. Setenta y Un Preguntas Importantes para la ConservaciĂłn de la Biodiversidad Marina Resumen Los ocĂ©anos proporcionan alimento, actividad econĂłmica y valor cultural para una gran porciĂłn de la humanidad. Nuestro conocimiento de los ecosistemas marinos estĂĄ atrasado con respecto al que tenemos de los ecosistemas terrestres, lo que limita la protecciĂłn efectiva de los recursos naturales. Describimos el resultado de dos talleres en 2011 y 2012 para establecer una lista de preguntas importantes, las cuales al ser respondidas, mejorarĂ­an sustancialmente nuestra habilidad de conservar y manejar los recursos marinos del mundo. Entre los

  12. Freshwater Wetland Habitat Loss and Fragmentation: Implications for Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolaver, B. D.; Pierre, J. P.; Labay, B. J.; Ryberg, W. A.; Hibbits, T. J.; Prestridge, H. L.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic land use changes have caused widespread wetland loss and fragmentation. This trend has important implications for aquatic biota conservation, including the semi-aquatic Western Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia miaria). This species inhabits seasonally inundated, ephemeral water bodies and adjacent uplands in the southeastern U.S. However, wetland conversion to agriculture and urbanization is thought to cause the species' decline, particularly in Texas, which includes the westernmost part of its range. Because the species moves only a few kilometers between wetlands, it particularly sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation. Thus, as part of the only state-funded species research program, this study provides the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) with scientific data to determine if the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We use a species distribution model to map potentially suitable habitat for most of East Texas. We evaluate landscape-scale anthropogenic activities in this region which may be contributing to the species' decline. We identify areas of urbanization, agricultural expansion, forestry, and resulting wetland loss. We find that between 2001 and 2011 approximately 80 km2 of wetlands were lost in potentially suitable habitat, including the urbanizing Houston area. We use spatial geostatistics to quantify wetland habitat fragmentation. We also introduce the Habitat Alteration Index (HAI), which calculates total landscape alteration and mean probability of occurrence to identify high-quality habitat most at risk of recent anthropogenic alteration. Population surveys by biologists are targeting these areas and future management actions may focus on mitigating anthropogenic activities there. While this study focuses on D. r. miaria, this approach can evaluate wetland habitat of other aquatic organisms.

  13. Joining the dots - understanding the complex interplay between the values we place on wildlife, biodiversity conservation, human and animal health: A review.

    PubMed

    Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P; Pewsner, M; Angst, C

    2015-05-01

    The value of wildlife has long been ignored or under-rated. However, growing concerns about biodiversity loss and emerging diseases of wildlife origin have enhanced debates about the importance of wildlife. Wildlife-related diseases are viewed through these debates as a potential threat to wildlife conservation and domestic animal and human health. This article provides an overview of the values we place on wildlife (positive: socio-cultural, nutritional, economic, ecological; and negative: damages, health issues) and of the significance of diseases for biodiversity conservation. It shows that the values of wildlife, the emergence of wildlife diseases and biodiversity conservation are closely linked. The article also illustrates why investigations into wildlife diseases are now recognized as an integral part of global health issues. The modern One Health concept requires multi-disciplinary research groups including veterinarians, human physicians, ecologists and other scientists collaborating towards a common goal: prevention of disease emergence and preservation of ecosystems, both of which are essential to protect human life and well-being. PMID:26753340

  14. Using expected allele number as objective function to design between and within breed conservation of farm animal biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Simianer, H

    2005-06-01

    Conservation of genetic diversity in farm animal species can be achieved by preventing extinction of breeds and by reducing genetic drift within breeds. It is suggested to use the expected number of alleles segregating in the species after a given time period as objective function in the design of conservation strategies. A formal approach is presented to predict this quantity based on marker information, accounting for extinction probability of breeds and effective population size within breeds as the major component of genetic drift. Based on this model, relative efficiency of different strategies of diversity conservation can be quantified. Formulas are given to derive the marginal expected number of alleles with respect to genetic drift within population and extinction probability, respectively. The suggested approach is illustrated with an example of 13 European cattle breeds. With the assumed parameters, drift is shown to be the major force leading to loss of alleles, and different breeds are prioritized for activities to reduce risk of extinction and for measures to reduce genetic drift, respectively. Although different aspects of the model need to be further refined, the suggested methodology provides a general and flexible tool to derive the optimum conservation strategy in various scenarios. PMID:16130469

  15. Contrasting fish assemblages in free-flowing and impounded tributaries to the Upper Delaware River: Implications for conserving biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldigo, Barry P.; Delucia, Mari-Beth; Keller, Walter D.; Schuler, George E.; Apse, Colin D.; Moberg, Tara

    2015-01-01

    The Neversink River and the Beaver Kill in southeastern New York are major tributaries to the Delaware River, the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi. While the Beaver Kill is free flowing for its entire length, the Neversink River is subdivided by the Neversink Reservoir, which likely affects the diversity of local fish assemblages and health of aquatic ecosystems. The reservoir is an important part of the New York City waster-supply system that provides drinking water to more than 9 million people. Fish population and community data from recent quantitative surveys at comparable sites in both basins were assessed to characterize the differences between free-flowing and impounded rivers and the extent of reservoir effects to improve our capacity to define ecosystems responses that two modified flow-release programs (implemented in 2007 and 2011) should produce in the Neversink River. In general, the continuum of changes in fish assemblages which normally occur between headwaters and mouth was relatively uninterrupted in the Beaver Kill, but disrupted by the mid-basin impoundment in the Neversink River. Fish assemblages were also adversely affected at several acidified sites in the upper Neversink River, but not at most sites assessed herein. The reservoir clearly excluded diadromous species from the upper sub-basin, but it also substantially reduced community richness, diversity, and biomass at several mid-basin sites immediately downstream from the impoundment. There results will aid future attempts to determine if fish assemblages respond to more natural, yet highly regulated, flow regimes in the Neversink River. More important, knowledge gained from this study can help optimize use of valuable water resources while promoting species of special concern, such as American eel (Anguilla rostrata) and conserving biodiversity in Catskill Mountain streams.

  16. Achieving spectrum conservation for the minimum-span and minimum-order frequency assignment problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heyward, Ann O.

    1992-01-01

    Effective and efficient solutions of frequency assignment problems assumes increasing importance as the radiofrequency spectrum experiences ever increasing utilization by diverse communications services, requiring that the most efficient use of this resource be achieved. The research presented explores a general approach to the frequency assignment problem, in which such problems are categorized by the appropriate spectrum conserving objective function, and are each treated as an N-job, M-machine scheduling problem appropriate for the objective. Results obtained and presented illustrate that such an approach presents an effective means of achieving spectrum conserving frequency assignments for communications systems in a variety of environments.

  17. Loss of biodiversity in a conservation unit of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: the effect of introducing non-native fish species.

    PubMed

    Fragoso-Moura, E N; Oporto, L T; Maia-Barbosa, P M; Barbosa, F A R

    2016-02-01

    The introduction of species has become an important problem for biodiversity and natural ecosystem conservation. The lake system of the middle Rio Doce (MG, Brazil) comprises c. 200 lakes at various conservation states, of which 50 are located within the Rio Doce State Park (PERD). Previous studies had verified several of these lakes suffered non-native fishes introductions and the presence of these species needs for the implementation of actions aiming at not only their control but also the preservation of the native species. This study discusses the effects of non-native fish species in the largest conservation unit of Atlantic Forest in Minas Gerais, southeast of Brazil, using data from 1983 to 2010 distributed as follow: data prior to 2006 were obtained from previous studies, and data from September 2006 to July 2010 were obtained in Lake Carioca at four sampling stations using gillnets, seine nets and sieve. A total of 17 fish species was collected (2006-2010) of which five were introduced species. Among the small to medium size native species (30 to 2000 mm standard length) seven had disappeared, two are new records and one was recaptured. The non-native species Cichla kelberi (peacock bass) and Pygocentrus nattereri (red piranha) are within the most abundant captured species. Integrated with other actions, such as those preventing new introductions, a selective fishing schedule is proposed as an alternative approach to improve the conservation management actions and the local and regional biodiversity maintenance. PMID:26909619

  18. Economic costs of achieving current conservation goals in the future as climate changes.

    PubMed

    Shaw, M Rebecca; Klausmeyer, Kirk; Cameron, D Richard; Mackenzie, Jason; Roehrdanz, Patrick

    2012-06-01

    Conservation of biologically diverse regions has thus far been accomplished largely through the establishment and maintenance of protected areas. Climate change is expected to shift climate space of many species outside existing reserve boundaries. We used climate-envelope models to examine shifts in climate space of 11 species that are representative of the Mount Hamilton Project area (MHPA) (California, U.S.A.), which includes areas within Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and San Benito counties and is in the state's Central Coast ecoregion. We used Marxan site-selection software to determine the minimum area required as climate changes to achieve a baseline conservation goal equal to 80% of existing climate space for all species in the MHPA through 2050 and 2100. Additionally, we assessed the costs associated with use of existing conservation strategies (land acquisition and management actions such as species translocation, monitoring, and captive breeding) necessary to meet current species-conservation goals as climate changes. Meeting conservation goals as climate changes through 2050 required an additional 256,000 ha (332%) of protected area, primarily to the south and west of the MHPA. Through 2050 the total cost of land acquisition and management was estimated at US$1.67-1.79 billion, or 139-149% of the cost of achieving the same conservation goals with no climate change. To maintain 80% of climate space through 2100 required nearly 380,000 additional hectares that would cost $2.46-2.62 billion, or 209-219% of the cost of achieving the same conservation goals with no climate change. Furthermore, maintaining 80% of existing climate space within California for 27% of the focal species was not possible by 2100 because climate space for these species did not exist in the state. The high costs of conserving species as the climate changes-that we found in an assessment of one conservation project-highlights the need for tools that will aid

  19. Hydrological Controls of Riverine Ecosystems of the Napo River (Amazon Basin): Implications for the Management and Conservation of Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celi, J. E.; Hamilton, S. K.

    2013-12-01

    Scientific understanding of neotropical floodplains comes mainly from work on large rivers with predictable seasonal flooding regimes. Less studied rivers and floodplains on the Andean-Amazon interface are distinct in their hydrology, with more erratic flow regimes, and thus ecological roles of floodplain inundation differ in those ecosystems. Multiple and unpredictable flooding events control inundation of floodplains, with important implications for fish and wildlife, plant communities, and human activities. Wetlands along the river corridor exist across a continuum from strong river control to influence only by local waters, with the latter often lying on floodplain paleoterraces. The goal of this study was to understand the hydrological interactions and habitat diversity of the Napo River, a major Amazon tributary that originates in the Andes and drains exceptionally biodiverse Andean foreland plains. This river system is envisioned by developers as an industrial waterway that would require hydrological alterations and affect floodplain ecosystems. Water level regimes of the Napo River and its associated environments were assessed using networks of data loggers that recorded time under water across transects extending inland from the river across more than 100 sites and for up to 5 years. These networks also included rising stage samplers that collected flood water samples for determination of their origin (i.e., Andean rivers vs. local waters) based on hydrochemical composition. In addition, this work entails a classification of aquatic environments of the Napo Basin using an object-oriented remote sensing approach to simultaneously analyze optical and radar satellite imagery and digital elevation models to better assess the extent and diversity of flooded environments. We found out a continuum of hydrological regimes and aquatic habitats along the Napo River floodplains that are linked to the river hydrology in different degrees. Overall, environments that

  20. Interaction between forest biodiversity and people’s use of forest resources in Roviana, Solomon Islands: implications for biocultural conservation under socioeconomic changes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In Solomon Islands, forests have provided people with ecological services while being affected by human use and protection. This study used a quantitative ethnobotanical analysis to explore the society–forest interaction and its transformation in Roviana, Solomon Islands. We compared local plant and land uses between a rural village and urbanized village. Special attention was paid to how local people depend on biodiversity and how traditional human modifications of forest contribute to biodiversity conservation. Methods After defining locally recognized land-use classes, vegetation surveys were conducted in seven forest classes. For detailed observations of daily plant uses, 15 and 17 households were randomly selected in the rural and urban villages, respectively. We quantitatively documented the plant species that were used as food, medicine, building materials, and tools. Results The vegetation survey revealed that each local forest class represented a different vegetative community with relatively low similarity between communities. Although commercial logging operations and agriculture were both prohibited in the customary nature reserve, local people were allowed to cut down trees for their personal use and to take several types of non-timber forest products. Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island’s primary forest (68.4%) and the main island’s reserve (68.3%). Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village. In the rural village, customary governance and control over the use of forest resources by the local people still functioned. Conclusions Human modifications of the forest created unique vegetation communities, thus increasing biodiversity overall. Each type of forest had different species that varied in their levels of importance to the local subsistence lifestyle, and the villagers’ behaviors, such as respect for forest reserves and the

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Norton, David A; Warburton, Bruce

    2015-02-01

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

  3. Sustainable Utilisation and Conservation of Biodiversity by the Tribal Societies (Aborigines) of India: A Lesson for Modern Man.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinha, Rajiv

    1995-01-01

    Examines the symbiotic relationship between tribal peoples of India, forests, and wildlife. Discusses the utilization and conservation of wild plant diversity and primitive cultivars, the conservation of virgin forest, and knowledge about medicinal herbs. (LZ)

  4. Achieving the triple bottom line in the face of inherent trade-offs among social equity, economic return, and conservation.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Klein, Carissa J; Brown, Christopher J; Beger, Maria; Grantham, Hedley S; Mangubhai, Sangeeta; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Tulloch, Vivitskaia J; Watts, Matt; White, Crow; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-04-01

    Triple-bottom-line outcomes from resource management and conservation, where conservation goals and equity in social outcomes are maximized while overall costs are minimized, remain a highly sought-after ideal. However, despite widespread recognition of the importance that equitable distribution of benefits or costs across society can play in conservation success, little formal theory exists for how to explicitly incorporate equity into conservation planning and prioritization. Here, we develop that theory and implement it for three very different case studies in California (United States), Raja Ampat (Indonesia), and the wider Coral Triangle region (Southeast Asia). We show that equity tends to trade off nonlinearly with the potential to achieve conservation objectives, such that similar conservation outcomes can be possible with greater equity, to a point. However, these case studies also produce a range of trade-off typologies between equity and conservation, depending on how one defines and measures social equity, including direct (linear) and no trade-off. Important gaps remain in our understanding, most notably how equity influences probability of conservation success, in turn affecting the actual ability to achieve conservation objectives. Results here provide an important foundation for moving the science and practice of conservation planning-and broader spatial planning in general-toward more consistently achieving efficient, equitable, and effective outcomes. PMID:23530207

  5. Opuntia in MĂ©xico: Identifying Priority Areas for Conserving Biodiversity in a Multi-Use Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Illoldi-Rangel, Patricia; Ciarleglio, Michael; Sheinvar, Leia; Linaje, Miguel; SĂĄnchez-Cordero, Victor; Sarkar, Sahotra

    2012-01-01

    Background MĂ©xico is one of the world's centers of species diversity (richness) for Opuntia cacti. Yet, in spite of their economic and ecological importance, Opuntia species remain poorly studied and protected in MĂ©xico. Many of the species are sparsely but widely distributed across the landscape and are subject to a variety of human uses, so devising implementable conservation plans for them presents formidable difficulties. Multi–criteria analysis can be used to design a spatially coherent conservation area network while permitting sustainable human usage. Methods and Findings Species distribution models were created for 60 Opuntia species using MaxEnt. Targets of representation within conservation area networks were assigned at 100% for the geographically rarest species and 10% for the most common ones. Three different conservation plans were developed to represent the species within these networks using total area, shape, and connectivity as relevant criteria. Multi–criteria analysis and a metaheuristic adaptive tabu search algorithm were used to search for optimal solutions. The plans were built on the existing protected areas of MĂ©xico and prioritized additional areas for management for the persistence of Opuntia species. All plans required around one–third of MĂ©xico's total area to be prioritized for attention for Opuntia conservation, underscoring the implausibility of Opuntia conservation through traditional land reservation. Tabu search turned out to be both computationally tractable and easily implementable for search problems of this kind. Conclusions Opuntia conservation in MĂ©xico require the management of large areas of land for multiple uses. The multi-criteria analyses identified priority areas and organized them in large contiguous blocks that can be effectively managed. A high level of connectivity was established among the prioritized areas resulting in the enhancement of possible modes of plant dispersal as well as only a small number

  6. Applying a framework for landscape planning under climate change for the conservation of biodiversity in the Finnish boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Mazziotta, Adriano; Triviño, Maria; Tikkanen, Olli-Pekka; Kouki, Jari; Strandman, Harri; Mönkkönen, Mikko

    2015-02-01

    Conservation strategies are often established without consideration of the impact of climate change. However, this impact is expected to threaten species and ecosystem persistence and to have dramatic effects towards the end of the 21st century. Landscape suitability for species under climate change is determined by several interacting factors including dispersal and human land use. Designing effective conservation strategies at regional scales to improve landscape suitability requires measuring the vulnerabilities of specific regions to climate change and determining their conservation capacities. Although methods for defining vulnerability categories are available, methods for doing this in a systematic, cost-effective way have not been identified. Here, we use an ecosystem model to define the potential resilience of the Finnish forest landscape by relating its current conservation capacity to its vulnerability to climate change. In applying this framework, we take into account the responses to climate change of a broad range of red-listed species with different niche requirements. This framework allowed us to identify four categories in which representation in the landscape varies among three IPCC emission scenarios (B1, low; A1B, intermediate; A2, high emissions): (i) susceptible (B1 = 24.7%, A1B = 26.4%, A2 = 26.2%), the most intact forest landscapes vulnerable to climate change, requiring management for heterogeneity and resilience; (ii) resilient (B1 = 2.2%, A1B = 0.5%, A2 = 0.6%), intact areas with low vulnerability that represent potential climate refugia and require conservation capacity maintenance; (iii) resistant (B1 = 6.7%, A1B = 0.8%, A2 = 1.1%), landscapes with low current conservation capacity and low vulnerability that are suitable for restoration projects; (iv) sensitive (B1 = 66.4%, A1B = 72.3%, A2 = 72.0%), low conservation capacity landscapes that are vulnerable and for which alternative conservation measures are required depending on the

  7. Growing biodiverse carbon-rich forests.

    PubMed

    Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Firn, Jennifer; ChadĂšs, Iadine; Martin, Tara G

    2014-02-01

    Regrowing forests on cleared land is a key strategy to achieve both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation globally. Maximizing these co-benefits, however, remains theoretically and technically challenging because of the complex relationship between carbon sequestration and biodiversity in forests, the strong influence of climate variability and landscape position on forest development, the large number of restoration strategies possible, and long time-frames needed to declare success. Through the synthesis of three decades of knowledge on forest dynamics and plant functional traits combined with decision science, we demonstrate that we cannot always maximize carbon sequestration by simply increasing the functional trait diversity of trees planted. The relationships between plant functional diversity, carbon sequestration rates above ground and in the soil are dependent on climate and landscape positions. We show how to manage 'identities' and 'complementarities' between plant functional traits to achieve systematically maximal cobenefits in various climate and landscape contexts. We provide examples of optimal planting and thinning rules that satisfy this ecological strategy and guide the restoration of forests that are rich in both carbon and plant functional diversity. Our framework provides the first mechanistic approach for generating decision-makingrules that can be used to manage forests for multiple objectives, and supports joined carbon credit and biodiversity conservation initiatives, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation REDD+. The decision framework can also be linked to species distribution models and socio-economic models to find restoration solutions that maximize simultaneously biodiversity, carbon stocks, and other ecosystem services across landscapes. Our study provides the foundation for developing and testing cost-effective and adaptable forest management rules to achieve biodiversity, carbon

  8. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  9. Potential biodiversity benefits from international programs to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation.

    PubMed

    SiikamÀki, Juha; Newbold, Stephen C

    2012-01-01

    Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide emissions and options for its reduction are integral to climate policy. In addition to providing potentially low cost and near-term options for reducing global carbon emissions, reducing deforestation also could support biodiversity conservation. However, current understanding of the potential benefits to biodiversity from forest carbon offset programs is limited. We compile spatial data on global forest carbon, biodiversity, deforestation rates, and the opportunity cost of land to examine biodiversity conservation benefits from an international program to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation. Our results indicate limited geographic overlap between the least-cost areas for retaining forest carbon and protecting biodiversity. Therefore, carbon-focused policies will likely generate substantially lower benefits to biodiversity than a more biodiversity-focused policy could achieve. These results highlight the need to systematically consider co-benefits, such as biodiversity in the design and implementation of forest conservation programs to support international climate policy. PMID:22307280

  10. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change.

    PubMed

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-07-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refugees based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refugees can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refugees. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have

  11. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refuges can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refuges. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have little

  12. Systematics and the biodiversity crisis

    SciTech Connect

    Savage, J.M.

    1995-11-01

    This article discusses the importance of systematics in evaluating the global biodiversity crisis. Topics covered include the following: what systematic biology is; the diversity of species and higher taxa; biodiversity undersiege; systematics and conservation; systematics and global climatic change. 28 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Biodiversity: past, present, and future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Data from the fossil record are used to illustrate biodiversity in the past and estimate modern biodiversity and loss. This data is used to compare current rates of extinction with past extinction events. Paleontologists are encouraged to use this data to understand the course and consequences of current losses and to share this knowledge with researchers interested in conservation and ecology.

