Science.gov

Sample records for biodiversity impact assessment

  1. Evaluating Ireland's IBIA as an approach to improving the quality and effectiveness of biodiversity impact assessment.

    PubMed

    González, Ainhoa; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Fry, John; Scott, Paul; Grist, Berna; Jones, Mike

    2013-12-15

    The assessment of potential impacts of plans, programmes and projects on biodiversity is required under various legislative remits (including the European Union's Habitats, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment Directives). The objective of such assessments is to ensure that potential negative impacts on both protected nature conservation sites and species and wider biodiversity are efficiently identified in a timely manner, quantified and subsequently avoided or mitigated, while enhancing positive effects. The procedural requirements of these legal obligations vary and, as a result, differing methodological steps, data gathering and analysis methods, and impact assessment techniques are commonly applied under each individual process, often leading to uncoordinated assessment efforts and results (in terms, for example, of scope, scale and assessment detail). In order to address these issues and improve current practice, an Integrated Biodiversity Impact Assessment (IBIA) methodology has been developed in Ireland with the overall aim of providing a holistic and systematic approach to biodiversity impact assessment. The IBIA framework seeks to ensure that relevant procedures are effectively integrated, time and resource efficiencies are optimised, and unnecessary duplication avoided. Particular emphasis is given to compliance with legal requirements, integration and communication of scientific knowledge, spatial assessment and biodiversity data considerations, and integration of biodiversity aspects with a variety of other concerns during the plan-making process. This paper presents the IBIA methodology and critically examines current key issues in biodiversity impact assessment that can be potentially addressed through IBIA, as well as remaining challenges. In addition, and in order to support the examination of the anticipated benefits of using this new methodological framework (such as biodiversity-inclusive planning through

  2. The challenges of including impacts on biodiversity in agricultural life cycle assessments.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Vanessa M; Meier, Matthias S; Köpke, Ulrich; Stolze, Matthias

    2016-10-01

    Agriculture is considered to be one of the main drivers for worldwide biodiversity loss but the impacts of agricultural production on biodiversity have not been extensively considered in Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). Recent realisation that biodiversity impact should be included in comprehensive LCAs has led to attempts to develop and implement methods for biodiversity impact assessment. In this review, twenty-two different biodiversity impact assessment methods have been analysed to identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their comprehensiveness in the evaluation of agricultural products. Different criteria, which had to meet the specific requirements of biodiversity research, life cycle assessment methodology, and the evaluation of agricultural products, were selected to investigate the identified methods. Very few of the methods were developed with the specific intention of being used for agricultural LCAs. Furthermore, none of the methods can be applied globally while at the same time being able to differentiate between various agricultural intensities. Global value chains and the increasing awareness of different biodiversity impacts of agricultural production systems demand the development of evaluation methods that are able to overcome these shortcomings. Despite the progress that has already been achieved, there are still unresolved difficulties which need further research and improvement.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-05-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Geneletti, Davide

    2003-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-17

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Application of network method as a tool for integrating biodiversity values in Environmental Impact Assessment.

    PubMed

    Monavari, Masoud; Fard, Samaneh M B

    2011-01-01

    Highway construction or expansion projects are among major activities of economic development especially in developing countries. However, road development consistently can lead to major damages to the environment, including habitat fragmentation and ecological instabilities and a considerable threat to fauna and flora. At this point, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in road developments is needed to address and evaluate the ecological issues in decision-making. The object of this study is to strengthen the consideration of ecological issues, i.e., biodiversity in the existing EIA tools. This paper regards a network method as a means to make informed planning decisions by the lessons from a case study. The results indicate that network method is well suited to be applied in ecological impacts assessment. However, some limitations such as complexity and time consumed make casual networks unpopular. Also, impact of traffic noise on acoustic communication (wildlife and human) was performed. It has been shown that sound level for human is much higher than admissible standards. Finally, the study expresses some mitigation measures to improve the acquisition for environmental impact assessment process.

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

    PubMed

    Morand, S; Guégan, J-F

    2008-08-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. The concept of "sustainable ecological succession"; and its value in assessing the recovery of sediment seabed biodiversity from environmental impact.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Derek V

    2003-01-01

    The problem of determining whether the biodiversity of an impacted muddy seabed is recovering can be resolved by drawing on a concept termed "sustainable ecological succession". At a site impacted by discharge of mine tailings, a suite of approximately 6 primary opportunist species (mostly polychaete worms) had started to sustain itself within 1-2 years after discharge ceased (1995), within the mix of 100+ other species which were not sustaining themselves. The start of a sustaining ecological succession is easily measurable by repeat surveys, and requires only the services of one taxonomic identifier to demonstrate the consistent presence and numbers of a limited range of species. At the assessed site, by 2000, some secondary opportunist species had entered the succession, and the species richness of the impacted area had come to equal that of the reference areas.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Spatial rule-based assessment of habitat potential to predict impact of land use changes on biodiversity at municipal scale.

    PubMed

    Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide

    2011-03-01

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

  14. Improving assessment and modelling of climate change impacts on global terrestrial biodiversity.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Sean M; Harrison, Sandy P; Armbruster, W Scott; Bartlein, Patrick J; Beale, Colin M; Edwards, Mary E; Kattge, Jens; Midgley, Guy; Morin, Xavier; Prentice, I Colin

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how species and ecosystems respond to climate change has become a major focus of ecology and conservation biology. Modelling approaches provide important tools for making future projections, but current models of the climate-biosphere interface remain overly simplistic, undermining the credibility of projections. We identify five ways in which substantial advances could be made in the next few years: (i) improving the accessibility and efficiency of biodiversity monitoring data, (ii) quantifying the main determinants of the sensitivity of species to climate change, (iii) incorporating community dynamics into projections of biodiversity responses, (iv) accounting for the influence of evolutionary processes on the response of species to climate change, and (v) improving the biophysical rule sets that define functional groupings of species in global models.

  15. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Use of benthic biodiversity for assessing the impact of shrimp farming on environment.

    PubMed

    Murugesan, P; Ajithkumar, T T; Khan, S Ajmal; Balasubramanian, T

    2009-09-01

    An attempt was made to find out the impact of shrimp farm discharges on benthic diversity in the discharge point of a shrimp farm. The duration of the study was one culture period right from stocking to harvest. The results revealed that the values of environmental entities were in the safe levels. As regards nutrients, maximum value of TOC and phosphorus were recorded in the sample collected after harvest and minimum in the sample collected during culture. BIO-ENV method revealed that nitrogen, sediment salinity and TOC were manifested as best variable combination explaining faunal distribution. Polychaetes are the dominant group (50%) with 13 species followed by crustaceans (32%) with 10 species, gastropods (10%) with 2 species and bivalves (8%) with 3 species. The faunal density was found to vary in relation to months as observed in the samples which were collected during various seasons in the other areas of estuary. In line with this, diversity values were also paralleled to the faunal density. In a nut shell, the study revealed no negative impact of shrimp farming to the estuarine benthic biota.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

  18. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S; Chiaradia, André

    2017-02-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world's richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation.

  19. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S.; Chiaradia, André

    2017-01-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world’s richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation. PMID:28261659

  20. Toward meaningful end points of biodiversity in life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Curran, Michael; de Baan, Laura; De Schryver, An M; Van Zelm, Rosalie; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas; Sonnemann, Guido; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2011-01-01

    Halting current rates of biodiversity loss will be a defining challenge of the 21st century. To assess the effectiveness of strategies to achieve this goal, indicators and tools are required that monitor the driving forces of biodiversity loss, the changing state of biodiversity, and evaluate the effectiveness of policy responses. Here, we review the use of indicators and approaches to model biodiversity loss in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a methodology used to evaluate the cradle-to-grave environmental impacts of products. We find serious conceptual shortcomings in the way models are constructed, with scale considerations largely absent. Further, there is a disproportionate focus on indicators that reflect changes in compositional aspects of biodiversity, mainly changes in species richness. Functional and structural attributes of biodiversity are largely neglected. Taxonomic and geographic coverage remains problematic, with the majority of models restricted to one or a few taxonomic groups and geographic regions. On a more general level, three of the five drivers of biodiversity loss as identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment are represented in current impact categories (habitat change, climate change and pollution), while two are missing (invasive species and overexploitation). However, methods across all drivers can be greatly improved. We discuss these issues and make recommendations for future research to better reflect biodiversity loss in LCA.

  1. Impact of GM crops on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    The potential impact of GM crops on biodiversity has been a topic of interest both in general as well as specifically in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Agricultural biodiversity has been defined at levels from genes to ecosystems that are involved or impacted by agricultural production (www.cbd.int/agro/whatis.shtml). After fifteen years of commercial cultivation, a substantial body of literature now exists addressing the potential impacts of GM crops on the environment. This review takes a biodiversity lens to this literature, considering the impacts at three levels: the crop, farm and landscape scales. Within that framework, this review covers potential impacts of the introduction of genetically engineered crops on: crop diversity, biodiversity of wild relatives, non-target soil organisms, weeds, land use, non-target above-ground organisms, and area-wide pest suppression. The emphasis of the review is peer-reviewed literature that presents direct measures of impacts on biodiversity. In addition, possible impacts of changes in management practises such as tillage and pesticide use are also discussed to complement the literature on direct measures. The focus of the review is on technologies that have been commercialized somewhere in the world, while results may emanate from non-adopting countries and regions. Overall, the review finds that currently commercialized GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of insecticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides and increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.

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

    PubMed

    Bellard, C; Leclerc, C; Courchamp, F

    2015-07-07

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-04-15

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

  4. Characterization factors for land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment based on direct measures of plant species richness in European farmland in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Hermansen, John E; Cederberg, Christel; Herzog, Felix; Vale, Jim; Jeanneret, Philippe; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Friedel, Jürgen K; Balázs, Katalin; Fjellstad, Wendy; Kainz, Max; Wolfrum, Sebastian; Dennis, Peter

    2017-02-15

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely used tool to assess environmental sustainability of products. The LCA should optimally cover the most important environmental impact categories such as climate change, eutrophication and biodiversity. However, impacts on biodiversity are seldom included in LCAs due to methodological limitations and lack of appropriate characterization factors. When assessing organic agricultural products the omission of biodiversity in LCA is problematic, because organic systems are characterized by higher species richness at field level compared to the conventional systems. Thus, there is a need for characterization factors to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment that are able to distinguish between organic and conventional agricultural land use that can be used to supplement and validate the few currently suggested characterization factors. Based on a unique dataset derived from field recording of plant species diversity in farmland across six European countries, the present study provides new midpoint occupation Characterization Factors (CF) expressing the Potentially Disappeared Fraction (PDF) to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome in Europe. The method is based on calculation of plant species on randomly selected test sites in the biome and enables the calculation of characterization factors that are sensitive to particular types of management. While species richness differs between countries, the calculated CFs are able to distinguish between different land use types (pastures (monocotyledons or mixed), arable land and hedges) and management practices (organic or conventional production systems) across countries. The new occupation CFs can be used to supplement or validate the few current CF's and can be applied in LCAs of agricultural products to assess land use impacts on species richness in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome.

  5. Assessing soil biodiversity potentials in Europe.

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Ece; Louwagie, Geertrui; Gardi, Ciro; Gregor, Mirko; Schröder, Christoph; Löhnertz, Manuel

    2017-07-01

    Soil is important as a critical component for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. The largest part of the terrestrial biodiversity relies, directly or indirectly, on soil. Furthermore, soil itself is habitat to a great diversity of organisms. The suitability of soil to host such a diversity is strongly related to its physico-chemical features and environmental properties. However, due to the complexity of both soil and biodiversity, it is difficult to identify a clear and unambiguous relationship between environmental parameters and soil biota. Nevertheless, the increasing diffusion of a more integrated view of ecosystems, and in particular the development of the concept of ecosystem services, highlights the need for a better comprehension of the role played by soils in offering these services, including the habitat provision. An assessment of the capability of soils to host biodiversity would contribute to evaluate the quality of soils in order to help policy makers with the development of appropriate and sustainable management actions. However, so far, the heterogeneity of soils has been a barrier to the production of a large-scale framework that directly links soil features to organisms living within it. The current knowledge on the effects of soil physico-chemical properties on biota and the available data at continental scale open the way towards such an evaluation. In this study, the soil habitat potential for biodiversity was assessed and mapped for the first time throughout Europe by combining several soil features (pH, soil texture and soil organic matter) with environmental parameters (potential evapotranspiration, average temperature, soil biomass productivity and land use type). Considering the increasingly recognized importance of soils and their biodiversity in providing ecosystem services, the proposed approach appears to be a promising tool that may contribute to open a forum on the need to include soils in future environmental policy making

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Phylogenetic biodiversity assessment based on systematic nomenclature

    PubMed Central

    Crozier, Ross H; Dunnett, Lisa J; Agapow, Paul-Michael

    2007-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment demands objective measures, because ultimately conservation decisions must prioritize the use of limited resources for preserving taxa. The most general framework for the objective assessment of conservation worth are those that assess evolutionary distinctiveness, e.g. Genetic (Crozier 1992) and Phylogenetic Diversity (Faith 1992), and Evolutionary History (Nee & May 1997). These measures all attempt to assess the conservation worth of any scheme based on how much of the encompassing phylogeny of organisms is preserved. However, their general applicability is limited by the small proportion of taxa that have been reliably placed in a phylogeny. Given that phylogenizaton of many interesting taxa or important is unlikely to occur soon, we present a framework for using taxonomy as a reasonable surrogate for phylogeny. Combining this framework with exhaustive searches for combinations of sites containing maximal diversity, we provide a proof-of-concept for assessing conservation schemes for systematized but un-phylogenised taxa spread over a series of sites. This is illustrated with data from four studies, on North Queensland flightless insects (Yeates et al. 2002), ants from a Florida Transect (Lubertazzi & Tschinkel 2003), New England bog ants (Gotelli & Ellison 2002) and a simulated distribution of the known New Zealand Lepidosauria (Daugherty et al. 1994). The results support this approach, indicating that species, genus and site numbers predict evolutionary history, to a degree depending on the size of the data set. PMID:19325850

  8. Testing a Scandinavian Biodiversity Assessment Tool in an African Desert Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, Antje; Kyläkorpi, Lasse; Rydgren, Bernt; Schneeweiss, Rainer

    2008-10-01

    Life cycle assessment-based environmental product declarations (EPDs) require the inclusion of biodiversity impacts across the entire supply chain. The objective of this study is to test the applicability of a Scandinavian biodiversity assessment tool, developed specifically for use with EPD applications, in an African desert environment, linking the industry types power generation and mining. For this purpose, a GIS-based spatial analysis tool—the biotope method—was adapted to a framework approach which allowed the selection of more suitable, site-specific biodiversity indicators. The biotope method provides a step-by-step process of defining system boundaries, mapping biotopes, categorizing biotopes based on site-specific indicators, and evaluating change in biotope status “before” and “after” the impact. The development of site-specific indicators was piloted in this study and determined by the affected ecosystem and the status of knowledge on biodiversity in this geographic area. Thus plants were used as indicators for biodiversity, and red-list status and endemism constituted the prime criteria for conservation value of plants. This in turn represented the key criterion for classifying biotopes. The tested biodiversity assessment tool has potential for application in different environments and operational settings but leaves room for improvement by including secondary impacts in the assessment and using a wider range of taxa for indicators of biodiversity.

  9. Assessing wave energy effects on biodiversity: the wave hub experience.

    PubMed

    Witt, M J; Sheehan, E V; Bearhop, S; Broderick, A C; Conley, D C; Cotterell, S P; Crow, E; Grecian, W J; Halsband, C; Hodgson, D J; Hosegood, P; Inger, R; Miller, P I; Sims, D W; Thompson, R C; Vanstaen, K; Votier, S C; Attrill, M J; Godley, B J

    2012-01-28

    Marine renewable energy installations harnessing energy from wind, wave and tidal resources are likely to become a large part of the future energy mix worldwide. The potential to gather energy from waves has recently seen increasing interest, with pilot developments in several nations. Although technology to harness wave energy lags behind that of wind and tidal generation, it has the potential to contribute significantly to energy production. As wave energy technology matures and becomes more widespread, it is likely to result in further transformation of our coastal seas. Such changes are accompanied by uncertainty regarding their impacts on biodiversity. To date, impacts have not been assessed, as wave energy converters have yet to be fully developed. Therefore, there is a pressing need to build a framework of understanding regarding the potential impacts of these technologies, underpinned by methodologies that are transferable and scalable across sites to facilitate formal meta-analysis. We first review the potential positive and negative effects of wave energy generation, and then, with specific reference to our work at the Wave Hub (a wave energy test site in southwest England, UK), we set out the methodological approaches needed to assess possible effects of wave energy on biodiversity. We highlight the need for national and international research clusters to accelerate the implementation of wave energy, within a coherent understanding of potential effects-both positive and negative.

  10. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-05-27

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

  11. Estimating impacts of plantation forestry on plant biodiversity in southern Chile-a spatially explicit modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Braun, Andreas Christian; Koch, Barbara

    2016-10-01

    Monitoring the impacts of land-use practices is of particular importance with regard to biodiversity hotspots in developing countries. Here, conserving the high level of unique biodiversity is challenged by limited possibilities for data collection on site. Especially for such scenarios, assisting biodiversity assessments by remote sensing has proven useful. Remote sensing techniques can be applied to interpolate between biodiversity assessments taken in situ. Through this approach, estimates of biodiversity for entire landscapes can be produced, relating land-use intensity to biodiversity conditions. Such maps are a valuable basis for developing biodiversity conservation plans. Several approaches have been published so far to interpolate local biodiversity assessments in remote sensing data. In the following, a new approach is proposed. Instead of inferring biodiversity using environmental variables or the variability of spectral values, a hypothesis-based approach is applied. Empirical knowledge about biodiversity in relation to land-use is formalized and applied as ascription rules for image data. The method is exemplified for a large study site (over 67,000 km(2)) in central Chile, where forest industry heavily impacts plant diversity. The proposed approach yields a coefficient of correlation of 0.73 and produces a convincing estimate of regional biodiversity. The framework is broad enough to be applied to other study sites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Temperature Impacts on Deep-Sea Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasuhara, M.; Danovaro, R.

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Temperature impacts on deep-sea biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Setting temporal baselines for biodiversity: the limits of available monitoring data for capturing the full impact of anthropogenic pressures.

    PubMed

    Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Henle, Klaus; Titeux, Nicolas; Brotons, Lluís; Brummitt, Neil A; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2017-01-30

    Temporal baselines are needed for biodiversity, in order for the change in biodiversity to be measured over time, the targets for biodiversity conservation to be defined and conservation progress to be evaluated. Limited biodiversity information is widely recognized as a major barrier for identifying temporal baselines, although a comprehensive quantitative assessment of this is lacking. Here, we report on the temporal baselines that could be drawn from biodiversity monitoring schemes in Europe and compare those with the rise of important anthropogenic pressures. Most biodiversity monitoring schemes were initiated late in the 20(th) century, well after anthropogenic pressures had already reached half of their current magnitude. Setting temporal baselines from biodiversity monitoring data would therefore underestimate the full range of impacts of major anthropogenic pressures. In addition, biases among taxa and organization levels provide a truncated picture of biodiversity over time. These limitations need to be explicitly acknowledged when designing management strategies and policies as they seriously constrain our ability to identify relevant conservation targets aimed at restoring or reversing biodiversity losses. We discuss the need for additional research efforts beyond standard biodiversity monitoring to reconstruct the impacts of major anthropogenic pressures and to identify meaningful temporal baselines for biodiversity.

