WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodiversity impact assessment

  1. Biodiversity impact assessment (BIA+) - methodological framework for screening biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Lisa; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Berger, Markus; Finkbeiner, Matthias

    2018-03-01

    For the past 20 years, the life cycle assessment (LCA) community has sought to integrate impacts on biodiversity into the LCA framework. However, existing impact assessment methods still fail to do so comprehensively because they quantify only a few impacts related to specific species and regions. This paper proposes a methodological framework that will allow LCA practitioners to assess currently missing impacts on biodiversity on a global scale. Building on existing models that seek to quantify the impacts of human activities on biodiversity, the herein proposed methodological framework consists of 2 components: a habitat factor for 14 major habitat types and the impact on the biodiversity status in those major habitat types. The habitat factor is calculated by means of indicators that characterize each habitat. The biodiversity status depends on parameters from impact categories. The impact functions, relating these different parameters to a given response in the biodiversity status, rely on expert judgments. To ensure the applicability for LCA practitioners, the components of the framework can be regionalized on a country scale for which LCA inventory data is more readily available. The weighting factors for the 14 major habitat types range from 0.63 to 1.82. By means of area weighting of the major habitat types in a country, country-specific weighting factors are calculated. In order to demonstrate the main part of the framework, examples of impact functions are given for the categories "freshwater eutrophication" and "freshwater ecotoxicity" in 1 major habitat type. The results confirm suitability of the methodological framework. The major advantages are the framework's user-friendliness, given that data can be used from LCA databases directly, and the complete inclusion of all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem). It is applicable for the whole world and a wide range of impact categories. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:282-297. Â

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Consideration of biodiversity in environmental impact assessment in Western Australia: practitioner perceptions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wegner, A.; Moore, S.A.; Bailey, J.

    2005-01-01

    Biodiversity has become a central concern in environmental management. As such, it is crucial that it is included and fully considered in environmental impact assessment (EIA). This paper explores the definitions and perceptions of biodiversity, and the associated management implications, held by those involved in preparing and assessing EIA documents in Western Australia. This State has world-recognised biodiversity values and comprehensive impact assessment processes. These practitioners defined biodiversity in a range of ways from a very basic through to a sophisticated, extended definition. A range of approaches to its assessment was also evident. The most sophisticated practitioners placed biodiversity in its spatial and temporal context as well as being cognizant of community aspirations and the principle of net conservation benefit. The ability to properly consider biodiversity in EIA is dependent on good information, not only on flora and fauna but also on the concepts and processes associated with biodiversity. Clear policy directions, from the assessing authority, regarding the level and detail of assessment required, are also critical

  4. Hierarchical biodiversity and environment impact assessment of South-to-North Water Diversion Project of China

    OpenAIRE

    Youhua Chen

    2013-01-01

    In this brief review, the potential environmental and biodiversity impact of South-to-North Water Diversion (SNWD) project in China on regional environments was assessed. I used the hierarchical environmental impact assessment to classify the possible impacts into three orders caused by the construction of SNWD and then presented the current research advances on each order of the impacts. Further impact assessments should be reinforced during the construction period of SNDW project for the su...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soederman, Tarja

    2006-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geneletti, Davide

    2003-01-01

    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

  7. Impact assessment of the European biofuel directive on land use and biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hellmann, F.; Verburg, P.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an assessment of the potential impact of the EUs biofuel directive on European land use and biodiversity. In a spatially explicit analysis, it is determined which ecologically valuable land use types are likely to be directly replaced by biofuel crops. In addition, it is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Impacts of land-use change on biodiversity: An assessment of agricultural biodiversity in the European Union

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidsma, P.; Tekelenburg, T.; Berg, van den M.M.; Alkemade, R.

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this study is to assess land-use intensity and the related biodiversity in agricultural landscapes of the EU25 for the current situation (2000), and explore future trends, based on the four EURURALIS scenarios up to 2030. Data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) were used

  10. The inclusion of biodiversity in environmental impact assessment: Policy-related progress limited by gaps and semantic confusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigard, Charlotte; Pioch, Sylvain; Thompson, John D

    2017-09-15

    Natural habitat loss and fragmentation, as a result of development projects, are major causes of biodiversity erosion. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the most commonly used site-specific planning tool that takes into account the effects of development projects on biodiversity by integrating potential impacts into the mitigation hierarchy of avoidance, reduction, and offset measures. However, the extent to which EIA fully address the identification of impacts and conservation stakes associated with biodiversity loss has been criticized in recent work. In this paper we examine the extent to which biodiversity criteria have been integrated into 42 EIA from 2006 to 2016 for small development projects in the Montpellier Metropolitan territory in southern France. This study system allowed us to question how EIA integrates biodiversity impacts on a scale relevant to land-use planning. We examine how biodiversity inclusion has changed over time in relation to new policy for EIA and how the mitigation hierarchy is implemented in practice and in comparison with national guidelines. We demonstrate that the inclusion of biodiversity features into EIA has increased significantly in relation to policy change. Several weaknesses nevertheless persist, including the continued absence of substitution solution assessment, a correct analysis of cumulative impacts, the evaluation of impacts on common species, the inclusion of an ecological network scale, and the lack of monitoring and evaluation measures. We also show that measures for mitigation hierarchy are primarily associated with the reduction of impacts rather than their avoidance, and avoidance and offset measures are often misleadingly proposed in EIA. There is in fact marked semantic confusion between avoidance, reduction and offset measures that may impair stakeholders' understanding. All in all, reconsideration of stakeholders routine practices associated with a more strategic approach towards impact anticipation

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Biodiversity and ecosystem services in life cycle impact assessment – Inventory objects or impact categories?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Callesen, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    P's, namely ‘biodiversity’ and ‘ecosystem services’. The AoP biodiversity has more emphasis on intrinsic (existence) values than on utilitarian, functional value perceptions that are covered by the AoP ecosystem services. Ecosystem services can in some aspects be substituted or restored, whereas certain...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Applying the Delphi method to assess impacts of forest management on biodiversity and habitat preservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Filyushkina, Anna; Strange, Niels; Löf, Magnus

    2018-01-01

    consisted of a number of scientists in the field. The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire distributed via e-mail in two rounds. Our findings demonstrated that an increase in management intensity for timber production is likely to have a negative effect on the biodiversity and habitats...

  17. MODELKEY - Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on freshwater and marine ecosystems and biodiversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brack, W.; Bakker, J.; de Deckere, E.; Deerenberg, C.; van Gils, J.; Hein, M.; Jurajda, Pavel; Kooijman, B.; Lamoree, M.; Lek, S.; de Alda, M. J. L.; Marcomini, A.; Munoz, I.; Rattei, S.; Segner, H.; Thomas, K.; von der Ohe, P. C.; Westrich, B.; de Zwart, D.; Schmitt-Jansen, M.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 5 (2005), s. 252-256 ISSN 0944-1344 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : biodiversity * EU-Projects * fish communities Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.518, year: 2005

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

    For an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to effectively contribute to decision-making, it must include one crucial step: the estimation of the uncertainty factors affecting the impact evaluation and of their effect on the evaluation results. Knowledge of the uncertainties better orients the

  19. Assessing the impact of introduced cats on island biodiversity by combining dietary and movement analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Hervias, s; Oppel, S.; Medina, F.M.; Pipa, T.; Diez, A.; Ramos, J.A.; Ruiz de Ybanez, R.; Nogales, M.

    2014-01-01

    Populations of feral (not owned by humans) and domestic cats Felis catus coexist in most inhabited islands, and they have similar impacts on native species. Feral cats are generally believed to vary their diet according to prey availability; however, no previous studies of diet have tested this hypothesis on insular ecosystems with a limited range of available prey. Because domestic cats kill prey independently of hunger, the spatial extent of their impact on wildlife will be influenced...

  20. Assessing the impact of introduced cats on island biodiversity by combining dietary and movement analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Hervías, S.; Oppel, S.; Medina, Félix M.; Pipa, T.; Díez-Fernåndez, Alazne; Ramos, J.A.; Ruiz de Ybåñez, R.; Nogales, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Populations of feral (not owned by humans) and domestic cats Felis catus coexist in most inhabited islands, and they have similar impacts on native species. Feral cats are generally believed to vary their diet according to prey availability; however, no previous studies of diet have tested this hypothesis on insular ecosystems with a limited range of available prey. Because domestic cats kill prey independently of hunger, the spatial extent of their impact on wildlife will be influenced by ho...

  1. Biodiversity and Tourism : Impacts and Interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Caalders, J.D.A.D.

    2002-01-01

    This paper sets a framework for intervention in the relationship between biodiversity and tourism against the background of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is argued that intervention cannot and should not only be based on considerations of measurable impacts of tourism on biodiversity

  2. Geo-Spatial Support for Assessment of Anthropic Impact on Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Piragnolo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses a methodology where geo-spatial analysis tools are used to quantify risk derived from anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed with a focus on simplification and the quality of standard procedures set on flora and fauna protected by the European Directives. In this study case, the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts, Responses is applied using spatial procedures in a geographical information system (GIS framework. This approach can be inserted in a multidimensional space as the analysis is applied to each threat, pressure and activity and also to each habitat and species, at the spatial and temporal scale. Threats, pressures and activities, stress and indicators can be managed by means of a geo-database and analyzed using spatial analysis functions in a tested GIS workflow environment. The method applies a matrix with risk values, and the final product is a geo-spatial representation of impact indicators, which can be used as a support for decision-makers at various levels (regional, national and European.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afån, 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.

  4. MODELKEY. Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on freshwater and marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, Werner; Bakker, Joop; de Deckere, Eric; Deerenberg, Charlotte; van Gils, Jos; Hein, Michaela; Jurajda, Pavel; Kooijman, Bas; Lamoree, Marja; Lek, Sovan; López de Alda, Maria Jose; Marcomini, Antonio; Muñoz, Isabel; Rattei, Silke; Segner, Helmut; Thomas, Kevin; von der Ohe, Peter Carsten; Westrich, Bernhard; de Zwart, Dick; Schmitt-Jansen, Mechthild

    2005-09-01

    Triggered by the requirement of Water Framework Directive for a good ecological status for European river systems till 2015 and by still existing lacks in tools for cause identification of insufficient ecological status MODELKEY (http:// www.modelkey.org), an Integrated Project with 26 partners from 14 European countries, was started in 2005. MODELKEY is the acronym for 'Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on freshwater and marine ecosystems and biodiversity'. The project is funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme. MODELKEY comprises a multidisciplinary approach aiming at developing interlinked tools for an enhanced understanding of cause-effect-relationships between insufficient ecological status and environmental pollution as causative factor and for the assessment and forecasting of the risks of key pollutants on fresh water and marine ecosystems at a river basin and adjacent marine environment scale. New modelling tools for risk assessment including generic exposure assessment models, mechanistic models of toxic effects in simplified food chains, integrated diagnostic effect models based on community patterns, predictive component effect models applying artificial neural networks and GIS-based analysis of integrated risk indexes will be developed and linked to a user-friendly decision support system for the prioritisation of risks, contamination sources and contaminated sites. Modelling will be closely interlinked with extensive laboratory and field investigations. Early warning strategies on the basis of sub-lethal effects in vitro and in vivo are provided and combined with fractionation and analytical tools for effect-directed analysis of key toxicants. Integrated assessment of exposure and effects on biofilms, invertebrate and fish communities linking chemical analysis in water, sediment and biota with in vitro, in vivo and community level effect analysis is designed to provide data

  5. Uncertainty in projected impacts of climate change on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garcia, Raquel A.

    , uncertainty is inherent to both projected climate changes and their effects on biodiversity, and needs to be understood before projections can be used. This thesis seeks to elucidate some of the uncertainties clouding assessments of biodiversity impacts from climate change, and explores ways to address them...... models, are shown to be affected by multiple uncertainties. Different model algorithms produce different outputs, as do alternative future climate models and scenarios of future emissions of greenhouse gases. Another uncertainty arises due to omission of species with small sample sizes, which...... are difficult to model. The effect of such bias against narrow-ranging species is often overlooked in assessments of biodiversity impacts, but our results for sub-Saharan African amphibians show that it trickles down to conservation strategies. Finally, assumptions about the climatic tolerance of species...