  14. Microbial diversity in soil: A microscopic world under every footstep -- chapter 13 in the book "Biodiversity Conservation Handbook: State, Local, and Private Protection of Biological Diversity," Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC, 2006, pp.159-174

    SciTech Connect

    Edenborn, H.M.; Edenborn, S.L.

    2006-06-01

    Powerful methods that can be used to explore and better surmise the role of microorganisms in the environment have only been developed in the last 20 years, and the discoveries being made with these techniques have been revolutionary compared to those of the previous century. These new molecular tools now enable us to better categorize microbial life and determine its diversity. The importance of the ecosystem and economic functions served by microorganisms further suggests that microbial diversity should be considered as an important, if unseen, component of biodiversity, and that consideration of microbial diversity is an essential element of any program to conserve biodiversity.

  15. Genetic structure and demographic history of the endangered tree species Dysoxylum malabaricum (Meliaceae) in Western Ghats, India: implications for conservation in a biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Bodare, Sofia; Tsuda, Yoshiaki; Ravikanth, Gudasalamani; Uma Shaanker, Ramanan; Lascoux, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The impact of fragmentation by human activities on genetic diversity of forest trees is an important concern in forest conservation, especially in tropical forests. Dysoxylum malabaricum (white cedar) is an economically important tree species, endemic to the Western Ghats, India, one of the world's eight most important biodiversity hotspots. As D. malabaricum is under pressure of disturbance and fragmentation together with overharvesting, conservation efforts are required in this species. In this study, range-wide genetic structure of twelve D. malabaricum populations was evaluated to assess the impact of human activities on genetic diversity and infer the species’ evolutionary history, using both nuclear and chloroplast (cp) DNA simple sequence repeats (SSR). As genetic diversity and population structure did not differ among seedling, juvenile and adult age classes, reproductive success among the old-growth trees and long distance seed dispersal by hornbills were suggested to contribute to maintain genetic diversity. The fixation index (FIS) was significantly correlated with latitude, with a higher level of inbreeding in the northern populations, possibly reflecting a more severe ecosystem disturbance in those populations. Both nuclear and cpSSRs revealed northern and southern genetic groups with some discordance of their distributions; however, they did not correlate with any of the two geographic gaps known as genetic barriers to animals. Approximate Bayesian computation-based inference from nuclear SSRs suggested that population divergence occurred before the last glacial maximum. Finally we discussed the implications of these results, in particular the presence of a clear pattern of historical genetic subdivision, on conservation policies. PMID:24223264

  16. Extinction processes in hot spots of avian biodiversity and the targeting of pre-emptive conservation action.

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Ken; Harper, Neil

    2004-01-01

    Hot spots of endemism are regarded as important global sites for conservation as they are rich in threatened endemic species and currently experiencing extensive habitat loss. Targeting pre-emptive conservation action to sites that are currently relatively intact but which would be vulnerable to particular human activities if they occurred in the future is, however, also valuable but has received less attention. Here, we address this issue by using data on Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs). First, we identify the ecological factors that affect extinction risk in the face of particular human activities, and then use these insights to identify EBAs that should be priorities for pre-emptive conservation action. Threatened endemic species in EBAs are significantly more likely to be habitat specialists or relatively large-bodied than non-threatened species, when compared across avian families. Increasing habitat loss causes a significant increase in extinction risk among habitat specialists, but we found no evidence to suggest that the presence of alien species/human exploitation causes a significant increase in extinction risk among large-bodied species. This suggests that these particular human activities are contributing to high extinction risk among habitat specialists, but not among large-bodied species. Based on these analyses, we identify 39 EBAs containing 570 species (24% of the total in EBAs) that are not currently threatened with severe habitat loss, but would be ecologically vulnerable to future habitat loss should it occur. We show that these sites tend to be poorly represented in existing priority setting exercises involving hot spots, suggesting that vulnerability must be explicitly included within these exercises if such sites are to be adequately protected. PMID:15058387

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Gravel Bars Can Be Critical for Biodiversity Conservation: A Case Study on Scaly-Sided Merganser in South China

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Qing; Shi, Linlu; Wen, Li; Chen, Junzhu; Duo, Hairui; Lei, Guangchun

    2015-01-01

    Gravel bars are characteristic components of river landscapes and are increasingly recognized as key sites for many waterbirds, though detailed studies on the ecological function of gravel bars for waterbirds are rare. In this study, we surveyed the endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus along a 40 km river section of Yuan River, in Central China, for three consecutive winters. We derived the landscape metrics of river gravel bars from geo-rectified fine resolution (0.6 m) aerial image data. We then built habitat suitability models (Generalized Linear Models—GLMs) to study the effects of landscape metrics and human disturbance on Scaly-sided Merganser presence probability. We found that 1) the Scaly-sided Merganser tended to congregate at river segments with more gravel patches; 2) the Scaly-sided Merganser preferred areas with larger and more contiguous gravel patches; and 3) the number of houses along the river bank (a proxy for anthropogenic disturbance) had significantly negative impacts on the occurrence of the Scaly-sided Merganser. Our results suggest that gravel bars are vital to the Scaly-sided Merganser as shelters from disturbance, as well as sites for feeding and roosting. Therefore, maintaining the exposure of gravel bars in regulated rivers during the low water period in winter might be the key for the conservation of the endangered species. These findings have important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of the species and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. PMID:25996671

  20. Gravel bars can be critical for biodiversity conservation: a case study on scaly-sided Merganser in South china.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Qing; Shi, Linlu; Wen, Li; Chen, Junzhu; Duo, Hairui; Lei, Guangchun

    2015-01-01

    Gravel bars are characteristic components of river landscapes and are increasingly recognized as key sites for many waterbirds, though detailed studies on the ecological function of gravel bars for waterbirds are rare. In this study, we surveyed the endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus along a 40 km river section of Yuan River, in Central China, for three consecutive winters. We derived the landscape metrics of river gravel bars from geo-rectified fine resolution (0.6 m) aerial image data. We then built habitat suitability models (Generalized Linear Models-GLMs) to study the effects of landscape metrics and human disturbance on Scaly-sided Merganser presence probability. We found that 1) the Scaly-sided Merganser tended to congregate at river segments with more gravel patches; 2) the Scaly-sided Merganser preferred areas with larger and more contiguous gravel patches; and 3) the number of houses along the river bank (a proxy for anthropogenic disturbance) had significantly negative impacts on the occurrence of the Scaly-sided Merganser. Our results suggest that gravel bars are vital to the Scaly-sided Merganser as shelters from disturbance, as well as sites for feeding and roosting. Therefore, maintaining the exposure of gravel bars in regulated rivers during the low water period in winter might be the key for the conservation of the endangered species. These findings have important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of the species and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. PMID:25996671

  1. Trapping of Saker Falcon Falco cherrug and Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus in Saudi Arabia: Implications for biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Shobrak, Mohammed Y.

    2014-01-01

    The numbers of Falco cherrug and Falco peregrinus trapped during their migration over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were investigated from published reports and through interviews with well-known trappers and dealers over several years (1989–2013). The number of trapped individuals increased for both species over a 23 year period, which is probably related to an enhanced trapping effort. Time series analysis suggests that the number of Saker Falcons being trapped is likely to be stable with annual fluctuations in the coming ten-year period, whereas the number of trapped Peregrine Falcons will probably decline with a small fluctuation initially. Using the population viability analysis suggests a high extinction rate for the Saker Falcon population migrating through KSA during the coming 10 and 20 years; whereas Peregrine Falcons probably take more than 100 years to reach the extinction threshold. However, the increase in the trapping period, especially in the spring, that has been observed during the last five years could increase the number of falcons trapped in the future. As both falcon species are migratory, implementing conservation actions across all range states is important to ensure a favourable conservation status for the Saker and Peregrine Falcons. Both species will benefit through the implementation of the Global Action Plan (GAP), developed by the Saker Falcon Task Force. PMID:26150757

  2. Cryptic Diversity in Indo-Australian Rainbowfishes Revealed by DNA Barcoding: Implications for Conservation in a Biodiversity Hotspot Candidate

    PubMed Central

    Kadarusman; Hubert, Nicolas; Hadiaty, Renny Kurnia; Sudarto; Paradis, Emmanuel; Pouyaud, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    The rainbowfishes of the family Melanotaeniidae represent one of the largest radiations of freshwater fishes from the Indo-Australian archipelago. A total of 75 nominal species have been described, among which several have become very popular among tropical fish hobbyists because of their tendency to form large schools of colourful individuals. Facing habitat loss and competition or predation by introduced species, this group has become a priority in the conservation of ornamental fishes in Indonesia. In this context, several expeditions have been conducted between 2007 and 2010 in Indonesian Papua with the aim to initiate a large-scale survey of the genetic resources in this group. We assessed the diversity of the Papua rainbowfishes with DNA barcoding. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI gene for 350 specimens belonging to 53 nominal species throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago. Unexpected levels of cryptic diversity and endemism were detected since additional cryptic lineages were detected in several watersheds from the Vogelkop and the Lengguru massif. DNA barcoding supports the presence of nearly 30 evolutionary lineages among the 15 nominal species sampled in the Vogelkop and all these lineages are endemic to a single lake or watershed. This result highlights that the diversity of the family has been largely underestimated and urges for the identification of conservation priorities in Papua. PMID:22829879

  3. Cryptic diversity in Indo-Australian rainbowfishes revealed by DNA barcoding: implications for conservation in a biodiversity hotspot candidate.

    PubMed

    Kadarusman; Hubert, Nicolas; Hadiaty, Renny Kurnia; Sudarto; Paradis, Emmanuel; Pouyaud, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    The rainbowfishes of the family Melanotaeniidae represent one of the largest radiations of freshwater fishes from the Indo-Australian archipelago. A total of 75 nominal species have been described, among which several have become very popular among tropical fish hobbyists because of their tendency to form large schools of colourful individuals. Facing habitat loss and competition or predation by introduced species, this group has become a priority in the conservation of ornamental fishes in Indonesia. In this context, several expeditions have been conducted between 2007 and 2010 in Indonesian Papua with the aim to initiate a large-scale survey of the genetic resources in this group. We assessed the diversity of the Papua rainbowfishes with DNA barcoding. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI gene for 350 specimens belonging to 53 nominal species throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago. Unexpected levels of cryptic diversity and endemism were detected since additional cryptic lineages were detected in several watersheds from the Vogelkop and the Lengguru massif. DNA barcoding supports the presence of nearly 30 evolutionary lineages among the 15 nominal species sampled in the Vogelkop and all these lineages are endemic to a single lake or watershed. This result highlights that the diversity of the family has been largely underestimated and urges for the identification of conservation priorities in Papua. PMID:22829879

  4. Trapping of Saker Falcon Falco cherrug and Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus in Saudi Arabia: Implications for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Shobrak, Mohammed Y

    2015-07-01

    The numbers of Falco cherrug and Falco peregrinus trapped during their migration over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were investigated from published reports and through interviews with well-known trappers and dealers over several years (1989-2013). The number of trapped individuals increased for both species over a 23 year period, which is probably related to an enhanced trapping effort. Time series analysis suggests that the number of Saker Falcons being trapped is likely to be stable with annual fluctuations in the coming ten-year period, whereas the number of trapped Peregrine Falcons will probably decline with a small fluctuation initially. Using the population viability analysis suggests a high extinction rate for the Saker Falcon population migrating through KSA during the coming 10 and 20 years; whereas Peregrine Falcons probably take more than 100 years to reach the extinction threshold. However, the increase in the trapping period, especially in the spring, that has been observed during the last five years could increase the number of falcons trapped in the future. As both falcon species are migratory, implementing conservation actions across all range states is important to ensure a favourable conservation status for the Saker and Peregrine Falcons. Both species will benefit through the implementation of the Global Action Plan (GAP), developed by the Saker Falcon Task Force. PMID:26150757

  5. Delayed biodiversity change: no time to waste.

    PubMed

    Essl, Franz; Dullinger, Stefan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Hulme, Philip E; PyĆĄek, Petr; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2015-07-01

    Delayed biodiversity responses to environmental forcing mean that rates of contemporary biodiversity changes are underestimated, yet these delays are rarely addressed in conservation policies. Here, we identify mechanisms that lead to such time lags, discuss shifting human perceptions, and propose how these phenomena should be addressed in biodiversity management and science. PMID:26028440

  6. Mining and biodiversity offsets: a transparent and science-based approach to measure "no-net-loss".

    PubMed

    Virah-Sawmy, Malika; Ebeling, Johannes; Taplin, Roslyn

    2014-10-01

    Mining and associated infrastructure developments can present themselves as economic opportunities that are difficult to forego for developing and industrialised countries alike. Almost inevitably, however, they lead to biodiversity loss. This trade-off can be greatest in economically poor but highly biodiverse regions. Biodiversity offsets have, therefore, increasingly been promoted as a mechanism to help achieve both the aims of development and biodiversity conservation. Accordingly, this mechanism is emerging as a key tool for multinational mining companies to demonstrate good environmental stewardship. Relying on offsets to achieve "no-net-loss" of biodiversity, however, requires certainty in their ecological integrity where they are used to sanction habitat destruction. Here, we discuss real-world practices in biodiversity offsetting by assessing how well some leading initiatives internationally integrate critical aspects of biodiversity attributes, net loss accounting and project management. With the aim of improving, rather than merely critiquing the approach, we analyse different aspects of biodiversity offsetting. Further, we analyse the potential pitfalls of developing counterfactual scenarios of biodiversity loss or gains in a project's absence. In this, we draw on insights from experience with carbon offsetting. This informs our discussion of realistic projections of project effectiveness and permanence of benefits to ensure no net losses, and the risk of displacing, rather than avoiding biodiversity losses ("leakage"). We show that the most prominent existing biodiversity offset initiatives employ broad and somewhat arbitrary parameters to measure habitat value and do not sufficiently consider real-world challenges in compensating losses in an effective and lasting manner. We propose a more transparent and science-based approach, supported with a new formula, to help design biodiversity offsets to realise their potential in enabling more responsible

  7. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

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


  8. Unravelling trophic subsidies of agroecosystems for biodiversity conservation: food consumption and nutrient recycling by waterbirds in Mediterranean rice fields.

    PubMed

    Navedo, Juan G; Hahn, Steffen; Parejo, Manuel; Abad-Gómez, José M; Gutiérrez, Jorge S; Villegas, Auxiliadora; Sånchez-Guzmån, Juan M; Masero, José A

    2015-04-01

    Waterbirds can reallocate a considerable amount of nutrients within agricultural fields and between agriculture sites and wetlands. However their effects on biogeochemical cycles have rarely been quantified. We estimated bird numbers, diet (from stable isotope analysis), food supply, and the food consumption on rice fields by overwintering waterbirds in one of the most important areas for rice production in southwestern Europe and a key area for various migrating and resident waterbird species. Herein, we modelled the nutrient (N and P) recycling in rice fields, and their transport to reservoirs. The energy consumption by waterbirds (96,605±18,311 individuals) on rice fields during winter averaged at 89.9±39.0 kJ·m(-2), with its majority (89.9%) belonging to foraging on rice seeds. Thus, the birds removed about 26% of rice seeds leftover after harvest (estimated in 932.5±504.7 seeds·m(-2) in early winter) wherein common cranes and dabbling ducks (four species) were the most important consumers. Waterbirds foraging and roosting in the rice fields recycled more than 24.1 (1.0 kg·ha(-1)) of N and an additional 5.0 tons (0.2 kg·ha(-1)) of P in the Extremadura's rice fields during winter. Additionally, we estimated that 2.3 tons of N and 550 kg of P were removed from rice fields and transported to reservoirs. The seasonal foraging of wildlife should result in a direct benefit for rice farmers by improving nutrient recycling through defecation by waterbirds with respect to artificial fertilisation. Additionally, rice fields located in the cranes' core wintering areas can provide sufficient food supply to induce habitat shift from their traditional wintering habitat in 'dehesas' to rice fields, which causes indirect socioeconomic benefit through reduced acorn consumption by cranes. Our modelling approach may thus be especially helpful for management decisions regarding rice agroecosystems in areas which are also important for the conservation of migratory

  9. Historical determinants of past and current biodiversity patterns and their implications for conservation under future climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villarreal, M. L.; Norman, L. M.; Wallace, C.; Boykin, K.

    2011-12-01

    Data describing landscape history, particularly the response of landscape patterns to past climate and land uses, can improve results from models that predict patterns of species distributions. We assessed the influence of past climate, past and current land use, and topography on the potential spatial and temporal distributions of terrestrial vertebrates in a semi-arid watershed using multitemporal satellite imagery, geospatial land ownership data, and long-term climate and vegetation monitoring data. We mapped decadal vegetation and land cover (1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009) using satellite and field data, and created species richness maps for each date using SWReGAP species-habitat models. Our results show that vegetation types with the highest mammal and avian species richness, primarily desert grasslands (mammal) and riparian vegetation (avian) types, experienced the largest change in land cover area and related species richness numbers over time. Change patterns were neither temporally directional nor spatially uniform over the landscape. Riparian cover registered a 19% decline and grassland a 15% increase in cover from 1979-2009, but cover change was temporally variable and was influenced by climate patterns; for example, the development and decline of riparian cover coincided with a period of above average precipitation during the 1980s and 1990s followed by a period of extended drought. Spatial patterns were determined partially by changes in both public and private land management: expanding urban development (and related groundwater use) contributed to the decline of riparian cover on private lands, while range restoration and conservation efforts on private and public lands contributed to the stabilization and increase in grassland and some riparian vegetation. Finally, topographical features were correlated with change patterns; much of the mammal and avian habitat declines occurred in the arid, lower elevation portions of the watershed while increases

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  11. Intercropping with shrub species that display a 'steady-state' flowering phenology as a strategy for biodiversity conservation in tropical agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Peters, Valerie E

    2014-01-01

    Animal species in the Neotropics have evolved under a lower spatiotemporal patchiness of food resources compared to the other tropical regions. Although plant species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology are rare, they provide predictable food resources and therefore may play a pivotal role in animal community structure and diversity. I experimentally planted a supplemental patch of a shrub species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology, Hamelia patens Jacq., into coffee agroforests to evaluate the contribution of this unique phenology to the structure and diversity of the flower-visiting community. After accounting for the higher abundance of captured animals in the coffee agroforests with the supplemental floral resources, species richness was 21% higher overall in the flower-visiting community in these agroforests compared to control agroforests. Coffee agroforests with the steady-state supplemental floral patch also had 31% more butterfly species, 29% more hummingbird species, 65% more wasps and 85% more bees than control coffee agroforests. The experimental treatment, together with elevation, explained 57% of the variation in community structure of the flower-visiting community. The identification of plant species that can support a high number of animal species, including important ecosystem service providers, is becoming increasingly important for restoration and conservation applications. Throughout the Neotropics plant species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology can be found in all aseasonal forests and thus could be widely tested and suitable species used throughout the tropics to manage for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem services involving beneficial arthropods. PMID:24598826

  12. Intercropping with Shrub Species That Display a ‘Steady-State’ Flowering Phenology as a Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Valerie E.

    2014-01-01

    Animal species in the Neotropics have evolved under a lower spatiotemporal patchiness of food resources compared to the other tropical regions. Although plant species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology are rare, they provide predictable food resources and therefore may play a pivotal role in animal community structure and diversity. I experimentally planted a supplemental patch of a shrub species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology, Hamelia patens Jacq., into coffee agroforests to evaluate the contribution of this unique phenology to the structure and diversity of the flower-visiting community. After accounting for the higher abundance of captured animals in the coffee agroforests with the supplemental floral resources, species richness was 21% higher overall in the flower-visiting community in these agroforests compared to control agroforests. Coffee agroforests with the steady-state supplemental floral patch also had 31% more butterfly species, 29% more hummingbird species, 65% more wasps and 85% more bees than control coffee agroforests. The experimental treatment, together with elevation, explained 57% of the variation in community structure of the flower-visiting community. The identification of plant species that can support a high number of animal species, including important ecosystem service providers, is becoming increasingly important for restoration and conservation applications. Throughout the Neotropics plant species with a steady-state flowering/fruiting phenology can be found in all aseasonal forests and thus could be widely tested and suitable species used throughout the tropics to manage for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem services involving beneficial arthropods. PMID:24598826

  13. Backyard Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Mapping Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

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

  15. Emerging Technologies to Conserve Biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Pimm, Stuart L; Alibhai, Sky; Bergl, Richard; Dehgan, Alex; Giri, Chandra; Jewell, Zoë; Joppa, Lucas; Kays, Roland; Loarie, Scott

    2015-11-01

    Technologies to identify individual animals, follow their movements, identify and locate animal and plant species, and assess the status of their habitats remotely have become better, faster, and cheaper as threats to the survival of species are increasing. New technologies alone do not save species, and new data create new problems. For example, improving technologies alone cannot prevent poaching: solutions require providing appropriate tools to the right people. Habitat loss is another driver: the challenge here is to connect existing sophisticated remote sensing with species occurrence data to predict where species remain. Other challenges include assembling a wider public to crowdsource data, managing the massive quantities of data generated, and developing solutions to rapidly emerging threats. PMID:26437636

  16. Willing and unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biodiversity studies and conservation programs increasingly depend on data sharing and integration. But many researchers resist sharing their primary biodiversity data. This international survey was conducted to study the attitudes, experiences and expectations regarding the sharing of biodiversity ...