  19. Setting temporal baselines for biodiversity: the limits of available monitoring data for capturing the full impact of anthropogenic pressures

    PubMed Central

    Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Henle, Klaus; Titeux, Nicolas; Brotons, Lluís; Brummitt, Neil A.; Schmeller, Dirk S.

    2017-01-01

    Temporal baselines are needed for biodiversity, in order for the change in biodiversity to be measured over time, the targets for biodiversity conservation to be defined and conservation progress to be evaluated. Limited biodiversity information is widely recognized as a major barrier for identifying temporal baselines, although a comprehensive quantitative assessment of this is lacking. Here, we report on the temporal baselines that could be drawn from biodiversity monitoring schemes in Europe and compare those with the rise of important anthropogenic pressures. Most biodiversity monitoring schemes were initiated late in the 20th century, well after anthropogenic pressures had already reached half of their current magnitude. Setting temporal baselines from biodiversity monitoring data would therefore underestimate the full range of impacts of major anthropogenic pressures. In addition, biases among taxa and organization levels provide a truncated picture of biodiversity over time. These limitations need to be explicitly acknowledged when designing management strategies and policies as they seriously constrain our ability to identify relevant conservation targets aimed at restoring or reversing biodiversity losses. We discuss the need for additional research efforts beyond standard biodiversity monitoring to reconstruct the impacts of major anthropogenic pressures and to identify meaningful temporal baselines for biodiversity. PMID:28134310

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-16

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-11-15

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

  4. How global extinctions impact regional biodiversity in mammals

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Aquatic biodiversity assessment for the lazy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kitzes, Justin; Shirley, Rebekah

    2016-02-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Harmonizing the assessment of biodiversity effects from land and water use within LCA.

    PubMed

    Verones, Francesca; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Chaudhary, Abhishek; de Baan, Laura; Koellner, Thomas; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2015-03-17

    Addressing biodiversity impacts in life cycle assessment (LCA) has recently been significantly improved. Advances include the consideration of several taxa, consideration of vulnerability of species and ecosystems, global coverage and spatial differentiation. To allow a comparison of biodiversity impacts of different stressors (e.g., land and water use), consistent approaches for assessing and aggregating biodiversity impacts across taxa are needed. We propose four different options for aggregating impacts across taxa and stressors: equal weight for species, equal weight for taxa and two options with special consideration of species' vulnerability. We apply the aggregation options to a case study of coffee, tea and sugarcane production in Kenya for the production of 1 kg of crop. The ranking between stressors (land vs water use) within each crop and also of the overall impact between crops (coffee>sugarcane>tea) remained the same when applying the different aggregation options. Inclusion of the vulnerability of species had significant influence on the magnitude of results, and potentially also on the spatial distribution of impacts, and should be considered.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Connor, T G; Kuyler, P

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stein, Bruce A.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Methodological challenges of evaluating the impact of the Global Environment Facility's biodiversity program.

    PubMed

    Vaessen, Jos; Todd, David

    2008-08-01

    In this paper, we explore some of the methodological challenges that evaluators face in assessing the impacts of complex intervention strategies. We illustrate these challenges, using the specific example of an impact evaluation of one of the six focal areas of the Global Environment Facility; its biodiversity program. The discussion is structured around the concepts of attribution and aggregation, offering the reader a framework for reflection. Subsequently, the paper discusses how theory-based evaluation can provide a basis for addressing the attribution and aggregation challenges presented.

  15. Detectability counts when assessing populations for biodiversity targets.

    PubMed

    Petrovan, Silviu O; Ward, Alastair I; Wheeler, Philip

    2011-01-01

    Efficient, practical and accurate estimates of population parameters are a necessary basis for effective conservation action to meet biodiversity targets. The brown hare is representative of many European farmland species: historically widespread and abundant but having undergone rapid declines as a result of agricultural intensification. As a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, it has national targets for population increase that are part of wider national environmental indicators. Previous research has indicated that brown hare declines have been greatest in pastural landscapes and that gains might be made by focussing conservation effort there. We therefore used hares in pastural landscapes to examine how basic changes in survey methodology can affect the precision of population density estimates and related these to national targets for biodiversity conservation in the UK. Line transects for hares carried out at night resulted in higher numbers of detections, had better-fitting detection functions and provided more robust density estimates with lower effort than those during the day, due primarily to the increased probability of detection of hares at night and the nature of hare responses to the observer. Hare spring densities varied widely within a single region, with a pooled mean of 20.6 hares km(-2), significantly higher than the reported national average of hares in pastures of 3.3 hares km(-2). The high number of encounters allowed us to resolve hare densities at site, season and year scales. We demonstrate how survey conduct can impact on data quantity and quality with implications for setting and monitoring biodiversity targets. Our case study of the brown hare provides evidence that for wildlife species with low detectability, large scale volunteer-based monitoring programmes, either species specific or generalist, might be more successfully and efficiently carried out by a small number of trained personnel able to employ methods that

  16. Assessing the Cost of Global Biodiversity and Conservation Knowledge

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. How should we grow cities to minimize their biodiversity impacts?

    PubMed

    Sushinsky, Jessica R; Rhodes, Jonathan R; Possingham, Hugh P; Gill, Tony K; Fuller, Richard A

    2013-02-01

    Urbanization causes severe environmental degradation and continues to increase in scale and intensity around the world, but little is known about how we should design cities to minimize their ecological impact. With a sprawling style of urban development, low intensity impact is spread across a wide area, and with a compact form of development intense impact is concentrated over a small area; it remains unclear which of these development styles has a lower overall ecological impact. Here, we compare the consequences of compact and sprawling urban growth patterns on bird distributions across the city of Brisbane, Australia. We predicted the impact on bird populations of adding 84,642 houses to the city in either a compact or sprawling design using statistical models of bird distributions. We show that urban growth of any type reduces bird distributions overall, but compact development substantially slows these reductions at the city scale. Urban-sensitive species particularly benefited from compact development at the city scale because large green spaces were left intact, whereas the distributions of nonnative species expanded as a result of sprawling development. As well as minimizing ecological disruption, compact urban development maintains human access to public green spaces. However, backyards are smaller, which impacts opportunities for people to experience nature close to home. Our results suggest that cities built to minimize per capita ecological impact are characterized by high residential density, with large interstitial green spaces and small backyards, and that there are important trade-offs between maintaining city-wide species diversity and people's access to biodiversity in their own backyard.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  19. An index based on the biodiversity of cetacean species to assess the environmental status of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Azzellino, Arianna; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Gaspari, Stefania; Lanfredi, Caterina; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Marsili, Letizia; Panigada, Simone; Podestà, Michela

    2014-09-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires the assessment of the environmental status in relation to human pressures. In this study the biodiversity of the cetacean community is proposed as MSFD descriptor of the environmental status and its link with anthropogenic pressures is investigated. Functional groups are generally favoured over indicator species since they are thought to better reflect to anthropogenic stressors. Cetaceans are in many situations the most well known component of pelagic ecosystems. Their habitat requirements are known and can be used to evaluate the theoretical biodiversity that should be expected in a certain area. The deviations between the theoretical biodiversity and the actual biodiversity may be used to detect the impacts of human activities. Based on this analysis fishery resulted to be by far the most significant of the existing pressures. Among all the species, bottlenose dolphin was found the most correlated with the fishery sector dynamics.

  20. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Karlson, Mårten Mörtberg, Ulla Balfors, Berit

    2014-09-15

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Rebecca J.

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Protected areas as biodiversity benchmarks for human impact: agriculture and the Serengeti avifauna.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, A R E; Mduma, Simon A R; Arcese, Peter

    2002-12-07

    Protected areas as biodiversity benchmarks allow a separation of the direct effects of human impact on biodiversity loss from those of other environmental changes. We illustrate the use of ecological baselines with a case from the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. We document a substantial but previously unnoted loss of bird diversity in agriculture detected by reference to the immediately adjacent native vegetation in Serengeti. The abundance of species found in agriculture was only 28% of that for the same species in native savannah. Insectivorous species feeding in the grass layer or in trees were the most reduced. Some 50% of both insectivorous and granivorous species were not recorded in agriculture, with ground-feeding and tree species most affected. Grass-layer insect abundance and diversity was much reduced in agriculture, consistent with the loss of insectivorous birds. These results indicate that many species of birds will become confined to protected areas over time. We need to determine whether existing protected areas are sufficiently large to maintain viable populations of insectivorous birds likely to become confined to them. This study highlights the essential nature of baseline areas for assessing causes of change in human-dominated systems and for developing innovative strategies to restore biodiversity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-10

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

  8. Molecular markers for the assessment of chicken biodiversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Towards a collaborative, global infrastructure for biodiversity assessment.

    PubMed

    Guralnick, Robert P; Hill, Andrew W; Lane, Meredith

    2007-08-01

    Biodiversity data are rapidly becoming available over the Internet in common formats that promote sharing and exchange. Currently, these data are somewhat problematic, primarily with regard to geographic and taxonomic accuracy, for use in ecological research, natural resources management and conservation decision-making. However, web-based georeferencing tools that utilize best practices and gazetteer databases can be employed to improve geographic data. Taxonomic data quality can be improved through web-enabled valid taxon names databases and services, as well as more efficient mechanisms to return systematic research results and taxonomic misidentification rates back to the biodiversity community. Both of these are under construction. A separate but related challenge will be developing web-based visualization and analysis tools for tracking biodiversity change. Our aim was to discuss how such tools, combined with data of enhanced quality, will help transform today's portals to raw biodiversity data into nexuses of collaborative creation and sharing of biodiversity knowledge.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-20

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

  12. Contribution of conservation genetics in assessing neotropical freshwater fish biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Piorski, N M; Sanches, A; Carvalho-Costa, L F; Hatanaka, T; Carrillo-Avila, M; Freitas, P D; Galetti, P M

    2008-11-01

    Human activities have a considerable impact on hydrographic systems and fish fauna. The present review on conservation genetics of neotropical freshwater fish reveals that DNA analyses have been promoting increased knowledge on the genetic structure of fish species and their response to environmental changes. This knowledge is fundamental to the management of wild fish populations and the establishment of Evolutionary Significant Units capable of conserving genetic integrity. While population structuring can occur even in long-distance migratory fish, isolated populations can show reduced genetic variation and be at greater risk of extinction. Phylogeography and phylogeny have been powerful tools in understanding the evolution of fish populations, species and communities in distinct neotropic environments. Captive fish can be used to introduce new individuals and genes into the wild and their benefits and disadvantages can be monitored through genetic analysis. Understanding how fish biodiversity in neotropical freshwaters is generated and maintained is highly important, as these habitats are transformed by human development and fish communities are increasingly exploited as food sources to sustain a growing human population.

  13. The Development of a Biodiversity Literacy Assessment Instrument. Report to the National Environmental Education Training Foundation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This report provides information about the program evaluation study of a national biodiversity education program for youth in the United States known as "Windows on the World" launched by the World Wildlife Fund. The curriculum development project is organized into four phases: (1) a biodiversity needs assessment; (2) the development of…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. The impacts of climate change and disturbance on spatio-temporal trajectories of biodiversity in a temperate forest landscape.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Rammer, Werner; Dirnböck, Thomas; Müller, Jörg; Kobler, Johannes; Katzensteiner, Klaus; Helm, Norbert; Seidl, Rupert

    2017-02-01

    1. The ongoing changes to climate challenge the conservation of forest biodiversity. Yet, in thermally limited systems, such as temperate forests, not all species groups might be affected negatively. Furthermore, simultaneous changes in the disturbance regime have the potential to mitigate climate-related impacts on forest species. Here, we (i) investigated the potential long-term effect of climate change on biodiversity in a mountain forest landscape, (ii) assessed the effects of different disturbance frequencies, severities and sizes and (iii) identified biodiversity hotspots at the landscape scale to facilitate conservation management. 2. We employed the model iLand to dynamically simulate the tree vegetation on 13 865 ha of the Kalkalpen National Park in Austria over 1000 years, and investigated 36 unique combinations of different disturbance and climate scenarios. We used simulated changes in tree cover and composition as well as projected temperature and precipitation to predict changes in the diversity of Araneae, Carabidae, ground vegetation, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Mollusca, saproxylic beetles, Symphyta and Syrphidae, using empirical response functions. 3. Our findings revealed widely varying responses of biodiversity indicators to climate change. Five indicators showed overall negative effects, with Carabidae, saproxylic beetles and tree species diversity projected to decrease by more than 33%. Six indicators responded positively to climate change, with Hymenoptera, Mollusca and Syrphidae diversity projected to increase more than twofold. 4. Disturbances were generally beneficial for the studied indicators of biodiversity. Our results indicated that increasing disturbance frequency and severity have a positive effect on biodiversity, while increasing disturbance size has a moderately negative effect. Spatial hotspots of biodiversity were currently found in low- to mid-elevation areas of the mountainous study landscape, but shifted to higher

  16. Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bellard, Céline; Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Leadley, Paul; Thuiller, Wilfried; Courchamp, Franck

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Prehistoric human impact on rainforest biodiversity in highland New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Haberle, Simon G

    2007-02-28

    In the highlands of New Guinea, the development of agriculture as an indigenous innovation during the Early Holocene is considered to have resulted in rapid loss of forest cover, a decrease in forest biodiversity and increased land degradation over thousands of years. But how important is human activity in shaping the diversity of vegetation communities over millennial time-scales? An evaluation of the change in biodiversity of forest habitats through the Late Glacial transition to the present in five palaeoecological sites from highland valleys, where intensive agriculture is practised today, is presented. A detailed analysis of the longest and most continuous record from Papua New Guinea is also presented using available biodiversity indices (palynological richness and biodiversity indicator taxa) as a means of identifying changes in diversity. The analysis shows that the collapse of key forest habitats in the highland valleys is evident during the Mid - Late Holocene. These changes are best explained by the adoption of new land management practices and altered disturbance regimes associated with agricultural activity, though climate change may also play a role. The implications of these findings for ecosystem conservation and sustainability of agriculture in New Guinea are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Impacts on coralligenous outcrop biodiversity of a dramatic coastal storm.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Community participatory landscape classification and biodiversity assessment and monitoring of grazing lands in northern Kenya.

    PubMed

    Roba, Hassan G; Oba, Gufu

    2009-02-01

    In this study, we asked the Ariaal herders of northern Kenya to answer "why, what and how" they classified landscape, and assessed and monitored the biodiversity of 10 km(2) of grazing land. To answer the "why question" the herders classified grazing resources into 39 landscape patches grouped into six landscape types and classified soil as 'warm', 'intermediate' or 'cold' for the purpose of land use. For the "what question" the herders used soil conditions and vegetation characteristics to assess biodiversity. Plant species were described as 'increasers', 'decreasers' or 'stable'. The decreaser species were mostly grasses and forbs preferred for cattle and sheep grazing and the increasers were mostly woody species preferred by goats. The herders evaluated biodiversity in terms of key forage species and used absence or presence of the preferred species from individual landscapes for monitoring change in biodiversity. For the "how question" the herders used anthropogenic indicators concerned with livestock management for assessing landscape potential and suitability for grazing. The anthropogenic indicators were related to soils and biodiversity. The herders used plant species grazing preferences to determine the links between livestock production and biodiversity. By addressing these three questions, the study shows the value of incorporating the indigenous knowledge of herders into classification of landscape and assessment and monitoring of biodiversity in the grazing lands. We conclude that herder knowledge of biodiversity is related to the use as opposed to exclusive conservation practices. This type of knowledge is extremely valuable to conservation agencies for establishing a baseline for monitoring changes in biodiversity in the future.

  3. Phylogenetic and functional metagenomic profiling for assessing microbial biodiversity in environmental monitoring.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  5. Concluding remarks: overall impacts on biodiversity and future perspectives for conservation in the Pantanal biome.

    PubMed

    Alho, C J R

    2011-04-01

    The Pantanal biome is characterised by seasonal flooding which determines specific ecosystem processes, with the occurrence of adapted plants and animals to the annual shrinking and expansion of habitats due to the seasonal hydrological regime. Biodiversity abundance varies during the dry and wet seasons. The Pantanal's biodiversity is a fundamental component of ecosystem services for human society, including nutrient cycling, fish production, ecotourism, carbon storage, flood control, among others, which are relevant to regional and global environmental consequences. The biome has been impacted by the conversion of natural vegetation into agricultural fields and pasture for cattle raising, with alteration and loss of natural habitats and biodiversity. Major negative impacts occur in uplands, with drastic deforestation of savanna vegetation, where main rivers feeding the Pantanal have their springs. This article discusses future needs and priorities for ecological research, in order to better understand the biome's natural system, to achieve conservation and sustainable use.

  6. Oil palm research in context: identifying the need for biodiversity assessment.

    PubMed

    Turner, Edgar C; Snaddon, Jake L; Fayle, Tom M; Foster, William A

    2008-02-13

    Oil palm cultivation is frequently cited as a major threat to tropical biodiversity as it is centered on some of the world's most biodiverse regions. In this report, Web of Science was used to find papers on oil palm published since 1970, which were assigned to different subject categories to visualize their research focus. Recent years have seen a broadening in the scope of research, with a slight growth in publications on the environment and a dramatic increase in those on biofuel. Despite this, less than 1% of publications are related to biodiversity and species conservation. In the context of global vegetable oil markets, palm oil and soyabean account for over 60% of production but are the subject of less than 10% of research. Much more work must be done to establish the impacts of habitat conversion to oil palm plantation on biodiversity. Results from such studies are crucial for informing conservation strategies and ensuring sustainable management of plantations.

  7. Oil Palm Research in Context: Identifying the Need for Biodiversity Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Foster, William A.

    2008-01-01

    Oil palm cultivation is frequently cited as a major threat to tropical biodiversity as it is centered on some of the world's most biodiverse regions. In this report, Web of Science was used to find papers on oil palm published since 1970, which were assigned to different subject categories to visualize their research focus. Recent years have seen a broadening in the scope of research, with a slight growth in publications on the environment and a dramatic increase in those on biofuel. Despite this, less than 1% of publications are related to biodiversity and species conservation. In the context of global vegetable oil markets, palm oil and soyabean account for over 60% of production but are the subject of less than 10% of research. Much more work must be done to establish the impacts of habitat conversion to oil palm plantation on biodiversity. Results from such studies are crucial for informing conservation strategies and ensuring sustainable management of plantations. PMID:18270566

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. The changing biodiversity of Alabama Drosophila: important impacts of seasonal variation, urbanization, and invasive species.