  6. Uncertainty in projected impacts of climate change on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garcia, Raquel A.

    are difficult to model. The effect of such bias against narrow-ranging species is often overlooked in assessments of biodiversity impacts, but our results for sub-Saharan African amphibians show that it trickles down to conservation strategies. Finally, assumptions about the climatic tolerance of species...... the conservation of biodiversity under changing climates in Africa and elsewhere. Explicitly addressing all uncertainties of projected impacts appears overwhelming. Yet, if model projections are to be useful for conservation planners, they must be as transparent as possible by including an honest description......Evidence for shifts in the phenologies and distributions of species over recent decades has often been attributed to climate change. The prospect of greater and faster changes in climate during the 21st century has spurred a stream of studies anticipating future biodiversity impacts. Yet...

  7. Assessing soil biodiversity potentials in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael; Balfors, Berit; Moertberg, Ulla

    2006-01-01

    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

  9. Human impact gradient on mammalian biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana MunguĂ­a

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Drastic changes have been caused by human influence in natural landscapes, which may exert an intensive effect on species loss. However, species loss from human pressure is not random but depends on a series of environmentally associated factors. Linking species traits to environmental attributes may allow us to detect the ecological impacts of habitat so that meaningful habitat degradation gradients can be identified. The relationships between environmental factors and species traits provide the basis for identifying those biological traits that make species more sensitive to disturbance. These relationships are also helpful to detect the geographic distribution of latent risk to reveal areas where biodiversity is threatened. Here, we identify a “Human Impact Gradient for Biodiversity (HIGB” based on a three-table ordination method (RLQ analysis and fourth-corner analysis to identify key species traits that are associated with environmental gradient. Species distribution and environmental geographic data were gathered nationwide to analyze 68 localities, which represent 27% of Mexico’s surface, including 211 species of mammals. Nine environmental variables (including biophysical, geophysical and land-use impacts were analyzed by using the Geographic Information System. Three types of species’ traits were evaluated: locomotion, trophic habit and body size. We identified a human impact gradient, which was mainly determined by the percentage of the area that was covered by seedlings, the plant richness, the understory coverage percentage and the human settlement index. The most important species traits that are associated with non-human-impacted sites were carnivores, frugivores–herbivores and a body size that was greater than 17.8 kg; 25 species were selected by the decision criteria framework for species that were sensitive to degradation based on ecological function information. Conversely, granivores, fossorial and semifossorial

  10. Preliminary report on the scientific and biodiversity value of the Macal and Raspaculo catchment, Belize : a wildlife impact assessment for the proposed Macal River Upper Storage Facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minty, C.D. [Natural History Museum, London (United Kingdom); Sutton, D.A.; Rogers, A.D.F.; Bateman, R.M.; Penn, M.; Stafford, P.J.; Sanders, L.M. (eds.)

    2001-05-01

    The Natural Museum of History in London conducted a wildlife impact assessment of the proposed Macal River Upper Storage Facility (MRUSF) in Belize, Central America. The area contains a rare and discrete floral floodplain habitat (riparian shrubland) which acts as a conduit and critical habitat for resident and non-resident fauna and avifauna. In addition, the entire profile of the floodplain habitat of the watershed is important to the sustenance and population viability of a unique Scarlet Macaw subspecies, providing the last remaining habitat for a small population of about 60 to 100 individual birds. Other species have also been identified as regionally, nationally or globally significant. The proposed Chalillo Dam would be constructed on the Macal River Valley, approximately 5 km upstream from Guacamallo Bridge. If the project goes ahead, much of the area will be permanently flooded. The reservoir would flood up to an elevation of 400 m above the mean sea level. This report presented three options. The first option is not to build the Chalillo dam. This would leave the natural riparian habitat biologically rich and ecologically functional. The second option is to choose an alternative site, such as damming one or more of the many tributaries in the Mountain Pine Ridge. The third option is to proceed as planned, but it has been made clear that it will not be possible to mitigate against the long-term impacts on the biodiversity of the catchment, particularly those associated with habitat loss. The MRUSF is likely to cause 80 per cent of the riparian shrubland to be lost and numerous individual animals to die. In addition, it was predicted that the impacts of the project will be much greater in the surrounding areas, reaching much beyond the localized area of the dam and its impoundment. The most obvious option to avoid profound impacts is to not construct the dam. It was emphasized that this option should be seriously considered, particularly if costs outweigh

  11. Quantifying the impact of landscape and habitat features on biodiversity in cultivated landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Jeanneret, Philippe; SchĂŒpbach, Beatrice; Luka, Henryk

    2003-01-01

    Determining habitat and landscape features that lead to patterns of biodiversity in cultivated landscapes is an important step for the assessment of the impact of extensification programmes in agriculture. In the context of an assessment of the effect of national extensification programme on biodiversity in agriculture, field data of three regions (7 km2 each) were collected according to a stratified sampling method. A distribution model of three taxa (spiders, carabid beetles, and butterflie...

  12. Earth Observation for Biodiversity Assessment (EO-BA)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available in the Dukuduku coastal forest Earth Observation for Biodiversity Assessment (EO-BA) MA CHO, P DEBBA, R MATHIEU, A RAMOELO, L NAIDOO, H VAN DEVENTER, O MALAHLELA AND R MAIN CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment, Pretoria, South Africa PO Box 395..., Pretoria, South Africa, 0001 Email: mcho@csir.co.za ? www.csir.co.za THE ROLE OF EARTH OBSERVATION IN PROVIDING BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION Biodiversity encompasses four levels: genetic, species, ecosystem and functional diversities. By sustaining...

  13. What is marine biodiversity? Towards common concepts and their implications for assessing biodiversity status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Cochrane

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available ‘Biodiversity’ is one of the most common keywords used in environmental sciences, spanning from research to management, nature conservation and consultancy. Despite this, our understanding of the underlying concepts varies greatly, between and within disciplines as well as among the scientists themselves. Biodiversity can refer to descriptions or assessments of the status and condition of all or selected groups of organisms, from the genetic variability, to the species, populations, communities, and ecosystems. However, a concept of biodiversity also must encompass understanding the interactions and functions on all levels from individuals up to the whole ecosystem, including changes related to natural and anthropogenic environmental pressures. While biodiversity as such is an abstract and relative concept rooted in the spatial domain, it is central to most international, European and national governance initiatives aimed at protecting the marine environment. These rely on status assessments of biodiversity which typically require numerical targets and specific reference values, to allow comparison in space and/or time, often in association with some external structuring factors such as physical and biogeochemical conditions. Given that our ability to apply and interpret such assessments requires a solid conceptual understanding of marine biodiversity, here we define this and show how the abstract concept can and needs to be interpreted and subsequently applied in biodiversity assessments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosaka, T; Yamada, T; Okuda, T

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Landscape ecological assessment: a tool for integrating biodiversity issues in strategic environmental assessment and planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörtberg, U M; Balfors, B; Knol, W C

    2007-03-01

    To achieve a sustainable development, impacts on biodiversity of urbanisation, new infrastructure projects and other land use changes must be considered on landscape and regional scales. This requires that important decisions are made after a systematic evaluation of environmental impacts. Landscape ecology can provide a conceptual framework for the assessment of consequences of long-term development processes like urbanisation on biodiversity components, and for evaluating and visualising the impacts of alternative planning scenarios. The aim of this paper was to develop methods for integrating biodiversity issues in planning and strategic environmental assessment in an urbanising environment, on landscape and regional levels. In order to test developed methods, a case study was conducted in the region of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and the study area embraced the city centre, suburbs and peri-urban areas. Focal species were tested as indicators of habitat quality, quantity and connectivity in the landscape. Predictive modelling of habitat distribution in geographic information systems involved the modelling of focal species occurrences based on empirical data, incorporated in a landscape ecological decision support system. When habitat models were retrieved, they were applied on future planning scenarios in order to predict and assess the impacts on focal species. The scenario involving a diffuse exploitation pattern had the greatest negative impacts on the habitat networks of focal species. The scenarios with concentrated exploitation also had negative impacts, although they were possible to mitigate quite easily. The predictions of the impacts on habitats networks of focal species made it possible to quantify, integrate and visualise the effects of urbanisation scenarios on aspects of biodiversity on a landscape level.

  17. Assessment of biodiversity based on morphological characteristics ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-10-03

    Oct 3, 2011 ... Conservation and utilization of the native plant resources is essential for long term sustainability of biodiversity. Wild native resources are adapted to specific and diverse environmental conditions and therefore, these adaptive features can be introduced into modern cultivars either through conventional ...

  18. Assessment of biodiversity based on morphological characteristics ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conservation and utilization of the native plant resources is essential for long term sustainability of biodiversity. Wild native resources are adapted to specific and diverse environmental conditions and therefore, these adaptive features can be introduced into modern cultivars either through conventional breeding or ...

  19. Impact of sludge deposition on biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzetti, Sergio; van der Spoel, David

    2015-11-01

    Sludge deposition in the environment is carried out in several countries. It encompasses the dispersion of treated or untreated sludge in forests, marsh lands, open waters as well as estuarine systems resulting in the gradual accumulation of toxins and persistent organic compounds in the environment. Studies on the life cycle of compounds from sludge deposition and the consequences of deposition are few. Most reports focus rather on treatment-methods and approaches, legislative aspects as well as analytical evaluations of the chemical profiles of sludge. This paper reviews recent as well as some older studies on sludge deposition in forests and other ecosystems. From the literature covered it can be concluded that sludge deposition induces two detrimental effects on the environment: (1) raising of the levels of persistent toxins in soil, vegetation and wild life and (2) slow and long-termed biodiversity-reduction through the fertilizing nutrient pollution operating on the vegetation. Since recent studies show that eutrophication of the environment is a major threat to global biodiversity supplying additional nutrients through sludge-based fertilization seems imprudent. Toxins that accumulate in the vegetation are transferred to feeding herbivores and their predators, resulting in a reduced long-term survival chance of exposed species. We briefly review current legislation for sludge deposition and suggest alternative routes to handling this difficult class of waste.

  20. [Biodiversity and civil liability: the role of assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutonnet, Mathilde

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this paper is to make the link between expertise and biodiversity through the civil liability Law. Indeed, since Erika Case (Cour de Cassation, Crim. 25 septembre 2012), this Law recognised the ecological damage. This one is defined as an damage caused to Nature and especially Biodiversity. Thus, the expertise has to play a major role. In this paper, two roles are studied: first all all, the expertise allows to assess the damage of Biodiversity itself, to define and to prove it. Secondly, the expertise is an instrument which is very important for prescribing the measures of compensation, in kind or pecuniary compensation.

  1. Preliminary assessment of sponge biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Thacker

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

  2. Preliminary assessment of sponge biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-21

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

  3. The Impact of Human Activities on Biodiversity Conservation in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    Jan – Jun 2006) www.wajae.org. Volume 9 (Jan – Jun 2006). Page 1 of 14. Paper 18 of 18. The Impact of Human Activities on Biodiversity Conservation in a. Coastal Wetland in Ghana. A. M. Wuver1 and D. K. Attuquayefio2*. 1 Achimota School ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-18

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

  5. Effects of reduced impact logging on bat biodiversity in terra firme forest of lowland Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivan Castro-Arellanos; Steven J. Presley; Luis Nelio Saldanha; Michael R. Willig; Joseph M. Wunderle Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Timber harvest is one of the main causes of degradation of Amazonian tropical forests, where bats represent important components of biodiversity. In addition, bats may represent keystone taxa in the Neotropics, as they are primary agents of pollination and seed dispersal for many pioneer plants. We assessed the impact of low harvest (18m3/ha),...

  6. Diversity of life. Effects of power generation and transmission on biodiversity difficult to assess

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hongisto, M.; Nikula, A.