  17. Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,


  18. Achieving conservation goals in managed forests of the southeastern coastal plain.

    PubMed

    Loehle, Craig; Wigley, T Bently; Schilling, Erik; Tatum, Vickie; Beebe, John; Vance, Eric; Van Deusen, Paul; Weatherford, Philip

    2009-12-01

    Managed forests are a primary land use within the Coastal Plain of the southern United States. These forests are generally managed under standards, guidelines, or regulations to conserve ecosystem functions and services. Economic value of commercial forests provides incentives for landowners to maintain forests rather than convert them to other uses that have substantially reduced environmental benefits. In this review, we describe the historical context of commercial forest management in the southern United States Coastal Plain, describe how working forests are managed today, and examine relationships between commercial forest management and maintenance of functional aquatic and wetland systems and conservation of biological diversity. Significant challenges for the region include increasing human population and urbanization and concomitant changes in forest area and structure, invasive species, and increased interest in forest biomass as an energy feedstock. Research needs include better information about management of rare species and communities and quantification of relationships between ecosystem attributes and forest management, including biomass production and harvest. Incentives and better information may help commercial forest managers in the Coastal Plain more efficiently contribute to landscape-scale conservation goals. PMID:19856021

  19. Reconciling agriculture, carbon and biodiversity in a savannah transformation frontier.

    PubMed

    Estes, L D; Searchinger, T; Spiegel, M; Tian, D; Sichinga, S; Mwale, M; Kehoe, L; Kuemmerle, T; Berven, A; Chaney, N; Sheffield, J; Wood, E F; Caylor, K K

    2016-09-19

    Rapidly rising populations and likely increases in incomes in sub-Saharan Africa make tens of millions of hectares of cropland expansion nearly inevitable, even with large increases in crop yields. Much of that expansion is likely to occur in higher rainfall savannas, with substantial costs to biodiversity and carbon storage. Zambia presents an acute example of this challenge, with an expected tripling of population by 2050, good potential to expand maize and soya bean production, and large areas of relatively undisturbed miombo woodland and associated habitat types of high biodiversity value. Here, we present a new model designed to explore the potential for targeting agricultural expansion in ways that achieve quantitatively optimal trade-offs between competing economic and environmental objectives: total converted land area (the reciprocal of potential yield); carbon loss, biodiversity loss and transportation costs. To allow different interests to find potential compromises, users can apply varying weights to examine the effects of their subjective preferences on the spatial allocation of new cropland and its costs. We find that small compromises from the objective to convert the highest yielding areas permit large savings in transportation costs, and the carbon and biodiversity impacts resulting from savannah conversion. For example, transferring just 30% of weight from a yield-maximizing objective equally between carbon and biodiversity protection objectives would increase total cropland area by just 2.7%, but result in avoided costs of 27-47% for carbon, biodiversity and transportation. Compromise solutions tend to focus agricultural expansion along existing transportation corridors and in already disturbed areas. Used appropriately, this type of model could help countries find agricultural expansion alternatives and related infrastructure and land use policies that help achieve production targets while helping to conserve Africa's rapidly transforming

  20. Molecular biodiversity. Case study: Porifera (sponges).

    PubMed

    MĂŒller, Werner E G; BrĂŒmmer, Franz; Batel, Renato; MĂŒller, Isabel M; Schröder, Heinz C

    2003-03-01

    Biological diversity--or biodiversity--is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. The biodiversity we see today is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend. The research on molecular biodiversity tries to lay the scientific foundation of a rational conservation policy that has its roots in various disciplines including systematics/taxonomy (species richness), present day ecology (diversity of ecological systems), and functional genetics (genetic diversity). The results of ongoing genome analyses (genome projects and expressed sequence tag projects) and the achievements of molecular evolution may allow us not only to quantitate the diversity of the present biota but also to extrapolate to their diversification in the future. A link between biodiversity and genomics/molecular evolution will create a platform which we hope may facilitate a sustainable management of organismic life and ensure its exploitation for human benefit. In the present review we outline possible strategies, using the Porifera (sponges) as a prominent example. On the basis of solid taxonomy and ecological data, the high value of this phylum for human application becomes obvious, especially with regard to the field of chemical ecology and the desire to find novel potential drugs for clinical use. In addition, the benefit of trying to make sense of molecular biodiversity using sponges as an example can be seen in the fact that the study of these animals, which are "living fossils", gives us a good insight into the history of our planet, especially with respect to the evolution of Metazoa. PMID:12649752

  1. Identifying governance strategies that effectively support ecosystem services, resource sustainability, and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Kenward, R E; Whittingham, M J; Arampatzis, S; Manos, B D; Hahn, T; Terry, A; Simoncini, R; Alcorn, J; Bastian, O; Donlan, M; Elowe, K; Franzén, F; Karacsonyi, Z; Larsson, M; Manou, D; Navodaru, I; Papadopoulou, O; Papathanasiou, J; von Raggamby, A; Sharp, R J A; Söderqvist, T; Soutukorva, A; Vavrova, L; Aebischer, N J; Leader-Williams, N; Rutz, C

    2011-03-29

    Conservation scientists, national governments, and international conservation groups seek to devise, and implement, governance strategies that mitigate human impact on the environment. However, few studies to date have systematically investigated the performance of different systems of governance in achieving successful conservation outcomes. Here, we use a newly-developed analytic framework to conduct analyses of a suite of case studies, linking different governance strategies to standardized scores for delivering ecosystem services, achieving sustainable use of natural resources, and conserving biodiversity, at both local and international levels. Our results: (i) confirm the benefits of adaptive management; and (ii) reveal strong associations for the role of leadership. Our work provides a critical step toward implementing empirically justified governance strategies that are capable of improving the management of human-altered environments, with benefits for both biodiversity and people. PMID:21402916

  2. Evaluating the contribution of zoos and aquariums to Aichi Biodiversity Target 1.

    PubMed

    Moss, Andrew; Jensen, Eric; Gusset, Markus

    2015-04-01

    The United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is a key initiative within global efforts to halt and eventually reverse the loss of biodiversity. The very first target of this plan states that "by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably." Zoos and aquariums worldwide, attracting more than 700 million visits every year, could potentially make a positive contribution to this target. However, a global evaluation of the educational impacts of visits to zoos and aquariums is entirely lacking in the existing literature. To address this gap, we conducted a large-scale impact evaluation study. We used a pre- and postvisit repeated-measures survey design to evaluate biodiversity literacy-understanding of biodiversity and knowledge of actions to help protect it-of zoo and aquarium visitors worldwide. Ours was the largest and most international study of zoo and aquarium visitors ever conducted. In total, 5661 visitors to 26 zoos and aquariums from 19 countries around the globe participated in the study. Aggregate biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity both significantly increased over the course of zoo and aquarium visits. There was an increase from previsit (69.8%) to postvisit (75.1%) in respondents demonstrating at least some positive evidence of biodiversity understanding. Similarly, there was an increase from previsit (50.5%) to postvisit (58.8%) in respondents who could identify actions to help protect biodiversity that could be achieved at an individual level. Our results are the most compelling evidence to date that zoo and aquarium visits contribute to increasing the number of people who understand biodiversity and know actions they can take to help protect biodiversity. PMID:25155574

  3. Parks versus payments: reconciling divergent policy responses to biodiversity loss and climate change from tropical deforestation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busch, Jonah; Grantham, Hedley S.

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity loss and climate change both result from tropical deforestation, yet strategies to address biodiversity loss have focused primarily on protected areas while strategies to address climate change have focused primarily on carbon payments. Conservation planning research has focused largely on where to prioritize protected areas to achieve the greatest representation of species at viable levels. Meanwhile research on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has focused largely on how to design payments to achieve the greatest additional reduction in greenhouse gases relative to baseline rates. This divergence of strategies and research agendas may be attributed to four factors: rare species are more heterogeneously distributed than carbon; species are more difficult to measure and monitor than carbon; species are more sensitive to ecological processes and human disturbance than carbon; and people’s value for species diminishes beyond a threshold while their value for carbon storage does not. Conservation planning can achieve greater biodiversity benefits by adopting the concept of additionality from REDD+. REDD+ can achieve greater climate benefits by incorporating spatial prioritization from conservation planning. Climate and biodiversity benefits can best be jointly achieved from tropical forests by targeting the most additional actions to the most important places. These concepts are illustrated using data from the forests of Indonesia.

  4. Biodiversity Performs!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

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

  5. Biodiversity Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    PubMed

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

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

  8. Environmental services of biodiversity.

    PubMed Central

    Myers, N

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Biodiversity technologies: tools as change agents

    PubMed Central

    Snaddon, Jake; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Jepson, Paul; Willis, Katherine J.

    2013-01-01

    A meeting on Biodiversity Technologies was held by the Biodiversity Institute, Oxford on the 27–28 of September 2012 at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. The symposium brought together 36 speakers from North America, Australia and across Europe, presenting the latest research on emerging technologies in biodiversity science and conservation. Here we present a perspective on the general trends emerging from the symposium. PMID:23221877

  10. Modern Natural Products Drug Discovery and its Relevance to Biodiversity Conservation†

    PubMed Central

    Kingston, David G. I.

    2010-01-01

    Natural products continue to provide a diverse and unique source of bioactive lead compounds for drug discovery, but maintaining their continued eminence as source compounds is challenging in the face of the changing face of the pharmaceutical industry and the changing nature of biodiversity prospecting brought about by the Convention of Biodiversity. This review provides an overview of some of these challenges, and suggests ways in which they can be addressed so that natural products research can remain a viable and productive route to drug discovery. Results from International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBGs) working in Madagascar, Panama, and Suriname are used as examples of what can be achieved when biodiversity conservation is linked to drug discovery. PMID:21138324

  11. The data paper: a mechanism to incentivize data publishing in biodiversity science

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Free and open access to primary biodiversity data is essential for informed decision-making to achieve conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. However, primary biodiversity data are neither easily accessible nor discoverable. Among several impediments, one is a lack of incentives to data publishers for publishing of their data resources. One such mechanism currently lacking is recognition through conventional scholarly publication of enriched metadata, which should ensure rapid discovery of 'fit-for-use' biodiversity data resources. Discussion We review the state of the art of data discovery options and the mechanisms in place for incentivizing data publishers efforts towards easy, efficient and enhanced publishing, dissemination, sharing and re-use of biodiversity data. We propose the establishment of the 'biodiversity data paper' as one possible mechanism to offer scholarly recognition for efforts and investment by data publishers in authoring rich metadata and publishing them as citable academic papers. While detailing the benefits to data publishers, we describe the objectives, work flow and outcomes of the pilot project commissioned by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility in collaboration with scholarly publishers and pioneered by Pensoft Publishers through its journals Zookeys, PhytoKeys, MycoKeys, BioRisk, NeoBiota, Nature Conservation and the forthcoming Biodiversity Data Journal. We then debate further enhancements of the data paper beyond the pilot project and attempt to forecast the future uptake of data papers as an incentivization mechanism by the stakeholder communities. Conclusions We believe that in addition to recognition for those involved in the data publishing enterprise, data papers will also expedite publishing of fit-for-use biodiversity data resources. However, uptake and establishment of the data paper as a potential mechanism of scholarly recognition requires a high degree of commitment and investment

  12. Economic and ecological outcomes of flexible biodiversity offset systems.

    PubMed

    Habib, Thomas J; Farr, Daniel R; Schneider, Richard R; Boutin, Stan

    2013-12-01

    The commonly expressed goal of biodiversity offsets is to achieve no net loss of specific biological features affected by development. However, strict equivalency requirements may complicate trading of offset credits, increase costs due to restricted offset placement options, and force offset activities to focus on features that may not represent regional conservation priorities. Using the oil sands industry of Alberta, Canada, as a case study, we evaluated the economic and ecological performance of alternative offset systems targeting either ecologically equivalent areas (vegetation types) or regional conservation priorities (caribou and the Dry Mixedwood natural subregion). Exchanging dissimilar biodiversity elements requires assessment via a generalized metric; we used an empirically derived index of biodiversity intactness to link offsets with losses incurred by development. We considered 2 offset activities: land protection, with costs estimated as the net present value of profits of petroleum and timber resources to be paid as compensation to resource tenure holders, and restoration of anthropogenic footprint, with costs estimated from existing restoration projects. We used the spatial optimization tool MARXAN to develop hypothetical offset networks that met either the equivalent-vegetation or conservation-priority targets. Networks that required offsetting equivalent vegetation cost 2-17 times more than priority-focused networks. This finding calls into question the prudence of equivalency-based systems, particularly in relatively undeveloped jurisdictions, where conservation focuses on limiting and directing future losses. Priority-focused offsets may offer benefits to industry and environmental stakeholders by allowing for lower-cost conservation of valued ecological features and may invite discussion on what land-use trade-offs are acceptable when trading biodiversity via offsets. Resultados EconĂłmicos y EcolĂłgicos de Sistemas de CompensaciĂłn de

  13. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Klein, Carissa J; Brown, Christopher J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Segan, Daniel B; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E M

    2015-01-01

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean's biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially 'areas of particular importance for biodiversity' (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km(2) of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD's overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services. PMID:26631984

  14. Biodiversity: The benefits of traditional knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pardo-de-Santayana, Manuel; MacĂ­a, Manuel J.

    2015-02-01

    A study of two Balkan ethnic groups living in close proximity finds that traditional knowledge about local plant resources helps communities to cope with periods of famine, and can promote the conservation of biodiversity.

  15. Is there a need for a '100 questions exercise' to enhance fisheries and aquatic conservation, policy, management and research? Lessons from a global 100 questions exercise on conservation of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Cooke, S J; Danylchuk, A J; Kaiser, M J; Rudd, M A

    2010-06-01

    Recent global and regional exercises have been undertaken to identify 100 questions of relevance to policy makers that, if answered, would improve decision making and conservation actions. These were intentionally broad, but all included themes and questions of relevance to aquatic and fisheries professionals (e.g. exploitation, habitat alteration, effectiveness of protected areas, migratory connectivity and environmental effects of aquaculture). Here, the content of the global 100 question exercise relevant to aquatic and fisheries issues is summarized and a critical analysis is provided. Many of the questions addressed in apparently unrelated themes and topics (e.g. terrestrial, agriculture and energy policy) have potential relevance to fisheries and aquatic habitats, which underlines the connectivity between terrestrial and aquatic realms. Given the intimate link between aquatic environmental problems and human activities (including culture and economics), greater understanding of the human dimension is required to inform decision making. Stakeholder perspectives need to be included as a core component of the fisheries management triangle (i.e. managing fish, habitat and people). The benefits and risks of conducting a global 100 questions exercise with an exclusive focus on questions of relevance to fisheries and aquatic practitioners are also considered. There is no question that evidence-based approaches to conservation are essential for addressing the many threats that face aquatic ecosystems and reverse the imperilment trends among ichthyofauna. It is still unclear, however, as to the extent to which 100 questions exercises will help to achieve conservation and management targets for aquatic resources. A global 100 questions exercise that focused on fisheries and aquatic issues would certainly help to generate interest and awareness sufficient to justify such an exercise. PMID:20557662

  16. Biodiversity and Edge Effects: An Activity in Landscape Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Justin L.

    2007-01-01

    Biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity have received increased attention during the last few decades and these topics have been implemented into many G7-12 science curricula. This work presents an exercise that may be used in middle and high school classrooms to help students better understand spatial aspects of biodiversity. The


  17. Recovering plant biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Studying recovering plant biodiversity on Mount Pinatubo may provide valuable insights that improve our understanding of recovery of other ecosystems following disturbances of all types. Ongoing sheet and rill erosion coupled with mass waste events in the unstable pyroclastic flow deposits persist, effectively re-setting primary succession at micro-landscape scale without affecting habitat level diversity. Spatial factors and micro-habitat diversity may exert more control over continued succession as the riparian systems become more deeply dissected and complex. The number of taxa within functional groups and conservation concerns are botanical issues that deserve further research. PMID:22019638

  18. Conservation successes at micro-, meso- and macroscales.

    PubMed

    Sodhi, Navjot S; Butler, Rhett; Laurance, William F; Gibson, Luke

    2011-11-01

    Although large-scale biodiversity declines are ongoing, certain conservation actions have made a positive difference. Rates of extinction and endangerment of vertebrate species, for instance, have probably been reduced via conservation interventions. Such conservation actions operate at different spatial scales. Habitat preservation and endangered species recovery are examples of conservation successes at microscales. Mesoscale conservation includes regional cooperation among neighboring countries that has arrested population declines of endangered species, such as mountain gorillas. At macroscales, public pressure on multinational corporations has sometimes resulted in their abandoning environmentally damaging practices or suppliers with poor environmental records. Overall, conservation projects such as these need more long-term funding and greater political and popular support, and must also include provisions to evaluate and document their outcomes. As we discuss here, a focus on conservation successes achieved at different scales can help to promote these aims and guide future conservation victories. PMID:21824677

  19. Limited carbon and biodiversity co-benefits for tropical forest mammals and birds.

    PubMed

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Kroetz, Kailin; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Amaral, Eda; Breuer, Thomas; Fletcher, Christine; Jansen, Patrick A; Kenfack, David; Lima, Marcela GuimarĂŁes Moreira; Marshall, Andrew R; Martin, Emanuel H; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; O'Brien, Timothy; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Roy, Cisquet Hector; Sheil, Douglas; Silva, Carlos E F; Spironello, Wilson Roberto; Valencia, Renato; Zvoleff, Alex; Ahumada, Jorge; Andelman, Sandy

    2016-06-01

    The conservation of tropical forest carbon stocks offers the opportunity to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and simultaneously conserve biodiversity. However, there has been considerable debate about the extent to which carbon stock conservation will provide benefits to biodiversity in part because whether forests that contain high carbon density in their aboveground biomass also contain high animal diversity is unknown. Here, we empirically examined medium to large bodied ground-dwelling mammal and bird (hereafter "wildlife") diversity and carbon stock levels within the tropics using camera trap and vegetation data from a pantropical network of sites. Specifically, we tested whether tropical forests that stored more carbon contained higher wildlife species richness, taxonomic diversity, and trait diversity. We found that carbon stocks were not a significant predictor for any of these three measures of diversity, which suggests that benefits for wildlife diversity will not be maximized unless wildlife diversity is explicitly taken into account; prioritizing carbon stocks alone will not necessarily meet biodiversity conservation goals. We recommend conservation planning that considers both objectives because there is the potential for more wildlife diversity and carbon stock conservation to be achieved for the same total budget if both objectives are pursued in tandem rather than independently. Tropical forests with low elevation variability and low tree density supported significantly higher wildlife diversity. These tropical forest characteristics may provide more affordable proxies of wildlife diversity for future multi-objective conservation planning when fine scale data on wildlife are lacking. PMID:27509751

  20. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Barner, Allison K.; Benkwitt, Cassandra E.; Boersma, Kate S.; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B.; Ingeman, Kurt E.; Kindinger, Tye L.; Lindsley, Amy J.; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N.; Rowe, Jennifer C.; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A.; Heppell, Selina S.

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon’s diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

  1. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    PubMed

    Piacenza, Susan E; Thurman, Lindsey L; Barner, Allison K; Benkwitt, Cassandra E; Boersma, Kate S; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B; Ingeman, Kurt E; Kindinger, Tye L; Lindsley, Amy J; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N; Rowe, Jennifer C; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A; Heppell, Selina S

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon's diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

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

    PubMed

    PĂ€rtel, Meelis; Bennett, Jonathan A; Zobel, Martin

    2016-07-01

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

  3. Scaling issues for biodiversity protection

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, S.M.; Turner, M.G.; Gardner, R.H.; O`Neill, R.V.

    1992-08-01

    Environmental heterogeneity, in both space and time, has been important in the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity. Moreover, this heterogeneity is hierarchical in nature. Differences occur between biomes, between landscapes. Thus, hierarchical patterns of heterogeneity are a consequence of the the complexity within ecological communities, and the maintenance of biodiversity means the preservation of this complexity. Natural landscapes are dynamic systems that exhibit temporal and spatial heterogeneity. However, the exploitative nature of human activity tends to simplify landscapes (Krummel et al. 1987). The challenge of preserving biodiversity in managed landscapes is to incorporate natural levels of spatial and temporal heterogeneity into management schemes. The concept of scale has emerged as an important topic among ecologists that recognize the role of heterogeneity in natural ecosystems. Subjects related to scale such as grain (level of detail) and extent (size of area or duration of time) are frequently used to determine the appropriate interpretation of ecological data. Likewise, scale is important when applying ecological principles to biodiversity protection and conservation. The scale of a conservation endeavor affects the strategy involved, realistic goals, and probability of success. For instance, the spatial extent of a reserve system may be determined, for better or worse, by biogeography, distribution of surviving populations, political boundaries, or fiscal constraints. Our objectives are to: emphasize the importance of natural patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity, encourage a broader-scale perspective for conservation efforts, and illustrate the interaction between landscape-level heterogeneity and organism-based scales of resource utilization with a simulation experiment.