    PubMed

    Bombin, Andrei; Reed, Laura K

    2016-10-01

    Global warming and anthropogenic disturbances significantly influence the biosphere, tremendously increasing species extinction rates. In Central Alabama, we analyzed Drosophilidae species composition change nearly 100 years after the previous survey. We found ten Drosophilid species that were not reported during the last major biodiversity studies, two of which are invasive pests. In addition, we analyzed the influence of seasonal environmental variables characteristic of the subtropical climate zone on Drosophila abundance and biodiversity. We found a significant correlation between temperature and abundance of total Drosophila as well as for six of the seven most represented species individually, with a maximum abundance at intermediate temperatures (18-26°C). In addition, temperature was positively correlated with biodiversity of Drosophila. Precipitation produced a significant effect on the abundance of five species of Drosophila, with different optima for each species, but did not affect overall biodiversity. We concluded that in the subtropical climate zone of Central Alabama, seasonal temperature and precipitation changes produce a significant effect on Drosophila abundance and biodiversity, while local land use also impacts fly abundance, contributing to an apparent shift in species composition over the last century. We expect global climate change and other anthropogenic factors to further impact Drosophila species composition in the subtropical climate zone into the future.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Indices for assessing coral reef fish biodiversity: the need for a change in habits.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Nicolas; Gaertner, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    We present the first representative and quantified overview of the indices used worldwide for assessing the biodiversity of coral reef fishes. On this basis, we discuss the suitability and drawbacks of the indices most widely used in the assessment of coral fish biodiversity. An extensive and systematic survey of the literature focused on coral reef fish biodiversity was conducted from 1990 up to the present. We found that the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity, which is considered as a key feature of biodiversity for numerous terrestrial and marine ecosystems, has been poorly taken into account in coral reef fish studies. Species richness is still strongly dominant while other diversity components, such as functional diversity, are underestimated even when functional information is available. We also demonstrate that the reason for choosing particular indices is often unclear, mainly based on empirical rationales and/or the reproduction of widespread habits, but generally with no clear relevance with regard to the aims of the studies. As a result, the most widely used indices (species richness, Shannon, etc.) would appear to be poorly suited to meeting the main challenges facing the monitoring of coral reef fish biodiversity in the future. Our results clearly show that coral reef scientists should rather take advantage of the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity. To facilitate this approach, we propose general guidelines to serve as a basis for the selection of indices that provide complementary and relevant information for monitoring the response of coral reef fish biodiversity in the face of structuring factors (natural or anthropic). The aim of these guidelines was to achieve a better match between the properties of the selected indices and the context of each study (e.g. expected effect of the main structuring factors, nature of data available).

  15. Evaluating rapid participatory rural appraisal as an assessment of ethnoecological knowledge and local biodiversity patterns.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Jocelyn G; Assanou, Issoufou Hassane Bil; Dan Guimbo, Iro; Almedom, Astier M

    2010-02-01

    There is a pressing need to find both locally and globally relevant tools to measure and compare biodiversity patterns. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is important to biodiversity monitoring, but has a contested role in preliminary biodiversity assessments. We examined rapid participatory rural appraisal (rPRA) (a tool commonly used for local needs assessments) as an alternative to surveys of vascular plants conducted by people with local knowledge. We used rPRA to determine the local-knowledge consensus on the average richness, diversity, and height of local grasses and trees in three habitats surrounding Boumba, Niger, bordering Park-W. We then conducted our own vascular plant surveys to collect information on plant richness, abundance, and structure. Using a qualitative ranking, we compared TEK-based assessments of diversity patterns with our survey-based assessments. The TEK-based assessments matched survey-based assessments on measures of height and density for grasses and trees and tree richness. The two assessments correlated poorly on herb richness and Simpson's D value for both trees and grasses. Plant life form and gender of the participant affected the way diversity patterns were described, which highlights the usefulness of TEK in explaining local realities and indicates limitations of using TEK as a large-scale assessment tool. Our results demonstrate that rPRA can serve to combine local-knowledge inquiry with scientific study at a cost lower than vascular plant surveys and demonstrates a useful blunt tool for preliminary biodiversity assessment.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. PMID:27928041

  19. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Naeem, S; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F B; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-12-14

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uniyal, Vp

    2010-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in environmental risk assessment: introduction to the special issue.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, Keith Richard

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2016-02-01

    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.

  14. 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

    2016-02-16

    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.

  15. Biodiversity assessment in incomplete inventories: leaf litter ant communities in several types of Bornean rain forest.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Martin; Mezger, Dirk

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. Impacts of recreation and tourism on plant biodiversity and vegetation in protected areas in Australia.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Catherine Marina; Hill, Wendy

    2007-12-01

    This paper reviews recent research into the impact of recreation and tourism in protected areas on plant biodiversity and vegetation communities in Australia. Despite the international significance of the Australian flora and increasing visitation to protected areas there has been limited research on recreational and tourism impacts in Australia. As overseas, there are obvious direct impacts of recreation and tourism such as clearing of vegetation for infrastructure or damage from trampling, horse riding, mountain biking and off road vehicles. As well, there are less obvious but potentially more severe indirect impacts. This includes self-propagating impacts associated with the spread of some weeds from trails and roads. It also includes the severe impact on native vegetation, including many rare and threatened plants, from spread of the root rot fungus Phytopthora cinnamomi. This review highlights the need for more recreational ecology research in Australia.

  2. Farmland biodiversity and the footprint of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Butler, S J; Vickery, J A; Norris, K

    2007-01-19

    Sustainable development requires the reconciliation of demands for biodiversity conservation and increased agricultural production. Assessing the impact of novel farming practices on biodiversity and ecosystem services is fundamental to this process. Using farmland birds as a model system, we present a generic risk assessment framework that accurately predicts each species' current conservation status and population growth rate associated with past changes in agriculture. We demonstrate its value by assessing the potential impact on biodiversity of two controversial land uses, genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops and agri-environment schemes. This framework can be used to guide policy and land management decisions and to assess progress toward sustainability targets.

  3. Forestry impacts on the hidden fungal biodiversity associated with bryophytes.

    PubMed

    Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, Håvard; Ohlson, Mikael

    2014-10-01

    Recent studies have revealed an unexpectedly high, cryptic diversity of fungi associated with boreal forest bryophytes. Forestry practices heavily influence the boreal forest and fundamentally transform the landscape. However, little is known about how bryophyte-associated fungal communities are affected by these large-scale habitat transformations. This study assesses to what degree bryophyte-associated fungal communities are structured across the forest successional stages created by current forestry practices. Shoots of Hylocomium splendens were collected in Picea abies dominated forests of different ages, and their associated fungal communities were surveyed by pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons. Although community richness, diversity and evenness were relatively stable across the forest types and all were consistently dominated by ascomycete taxa, there was a marked shift in fungal community composition between young and old forests. Numerous fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed distinct affinities for different forest ages. Spatial structure was also detected among the sites, suggesting that environmental gradients resulting from the topography of the study area and dispersal limitations may also significantly affect bryophyte-associated fungal community structure. This study confirms that Hylocomium splendens hosts an immense diversity of fungi and demonstrates that this community is structured in part by forest age, and as such is highly influenced by modern forestry practices.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Assessing Collembola biodiversity under human influence at Three Gorges Area, China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Cheng; Wang, Tianle; Luo, Yongzheng; Chen, Shi; Kim, Ke Chung

    2013-04-01

    In this study we comprehensively assessed Collembola biodiversity at Three Gorges Area, one of most diverse habitat regions in China. In total, 3,796 Collembola specimens comprising 9 families, 45 genera, and 103 species (including 14 new species and new records in China) were collected from three primary sampling areas: one nature reserve and two rural and urban areas representing different degrees of human influence. Each sampling area was further divided into nine sampling sites associated with different habitats and altitudes. Analyses of biodiversity data showed that individual abundance was highest in the nature reserve followed by mildly human influenced areas, and then highly influenced areas, and species richness was lowest in highly influenced areas. Hence, we suggest Collembola biodiversity is systematically lost after urbanization. In the nature reserve, altitude significantly influenced both the species richness and individual abundance, whereas in rural and urban areas, both altitude and the human-altered environmental gradient were influential. We also measured sampling efficiency and estimated potential species richness in these areas. This study serves as both a fundamental survey of Collembola biodiversity, as well as an assessment of human/environmental influence on the Collembola community, and can provide further insight into protecting the soil integrity of the Three Gorges Area.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Scale matters: the impact of organic farming on biodiversity at different spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Doreen; Sait, Steven M; Hodgson, Jenny A; Schmutz, Ulrich; Kunin, William E; Benton, Tim G

    2010-07-01

    There is increasing recognition that ecosystems and their services need to be managed in the face of environmental change. However, there is little consensus as to the optimum scale for management. This is particularly acute in the agricultural environment given the level of public investment in agri-environment schemes (AES). Using a novel multiscale hierarchical sampling design, we assess the effect of land use at multiple spatial scales (from location-within-field to regions) on farmland biodiversity. We show that on-farm biodiversity components depend on farming practices (organic vs. conventional) at farm and landscape scales, but this strongly interacts with fine- and coarse-scale variables. Different taxa respond to agricultural practice at different spatial scales and often at multiple spatial scales. Hence, AES need to target multiple spatial scales to maximize effectiveness. Novel policy levers may be needed to encourage multiple land managers within a landscape to adopt schemes that create landscape-level benefits.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Biodiversity versus emergencies: the impact of restocking on Animal Genetic Resources after disaster.

    PubMed

    Heffernan, Claire

    2009-04-01

    Restocking is a favoured option in supporting livelihoods after a disaster. With the depletion of local livestock populations, the introduction of new species and breeds will clearly affect biodiversity. Nevertheless, the impact of restocking on Animal Genetic Resources has been largely ignored. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to examine the consequences of restocking on biodiversity via a simple model. Utilising a hypothetical project based on cattle, the model demonstrates that more than one-third of the population was related to the original restocked animals after three generations. Under conditions of random breed selection, the figure declined to 20 per cent. The tool was then applied to a donor-led restocking project implemented in Bosnia-Herzegovina. By restocking primarily with Simmental cattle, the model demonstrated that the implementation of a single restocking project is likely to have accelerated the decline of the indigenous Busa breed by a further nine per cent. Thus, greater awareness of the long-term implications of restocking on biodiversity is required.

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

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

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

  18. Community Impact Assessment Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northern Alberta Development Council, Peace River.

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brodersen, Jakob; Seehausen, Ole

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Montero, Luis G.

    2010-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, María C.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  3. Farm-scale evaluation of the impacts of transgenic cotton on biodiversity, pesticide use, and yield.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Manda G; Yafuso, Christine; Schmidt, Chris; Huang, Cho-ying; Rahman, Magfurar; Olson, Carl; Ellers-Kirk, Christa; Orr, Barron J; Marsh, Stuart E; Antilla, Larry; Dutilleul, Pierre; Carrière, Yves

    2006-05-16

    Higher yields and reduced pesticide impacts are needed to mitigate the effects of agricultural intensification. A 2-year farm-scale evaluation of 81 commercial fields in Arizona show that use of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton reduced insecticide use, whereas transgenic cotton with Bt protein and herbicide resistance (BtHr) did not affect herbicide use. Transgenic cotton had higher yield than nontransgenic cotton for any given number of insecticide applications. However, nontransgenic, Bt and BtHr cotton had similar yields overall, largely because higher insecticide use with nontransgenic cotton improved control of key pests. Unlike Bt and BtHr cotton, insecticides reduced the diversity of nontarget insects. Several other agronomic and ecological factors also affected biodiversity. Nevertheless, pairwise comparisons of diversity of nontarget insects in cotton fields with diversity in adjacent noncultivated sites revealed similar effects of cultivation of transgenic and nontransgenic cotton on biodiversity. The results indicate that impacts of agricultural intensification can be reduced when replacement of broad-spectrum insecticides by narrow-spectrum Bt crops does not reduce control of pests not affected by Bt crops.

  4. Farm-scale evaluation of the impacts of transgenic cotton on biodiversity, pesticide use, and yield

    PubMed Central

    Cattaneo, Manda G.; Yafuso, Christine; Schmidt, Chris; Huang, Cho-ying; Rahman, Magfurar; Olson, Carl; Ellers-Kirk, Christa; Orr, Barron J.; Marsh, Stuart E.; Antilla, Larry; Dutilleul, Pierre; Carrière, Yves

    2006-01-01

    Higher yields and reduced pesticide impacts are needed to mitigate the effects of agricultural intensification. A 2-year farm-scale evaluation of 81 commercial fields in Arizona show that use of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton reduced insecticide use, whereas transgenic cotton with Bt protein and herbicide resistance (BtHr) did not affect herbicide use. Transgenic cotton had higher yield than nontransgenic cotton for any given number of insecticide applications. However, nontransgenic, Bt and BtHr cotton had similar yields overall, largely because higher insecticide use with nontransgenic cotton improved control of key pests. Unlike Bt and BtHr cotton, insecticides reduced the diversity of nontarget insects. Several other agronomic and ecological factors also affected biodiversity. Nevertheless, pairwise comparisons of diversity of nontarget insects in cotton fields with diversity in adjacent noncultivated sites revealed similar effects of cultivation of transgenic and nontransgenic cotton on biodiversity. The results indicate that impacts of agricultural intensification can be reduced when replacement of broad-spectrum insecticides by narrow-spectrum Bt crops does not reduce control of pests not affected by Bt crops. PMID:16675554

  5. Assessing land-use effects on water quality, in-stream habitat, riparian ecosystems and biodiversity in Patagonian northwest streams.

    PubMed

    Miserendino, María Laura; Casaux, Ricardo; Archangelsky, Miguel; Di Prinzio, Cecilia Yanina; Brand, Cecilia; Kutschker, Adriana Mabel

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land-use practices have affected the integrity and quality of water resources worldwide. In Patagonia there is a strong concern about the ecological status of surface waters because these changes are rapidly occurring in the region. To test the hypothesis that greater intensity of land-use will have negative effects on water quality, stream habitat and biodiversity we assessed benthic macroinvertebrates, riparian/littoral invertebrates, fish and birds from the riparian corridor and environmental variables of 15 rivers (Patagonia) subjected to a gradient of land-use practices (non-managed native forest, managed native forest, pine plantations, pasture, urbanization). A total of 158 macroinvertebrate taxa, 105 riparian/littoral invertebrate taxa, 5 fish species, 34 bird species, and 15 aquatic plant species, were recorded considering all sites. Urban land-use produced the most significant changes in streams including physical features, conductivity, nutrients, habitat condition, riparian quality and invertebrate metrics. Pasture and managed native forest sites appeared in an intermediate situation. The highest values of fish and bird abundance and diversity were observed at disturbed sites; this might be explained by the opportunistic behavior displayed by these communities which let them take advantage of increased trophic resources in these environments. As expected, non-managed native forest sites showed the highest integrity of ecological conditions and also great biodiversity of benthic communities. Macroinvertebrate metrics that reflected good water quality were positively related to forest land cover and negatively related to urban and pasture land cover. However, by offering stream edge areas, pasture sites still supported rich communities of riparian/littoral invertebrates, increasing overall biodiversity. Macroinvertebrates were good indicators of land-use impact and water quality conditions and resulted useful tools to early alert of

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meador, Michael R.; Carlisle, Daren M.

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Fifteen forms of biodiversity trend in the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Aust, Shelly K.; Ahrendsen, Dakota L.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Assessing biodiversity on the farm scale as basis for ecosystem service payments.

    PubMed

    von Haaren, Christina; Kempa, Daniela; Vogel, Katrin; Rüter, Stefan

    2012-12-30

    Ecosystem services payments must be based on a standardised transparent assessment of the goods and services provided. This is especially relevant in the context of EU agri-environmental programs, but also for organic-food companies that foster environmental services on their contractor farms. Addressing the farm scale is important because land users/owners are major recipients of payments and they could be more involved in data generation and conservation management. A standardised system for measuring on-farm biodiversity does not yet exist that concentrates on performance indicators and includes farmers in generating information. A method is required that produces ordinal or metric scaled assessment results as well as management measures. Another requirement is the ease of application, which includes the ease of gathering input data and understandability. In order to respond to this need, we developed a method which is designed for automated application in an open source farm assessment system named MANUELA. The method produces an ordinal scale assessment of biodiversity that includes biotopes, species, biotope connectivity and the influence of land use. In addition, specific measures for biotope types are proposed. The open source geographical information system OpenJump is used for the implementation of MANUELA. The results of the trial applications and robustness tests show that the assessment can be implemented, for the most part, using existing information as well as data available from farmers or advisors. The results are more sensitive for showing on-farm achievements and changes than existing biotope-type classifications. Such a differentiated classification is needed as a basis for ecosystem service payments and for designing effective measures. The robustness of the results with respect to biotope connectivity is comparable to that of complex models, but it should be further improved. Interviews with the test farmers substantiate that the assessment

  15. Ecosystem impairment evaluation on biodiversity and functional diversity for contaminated soil assessment.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Critto, Andrea; Marcomini, Antonio

    2009-07-01

    A site-specific ecological risk assessment procedure for a qualitative evaluation of impairment occurring at the ecosystem level, as a result of soil contamination, was developed to integrate and visualize impairment in both terrestrial biodiversity and functional diversity and to support the decision maker in the contaminated site assessment. An Ecosystem Impairment Matrix (EcoIM) was proposed to identify the relationships between the applied measurement endpoints and the taxonomic groups living in the terrestrial system and between these taxonomic groups and the fundamental ecological processes. A specific impairment analysis procedure that used expert judgment allowed for the linking of impairment highlighted by the measurement endpoints with the terrestrial ecosystem's structure and functionality. Impairment occurring on each ecological element (i.e., biodiversity aspects and ecological functions and processes) was visualized by colored cells--1 for each relationship among measurement endpoint, taxonomic group, and ecological element--to support the expert in the ecosystem impairment evaluation. These results were then reported by the expert into the Global Ecosystem Impairment Evaluation Matrix (GEM) to summarize the obtained information and formulate a final judgment on ecosystem quality status. EcoIM and GEM were implemented in Module 2 of the decision support system DSS-ERAMANIA and are presented in this paper. The tools have been preliminarily applied to the Acna di Cengio (Italy) contaminated site; the results of this application are also presented and discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S.; Luth, D.

    2003-12-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S. B.

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Neugarten, Rachel A; Honzák, Miroslav; Carret, Pierre; Koenig, Kellee; Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max; Turner, Will R

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions.

  6. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S.; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions. PMID:28006005

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

    SciTech Connect

    Slootweg, Roel; Kolhoff, Arend

    2003-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Automated DNA-based plant identification for large-scale biodiversity assessment.

    PubMed

    Papadopoulou, Anna; Chesters, Douglas; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Cardoso, Anabela; Reyes, Jazmina C; Maes, Jean-Michel; Rueda, Ricardo M; Gómez-Zurita, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Rapid degradation of tropical forests urges to improve our efficiency in large-scale biodiversity assessment. DNA barcoding can assist greatly in this task, but commonly used phenetic approaches for DNA-based identifications rely on the existence of comprehensive reference databases, which are infeasible for hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems. Alternatively, phylogenetic methods are more robust to sparse taxon sampling but time-consuming, while multiple alignment of species-diagnostic, typically length-variable, markers can be problematic across divergent taxa. We advocate the combination of phylogenetic and phenetic methods for taxonomic assignment of DNA-barcode sequences against incomplete reference databases such as GenBank, and we developed a pipeline to implement this approach on large-scale plant diversity projects. The pipeline workflow includes several steps: database construction and curation, query sequence clustering, sequence retrieval, distance calculation, multiple alignment and phylogenetic inference. We describe the strategies used to establish these steps and the optimization of parameters to fit the selected psbA-trnH marker. We tested the pipeline using infertile plant samples and herbivore diet sequences from the highly threatened Nicaraguan seasonally dry forest and exploiting a valuable purpose-built resource: a partial local reference database of plant psbA-trnH. The selected methodology proved efficient and reliable for high-throughput taxonomic assignment, and our results corroborate the advantage of applying 'strict' tree-based criteria to avoid false positives. The pipeline tools are distributed as the scripts suite 'BAGpipe' (pipeline for Biodiversity Assessment using GenBank data), which can be readily adjusted to the purposes of other projects and applied to sequence-based identification for any marker or taxon.