    1996-01-01

    Scientific theories do not necessarily enable us to forecast the consequences of our actions on wildlife. Presumably, nature is able to adapt to environmental changes through variations on the genetic, species and ecosystem level; i.e. by means of biodiversity. The first studies conducted within the electricity sector show that the effects of emissions form an individual power plant on biodiversity are extremely difficult to assess because of long-range dispersion of the emission and many other factors simultaneously acting on the environment. Some concrete information about the impact of power transmission lines on biodiversity was obtained. These effects were primarily reversible. Some transmission line zones may even have favourable effects on biodiversity and on the living conditions of certain endangered species. (orig.)

  7. Diversity of life. Effects of power generation and transmission on biodiversity difficult to assess

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hongisto, M.; Nikula, A.

    1996-11-01

    Scientific theories do not necessarily enable us to forecast the consequences of our actions on wildlife. Presumably, nature is able to adapt to environmental changes through variations on the genetic, species and ecosystem level; i.e. by means of biodiversity. The first studies conducted within the electricity sector show that the effects of emissions form an individual power plant on biodiversity are extremely difficult to assess because of long-range dispersion of the emission and many other factors simultaneously acting on the environment. Some concrete information about the impact of power transmission lines on biodiversity was obtained. These effects were primarily reversible. Some transmission line zones may even have favourable effects on biodiversity and on the living conditions of certain endangered species. (orig.)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tallis, Heather, E-mail: htallis@tnc.org [The Nature Conservancy, 415 Alta Vista Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States); Kennedy, Christina M., E-mail: ckennedy@tnc.org [The Nature Conservancy, 117 East Mountain Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80524 (United States); Ruckelshaus, Mary [The Natural Capital Project, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Goldstein, Joshua; Kiesecker, Joseph M. [The Nature Conservancy, 117 East Mountain Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80524 (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: proposal of characterization factors based on functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Danielle Maia de; Flynn, Dan F. B.; DeClerck, Fabrice

    2013-01-01

    of CFs based on FD can help on the establishment of possible links between species loss and key ecosystem functions, i.e., on the association between the midpoint indicator (e.g., biodiversity loss) and the damage caused to ecosystem quality, in terms of functions lost. Basing CFs on FD is not without......The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilroy, James J; Prescott, Graham W; Cardenas, Johann S; Castañeda, Pamela Gonzålez del Pliego; Sånchez, Andrés; Rojas-Murcia, Luis E; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, TorbjÞrn; 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Production activities in any industry may “harm the environment through their damaging effects on air, water, soil and biodiversity.”1. To protect the environment, it is imperative to conduct environmental impact assessment (“EIA”) of investment projects in order to identify their potential harms. Appropriate measures should be ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Assessing National Biodiversity Trends for Rocky and Coral Reefs through the Integration of Citizen Science and Scientific Monitoring Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D.; Edgar, Graham J.; Barrett, Neville S.; Bates, Amanda E.; Baker, Susan C.; Bax, Nicholas J.; Becerro, Mikel A.; Berkhout, Just; Blanchard, Julia L.; Brock, Daniel J.; Clark, Graeme F.; Cooper, Antonia T.; Davis, Tom R.; Day, Paul B.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Holmes, Thomas H.; Howe, Steffan A.; Jordan, Alan; Kininmonth, Stuart; Knott, Nathan A.; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Ling, Scott D.; Parr, Amanda; Strain, Elisabeth; Sweatman, Hugh; Thomson, Russell

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Reporting progress against targets for international biodiversity agreements is hindered by a shortage of suitable biodiversity data. We describe a cost-effective system involving Reef Life Survey citizen scientists in the systematic collection of quantitative data covering multiple phyla that can underpin numerous marine biodiversity indicators at high spatial and temporal resolution. We then summarize the findings of a continental- and decadal-scale State of the Environment assessment for rocky and coral reefs based on indicators of ecosystem state relating to fishing, ocean warming, and invasive species and describing the distribution of threatened species. Fishing impacts are widespread, whereas substantial warming-related change affected some regions between 2005 and 2015. Invasive species are concentrated near harbors in southeastern Australia, and the threatened-species index is highest for the Great Australian Bight and Tasman Sea. Our approach can be applied globally to improve reporting against biodiversity targets and enhance public and policymakers’ understanding of marine biodiversity trends. PMID:28596615

  16. Potential impacts of global warming on Australia's unique tropical biodiversity and implications for tropical biodiversity in general

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hilbert, David W

    2007-01-01

    Full text: Full text: Globally, forest clearing is often thought to be the greatest threat to biodiversity in the tropics, and rates of clearing are certainly highest there, particularly in tropical South-East Asia. Climate change in the tropics has been less studied in tropical regions than in temperate, boreal or arctic ecosystems. However, modelling studies in Australian rainforests indicate that climate change may be a particularly significant threat to the long-term preservation of the biodiversity of tropical, rainforest biodiversity. Our research has shown that global warming can have a particularly strong impact on the biodiversity of mountainous tropical regions, including the Wet Tropics of north-east Queensland. Here, the mountain tops and higher tablelands are relatively cool islands in a sea of warmer climates. These species-rich islands, mostly limited in their biodiversity by warm interglacial periods, are separated from each other by the warmer valleys and form a scattered archipelago of habitat for organisms that are unable to survive and reproduce in warmer climates. Many of the endemic Australian Wet Tropics species live only in these cooler regions. Similar situations occur throughout south-east Asia and in the highlands of the Neotropics. Unfortunately, these upland and highland areas represent the majority of biodiversity conservation areas because they are less suitable for clearing for agriculture. This presentation will summarise research about the potential impacts of climate change on the biodiversity in Australia's rainforests, the potential implications for tropical biodiversity in general and discuss the limitations of these projections and the need for further research that could reduce uncertainties and inform effective adaptation strategies

  17. Assessing the political feasibility of global options to reduce biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dellas, E.; Pattberg, P.H.

    2013-01-01

    This article systematically assesses the likelihood of effective implementation of several key options to reduce global biodiversity loss, including conventional biodiversity policies, such as expanding protected areas, and policies primarily developed for other purposes but with potential positive

  18. Detectability counts when assessing populations for biodiversity targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silviu O Petrovan

    Full Text Available 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

  19. Forest biodiversity and its assessment by remote sensing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Innes, J.L.; Koch, B.

    1998-01-01

    Several international conventions and agreements have stressed the importance of the assessment of forest biodiversity. However, the methods by which such assessments can be made remain unclear. Remote sensing represents an important tool for looking at ecosystem diversity and various structural aspects of individual ecosystems. It provides a means to make assessments across several different spatial scales, and is also critical for assessments of changes in ecosystem pattern over time. Many different forms of remote sensing are available. While lately the emphasis on laser scanner and synthetic aperture radar data has increased, most work to date has used photographs and digital optical imagery, primarily from airborne and spaceborne platforms. These provide the opportunity to assess different phenomena from the landscape to the stand scale. Remote sensing provides the most efficient tool available for determining landscape-scale elements of forest biodiversity, such as the relative proportion of matrix and patches and their physical arrangement. At intermediate scales, remote sensing provides an ideal tool for evaluating the presence of corridors and the nature of edges. At the stand scale, remote sensing technologies are likely to deliver an increasing amount of information about the structural attributes of forest stands, such as the nature of the canopy surface, the presence of layering within the canopy and presence of (very) coarse woody debris on the forest floor. Given the rate of development in the technology, even greater usage is likely in the future. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Juffe-Bignoli

    Full Text Available 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

  1. Impact of agricultural extensification on the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services (soil structure maintenance, water regulation)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, J.; PĂ©rĂšs, G.; Groot, A. de

    Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems, on the relati...... biodiversity, providing better soil structure and water infiltration. These results provide more quantitative insights that allow for ecohydrological modelling (forecasting) and economic valuation......., on the relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. Special attention was given to the relation between i) soil biodiversity and aggregate stability, and ii) earthworms and soil macroporosity and water infiltration.  Method - Data from seven long-term field studies (France, Germany, United......-Kingdom, Slovenia, Denmark) on replicated plots of different land management scenarios (grassland, arable cropping, mixed crop-grassland, reduced or conventional tillage) were analysed. Earthworms were sampled using hand sorting and chemical extraction. Aggregate stability was measured using wet sieving method...

  2. Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen

    2017-04-01

    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions.

  3. Geospatial studies of global change impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    NĂŒchel, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Global change is affecting a substantial part of the globe and its many impacts, such as deforestation, are the main drivers of ecosystems degradation and loss of biodiversity. This thesis investigates different aspect of how global change has impacted ecosystems and biodiversity in China. China...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. An assessment of biodiversity surrogacy options in the Limpopo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Because of the inadequacy of existing biodiversity distribution data, surrogate measures for regional biodiversity have long been used in conservation area selection. These measures include species and environmental data. However, the assumed relationship between surrogate measures and regional biodiversity has ...

  6. Landscape ecological assessment: a tool for integrating biodiversity issues in strategic environmental assessment and planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mörtberg, U.M.; Balfors, B.; Knol, W.C.

    2007-01-01

    To achieve a sustainable development, impacts on biodiversity of urbanisation, new infrastructure projects and other land use changes must be considered on landscape and regional scales. This requires that important decisions are made after a systematic evaluation of environmental impacts. Landscape

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Biodiversity loss, emerging infectious diseases and impact on human and crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinwari, Z.K.; Gilani, S.A.; Khan, A.L.

    2012-01-01

    We are losing biodiversity through several factors ranging from global warming, climatic change, unsustainable use of natural resources, human settlements, demand for food, medicine etc. Consequently, the biodiversity losses are causing emergence of infectious diseases (EIDs) which are making them more virulent than the past. Both biodiversity loss and emergence of diseases significantly impact the human derived benefits in-terms of economy and food. Ecological stability, productivity and food-web interactions are indirectly correlated with biodiversity and any change in these will cause losses in biodiversity that would certainly influence the human derived benefits and crops. The current article reviews the biodiversity losses and emerging infectious diseases at various levels reported by recent literature which will help in current status of EIDs and future recommendations. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. A conceptual framework for quality assessment and management of biodiversity data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga, Allan Koch; Saraiva, Antonio Mauro; Chapman, Arthur David; Morris, Paul John; Gendreau, Christian; Schigel, Dmitry; Robertson, Tim James

    2017-01-01

    The increasing availability of digitized biodiversity data worldwide, provided by an increasing number of institutions and researchers, and the growing use of those data for a variety of purposes have raised concerns related to the "fitness for use" of such data and the impact of data quality (DQ) on the outcomes of analyses, reports, and decisions. A consistent approach to assess and manage data quality is currently critical for biodiversity data users. However, achieving this goal has been particularly challenging because of idiosyncrasies inherent in the concept of quality. DQ assessment and management cannot be performed if we have not clearly established the quality needs from a data user's standpoint. This paper defines a formal conceptual framework to support the biodiversity informatics community allowing for the description of the meaning of "fitness for use" from a data user's perspective in a common and standardized manner. This proposed framework defines nine concepts organized into three classes: DQ Needs, DQ Solutions and DQ Report. The framework is intended to formalize human thinking into well-defined components to make it possible to share and reuse concepts of DQ needs, solutions and reports in a common way among user communities. With this framework, we establish a common ground for the collaborative development of solutions for DQ assessment and management based on data fitness for use principles. To validate the framework, we present a proof of concept based on a case study at the Museum of Comparative Zoology of Harvard University. In future work, we will use the framework to engage the biodiversity informatics community to formalize and share DQ profiles related to DQ needs across the community.

  12. Biodiversity assessment at Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) campus, Kalpakkam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahir Hussain, K.; Satpathy, K.K.; Prasad, M.V.R.; Ramesh, T.; Selvanayagam, M.