  4. Scaling issues for biodiversity protection

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, S.M.; Turner, M.G.; Gardner, R.H.; O'Neill, R.V.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity, in both space and time, has been important in the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity. Moreover, this heterogeneity is hierarchical in nature. Differences occur between biomes, between landscapes. Thus, hierarchical patterns of heterogeneity are a consequence of the the complexity within ecological communities, and the maintenance of biodiversity means the preservation of this complexity. Natural landscapes are dynamic systems that exhibit temporal and spatial heterogeneity. However, the exploitative nature of human activity tends to simplify landscapes (Krummel et al. 1987). The challenge of preserving biodiversity in managed landscapes is to incorporate natural levels of spatial and temporal heterogeneity into management schemes. The concept of scale has emerged as an important topic among ecologists that recognize the role of heterogeneity in natural ecosystems. Subjects related to scale such as grain (level of detail) and extent (size of area or duration of time) are frequently used to determine the appropriate interpretation of ecological data. Likewise, scale is important when applying ecological principles to biodiversity protection and conservation. The scale of a conservation endeavor affects the strategy involved, realistic goals, and probability of success. For instance, the spatial extent of a reserve system may be determined, for better or worse, by biogeography, distribution of surviving populations, political boundaries, or fiscal constraints. Our objectives are to: emphasize the importance of natural patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity, encourage a broader-scale perspective for conservation efforts, and illustrate the interaction between landscape-level heterogeneity and organism-based scales of resource utilization with a simulation experiment.

  5. Importance of Protected Areas for Biodiversity Conservation in Central CĂŽte D'ivoire: Comparison of Termite Assemblages between Two Neighboring Areas Under Differing Levels of Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Dosso, Kanvaly; Yéo, Kolo; Konaté, Souleymane; Linsenmair, Karl Eduard

    2012-01-01

    To highlight human impact on biodiversity in the Lamto region, termites were studied with regard to their use as bio-indicators of habitat change in the tropics. Using a standardized method, termites were sampled in the three most common habitat types, i.e., in semi-deciduous forest, savanna woodland, and annually burned savanna, all inside Lamto Reserve and its surrounding rural domain. Termite species richness fell from 25 species in the Lamto forest to 13 species in the rural area, involving strong modification in the species composition (species turnover = 59 %). In contrast, no significant change in diversity was found between the Lamto savannas and the rural ones. In addition, the relative abundance of termites showed a significantly greater decline in the rural domain, even in the species Ancistrotermes cavithorax (Sjöstedt) (Isoptera: Termitidae), which is known to be ecologically especially versatile. Overall, the findings of this study suggest further investigation around Lamto Reserve on the impact of human activities on biodiversity, focusing on forest conversion to land uses (e.g. agricultural and silvicultural systems). PMID:23448238

  6. Mapping High Biomass Corridors for Climate and Biodiversity Co-Benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jantz, P.; Goetz, S. J.; Laporte, N. T.

    2013-12-01

    A key issue in global conservation is how climate mitigation activities can secure biodiversity co-benefits. Tropical deforestation releases significant amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere and results in widespread biodiversity loss. The dominant strategy for forest conservation has been protected area designation. However, maintaining biodiversity in protected areas requires ecological exchange with ecosystems in which they are embedded. At current funding levels, existing conservation strategies are unlikely to prevent further loss of connectivity between protected areas and surrounding landscapes. The emergence of REDD+, a mechanism for funding carbon emissions reductions from deforestation in developing countries, suggests an alignment of goals and financial resources for protecting forest carbon, maintaining biodiversity in protected areas, and minimizing loss of forest ecosystem services. Identifying, protecting and sustainably managing vegetation carbon stocks between protected areas can provide both climate mitigation benefits through avoided CO2 emissions from deforestation and biodiversity benefits through the targeted protection of forests that maintain connectivity between protected areas and surrounding ecosystems. We used a high resolution, pan-tropical map of vegetation carbon stocks derived from MODIS, GLAS lidar and field measurements to map corridors that traverse areas of highest aboveground biomass between protected areas. We mapped over 13,000 corridors containing 49 GtC, accounting for 14% of unprotected vegetation carbon stock in the tropics. In the majority of cases, carbon density in corridors was commensurate with that of the protected areas they connect, suggesting significant opportunities for achieving climate mitigation and biodiversity co-benefits. To further illustrate the utility of this approach, we conducted a multi-criteria analysis of corridors in the Brazilian Amazon, identifying high biodiversity, high vegetation carbon stock

  7. Challenges of Biodiversity Education: A Review of Education Strategies for Biodiversity Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Navarro-Perez, Moramay; Tidball, Keith G.

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation has increasingly gained recognition in national and international agendas. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has positioned biodiversity as a key asset to be protected to ensure our well-being and that of future generations. Nearly 20 years after its inception, results are not as expected, as shown in the


  8. Alleviating spatial conflict between people and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Luck, Gary W; Ricketts, Taylor H; Daily, Gretchen C; Imhoff, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Human settlements are expanding in species-rich regions and pose a serious threat to biodiversity conservation. We quantify the degree to which this threat manifests itself in two contrasting continents, Australia and North America, and suggest how it can be substantially alleviated. Human population density has a strong positive correlation with species richness in Australia for birds, mammals, amphibians, and butterflies (but not reptiles) and in North America for all five taxa. Nevertheless, conservation investments could secure locations that harbor almost all species while greatly reducing overlap with densely populated regions. We compared two conservation-planning scenarios that each aimed to represent all species at least once in a minimum set of sampling sites. The first scenario assigned equal cost to each site (ignoring differences in human population density); the second assigned a cost proportional to the site's human population density. Under the equal-cost scenario, 13-40% of selected sites occurred where population density values were highest (in the top decile). However, this overlap was reduced to as low as 0%, and in almost all cases to <10%, under the population-cost scenario, when sites of high population density were avoided where possible. Moreover, this reduction of overlap was achieved with only small increases in the total amount of area requiring protection. As densely populated regions continue to expand rapidly and drive up land values, the strategic conservation investments of the kind highlighted in our analysis are best made now. PMID:14681554

  9. Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach dynamics and succession in the Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria (east Africa): implications for water quality and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Gichuki, John; Omondi, Reuben; Boera, Priscillar; Okorut, Tom; Matano, Ally Said; Jembe, Tsuma; Ofulla, Ayub

    2012-01-01

    This study, conducted in Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria, assessed ecological succession and dynamic status of water hyacinth. Results show that water hyacinth is the genesis of macrophyte succession. On establishment, water hyacinth mats are first invaded by native emergent macrophytes, Ipomoea aquatica Forsk., and Enydra fluctuans Lour., during early stages of succession. This is followed by hippo grass Vossia cuspidata (Roxb.) Griff. in mid- and late stages whose population peaks during climax stages of succession with concomitant decrease in water hyacinth biomass. Hippo grass depends on water hyacinth for buoyancy, anchorage, and nutrients. The study concludes that macrophyte succession alters aquatic biodiversity and that, since water hyacinth infestation and attendant succession are a symptom of broader watershed management and pollution problems, aquatic macrophyte control should include reduction of nutrient loads and implementing multifaceted approach that incorporates biological agents, mechanical/manual control with utilization of harvested weed for cottage industry by local communities. PMID:22619574

  10. Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach Dynamics and Succession in the Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria (East Africa): Implications for Water Quality and Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Gichuki, John; Omondi, Reuben; Boera, Priscillar; Okorut, Tom; Matano, Ally Said; Jembe, Tsuma; Ofulla, Ayub

    2012-01-01

    This study, conducted in Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria, assessed ecological succession and dynamic status of water hyacinth. Results show that water hyacinth is the genesis of macrophyte succession. On establishment, water hyacinth mats are first invaded by native emergent macrophytes, Ipomoea aquatica Forsk., and Enydra fluctuans Lour., during early stages of succession. This is followed by hippo grass Vossia cuspidata (Roxb.) Griff. in mid- and late stages whose population peaks during climax stages of succession with concomitant decrease in water hyacinth biomass. Hippo grass depends on water hyacinth for buoyancy, anchorage, and nutrients. The study concludes that macrophyte succession alters aquatic biodiversity and that, since water hyacinth infestation and attendant succession are a symptom of broader watershed management and pollution problems, aquatic macrophyte control should include reduction of nutrient loads and implementing multifaceted approach that incorporates biological agents, mechanical/manual control with utilization of harvested weed for cottage industry by local communities. PMID:22619574

  11. Children Prioritize Virtual Exotic Biodiversity over Local Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-28

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

  13. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Biodiversity Metrics

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Carissa J.; Brown, Christopher J.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Segan, Daniel B.; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E. M.

    2015-12-01

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km2 of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD’s overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services.

  16. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Carissa J.; Brown, Christopher J.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Segan, Daniel B.; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E.M.

    2015-01-01

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km2 of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD’s overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services. PMID:26631984

  17. In vitro genebanks for preserving tropical biodiversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation of plant biodiversity can be accomplished in many ways. Tropical plants often cannot be stored as seeds and must be conserved as growing plants. These plants are at risk from disease and environmental factors such as climate change so it is important to provide secondary backups of any ...

  18. Banning Trophy Hunting Will Exacerbate Biodiversity Loss.

    PubMed

    Di Minin, Enrico; Leader-Williams, Nigel; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2016-02-01

    International pressure to ban trophy hunting is increasing. However, we argue that trophy hunting can be an important conservation tool, provided it can be done in a controlled manner to benefit biodiversity conservation and local people. Where political and governance structures are adequate, trophy hunting can help address the ongoing loss of species. PMID:26746807

  19. Policy Development for Biodiversity Offsets: A Review of Offset Frameworks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenney, Bruce A.; Kiesecker, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity offsets seek to compensate for residual environmental impacts of planned developments after appropriate steps have been taken to avoid, minimize or restore impacts on site. Offsets are emerging as an increasingly employed mechanism for achieving net environmental benefits, with offset policies being advanced in a wide range of countries (i.e., United States, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa). To support policy development for biodiversity offsets, we review a set of major offset policy frameworks—US wetlands mitigation, US conservation banking, EU Natura 2000, Australian offset policies in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, and Brazilian industrial and forest offsets. We compare how the frameworks define offset policy goals, approach the mitigation process, and address six key issues for implementing offsets: (1) equivalence of project impacts with offset gains; (2) location of the offset relative to the impact site; (3) “additionality” (a new contribution to conservation) and acceptable types of offsets; (4) timing of project impacts versus offset benefits; (5) offset duration and compliance; and (6) “currency” and mitigation replacement ratios. We find substantial policy commonalities that may serve as a sound basis for future development of biodiversity offsets policy. We also identify issues requiring further policy guidance, including how best to: (1) ensure conformance with the mitigation hierarchy; (2) identify the most environmentally preferable offsets within a landscape context; and (3) determine appropriate mitigation replacement ratios.

  20. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The recent increase in liquid biofuel production has stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate rising energy prices, promote rural economic development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of this industry has important implications for biodiversity, the effects of which depend largely on which biofuel feedstocks are being grown and the spatial extent and landscape pattern of land requirements for growing these feedstocks. Current biofuel production occurs largely on croplands that have long been in agricultural production. The additional land area required for future biofuels production can be met in part by reclaiming reserve or abandoned croplands and by extending cropping into lands formerly deemed marginal for agriculture. In the United States, many such marginal lands have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing important habitat for grassland species. The demand for corn ethanOl has changed agricultural commodity economics dramatically, already contributing to loss of CRP lands as contracts expire and lands are returned to agricultural production. Nevertheless, there are ways in which biofuels can be developed to enhance their coexistence with biodiversity. Landscape heterogeneity can be improved by interspersion of land uses, which is easier around facilities with smaller or more varied feedstock demands. The development of biofuel feedstocks that yield high net energy returns with minimal carbon debts or that do not require additional land for production, such as residues and wastes, should be encouraged. Competing land uses, including both biofuel production and biodiversity protection, should be subjected to comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, so that incentives can be directed where they will do the most good. PMID:21774415

  1. The EnviroAtlas ‐ Developing a National Approach to Quantify and Map Metrics within an Ecosystem Services Framework. Subfocus: Multi‐scale Biodiversity Conservation Metrics

    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 become stra...

  2. Cocoa Intensification Scenarios and Their Predicted Impact on CO2 Emissions, Biodiversity Conservation, and Rural Livelihoods in the Guinea Rain Forest of West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gockowski, Jim; Sonwa, Denis

    2011-08-01

    The Guinean rain forest (GRF) of West Africa, identified over 20 years ago as a global biodiversity hotspot, had reduced to 113,000 km2 at the start of the new millennium which was 18% of its original area. The principal driver of this environmental change has been the expansion of extensive smallholder agriculture. From 1988 to 2007, the area harvested in the GRF by smallholders of cocoa, cassava, and oil palm increased by 68,000 km2. Field results suggest a high potential for significantly increasing crop yields through increased application of seed-fertilizer technologies. Analyzing land-use change scenarios, it was estimated that had intensified cocoa technology, already developed in the 1960s, been pursued in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon that over 21,000 km2 of deforestation and forest degradation could have been avoided along with the emission of nearly 1.4 billion t of CO2. Addressing the low productivity of agriculture in the GRF should be one of the principal objectives of REDD climate mitigation programs.

  3. Designing large-scale conservation corridors for pattern and process.

    PubMed

    Rouget, Mathieu; Cowling, Richard M; Lombard, Amanda T; Knight, Andrew T; Kerley, Graham I H

    2006-04-01

    A major challenge for conservation assessments is to identify priority areas that incorporate biological patterns and processes. Because large-scale processes are mostly oriented along environmental gradients, we propose to accommodate them by designing regional-scale corridors to capture these gradients. Based on systematic conservation planning principles such as representation and persistence, we identified large tracts of untransformed land (i.e., conservation corridors) for conservation that would achieve biodiversity targets for pattern and process in the Subtropical Thicket Biome of South Africa. We combined least-cost path analysis with a target-driven algorithm to identify the best option for capturing key environmental gradients while considering biodiversity targets and conservation opportunities and constraints. We identified seven conservation corridors on the basis of subtropical thicket representation, habitat transformation and degradation, wildlife suitability, irreplaceability of vegetation types, protected area networks, and future land-use pressures. These conservation corridors covered 21.1% of the planning region (ranging from 600 to 5200 km2) and successfully achieved targets for biological processes and to a lesser extent for vegetation types. The corridors we identified are intended to promote the persistence of ecological processes (gradients and fixed processes) and fulfill half of the biodiversity pattern target. We compared the conservation corridors with a simplified corridor design consisting of a fixed-width buffer along major rivers. Conservation corridors outperformed river buffers in seven out of eight criteria. Our corridor design can provide a tool for quantifying trade-offs between various criteria (biodiversity pattern and process, implementation constraints and opportunities). A land-use management model was developed to facilitate implementation of conservation actions within these corridors. PMID:16903115

  4. Conserving biodiversity in a human-dominated world: degradation of marine sessile communities within a protected area with conflicting human uses.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Valeriano; Micheli, Fiorenza; Montefalcone, Monica; Morri, Carla; Villa, Elisa; Castellano, Michela; Povero, Paolo; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2013-01-01

    Conservation research aims at understanding whether present protection schemes are adequate for the maintenance of ecosystems structure and function across time. We evaluated long-term variation in rocky reef communities by comparing sites surveyed in 1993 and again in 2008. This research took place in Tigullio Gulf, an emblematic case study where various conservation measures, including a marine protected area, have been implemented to manage multiple human uses. Contrary to our prediction that protection should have favored ecosystem stability, we found that communities subjected to conservation measures (especially within the marine protected area) exhibited the greatest variation toward architectural complexity loss. Between 1993 and 2008, chronic anthropogenic pressures (especially organic load) that had already altered unprotected sites in 1993 expanded their influence into protected areas. This expansion of human pressure likely explains our observed changes in the benthic communities. Our results suggest that adaptive ecosystem-based management (EBM), that is management taking into account human interactions, informed by continuous monitoring, is needed in order to attempt reversing the current trend towards less architecturally complex communities. Protected areas are not sufficient to stop ecosystem alteration by pressures coming from outside. Monitoring, and consequent management actions, should therefore extend to cover the relevant scales of those pressures. PMID:24143173

  5. Conserving Biodiversity in a Human-Dominated World: Degradation of Marine Sessile Communities within a Protected Area with Conflicting Human Uses

    PubMed Central

    Parravicini, Valeriano; Micheli, Fiorenza; Montefalcone, Monica; Morri, Carla; Villa, Elisa; Castellano, Michela; Povero, Paolo; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2013-01-01

    Conservation research aims at understanding whether present protection schemes are adequate for the maintenance of ecosystems structure and function across time. We evaluated long-term variation in rocky reef communities by comparing sites surveyed in 1993 and again in 2008. This research took place in Tigullio Gulf, an emblematic case study where various conservation measures, including a marine protected area, have been implemented to manage multiple human uses. Contrary to our prediction that protection should have favored ecosystem stability, we found that communities subjected to conservation measures (especially within the marine protected area) exhibited the greatest variation toward architectural complexity loss. Between 1993 and 2008, chronic anthropogenic pressures (especially organic load) that had already altered unprotected sites in 1993 expanded their influence into protected areas. This expansion of human pressure likely explains our observed changes in the benthic communities. Our results suggest that adaptive ecosystem-based management (EBM), that is management taking into account human interactions, informed by continuous monitoring, is needed in order to attempt reversing the current trend towards less architecturally complex communities. Protected areas are not sufficient to stop ecosystem alteration by pressures coming from outside. Monitoring, and consequent management actions, should therefore extend to cover the relevant scales of those pressures. PMID:24143173

  6. 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...

  7. Optimal conservation outcomes require both restoration and protection.

    PubMed

    Possingham, Hugh P; Bode, Michael; Klein, Carissa J

    2015-01-01

    Conservation outcomes are principally achieved through the protection of intact habitat or the restoration of degraded habitat. Restoration is generally considered a lower priority action than protection because protection is thought to provide superior outcomes, at lower costs, without the time delay required for restoration. Yet while it is broadly accepted that protected intact habitat safeguards more biodiversity and generates greater ecosystem services per unit area than restored habitat, conservation lacks a theory that can coherently compare the relative outcomes of the two actions. We use a dynamic landscape model to integrate these two actions into a unified conservation theory of protection and restoration. Using nonlinear benefit functions, we show that both actions are crucial components of a conservation strategy that seeks to optimise either biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services provision. In contrast to conservation orthodoxy, in some circumstances, restoration should be strongly preferred to protection. The relative priority of protection and restoration depends on their costs and also on the different time lags that are inherent to both protection and restoration. We derive a simple and easy-to-interpret heuristic that integrates these factors into a single equation that applies equally to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives. We use two examples to illustrate the theory: bird conservation in tropical rainforests and coastal defence provided by mangrove forests. PMID:25625277

  8. Optimal Conservation Outcomes Require Both Restoration and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Possingham, Hugh P.; Bode, Michael; Klein, Carissa J.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation outcomes are principally achieved through the protection of intact habitat or the restoration of degraded habitat. Restoration is generally considered a lower priority action than protection because protection is thought to provide superior outcomes, at lower costs, without the time delay required for restoration. Yet while it is broadly accepted that protected intact habitat safeguards more biodiversity and generates greater ecosystem services per unit area than restored habitat, conservation lacks a theory that can coherently compare the relative outcomes of the two actions. We use a dynamic landscape model to integrate these two actions into a unified conservation theory of protection and restoration. Using nonlinear benefit functions, we show that both actions are crucial components of a conservation strategy that seeks to optimise either biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services provision. In contrast to conservation orthodoxy, in some circumstances, restoration should be strongly preferred to protection. The relative priority of protection and restoration depends on their costs and also on the different time lags that are inherent to both protection and restoration. We derive a simple and easy-to-interpret heuristic that integrates these factors into a single equation that applies equally to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives. We use two examples to illustrate the theory: bird conservation in tropical rainforests and coastal defence provided by mangrove forests. PMID:25625277

  9. Conservation Planning for Ecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kai M. A; Shaw, M. Rebecca; Cameron, David R; Underwood, Emma C; Daily, Gretchen C

    2006-01-01

    Despite increasing attention to the human dimension of conservation projects, a rigorous, systematic methodology for planning for ecosystem services has not been developed. This is in part because flows of ecosystem services remain poorly characterized at local-to-regional scales, and their protection has not generally been made a priority. We used a spatially explicit conservation planning framework to explore the trade-offs and opportunities for aligning conservation goals for biodiversity with six ecosystem services (carbon storage, flood control, forage production, outdoor recreation, crop pollination, and water provision) in the Central Coast ecoregion of California, United States. We found weak positive and some weak negative associations between the priority areas for biodiversity conservation and the flows of the six ecosystem services across the ecoregion. Excluding the two agriculture-focused services—crop pollination and forage production—eliminates all negative correlations. We compared the degree to which four contrasting conservation network designs protect biodiversity and the flow of the six services. We found that biodiversity conservation protects substantial collateral flows of services. Targeting ecosystem services directly can meet the multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity goals more efficiently but cannot substitute for targeted biodiversity protection (biodiversity losses of 44% relative to targeting biodiversity alone). Strategically targeting only biodiversity plus the four positively associated services offers much promise (relative biodiversity losses of 7%). Here we present an initial analytical framework for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in conservation planning and illustrate its application. We found that although there are important potential trade-offs between conservation for biodiversity and for ecosystem services, a systematic planning framework offers scope for identifying valuable synergies. PMID