  10. Scoping for Social Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, Kristi M.; Ross, Helen

    2000-12-01

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

  11. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Procedure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stover, Lloyd V.

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

  12. Assessing impacts of invasive phytoplankton: the Baltic Sea case.

    PubMed

    Olenina, Irina; Wasmund, Norbert; Hajdu, Susanna; Jurgensone, Iveta; Gromisz, Sławomira; Kownacka, Janina; Toming, Kaire; Vaiciūte, Diana; Olenin, Sergej

    2010-10-01

    There is an increasing understanding and requirement to take into account the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) in environmental quality assessments. While IAS are listed amongst the most important factors threatening marine biodiversity, information on their impacts remains unquantified, especially for phytoplankton species. This study attempts to assess the impacts of invasive alien phytoplankton in the Baltic Sea during 1980-2008. A bioinvasion impact assessment method (BPL - biopollution level index) was applied to phytoplankton monitoring data collected from eleven sub-regions of the Baltic Sea. BPL takes into account abundance and distribution range of an alien species and the magnitude of the impact on native communities, habitats and ecosystem functioning. Of the 12 alien/cryptogenic phytoplankton species recorded in the Baltic Sea only one (the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum) was categorized as an IAS, causing a recognizable environmental effect.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Assessing conservation values: biodiversity and endemicity in tropical land use systems.

    PubMed

    Waltert, Matthias; Bobo, Kadiri Serge; Kaupa, Stefanie; Montoya, Marcela Leija; Nsanyi, Moses Sainge; Fermon, Heleen

    2011-01-27

    Despite an increasing amount of data on the effects of tropical land use on continental forest fauna and flora, it is debatable whether the choice of the indicator variables allows for a proper evaluation of the role of modified habitats in mitigating the global biodiversity crisis. While many single-taxon studies have highlighted that species with narrow geographic ranges especially suffer from habitat modification, there is no multi-taxa study available which consistently focuses on geographic range composition of the studied indicator groups. We compiled geographic range data for 180 bird, 119 butterfly, 204 tree and 219 understorey plant species sampled along a gradient of habitat modification ranging from near-primary forest through young secondary forest and agroforestry systems to annual crops in the southwestern lowlands of Cameroon. We found very similar patterns of declining species richness with increasing habitat modification between taxon-specific groups of similar geographic range categories. At the 8 km(2) spatial level, estimated richness of endemic species declined in all groups by 21% (birds) to 91% (trees) from forests to annual crops, while estimated richness of widespread species increased by +101% (trees) to +275% (understorey plants), or remained stable (-2%, butterflies). Even traditional agroforestry systems lost estimated endemic species richness by -18% (birds) to -90% (understorey plants). Endemic species richness of one taxon explained between 37% and 57% of others (positive correlations) and taxon-specific richness in widespread species explained up to 76% of variation in richness of endemic species (negative correlations). The key implication of this study is that the range size aspect is fundamental in assessments of conservation value via species inventory data from modified habitats. The study also suggests that even ecologically friendly agricultural matrices may be of much lower value for tropical conservation than indicated by

  2. Assessing Conservation Values: Biodiversity and Endemicity in Tropical Land Use Systems

    PubMed Central

    Waltert, Matthias; Bobo, Kadiri Serge; Kaupa, Stefanie; Montoya, Marcela Leija; Nsanyi, Moses Sainge; Fermon, Heleen

    2011-01-01

    Despite an increasing amount of data on the effects of tropical land use on continental forest fauna and flora, it is debatable whether the choice of the indicator variables allows for a proper evaluation of the role of modified habitats in mitigating the global biodiversity crisis. While many single-taxon studies have highlighted that species with narrow geographic ranges especially suffer from habitat modification, there is no multi-taxa study available which consistently focuses on geographic range composition of the studied indicator groups. We compiled geographic range data for 180 bird, 119 butterfly, 204 tree and 219 understorey plant species sampled along a gradient of habitat modification ranging from near-primary forest through young secondary forest and agroforestry systems to annual crops in the southwestern lowlands of Cameroon. We found very similar patterns of declining species richness with increasing habitat modification between taxon-specific groups of similar geographic range categories. At the 8 km2 spatial level, estimated richness of endemic species declined in all groups by 21% (birds) to 91% (trees) from forests to annual crops, while estimated richness of widespread species increased by +101% (trees) to +275% (understorey plants), or remained stable (- 2%, butterflies). Even traditional agroforestry systems lost estimated endemic species richness by - 18% (birds) to - 90% (understorey plants). Endemic species richness of one taxon explained between 37% and 57% of others (positive correlations) and taxon-specific richness in widespread species explained up to 76% of variation in richness of endemic species (negative correlations). The key implication of this study is that the range size aspect is fundamental in assessments of conservation value via species inventory data from modified habitats. The study also suggests that even ecologically friendly agricultural matrices may be of much lower value for tropical conservation than indicated by

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Secondary impact hazard assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Willig, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Klingbeil, Brian T; Willig, Michael R

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Assessing Cross-Media Impacts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiquam, Howard; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Using 1000 MW coal-fired central power stations as an example, the impacts upon other media (land, air, water) are analyzed when controls are imposed on one medium. The development of a methodology for assessing the cross-media impact of specific control technologies or strategies is illustrated. (Author/BT)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-23

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

  14. Application of SNPs for assessing biodiversity and phylogeny among yeast strains.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ari, G; Zenvirth, D; Sherman, A; Simchen, G; Lavi, U; Hillel, J

    2005-12-01

    We examined the efficacy of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for the assessment of the phylogeny and biodiversity of Saccharomyces strains. Each of 32 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains was genotyped at 30 SNP loci discovered by sequence alignment of the S. cerevisiae laboratory strain SK1 to the database sequence of strain S288c. In total, 10 SNPs were selected from each of the following three categories: promoter regions, nonsynonymous and synonymous sites (in open reading frames). The strains in this study included 11 haploid laboratory strains used for genetic studies and 21 diploids. Three non-cerevisiae species of Saccharomyces (sensu stricto) were used as an out-group. A Bayesian clustering-algorithm, Structure, effectively identified four different strain groups: laboratory, wine, other diploids and the non-cerevisiae species. Analysing haploid and diploid strains together caused problems for phylogeny reconstruction, but not for the clustering produced by Structure. The ascertainment bias introduced by the SNP discovery method caused difficulty in the phylogenetic analysis; alternative options are proposed. A smaller data set, comprising only the nine most polymorphic loci, was sufficient to obtain most features of the results.

  15. Assessing soil biodiversity across Great Britain: national trends in the occurrence of heterotrophic bacteria and invertebrates in soil.

    PubMed

    Black, H I J; Parekh, N R; Chaplow, J S; Monson, F; Watkins, J; Creamer, R; Potter, E D; Poskitt, J M; Rowland, P; Ainsworth, G; Hornung, M

    2003-03-01

    An assessment of the biodiversity of soils was a component of the Countryside Survey 2000 (CS2000). This was the first integrated survey of soil biota and chemical properties at a national scale. A total of 1052 soil samples were collected across Great Britain during CS2000 and analysed for a range of soil microbial and invertebrate characteristics resulting in the production of a series of robust datasets. A principal objective was to use these datasets to investigate relationships between soil biota and environmental factors such as geographical location, vegetation, land use, land cover, soil type and pollutant levels as first stages in characterising the inherent biodiversity of British soils and investigating the potential of soil biodiversity as indicators of soil health at a regional or national scale. Preliminary results for culturable heterotrophic, invertebrate taxa, Acari, Collembola and Oribatid mites are presented here to illustrate the nature of the data collected and the patterns of soil biodiversity in relation to large-scale regional, vegetation and soil characteristics across the British countryside.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzolla Gatti, R.

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Biodiversity of Jinggangshan Mountain: the importance of topography and geographical location in supporting higher biodiversity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. DNA barcoding at riverscape scales: assessing biodiversity among fishes of the genus Cottus (Teleostei) in northern Rocky Mountain streams.

    PubMed

    Young, Michael K; McKelvey, Kevin S; Pilgrim, Kristine L; Schwartz, Michael K

    2013-07-01

    There is growing interest in broad-scale biodiversity assessments that can serve as benchmarks for identifying ecological change. Genetic tools have been used for such assessments for decades, but spatial sampling considerations have largely been ignored. Here, we demonstrate how intensive sampling efforts across a large geographical scale can influence identification of taxonomic units. We used sequences of mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and cytochrome b, analysed with maximum parsimony networks, maximum-likelihood trees and genetic distance thresholds, as indicators of biodiversity and species identity among the taxonomically challenging fishes of the genus Cottus in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Analyses of concatenated sequences from fish collected in all major watersheds of this area revealed eight groups with species-level differences that were also geographically circumscribed. Only two of these groups, however, were assigned to recognized species, and these two assignments resulted in intraspecific genetic variation (>2.0%) regarded as atypical for individual species. An incomplete inventory of individuals from throughout the geographical ranges of many species represented in public databases, as well as sample misidentification and a poorly developed taxonomy, may have hampered species assignment and discovery. We suspect that genetic assessments based on spatially robust sampling designs will reveal previously unrecognized biodiversity in many other taxa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Health impact assessment in Korea

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-15

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

  2. Design of mini-barcode for catfishes for assessment of archival biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharjee, Maloyjo J; Ghosh, Sankar K

    2014-05-01

    Recovery of DNA barcode sequences is often challenging from the archived specimens. However, short fragments of DNA may be recovered, which would significantly improve many unresolved taxonomic conflicts. Here, we designed a mini-barcode for catfishes comprising several species and many cryptic taxa. We analysed a data set of 3048 publicly available COI barcode sequences representing 547 worldwide catfish species and performed 152 628 interspecies comparisons. A significantly more positively correlated interspecies distance was detected with transversion (0.78, P < 0.001) than with transition (0.70, P < 0.001). This suggested that transversions were better diagnostics for species identification. In the aligned data set, two transversion-rich fragments (53 bp and 119 bp) were identified. Transition/transversion bias value was 1.04 in 53-bp fragment, 1.23 in 119-bp fragment and 1.50 in full-length barcode. The interspecies distance with full-length barcode was 0.212 ± 0.037, while that with 53-bp and 119-bp fragments was 0.325 ± 0.039 and 0.218 ± 0.045, respectively. Survey of 53-bp fragment showed a possibility of only 1144 barcodes, while that of 119-bp fragment showed >4 million barcodes. Thus, the 119-bp fragment is a viable mini-barcode for catfishes comprising >3000 extant species. Experiment with 82 archived catfishes showed successful recovery of this mini-barcode using the designed primer. The mini-barcode sequences showed species-specific similarity in the range of 98-100% with the global database. Therefore, survey of a transversion-rich fragment within the full-length barcode would be an ideal approach of mini-barcode design for biodiversity assessment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Interactive effects of warming, eutrophication and size structure: impacts on biodiversity and food-web structure.

    PubMed

    Binzer, Amrei; Guill, Christian; Rall, Björn C; Brose, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Warming and eutrophication are two of the most important global change stressors for natural ecosystems, but their interaction is poorly understood. We used a dynamic model of complex, size-structured food webs to assess interactive effects on diversity and network structure. We found antagonistic impacts: Warming increases diversity in eutrophic systems and decreases it in oligotrophic systems. These effects interact with the community size structure: Communities of similarly sized species such as parasitoid-host systems are stabilized by warming and destabilized by eutrophication, whereas the diversity of size-structured predator-prey networks decreases strongly with warming, but decreases only weakly with eutrophication. Nonrandom extinction risks for generalists and specialists lead to higher connectance in networks without size structure and lower connectance in size-structured communities. Overall, our results unravel interactive impacts of warming and eutrophication and suggest that size structure may serve as an important proxy for predicting the community sensitivity to these global change stressors.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (videotape)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Developing and enhancing biodiversity monitoring programmes: a collaborative assessment of priorities.

    PubMed

    Pocock, Michael J O; Newson, Stuart E; Henderson, Ian G; Peyton, Jodey; Sutherland, William J; Noble, David G; Ball, Stuart G; Beckmann, Björn C; Biggs, Jeremy; Brereton, Tom; Bullock, David J; Buckland, Stephen T; Edwards, Mike; Eaton, Mark A; Harvey, Martin C; Hill, Mark O; Horlock, Martin; Hubble, David S; Julian, Angela M; Mackey, Edward C; Mann, Darren J; Marshall, Matthew J; Medlock, Jolyon M; O'Mahony, Elaine M; Pacheco, Marina; Porter, Keith; Prentice, Steve; Procter, Deborah A; Roy, Helen E; Southway, Sue E; Shortall, Chris R; Stewart, Alan J A; Wembridge, David E; Wright, Mark A; Roy, David B

    2015-06-01

    Biodiversity is changing at unprecedented rates, and it is increasingly important that these changes are quantified through monitoring programmes. Previous recommendations for developing or enhancing these programmes focus either on the end goals, that is the intended use of the data, or on how these goals are achieved, for example through volunteer involvement in citizen science, but not both. These recommendations are rarely prioritized.We used a collaborative approach, involving 52 experts in biodiversity monitoring in the UK, to develop a list of attributes of relevance to any biodiversity monitoring programme and to order these attributes by their priority. We also ranked the attributes according to their importance in monitoring biodiversity in the UK. Experts involved included data users, funders, programme organizers and participants in data collection. They covered expertise in a wide range of taxa.We developed a final list of 25 attributes of biodiversity monitoring schemes, ordered from the most elemental (those essential for monitoring schemes; e.g. articulate the objectives and gain sufficient participants) to the most aspirational (e.g. electronic data capture in the field, reporting change annually). This ordered list is a practical framework which can be used to support the development of monitoring programmes.People's ranking of attributes revealed a difference between those who considered attributes with benefits to end users to be most important (e.g. people from governmental organizations) and those who considered attributes with greatest benefit to participants to be most important (e.g. people involved with volunteer biological recording schemes). This reveals a distinction between focussing on aims and the pragmatism in achieving those aims. Synthesis and applications. The ordered list of attributes developed in this study will assist in prioritizing resources to develop biodiversity monitoring programmes (including citizen science). The

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Relationship between Floristic and Phenologic Similarity in Temperate Forests: Implications for the Synoptic Assessment and Monitoring of Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vina, A.; Xu, W.; Tuanmu, M.; Li, Y.; Ouyang, Z.; Liu, J.

    2008-12-01

    As human activities continue to increase pressure on biodiversity, it is imperative to understand its status and responses to human disturbances. Although biodiversity varies greatly across space, most studies were conducted at limited spatial extents. While these studies have provided useful information at local scales, they are not suitable when a regional view is required, particularly when one is interested in evaluating large- scale effects of human activities and establishing sustainable management practices at regional levels. The synoptic view provided by imaging sensors constitutes a useful way of analyzing biodiversity at large scales. In this study we assessed the structure and tree species composition of temperate forests in the Qinling mountain region of Shaanxi province (China) at plot scales and analyzed their phenologic characteristics across the entire region using multi-temporal remotely sensed data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Results show that areas floristically similar (i.e., composed of the same tree species associations) also exhibit comparable phenologic characteristics, implying a direct relationship between floristic and phenologic similarity. Therefore, the phenologic characteristics, as evaluated through remote sensing techniques, can be scaled-up to map and monitor the spatial distribution of particular tree species associations across broad geographic regions.

  17. [Groundwater quality in two arid areas of Morocco: impact of pollution on biodiversity and paleogeographic implications].

    PubMed

    Boughrous, A A; Yacoubi Khebiza, M; Boulanouar, M; Boutin, C; Messana, G

    2007-11-01

    The biodiversity and the quality of subterranean waters have been comparatively studied in the Haouz plain near Marrakesh and in the Tafilalet, in south-eastern Morocco. For this purpose, physicochemical and faunistic analyses were carried out on the water of ten wells and springs located in the area of Marrakesh, and in Errachidia area respectively. In the wells of Marrakesh, the average stygobiologic diversity is relatively high in the wells located upstream the dumping from the city where the ground water presents low contents of nitrates and orthophosphates. In contrast, the wells located in the spreading zone of Marrakesh wastewaters are characterized by the scarcity or the absence of stygobitic species; in these latter wells, the water is highly polluted. It is rich in nitrates, nitrites, ammonium, and the conductivity is rather high. In the area of Errachidia the faunistic inventory gathers some ten species, some of which are living in hot springs. The subterranean water is highly mineralised. In the two studied areas, the biodiversity decreases when well water is locally polluted, and the subterranean fauna completely disappears if the degree of contamination is important. This relation between the biodiversity and water quality which had already appeared in surface water, is confirmed within the wells of Marrakech. The groundwater fauna of both two areas presents similarities in relation to their geological history, mainly the various marine cycles of marine transgressions-regressions, which were at the origin of the settlement of the ancestors of the extant species, and the Atlasic orogenesis which separated the common ancestral populations into two separated stocks, involving a different evolution of the ancestors and a resulting speciation by vicariance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. Assessment of Changes in Biodiversity when a Community of Ultramicrobacteria Isolated from Groundwater Is Stimulated to Form a Biofilm.

    PubMed

    Ross, N.; Villemur, R.; Marcandella, E.; Deschênes, L.

    2001-07-01

    The stimulation of groundwater bacteria to form biofilms, for the remediation of polluted aquifers, is subjected to environmental regulations that include measurement of effects on microbial biodiversity. Groundwater microorganisms contain a proportion of unidentified and uncharacterized ultramicrobacteria (UMB) that might play a major role in the bioclogging of geological materials. This study aimed to assess the changes in genetic and metabolic biodiversity when a community of UMB, isolated from groundwater, is stimulated to form biofilms on a ceramic surface. UMB were stimulated with aerobic conditions and injection of molasses, in reactors reproducing groundwater composition and temperature. Concentration of planktonic viable UMB, secretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and biofilm thickness were monitored. The assessment of changes in biodiversity was achieved by comparing the initial UMB community to the biofilm community, using the single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) method, the cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) sequences, and the Biolog microplate system. The hypothesis stating that indigenous UMB would play a significant role of in the biofilm development was corroborated. Within 13 days of stimulation, the UMB produced 700 mg L?1 of planktonic EPS and formed a biofilm up to a thickness of 1100 mm. This stimulation led to a decrease in genetic diversity and an increase in metabolic diversity. The decrease in genetic diversity was shown by a reduced number of single strand DNA fragments in the SSCP profiles. As such, 16S rDNA sequences from the biofilm revealed the predominance of four bacterial groups: Zoogloea, Bacillus/Paenibacillus, Enterobacteriaceae, and Pseudomonads. A significant increase in metabolic diversity was shown by a highest substrate richness profile and a lower substrate evenness profile of the biofilm bacterial population (p = 0.0 and p = 0.09, respectively). This higher metabolic diversity

  1. Environmental impact assessment in Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, H.G.; De Aguiar, A.M.D. . Dept. de Ecologia e Programa de Pos- graduac ao em Analise Ambiental)

    1993-05-01

    Brazilian environmental impact assessment (EIA) had a relatively late birth and is still far from being operative by international standards. Currently, geological, economic, and social considerations are more highly valued. Nevertheless, EIA has become important in shaping governmental policy. The state of Sao Paulo is responsible for 40% of all EIAs produced in Brazil, and the number of EIAs produced is proportional to stat population density.