    2008-01-01

    A rapid assessment of biodiversity in the DAE campus, Kalpakkam was carried out. The entire DAE campus of 3000 acres, at Kalpakkam was divided into four representative plots comprising of different landscapes namely (1) undisturbed area with dense vegetation, (2) building area, (3) water bodies with riparian cover and (4) sandy area with meager vegetation for inventorying of charismatic terrestrial/semi-aquatic fauna viz., Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Butterflies. For birds, early morning surveys were made whereas for mammals evening and night surveys were followed. Midday sampling was followed for butterflies and other animals. Each plot was surveyed twice in a week over a period of one year (April 07' to March 08'). Totally 128 species of animals were identified during the survey and it has highlighted the potential of biodiversity in the campus. The diversity of butterflies is remarkable. Twenty-two butterfly species were encountered. Frogs, toads, lizards and snakes are also diverse. Five species of frogs and one species of toad were recorded. Lizards are more diverse than snakes. Nine species of lizards were encountered. Calotus versicolor is abundant followed by common skink. Totally five species of snakes were recorded. Among them Common bronzedback and Green Vine Snake were predominant. Seventy species of birds were recorded during the survey period. Black crowned night heron, Common house crow, Great cormorant, Oriental white ibis, Painted stork, Cattle egret, Common mynah are more common. Sixteen species of mammals were encountered during the survey. Wild cattle, Jackal, Jungle cat, Toddy cat, Crested porcupine and Indian civet are the major wildlife found. Indian civet and Crested porcupine are elusive animals that are diminishing from wild and their presence at this campus is an indication of less human intervention. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangermano, Florencia

    2009-12-01

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

  14. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlson, MÄrten; Mörtberg, Ulla; Balfors, Berit

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Benchmarking DNA Metabarcoding for Biodiversity-Based Monitoring and Assessment

    KAUST Repository

    Aylagas, Eva

    2016-06-10

    Characterization of biodiversity has been extensively used to confidently monitor and assess environmental status. Yet, visual morphology, traditionally and widely used for species identification in coastal and marine ecosystem communities, is tedious and entails limitations. Metabarcoding coupled with high-throughput sequencing (HTS) represents an alternative to rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively analyze thousands of environmental samples simultaneously, and this method is increasingly used to characterize the metazoan taxonomic composition of a wide variety of environments. However, a comprehensive study benchmarking visual and metabarcoding-based taxonomic inferences that validates this technique for environmental monitoring is still lacking. Here, we compare taxonomic inferences of benthic macroinvertebrate samples of known taxonomic composition obtained using alternative metabarcoding protocols based on a combination of different DNA sources, barcodes of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene and amplification conditions. Our results highlight the influence of the metabarcoding protocol in the obtained taxonomic composition and suggest the better performance of an alternative 313 bp length barcode to the traditionally 658 bp length one used for metazoan metabarcoding. Additionally, we show that a biotic index inferred from the list of macroinvertebrate taxa obtained using DNA-based taxonomic assignments is comparable to that inferred using morphological identification. Thus, our analyses prove metabarcoding valid for environmental status assessment and will contribute to accelerating the implementation of this technique to regular monitoring programs.

  16. Biodiversity as a solution to mitigate climate change impacts on the functioning of forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisano, Masumi; Searle, Eric B; Chen, Han Y H

    2018-02-01

    Forest ecosystems are critical to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration. However, climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning in both negative and positive ways, and has led to shifts in species/functional diversity and losses in plant species diversity which may impair the positive effects of diversity on ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may mitigate climate change impacts on (I) biodiversity itself, as more-diverse systems could be more resilient to climate change impacts, and (II) ecosystem functioning through the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning. By surveying the literature, we examined how climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning and plant diversity. Based on the biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning (B→EF), we specifically address the potential for biodiversity to mitigate climate change impacts on forest ecosystem functioning. For this purpose, we formulate a concept whereby biodiversity may reduce the negative impacts or enhance the positive impacts of climate change on ecosystem functioning. Further B→EF studies on climate change in natural forests are encouraged to elucidate how biodiversity might influence ecosystem functioning. This may be achieved through the detailed scrutiny of large spatial/long temporal scale data sets, such as long-term forest inventories. Forest management strategies based on B→EF have strong potential for augmenting the effectiveness of the roles of forests in the mitigation of climate change impacts on ecosystem functioning. © 2017 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. When does biodiversity matter? Assessing ecosystem services across broad regions using forest inventory and analysis data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall; Christopher M. Oswalt; Basil V. III Iannone; Songlin. Fei

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is expected to convey numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including increased productivity and resilience. When assessing biodiversity, however, statistics that account for evolutionary relationships among species may be more ecologically meaningful than traditional measures such as species richness. In three broad-scale studies, we...

  19. Assessing Biodiversity of Agronomical and Horticultural Productions of Isfahan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasibe Pourghasemian

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Agricultural biodiversity has spatial, temporal and scale dimensions especially at agro-ecosystem levels. These agro-ecosystems that are used for agriculture are determined by three sets of factors: the genetic resources (biodiversity, the physical environment and the human management practices. Most agricultural areas can be returned to their natural landscape after subsequent generations. Studies on spatial patterns of species diversity are fundamental to biological conservation. Agricultural biodiversity is essential to satisfy basic human needs for food and livelihood security and it is active lymanaged by farmers and many components need human interference (Maguran, 1996. FAO estimates that 75% of crop varieties have been lost during the last 100 years. One third of the 6.500 domestic livestock races are endangered. The genetic erosion of crops and livestocks threatens food security. Plant diversity of usually evaluated by many indexes of which Shannon index is the most important ones. This index in agroecosystem rarely exists. Koocheki et al. (2004 and Nassiri Mahallati et al. (2005 in comprehensive surveys evaluated agrobiodiversity of agricultural systems at species variety and cropping systems for Iran and they found that the diversity at all levels have been declining due to introduction of new agricultural technology. In consideration to the lack of studies, this study was conducted in order to evaluate the biodiversity of agronomical and horticultural productions in Isfahan province and to assess relation of biodiversity and climate. Materials and methods This study was performed for Isfahan province in 2014. For this purpose, 24 regions of the province were selected. Planting area, species richness, species evenness and alpha and beta diversity of different agronomical and horticultural productions were determined. The information about agronomical and horticultural planting area for different regions of Isfahan was

  20. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid Biodiversity Assessment approaches associated with focusing taxa have overcome many of the problems related to large scale surveys. This study examined the suitability of litter ants as a focusing taxon by checking whether diversity and species assemblages of litter ants reflect the overall picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter in two vegetation types: secondary forest and pine plantation in Upper Hanthana forest reserve, Sri Lanka. In each vegetation type, arthropods were sampled using three sampling methods (Winkler extraction, hand collection, and pitfall traps along three 100 m line transects. From the two sites, 1887 litter ants (34 species and 3488 litter arthropods (52 species were collected. Species assemblages composition of both ants and other arthropods differed significantly between the two sites (ANOSIM, p=0.001 with both groups generating distinct clusters for the two sites (SIMPROF, p=0.001. But there was no significant correlation (p>0.05 between abundance and richness of litter ants and those of other arthropods in both vegetation types. The overall finding suggests that the litter ants do not reflect the holistic picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter, but the quality of the habitat for the survival of all litter arthropods.

  1. Managing the impact of urbanization on biodiversity in emerging ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biodiversity is an important part of a complex urban ecosystem and provides significant ecosystem services. It benefits urban communities environmentally, esthetically, recreationally and economically. Variations in land use and development have generated green spaces of different distribution and composition. While the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellard, CĂ©line; 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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  3. managing the impact of urbanization on biodiversity in emerging ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    Biodiversity is an important part of a complex urban ecosystem and provides significant ecosystem services. It benefits urban ... context of urban green space in the study area, the number of developmental activities and managing strategies in sustaining .... weaker due to their size and large amount of edge, they are being ...

  4. GLOBIO-Aquatic, a global model of human impact on the biodiversity of inland aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, J.H.; Kuiper, J.J.; Weijters, M.J.; Westerbeek, E.P.; Jeuken, M.H.J.L.; Bakkenes, M.; Alkemade, R.; Mooij, W.M.; Verhoeven, J.T.A.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems - rivers, lakes and wetlands - is undergoing rapid global decline. Major drivers are land use change, eutrophication, hydrological disturbance, climate change, overexploitation and invasive species. We developed a global model for assessing the dominant human

  5. GLOBIO-Aquatic, a global model of human impact on the biodiversity of inland aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janse, J.H.; Kuiper, J.J.; Weijters, M.J.; Westerbeek, E.P.; Jeuken, M.H.J.L.; Bakkenes, M.; Alkemade, R.; Mooij, W.M.; Verhoeven, J.T.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems – rivers, lakes and wetlands – is undergoing rapid global decline. Major drivers are land use change, eutrophication, hydrological disturbance, climate change, overexploitation and invasive species. We developed a global model for assessing the dominant

  6. Analysing the Impacts of Various Environmental Parameters on the Biodiversity Status of Major Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Winter

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Anthropogenic impacts on the environment often result in loss of biodiversity. However, the effects of different parameters (such as soil pH on biodiversity, which can be influenced by human activities, are poorly investigated on a global scale. The paper at hand proposes an approach to examine the relationship between biodiversity and several parameters, which can be anthropogenically influenced, on a major habitat scale. The goal is to describe the relationship of a single parameter and biodiversity by means of a mathematical model within one major habitat. Methods: Geographic information system (GIS data for the parameters “mean soil pH”, “mean share of cultivated land” and “mean temperature in June” for the whole world were overlaid with GIS data for the ecoregions proposed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF. By means of the software ArcGIS 10.4 (Esri Deutschland GmbH, Kranzberg, Germany, an average parameter value per ecoregion for all considered parameters was determined. Moreover, the index “biodiversity status” was introduced and determined for every ecoregion by means of the indicators “number of species”, “number of endemic species”, and “mean share of grassland and forest” for each ecoregion. As all ecoregions can be assigned to one of the 14 major habitats (as defined by the WWF, a Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted to analyse whether the parameters and the biodiversity status’ differentiate between the 14 major habitats. A mathematical model, which depicts the impact of the parameters on biodiversity, was established by means of curve fitting. Results: The Kruskal–Wallis test reveals that a significant difference (p-value of 0.000 regarding the considered parameter and the biodiversity status exists between the different major habitats. By means of a regression analysis and curve fitting, mathematical models were developed which describe the relation of the biodiversity status and the

  7. Biodiversity offsets: two New Zealand case studies and an assessment framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, David A

    2009-04-01

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

  8. Quantifying long-term impact of zoo and aquarium visits on biodiversity-related learning outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Eric A; Moss, Andrew; Gusset, Markus

    2017-07-01

    Zoos and aquariums aim to achieve lasting impact on their public audiences' awareness of biodiversity, its value, and the steps they can take to conserve it. Here, we evaluate the long-term educational impact of visits to zoos and aquariums on biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity. A minimum of two years after completing a repeated-measures survey before and after visiting a zoo or aquarium, the same participants were invited to take part in a follow-up online survey. Despite the small number of respondents (n = 161), our study may still represent the best available quantitative evidence pertaining to zoo and aquarium visits' long-term educational impact. We found that improvements in respondents' biodiversity understanding from pre- to post-visit leveled off, staying unchanged in the follow-up survey. In contrast, the improved knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity from pre- to post-visit showed further improvement from post-visit to delayed post-visit follow-up survey. These results suggest that the immediate positive effects of a zoo or aquarium visit on biodiversity-related learning outcomes may be long lasting and even help lay the groundwork for further improvements over an extended period of time following the visit. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen

    2017-01-01

    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions. PMID:28429710

  10. Impact of mining and forest regeneration on small mammal biodiversity in the Western Region of Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attuquayefio, Daniel K; Owusu, Erasmus H; Ofori, Benjamin Y

    2017-05-01

    Much of the terrestrial biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa is supported by tropical rainforest. Natural resource development, particularly surface mining in the rainforest, poses great risks to the region's rich and endemic biodiversity. Here, we assessed the impact of surface mining and the success of forest rehabilitation on small mammal diversity in the Western Region of Ghana. We surveyed small mammals in the project area and two adjoining forest reserves (control sites) before the mining operation and 10 years after mine closure and forest rehabilitation (topsoil replacement and revegetation). The forest reserves recorded higher species abundance than the mining areas. Majority of the species captured in the forest reserves, including Hylomyscus alleni, Praomys tullbergi, Malacomys cansdalei, and Hybomys trivirgatus, are forest obligate species. Only one individual each of H. alleni and P. tullbergi was captured in the naturally regenerated areas (core areas of mining activities that were allowed to revegetate naturally), while 32 individuals belonging to four species (Lophuromys sikapusi, Mus musculoides, Mastomys erythroleucus, and Crocidura olivieri) were recorded in the rehabilitated areas. Our data suggested negative effects of mining on small mammal diversity and the restoration of species diversity and important ecological processes after rehabilitation of altered habitats. We strongly encourage deliberate conservation efforts, particularly the development of management plans that require the restoration of degraded land resulting from mining activities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jos Barlow

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, SĂ©bastien; 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 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.