  10. Avoiding Costly Conservation Mistakes: The Importance of Defining Actions and Costs in Spatial Priority Setting

    PubMed Central

    Carwardine, Josie; Wilson, Kerrie A.; Watts, Matt; Etter, Andres; Klein, Carissa J.; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2008-01-01

    Background The typical mandate in conservation planning is to identify areas that represent biodiversity targets within the smallest possible area of land or sea, despite the fact that area may be a poor surrogate for the cost of many conservation actions. It is also common for priorities for conservation investment to be identified without regard to the particular conservation action that will be implemented. This demonstrates inadequate problem specification and may lead to inefficiency: the cost of alternative conservation actions can differ throughout a landscape, and may result in dissimilar conservation priorities. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigate the importance of formulating conservation planning problems with objectives and cost data that relate to specific conservation actions. We identify priority areas in Australia for two alternative conservation actions: land acquisition and stewardship. Our analyses show that using the cost surrogate that most closely reflects the planned conservation action can cut the cost of achieving our biodiversity goals by half. We highlight spatial differences in relative priorities for land acquisition and stewardship in Australia, and provide a simple approach for determining which action should be undertaken where. Conclusions/Significance Our study shows that a poorly posed conservation problem that fails to pre-specify the planned conservation action and incorporate cost a priori can lead to expensive mistakes. We can be more efficient in achieving conservation goals by clearly specifying our conservation objective and parameterising the problem with economic data that reflects this objective. PMID:18596914

  11. Insights from life history theory for an explicit treatment of trade-offs in conservation biology.

    PubMed

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

    As economic and social contexts become more embedded within biodiversity conservation, it becomes obvious that resources are a limiting factor in conservation. This recognition is leading conservation scientists and practitioners to increasingly frame conservation decisions as trade-offs between conflicting societal objectives. However, this framing is all too often done in an intuitive way, rather than by addressing trade-offs explicitly. In contrast, the concept of trade-off is a keystone in evolutionary biology, where it has been investigated extensively. I argue that insights from evolutionary theory can provide methodological and theoretical support to evaluating and quantifying trade-offs in biodiversity conservation. I reviewed the diverse ways in which trade-offs have emerged within the context of conservation and how advances from evolutionary theory can help avoid the main pitfalls of an implicit approach. When studying both evolutionary trade-offs (e.g., reproduction vs. survival) and conservation trade-offs (e.g., biodiversity conservation vs. agriculture), it is crucial to correctly identify the limiting resource, hold constant the amount of this resource when comparing different scenarios, and choose appropriate metrics to quantify the extent to which the objectives have been achieved. Insights from studies in evolutionary theory also reveal how an inadequate selection of conservation solutions may result from considering suboptimal rather than optional solutions when examining whether a trade-off exits between 2 objectives. Furthermore, the shape of a trade-off curve (i.e., whether the relationship between 2 objectives follows a concave, convex, or linear form) is known to affect crucially the definition of optimal solutions in evolutionary biology and very likely affects decisions in biodiversity conservation planning too. This interface between evolutionary biology and biodiversity conservation can therefore provide methodological guidance to

  12. Pastures and biodiversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. In search for a compromise between biodiversity conservation and human health protection in restoration of fly ash deposits: effect of anti-dust treatments on five groups of arthropods.

    PubMed

    Tropek, Robert; Cerna, Ilona; Straka, Jakub; Kocarek, Petr; Malenovsky, Igor; Tichanek, Filip; Sebek, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    Recently, fly ash deposits have been revealed as a secondary refuge of critically endangered arthropods specialised on aeolian sands in Central Europe. Simultaneously, these anthropogenic habitats are well known for their negative impact on human health and the surrounding environment. The overwhelming majority of these risks are caused by wind erosion, the substantial decreasing of which is thus necessary. But, any effects of anti-dust treatments on endangered arthropods have never been studied. We surveyed communities of five arthropod groups (wild bees and wasps, leafhoppers, spiders, hoverflies and orthopteroid insects) colonising three fly ash deposits in the western Czech Republic. We focused on two different anti-dust treatments (~70 and 100 % cover of fly ash by barren soil) and their comparison with a control of bare fly ash. Altogether, we recorded 495 species, including 132 nationally threatened species (eight of them were considered to be extinct in the country) and/or 30 species strictly specialised to drift sands. Bees and wasps and leafhoppers contained the overwhelming majority of species of the highest conservation interest; a few other important records were also in spiders and orthopteroids. Total soil cover depleted the unique environment of fly ash and thus destroyed the high conservation potential of the deposits. On the other hand, partial coverage (with ~30 % of bare fly ash) still offered habitats for many of the most threatened species, as we showed by both regression and multivariate analyses, with a decrease of wind erosion. This topic still needs much more research interest, but we consider mosaic-like preservation of smaller spots of fly ash as one of the possible compromises between biodiversity and human health. PMID:25847441

  14. Metabolite profiles of essential oils and molecular markers analysis to explore the biodiversity of Ferula communis: Towards conservation of the endemic giant fennel.

    PubMed

    Rahali, Fatma Zohra; Lamine, Myriam; Gargouri, Mahmoud; Rebey, Iness Bettaieb; Hammami, Majdi; Sellami, Ibtissem Hamrouni

    2016-04-01

    in situ conservation. The analysis of chemical constitution of oil of the populations from a specific region revealed predominance of specific constituents indicating possibility of their collection/selection for specific end uses like phytomedicines. Sufficient molecular and biochemical diversity detected among natural populations of this species will form the basis for the future improvement. The correlation between matrices of RAPD and essential oils was not significant. The conservation strategies of populations should be made according to their level of genetic and chemical diversity in relation to geographic location of populations. Our results give some insights into the characterization of this as yet little investigated plant. PMID:26826740

  15. Weeds of Hawaii’s lands devoted to watershed protection and biodiversity conservation: Role of biological control as the missing piece in an integrated pest management strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medeiros, Arthur C.; Loope, L.L.

    2011-01-01

    Despite Hawaii’s reputation as an extinction icon, significant biological resources remain, especially in watersheds, natural areas, and specialized edaphic sites (e.g., lava dry forest, coastal). While direct habitat destruction by humans continues, human-facilitated biological invaders are currently the primary agents of continuing degradation. The ability of invasive plants to have prolific seed production, efficient dispersal systems, and to become established in dense vegetation, complicated by Hawaii’s rugged topography, appears to render mechanical and chemical control as mere holding actions. Costly, ‘environmentally unfriendly’, and often ineffective, strategies using chemical and mechanical control on a large scale, despite the most valiant of efforts, can be viewed simply as attempts to buy time. Without increased levels of safely tested biological control, the seemingly inevitable result is the landscape level transformation of native forests, with potentially catastrophic consequences to cultural, biological, water, and economic resources. Increased levels of effective biological control for certain intractable invasive species appear to comprise a conspicuous ‘missing piece’ in our efforts to protect Hawaiian watersheds and other conservation lands.

  16. Place prioritization for biodiversity content.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Sahotra; Aggarwal, Anshu; Garson, Justin; Margules, Chris R; Zeidler, Juliane

    2002-07-01

    The prioritization of places on the basis of biodiversity content is part of any systematic biodiversity conservation planning process. The place prioritization procedure implemented in the ResNet software package is described. This procedure is primarily based on the principles of rarity and complementarity. Application of the procedure is demonstrated with two analyses, one data set consisting of the distributions of termite genera in Namibia, and the other consisting of the distributions of bird species in the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands. The attributes that data sets should have for the effective and reliable application of such procedures are discussed. The procedure used here is compared to some others that are also currently in use. PMID:12177533

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Biodiverse Planting for Carbon and Biodiversity on Indigenous Land

    PubMed Central

    Renwick, Anna R.; Robinson, Catherine J.; Martin, Tara G.; May, Tracey; Polglase, Phil; Possingham, Hugh P.; Carwardine, Josie

    2014-01-01

    Carbon offset mechanisms have been established to mitigate climate change through changes in land management. Regulatory frameworks enable landowners and managers to generate saleable carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Identifying and managing the associated co-benefits and dis-benefits involved in the adoption of carbon offset projects is important for the projects to contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development and the provision of benefits to the local communities. So far it has been unclear how Indigenous communities can benefit from such initiatives. We provide a spatial analysis of the carbon and biodiversity potential of one offset method, planting biodiverse native vegetation, on Indigenous land across Australia. We discover significant potential for opportunities for Indigenous communities to achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity goals through biodiverse plantings, largely in southern and eastern Australia, but the economic feasibility of these projects depend on carbon market assumptions. Our national scale cost-effectiveness analysis is critical to enable Indigenous communities to maximise the benefits available to them through participation in carbon offset schemes. PMID:24637736

  19. Biodiverse planting for carbon and biodiversity on indigenous land.

    PubMed

    Renwick, Anna R; Robinson, Catherine J; Martin, Tara G; May, Tracey; Polglase, Phil; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie

    2014-01-01

    Carbon offset mechanisms have been established to mitigate climate change through changes in land management. Regulatory frameworks enable landowners and managers to generate saleable carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Identifying and managing the associated co-benefits and dis-benefits involved in the adoption of carbon offset projects is important for the projects to contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development and the provision of benefits to the local communities. So far it has been unclear how Indigenous communities can benefit from such initiatives. We provide a spatial analysis of the carbon and biodiversity potential of one offset method, planting biodiverse native vegetation, on Indigenous land across Australia. We discover significant potential for opportunities for Indigenous communities to achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity goals through biodiverse plantings, largely in southern and eastern Australia, but the economic feasibility of these projects depend on carbon market assumptions. Our national scale cost-effectiveness analysis is critical to enable Indigenous communities to maximise the benefits available to them through participation in carbon offset schemes. PMID:24637736

  20. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strecker, Angela; Olden, Julian D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential trade-offs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity; contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species); and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities; however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates

  1. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strecker, A.L.; Olden, J.D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, C.P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential tradeoffs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity;contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species);and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities;however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates multiple

  2. ELUCIDATING THE MECHANISMS BEHIND SUCCESSFUL INDICATORS OF BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Groups of species have been proposed as indicators of biodiversity for use in conservation planning. Different tests of indicator groups have produced divergent results varying with taxonomy, methodology, scale, and location. At large scales, successful indicator groups should b...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. A biodiversity indicators dashboard: addressing challenges to monitoring progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets using disaggregated global data.

    PubMed

    Han, Xuemei; Smyth, Regan L; Young, Bruce E; Brooks, Thomas M; SĂĄnchez de Lozada, Alexandra; Bubb, Philip; Butchart, Stuart H M; Larsen, Frank W; Hamilton, Healy; Hansen, Matthew C; Turner, Will R

    2014-01-01

    Recognizing the imperiled status of biodiversity and its benefit to human well-being, the world's governments committed in 2010 to take effective and urgent action to halt biodiversity loss through the Convention on Biological Diversity's "Aichi Targets". These targets, and many conservation programs, require monitoring to assess progress toward specific goals. However, comprehensive and easily understood information on biodiversity trends at appropriate spatial scales is often not available to the policy makers, managers, and scientists who require it. We surveyed conservation stakeholders in three geographically diverse regions of critical biodiversity concern (the Tropical Andes, the African Great Lakes, and the Greater Mekong) and found high demand for biodiversity indicator information but uneven availability. To begin to address this need, we present a biodiversity "dashboard"--a visualization of biodiversity indicators designed to enable tracking of biodiversity and conservation performance data in a clear, user-friendly format. This builds on previous, more conceptual, indicator work to create an operationalized online interface communicating multiple indicators at multiple spatial scales. We structured this dashboard around the Pressure-State-Response-Benefit framework, selecting four indicators to measure pressure on biodiversity (deforestation rate), state of species (Red List Index), conservation response (protection of key biodiversity areas), and benefits to human populations (freshwater provision). Disaggregating global data, we present dashboard maps and graphics for the three regions surveyed and their component countries. These visualizations provide charts showing regional and national trends and lay the foundation for a web-enabled, interactive biodiversity indicators dashboard. This new tool can help track progress toward the Aichi Targets, support national monitoring and reporting, and inform outcome-based policy-making for the protection of

  6. A Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard: Addressing Challenges to Monitoring Progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets Using Disaggregated Global Data

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xuemei; Smyth, Regan L.; Young, Bruce E.; Brooks, Thomas M.; SĂĄnchez de Lozada, Alexandra; Bubb, Philip; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Larsen, Frank W.; Hamilton, Healy; Hansen, Matthew C.; Turner, Will R.

    2014-01-01

    Recognizing the imperiled status of biodiversity and its benefit to human well-being, the world's governments committed in 2010 to take effective and urgent action to halt biodiversity loss through the Convention on Biological Diversity's “Aichi Targets”. These targets, and many conservation programs, require monitoring to assess progress toward specific goals. However, comprehensive and easily understood information on biodiversity trends at appropriate spatial scales is often not available to the policy makers, managers, and scientists who require it. We surveyed conservation stakeholders in three geographically diverse regions of critical biodiversity concern (the Tropical Andes, the African Great Lakes, and the Greater Mekong) and found high demand for biodiversity indicator information but uneven availability. To begin to address this need, we present a biodiversity “dashboard” – a visualization of biodiversity indicators designed to enable tracking of biodiversity and conservation performance data in a clear, user-friendly format. This builds on previous, more conceptual, indicator work to create an operationalized online interface communicating multiple indicators at multiple spatial scales. We structured this dashboard around the Pressure-State-Response-Benefit framework, selecting four indicators to measure pressure on biodiversity (deforestation rate), state of species (Red List Index), conservation response (protection of key biodiversity areas), and benefits to human populations (freshwater provision). Disaggregating global data, we present dashboard maps and graphics for the three regions surveyed and their component countries. These visualizations provide charts showing regional and national trends and lay the foundation for a web-enabled, interactive biodiversity indicators dashboard. This new tool can help track progress toward the Aichi Targets, support national monitoring and reporting, and inform outcome-based policy-making for the

  7. Essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. The Importance of Biodiversity E-infrastructures for Megadiverse Countries

    PubMed Central

    Canhos, Dora A. L.; Sousa-Baena, Mariane S.; de Souza, Sidnei; Maia, Leonor C.; Stehmann, JoĂŁo R.; Canhos, Vanderlei P.; De Giovanni, Renato; Bonacelli, Maria B. M.; Los, Wouter; Peterson, A. Townsend

    2015-01-01

    Addressing the challenges of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development requires global cooperation, support structures, and new governance models to integrate diverse initiatives and achieve massive, open exchange of data, tools, and technology. The traditional paradigm of sharing scientific knowledge through publications is not sufficient to meet contemporary demands that require not only the results but also data, knowledge, and skills to analyze the data. E-infrastructures are key in facilitating access to data and providing the framework for collaboration. Here we discuss the importance of e-infrastructures of public interest and the lack of long-term funding policies. We present the example of Brazil’s speciesLink network, an e-infrastructure that provides free and open access to biodiversity primary data and associated tools. SpeciesLink currently integrates 382 datasets from 135 national institutions and 13 institutions from abroad, openly sharing ~7.4 million records, 94% of which are associated to voucher specimens. Just as important as the data is the network of data providers and users. In 2014, more than 95% of its users were from Brazil, demonstrating the importance of local e-infrastructures in enabling and promoting local use of biodiversity data and knowledge. From the outset, speciesLink has been sustained through project-based funding, normally public grants for 2–4-year periods. In between projects, there are short-term crises in trying to keep the system operational, a fact that has also been observed in global biodiversity portals, as well as in social and physical sciences platforms and even in computing services portals. In the last decade, the open access movement propelled the development of many web platforms for sharing data. Adequate policies unfortunately did not follow the same tempo, and now many initiatives may perish. PMID:26204382

  9. The Importance of Biodiversity E-infrastructures for Megadiverse Countries.

    PubMed

    Canhos, Dora A L; Sousa-Baena, Mariane S; de Souza, Sidnei; Maia, Leonor C; Stehmann, JoĂŁo R; Canhos, Vanderlei P; De Giovanni, Renato; Bonacelli, Maria B M; Los, Wouter; Peterson, A Townsend

    2015-07-01

    Addressing the challenges of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development requires global cooperation, support structures, and new governance models to integrate diverse initiatives and achieve massive, open exchange of data, tools, and technology. The traditional paradigm of sharing scientific knowledge through publications is not sufficient to meet contemporary demands that require not only the results but also data, knowledge, and skills to analyze the data. E-infrastructures are key in facilitating access to data and providing the framework for collaboration. Here we discuss the importance of e-infrastructures of public interest and the lack of long-term funding policies. We present the example of Brazil's speciesLink network, an e-infrastructure that provides free and open access to biodiversity primary data and associated tools. SpeciesLink currently integrates 382 datasets from 135 national institutions and 13 institutions from abroad, openly sharing ~7.4 million records, 94% of which are associated to voucher specimens. Just as important as the data is the network of data providers and users. In 2014, more than 95% of its users were from Brazil, demonstrating the importance of local e-infrastructures in enabling and promoting local use of biodiversity data and knowledge. From the outset, speciesLink has been sustained through project-based funding, normally public grants for 2-4-year periods. In between projects, there are short-term crises in trying to keep the system operational, a fact that has also been observed in global biodiversity portals, as well as in social and physical sciences platforms and even in computing services portals. In the last decade, the open access movement propelled the development of many web platforms for sharing data. Adequate policies unfortunately did not follow the same tempo, and now many initiatives may perish. PMID:26204382

  10. Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earl, G.; Curtis, A.; Allan, C.

    2010-04-01

    The decline in biodiversity is a worldwide phenomenon, with current rates of species extinction more dramatic than any previously recorded. Habitat loss has been identified as the major cause of biodiversity decline. In this article we suggest that a statutory duty of care would complement the current mix of policy options for biodiversity conservation. Obstacles hindering the introduction of a statutory duty of care include linguistic ambiguity about the terms ‘duty of care’ and ‘stewardship’ and how they are applied in a natural resource management context, and the absence of a mechanism to guide its implementation. Drawing on international literature and key informant interviews we have articulated characteristics of duty of care to reduce linguistic ambiguity, and developed a framework for implementing a duty of care for biodiversity at the regional scale. The framework draws on key elements of the common law ‘duty of care’, the concepts of ‘taking reasonable care’ and ‘avoiding foreseeable harm’, in its logic. Core elements of the framework include desired outcomes for biodiversity, supported by current recommended practices. The focus on outcomes provides opportunities for the development of innovative management practices. The framework incorporates multiple pathways for the redress of non-compliance including tiered negative sanctions, and positive measures to encourage compliance. Importantly, the framework addresses the need for change and adaptation that is a necessary part of biodiversity management.