  2. Plant Family-Specific Impacts of Petroleum Pollution on Biodiversity and Leaf Chlorophyll Content in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Arellano, Paul; Tansey, Kevin; Balzter, Heiko; Tellkamp, Markus

    2017-01-01

    In recent decades petroleum pollution in the tropical rainforest has caused significant environmental damage in vast areas of the Amazon region. At present the extent of this damage is not entirely clear. Little is known about the specific impacts of petroleum pollution on tropical vegetation. In a field expedition to the Ecuadorian Amazon over 1100 leaf samples were collected from tropical trees in polluted and unpolluted sites. Plant families were identified for 739 of the leaf samples and compared between sites. Plant biodiversity indices show a reduction of the plant biodiversity when the site was affected by petroleum pollution. In addition, reflectance and transmittance were measured with a field spectroradiometer for every leaf sample and leaf chlorophyll content was estimated using reflectance model inversion with the radiative tranfer model PROSPECT. Four of the 15 plant families that are most representative of the ecoregion (Melastomataceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae and Euphorbiaceae) had significantly lower leaf chlorophyll content in the polluted areas compared to the unpolluted areas. This suggests that these families are more sensitive to petroleum pollution. The polluted site is dominated by Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, suggesting that these plant families are particularly competitive in the presence of pollution. This study provides evidence of a decrease of plant diversity and richness caused by petroleum pollution and of a plant family-specific response of leaf chlorophyll content to petroleum pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon using information from field spectroscopy and radiative transfer modelling. PMID:28103307

  3. Plant Family-Specific Impacts of Petroleum Pollution on Biodiversity and Leaf Chlorophyll Content in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Paul; Tansey, Kevin; Balzter, Heiko; Tellkamp, Markus

    2017-01-01

    In recent decades petroleum pollution in the tropical rainforest has caused significant environmental damage in vast areas of the Amazon region. At present the extent of this damage is not entirely clear. Little is known about the specific impacts of petroleum pollution on tropical vegetation. In a field expedition to the Ecuadorian Amazon over 1100 leaf samples were collected from tropical trees in polluted and unpolluted sites. Plant families were identified for 739 of the leaf samples and compared between sites. Plant biodiversity indices show a reduction of the plant biodiversity when the site was affected by petroleum pollution. In addition, reflectance and transmittance were measured with a field spectroradiometer for every leaf sample and leaf chlorophyll content was estimated using reflectance model inversion with the radiative tranfer model PROSPECT. Four of the 15 plant families that are most representative of the ecoregion (Melastomataceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae and Euphorbiaceae) had significantly lower leaf chlorophyll content in the polluted areas compared to the unpolluted areas. This suggests that these families are more sensitive to petroleum pollution. The polluted site is dominated by Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, suggesting that these plant families are particularly competitive in the presence of pollution. This study provides evidence of a decrease of plant diversity and richness caused by petroleum pollution and of a plant family-specific response of leaf chlorophyll content to petroleum pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon using information from field spectroscopy and radiative transfer modelling.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity?

    PubMed

    Fitzherbert, Emily B; Struebig, Matthew J; Morel, Alexandra; Danielsen, Finn; Brühl, Carsten A; Donald, Paul F; Phalan, Ben

    2008-10-01

    Oil palm is one of the world's most rapidly increasing crops. We assess its contribution to tropical deforestation and review its biodiversity value. Oil palm has replaced large areas of forest in Southeast Asia, but land-cover change statistics alone do not allow an assessment of where it has driven forest clearance and where it has simply followed it. Oil palm plantations support much fewer species than do forests and often also fewer than other tree crops. Further negative impacts include habitat fragmentation and pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. With rising demand for vegetable oils and biofuels, and strong overlap between areas suitable for oil palm and those of most importance for biodiversity, substantial biodiversity losses will only be averted if future oil palm expansion is managed to avoid deforestation.

  7. Biodiversity analysis of vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. J. Hansen

    2000-06-30

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

  8. Simulating changes in cropping practices in conventional and glyphosate-resistant maize. II. Weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Colbach, Nathalie; Darmency, Henri; Fernier, Alice; Granger, Sylvie; Le Corre, Valérie; Messéan, Antoine

    2017-04-06

    Overreliance on the same herbicide mode of action leads to the spread of resistant weeds, which cancels the advantages of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Here, the objective was to quantify, with simulations, the impact of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on crop production and weed-related wild biodiversity in HT maize-based cropping systems differing in terms of management practices. We (1) simulated current conventional and probable HT cropping systems in two European regions, Aquitaine and Catalonia, with the weed dynamics model FLORSYS; (2) quantified how much the presence of GR weeds contributed to weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity; (3) determined the effect of cultural practices on the impact of GR weeds and (4) identified which species traits most influence weed-impact indicators. The simulation study showed that during the analysed 28 years, the advent of glyphosate resistance had little effect on plant biodiversity. Glyphosate-susceptible populations and species were replaced by GR ones. Including GR weeds only affected functional biodiversity (food offer for birds, bees and carabids) and weed harmfulness when weed effect was initially low; when weed effect was initially high, including GR weeds had little effect. The GR effect also depended on cultural practices, e.g. GR weeds were most detrimental for species equitability when maize was sown late. Species traits most harmful for crop production and most beneficial for biodiversity were identified, using RLQ analyses. None of the species presenting these traits belonged to a family for which glyphosate resistance was reported. An advice table was built; the effects of cultural practices on crop production and biodiversity were synthesized, explained, quantified and ranked, and the optimal choices for each management technique were identified.

  9. Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being.

    PubMed

    Pecl, Gretta T; Araújo, Miguel B; Bell, Johann D; Blanchard, Julia; Bonebrake, Timothy C; Chen, I-Ching; Clark, Timothy D; Colwell, Robert K; Danielsen, Finn; Evengård, Birgitta; Falconi, Lorena; Ferrier, Simon; Frusher, Stewart; Garcia, Raquel A; Griffis, Roger B; Hobday, Alistair J; Janion-Scheepers, Charlene; Jarzyna, Marta A; Jennings, Sarah; Lenoir, Jonathan; Linnetved, Hlif I; Martin, Victoria Y; McCormack, Phillipa C; McDonald, Jan; Mitchell, Nicola J; Mustonen, Tero; Pandolfi, John M; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Popova, Ekaterina; Robinson, Sharon A; Scheffers, Brett R; Shaw, Justine D; Sorte, Cascade J B; Strugnell, Jan M; Sunday, Jennifer M; Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Vergés, Adriana; Villanueva, Cecilia; Wernberg, Thomas; Wapstra, Erik; Williams, Stephen E

    2017-03-31

    Distributions of Earth's species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by human-mediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that climate-driven species redistribution at regional to global scales affects ecosystem functioning, human well-being, and the dynamics of climate change itself. Production of natural resources required for food security, patterns of disease transmission, and processes of carbon sequestration are all altered by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Incorporating social concerns in environmental impact assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Wolfe, A.K.

    1990-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nisiforou, Olympia; Charalambides, Alexandros George

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Biodiversity Prospecting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sittenfeld, Ana; Lovejoy, Annie

    1994-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Bioweapons, bioterrorism and biodiversity: potential impacts of biological weapons attacks on agricultural and biological diversity.

    PubMed

    Dudley, J P; Woodford, M H

    2002-04-01

    Diseases and biological toxins have been used as weapons of war throughout recorded history, from Biblical times through to the present day. Bioweapon uses have historically been directed primarily, although not exclusively, against human populations. Specialised technicians and state-of-the-art research facilities are no longer necessary for the production or deployment of many known bioweapon agents and commercially available technologies now permit the large-scale production of bioweapon agents in small-scale facilities at relatively low cost. Failures in the detection and containment of bioweapon and emerging disease outbreaks among populations of wildlife and indigenous peoples in developing countries could result in severe erosion of genetic diversity in local and regional populations of both wild and domestic animals, the extinction of endangered species and the extirpation of indigenous peoples and their cultures. Our ability to understand and control the spread of diseases within and among human and animal populations is increasing but is still insufficient to counter the threats presented by existing bioweapon diseases and the growing number of highly pathogenic emergent infections. Interdisciplinary and international efforts to increase the monitoring, surveillance, identification and reporting of disease agents and to better understand the potential dynamics of disease transmission within human and animal populations in both industrialised and developing country settings will greatly enhance our ability to combat the effects of bioweapons and emerging diseases on biological communities and biodiversity.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisiforou, Olympia; Charalambides, Alexandros George

    2012-05-01

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

  1. Noise impact on wildlife: An environmental impact assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, A.

    1977-01-01

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

  2. Impacts of Intensive Logging on the Trophic Organisation of Ant Communities in a Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, David P.; Newton, Rob J.; Vun Khen, Chey; Bottrell, Simon H.; Hamer, Keith C.

    2013-01-01

    Trophic organisation defines the flow of energy through ecosystems and is a key component of community structure. Widespread and intensifying anthropogenic disturbance threatens to disrupt trophic organisation by altering species composition and relative abundances and by driving shifts in the trophic ecology of species that persist in disturbed ecosystems. We examined how intensive disturbance caused by selective logging affects trophic organisation in the biodiversity hotspot of Sabah, Borneo. Using stable nitrogen isotopes, we quantified the positions in the food web of 159 leaf-litter ant species in unlogged and logged rainforest and tested four predictions: (i) there is a negative relationship between the trophic position of a species in unlogged forest and its change in abundance following logging, (ii) the trophic positions of species are altered by logging, (iii) disturbance alters the frequency distribution of trophic positions within the ant assemblage, and (iv) disturbance reduces food chain length. We found that ant abundance was 30% lower in logged forest than in unlogged forest but changes in abundance of individual species were not related to trophic position, providing no support for prediction (i). However, trophic positions of individual species were significantly higher in logged forest, supporting prediction (ii). Consequently, the frequency distribution of trophic positions differed significantly between unlogged and logged forest, supporting prediction (iii), and food chains were 0.2 trophic levels longer in logged forest, the opposite of prediction (iv). Our results demonstrate that disturbance can alter trophic organisation even without trophically-biased changes in community composition. Nonetheless, the absence of any reduction in food chain length in logged forest suggests that species-rich arthropod food webs do not experience trophic downgrading or a related collapse in trophic organisation despite the disturbance caused by logging

  3. Impacts of intensive logging on the trophic organisation of ant communities in a biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, David P; Newton, Rob J; Vun Khen, Chey; Bottrell, Simon H; Hamer, Keith C

    2013-01-01

    Trophic organisation defines the flow of energy through ecosystems and is a key component of community structure. Widespread and intensifying anthropogenic disturbance threatens to disrupt trophic organisation by altering species composition and relative abundances and by driving shifts in the trophic ecology of species that persist in disturbed ecosystems. We examined how intensive disturbance caused by selective logging affects trophic organisation in the biodiversity hotspot of Sabah, Borneo. Using stable nitrogen isotopes, we quantified the positions in the food web of 159 leaf-litter ant species in unlogged and logged rainforest and tested four predictions: (i) there is a negative relationship between the trophic position of a species in unlogged forest and its change in abundance following logging, (ii) the trophic positions of species are altered by logging, (iii) disturbance alters the frequency distribution of trophic positions within the ant assemblage, and (iv) disturbance reduces food chain length. We found that ant abundance was 30% lower in logged forest than in unlogged forest but changes in abundance of individual species were not related to trophic position, providing no support for prediction (i). However, trophic positions of individual species were significantly higher in logged forest, supporting prediction (ii). Consequently, the frequency distribution of trophic positions differed significantly between unlogged and logged forest, supporting prediction (iii), and food chains were 0.2 trophic levels longer in logged forest, the opposite of prediction (iv). Our results demonstrate that disturbance can alter trophic organisation even without trophically-biased changes in community composition. Nonetheless, the absence of any reduction in food chain length in logged forest suggests that species-rich arthropod food webs do not experience trophic downgrading or a related collapse in trophic organisation despite the disturbance caused by logging

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Assessing the Impact of Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malouff, John M.; Schutte, Nicola S.; Rooke, Sally E.

    2008-01-01

    University teaching can have a positive impact, a negative impact, or no impact. This article describes indicators of the impact of university teaching at the unit level. Teaching-impact indicators can be organized by the main beneficiary of the teaching: students; others, such as employers and clients, who interact with the students; the…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-15

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

  12. Environmental impact assessment of open pit mining in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monjezi, M.; Shahriar, K.; Dehghani, H.; Samimi Namin, F.

    2009-07-01

    Mining is widely regarded as having adverse effects on environment of both magnitude and diversity. Some of these effects include erosion, formation of sinkhole, biodiversity loss and contamination of groundwater by chemical from the mining process in general and open-pit mining in particular. As such, a repeatable process to evaluate these effects primarily aims to diminish them. This paper applies Folchi method to evaluate the impact of open-pit mining in four Iranian mines that lacked previous geo-environmental assessment. Having key geologic resources, these mines are: Mouteh gold mine, Gol-e-Gohar and Chogart iron mines, and Sarcheshmeh copper mine. The environmental components can be defined as public health and safety, social relationships, air and water quality, flora and fauna hence, various impacting factors from the mining activities were estimated for each environmental component. For this purpose, each impacting factor was first given a magnitude, based solely on the range of possible scenarios. Thereafter, a matrix of weighted factors was derived to systematically quantify and normalize the effects of each impacting factor. The overall impact upon each individual environmental component was then calculated by summing the weighted rates. Here, Folchi method was applied to evaluate those environmental conditions. Based on the acquired results, the present paper finally concludes that amongst four case histories in Iran, Sarcheshmeh copper mine significantly affects the environment, with critical level of air pollution there.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. RETHINKING HUMAN HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT. (R825758)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Mosaic-Level Inference of the Impact of Land Cover Changes in Agricultural Landscapes on Biodiversity: A Case-Study with a Threatened Grassland Bird

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Francisco; Silva, João P.; Estanque, Beatriz; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Lecoq, Miguel; Pinto, Márcia; Leitão, Domingos; Alonso, Ivan; Pedroso, Rui; Santos, Eduardo; Catry, Teresa; Silva, Patricia; Henriques, Inês; Delgado, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Changes in land use/land cover are a major driver of biodiversity change in the Mediterranean region. Understanding how animal populations respond to these landscape changes often requires using landscape mosaics as the unit of investigation, but few previous studies have measured both response and explanatory variables at the land mosaic level. Here, we used a “whole-landscape” approach to assess the influence of regional variation in the land cover composition of 81 farmland mosaics (mean area of 2900 ha) on the population density of a threatened bird, the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), in southern Portugal. Results showed that ca. 50% of the regional variability in the density of little bustards could be explained by three variables summarising the land cover composition and diversity in the studied mosaics. Little bustard breeding males attained higher population density in land mosaics with a low land cover diversity, with less forests, and dominated by grasslands. Land mosaic composition gradients showed that agricultural intensification was not reflected in a loss of land cover diversity, as in many other regions of Europe. On the contrary, it led to the introduction of new land cover types in homogenous farmland, which increased land cover diversity but reduced overall landscape suitability for the species. Based on these results, the impact of recent land cover changes in Europe on the little bustard populations is evaluated. PMID:22723899

  20. Mosaic-level inference of the impact of land cover changes in agricultural landscapes on biodiversity: a case-study with a threatened grassland bird.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Francisco; Silva, João P; Estanque, Beatriz; Palmeirim, Jorge M; Lecoq, Miguel; Pinto, Márcia; Leitão, Domingos; Alonso, Ivan; Pedroso, Rui; Santos, Eduardo; Catry, Teresa; Silva, Patricia; Henriques, Inês; Delgado, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Changes in land use/land cover are a major driver of biodiversity change in the Mediterranean region. Understanding how animal populations respond to these landscape changes often requires using landscape mosaics as the unit of investigation, but few previous studies have measured both response and explanatory variables at the land mosaic level. Here, we used a "whole-landscape" approach to assess the influence of regional variation in the land cover composition of 81 farmland mosaics (mean area of 2900 ha) on the population density of a threatened bird, the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), in southern Portugal. Results showed that ca. 50% of the regional variability in the density of little bustards could be explained by three variables summarising the land cover composition and diversity in the studied mosaics. Little bustard breeding males attained higher population density in land mosaics with a low land cover diversity, with less forests, and dominated by grasslands. Land mosaic composition gradients showed that agricultural intensification was not reflected in a loss of land cover diversity, as in many other regions of Europe. On the contrary, it led to the introduction of new land cover types in homogenous farmland, which increased land cover diversity but reduced overall landscape suitability for the species. Based on these results, the impact of recent land cover changes in Europe on the little bustard populations is evaluated.

  1. Optimal allocation of Red List assessments to guide conservation of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world.

    PubMed

    Hermoso, Virgilio; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie Renee; Linke, Simon; Dudgeon, David; Petry, Paulo; McIntyre, Peter

    2017-02-06

    The IUCN Red List is the most extensive source of conservation status assessments for species worldwide, but important gaps in coverage remain. Here, we demonstrate the use of a spatial prioritization approach to efficiently prioritize species assessments to achieve increased and up-to-date coverage efficiently. We focus on freshwater fishes, which constitute a significant portion of vertebrate diversity, although comprehensive assessments are available for only 46% of species. We used marxan to identify ecoregions for future assessments that maximize the coverage of species while accounting for anthropogenic stress. We identified a set of priority regions that would help assess one-third (ca 4000 species) of all freshwater fishes in need of assessment by 2020. Such assessments could be achieved without increasing current investment levels. Our approach is suitable for any taxon and can help ensure that species threat assessments are sufficiently complete to guide global conservation efforts in a rapidly changing world.

  2. Conceptualising the effectiveness of impact assessment processes

    SciTech Connect

    Chanchitpricha, Chaunjit; Bond, Alan

    2013-11-15

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

  3. Biodiversity of Collembola in urban soils and the use of Folsomia candida to assess soil 'quality'.

    PubMed

    Fountain, M T; Hopkin, S P

    2004-08-01

    The effects of metal contamination on natural populations of Collembola in soils from five sites in the Wolverhampton area (West Midlands, England) were examined. Analysis revealed that metal concentrations were elevated above background levels at all sites. One location in particular (Ladymoor, a former smelting site) was highly contaminated with Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn at more than 20 times background levels. Biodiversity indices (Shannon-Weiner, Simpson index, Margalef index, alpha index, species richness, Shaneven (evenness) and Berger-Parker dominance) were calculated. Of these indices, estimates of species richness and evenness were most effective at highlighting the differences between the Collembola communities. Indeed, the highest number of species were found at the most contaminated site, although the Collembola population also had a comparatively low evenness value, with just two species dominating. The number of individuals per species were allocated into geometric classes and plotted against the cumulative number of species as a percentage. At Ladymoor, there were more geometric classes, and the slope of the line was shallower than at the other four sites. This characteristic is a feature of polluted sites, where a few species are dominant and most species are rare. The Ladymoor soil also had a dominance of Isotomurus palustris, and was the only site in which Ceratophysella denticulata was found. Previous studies have shown that these two species are often found in sites subject to high metal contamination. Survival and reproduction of the "standard" test springtail, Folsomia candida (Willem), were determined in a 4 week exposure test to soils from all five sites. Mortality was significantly increased in adults and reproduction significantly lower in the Ladymoor soil in comparison to the other four sites. This study has shown that severe metal contamination can be related to the population structure of Collembola in the field, and performance of F. candida

  4. Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  6. Risk assessment methodologies for biotechnology impact assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillett, James W.