  13. Impacts of habitat degradation and stream spatial location on biodiversity in a disturbed riverine landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Göthe, Emma; Wiberg-Larsen, Peter; Kristensen, Esben Astrup

    2015-01-01

    The ongoing degradation of freshwater habitat quality and subsequent losses of biodiversity is alarming. One key to successful freshwater management is to understand how different scale-dependent diversity components (i.e. Îł-, α- and ÎČ-diversity) change along present-day anthropogenic impact...... the more isolated upper reaches (headwater sites) generate high ÎČ-diversity, (2) Îł-, α- and ÎČ- diversity decrease with increasing hydromorphological impact and (3) high connectivity in downstream reaches buffers against impacts on biodiversity. Results showed that α-diversity was higher in downstream sites...

  14. Biodiversity assessment for conservation planning in Uganda's forests

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Uganda Forest Department recently completed a major national inventory of forest biodiversity, aimed at providing the information necessary to design a representative protected area system for the country. The inventory covered five national parks and a further 60 forest reserves, and involved the collection of data on ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thacker, R.W.; DĂ­az, M.C.; de Voogd, N.J.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Freeman, C.J.; Mobley, A.S.; LaPietra, J.; Cope, K.; McKenna, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled

  16. The Sweet and the Bitter: Intertwined Positive and Negative Social Impacts of a Biodiversity Offset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CĂ©cile Bidaud

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Major developments, such as mines, will often have unavoidable environmental impacts. In such cases, investors, governments, or even a company's own standards increasingly require implementation of biodiversity offsets (investment in conservation with a measurable outcome with the aim of achieving 'no net loss' or even a 'net gain' of biodiversity. Where conservation is achieved by changing the behaviour of people directly using natural resources, the offset might be expected to have social impacts but such impacts have received very little attention. Using the case study of Ambatovy, a major nickel mine in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar and a company at the vanguard of developing biodiversity offsets, we explore local perceptions of the magnitude and distribution of impacts of the biodiversity offset project on local wellbeing. We used both qualitative (key informant interviews and focus group discussions and quantitative (household survey methods. We found that the biodiversity offsets, which comprise both conservation restrictions and development activities, influenced wellbeing in a mixture of positive and negative ways. However, overall, respondents felt that they had suffered a net cost from the biodiversity offset. It is a matter of concern that benefits from development activities do not compensate for the costs of the conservation restrictions, that those who bear the costs are not the same people as those who benefit, and that there is a mismatch in timing between the immediate restrictions and the associated development activities which take some time to deliver benefits. These issues matter both from the perspective of environmental justice, and for the long-term sustainability of the biodiversity benefits the offset is supposed to deliver.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. How does the human impact of footpaths affect flora biodiversity in the rainforest?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, J. H. F.

    2017-12-01

    Tioman Island is the largest Island in the Pahang region in Malaysia, known for its biodiverse reefs and dense rainforests, making it a popular tourist site. Over the course of two weeks, I was able to collect data on how the heavy development of Tioman Island's tourist industry was affecting the biodiversity of the region, specifically the implementation of infrastructure like footpaths. Tioman was an excellent setting for my research as it provided both primary and secondary rainforest with varying amounts of developments, allowing me to draw parallels between the data of the two distinct footpaths. To measure biodiversity against the prevalence of footpaths in forests, I set up 10 adjacent two by one meter quadrats perpendicular to the path, the first being on the path, and counted the quantities of different species within each quadrat. This process was repeated three times with five meter spacings between the various transects to better represent biodiversity in the region. Those three trials were then repeated at a site of contrasting human impact to come up with 60 quadrats' worth of data. Individually, each quadrat's biodiversity was then quantified using the Simpson's Diversity Index, which was then given a Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient before being compared with one another. The results of my research showed a general increase in biodiversity levels the further away it was from the path, until a certain point where it dropped and displayed a steady state, which did not fulfill the linear trend I was expecting in my hypothesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljo Kisand

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems in Sri Lanka: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeevan Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The climate change impacts are felt by all facets and sectors of ecosystems, covering flora, fauna and environment. Sri Lanka is considered as a vulnerable, small island country that is under serious threat from climate change impacts. The most profound impacts of climate change in Sri Lanka will be on agriculture and food security, water and coastal resources, biodiversity changes, and human health. Sri Lanka's biodiversity is significantly important both on a regional and global scale as it has the highest species density for flowering plants, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Sri Lanka's varied ecosystems provide many services that are of significant economic value and play a crucial role in providing goods and ecosystem services. The subsequent sections featuring specific aspects of biodiversity in forests, freshwater wetlands, coastal and marine systems and agricultural systems, provide greater detail on the ecosystem services and bio-resources. Habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive alien species, deforestation and forest degradation, development projects, environmental pollutions and climate change (global warming are the major threats to the biodiversity of the country. Climate change impacts on environment lead to a reduction in the distribution and abundance of species, especially endemics, which may even result in their global extinction. The introduction of various policies and guidelines in relation to environment is a good sign for conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. The government of Sri Lanka has been implementing various environmental projects aiming at reducing deforestation and degradation of ecosystems. Policies and measures already developed under such initiatives will no doubt preserve natural habitats for plant and animal species. However, being a developing country with many economic challenges, the funds and expertise available for monitoring climate change impacts and biodiversity conservation are not

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. The changing biodiversity of AlabamaDrosophila: important impacts of seasonal variation, urbanization, and invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichi Kano

    Full Text Available 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Assessing Biodiversity in Boreal Forests with UAV-Based Photogrammetric Point Clouds and Hyperspectral Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ninni Saarinen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Forests are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems and their biological diversity includes trees, but also other plants, animals, and micro-organisms. One-third of the forested land is in boreal zone; therefore, changes in biological diversity in boreal forests can shape biodiversity, even at global scale. Several forest attributes, including size variability, amount of dead wood, and tree species richness, can be applied in assessing biodiversity of a forest ecosystem. Remote sensing offers complimentary tool for traditional field measurements in mapping and monitoring forest biodiversity. Recent development of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs enable the detailed characterization of forest ecosystems through providing data with high spatial but also temporal resolution at reasonable costs. The objective here is to deepen the knowledge about assessment of plot-level biodiversity indicators in boreal forests with hyperspectral imagery and photogrammetric point clouds from a UAV. We applied individual tree crown approach (ITC and semi-individual tree crown approach (semi-ITC in estimating plot-level biodiversity indicators. Structural metrics from the photogrammetric point clouds were used together with either spectral features or vegetation indices derived from hyperspectral imagery. Biodiversity indicators like the amount of dead wood and species richness were mainly underestimated with UAV-based hyperspectral imagery and photogrammetric point clouds. Indicators of structural variability (i.e., standard deviation in diameter-at-breast height and tree height were the most accurately estimated biodiversity indicators with relative RMSE between 24.4% and 29.3% with semi-ITC. The largest relative errors occurred for predicting deciduous trees (especially aspen and alder, partly due to their small amount within the study area. Thus, especially the structural diversity was reliably predicted by integrating the three-dimensional and spectral

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  11. Impact of Cropping Methods on Biodiversity in Coffee Agroecosystems in Sumatra, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew N. Gillison

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The sustainable management of biodiversity and productivity in forested lands requires an understanding of key interactions between socioeconomic and biophysical factors and their response to environmental change. Appropriate baseline data are rarely available. As part of a broader study on biodiversity and profitability, we examined the impact of different cropping methods on biodiversity (plant species richness along a subjectively determined land-use intensity gradient in southern Sumatra, ranging from primary and secondary forest to coffee-farming systems (simple, complex, with and without shade crops and smallholder coffee plantings, at increasing levels of intensity. We used 24 (40 x 5 m plots to record site physical data, including soil nutrients and soil texture together with vegetation structure, all vascular plant species, and plant functional types (PFTs - readily observable, adaptive, morphological features. Biodiversity was lowest under simple, intensive, non-shaded farming systems and increased progressively through shaded and more complex agroforests to late secondary and closed-canopy forests. The most efficient single indicators of biodiversity and soil nutrient status were PFT richness and a derived measure of plant functional complexity. Vegetation structure, tree dry weight, and duration of the land-use type, to a lesser degree, were also highly correlated with biodiversity. Together with a vegetation, or V index, the close correspondence between these variables and soil nutrients suggests they are potentially useful indicators of coffee production and profitability across different farming systems. These findings provide a unique quantitative basis for a subsequent study of the nexus between biodiversity and profitability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2016 The Authors.

  14. The Impact of Sustainable Tourism and Good Governance on Biodiversity Loss in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Din Badariah

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of forest in providing the natural habitat for plants and animals; storing hundreds of billions of tons of carbon; buffering against flood and drought; stabilizing soils, influencing climate change and providing food and home for the indigenous people has led the international community to protect them from further destruction in the future. In addition, the sustainable tourism is a key source of income and employment for local communities, which, in turn, provide strong incentives to protect biodiversity. For such reasons, and given the capacity limits of environmental resources coupled with the quantitative growth of tourism, there is an urgent need for the development of tourism to take biodiversity seriously. In this study we investigate the impact of sustainable tourism and good governance indicators on biodiversity loss in Malaysia for the period 1996 to 2012. In this study we employed the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS, Dynamic OLS (DOLS and Fully-Modified OLS (FMOLS which is efficient in small sample to estimate the long-run model of biodiversity loss proxy by deforestation rates . Interestingly, our results found that good governance and sustainable tourism do contribute in mitigating biodiversity loss in Malaysia.

  15. Threats to biodiversity from cumulative human impacts in one of North America's last wildlife frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Nancy; Standish, Rachel J; Ripple, William; Starzomski, Brian M

    2017-10-25

    Land-use change is the largest proximate threat to biodiversity yet remains one of the most complex to manage. In British Columbia (BC), where large mammals roam extensive tracts of intact habitat, continued land-use development is of global concern. Extant mammal diversity in BC is unrivalled in North America owing, in part, to its unique position at the intersection of alpine, boreal, and temperate biomes. Despite high conservation values, understanding of cumulative ecological impacts from human development is limited. Using cumulative-effects-assessment (CEA) methods, we assessed the current human footprint over 16 regional ecosystems and 7 large mammal species. Using historical and current range estimates of the mammals, we investigated impacts of human land use on species' persistence. For ecosystems, we found that bunchgrass, coastal Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine have been subjected to over 50% land-use conversion, and over 85% of their spatial extent has undergone either direct or estimated indirect impacts. Of the mammals we considered, wolves were the least affected by land conversion, yet all species had reduced ranges compared with historical estimates. We found evidence of a hard trade-off between development and conservation, most clearly for mammals with large distributions and ecosystems with high levels of conversion. Rather than serve as a platform to monitor species decline, we strongly advocate these data be used to inform land-use planning and to assess current conservation efforts. More generally, CEAs offer a robust tool to inform wildlife and habitat conservation at scale. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Kostoski

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available 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

  17. Assessing biodiversity in arable farmland by means of indicators: an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bockstaller Christian

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Maintaining biodiversity is one of the key issues of sustainable agriculture. It is now stated that innovation to enhance biodiversity in arable land requires operational assessment tools like indicators. The goal of the article is to provide an overview of available indicators. Besides measured indicators and simple indicators based on management data, we focus on predictive indicators derived from operational models and adapted to ex ante assessment in innovative cropping design. The possibility of use for each indicator type is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-02

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Beaudrot

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 GuimarĂŁes 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 GuimarĂŁes 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

  3. Impact of Flood on the Biodiversity of Agodi Gardens, Ibadan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study of flood effect on the species diversity in Agodi Biological Gardens was carried out to determine the rate of devastation that the catastrophes of 30 August 2011 flood disaster caused on the ex-situ environment. Both physicochemical parameters and structured questionnaire were used to assess the rate of ...