  11. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Climate-smart management of biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Informing and influencing the interface between biodiversity science and biodiversity policy in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Crouch, Neil R; Smith, Gideon F

    2011-01-01

    South Africa, as a megadiverse country (±21 700 vascular plants, 4800 vertebrates and 68 900 invertebrates described), is presently engaged with an extended, modified Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). The country is fortunate in having a strong tradition of systematics research and, inter alia, houses several million preserved plant specimens (±1 million databased and georeferenced), allowing taxonomists and conservationists to track both the occurrence and distribution of indigenous and naturalized plant species. These rich local resources have been extensively drawn upon to deliver, with varying degrees of success, the 16 outcome-oriented GSPC 2010 Targets. The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA, 2004), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and the National Biodiversity Framework (NBF) have provided a robust legislative, enabling and policy framework for making operational and advancing GSPC-related efforts. However, within an emerging economy, the conservation of biodiversity has competed for government resources with housing, sanitation, primary education, basic health care and crime prevention, delivery of which translates to the currency of politicians: votes. A key challenge identified by local (and global) biodiversity scientists for the current GSPC phase is broad-scale advocacy, communicating the changing state of nature, and the inter-relatedness of biodiversity and human well-being. The nature of meeting this challenge is explored. PMID:22059250

  14. Salvage logging, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, D B; Noss, R F

    2006-08-01

    We summarize the documented and potential impacts of salvage logging--a form of logging that removes trees and other biological material from sites after natural disturbance. Such operations may reduce or eliminate biological legacies, modify rare postdisturbance habitats, influence populations, alter community composition, impair natural vegetation recovery, facilitate the colonization of invasive species, alter soil properties and nutrient levels, increase erosion, modify hydrological regimes and aquatic ecosystems, and alter patterns of landscape heterogeneity These impacts can be assigned to three broad and interrelated effects: (1) altered stand structural complexity; (2) altered ecosystem processes and functions; and (3) altered populations of species and community composition. Some impacts may be different from or additional to the effects of traditional logging that is not preceded by a large natural disturbance because the conditions before, during, and after salvage logging may differ from those that characterize traditional timber harvesting. The potential impacts of salvage logging often have been overlooked, partly because the processes of ecosystem recovery after natural disturbance are still poorly understood and partly because potential cumulative effects of natural and human disturbance have not been well documented. Ecologically informed policies regarding salvage logging are needed prior to major natural disturbances so that when they occur ad hoc and crisis-mode decision making can be avoided. These policies should lead to salvage-exemption zones and limits on the amounts of disturbance-derived biological legacies (e.g., burned trees, logs) that are removed where salvage logging takes place. Finally, we believe new terminology is needed. The word salvage implies that something is being saved or recovered, whereas from an ecological perspective this is rarely the case. PMID:16922212

  15. Improving consideration of biodiversity in NEPA assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsch, A. )

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Biodiversity in forage stands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Sustaining biodiversity in ancient tropical countryside.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Jai; Daniels, R J Ranjit; Chandran, M D Subash; Ehrlich, Paul R; Daily, Gretchen C

    2008-11-18

    With intensifying demands for food and biofuels, a critical threat to biodiversity is agricultural expansion into native tropical ecosystems. Tropical agriculture, particularly intensive agriculture, often supports few native organisms, and consequently has been largely overlooked in conservation planning; yet, recent work in the Neotropics demonstrates that tropical agriculture with certain features can support significant biodiversity, decades after conversion to farmland. It remains unknown whether this conservation value can be sustained for centuries to millennia. Here, we quantify the bird diversity affiliated with agricultural systems in southwest India, a region continuously cultivated for >2,000 years. We show that arecanut palm (Areca catechu) production systems retain 90% of the bird species associated with regional native forest. Two factors promote this high conservation value. First, the system involves intercropping with multiple, usually woody, understory species and, thus, has high vertical structural complexity that is positively correlated with bird species richness. Second, the system encompasses nearby forests, where large quantities of leaf litter are extracted for mulch. The preservation of these forests on productive land traces back to their value in supplying inputs to arecanut cultivation. The long-term biodiversity value of an agricultural ecosystem has not been documented in South and Southeast Asia. Our findings open a new conservation opportunity for this imperiled region that may well extend to other crops. Some of these working lands may be able to sustain native species over long-time scales, indicating that conservation investments in agriculture today could pay off for people and for nature. PMID:18981411

  18. A land exchange program to protect biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Cutler, M.R. )

    1993-02-01

    Wilderness area boundries have often been set by absence of commercial reserves such as timber, ores, oil, and gas. However, to help further the goal of conserving biological diversity, wilderness areas should be explicity managed to maintain thier species richness over time. The author presents a land exchange approach in which each addition to the public domain for wilderness and biodiversity-conservation purposes could be matched by the simultaneous deletion of land of comparable market value with species already well protected. Discussed are how the four US federal land management agencies can implement the proposal, the benefits of protecting the ecological health of the National Wilderness Preservation System, the lack of guidance from leaders, the pressures facing the wilderness, and how partnerships can be built to protect biodiversity and primative recreational opportunities while reinvigorating the wilderness-conservation movement.

  19. A gap analysis and comprehensive conservation strategy for riverine ecosystems of Missouri

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sowa, Scott P.; Annis, Gust; Morey, Michael E.; Diamond, David D.

    2007-01-01

    portion of the total resource base, but the area of conservation concern is often much larger. Identifying priority riverscapes for conservation is an important first step toward effective biodiversity conservation. Yet, achieving the ultimate goal of conserving biodiversity will require vigilance on the part of all responsible parties, with particular attention to addressing and coordinating the many remaining logistical tasks.

  20. How Zoos Are Meeting the Challenges Facing Biodiversity: Bristol Zoo Gardens as a Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrett, Simon

    2010-01-01

    As ideas about effective conservation of biodiversity develop, zoos are adapting their roles to meet the new challenges. This article considers these changes, using the work of Bristol and other UK zoos as a case study. The significance of zoos in both global and local conservation of biodiversity, their role in promoting public engagement and


  1. Evaluating local benefits from conservation in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area.

    PubMed

    Spiteri, Arian; Nepal, Sanjay K

    2008-09-01

    Protected areas are integral to the global effort to conserve biodiversity, and, over the past two decades, protected area managers have begun to recognize that conservation objectives are next to impossible to achieve without considering the needs and concerns of local communities. Incentive-based programs (IBPs) have become a favored approach to protected area management, geared at fostering local stewardship by delivering benefits tied to conservation to local people. Effective IBPs require benefits to accrue to and be recognized by those experiencing the greatest consequences as a result of the protected area, and those likely to continue extractive activities if their livelihood needs are compromised. This research examines dispersal of IBP benefits, as perceived by local residents in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area. Results reported here are based on questionnaire interviews with 188 households conducted between September and December 2004. Results indicate that local residents primarily identify benefits from social development activities, provisions for resource extraction, and economic opportunities. Overall, benefits have been dispersed equally to households in villages on and off the main tourist route, and regardless of a household's participation in tourism. However, benefits are not effectively targeted to poorer residents, those highly dependent on natural resources, and those experiencing the most crop damage and livestock loss from protected wildlife. This article provides several suggestions for improving the delivery of conservation incentives. PMID:18458999

  2. Landscape equivalency analysis: methodology for estimating spatially explicit biodiversity credits.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Douglas J; Jones, Michael L; Lupi, Frank; Scribner, Kim T

    2005-10-01

    We propose a biodiversity credit system for trading endangered species habitat designed to minimize and reverse the negative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, the leading cause of species endangerment in the United States. Given the increasing demand for land, approaches that explicitly balance economic goals against conservation goals are required. The Endangered Species Act balances these conflicts based on the cost to replace habitat. Conservation banking is a means to manage this balance, and we argue for its use to mitigate the effects of habitat fragmentation. Mitigating the effects of land development on biodiversity requires decisions that recognize regional ecological effects resulting from local economic decisions. We propose Landscape Equivalency Analysis (LEA), a landscape-scale approach similar to HEA, as an accounting system to calculate conservation banking credits so that habitat trades do not exacerbate regional ecological effects of local decisions. Credits purchased by public agencies or NGOs for purposes other than mitigating a take create a net investment in natural capital leading to habitat defragmentation. Credits calculated by LEA use metapopulation genetic theory to estimate sustainability criteria against which all trades are judged. The approach is rooted in well-accepted ecological, evolutionary, and economic theory, which helps compensate for the degree of uncertainty regarding the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on endangered species. LEA requires application of greater scientific rigor than typically applied to endangered species management on private lands but provides an objective, conceptually sound basis for achieving the often conflicting goals of economic efficiency and long-term ecological sustainability. PMID:16132443

  3. BIODIVERSITY AND HUMAN IMPACTS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Core concepts of spatial prioritisation in systematic conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Kukkala, Aija S; Moilanen, Atte

    2013-05-01

    Systematic conservation planning (SCP) is a field of conservation biology concerned with delivering on-the-ground actions that achieve conservation goals. It describes a set of operational models that cover both design and implementation of conservation, with a strong focus on mobilising the collective action typically required to implement conservation. SCP, as it was originally described, was composed of six different stages: collection of data, identification of conservation goals, evaluation of the existing protected area network, design of expansions, implementation of conservation action, and long-term maintenance of biodiversity in the network. Since then, the operational model has been expanded into several different variants. Conservation actions applied inside SCP include establishment and expansion of reserve networks and allocation of habitat restoration and management. Within the broader context of SCP, there is a fundamental biogeographic-economic analysis frequently called spatial conservation prioritisation or conservation assessment, which is used for identifying where important areas for biodiversity are and how conservation goals might be achieved efficiently. Here, we review the usage and meaning of the 12 biogeographic-economic core concepts of SCP: adequacy, complementarity, comprehensiveness, effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility, irreplaceability, replacement cost, representation, representativeness, threat, and vulnerability. Some of the concepts have clear definitions whereas others may have alternative and possibly conflicting definitions. With a comprehensive literature review literature, we elucidate the historical backgrounds of these concepts, the first definitions and usages, alternative later definitions, key applications, and prior reviews. This review reduces linguistic uncertainty in the application of SCP. Since SCP is a global activity with a multitude of different stakeholders involved, it is vital that those involved can

  5. Core concepts of spatial prioritisation in systematic conservation planning

    PubMed Central

    Kukkala, Aija S; Moilanen, Atte

    2013-01-01

    Systematic conservation planning (SCP) is a field of conservation biology concerned with delivering on-the-ground actions that achieve conservation goals. It describes a set of operational models that cover both design and implementation of conservation, with a strong focus on mobilising the collective action typically required to implement conservation. SCP, as it was originally described, was composed of six different stages: collection of data, identification of conservation goals, evaluation of the existing protected area network, design of expansions, implementation of conservation action, and long-term maintenance of biodiversity in the network. Since then, the operational model has been expanded into several different variants. Conservation actions applied inside SCP include establishment and expansion of reserve networks and allocation of habitat restoration and management. Within the broader context of SCP, there is a fundamental biogeographic-economic analysis frequently called spatial conservation prioritisation or conservation assessment, which is used for identifying where important areas for biodiversity are and how conservation goals might be achieved efficiently. Here, we review the usage and meaning of the 12 biogeographic-economic core concepts of SCP: adequacy, complementarity, comprehensiveness, effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility, irreplaceability, replacement cost, representation, representativeness, threat, and vulnerability. Some of the concepts have clear definitions whereas others may have alternative and possibly conflicting definitions. With a comprehensive literature review literature, we elucidate the historical backgrounds of these concepts, the first definitions and usages, alternative later definitions, key applications, and prior reviews. This review reduces linguistic uncertainty in the application of SCP. Since SCP is a global activity with a multitude of different stakeholders involved, it is vital that those involved can

  6. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-11-01

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

  7. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pimm, Stuart L; Sexton, Joseph O

    2015-04-21

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation's unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  8. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities

    PubMed Central

    Pimm, Stuart L.; Sexton, Joseph O.

    2015-01-01

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation’s unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  9. Confronting and resolving competing values behind conservation objectives.

    PubMed

    Karp, Daniel S; Mendenhall, Chase D; Callaway, Elizabeth; Frishkoff, Luke O; Kareiva, Peter M; Ehrlich, Paul R; Daily, Gretchen C

    2015-09-01

    Diverse motivations for preserving nature both inspire and hinder its conservation. Optimal conservation strategies may differ radically depending on the objective. For example, creating nature reserves may prevent extinctions through protecting severely threatened species, whereas incentivizing farmland hedgerows may benefit people through bolstering pest-eating or pollinating species. Win-win interventions that satisfy multiple objectives are alluring, but can also be elusive. To achieve better outcomes, we developed and implemented a practical typology of nature conservation framed around seven common conservation objectives. Using an intensively studied bird assemblage in southern Costa Rica as a case study, we applied the typology in the context of biodiversity's most pervasive threat: habitat conversion. We found that rural habitats in a varied tropical landscape, comprising small farms, villages, forest fragments, and forest reserves, provided biodiversity-driven processes that benefit people, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and pest consumption. However, species valued for their rarity, endemism, and evolutionary distinctness declined in farmland. Conserving tropical forest on farmland increased species that international tourists value, but not species discussed in Costa Rican newspapers. Despite these observed trade-offs, our analyses also revealed promising synergies. For example, we found that maintaining forest cover surrounding farms in our study region would likely enhance most conservation objectives at minimal expense to others. Overall, our typology provides a framework for resolving the competing objectives of modern conservation. PMID:26283400

  10. Contending with uncertainty in conservation management decisions

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Michael A

    2014-01-01

    Efficient conservation management is particularly important because current spending is estimated to be insufficient to conserve the world's biodiversity. However, efficient management is confounded by uncertainty that pervades conservation management decisions. Uncertainties exist in objectives, dynamics of systems, the set of management options available, the influence of these management options, and the constraints on these options. Probabilistic and nonprobabilistic quantitative methods can help contend with these uncertainties. The vast majority of these account for known epistemic uncertainties, with methods optimizing the expected performance or finding solutions that achieve minimum performance requirements. Ignorance and indeterminacy continue to confound environmental management problems. While quantitative methods to account for uncertainty must aid decisions if the underlying models are sufficient approximations of reality, whether such models are sufficiently accurate has not yet been examined. PMID:25138920

  11. The Value of Learning about Natural History in Biodiversity Markets

    PubMed Central

    Bruggeman, Douglas J.

    2015-01-01

    Markets for biodiversity have generated much controversy because of the often unstated and untested assumptions included in transactions rules. Simple trading rules are favored to reduce transaction costs, but others have argued that this leads to markets that favor development and erode biodiversity. Here, I describe how embracing complexity and uncertainty within a tradable credit system for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) creates opportunities to achieve financial and conservation goals simultaneously. Reversing the effects of habitat fragmentation is one of the main reasons for developing markets. I include uncertainty in habitat fragmentation effects by evaluating market transactions using five alternative dispersal models that were able to approximate observed patterns of occupancy and movement. Further, because dispersal habitat is often not included in market transactions, I contrast how changes in breeding versus dispersal habitat affect credit values. I use an individually-based, spatially-explicit population model for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) to predict spatial- and temporal- influences of landscape change on species occurrence and genetic diversity. Results indicated that the probability of no net loss of abundance and genetic diversity responded differently to the transient dynamics in breeding and dispersal habitat. Trades that do not violate the abundance cap may simultaneously violate the cap for the erosion of genetic diversity. To highlight how economic incentives may help reduce uncertainty, I demonstrate tradeoffs between the value of tradable credits and the value of information needed to predict the influence of habitat trades on population viability. For the trade with the greatest uncertainty regarding the change in habitat fragmentation, I estimate that the value of using 13-years of data to reduce uncertainty in dispersal behaviors is $6.2 million. Future guidance for biodiversity markets should at

  12. Mixed Grazing Systems Benefit both Upland Biodiversity and Livestock Production

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Mariecia D.; Moorby, Jon M.; Vale, James E.; Evans, Darren M.

    2014-01-01

    Background With world food demand expected to double by 2050, identifying farming systems that benefit both agricultural production and biodiversity is a fundamentally important challenge for the 21st century, but this has to be achieved in a sustainable way. Livestock grazing management directly influences both economic outputs and biodiversity on upland farms while contributing to potentially damaging greenhouse gas emissions, yet no study has attempted to address these impacts simultaneously. Methods Using a replicated, landscape-scale field experiment consisting of five management ‘systems’ we tested the effects of progressively altering elements within an upland farming system, viz i) incorporating cattle grazing into an upland sheep system, ii) integrating grazing of semi-natural rough grazing into a mixed grazing system based on improved pasture, iii) altering the stocking ratio within a mixed grazing system, and iv) replacing modern crossbred cattle with a traditional breed. We quantified the impacts on livestock productivity and numbers of birds and butterflies over four years. Results, Conclusion and Significance We found that management systems incorporating mixed grazing with cattle improve livestock productivity and reduce methane emissions relative to sheep only systems. Systems that also included semi-natural rough grazing consistently supported more species of birds and butterflies, and it was possible to incorporate bouts of summer grazing of these pastures by cattle to meet habitat management prescriptions without compromising cattle performance overall. We found no evidence that the system incorporating a cattle breed popular as a conservation grazer was any better for bird and butterfly species richness than those based on a mainstream breed, yet methane emissions from such a system were predicted to be higher. We have demonstrated that mixed upland grazing systems not only improve livestock production, but also benefit biodiversity

  13. The Value of Learning about Natural History in Biodiversity Markets.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Douglas J

    2015-01-01

    Markets for biodiversity have generated much controversy because of the often unstated and untested assumptions included in transactions rules. Simple trading rules are favored to reduce transaction costs, but others have argued that this leads to markets that favor development and erode biodiversity. Here, I describe how embracing complexity and uncertainty within a tradable credit system for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) creates opportunities to achieve financial and conservation goals simultaneously. Reversing the effects of habitat fragmentation is one of the main reasons for developing markets. I include uncertainty in habitat fragmentation effects by evaluating market transactions using five alternative dispersal models that were able to approximate observed patterns of occupancy and movement. Further, because dispersal habitat is often not included in market transactions, I contrast how changes in breeding versus dispersal habitat affect credit values. I use an individually-based, spatially-explicit population model for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) to predict spatial- and temporal- influences of landscape change on species occurrence and genetic diversity. Results indicated that the probability of no net loss of abundance and genetic diversity responded differently to the transient dynamics in breeding and dispersal habitat. Trades that do not violate the abundance cap may simultaneously violate the cap for the erosion of genetic diversity. To highlight how economic incentives may help reduce uncertainty, I demonstrate tradeoffs between the value of tradable credits and the value of information needed to predict the influence of habitat trades on population viability. For the trade with the greatest uncertainty regarding the change in habitat fragmentation, I estimate that the value of using 13-years of data to reduce uncertainty in dispersal behaviors is $6.2 million. Future guidance for biodiversity markets should at

  14. Biodiversity Can Help Prevent Malaria Outbreaks in Tropical Forests

    PubMed Central

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; de Prado, Paulo Inåcio Knegt Lopez; Kraenkel, Roberto André; Coutinho, Renato Mendes; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium vivax is a widely distributed, neglected parasite that can cause malaria and death in tropical areas. It is associated with an estimated 80–300 million cases of malaria worldwide. Brazilian tropical rain forests encompass host- and vector-rich communities, in which two hypothetical mechanisms could play a role in the dynamics of malaria transmission. The first mechanism is the dilution effect caused by presence of wild warm-blooded animals, which can act as dead-end hosts to Plasmodium parasites. The second is diffuse mosquito vector competition, in which vector and non-vector mosquito species compete for blood feeding upon a defensive host. Considering that the World Health Organization Malaria Eradication Research Agenda calls for novel strategies to eliminate malaria transmission locally, we used mathematical modeling to assess those two mechanisms in a pristine tropical rain forest, where the primary vector is present but malaria is absent. Methodology/Principal Findings The Ross–Macdonald model and a biodiversity-oriented model were parameterized using newly collected data and data from the literature. The basic reproduction number () estimated employing Ross–Macdonald model indicated that malaria cases occur in the study location. However, no malaria cases have been reported since 1980. In contrast, the biodiversity-oriented model corroborated the absence of malaria transmission. In addition, the diffuse competition mechanism was negatively correlated with the risk of malaria transmission, which suggests a protective effect provided by the forest ecosystem. There is a non-linear, unimodal correlation between the mechanism of dead-end transmission of parasites and the risk of malaria transmission, suggesting a protective effect only under certain circumstances (e.g., a high abundance of wild warm-blooded animals). Conclusions/Significance To achieve biological conservation and to eliminate Plasmodium parasites in human populations

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Landscapes, tourism, and conservation

    PubMed

    Burger

    2000-04-17

    One key aspect of global change is a decrease in ecological integrity as more and more landscapes are developed, leaving a mosaic of intact refuges and degraded patches that may not be sufficient for conserving biodiversity. While increases in human population and shifts in the distribution of people affect land use, the temporary movement of people can have major implications for conservation and biodiversity. Three examples are presented where recreation/tourism can enhance the conservation of land on a landscape scale, leading to habitat protection and biodiversity preservation: (1) Shorebirds often require a matrix of different habitat types during migratory stopovers, and ecotourism can serve as a catalyst for landscape scale protection of habitat. (2) Riparian habitats can serve as corridors to link diverse habitat patches, as well as serving as biodiversity hotspots. (3) Remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated lands, such as those of the US Department of Energy, aimed at developing recreational activities on the uncontaminated portions, can be the most economical form of re-development with no increase in human or ecological risk. Since large areas on many DOE sites have been undisturbed since the Second World War, when they were acquired, they contain unique or valuable ecosystems that serve an important role within their regional landscapes. In all three cases the judicious development of recreational/tourist interests can encourage both the conservation of habitats and the wise management of habitats on a landscape scale. While some species or habitats are too fragile for sustained tourism, many can be managed so that species, ecosystems and ecotourists flourish. By contributing to the economic base of regions, ecotourists/recreationists can influence the protection of land and biodiversity on a landscape scale, contributing to ecosystem management. The human dimensions of land preservation and biodiversity protection are key to long

  18. Experiencing biodiversity as a bridge over the science-society communication gap.

    PubMed

    Meinard, Yves; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-06-01

    Drawing on the idea that biodiversity is simply the diversity of living things, and that everyone knows what diversity and living things mean, most conservation professionals eschew the need to explain the many complex ways in which biodiversity is understood in science. On many biodiversity-related issues, this lack of clarity leads to a communication gap between science and the general public, including decision makers who must design and implement biodiversity policies. Closing this communication gap is pivotal to the ability of science to inform sound environmental decision making. To address this communication gap, we propose a surrogate of biodiversity for communication purposes that captures the scientific definition of biodiversity yet can be understood by nonscientists; that is, biodiversity as a learning experience. The prerequisites of this or any other biodiversity communication surrogate are that it should have transdisciplinary relevance; not be measurable; be accessible to a wide audience; be usable to translate biodiversity issues; and understandably encompass biodiversity concepts. Biodiversity as a learning experience satisfies these prerequisites and is philosophically robust. More importantly, it can effectively contribute to closing the communication gap between biodiversity science and society at large. PMID:24372716

  19. CAN NEPA PROTECT BIODIVERSITY?

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Books, Biodiversity, and Beyond!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Governor, Donna; Helms, Sarah

    2007-01-01

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


  1. A new surgical strategy for breast conservation in locally advanced breast cancer that achieves a good locoregional control rate: preliminary report.