    1986-07-01

    By combining hazard assessment of effects of a potential biotechnology product with exposure assessments based on study of the genetically engineered organism's fate, conclusions may be reached about the risk involved in release of the product to the environment. In order to make this risk assessment, criteria (including regulatory endpoints) must be established and then developed further against a data base from well-accepted tests. Other aspects requiring research and development include test evaluation, quality assurance, statistical procedures, and methods of identifying and monitoring not only the nominal organism(s) in the products, but also any contaminating material or organisms to which the genetically engineered components may be transferred in the environment. Application of microcosm technology to testing of genetically engineered organisms is expected to be important, since these systems may be used safely to understand fate and effects prior to (or in place of) testing the product in the environment. Limitations in the use of microcosms may be offset by the cost-effectiveness and incisiveness of results, as has been shown for other pollutants. Risk management for biotechnology products currently lacks an adequate background, but components of the process exist or can be developed. New resources, in terms of personnel, training, facilities, and funding, will be needed in order to apply the risk assessment paradigm used for toxic chemicals and pesticides. We will need to know:

  7. First prokaryotic biodiversity assessment using molecular techniques of an acidic river in Neuquén, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Urbieta, M Sofía; González Toril, E; Aguilera, A; Giaveno, M Alejandra; Donati, E

    2012-07-01

    Two acidic hot springs close to the crater of Copahue Volcano (Neuquén, Argentina) are the source of the Río Agrio. The river runs several kilometres before flowing into Caviahue Lake. Along the river, temperature, iron, other metal and proton concentrations decrease gradually with distance downstream. From the source to the lake and depending on the season, pH can rise from 1.0 (or even less) to about 4.0, while temperature values decrease from 70°C to 15°C. Water samples were taken from different stations on the river selected according to their physicochemical parameters. In order to assess prokaryotic biodiversity throughout the water column, different and complementary molecular biology techniques were used, mainly in situ hybridisation and 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing. All microorganisms found are typical of acidic environments. Sulphur-oxidizing bacteria like Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus albertensis were detected in every station. Moderately thermophile iron- and sulphur-oxidizing bacteria like members of Alicyclobacillus and Sulfobacillus genera were also ubiquitous. Strict iron-oxidizing bacteria like Leptospirillum and Ferrimicrobium were present at the source of the river, but disappeared downstream where iron concentrations were much lower. Iron-oxidizing, mesophilic Ferroplasma spp. were the main archaea found. The data presented in this work represent the first molecular assessment of this rare natural acidic environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Anthropogenic impacts on the distribution and biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrates and water quality of the Langat River, Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Azrina, M Z; Yap, C K; Rahim Ismail, A; Ismail, A; Tan, S G

    2006-07-01

    A study of the impacts of anthropogenic activities on the distribution and biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrates and water quality of the Langat River (Peninsular Malaysia) was conducted. Four pristine stations from the upstream and 4 stations at the downstream receiving anthropogenic impacts were selected along the river. For 4 consecutive months (March-June 1999), based on the Malaysian DOE (Malaysia Environmental Quality Report 2000, Department of Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment Malaysia. Maskha Sdn. Bhd. Kuala Lumpur, 86pp; Malaysia Environmental Quality Report 2001, Department of Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia) water quality index classes, the upstream stations recorded significantly (P<0.05) higher Biological Monitoring Working Party scores and better water quality indices than those of the downstream. The total number of macrobenthic taxa and their overall richness indices and diversity indices were significantly (P<0.05) higher at the upstream stations (54 taxa) than at the downstream stations (5 taxa). The upstream of the Langat River was dominated by Ephemeroptera and chironomid dipterans while other orders found in small quantities included Trichoptera, Diptera, Plecoptera, Odonata, Ephemeraptera, Coleoptera, and Gastropoda. On the other hand, the downstream of the river was mainly inhabited by the resistant Oligochaeta worms Limnodrilus spp. and Branchiodrilus sp. and Hirudinea in small numbers. The relationships between the physicochemical and the macrobenthic data were investigated by Pearson correlation analysis and multiple stepwise regression analysis. These statistical analyses showed that the richness and diversity indices were generally influenced by the total suspended solids and the conductivity of the river water. This study also highlighted the impacts of anthropogenic land-based activities such as urban runoff on the distribution and species diversity of

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research - exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jeltsch, Florian; Bonte, Dries; Pe'er, Guy; Reineking, Björn; Leimgruber, Peter; Balkenhol, Niko; Schröder, Boris; Buchmann, Carsten M; Mueller, Thomas; Blaum, Niels; Zurell, Damaris; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Wiegand, Thorsten; Eccard, Jana A; Hofer, Heribert; Reeg, Jette; Eggers, Ute; Bauer, Silke

    2013-01-01

    Movement of organisms is one of the key mechanisms shaping biodiversity, e.g. the distribution of genes, individuals and species in space and time. Recent technological and conceptual advances have improved our ability to assess the causes and consequences of individual movement, and led to the emergence of the new field of 'movement ecology'. Here, we outline how movement ecology can contribute to the broad field of biodiversity research, i.e. the study of processes and patterns of life among and across different scales, from genes to ecosystems, and we propose a conceptual framework linking these hitherto largely separated fields of research. Our framework builds on the concept of movement ecology for individuals, and demonstrates its importance for linking individual organismal movement with biodiversity. First, organismal movements can provide 'mobile links' between habitats or ecosystems, thereby connecting resources, genes, and processes among otherwise separate locations. Understanding these mobile links and their impact on biodiversity will be facilitated by movement ecology, because mobile links can be created by different modes of movement (i.e., foraging, dispersal, migration) that relate to different spatiotemporal scales and have differential effects on biodiversity. Second, organismal movements can also mediate coexistence in communities, through 'equalizing' and 'stabilizing' mechanisms. This novel integrated framework provides a conceptual starting point for a better understanding of biodiversity dynamics in light of individual movement and space-use behavior across spatiotemporal scales. By illustrating this framework with examples, we argue that the integration of movement ecology and biodiversity research will also enhance our ability to conserve diversity at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Impacts of land-use management on ecosystem services and biodiversity: an agent-based modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Habib, Thomas J; Heckbert, Scott; Wilson, Jeffrey J; Vandenbroeck, Andrew J K; Cranston, Jerome; Farr, Daniel R

    2016-01-01

    The science of ecosystem service (ES) mapping has become increasingly sophisticated over the past 20 years, and examples of successfully integrating ES into management decisions at national and sub-national scales have begun to emerge. However, increasing model sophistication and accuracy-and therefore complexity-may trade-off with ease of use and applicability to real-world decision-making contexts, so it is vital to incorporate the lessons learned from implementation efforts into new model development. Using successful implementation efforts for guidance, we developed an integrated ES modelling system to quantify several ecosystem services: forest timber production and carbon storage, water purification, pollination, and biodiversity. The system is designed to facilitate uptake of ES information into land-use decisions through three principal considerations: (1) using relatively straightforward models that can be readily deployed and interpreted without specialized expertise; (2) using an agent-based modelling framework to enable the incorporation of human decision-making directly within the model; and (3) integration among all ES models to simultaneously demonstrate the effects of a single land-use decision on multiple ES. We present an implementation of the model for a major watershed in Alberta, Canada, and highlight the system's capabilities to assess a suite of ES under future management decisions, including forestry activities under two alternative timber harvest strategies, and through a scenario modelling analysis exploring different intensities of hypothetical agricultural expansion. By using a modular approach, the modelling system can be readily expanded to evaluate additional ecosystem services or management questions of interest in order to guide land-use decisions to achieve socioeconomic and environmental objectives.

  18. Impacts of land-use management on ecosystem services and biodiversity: an agent-based modelling approach

    PubMed Central

    Heckbert, Scott; Wilson, Jeffrey J.; Vandenbroeck, Andrew J. K.; Cranston, Jerome; Farr, Daniel R.

    2016-01-01

    The science of ecosystem service (ES) mapping has become increasingly sophisticated over the past 20 years, and examples of successfully integrating ES into management decisions at national and sub-national scales have begun to emerge. However, increasing model sophistication and accuracy—and therefore complexity—may trade-off with ease of use and applicability to real-world decision-making contexts, so it is vital to incorporate the lessons learned from implementation efforts into new model development. Using successful implementation efforts for guidance, we developed an integrated ES modelling system to quantify several ecosystem services: forest timber production and carbon storage, water purification, pollination, and biodiversity. The system is designed to facilitate uptake of ES information into land-use decisions through three principal considerations: (1) using relatively straightforward models that can be readily deployed and interpreted without specialized expertise; (2) using an agent-based modelling framework to enable the incorporation of human decision-making directly within the model; and (3) integration among all ES models to simultaneously demonstrate the effects of a single land-use decision on multiple ES. We present an implementation of the model for a major watershed in Alberta, Canada, and highlight the system’s capabilities to assess a suite of ES under future management decisions, including forestry activities under two alternative timber harvest strategies, and through a scenario modelling analysis exploring different intensities of hypothetical agricultural expansion. By using a modular approach, the modelling system can be readily expanded to evaluate additional ecosystem services or management questions of interest in order to guide land-use decisions to achieve socioeconomic and environmental objectives. PMID:28028479

  19. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    Near Earth objects are small bodies orbiting the Sun near Earth’s orbit, some of which impact the Earth. The impact of an object as large as 30 m in diameter occurs every few centuries. The impact of such an object would already release an energy of at least a megaton of TNT, and the impact of a larger object, which would occur less often, would be even more hazardous. To protect the Earth from a potential asteroid impact, various mitigation methods have been proposed, including deflection of the asteroid by a spacecraft impact. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is such an asteroid mitigation mission concept. This mission would be a valuable precursor to human spaceflight to an asteroid, as it would return unique information on an asteroid’s strength and internal structure and would be particularly relevant to a human mission for asteroid mitigation. We report initial results of the AIDA joint mission concept study undertaken by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and ESA with support from NASA centers including Goddard, Johnson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For AIDA, the DART study is coordinated with an ESA study of an Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, which would rendezvous with the same target. AIDA follows the previous Don Quijote mission study performed by ESA in 2005-2007, with the objective of demonstrating the ability to modify the trajectory of an asteroid and measure the trajectory change. Don Quijote involved an orbiter and an impactor spacecraft, with the orbiter arriving first and measuring the deflection, and with the orbiter making additional characterization measurements. Unlike Don Quijote, DART envisions an impactor spacecraft to intercept the secondary member of a binary near-Earth asteroid, with ground-based observations to measure the deflection as well as additional spacecraft observations from AIM. Low cost mission approaches will be presented.

  20. Carrion fly-derived DNA as a tool for comprehensive and cost-effective assessment of mammalian biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Merkel, Kevin; Kutzner, Nadine; Kühl, Hjalmar; Boesch, Christophe; Kappeler, Peter M; Metzger, Sonja; Schubert, Grit; Leendertz, Fabian H

    2013-02-01

    Large-scale monitoring schemes are essential in assessing global mammalian biodiversity, and in this framework, leeches have recently been promoted as an indirect source of DNA from terrestrial mammal species. Carrion feeding flies are ubiquitous and can be expected to feed on many vertebrate carcasses. Hence, we tested whether fly-derived DNA analysis may also serve as a novel tool for mammalian diversity surveys. We screened DNA extracted from 201 carrion flies collected in tropical habitats of Côte d'Ivoire and Madagascar for mammal DNA using multiple PCR systems and retrieved DNA sequences from a diverse set of species (22 in Côte d'Ivoire, four in Madagascar) exploiting distinct forest strata and displaying a broad range of body sizes. Deep sequencing of amplicons generated from pools of flies performed equally well as individual sequencing approaches. We conclude that the analysis of fly-derived DNA can be implemented in a very rapid and cost-effective manner and will give a relatively unbiased picture of local mammal diversity. Carrion flies therefore represent an extraordinary and thus far unexploited resource of mammal DNA, which will probably prove useful for future inventories of wild mammal communities.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Impact assessment: Eroding benefits through streamlining?

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-15

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

  3. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Anderson, Barbara J; Moilanen, Atte; Eigenbrod, Felix; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Quaife, Tristan; Roy, David B; Gillings, Simon; Armsworth, Paul R; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-05-01

    Climate change is leading to the development of land-based mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to have substantial impacts on global biodiversity. Of these, approaches to maintain carbon within existing natural ecosystems could have particularly large benefits for biodiversity. However, the geographical distributions of terrestrial carbon stocks and biodiversity differ. Using conservation planning analyses for the New World and Britain, we conclude that a carbon-only strategy would not be effective at conserving biodiversity, as have previous studies. Nonetheless, we find that a combined carbon-biodiversity strategy could simultaneously protect 90% of carbon stocks (relative to a carbon-only conservation strategy) and > 90% of the biodiversity (relative to a biodiversity-only strategy) in both regions. This combined approach encapsulates the principle of complementarity, whereby locations that contain different sets of species are prioritised, and hence disproportionately safeguard localised species that are not protected effectively by carbon-only strategies. It is efficient because localised species are concentrated into small parts of the terrestrial land surface, whereas carbon is somewhat more evenly distributed; and carbon stocks protected in one location are equivalent to those protected elsewhere. Efficient compromises can only be achieved when biodiversity and carbon are incorporated together within a spatial planning process.

  4. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT SOPHISTICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Integrating Ecosystem Services Into Health Impact Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Joanna M.; Watson, Gordon J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Murray, Joanna M; Watson, Gordon J

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. A dynamic reference model: a framework for assessing biodiversity restoration goals in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kirkman, L Katherine; Barnett, Analie; Williams, Brett W; Hiers, J Kevin; Pokswinski, Scottrr M; Mitchell, Robert J

    2013-10-01

    The use of reference models as templates of historical or natural conditions to assess restoration progress is inherently logical; however, difficulties occur in application because of the need to incorporate temporal variation in ecosystems caused by disturbance and succession, as well as seasonal, interannual, or decadal variability. The landscape-scale restoration of the globally threatened and fire-dependent longleaf pine ecosystem in the southeastern United States is an example in which restoration efforts are even more complicated by the limited availability of extant reference sites. This study uses the dynamic reference conceptual framework to assess the direction and rate of recovery with respect to biodiversity restoration goals using a 15-year vegetation data set from an experimental restoration treatment in fire-excluded, hardwood-encroached longleaf pine sandhills. We compared ground-cover vegetation response to midstory hardwood removal through herbicide application, mechanical removal, and fire only. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordinations and proportional similarity analyses suggest that, while vegetation changed in all treatments over time, no differences in species composition or hardwood density in the ground cover were attributable to hardwood reduction treatments after 15 years with frequent prescribed fire. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that considerable variability is associated with reference sites over time. Sites identified in 1994 as attainable restoration targets had become a moving target themselves, changing in magnitude consistent with alterations in restoration plots attributable to treatment effects and shaped by the modest increase in fire frequency imposed since 1998. In a broad restoration context, this study demonstrates a conceptual framework to better understand and integrate the range of spatial and temporal variation associated with the best available reference sites. It also illustrates a practical

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  13. Household location choices: implications for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Peterson, M Nils; Chen, Xiaodong; Liu, Jianguo

    2008-08-01

    Successful conservation efforts require understanding human behaviors that directly affect biodiversity. Choice of household location represents an observable behavior that has direct effects on biodiversity conservation, but no one has examined the sociocultural predictors of this choice relative to its environmental impacts. We conducted a case study of the Teton Valley of Idaho and Wyoming (U.S.A.) that (1) explored relationships between sociodemographic variables, environmental attitudes, and the environmental impact of household location choices, (2) assessed the potential for small household sizes in natural areas to multiply the environmental impacts of household location decisions, and (3) evaluated how length of residency predicted the environmental attitudes of people living in natural areas. We collected sociodemographic data, spatial coordinates, and land-cover information in a survey of 416 households drawn from a random sample of Teton Valley residents (95% compliance rate). Immigrants (respondents not born in the study area) with the lowest education levels and least environmentally oriented attitudes lived in previously established residential areas in disproportionately high numbers, and older and more educated immigrants with the most environmentally oriented attitudes lived in natural areas in disproportionately high numbers. Income was not a significant predictor of household location decisions. Those living in natural areas had more environmental impact per person because of the location and because small households (<3 people/household) were 4 times as likely in natural areas as large households. Longer residency in natural areas predicted less environmentally oriented attitudes, suggesting that living in natural areas does not foster more concern for nature. Because populaces are rapidly aging, growing more educated, and potentially growing more environmentally oriented, these patterns are troubling for biodiversity conservation. Our results

  14. Sampling methods for assessing syrphid biodiversity (Diptera: Syrphidae) in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Marcos-García, M A; García-López, A; Zumbado, M A; Rotheray, G E

    2012-12-01

    When assessing the species richness of a taxonomic group in a specific area, the choice of sampling method is critical. In this study, the effectiveness of three methods for sampling syrphids (Diptera: Syrphidae) in tropical forests is compared: Malaise trapping, collecting adults with an entomological net, and collecting and rearing immatures. Surveys were made from 2008 to 2011 in six tropical forest sites in Costa Rica. The results revealed significant differences in the composition and richness of syrphid faunas obtained by each method. Collecting immatures was the most successful method based on numbers of species and individuals, whereas Malaise trapping was the least effective. This pattern of sampling effectiveness was independent of syrphid trophic or functional group and annual season. An advantage of collecting immatures over collecting adults is the quality and quantity of associated biological data obtained by the former method. However, complementarity between results of collecting adults and collecting immatures, showed that a combined sampling regime obtained the most complete inventory. Differences between these results and similar studies in more open Mediterranean habitats, suggest that for effective inventory, it is important to consider the effects of environmental characteristics on the catchability of syrphids as much as the costs and benefits of different sampling techniques.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Spectral diversity area relationships for assessing biodiversity in a wildland-agriculture matrix.

    PubMed

    Dahlin, Kyla Marie

    2016-12-01

    Species-area relationships have long been used to assess patterns of species diversity across scales. Here, this concept is extended to spectral diversity using hyperspectral data collected by NASA's Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) over western Michigan. This mixture of mesic forest and agricultural lands offers two end-points on the local-scale diversity continuum; one set of well-mixed forest patches and one set of highly homogeneous agricultural patches. Using the sum of the first three principal component values and the principal components' convex hull volume, spectral diversity was compared within and among these plots and to null expectations for perfectly random and perfectly patchy landscapes. Overall, the spectral diversity-area relationship confirms the patterns that would be expected for this landscape, but this application suggests that this approach could be extended to less well-understood landscapes and could reveal key insights about the relative importance of different drivers of community assembly, even in the absence of additional data about plant functional traits or species' identities.