  4. Elucidating the impact of microbial community biodiversity on pharmaceutical biotransformation during wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadler, Lauren B; Delgado Vela, Jeseth; Jain, Sunit; Dick, Gregory J; Love, Nancy G

    2017-10-27

    In addition to removing organics and other nutrients, the microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) biotransform many pharmaceuticals present in wastewater. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between pharmaceutical biotransformation and biodiversity in WWTP bioreactor microbial communities and identify taxa and functional genes that were strongly associated with biotransformation. Dilution-to-extinction of an activated sludge microbial community was performed to establish cultures with a gradient of microbial biodiversity. Batch experiments were performed using the dilution cultures to determine biotransformation extents of several environmentally relevant pharmaceuticals. With this approach, because the communities were all established from the same original community, and using sequencing of the 16S rRNA and metatranscriptome, we identified candidate taxa and genes whose activity and transcript abundances associated with the extent of individual pharmaceutical biotransformation and were lost across the biodiversity gradient. Metabolic genes such as dehydrogenases, amidases and monooxygenases were significantly associated with pharmaceutical biotransformation, and five genera were identified whose activity significantly associated with pharmaceutical biotransformation. Understanding how biotransformation relates to biodiversity will inform the design of biological WWTPs for enhanced removal of chemicals that negatively impact environmental health. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. An indicator framework for assessing ecosystem services in support of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maes, Joachim; Liquete, Camino; Teller, Anne; PĂ©rez-Soba, M.

    2016-01-01

    In the EU, the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services, abbreviated to MAES, is seen as a key action for the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and also to inform the development and implementation of related policies on water, climate, agriculture, forest, marine and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. National Biodiversity Assessment – Testing the integrity of our freshwater ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Deventer, Heidi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available is planned at various conferences and meetings. A temporary web map viewer (http://gsdi.geoportal. csir.co.za/projects/national-biodiversity-assessment-of-2018) has also been created to allow people to view the freshwater ecosystem types and provide...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pfeiffer

    Full Text Available 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-SĂžrensen 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, HĂ„vard; 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. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Impacts of cwd on understory biodiversity in forest ecosystems in the qinling mountains, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, J.; Wei, X.; Shang, Z.; Cheng, F.; Hu, Z.; Zheng, X.; Zhang, S.

    2015-01-01

    The stocks and characteristics of coarse woody debris (CWD) are expected to reflect forest stand features. However, despite their importance, there have been no reports of CWD stocks and characteristics in the Qinling Mountains. We measured the CWD stocks in different CWD types, decay classes and diameter classes of the five forest types in the Qinling Mountains. The highest biomass of CWD was the Pinus tabulaeformis forest (12.57 t-hm /sup -2/), occupied 5.66 percentage in the biomass of this forest, the lowest occupied 1.03 percentage in Betula albo-sinensis forest (1.82 t-hm /sup -2/). Our results revealed that there was a strong correlation between CWD and forest biomass. When the CWD biomass were 9.9 t-hm /sup -2/ and 11.6 hm /sup -2/, the biomass of Pinus armandi forest and P. tabulaeformis forest reached maximum, respectively. CWD is particularly important for biodiversity, but the importance of CWD in the control of diversity in forest systems has not been fully appreciated and certainly has not been evaluated intensively within China, especially in Qinling forests. In our research, we used species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H), Simpson index (D) and Pielou evenness index (J) to assess the diversity of plant community. According to our analysis, we found 1) the effect of CWD biomass on these a diversity index was dependent on tree, shrub and herb in the five forest types, 2) the impacts of CWD biomass on understory biodiversity were more obvious, 3) With the increase of CWD biomass, the species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H) and Simpson index (D) of understory increased significantly. Our results suggested that there was a relatively lower CWD biomass in the Qinling Mountains, but it had significant effects on forest biomass and diversity of plant community. Reserving CWD was important for eco-forestry, but how many and how characteristic of CWD should be retained need further research. Development of CWD reasonable strategies was

  16. Risk assessment for biodiversity conservation planning in Pacific Northwest forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky K. Kerns; Alan Ager

    2007-01-01

    Risk assessment can provide a robust strategy for landscape-scale planning challenges associated with species conservation and habitat protection in Pacific Northwest forests. We provide an overview of quantitative and probabilistic ecological risk assessment with focus on the application of approaches and influences from the actuarial, financial, and technical...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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; EcheverrĂ­a-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; ArbelĂĄez-CortĂ©s, Enrique; Armbrecht, Inge; Azhar, Badrul; Azpiroz, AdriĂĄn B; Baeten, Lander; BĂĄldi, AndrĂĄs; Banks, John E; Barlow, Jos; BatĂĄry, PĂ©ter; 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, CĂ©line; Bouyer, JĂ©rĂ©my; Brearley, Francis Q; Brito, Isabel; Brunet, Jörg; Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Buscardo, Erika; Cabra-GarcĂ­a, Jimmy; Calviño-Cancela, MarĂ­a; 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 GiovĂąni; Darvill, Ben; Dauber, Jens; Dejean, Alain; Diekötter, Tim; Dominguez-Haydar, Yamileth; Dormann, Carsten F; Dumont, Bertrand; Dures, Simon G; Dynesius, Mats; Edenius, Lars; Elek, ZoltĂĄn; 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; HĂ©bert, Christian; Helden, Alvin J; Henden, John-AndrĂ©; HernĂĄndez, Lionel; Herzog, Felix; Higuera-Diaz, Diego; Hilje, Branko; Horgan, Finbarr G; HorvĂĄth, Roland; Hylander, Kristoffer; Isaacs-Cubides, Paola; Ishitani, Masahiro; Jacobs, Carmen T; Jaramillo, VĂ­ctor J; Jauker, Birgit; Jonsell, Mats; Jung, Thomas S; Kapoor, Vena; Kati, Vassiliki; Katovai, Eric; Kessler, Michael; Knop, Eva; Kolb, Annette; KƑrösi, ÁdĂĄm; Lachat, Thibault; Lantschner, Victoria; Le FĂ©on, Violette; LeBuhn, Gretchen; LĂ©garĂ©, Jean-Philippe; Letcher, Susan G; Littlewood, Nick A; LĂłpez-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; MartĂ­nez, 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, NicolĂĄs; Peres, Carlos A; Persson, Anna S; Petanidou, Theodora; Phalan, Ben; Philips, T Keith; Poveda, Katja; Power, Eileen F; Presley, Steven J; Proença, VĂąnia; 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; SĂĄfiĂĄn, Szabolcs; Saldaña-VĂĄzquez, Romeo A; SamnegĂ„rd, Ulrika; SchĂŒepp, 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, RamĂłn A; Stout, Jane C; Struebig, Matthew J; Sung, Yik-Hei; Threlfall, Caragh G; Tonietto, Rebecca; TĂłthmĂ©rĂ©sz, BĂ©la; 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian

    2016-01-01

    '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...

  19. Bioindicators for monitoring marine litter ingestion and its impacts on Mediterranean biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; PedĂ , Cristina; Compa, Montserrat; Tsangaris, Catherine; Alomar, Carme; Claro, Francoise; Ioakeimidis, Christos; Galgani, Francois; Hema, Tatjana; Deudero, Salud; Romeo, Teresa; Battaglia, Pietro; Andaloro, Franco; Caliani, Ilaria; Casini, Silvia; Panti, Cristina; Baini, Matteo

    2017-11-16

    The Mediterranean Sea has been described as one of the most affected areas by marine litter in the world. Although effects on organisms from marine plastic litter ingestion have been investigated in several oceanic areas, there is still a lack of information from the Mediterranean Sea. The main objectives of this paper are to review current knowledge on the impact of marine litter on Mediterranean biodiversity, to define selection criteria for choosing marine organisms suitable for use as bioindicator species, and to propose a methodological approach to assessing the harm related to marine litter ingestion in several Mediterranean habitats and sub-regions. A new integrated monitoring tool that would provide the information necessary to design and implement future mitigation actions in the Mediterranean basin is proposed. According to bibliographic research and statistical analysis on current knowledge of marine litter ingestion, the area of the Mediterranean most studied, in terms of number of species and papers in the Mediterranean Sea is the western sub-area as well as demersal (32.9%) and pelagic (27.7%) amongst habitats. Applying ecological and biological criteria to the most threatened species obtained by statistical analysis, bioindicator species for different habitats and monitoring scale were selected. A threefold approach, simultaneously measuring the presence and effects of plastic, can provide the actual harm and sub-lethal effects to organisms caused by marine litter ingestion. The research revealed gaps in knowledge, and this paper suggests measures to close the gap. This and the selection of appropriate bioindicator species would represent a step forward for marine litter risk assessment, and the implementation of future actions and mitigation measures for specific Mediterranean areas, habitats and species affected by marine litter ingestion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (ÎČ) 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

  1. Assessment of the Ecosystem Services Capacity in Natural Protected Areas for Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronchi, Silvia; Salata, Stefano

    2017-10-01

    Recently, in Italy, a legislative proposal has been set to reform the role and the functions of natural protected areas promoting their aggregation (or the abolition) pursuing a better efficiency for their administration and economic saving. The system of natural protected areas is composed of different conservation levels: there are the Natural parks, established in the ‘80 by national or regional institution for the safeguard of natural elements, the Natura 2000 -Habitat 92/43/CEE promoted by European Union, with conservation measures for maintaining or restoring habitats and species of Communitarian interest, and the local parks of supra-municipal interest (namely PLIS) created by single municipalities or their aggregation aimed at limiting the soil sealing process. The hierarchical level of protection has determined differences in the management of the areas which leads to various approaches and strategies for biodiversity conservation and integrity. In order to assess strengths and weaknesses of the legislative initiative, the new management framework should be designed, considering the ecosystem characteristics of each natural protected area to define the future opportunities and critics, rather than, in the extreme case, remove the level of protection due to the absence of valuable ecosystem conditions. The paper provides an operative support to better apply the legislative proposal investigating the dynamics that affect all protected areas using the land take process as a major threat to biodiversity conservation in natural zones. The land take process is explored using the Land Use Change analysis (LUCa) as a possible way to determine the impact and the environmental effects of land transitions. LUCa is also useful to determine the loss of protected zones capacity to support Ecosystem Services. Finally, the assessment of the Ecosystem Services Capacity (ESC) index expresses the ability of each LULC to provide ES and, in particular, the Ecological

  2. A quantitative assessment of policy options for no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the European Union

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; van Teeffelen, A.J.A.; Tucker, G.; Verburg, P.H.

    2016-01-01

    The Biodiversity Strategy of the European Union includes a target to "ensure no-net-loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2020". Many policy options can be envisioned to achieve such a no-net-loss target, mainly acting on land use and land management. To assess the effectiveness of such

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Sampling Broad Habitat change to assess biodiversity conservation action in Northern Ireland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, A; McCann, T; Meharg, M J

    2003-03-01

    A habitat monitoring programme, the Northern Ireland Countryside Survey, carried out by the University of Ulster for the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, is described. It was based on a random sample of quarter kilometer grid squares, stratified by multivariate land classification. Estimates of change in habitat area between 1987-1992 and 1998 are presented and used to assess policy-related priorities for biodiversity conservation action in widespread habitats in Northern Ireland (NI). The basis of the assessment is Broad Habitats, a classification developed as part of the United Kingdom (UK) Biodiversity Action Plan. Improved Grassland, Neutral Grassland and Bog Broad Habitats occupy the largest area of NI, which holds a large proportion of the UK Neutral Grassland and Fen Marsh and Swamp Broad Habitat resource. The greatest net area increases with time were in Improved Grassland (33%), Coniferous Woodland (12%) and Broadleaved, Mixed and Yew Woodland (9%). The greatest net area decreases were in Neutral Grassland (-32%), Arable and Horticulture (-25%), Fen, Marsh and Swamp (-19%), Bog (-8%) and Calcareous Grassland (-7%). These changes are a function of agriculture, public and private forestry, building construction and peat cutting for fuel. The Key biodiversity issue is seminatural Broad Habitat loss, in particular, Neutral Grassland and Fen, Marsh and Swamp, highlighting the lack of effective action for protecting biodiversity in the countryside as a whole. The extent to which current land use is shown to be driving change, indicates that biodiversity conservation action through implementing landscape-scale agri-environment measures could deliver major biodiversity gains. The reliable information on recent changes, provided by the Northern Ireland Countryside Survey, has been used to guide conservation planning. Future re-survey will allow the effectiveness of the conservation strategy as it applies to the countryside as a whole, to be

  7. Change Agents & Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    KĂžrnĂžv, Lone; Larsen, Sanne Vammen; Hansen, Anne Merrild

    2010-01-01

    One of the challenges facing impact assessment is finding ways to work in research and practice that allow appropriate action and critical interrogation og action to enable and support sustainable change.......One of the challenges facing impact assessment is finding ways to work in research and practice that allow appropriate action and critical interrogation og action to enable and support sustainable change....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P biodiversity. A detailed investigation of disturbance

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: 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 Assessme...