    PubMed

    Moneer, M; Ismael, S; Khaled, H; El-Gantery, M; Zaghloul, M S; El-Didi, M

    2001-06-01

    The scope of breast conserving surgery has recently expanded to include locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) patients who are downstaged following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). However, the efficacy of this approach in achieving adequate locoregional control of disease is in doubt. Some reports have attributed the failure to the association of NACT-induced tumour downstaging which can leave multifocal in situ and invasive lesions around the main tumour mass. In the present study, in order to eradicate all possible tumour satellites, a very wide local excision that included the whole original tumour-bearing area was performed regardless of the expected wide defect. This defect was then immediately reconstructed by an ipsilateral pedicled latissimus dorsi myocutaneous (LDM) flap. The study included 26 patients with LABC without evidence of primary tumour-multicentricity. Tumours were downstaged following NACT. The early cosmetic outcome was good in the majority of cases. Early complications were minimal. Twenty-two patients had a mean follow up period of 30.2 (range 7-50) months. In those evaluable cases, locoregional control of the disease was excellent (100%) but distant metastases occurred in seven cases (31.8%). PMID:14965588

  2. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Evolution in biodiversity policy – current gaps and future needs

    PubMed Central

    SantamarĂ­a, Luis; MĂ©ndez, Pablo F

    2012-01-01

    The intensity and speed of human alterations to the planet's ecosystems are yielding our static, ahistorical view of biodiversity obsolete. Human actions frequently trigger fast evolutionary responses, affect extant genetic variation and result in the establishment of new communities and co-evolutionary networks for which we lack past analogues. Contemporary evolution interplays with ecological changes to determine the response of organisms and ecosystems to anthropogenic pressures. Examples on wild species include responses to harvest (e.g. fisheries, hunting, angling), habitat loss and fragmentation (e.g. genetic effects of isolation), biotic exchange (e.g. evolutionary responses to control measures), climate change (e.g. local adaptation and its interplay with dispersal processes) and the responses of endangered species to conservation measures. A review of international and EU biodiversity policies showed numerous opportunities for the integration of evolutionary knowledge, with the realistic prospect of improving their efficacy. Such opportunities should be extended to other sectoral policies of direct relevance for biodiversity – notably nature conservation, fisheries, agriculture, water resources, spatial planning and climate change. These avenues for improvement are, however, challenged by the low level of enforcement of biodiversity policies, linked to the nonbinding nature of most biodiversity-policy documents, and the decreasing representation of biodiversity in EU's research policy. PMID:25568042

  4. Large-area mapping of biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, J.M.; Jennings, M.D.

    1998-01-01

    The age of discovery, description, and classification of biodiversity is entering a new phase. In responding to the conservation imperative, we can now supplement the essential work of systematics with spatially explicit information on species and assemblages of species. This is possible because of recent conceptual, technical, and organizational progress in generating synoptic views of the earth's surface and a great deal of its biological content, at multiple scales of thematic as well as geographic resolution. The development of extensive spatial data on species distributions and vegetation types provides us with a framework for: (a) assessing what we know and where we know it at meso-scales, and (b) stratifying the biological universe so that higher-resolution surveys can be more efficiently implemented, coveting, for example, geographic adequacy of specimen collections, population abundance, reproductive success, and genetic dynamics. The land areas involved are very large, and the questions, such as resolution, scale, classification, and accuracy, are complex. In this paper, we provide examples from the United States Gap Analysis Program on the advantages and limitations of mapping the occurrence of terrestrial vertebrate species and dominant land-cover types over large areas as joint ventures and in multi-organizational partnerships, and how these cooperative efforts can be designed to implement results from data development and analyses as on-the-ground actions. Clearly, new frameworks for thinking about biogeographic information as well as organizational cooperation are needed if we are to have any hope of documenting the full range of species occurrences and ecological processes in ways meaningful to their management. The Gap Analysis experience provides one model for achieving these new frameworks.

  5. Factoring attitudes towards armed conflict risk into selection of protected areas for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Hammill, E.; Tulloch, A. I. T.; Possingham, H. P.; Strange, N.; Wilson, K. A.

    2016-01-01

    The high incidence of armed conflicts in biodiverse regions poses significant challenges in achieving international conservation targets. Because attitudes towards risk vary, we assessed different strategies for protected area planning that reflected alternative attitudes towards the risk of armed conflicts. We find that ignoring conflict risk will deliver the lowest return on investment. Opting to completely avoid conflict-prone areas offers limited improvements and could lead to species receiving no protection. Accounting for conflict by protecting additional areas to offset the impacts of armed conflicts would not only increase the return on investment (an effect that is enhanced when high-risk areas are excluded) but also increase upfront conservation costs. Our results also demonstrate that fine-scale estimations of conflict risk could enhance the cost-effectiveness of investments. We conclude that achieving biodiversity targets in volatile regions will require greater initial investment and benefit from fine-resolution estimates of conflict risk. PMID:27025894

  6. Factoring attitudes towards armed conflict risk into selection of protected areas for conservation.

    PubMed

    Hammill, E; Tulloch, A I T; Possingham, H P; Strange, N; Wilson, K A

    2016-01-01

    The high incidence of armed conflicts in biodiverse regions poses significant challenges in achieving international conservation targets. Because attitudes towards risk vary, we assessed different strategies for protected area planning that reflected alternative attitudes towards the risk of armed conflicts. We find that ignoring conflict risk will deliver the lowest return on investment. Opting to completely avoid conflict-prone areas offers limited improvements and could lead to species receiving no protection. Accounting for conflict by protecting additional areas to offset the impacts of armed conflicts would not only increase the return on investment (an effect that is enhanced when high-risk areas are excluded) but also increase upfront conservation costs. Our results also demonstrate that fine-scale estimations of conflict risk could enhance the cost-effectiveness of investments. We conclude that achieving biodiversity targets in volatile regions will require greater initial investment and benefit from fine-resolution estimates of conflict risk. PMID:27025894

  7. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change.

    PubMed

    Duffy, J Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Navarrete, Sergio A; Edgar, Graham J

    2016-05-31

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey's global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean. PMID:27185921

  8. Evaluating biodiversity of mineral lands

    SciTech Connect

    Wade, G.L.; Tritton, L.M.

    1997-12-31

    Increasingly, lands intended for mining, or lands that have been mined and reclaimed, are being evaluated in terms of biological diversity (biodiversity). The concept of biodiversity includes die variety and number of living organisms, their organizations, and the environments that support them. This paper presents a framework for discussing and evaluating biodiversity and for constructing checklists for evaluating biodiversity before and after mining. This framework identifies some of the different types of biodiversity applicable to mineral lands, die ranges of scale at which they are applicable, and the social stakes and stakeholders relevant across scale and diversity types.

  9. Toward equality of biodiversity knowledge through technology transfer.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Monika; Collen, Ben

    2015-10-01

    To help stem the continuing decline of biodiversity, effective transfer of technology from resource-rich to biodiversity-rich countries is required. Biodiversity technology as defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a complex term, encompassing a wide variety of activities and interest groups. As yet, there is no robust framework by which to monitor the extent to which technology transfer might benefit biodiversity. We devised a definition of biodiversity technology and a framework for the monitoring of technology transfer between CBD signatories. Biodiversity technology within the scope of the CBD encompasses hard and soft technologies that are relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, or make use of genetic resources, and that relate to all aspects of the CBD, with a particular focus on technology transfer from resource-rich to biodiversity-rich countries. Our proposed framework introduces technology transfer as a response indicator: technology transfer is increased to stem pressures on biodiversity. We suggest an initial approach of tracking technology flow between countries; charting this flow is likely to be a one-to-many relationship (i.e., the flow of a specific technology from one country to multiple countries). Future developments should then focus on integrating biodiversity technology transfer into the current pressure-state-response indicator framework favored by the CBD (i.e., measuring the influence of technology transfer on changes in state and pressure variables). Structured national reporting is important to obtaining metrics relevant to technology and knowledge transfer. Interim measures, that can be used to assess biodiversity technology or knowledge status while more in-depth indicators are being developed, include the number of species inventories, threatened species lists, or national red lists; databases on publications and project funding may provide measures of international cooperation. Such a

  10. Multiple regimes of robust patterns between network structure and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Jover, Luis F; Flores, Cesar O; Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2015-01-01

    Ecological networks such as plant-pollinator and host-parasite networks have structured interactions that define who interacts with whom. The structure of interactions also shapes ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Yet, there is significant ongoing debate as to whether certain structures, e.g., nestedness, contribute positively, negatively or not at all to biodiversity. We contend that examining variation in life history traits is key to disentangling the potential relationship between network structure and biodiversity. Here, we do so by analyzing a dynamic model of virus-bacteria interactions across a spectrum of network structures. Consistent with prior studies, we find plausible parameter domains exhibiting strong, positive relationships between nestedness and biodiversity. Yet, the same model can exhibit negative relationships between nestedness and biodiversity when examined in a distinct, plausible region of parameter space. We discuss steps towards identifying when network structure could, on its own, drive the resilience, sustainability, and even conservation of ecological communities. PMID:26632996

  11. Multiple regimes of robust patterns between network structure and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jover, Luis F.; Flores, Cesar O.; Cortez, Michael H.; Weitz, Joshua S.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological networks such as plant-pollinator and host-parasite networks have structured interactions that define who interacts with whom. The structure of interactions also shapes ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Yet, there is significant ongoing debate as to whether certain structures, e.g., nestedness, contribute positively, negatively or not at all to biodiversity. We contend that examining variation in life history traits is key to disentangling the potential relationship between network structure and biodiversity. Here, we do so by analyzing a dynamic model of virus-bacteria interactions across a spectrum of network structures. Consistent with prior studies, we find plausible parameter domains exhibiting strong, positive relationships between nestedness and biodiversity. Yet, the same model can exhibit negative relationships between nestedness and biodiversity when examined in a distinct, plausible region of parameter space. We discuss steps towards identifying when network structure could, on its own, drive the resilience, sustainability, and even conservation of ecological communities.

  12. Multiple regimes of robust patterns between network structure and biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Jover, Luis F.; Flores, Cesar O.; Cortez, Michael H.; Weitz, Joshua S.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological networks such as plant-pollinator and host-parasite networks have structured interactions that define who interacts with whom. The structure of interactions also shapes ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Yet, there is significant ongoing debate as to whether certain structures, e.g., nestedness, contribute positively, negatively or not at all to biodiversity. We contend that examining variation in life history traits is key to disentangling the potential relationship between network structure and biodiversity. Here, we do so by analyzing a dynamic model of virus-bacteria interactions across a spectrum of network structures. Consistent with prior studies, we find plausible parameter domains exhibiting strong, positive relationships between nestedness and biodiversity. Yet, the same model can exhibit negative relationships between nestedness and biodiversity when examined in a distinct, plausible region of parameter space. We discuss steps towards identifying when network structure could, on its own, drive the resilience, sustainability, and even conservation of ecological communities. PMID:26632996

  13. Bioenergy and Biodiversity: Key Lessons from the Pan American Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kline, Keith L.; Martinelli, Fernanda Silva; Mayer, Audrey L.; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F.; Sparovek, Gerd; Walter, Arnaldo; Venier, Lisa A.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land-management systems. We propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  14. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  15. Food variety and biodiversity: Econutrition.

    PubMed

    Wahlqvist, M L; Specht, R L

    1998-12-01

    Both annual biomass production and biodiversity at any locality on earth are continually under threat as the population of Homo sapiens steadily increases, with the resultant pollution of atmosphere, soil and water. Today, environmental degradation and global warming (with its effect on evaporative aerodynamics and cellular respiration) have increased at an alarming rate. The ABP of all terrestrial plant communities (natural or cultivated) is slowly declining, thus reducing the energy supply of component plants and resident animals; in turn, the biodiversity of all the world's ecosystems, plant and animal, is threatened. The maintenance of biodiversity is important to human health for several reasons: (i) a varied food supply is essential to maintain the health of the omnivorous human species; (ii) a range of diverse food sources is necessary to safe-guard against climatic and pestilent disasters which may affect one or more of the food sources; (iii) a diversity of plants and animals may provide a rich source of medicinal material, essential for the extraction of undiscovered therapeutic compounds; (iv) intact ecosystems of indigenous plants and animals appear to act as a buffer to the spread of invasive plants and animals, and of pathogens and toxins, thus contributing to the health of populations nearby; and (v) the 'spiritual' values of exploring the diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems in an area appear to have a beneficial effect on mental health, strengthening the feeling of 'belonging to the landscape'. The variety of foods, their energy contents and food values, consumed throughout the year is amenable to scientific enquiry; as is the amount of energy expended in this collection or production. The control and management of food production and of water supplies, with attention to safety issues, has led to an improvement in life expectancy for a proportion of the world's population. The question is at what point might human health be disadvantaged by

  16. The underestimated biodiversity of tropical grassy biomes.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Brett P; Andersen, Alan N; Parr, Catherine L

    2016-09-19

    For decades, there has been enormous scientific interest in tropical savannahs and grasslands, fuelled by the recognition that they are a dynamic and potentially unstable biome, requiring periodic disturbance for their maintenance. However, that scientific interest has not translated into widespread appreciation of, and concern about threats to, their biodiversity. In terms of biodiversity, grassy biomes are considered poor cousins of the other dominant biome of the tropics-forests. Simple notions of grassy biomes being species-poor cannot be supported; for some key taxa, such as vascular plants, this may be valid, but for others it is not. Here, we use an analysis of existing data to demonstrate that high-rainfall tropical grassy biomes (TGBs) have vertebrate species richness comparable with that of forests, despite having lower plant diversity. The Neotropics stand out in terms of both overall vertebrate species richness and number of range-restricted vertebrate species in TGBs. Given high rates of land-cover conversion in Neotropical grassy biomes, they should be a high priority for conservation and greater inclusion in protected areas. Fire needs to be actively maintained in these systems, and in many cases re-introduced after decades of inappropriate fire exclusion. The relative intactness of TGBs in Africa and Australia make them the least vulnerable to biodiversity loss in the immediate future. We argue that, like forests, TGBs should be recognized as a critical-but increasingly threatened-store of global biodiversity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'. PMID:27502382

  17. Where to put things? Spatial land management to sustain biodiversity and economic returns

    EPA Science Inventory

    Expanding human population and economic growth have led to large-scale conversion of natural habitat to human-dominated landscapes with consequent large-scale declines in biodiversity. Conserving biodiversity, while at the same time meeting expanding human needs, is an issue of u...

  18. Beaver dams maintain fish biodiversity by increasing habitat heterogeneity throughout a low-gradient stream network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Joseph M.; Mather, Martha E.

    2013-01-01

    In summary, within a stream network, beaver dams maintained fish biodiversity by altering in-stream habitat and increasing habitat heterogeneity. Understanding the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity can advance basic freshwater ecology and provide science-based support for applied aquatic conservation

  19. Bats as the main prey of wintering long-eared owl (Asio otus) in Beijing: Integrating biodiversity protection and urban management.

    PubMed

    Tian, Long; Zhou, Xuwei; Shi, Yang; Guo, Yumin; Bao, Weidong

    2015-03-01

    The loss of biodiversity from urbanized areas is a major environmental problem challenging policy-makers throughout the world. Solutions to this problem are urgently required in China. We carried out a case study of wintering long-eared owls (Asio otus) and their main prey to illustrate the negative effects of urbanization combined with ineffective conservation of biodiversity in Beijing. Field monitoring of owl numbers at two roosting sites from 2004 to 2012 showed that the owl population had fallen rapidly in metropolitan Beijing. Analysis of pellet contents identified only seven individuals of two species of shrew. The majority of mammalian prey comprised four bat and seven rodent species, making up 29.3% and 29.5% of the prey items, respectively. Prey composition varied significantly among years at the two sample sites. At the urban site the consumption of bats and rodents declined gradually over time, while predation on birds increased. In contrast, at the suburban site the prey composition showed an overall decrease in the number of bats, a sharp increase and a subsequent decrease in bird prey, and the number of rodent prey fell to a low point. Rapid development of real estate and inadequate greenfield management in city parks resulted in negative effects on the bird and small mammal habitat of urban areas in Beijing. We suggest that measures to conserve biodiversity should be integrated into future urban planning to maintain China's rich biodiversity while also achieving sustainable economic development. PMID:25316405

  20. An Integrated Korean Biodiversity and Genetic Information Retrieval System

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Jeongheui; Bhak, Jong; Oh, Hee-Mock; Kim, Chang-Bae; Park, Yong-Ha; Paek, Woon Kee

    2008-01-01

    Background On-line biodiversity information databases are growing quickly and being integrated into general bioinformatics systems due to the advances of fast gene sequencing technologies and the Internet. These can reduce the cost and effort of performing biodiversity surveys and genetic searches, which allows scientists to spend more time researching and less time collecting and maintaining data. This will cause an increased rate of knowledge build-up and improve conservations. The biodiversity databases in Korea have been scattered among several institutes and local natural history museums with incompatible data types. Therefore, a comprehensive database and a nation wide web portal for biodiversity information is necessary in order to integrate diverse information resources, including molecular and genomic databases. Results The Korean Natural History Research Information System (NARIS) was built and serviced as the central biodiversity information system to collect and integrate the biodiversity data of various institutes and natural history museums in Korea. This database aims to be an integrated resource that contains additional biological information, such as genome sequences and molecular level diversity. Currently, twelve institutes and museums in Korea are integrated by the DiGIR (Distributed Generic Information Retrieval) protocol, with Darwin Core2.0 format as its metadata standard for data exchange. Data quality control and statistical analysis functions have been implemented. In particular, integrating molecular and genetic information from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases with NARIS was recently accomplished. NARIS can also be extended to accommodate other institutes abroad, and the whole system can be exported to establish local biodiversity management servers. Conclusion A Korean data portal, NARIS, has been developed to efficiently manage and utilize biodiversity data, which includes genetic resources. NARIS aims

  1. Current issues in cereal crop biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Moreta, Danilo E; Mathur, Prem Narain; van Zonneveld, Maarten; Amaya, Karen; Arango, Jacobo; Selvaraj, Michael Gomez; Dedicova, Beata

    2015-01-01

    The exploration, conservation, and use of agricultural biodiversity are essential components of efficient transdisciplinary research for a sustainable agriculture and food sector. Most recent advances on plant biotechnology and crop genomics must be complemented with a holistic management of plant genetic resources. Plant breeding programs aimed at improving agricultural productivity and food security can benefit from the systematic exploitation and conservation of genetic diversity to meet the demands of a growing population facing climate change. The genetic diversity of staple small grains, including rice, maize, wheat, millets, and more recently quinoa, have been surveyed to encourage utilization and prioritization of areas for germplasm conservation. Geographic information system technologies and spatial analysis are now being used as powerful tools to elucidate genetic and ecological patterns in the distribution of cultivated and wild species to establish coherent programs for the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. PMID:24352706

  2. Beyond Biodiversity: Fish Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits. Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific). Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the Barcoding target gene COI as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas. Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community) we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods. We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level. PMID:21829636

  3. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific). Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community) we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level. PMID:21829636

  4. Education and biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Ahearn, S.K.

    1988-01-01

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

  5. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF EXPORTING DOMESTIC WOOD HARVEST TO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Among wealthy countries, increasing imports of natural resources to allow for unchecked consumption and greater domestic environmental conservation has become commonplace. This practice can negatively affect biodiversity conservation planning if natural resource harvest is merely...

  6. The cryogenic collection of fruit biodiversity in Kazakhstan

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation of the biodiversity of fruit crops is important to the future of horticulture in Kazakhstan. A field collection of fruit germplasm with more than 4000 cultivars and wild selections is grown in the Pomological Garden of the Institute of Horticulture and Viticulture near Almaty, to preser...

  7. Why Go Native? Landscaping for Biodiversity and Sustainability Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kermath, Brian

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate that campus and urban landscaping has important connections to biodiversity conservation, perceptions of natural heritage, sense-of-place, ecological literacy and the role of campus landscapes in the larger community. It also aims to show how campus landscapes express values and perform as a


  8. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ


  9. Estimating animal biodiversity across taxa in tropical forests using shape-based waveform lidar metrics and Landsat image time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muss, J. D.; Aguilar-Amuchastegui, N.; Henebry, G. M.