  17. Assessment for Learning: Effects and Impact

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flórez, María Teresa; Sammons, Pamela

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Filling gaps in biodiversity knowledge for macrofungi: contributions and assessment of an herbarium collection DNA barcode sequencing project.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Eunyoung; Song, Wonkyong; Lee, Dongkun

    2013-09-15

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

  4. How does economic risk aversion affect biodiversity?

    PubMed

    Mouysset, L; Doyen, L; Jiguet, F

    2013-01-01

    Significant decline of biodiversity in farmlands has been reported for several decades. To limit the negative impact of agriculture, many agro-environmental schemes have been implemented, but their effectiveness remains controversial. In this context, the study of economic drivers is helpful to understand the role played by farming on biodiversity. The present paper analyzes the impact of risk aversion on farmland biodiversity. Here "risk aversion" means a cautious behavior of farmers facing uncertainty. We develop a bio-economic model that articulates bird community dynamics and representative farmers selecting land uses within an uncertain macro-economic context. It is specialized and calibrated at a regional scale for France through national databases. The influence of risk aversion is assessed on ecological, agricultural, and economic outputs through projections at the 2050 horizon. A high enough risk aversion appears sufficient to both manage economic risk and promote ecological performance. This occurs through a diversification mechanism on regional land uses. However, economic calibration leads to a weak risk-aversion parameter, which is consistent with the current decline of farmland birds. Spatial disparities however suggest that public incentives could be necessary to reinforce the diversification and bio-economic effectiveness.

  5. Untapped potential of health impact assessment.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Untapped potential of health impact assessment

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    PubMed Central

    Mikkelson, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D.

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation. PMID:17505535

  8. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Padmavathy, A; Poyyamoli, G

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Biodiversity Analysis of Vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. J. Hansen

    2001-06-01

    The Nevada Test Site (NTS) located in south central Nevada encompasses approximately 3,561 square kilometers and straddles two major North American deserts, Mojave and Great Basin. Transitional areas between the two desert types have been created by gradients in elevation, precipitation, temperature, and soils. From 1996-1998, more than 1,500 ecological landform units were sampled at the NTS for numerous biotic and abiotic parameters. These data provide a basis for spatial evaluations of biodiversity over landscape scales at the NTS. Species diversity maps (species richness vs. species abundance) have been produced. Differences in ecosystem diversity at the ecoregion, alliance, association, and ecological landform unit levels are presented. Spatial distribution maps of species presence and abundance provide evidence of where transition zones occur and the resulting impact on biodiversity. The influences of abiotic factors (elevation, soil, precipitation) and anthropogenic disturbance on biodiversity are assessed.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Master, Sharad

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Minidoka Dam Wildlife Impact Assessment: Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Robert C.; Meuleman, G. Allyn

    1989-03-01

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

  16. Applying social impact assessment to nursing research.

    PubMed

    Bradbury-Jones, Caroline; Taylor, Julie

    2014-08-05

    Many nurses need to construct a research proposal at some stage of their career and there are multiple texts that provide guidance on doing so. However, most texts do not provide explicit guidance on the issue of social impact--the effect of research on the social health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities and on the improved performance of relevant services. This article proposes that social impact should be considered from the beginning of a research project. It outlines a framework for assessing social impact to help strengthen the quality of research proposals and assist nurses constructing the proposal and also those evaluating it, including academic assessors or funding body reviewers. Nursing research should be useful and should have a positive effect on practice. Focusing on social impact can increase the chances of this desirable outcome.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Brooks, Cassandra M; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Coetzee, Bernard W T; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C; Kriesell, Hannah J; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2017-03-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020-an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet's surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, K. S.

    2009-09-01

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

  2. Impact Assessment of Watershed in Desert Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhava Rao, V.; Hermon, R. R.; Kesava Rao, P.; Phanindra Kumar, T.

    2012-07-01

    Change detection from different temporal images usually based on reflectance on natural and human activity impact, using integrated GIS, Remote Sensing and image processing technologies enable impact assessment of watershed in desert region. A time series analysis of seasonal NDVI have been used to estimate net primary productivity, phonological characteristic of vegetative surface, length of growing season and dry drown periods (Ramsey et al., 1995). The study is designed to achieve the objectives to Study the changes in vegetation for selected watershed in a desert districts of Bhilwara, Barmer & Jaisalmer in Rajastan State of India, to identify the changes in density of vegetation, to assess the temporal changes and to assess the impact of the watershed, with an objective to conserve the soil erosion and harvest the rainwater in order to increase the ground water table, to improve the socio economic condition of the people and to stop the migration of the people from the villages in search of livelihood. These activities will have a direct impact on the crop production. The Changes in density of vegetation indicates the quantity of crop production and the growth of vegetation apart from crops and the conservation of land with out scrub/barren land to land with scrub. This gives an picture about the impact of watershed programme in increasing the vegetative cover. The temporal changes help in understanding the changes taken place in the watershed, and facilitate understand the positive as well as negative impacts of any decisions taken in the implementation. The extent and density and type of vegetation for the years, 2000,2004,2005,2007 and 2008, was studied and vegetation growth was analysed using GIS and Digital Image Processing techniques.

  3. Roles of social impact assessment practitioners

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-15

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

  4. Assessing Meaningful Impact: Moving Beyond the Numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  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, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2014-07-01

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

  6. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on human well-being and ecosystem function. Biodiversity is valued by humans in varied ways, and thus is an important input to include in assessing the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics more clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., game species, threatened and endangered species), whereas others may indicate indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., taxa richness and cultural value). In the present study, we identify and map reptile biodiversity and ecosystem services metrics. The importance of reptiles to biodiversity and ecosystems services is not often described. We used species distribution models for reptiles in the conterminous United States from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Program. We focus on species richness metrics including all reptile species richness, taxa groupings of lizards, snakes and turtles, NatureServe conservation status (G1, G2, G3) species, IUCN listed reptiles, threatened and endangered species, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation listed reptiles, and rare species. These metrics were analyzed with the Protected Areas Database of the United States to

  7. Assessment of metal contamination in the biota of four rivers experiencing varying degrees of human impact.

    PubMed

    Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K; Waters, Matthew Neal; Duckworth, Christina G; Patel, Pratik P; Webster, Benjamin Cole; Blocker, Amber; Crummey, Cliff Hunter; Duncan, Aundrea Nicole; Nwokike, Somuayiro Nadia; Picariello, Codie Richard; Ragan, James T; Schumacher, Erika L; Tucker, Rebecca Lea; Tuttle, Elizabeth Ann; Wiggins, Charlie Rufus

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization, agriculture, and other land transformations can affect water quality, decrease species biodiversity, and increase metal and nutrient concentrations in aquatic systems. Metal pollution, in particular, is a reported consequence of elevated anthropogenic inputs, especially from urbanized areas. The objectives of this study were to quantify metal (Cu, Al, Cd, Ni, and Pb) concentrations in the waters and biota of four streams in South Georgia, USA, and relate metal concentrations to land use and abiotic and biotic stream processes. Additionally, macrophytes, invertebrates, and fish were identified to assess biodiversity at each site. Metal concentrations in the three trophic levels differed among sites and species, correlating to differences in land use surrounding the rivers. The highest metal concentrations (except Al) were found in the streams most impacted by urbanization and development. Al concentrations were highest in streams surrounded by land dominated by forested areas. Metal content in macrophytes reflected metal concentrations in the water and was at least three orders of magnitude higher than any other trophic level. Despite metal concentration differences, all four streams contained similar water quality and were healthy based on macroinvertebrate community structure. This study provides insight into the impact of urbanization and the fate and effects of metals in river ecosystems with varying degrees of anthropogenic impact.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Noring, Maria; Håkansson, Cecilia; Dahlgren, Elin

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Biodiversity and Industry Ecosystem Management

    PubMed

    COLEMAN

    1996-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Impacts of nitrogen addition on plant biodiversity in mountain grasslands depend on dose, application duration and climate: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Humbert, Jean-Yves; Dwyer, John M; Andrey, Aline; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    Although the influence of nitrogen (N) addition on grassland plant communities has been widely studied, it is still unclear whether observed patterns and underlying mechanisms are constant across biomes. In this systematic review, we use meta-analysis and metaregression to investigate the influence of N addition (here referring mostly to fertilization) upon the biodiversity of temperate mountain grasslands (including montane, subalpine and alpine zones). Forty-two studies met our criteria of inclusion, resulting in 134 measures of effect size. The main general responses of mountain grasslands to N addition were increases in phytomass and reductions in plant species richness, as observed in lowland grasslands. More specifically, the analysis reveals that negative effects on species richness were exacerbated by dose (ha(-1) year(-1) ) and duration of N application (years) in an additive manner. Thus, sustained application of low to moderate levels of N over time had effects similar to short-term application of high N doses. The climatic context also played an important role: the overall effects of N addition on plant species richness and diversity (Shannon index) were less pronounced in mountain grasslands experiencing cool rather than warm summers. Furthermore, the relative negative effect of N addition on species richness was more pronounced in managed communities and was strongly negatively related to N-induced increases in phytomass, that is the greater the phytomass response to N addition, the greater the decline in richness. Altogether, this review not only establishes that plant biodiversity of mountain grasslands is negatively affected by N addition, but also demonstrates that several local management and abiotic factors interact with N addition to drive plant community changes. This synthesis yields essential information for a more sustainable management of mountain grasslands, emphasizing the importance of preserving and restoring grasslands with both low

  14. Assessment and regulation of odour impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicell, Jim A.

    Decades of experience support the inclusion of odours in the list of contaminant types that must be regulated by government. In many jurisdictions, odour impacts are regulated under the nuisance provisions of common law. However, the explicit conditions that establish whether a nuisance condition exists are not easily defined. Due to this shortcoming, there is a need to introduce objectivity into odour impact assessments and odour limits. While individual responses to odours are highly variable and can result in a variety of effects, generally the impacts of odours arise from a variety of interacting factors, collectively known as FIDOL: frequency, intensity, duration, offensiveness, and location. In view of the need to prevent or mitigate such impacts, an approach to odour regulation is proposed in which the protection of the public from odour impacts is accomplished based on the FIDOL approach. This involves the introduction of an objective odour limit, as follows: " Facilities that are identified as sources of potentially offensive odours shall ensure that the 10-min average concentration of odour resulting from all sources at the facility and determined in accordance with accepted procedures, shall be less than 1 odour unit 99.5% of the time at the most impacted sensitive receptor". It is argued that the proposed limit would provide the public with an understanding of the degree of protection from odours that is to be provided through regulations and would provide industries with a basis for designing their facilities to minimize impact at the design stage. Such limits would also provide industries with benchmarks against which they can gauge their success at preventing or mitigating odour impacts and for evaluating the effectiveness of odour control technologies.

  15. Environmental Impact Assessments: Congressional Intent Versus Application

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-04-01

    Sprankle U.S. Department of Energy Faculty Research Advisor Dr. Robert Copaken The Industrial College of the Armed Forces National Defense...Impact Assessments: Congressional Intent Versus Application Kenneth A. Sprankle U.S. Department of Energy Faculty Research Advisor Dr. Robert Copaken The...before them. This conference generated a flood of legislation. Then, in February, 1969, Representative John Dingell (D-MI) introduced H.R.6750 (later

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-16

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

  17. Analysis and Assessment of Impacts on Biodiversity: Investigating Alternative Futures for the California Mojave Desert

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-07-01

    cactus, annual forbs, grasses, and wildflowers. Desert Tortoises live in burrows where they may spend 95% of their lives, and where they estivate in...squirrel will estivate in a burrow until conditions improve. While running it holds its tail over it back exposing the white underside. It is

  18. National Built Environment Health Impact Assessment Model ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Behavioral (activity, diet, social interaction) and exposure (air pollution, traffic injury, and noise) related health impacts of land use and transportation investment decisions are becoming better understood and quantified. Research has shown relationships between density, mix, street connectivity, access to parks, shops, transit, presence of sidewalks and bikeways, and healthy food with physical activity, obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and some mental health outcomes. This session demonstrates successful integration of health impact assessment into multiple scenario planning tool platforms. Detailed evidence on chronic disease and related costs associated with contrasting land use and transportation investments are built into a general-purpose module that can be accessed by multiple platforms. Funders, researchers, and end users of the tool will present a detailed description of the key elements of the approach, how it has been applied, and how will evolve. A critical focus will be placed on equity and social justice inherent within the assessment of health disparities that will be featured in the session. Health impacts of community design have significant cost benefit implications. Recent research is now extending relationships between community design features and chronic disease to health care costs. This session will demonstrate the recent application of this evidence on health impacts to the newly adopted Los Angeles Regional Transpo

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Making Robust Policy Decisions Using Global Biodiversity Indicators

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Health impact assessment of liquid biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Fink, Rok; Medved, Sašo

    2013-01-01

    Bioethanol and biodiesel as potential substitutes for fossil fuels in the transportation sector have been analyzed for environmental suitability. However, there could be impacts on human health during the production, therefore adverse health effects have to be analyzed. The aim of this study is to analyze to what health risk factors humans are exposed to in the production of biofuels and what the size of the health effects is. A health impact assessment expressed as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) was conducted in SimaPro 7.1 software. The results show a statistically significant lower carcinogenic impact of biofuels (p < 0.05) than fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the impact of organic respirable compounds is smaller for fossil fuels (p < 0.05) than for biofuels. Analysis of inorganic compounds like PM₁₀,₂.₅, SO₂ or NO(x) shows some advantages of sugar beet bioethanol and soybean biodiesel production (p < 0.05), although production of sugarcane bioethanol shows larger impacts of respirable inorganic compounds than for fossil fuels (p < 0.001). Although liquid biofuels are made of renewable energy sources, this does not necessary mean that they do not represent any health hazards.

  8. Hurricane Sandy science plan: coastal impact assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stronko, Jakob M.

    2013-01-01

    Hurricane Sandy devastated some of the most heavily populated eastern coastal areas of the Nation. With a storm surge peaking at more than 19 feet, the powerful landscape-altering destruction of Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of why the Nation must become more resilient to coastal hazards. In response to this natural disaster, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a total of $41.2 million in supplemental appropriations from the Department of the Interior (DOI) to support response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. These funds support a science plan that will provide critical scientific information necessary to inform management decisions for recovery of coastal communities, and aid in preparation for future natural hazards. This science plan is designed to coordinate continuing USGS activities with stakeholders and other agencies to improve data collection and analysis that will guide recovery and restoration efforts. The science plan is split into five distinct themes: coastal topography and bathymetry, impacts to coastal beaches and barriers, impacts of storm surge, including disturbed estuarine and bay hydrology, impacts on environmental quality and persisting contaminant exposures, impacts to coastal ecosystems, habitats, and fish and wildlife. This fact sheet focuses assessing impacts to coastal beaches and barriers.

  9. PROFILE: Integrating Sustainability and Environmental Impact Assessment

    PubMed

    LAWRENCE

    1997-01-01

    / Environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been identified as an important instrument for facilitating sustainability. However, to do so requires the integration of sustainability into EIA theory and practice. The sustainability concept is a valid and important environmental management perspective. However, many issues and obstacles need to be addressed further if the concept is to be translated into practical strategies. Sustainability can potentially infuse EIA with a clearer sense of direction, an ethical foundation, a mechanism for establishing priorities and assessing choices, and a means of linking EIA to other environmental management instruments. Conceptually, EIA and sustainability can be integrated, but frameworks should be refined, adpated to context, and linked to related initiatives. Sustainability should be explicitly incorporated into EIA legislation, guidelines, and institutional arrangements. An experimental approach to testing, assessing, and sharing experiences is suggested.A framework is first presented that defines and characterizes the sustainability concept. A further framework is then described for integrating sustainability into EIA at the conceptual level. The integration of sustainability and EIA at the regulatory level is next addressed through an overview of sustainability initiatives in EIA requirements in Canada. The Canadian examples include many promising initiatives but these and other experiences will need to be monitored, shared, and integrated into comprehensive environmental management strategies. Finally, means of incorporating sustainability into each activity in the EIA planning process are identified.KEY WORDS: Sustainability; Environmental impact assessment

  10. Environmental Impact Assessment and Space Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viikari, L.

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

  11. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Young, John A; Smith, David R; Snyder, Craig D; Lemarie, David P

    2002-06-01

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

  15. From ecological records to big data: the invention of global biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Devictor, Vincent; Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette

    2016-12-01

    This paper is a critical assessment of the epistemological impact of the systematic quantification of nature with the accumulation of big datasets on the practice and orientation of ecological science. We examine the contents of big databases and argue that it is not just accumulated information; records are translated into digital data in a process that changes their meanings. In order to better understand what is at stake in the 'datafication' process, we explore the context for the emergence and quantification of biodiversity in the 1980s, along with the concept of the global environment. In tracing the origin and development of the global biodiversity information facility (GBIF) we describe big data biodiversity projects as a techno-political construction dedicated to monitoring a new object: the global diversity. We argue that, biodiversity big data became a powerful driver behind the invention of the concept of the global environment, and a way to embed ecological science in the political agenda.

  16. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

    Glen, Alistair S.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Ritchie, Euan G.; Dickman, Chris R.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions—58% of these groups’ contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as “possibly extinct.” Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that management of invasive predators on islands should be a global conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss. PMID:27638204

  17. Ecological impact assessments fail to reduce risk of bat casualties at wind farms.

    PubMed

    Lintott, Paul R; Richardson, Suzanne M; Hosken, David J; Fensome, Sophie A; Mathews, Fiona

    2016-11-07

    Demand for renewable energy is rising exponentially. While this has benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there may be costs to biodiversity [1]. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are the main tool used across the world to predict the overall positive and negative effects of renewable energy developments before planning consent is given, and the Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) within them assess their species-specific effects. Given that EIAs are undertaken globally, are extremely expensive, and are enshrined in legislation, their place in evidence-based decision making deserves evaluation. Here we assess how well EIAs of wind-farm developments protect bats. We found they do not predict the risks to bats accurately, and even in those cases where high risk was correctly identified, the mitigation deployed did not avert the risk. Given that the primary purpose of an EIA is to make planning decisions evidence-based, our results indicate that EIA mitigation strategies used to date have been ineffective in protecting bats. In the future, greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the actual impacts post-construction and on developing effective mitigation strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brandt, Karoline; Glemnitz, Michael

    2014-02-01

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

  20. Lichens biomonitoring as feasible methodology to assess air pollution in natural ecosystems: combined study of quantitative PAHs analyses and lichen biodiversity in the Pyrenees Mountains.

    PubMed

    Blasco, María; Domeño, Celia; Nerín, Cristina

    2008-06-01

    The air quality in the Aragón valley, in the central Pyrenees, has been assessed by evaluation of lichen biodiversity and mapped by elaboration of the Index of Air Purity (IAP) based on observations of the presence and abundance of eight kinds of lichen with different sensitivity to air pollution. The IAP values obtained have been compared with quantitative analytical measures of 16 PAHs in the lichen Evernia prunastri, because this species was associated with a wide range of traffic exposure and levels of urbanization. Analyses of PAHs were carried out by the DSASE method followed by an SPE clean-up step and GC-MS analysis. The concentration of total PAHs found in lichen samples from the Aragón valley ranged from 692 to 6420 ng g(-1) and the PAHs profile showed predominance of compounds with three aromatic rings. The influence of the road traffic in the area has been shown because values over the median concentration of PAHs (>1092 ng g(-1)), percentage of combustion PAHs (>50%), and equivalent toxicity (>169) were found in lichens collected at places exposed to the influence of traffic. The combination of both methods suggests IAP as a general method for evaluating the air pollution referenced to PAHs because it can be correlated with the content of combustion PAHs and poor lichen biodiversity can be partly explained by the air pollution caused by specific PAHs.