  12. Biomass Assessment. Assessment of global biomass potentials and their links to food, water, biodiversity, energy demand and economy. Inventory and analysis of existing studies. Supporting document

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dornburg, V.; Faaij, A.; Verweij, P.; Banse, M.; Van Diepen, K.; Van Keulen, H.; Langeveld, H.; Meeusen, M.; Van de Ven, G.; Wester, F.; Alkemade, R.; Ten Brink, B.; Van den Born, G.J.; Van Oorschot, M.; Ros, J.; Smout, F.; Van Vuuren, D.; Van den Wijngaart, R.; Aiking, H.; Londo, M.; Mozaffarian, H.; Smekens, K.; Lysen, E.

    2008-01-01

    This supporting document contains the result from the inventory phase of the biomass assessment of global biomass potentials and their links to food, water, biodiversity, energy demand and economy. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of global biomass potential estimates, focusing on the various factors affecting these potentials, such as food supplies, water use, biodiversity, energy demands and agro-economics

  13. The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity in Nepal: Current Knowledge, Lacunae, and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aishwarya Bhattacharjee

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Nepal has an extreme altitudinal range from 60–8850 m with heterogeneous topography and distinct climatic zones. The country is considered a biodiversity hotspot, with nearly a quarter of the land area located in protected areas. Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of their abrupt ecological and climatic transitions. Tens of millions of people rely on the region’s ecosystem services, and observed and modeled warming trends predict increased climate extremes in the Himalayas. To study the ecological impacts of climate change in Nepal and inform adaptation planning, we review the literature on past, present, and predicted future climatic changes and their impacts on ecological diversity in Nepal. We found few studies focusing on organisms, while research on species and communities was more common. Most studies document or predict species range shifts and changes in community composition. Results of these few investigations highlight major lacunae in research regarding the effects of changing climate on species comprising the Himalayan biota. Further empirical work is needed at all levels of biological organization to build on information regarding direct ecological impacts of climatic changes in the region. Countries face an ever-increasing threat of climate change, and Nepal has strong physiographic, elevational, and climatic gradients that could provide a useful model for studying the effects of climate change on a mountainous, and highly biodiverse, area.

  14. Towards quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes: Insights from Australian marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, Prue F E; Flander, Louisa B; Cook, Carly N

    2017-08-01

    Protected area management effectiveness (PAME) evaluation is increasingly undertaken to evaluate governance, assess conservation outcomes and inform evidence-based management of protected areas (PAs). Within PAME, quantitative approaches to assess biodiversity outcomes are now emerging, where biological monitoring data are directly assessed against quantitative (numerically defined) condition categories (termed quantitative condition assessments). However, more commonly qualitative condition assessments are employed in PAME, which use descriptive condition categories and are evaluated largely with expert judgement that can be subject to a range of biases, such as linguistic uncertainty and overconfidence. Despite the benefits of increased transparency and repeatability of evaluations, quantitative condition assessments are rarely used in PAME. To understand why, we interviewed practitioners from all Australian marine protected area (MPA) networks, which have access to long-term biological monitoring data and are developing or conducting PAME evaluations. Our research revealed that there is a desire within management agencies to implement quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes in Australian MPAs. However, practitioners report many challenges in transitioning from undertaking qualitative to quantitative condition assessments of biodiversity outcomes, which are hampering progress. Challenges include a lack of agency capacity (staff numbers and money), knowledge gaps, and diminishing public and political support for PAs. We point to opportunities to target strategies that will assist agencies overcome these challenges, including new decision support tools, approaches to better finance conservation efforts, and to promote more management relevant science. While a single solution is unlikely to achieve full evidence-based conservation, we suggest ways for agencies to target strategies and advance PAME evaluations toward best practice. Copyright Â

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, MarĂ­a 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Montero, Luis G.; Lopez, Elena; Monzon, Andres; Otero Pastor, Isabel

    2010-01-01

    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.

  17. INTEGRATED FARMING METHODS AND THEIR IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY OF THE LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Stefanova

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available During the last century, the changing forms of agriculture drastically influenced many native plant and animal populations. In the efforts to reduce these negative impacts on biodiversity, a number of agricultural enterprises began farming in a more environmentally friendly ways; in addition to conventional farm management, new forms of integrated and organic farming appeared, the latter having a tradition of only a few years. These new approaches have a number of variations, one of which is termed integrated farming. It exerts less pressure on the given environment, and, together with organic agriculture, plays an important role in the efforts to renew long lost cultures. Support for integrated farming can be one of the intermediate stages between organic farming and agri-environmental programmes that very often complement one another. Despite the organic farming may have a negative impact on crop yields and considers individual approaches to problematic sites as well as applications of locally specific rules, a number of studies have confirmed that this kind of farming positively influences biodiversity of a given area. This review highlights importance of integrated farming and calls for its larger use in agricultural practice.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Assessing environmental impacts of inland sand mining in parts of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sand is a valuable resource for construction and other purposes, however sand mining often result in serious environmental problems such as land degradation, loss of agricultural lands and biodiversity, as well increased poverty among people. This study assessed the environmental impacts of inland sand mining in six ...

  20. The impact of fire on terrestrial tardigrade biodiversity: a first case-study from Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipe Vicente

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Currently, loss of habitat is the greatest threat to biodiversity, yet little is known about its effect on microscopic animal taxa, such as Tardigrada. One of the causes of habitat destruction is forest fire, both natural and anthropogenic. The latter is commonly used in agriculture to kill insect pests, as a soil preparation, or conservation to create habitat mosaics. In Portugal, 42% of fire frequency is anthropogenic. There is no consensus on the impact of fires on biodiversity, with studies pointing towards different conclusions. Different methods and target taxonomic study groups may partly explain this paradigm. This study is the first into possible effects of habitat destruction on tardigrade populations, in which we analysed the taxonomic and genetic variations of tardigrades from a fire affected location in a Portuguese natural park. Sampling was performed over a 10-year period, from 2000 to 2010. The location was affected by a small fire in 1998 and a big fire in 2003. A total of 11 species from nine separate genera was recorded, from which 19 cox1 haplotypes were identified. Our data suggest a negative effect of a forest fire on tardigrade populations. Taxonomic and genetic richness, as well as abundance show lower levels in the years after a fire, compared with the preceding years. Additionally, the population recovered visibly faster after the small fire than after the bigger one. This is consistent with larger fires destroying larger forest areas, leaving fewer animals at a farther distance available for re-colonisation. Most species found before the main fire are also found after it, indicating these tardigrades have a high recolonisation capability. However, only three of all recorded haplotypes were found both pre and post the main fire, which indicates genetic diversity loss as a direct consequence of fire. Therefore, we conclude that habitat destruction by means of forest fire has a detrimental effect on tardigrade

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miserendino, MarĂ­a 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

  2. Impact assessment revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thiele, Jan; Kollmann, Johannes Christian; Markussen, Bo

    2010-01-01

    The theoretical underpinnings of the assessment of invasive alien species impacts need to be improved. At present most approaches are unreliable to quantify impact at regional scales and do not allow for comparison of different invasive species. There are four basic problems that need......; and (4) the total invaded range is an inappropriate measure for quantifying regional impact because the habitat area available for invasion can vary markedly among invasive species. Mathematical models and empirical data using an invasive alien plant species (Heracleum mantegazzianum) indicate...... to be addressed: (1) Some impacted ecosystem traits are spatially not additive; (2) invader effects may increase non-linearly with abundance or there may be effect thresholds impairing estimates of linear impact models; (3) the abundance and impact of alien species will often co-vary with environmental variation...

  3. Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gomez-Zurita,Jesus; Cardoso,Anabela; Coronado,Indiana; De la Cadena,Gissela; Jurado-Rivera,José A.; Maes,Jean-Michel; Montelongo,Tinguaro; Nguyen,Dinh; 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 at...

  6. Linking diversity and distribution to understand biodiversity gradients and inform conservation assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Broad-scale patterns of species richness result from differential coexistence among species in distinct regions of the globe, determined by the species’ ranges and their properties such as size, shape and location. Thus, species richness and ranges are inherently linked. These two biodiversity features also yield primary information for conservation assessments. However, species richness and range size have been usually studied separately and no formal analytical link has been established. In my PhD thesis, I applied and extended a recently developed conceptual and methodological framework to study geographical association among species and similarity among sites. This range–diversity framework, along with stochastic simulation modelling, allowed me to jointly evaluate the relationship between diversity and distribution, to infer potential processes underlying composite patterns of phyllostomid bats, and to use this approach to inform conservation assessments for the Mexican avifauna. I highlight the need to explore composite patterns for understanding biodiversity patterns and show how combining diversity and distributional data can help describe complex biogeographical patterns, providing a transparent and explicit application for initial conservation assessments.

  7. Rio+20, biodiversity marginalized

    OpenAIRE

    CarriÚre, Stéphanie M.; Rodary, Estienne; Méral, Philippe; Serpantié, Georges; Boisvert, Valérie; Kull, C.A.; Lestrelin, Guillaume; Lhoutellier, Louise; Moizo, Bernard; Smektala, G.; Vandevelde, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-01

    At the Rio+20 Conference (June 2012), the biodiversity conservation agenda was subsumed into broader environmental issues like sustainable development, “green economy,” and climate change. This shoehorning of biodiversity issues is concomitant with a trend toward market-based instruments and toward standardized biodiversity assessment and monitoring. This article raises concern that these trends can marginalize important and specific aspects of biodiversity governance, including other policy ...

  8. Bioenergy harvest impacts to biodiversity and resilience vary across aspen-dominated forest ecosystems in the Lake States region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda T. Curzon; Anthony W. D' Amato; Brian J. Palik; Kris Verheyen

    2016-01-01

    Questions: Does the increase in disturbance associated with removing harvest residues negatively impact biodiversity and resilience in aspen-dominated forest ecosystems? How do responses of functional diversity measures relate to community recovery and standing biomass? Location: Aspen (Populus tremuloides, Michx.) mixedwood forests in Minnesota...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Haaren, Christina; Kempa, Daniela; Vogel, Katrin; RĂŒter, 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Toward a Virtual Laboratory to Assess Biodiversity from Data Produced by an Underwater Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, S.; Ball, M.; Futrelle, J.; Sosik, H. M.

    2016-12-01

    Real-time data from sensors deployed in the ocean are increasingly available online for broad use by scientists, educators, and the public. Such data have previously been limited to physical parameters, but data for biological parameters are becoming more prevalent with the development of new submersible instruments. Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB), for example, automatically and rapidly acquires images of microscopic algae (phytoplankton) at the base of the food web in marine ecosystems. These images and products from image processing and automated classification are accessible via web services from an IFCB dashboard. However, until now, to process these data further into results representing the biodiversity of the phytoplankton required a complex workflow that could only be executed by scientists involved in the instrument development. Also, because these data have been collected near continuously for a decade, a number of "big data" challenges arise in attempting to implement and reproduce the workflow. Our research is geared toward the development of a virtual laboratory to enable other scientists and educators, as new users of data from this underwater microscope, to generate biodiversity data products. Our solution involves an electronic notebook (Jupyter Notebook) that can be re-purposed by users with some Python programming experience. However, when we scaled the virtual laboratory to accommodate a 2-month example time series (thousands of binned files each representing thousands of images), we needed to expand the execution environment to include batch processing outside of the notebook. We will share how we packaged these tools to share with other scientists to perform their own biodiversity assessment from data available on an IFCB dashboard. Additional outcomes of software development in this project include a prototype for time-series visualizations to be generated in near-real-time and recommendations for new products accessible via web services from the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Ecological impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, J.M.; Eberhardt, L.L.