    2012-12-01

    Studies have shown that forest structural heterogeneity is a key variable for estimating the diversity, richness, and community structure of forest species such as birds, butterflies, and dung beetles. These relationships are especially relevant in tropical forests when assessing the impacts of forest management plans on indicator groups and species. Typically, forest structure and biodiversity are evaluated using field surveys, which are expensive and spatially limited. An alternative is to use the growing archive of imagery to assess the impacts that disturbances (such as those caused by selective logging) have on habitats and biodiversity. But it can be difficult to capture subtle differences in the three-dimensional (3D) forest structure at the landscape scale that are important for modeling these relationships. We use a unique confluence of active and passive optical sensor data, field surveys of biodiversity, and stand management data to link metrics of spatial and spatio-temporal heterogeneity with key indicators of sustainable forest management. Field sites were selected from tropical forest stands along the Atlantic Slope of Costa Rica for which the management history was known and in which biodiversity surveys were conducted. The vertical dimension of forest structure was assessed by applying two shape-based metrics, the centroid (C) and radius of gyration (RG), to full waveform lidar data collected by the LVIS platform over central Costa Rica in 2005. We developed a map of the vertical structure of the forest by implementing a recursive function that used C and RG to identify major segments of each waveform. Differences in 3D structure were related to estimates of animal biodiversity, size and type of disturbance, and time since disturbance—critical measurements for achieving verifiable sustainable management and conservation of biodiversity in tropical forests. Moreover, the relationships found between 3D structure and biodiversity suggests that it

  10. What Do Israeli High School Students Understand about Biodiversity? An Evaluation of the High School Biology Programme, "Nature in a World of Change"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dor-Haim, Shayli; Amir, Ruth; Dodick, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    One of the most serious problems facing our planet is the biodiversity crisis. As a solution to this problem, both scientists and educators have emphasised the need for educating people about how to conserve the Earth's biodiversity. As a small contribution to this effort, we have designed a learning unit about biodiversity, "Nature in a world of


  11. Offsetting the impacts of mining to achieve no net loss of native vegetation.

    PubMed

    Sonter, L J; Barrett, D J; Soares-Filho, B S

    2014-08-01

    Offsets are a novel conservation tool, yet using them to achieve no net loss of biodiversity is challenging. This is especially true when using conservation offsets (i.e., protected areas) because achieving no net loss requires avoiding equivalent loss. Our objective was to determine if offsetting the impacts of mining achieves no net loss of native vegetation in Brazil's largest iron mining region. We used a land-use change model to simulate deforestation by mining to 2020; developed a model to allocate conservation offsets to the landscape under 3 scenarios (baseline, no new offsets; current practice, like-for-like [by vegetation type] conservation offsetting near the impact site; and threat scenario, like-for-like conservation offsetting of highly threatened vegetation); and simulated nonmining deforestation to 2020 for each scenario to quantify avoided deforestation achieved with offsets. Mines cleared 3570 ha of native vegetation by 2020. Under a 1:4 offset ratio, mining companies would be required to conserve >14,200 ha of native vegetation, doubling the current extent of protected areas in the region. Allocating offsets under current practice avoided deforestation equivalent to 3% of that caused by mining, whereas allocating under the threat scenario avoided 9%. Current practice failed to achieve no net loss because offsets did not conserve threatened vegetation. Explicit allocation of offsets to threatened vegetation also failed because the most threatened vegetation was widely dispersed across the landscape, making conservation logistically difficult. To achieve no net loss with conservation offsets requires information on regional deforestation trajectories and the distribution of threatened vegetation. However, in some regions achieving no net loss through conservation may be impossible. In these cases, other offsetting activities, such as revegetation, will be required. PMID:24673499

  12. Making biodiversity-friendly cocoa pay: combining yield, certification, and REDD for shade management.

    PubMed

    Waldron, A; Justicia, R; Smith, L E

    2015-03-01

    The twin United Nations' Millennium Development Goals of biodiversity preservation and poverty reduction both strongly depend on actions in the tropics. In particular, traditional agroforestry could be critical to both biological conservation and human livelihoods in human-altered rainforest areas. However, traditional agroforestry is rapidly disappearing, because the system itself is economically precarious, and because the forest trees that shade traditional crops are now perceived to be overly detrimental to agricultural yield. Here, we show a case where the commonly used agroforestry shade metric, canopy cover, would indeed suggest complete removal of shade trees to maximize yield, with strongly negative biodiversity and climate implications. However, a yield over 50% higher was achievable if approximately 100 shade trees per hectare were planted in a spatially organized fashion, a win-win for biodiversity and the smallholder. The higher yield option was detected by optimizing simultaneously for canopy cover, and a second shade metric, neighboring tree density, which was designed to better capture the yield value of ecological services flowing from forest trees. Nevertheless, even a 50% yield increase may prove insufficient to stop farmers converting away from traditional agroforestry. To further increase agroforestry rents, we apply our results to the design of a sustainable certification (eco-labelling) scheme for cocoa-based products in a biodiversity hotspot, and consider their implications for the use of the United Nations REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) program in agroforestry systems. Combining yield boost, certification, and REDD has the potential to incentivize eco-friendly agroforestry and lift smallholders out of poverty, simultaneously. PMID:26263660

  13. Investigating biodiversity trajectories using scenarios--lessons from two contrasting agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Lindborg, Regina; Stenseke, Marie; Cousins, Sara A O; Bengtsson, Jan; Berg, Ake; Gustafsson, Tomas; Sjödin, N Erik; Eriksson, Ove

    2009-01-01

    Agriculture is the major land use at a global scale. In addition to food production, multifunctionality of landscapes, including values and ecosystem services like biodiversity, recreation and culture, is now focus for management. This study explores how a scenario approach, involving different stakeholders, may help to improve landscape management for biodiversity conservation. Local farmers and executives at the County Administrative Board were invited to discuss rural development and conditions for farmland biodiversity in two Swedish landscapes. The potential biodiversity for three future land use scenarios for the two landscapes was discussed: nature conservation, outdoor recreation and energy production, and compared with current and historical landscapes in each region. Analyses of habitat areas, connectedness and landscape diversity suggested that the energy and recreation scenarios had a negative impact on farmland biodiversity, whereas the nature conservation scenario, the current and historically reconstructed landscapes had a higher potential for biodiversity. The farmers appreciated the nature conservation scenario, but also the energy production scenario and they highlighted the need of increased subsidies for management of biodiversity. The farmers in the high production area were less interested in nature quality per se. The executives had similar opinions as the farmers, but disagreed on the advantages with energy production, as this would be in conflict with the high biodiversity and recreational values. The local physical and socio-economical conditions differ between landscapes and potentially shaped the stakeholders emotional attachment to the local environment, their opinions and decisions on how to manage the land. We stress the importance of incorporating local knowledge, visions and regional prerequisites for different land uses in conservation, since site and landscape specific planning for biodiversity together with a flexible subsidy

  14. Conservation Research Is Not Happening Where It Is Most Needed

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Kerrie A.; Auerbach, Nancy A.; Sam, Katerina; Magini, Ariana G.; Moss, Alexander St. L.; Langhans, Simone D.; Budiharta, Sugeng; Terzano, Dilva; Meijaard, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Target 19, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, seeks to improve the knowledge, science base, and technologies relating to biodiversity. We will fail to achieve this target unless prolific biases in the field of conservation science are addressed. We reveal that comparatively less research is undertaken in the world’s most biodiverse countries, the science conducted in these countries is often not led by researchers based in-country, and these scientists are also underrepresented in important international fora. Mitigating these biases requires wide-ranging solutions: reforming open access publishing policies, enhancing science communication strategies, changing author attribution practices, improving representation in international processes, and strengthening infrastructure and human capacity for research in countries where it is most needed. PMID:27023288

  15. Conservation Research Is Not Happening Where It Is Most Needed.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Kerrie A; Auerbach, Nancy A; Sam, Katerina; Magini, Ariana G; Moss, Alexander St L; Langhans, Simone D; Budiharta, Sugeng; Terzano, Dilva; Meijaard, Erik

    2016-03-01

    Target 19, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, seeks to improve the knowledge, science base, and technologies relating to biodiversity. We will fail to achieve this target unless prolific biases in the field of conservation science are addressed. We reveal that comparatively less research is undertaken in the world's most biodiverse countries, the science conducted in these countries is often not led by researchers based in-country, and these scientists are also underrepresented in important international fora. Mitigating these biases requires wide-ranging solutions: reforming open access publishing policies, enhancing science communication strategies, changing author attribution practices, improving representation in international processes, and strengthening infrastructure and human capacity for research in countries where it is most needed. PMID:27023288

  16. Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey Core Science Analytics and Synthesis

    2013-01-01

    Researchers collect species occurrence data, records of an organism at a particular time in a particular place, as a primary or ancillary function of many biological field investigations. Presently, these data reside in numerous distributed systems and formats (including publications) and are consequently not being used to their full potential. As a step toward addressing this challenge, the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS) program of the US Geological Survey (USGS) is developing Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), an integrated and permanent resource for biological occurrence data from the United States. BISON will leverage the accumulated human and infrastructural resources of the long-term USGS investment in research and information management and delivery. CSAS is also the U.S. Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), an international, government-initiated and funded effort focused on making biodiversity data freely available for scientific research, conservation and sustainable development. CSAS, with its partners at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), hosts a full mirror of the hundreds of millions of global records to which GBIF provides access. BISON has been initiated with the 110 million records GBIF makes available from the U.S. and is integrating millions more records from other sources each year.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. Carbon stock corridors to mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity in the tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jantz, Patrick; Goetz, Scott; Laporte, Nadine

    2014-02-01

    A key issue in global conservation is how biodiversity co-benefits can be incorporated into land use and climate change mitigation activities, particularly those being negotiated under the United Nations to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation. Protected areas have been the dominant strategy for tropical forest conservation and they have increased substantially in recent decades. Avoiding deforestation by preserving carbon stored in vegetation between protected areas provides an opportunity to mitigate the effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity by maintaining habitat connectivity across landscapes. Here we use a high-resolution data set of vegetation carbon stock to map corridors traversing areas of highest biomass between protected areas in the tropics. The derived corridors contain 15% of the total unprotected aboveground carbon in the tropical region. A large number of corridors have carbon densities that approach or exceed those of the protected areas they connect, suggesting these are suitable areas for achieving both habitat connectivity and climate change mitigation benefits. To further illustrate how economic and biological information can be used for corridor prioritization on a regional scale, we conducted a multicriteria analysis of corridors in the Legal Amazon, identifying corridors with high carbon, high species richness and endemism, and low economic opportunity costs. We also assessed the vulnerability of corridors to future deforestation threat.

  19. Soil biodiversity and human health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, Diana H.; Nielsen, Uffe N.; Six, Johan

    2015-12-01

    Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as providing benefits to human health because it can suppress disease-causing soil organisms and provide clean air, water and food. Poor land-management practices and environmental change are, however, affecting belowground communities globally, and the resulting declines in soil biodiversity reduce and impair these benefits. Importantly, current research indicates that soil biodiversity can be maintained and partially restored if managed sustainably. Promoting the ecological complexity and robustness of soil biodiversity through improved management practices represents an underutilized resource with the ability to improve human health.

  20. Soil biodiversity and human health.

    PubMed

    Wall, Diana H; Nielsen, Uffe N; Six, Johan

    2015-12-01

    Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as providing benefits to human health because it can suppress disease-causing soil organisms and provide clean air, water and food. Poor land-management practices and environmental change are, however, affecting belowground communities globally, and the resulting declines in soil biodiversity reduce and impair these benefits. Importantly, current research indicates that soil biodiversity can be maintained and partially restored if managed sustainably. Promoting the ecological complexity and robustness of soil biodiversity through improved management practices represents an underutilized resource with the ability to improve human health. PMID:26595276

  1. Biodiversity of rangelands

    SciTech Connect

    West, N.E. )

    1993-01-01

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

  2. Spatially Explicit Trends in the Global Conservation Status of Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N.

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) – Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries – most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar – performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries – United States and Australia – fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  3. Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana S L; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) - Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries - most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar - performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries - United States and Australia - fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  4. All Is Not Loss: Plant Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Erle C.; Antill, Erica C.; Kreft, Holger

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic global changes in biodiversity are generally portrayed in terms of massive native species losses or invasions caused by recent human disturbance. Yet these biodiversity changes and others caused directly by human populations and their use of land tend to co-occur as long-term biodiversity change processes in the Anthropocene. Here we explore contemporary anthropogenic global patterns in vascular plant species richness at regional landscape scales by combining spatially explicit models and estimates for native species loss together with gains in exotics caused by species invasions and the introduction of agricultural domesticates and ornamental exotic plants. The patterns thus derived confirm that while native losses are likely significant across at least half of Earth's ice-free land, model predictions indicate that plant species richness has increased overall in most regional landscapes, mostly because species invasions tend to exceed native losses. While global observing systems and models that integrate anthropogenic species loss, introduction and invasion at regional landscape scales remain at an early stage of development, integrating predictions from existing models within a single assessment confirms their vast global extent and significance while revealing novel patterns and their potential drivers. Effective global stewardship of plant biodiversity in the Anthropocene will require integrated frameworks for observing, modeling and forecasting the different forms of anthropogenic biodiversity change processes at regional landscape scales, towards conserving biodiversity within the novel plant communities created and sustained by human systems. PMID:22272360

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  6. Rapid Acoustic Survey for Biodiversity Appraisal

    PubMed Central

    Sueur, JérÎme; Pavoine, Sandrine; Hamerlynck, Olivier; Duvail, Stéphanie

    2008-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment remains one of the most difficult challenges encountered by ecologists and conservation biologists. This task is becoming even more urgent with the current increase of habitat loss. Many methods–from rapid biodiversity assessments (RBA) to all-taxa biodiversity inventories (ATBI)–have been developed for decades to estimate local species richness. However, these methods are costly and invasive. Several animals–birds, mammals, amphibians, fishes and arthropods–produce sounds when moving, communicating or sensing their environment. Here we propose a new concept and method to describe biodiversity. We suggest to forego species or morphospecies identification used by ATBI and RBA respectively but rather to tackle the problem at another evolutionary unit, the community level. We also propose that a part of diversity can be estimated and compared through a rapid acoustic analysis of the sound produced by animal communities. We produced α and ÎČ diversity indexes that we first tested with 540 simulated acoustic communities. The α index, which measures acoustic entropy, shows a logarithmic correlation with the number of species within the acoustic community. The ÎČ index, which estimates both temporal and spectral dissimilarities, is linearly linked to the number of unshared species between acoustic communities. We then applied both indexes to two closely spaced Tanzanian dry lowland coastal forests. Indexes reveal for this small sample a lower acoustic diversity for the most disturbed forest and acoustic dissimilarities between the two forests suggest that degradation could have significantly decreased and modified community composition. Our results demonstrate for the first time that an indicator of biological diversity can be reliably obtained in a non-invasive way and with a limited sampling effort. This new approach may facilitate the appraisal of animal diversity at large spatial and temporal scales. PMID:19115006

  7. Biodiversity as a source of anticancer drugs.

    PubMed

    Tan, G; Gyllenhaal, C; Soejarto, D D

    2006-03-01

    Natural Products have been the most significant source of drugs and drug leads in history. Their dominant role in cancer chemotherapeutics is clear with about 74% of anticancer compounds being either natural products, or natural product-derived. The biodiversity of the world provides a resource of unlimited structural diversity for bioprospecting by international drug discovery programs such as the ICBGs and NCDDGs, the latter focusing exclusively on anticancer compounds. However, many sources of natural products remain largely untapped. Technology is gradually overcoming the traditional difficulties encountered in natural products research by improving access to biodiverse resources, and ensuring the compatibility of samples with high throughput procedures. However, the acquisition of predictive biodiversity remains challenging. Plant and organism species may be selected on the basis of potentially useful phytochemical composition by consulting ethnopharmacological, chemosystematic, and ecological information. On the conservation/political front, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is allaying the anxiety surrounding the notion of biopiracy, which has defeated many attempts to discover and develop new natural products for human benefit. As it becomes increasingly evident and important, the CBD fosters cooperation and adaptation to new regulations and collaborative research agreements with source countries. Even as the past inadequacies of combinatorial chemistry are being analyzed, the intrinsic value of natural products as a source of drug leads is being increasingly appreciated. Their rich structural and stereochemical characteristics make them valuable as templates for exploring novel molecular diversity with the aim of synthesizing lead generation libraries with greater biological relevance. This will ensure an ample supply of starting materials for screening against the multitude of potentially "druggable" targets uncovered by genomics technologies

  8. The difference conservation makes to extinction risk of the world's ungulates.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Michael; Duckworth, J W; Holmes, Katharine; Mallon, David P; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Stuart, Simon N

    2015-10-01

    Previous studies show that conservation actions have prevented extinctions, recovered populations, and reduced declining trends in global biodiversity. However, all studies to date have substantially underestimated the difference conservation action makes because they failed to account fully for what would have happened in the absence thereof. We undertook a scenario-based thought experiment to better quantify the effect conservation actions have had on the extinction risk of the world's 235 recognized ungulate species. We did so by comparing species' observed conservation status in 2008 with their estimated status under counterfactual scenarios in which conservation efforts ceased in 1996. We estimated that without conservation at least 148 species would have deteriorated by one International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category, including 6 species that now would be listed as extinct or extinct in the wild. The overall decline in the conservation status of ungulates would have been nearly 8 times worse than observed. This trend would have been greater still if not for conservation on private lands. While some species have benefited from highly targeted interventions, such as reintroduction, most benefited collaterally from conservation such as habitat protection. We found that the difference conservation action makes to the conservation status of the world's ungulate species is likely to be higher than previously estimated. Increased, and sustained, investment could help achieve further improvements. PMID:25917114

  9. Prospects for tropical forest biodiversity in a human-modified world.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Toby A; Barlow, Jos; Chazdon, Robin; Ewers, Robert M; Harvey, Celia A; Peres, Carlos A; Sodhi, Navjot S

    2009-06-01

    The future of tropical forest biodiversity depends more than ever on the effective management of human-modified landscapes, presenting a daunting challenge to conservation practitioners and land use managers. We provide a critical synthesis of the scientific insights that guide our understanding of patterns and processes underpinning forest biodiversity in the human-modified tropics, and present a conceptual framework that integrates a broad range of social and ecological factors that define and contextualize the possible future of tropical forest species. A growing body of research demonstrates that spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity are the dynamic product of interacting historical and contemporary human and ecological processes. These processes vary radically in their relative importance within and among regions, and have effects that may take years to become fully manifest. Interpreting biodiversity research findings is frequently made difficult by constrained study designs, low congruence in species responses to disturbance, shifting baselines and an over-dependence on comparative inferences from a small number of well studied localities. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the potential prospects for biodiversity conservation can be explained by regional differences in biotic vulnerability and anthropogenic legacies, an ever-tighter coupling of human-ecological systems and the influence of global environmental change. These differences provide both challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation. Building upon our synthesis we outline a simple adaptive-landscape planning framework that can help guide a new research agenda to enhance biodiversity conservation prospects in the human-modified tropics. PMID:19504750

  10. Directory of guidance documents relating to biodiversity and cultural knowledge research and prospecting

    SciTech Connect

    Churcher, T. |

    1997-06-01

    Biodiversity in both developing and developed countries has been accessed for a long time by local communities as well as by outside researchers and corporate prospectors. Such activities are carried out for various purposes. Sometimes plants, animals and habitats are merely described, other times the goal is to extract for profit. These activities have helped to advance knowledge and create awareness of how precious biodiversity is. These activities have also generated many products that contribute to the health and well-being of global consumers, but may not necessarily provide benefits to their original stewards. Research has also focused attention on particular features of biodiversity. Biodiversity has been conserved, both by local community traditions, and by more formal means, with varying degree of effectiveness. One recently proposed means is the Convention on Biological Diversity. That convention has been ratified by large number of countries and has stimulated global concern over this issue. It has provided a framework for conserving biodiversity. At the same time many local communities, NGOs and people`s organizations are advancing alternative ways to conserve biodiversity and cultural diversity. In many places, the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of cultural diversity are inescapably intertwined. Despite strong links between biodiversity and the land and the water management traditions of the 6000 linguistically distinct cultures, the Convention on Biological Diversity focuses on nation-state sovereignty over biodiversity. We believe that local communities should have greater say in whether and how biodiversity is studied, extracted and commercialized. We consider prior informed consent to be a necessary requirement of such explorations, as is equitable sharing of any benefits arising from them.

  11. Overlooked Mountain Rock Pools in Deserts Are Critical Local Hotspots of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Cùndida Gomes; Pimm, Stuart L.; Brito, José Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Background The world is undergoing exceptional biodiversity loss. Most conservation efforts target biodiversity hotspots at large scales. Such approach overlooks small-sized local hotspots, which may be rich in endemic and highly threatened species. We explore the importance of mountain rock pools (gueltas) as local biodiversity hotspots in the Sahara-Sahel. Specifically, we considered how many vertebrates (total and endemics) use gueltas, what factors predict species richness, and which gueltas are of most priority for conservation. We expected to provide management recommendations, improve local biodiversity conservation, and simultaneously contribute with a framework for future enhancement of local communities’ economy. The identification of local hotspots of biodiversity is important for revaluating global conservation priorities. Methodology/Principal Findings We quantified the number of vertebrate species from each taxonomic group and endemics present in 69 gueltas in Mauritania, then compared these with species present in a surrounding area and recorded in the country. We evaluated the predictors of species number’s present in each guelta through a multiple regression model. We ranked gueltas by their priority for conservation taking into account the percentage of endemics and threats to each guelta. Within a mere aggregate extent of 43 ha, gueltas hold about 32% and 78% of the total taxa analysed and endemics of Mauritania, respectively. The number of species present in each guelta increased with the primary productivity and area of gueltas and occurrence of permanent water. Droughts and human activities threaten gueltas, while 64% of them are currently unprotected. Conclusion/Significance Gueltas are crucial for local biodiversity conservation and human activities. They require urgent management plans in Mauritania’s mountains. They could provide refugia under climate change being important for long-term conservation of Sahara-Sahel biodiversity

  12. Structural Analysis of