  1. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction on... 34 Education 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact....

  6. 10 CFR 50.150 - Aircraft impact assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Aircraft impact assessment. 50.150 Section 50.150 Energy... Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory Approvals § 50.150 Aircraft impact assessment. (a...-specific assessment of the effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft....

  7. 10 CFR 50.150 - Aircraft impact assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Aircraft impact assessment. 50.150 Section 50.150 Energy... Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory Approvals § 50.150 Aircraft impact assessment. (a...-specific assessment of the effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft....

  8. 10 CFR 50.150 - Aircraft impact assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Aircraft impact assessment. 50.150 Section 50.150 Energy... Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory Approvals § 50.150 Aircraft impact assessment. (a...-specific assessment of the effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft....

  9. 10 CFR 50.150 - Aircraft impact assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Aircraft impact assessment. 50.150 Section 50.150 Energy... Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory Approvals § 50.150 Aircraft impact assessment. (a...-specific assessment of the effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft....

  10. 10 CFR 50.150 - Aircraft impact assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Aircraft impact assessment. 50.150 Section 50.150 Energy... Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory Approvals § 50.150 Aircraft impact assessment. (a...-specific assessment of the effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft....

  11. Environmental impact assessment in Estonia and Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Holm-Hansen, J.

    1997-11-01

    Authorities in Eastern European countries are looking for best available policy tools from the West, and policy instruments tailored for a Western context are being introduced massively in the former state socialist countries of Europe. This study examines some of the contextual factors that hamper the introduction of modern, Western tools of environmental management within previously state socialist countries. These are highlighted through a comparison of how environmental impact assessment (EIA) is put into practice in Estonia and Norway. Estonia and Norway belong to the same European Baltic-Nordic region, but the two countries have a dramatically different history for most of this century.

  12. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William G.

    1996-11-01

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

  13. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, W.G.

    1996-11-01

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

  14. Integrated Climate Change Impacts Assessment in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Farming Approaches for Greater Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Garibaldi, Lucas A; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; D'Annolfo, Raffaele; Graeub, Benjamin E; Cunningham, Saul A; Breeze, Tom D

    2017-01-01

    Scientists and policy-makers globally are calling for alternative approaches to conventional intensification of agriculture that enhance ecosystem services provided by biodiversity. The evidence reviewed here suggests that alternative approaches can achieve high crop yields and profits, but the performance of other socioeconomic indicators (as well as long-term trends) is surprisingly poorly documented. Consequently, the implementation of conventional intensification and the discussion of alternative approaches are not based on quantitative evidence of their simultaneous ecological and socioeconomic impacts across the globe. To close this knowledge gap, we propose a participatory assessment framework. Given the impacts of conventional intensification on biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions, such evidence is urgently needed to direct science-policy initiatives, such as the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Developing public sociology through health impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Eva; Williams, Gareth

    2008-11-01

    The renewed interest in 'public sociology' has sparked debate and discussion about forms of sociological work and their relationship to the State and civil society. Medical sociologists are accustomed to engaging with a range of publics and audiences inside and outside universities and are in a position to make an informed contribution to this debate. This paper describes how some of the debates about sociological work are played out through a 'health impact assessment' of a proposed housing renewal in a former coal mining community. We explore the dynamics of the health impact assessment process and relate it to wider debates, current in the social sciences, on the 'new knowledge spaces' within which contentious public issues are now being discussed, and the nature of different forms of expertise. The role of the 'public sociologist' in mediating the relationships between the accounts and interpretations of lay participants and the published 'evidence' is described as a process of mutual learning between publics, professionals and social scientists. It is argued that the continued existence and development of any meaningful 'professional sociology' requires an openness to a 'public sociology' which recognises and responds to new spaces of knowledge production.

  18. Qualitative Assessment: Evaluating the Impacts of Climate ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The South Fork Nooksack River (South Fork) is located in northwest Washington State and is home to nine species of Pacific salmon, including Nooksack early Chinook (aka, spring Chinook salmon), an iconic species for the Nooksack Indian Tribe. The quantity of salmon in the South Fork, especially spring Chinook salmon, has dramatically declined from historic levels, due primarily to habitat degradation from the legacy impacts of various land uses such as commercial forestry, agriculture, flood control, and transportation infrastructure. Segments of the South Fork and some of its tributaries exceed temperature criteria established for the protection of cold-water salmonid populations, and were listed on Washington State’s Clean Water Act (CWA) 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies. High water temperatures in the South Fork are detrimental to fish and other native species that depend on cool, clean, well-oxygenated water. Of the nine salmon species, three have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are of high priority to restoration efforts in the South Fork—spring Chinook salmon, summer steelhead trout, and bull trout. Growing evidence shows that climate change will exacerbate legacy impacts. This qualitative assessment is a comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts on freshwater habitat and Pacific salmon in the South Fork. It also evaluates the effectiveness of restoration tools that address Pacific salmon recovery.

  19. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-05

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

  20. Comparing Two Approaches for Assessing Observation Impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Todling, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Groundwater resources impact assessment for triazine herbicides

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-10-01

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

  2. Beyond citation analysis: a model for assessment of research impact

    PubMed Central

    Dubinsky, Ellen K.; Holmes, Kristi L.

    2010-01-01

    Question: Is there a means of assessing research impact beyond citation analysis? Setting: The case study took place at the Washington University School of Medicine Becker Medical Library. Method: This case study analyzed the research study process to identify indicators beyond citation count that demonstrate research impact. Main Results: The authors discovered a number of indicators that can be documented for assessment of research impact, as well as resources to locate evidence of impact. As a result of the project, the authors developed a model for assessment of research impact, the Becker Medical Library Model for Assessment of Research. Conclusion: Assessment of research impact using traditional citation analysis alone is not a sufficient tool for assessing the impact of research findings, and it is not predictive of subsequent clinical applications resulting in meaningful health outcomes. The Becker Model can be used by both researchers and librarians to document research impact to supplement citation analysis. PMID:20098647

  3. AIDA: the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Wilderness and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-02

    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 > or = 1 million hectares, are > or = 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samarakoon, Miriya; Rowan, John S.

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

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

    1993-04-06

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-04-06

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

  12. Environmental impact assessments of the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the most hyperconcentrated laden river, Yellow River, China.

    PubMed

    Kong, Dongxian; Miao, Chiyuan; Wu, Jingwen; Borthwick, Alistair G L; Duan, Qingyun; Zhang, Xiaoming

    2017-02-01

    The Yellow River is the most hyperconcentrated sediment-laden river in the world. Throughout recorded history, the Lower Yellow River (LYR) experienced many catastrophic flood and drought events. To regulate the LYR, a reservoir was constructed at Xiaolangdi that became operational in the early 2000s. An annual water-sediment regulation scheme (WSRS) was then implemented, aimed at flood control, sediment reduction, regulated water supply, and power generation. This study examines the eco-environmental and socioenvironmental impacts of Xiaolangdi Reservoir. In retrospect, it is found that the reservoir construction phase incurred huge financial cost and required large-scale human resettlement. Subsequent reservoir operations affected the local geological environment, downstream riverbed erosion, evolution of the Yellow River delta, water quality, and aquatic biodiversity. Lessons from the impact assessment of the Xiaolangdi Reservoir are summarized as follows: (1) The construction of large reservoirs is not merely an engineering challenge but must also be viewed in terms of resource exploitation, environmental protection, and social development; (2) long-term systems for monitoring large reservoirs should be established, and decision makers involved at national policy and planning levels must be prepared to react quickly to the changing impact of large reservoirs; and (3) the key to solving sedimentation in the LYR is not Xiaolangdi Reservoir but instead soil conservation in the middle reaches of the Yellow River basin. Proper assessment of the impacts of large reservoirs will help promote development strategies that enhance the long-term sustainability of dam projects.

  13. Impact assessment of risk management interventions.

    PubMed

    Shryock, T R

    2012-04-01

    Much effort has been invested in the development and implementation of international recommendations to manage the risk of foodborne antimicrobial resistance, and monitoring programmes to measure bacterial antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial product volumes. A variety of approaches have been recommended for various stakeholders in the food animal and food production sectors. Interestingly, much less consideration has been given to the establishment of success criteria for the individual interventions and even less for the cumulative effects, when all interventions are considered together as consecutive 'hurdles' along the food chain. The author explores the outcome and unforeseen consequences of these various interventions and appropriate methods that could provide data to assess their impact, as well as key learning experiences that should lead to refinements of such interventions in the future.

  14. Comprehensive Impact Assessment in Planning Education and a Course Syllabus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burby, Raymond J.

    1992-01-01

    Impact assessment skills are used in planning practice, reflecting expansion in society's concern with externalities of growth and development, improved methods for predicting environmental effects, and wider acceptance of impact mitigation as a growth management goal. This article reviews the status of impact assessment in planning pedagogy and…

  15. 40 CFR 227.19 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Assessment of impact. 227.19 Section... FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Esthetic, Recreational and Economic Values § 227.19 Assessment of impact. An overall...

  16. 40 CFR 227.22 - Assessment of impact.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Catalysis-by-design impacts assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-05-01

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

  18. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Development Project

    PubMed Central

    Shojaei, Parisa; Karimlou, Masoud; Mohammadi, Farahnaz; Malekafzali, Hosein

    2016-01-01

    Background: Health impact assessment (HIA) has emerged to identify those activities and policies likely to have major impacts on the health of a population. Method: In this research, qualitative method was applied to identifying health determinants that urban man made lake affect on them, formatting and weighing the hierarchy of the factors, calculating AHP, and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method for decide and ranking alternatives. Results: According to the results of the study, from the structural determinants point of view, the most positive effect of man-made lake was on Recreational services by 89.5% and the most negative one was on housing. According to intermediary determinants and general average, the most positive effect of lake was on physical activity and quality of air by 88.9% and the most negative one was on noise pollution by 46.7%. Ultimately, considering the positive and negative effects of lake between constructing and not constructing the lake option, the construction option was selected. Conclusion: There is substantial potential to improve public health by bringing decision makers’ attention to the health consequences of their actions; city councilpersons, zoning commissioners, and other decision makers typically have little background in health. PMID:27157160

  19. Integrated environmental impact assessment: a Canadian example.

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Roy E.; Ooi, Maria

    2003-01-01

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

  20. Integrated environmental impact assessment: a Canadian example.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowski, Roy E; Ooi, Maria

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Assessing health impact assessment: multidisciplinary and international perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Krieger, N; Northridge, M; Gruskin, S; Quinn, M; Kriebel, D; Davey, S; Bassett, M; Rehkopf, D; Miller, C

    2003-01-01

    Health impact assessment (HIA) seeks to expand evaluation of policy and programmes in all sectors, both private and public, to include their impact on population health. While the idea that the public's health is affected by a broad array of social and economic policies is not new and dates back well over two centuries, what is new is the notion—increasingly adopted by major health institutions, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Kingdom National Health Services (NHS)—that health should be an explicit consideration when evaluating all public policies. In this article, it is argued that while HIA has the potential to enhance recognition of societal determinants of health and of intersectoral responsibility for health, its pitfalls warrant critical attention. Greater clarity is required regarding criteria for initiating, conducting, and completing HIA, including rules pertaining to decision making, enforcement, compliance, plus paying for their conduct. Critical debate over the promise, process, and pitfalls of HIA needs to be informed by multiple disciplines and perspectives from diverse people and regions of the world. PMID:12933768

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  6. 76 FR 19110 - Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-06

    ... SECURITY Office of the Secretary Published Privacy Impact Assessments on the Web AGENCY: Privacy Office... the Department. The assessments were approved and published on the Privacy Office's Web site between May 3, 2010 and January 7, 2011. DATES: The Privacy Impact Assessments are available on the DHS...

  7. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S; Hudson, Peter J; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of competent reservoir hosts. Second, biodiversity loss could disproportionately affect non-competent, or less competent reservoir hosts, which would otherwise interfere with pathogen transmission to human populations by, for example, wasting the bites of infected vectors. A negative association between biodiversity and disease risk, sometimes called the "dilution effect hypothesis," has been supported for a few disease agents, suggests an exciting win-win outcome for the environment and society, and has become a pervasive topic in the disease ecology literature. Case studies have been assembled to argue that the dilution effect is general across disease agents. Less touted are examples in which elevated biodiversity does not affect or increases infectious disease risk for pathogens of public health concern. In order to assess the likely generality of the dilution effect, we review the association between biodiversity and public health across a broad variety of human disease agents. Overall, we hypothesize that conditions for the dilution effect are unlikely to be met for most important diseases of humans. Biodiversity probably has little net effect on most human infectious diseases but, when it does have an effect, observation and basic logic suggest that biodiversity will be more likely to increase than to decrease infectious disease risk.

  8. Assessing the Regional Disparities in Geoengineering impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, P. J.; Ridgwell, A. J.; Lunt, D. J.

    2010-12-01

    maintaining a stable mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and cooling global climate, but without reducing global precipitation below pre-industrial or exposing significant fractions of the Earth to ‘novel’ climate conditions [Irvine et al., 2009]. The HadCM3L simulations carried out for this work include a pre-industrial control, a simulation with 4xCO2, and 10 simulations with 4xCO2 and different levels of SRM geoengineering ranging from 10% to 100% of a full intervention sufficient to cool the climate to pre-industrial average surface air temperature. Cox, P. M., R. A. Betts, C. D. Jones, S. A. Spall, and I. J. Totterdell (2000), Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model, Nature, 408(6809), 184-187. Govindasamy, B., K. Caldeira, and P. B. Duffy (2003), Geoengineering Earth's radiation balance to mitigate climate change from a quadrupling of CO2, Global and Planetary Change, 37(1-2), 157-168. Irvine, P. J., D. J. Lunt, E. J. Stone, and A. Ridgwell (2009), The fate of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a geoengineered, high CO2 world, Environmental Research Letters, 4(4). Irvine, P., A. Ridgwell, and D. Lunt (2010), Assessing the Regional Disparities in Geoengineering Impacts, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL044447, in press

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-11-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1997-04-01

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

  14. Determining Vulnerability Importance in Environmental Impact Assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-15

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

  15. Essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Assessing the regional disparities in geoengineering impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, Peter J.; Ridgwell, Andy; Lunt, Daniel J.

    2010-09-01

    Solar Radiation Management (SRM) Geoengineering may ameliorate many consequences of global warming but also has the potential to drive regional climates outside the envelope of greenhouse-gas induced warming, creating ‘novel’ conditions, and could affect precipitation in some regions disproportionably. Here, using a fully coupled climate model we explore some new methodologies for assessing regional disparities in geoengineering impacts. Taking a 4 × CO2 climate and an idealized ‘sunshade’ SRM strategy, we consider different fractions of the maximum theoretical, 4 × CO2-cancelling global mean cooling. Whilst regional predictions in particularly relatively low resolution global climate models must be treated with caution, our simulations indicate that it might be possible to identify a level of SRM geoengineering capable of meeting multiple targets, such as maintaining a stable mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and cooling global climate, but without reducing global precipitation below pre-industrial or exposing significant fractions of the Earth to ‘novel’ climate conditions.

  17. Environmental impact assessment: An international evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollick, Malcolm

    1986-03-01

    Experiences with environmental impact assessment (EIA) in a number of countries are discussed in the light of both explicit and implicit goals and objectives. Adequate environmental information is not always available to decision makers because of failure to apply EIA to all relevant decisions, the continuing inadequacies of prediction and evaluation techniques, the failure to consider alternatives adequately, and the bias of some EISs. EIA frequently results in changes to proposals and may result in stricter environmental management conditions in some cases, but some people regard it as a failure because it has not stopped development. Generally, EIA leads to better integration of environmental factors into project planning. Open procedures and freedom of information encourage responsiveness to EIA procedures, which can be weakened by discretionary powers and lack of access to the courts by public interest groups. However, legal standing may have side effects that offset its advantages. EIA can encourage cooperation and coordination between agencies but does not ensure them. Similarly, it can have a limited role in coordinating interstate and international policies. In the long term, the success of EIA depends on adequate monitoring, reassessment, and enforcement over the life of the project. EIA has generally opened up new opportunities for public participation, and may help to reduce conflict. EIA procedures need to be integrated with other environmental protection and development control programs, and various means exist for reducing its cost to developers and the public.

  18. NSTAR Ion Thruster Plume Impact Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  19. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Waterway Decisions

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Pacific issues of biodiversity, health and nutrition.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Privacy Impact Assessment for the Environmental Assessments for Residential Properties (EARP)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    In the course of EPA assessments, EPA finds that there are the potential for releases to impact residential properties. To complete the assessments and public health evaluations related to the release EPA must specifically assess individual properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.; Brooks, Cassandra M.; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Coetzee, Bernard W. T.; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C.; Kriesell, Hannah J.; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J.; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A.

    2017-01-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists. PMID:28350825

  6. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Salvage logging in the montane ash eucalypt forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria and its potential impacts on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, D B; Ought, K

    2006-08-01

    The two major forms of disturbance in the montane ash eucalypt forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria (southeastern Australia) are clearfell logging and unplanned wildfires. Since the 1930s wildfire has been followed by intensive and extensive salvage-logging operations, which may proceed for many years after a wildfire has occurred. Although applied widely, the potential effects of salvage logging on native flora and fauna have been poorly studied. Our data indicate that the abundance of large trees with hollows is significantly reduced in forests subject to salvage harvesting. This has implications for thepersistence of an array of such cavity-using vertebrates as the endangered arboreal marsupial, Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelidues leadbeateri). Salvage logging also reduces the prevalence of multiaged montane ash forests--places that typically support the highest diversity of arboreal marsupials and forest birds. Limited research has been conducted on the effects of salvage logging on plants; thus, we constructed hypotheses about potential impacts for further testing based on known responses to clearfell logging and key life history attributes. We predict many species, such as vegetatively resprouting tree ferns, will decline, as they do after clearfelling. We also suggest that seed regenerators, which typically regenerate well after fire or conventional clearfelling, will decline after salvage logging because the stimulation for germination (fire) takes place prior to mechanical disturbance (logging). Understoryplant communities in salvage-logged areas will be dominated by a smaller suite of species, and those that are wind dispersed, have viable soil-stored seed remaining after salvage logging, or have deep rhizomes are likely to be advantaged. We recommend the following improvements to salvage-logging policies that may better incorporate conservation needs in Victorian montane ash forests: (1) exemption of salvage logging from some areas (e.g., old

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. ISI's Impact Factor as Misnomer: A Proposed New Measure To Assess Journal Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harter, Stephen P.; Nisonger, Thomas E.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses "impact factor," a measure of journal impact defined by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) and available in Journal Citation Reports. Argues that "impact factor" is misnamed and misused, suggesting an alternative name and interpretation of the measure, and proposes two new measures to assess the impact of…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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