    1975-01-01

    Quantitative problems in accomplishing ecological impact assessment with particular reference to defining population effects are discussed with some comments on the two approaches most commonly used, e.g., the experimental and simulation models. Some alternatives are suggested because both methods will probably fail to detect real population effects mostly due to poor understanding of ecosystems or because of the limitations inherent in field census methods. Most judgments of ecological impact are not quantitatively defensible but are qualitative, subjective, or political in nature. An examination of aggregates of data from various nuclear power plant sites may be one way to obtain enough replication to judge ecological impact. Thus, currently available data from such studies as well as appropriate demographic, vegetation, census, and bibliographic material could offer an interesting challenge to computer professionals if such an undertaking were contemplated. Present research programs at PNL and computer involvement are described. Future possibilities and directions are discussed. (U.S.)

  16. Assessing fishing and marine biodiversity changes using fishers' perceptions: the Spanish Mediterranean and Gulf of Cadiz case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The expansion of fishing activities has intensively transformed marine ecosystems worldwide. However, available time series do not frequently cover historical periods. 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. 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. Using fishers' perceptions, fishing and ecological changes in the study area were

  17. Monitoring conservation effectiveness in a global biodiversity hotspot: the contribution of land cover change assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Shijo; Blackburn, George Alan; Gharai, Biswadip; Sudhakar, S; Thomas, A P; Murthy, M S R

    2009-11-01

    Tropical forests, which play critical roles in global biogeochemical cycles, radiation budgets and biodiversity, have undergone rapid changes in land cover in the last few decades. This study examines the complex process of land cover change in the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats, India, specifically investigating the effects of conservation measures within the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. Current vegetation patterns were mapped using an IRS P6 LISS III image and this was used together with Landsat MSS data from 1973 to map land cover transitions. Two major and divergent trends were observed. A dominant degradational trend can be attributed to agricultural expansion and infrastructure development while a successional trend, resulting from protection of the area, showed the resilience of the system after prolonged disturbances. The sanctuary appears susceptible to continuing disturbances under the current management regime but at lower rates than in surrounding unprotected areas. The study demonstrates that remotely sensed land cover assessments can have important contributions to monitoring land management strategies, understanding processes underpinning land use changes and helping to inform future conservation strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    GĂłmez-Zurita, JesĂșs; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, JosĂ© 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    GĂłmez-Zurita, JesĂșs; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, JosĂ© 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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


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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugarten, Rachel A; HonzĂĄk, 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A Neugarten

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE-Convention of Air Pollution Prevention. Part II. The model BERN - assessment of vegetation change and biodiversity; Modellierung und Kartierung raeumlich differenzierter Wirkungen von Stickstoffeintraegen in Oekosysteme im Rahmen der UNECE-Luftreinhaltekonvention. Teilbericht II. Das BERN-Modell - ein Bewertungsmodell fuer die oberirdische Biodiversitaet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagel, Hans-Dieter; Schlutow, Angela; Kraft, Philipp; Scheuschner, Thomas; Weigelt-Kirchner, Regine [OEKO-DATA - Ecosystem Analysis and Environmental Data Management, Strausberg (Germany)

    2010-03-15

    Semi-natural ecosystems are exposed to high atmospheric deposition for decades. In contrary to sulphur deposition which could be significantly reduced due to international conventions on air pollution prevention during the last decades, deposition of both, reduced and oxidized nitrogen is still on a very high level in average 40 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} in forest ecosystems in Germany. The FuE-Project ''Modelling and mapping of spatial differentiated impacts of nitrogen input to ecosystems within the framework of the UNECE - Convention of Air Pollution Prevention'' was jointly conducted by 4 partner institutions and studied impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on physicochemical properties of forest soils, nutrient storage and nutrient export (Karlsruhe Research Centre, IMK-IFU) as well as biodiversity of vegetation (OEKO-DATA and Waldkundeinstitut Eberswalde) and soil organisms (Giessen University). Work carried out at OEKO-DATA initially concentrated on the development of the BERN-model. About 14 585 vegetation inventories from all over Germany and other 2 914 relevant inventories evaluated from neighboring countries were integrated in BERN database. With this model, the vegetation changes as a function of variations in the location conditions could be identified due to the implementation of the corresponding time series of geochemical and climate parameters from MoBiLE. A validation of the MoBiLE-BERN-coupling was carried out at Level II sites. From the dynamics of the vegetation development in the context of location changes could be derived critical loads and limits. Also the current regeneration potential as well as a harmonious natural balance of location factors could be determined. Likewise, the potential of danger to biodiversity and the livelihood opportunities of plant species or societies could be demonstrated. The most distinct dependence of biodiversity change could be detected on the alterations of

  5. Health equity impact assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Povall, Susan L; Haigh, Fiona A; Abrahams, Debbie; Scott-Samuel, Alex

    2014-12-01

    The World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health has called for 'health equity impact assessments' of all economic agreements, market regulation and public policies. We carried out an international study to clarify if existing health impact assessment (HIA) methods are adequate for the task of global health equity assessments. We triangulated data from a scoping review of the international literature, in-depth interviews with health equity and HIA experts and an international stakeholder workshop. We found that equity is not addressed adequately in HIAs for a variety of reasons, including inadequate guidance, absence of definitions, poor data and evidence, perceived lack of methods and tools and practitioner unwillingness or inability to address values like fairness and social justice. Current methods can address immediate, 'downstream' factors, but not the root causes of inequity. Extending HIAs to cover macro policy and global equity issues will require new tools to address macroeconomic policies, historical roots of inequities and upstream causes like power imbalances. More sensitive, participatory methods are also required. There is, however, no need for the development of a completely new methodology. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaiko, Anastasija; Daunys, Darius; Olenin, Sergej

    2009-03-01

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

  7. Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenbaum, Ralph K.; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky; Boulay, Anne-Marie

    2017-01-01

    by LCA software, but the underlying principles, models and factors should still be well understood by practitioners to ensure the insight that is needed for a qualified interpretation of the results. This chapter teaches the fundamentals of LCIA and opens the black box of LCIA with its characterisation...... models and factors to inform the reader about: (1) the main purpose and characteristics of LCIA, (2) the mandatory and optional steps of LCIA according to the ISO standard, and (3) the science and methods underlying the assessment for each environmental impact category . For each impact category......, the reader is taken through (a) the underlying environmental problem, (b) the underlying environmental mechanism and its fundamental modelling principles, (c) the main anthropogenic sources causing the problem and (d) the main methods available in LCIA. An annex to this book offers a comprehensive...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Social Impact Assessment for Wetlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanclay, Francis

    2016-01-01

    Social Impact Assessment (SIA) comprises the processes of analyzing, monitoring, and managing the social consequences of planned interventions (Vanclay 2003; Esteves et al. 2012). Planned interventions can be projects, plans, programs, or policies. SIA arose alongside Environmental Impact Assessment

  10. Remote Sensing of Forest Loss and Human Land Use to Predict Biodiversity Impacts in Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connette, G.; Huang, Q.; Leimgruber, P.; Songer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Myanmar's ongoing transition from military rule towards a democratic government has largely ended decades of economic isolation. The resulting expansion of foreign investment, infrastructure development, and natural resource extraction has led to high rates of deforestation and the concurrent loss of critical wildlife habitat. To identify and mitigate the impacts of rapid land use change on Myanmar's globally-unique biodiversity, researchers at Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute have used moderate-resolution satellite imagery to map forest cover change at the national scale, while performing regional- or local-scale analyses to identify ecologically-distinct forest types. At the national scale, forest was lost at a rate of 0.55% annually from 2002-2014. Deforestation was more pronounced in Myanmar's closed-canopy forests (>80% cover), which experienced an annual rate of forest loss of 0.95%. Studies at regional and local scales show that ecologically-distinct forest types vary considerably in both geographic extent and risk of conversion to human land use. For instance, local deforestation rates around a proposed national park in Myanmar's Tanintharyi Region were 7.83% annually and have been accelerating. Recent integration of such results into wildlife habitat mapping and national conservation planning can play an important role in ensuring that future development in Myanmar is both informed and sustainable.

  11. The likely impact of climate change on the biodiversity of Italian forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borghetti M

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Based on literature results and our expert evaluation, we report some likely impacts of climate change on the biodiversity of forest communities in Italy by the end of this century. In the Mediterranean region and on the Apennines: at low altitudes, vulnerability of Pinus sp. and Quercus ilex forests, with loss of intraspecific genetic variability; transition from Mediterranean closed-canopy macchia to scattered shrublands; risk of local extinction for coastal populations of mesic/relic hardwood species (e.g., Quercus robur, Carpinus betulus, Zelkova sicula, Fraxinus sp.; ’eastern’ relic species like Quercus troiana, Quercus frainetto, Quercus aegilops, and Q. gussonei in Sicily, and the peripheral low-altitude Fagus sylvatica populations, will be highly vulnerable; in the mid-altitude forest, vulnerability of most demanding species like Quercus cerris and Castanea sativa, possible immigration of Mediterranean species like Quercus ilex; in the montane forest, Fagus sylvatica and Abies alba will be less competitive with respect to more continental and drought-resistant tree species, and could loose genetic variability; relic species like Taxus baccata and Betula aetnensis may be at risk. In the alpine region: upward movement of timberline and changes in timberline communities, for instance Picea abies may be more competitive over Larix decidua, and fragmented species like Pinus cembra might become vulnerable. In general, we recognize the difficulty in separating the effects of climatic variables from those of other processes, like fires and land-use change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucinda L Douglass

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Forecasting the future of biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Sanders, Nate; Ferrier, Simon

    2011-01-01

    , but their application to forecasting climate change impacts on biodiversity has been limited. Here we compare forecasts of changes in patterns of ant biodiversity in North America derived from ensembles of single-species models to those from a multi-species modeling approach, Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling (GDM...... climate change impacts on biodiversity....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    BenĂ­tez-Malvido, Julieta; DĂĄttilo, Wesley; MartĂ­nez-FalcĂłn, Ana Paola; DurĂĄn-BarrĂłn, CĂ©sar; Valenzuela, Jorge; LĂłpez, 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julieta BenĂ­tez-Malvido

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. Global Biodiversity Indicators Reflect the Modeled Impacts of Protected Area Policy Change

    OpenAIRE

    Costelloe, B.; Milner-Gulland, E. J.; Nicholson, E.; Mcrae, L.; Collen, B.; Craigie, I. D.; Rondinini, C.

    2016-01-01

    Global biodiversity indicators can be used to measure the status and trends of biodiversity relating to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) targets. Whether such indicators can support decision makers by distinguishing among policy options remains poorly evaluated. We tested the ability of two CBD indicators, the Living Planet Index and the Red List Index, to reflect projected changes in mammalian populations in sub-Saharan Africa in response to potential policies related to CBD targets ...

  18. Impact study the costs necessary to conserve biodiversity on the farm Agrozootehnica Roseti

    OpenAIRE

    Chihaia, Anisoara; Costaiche, Georgiana Melania; Chihaia, Octavian

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity embraces the variety of genes, species and ecosystems that constitute life on Earth. We are currently witnessing a steady loss of biodiversity, with profound consequences for the natural world and for human well-being. Appears necessary to increase the positive contribution of agriculture to the environment, the need to reduce pollution from agriculture and adoption of agricultural policy so that it takes account of the environment. Standards or requirements that farmers must mee...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slootweg, Roel; Kolhoff, Arend

    2003-01-01

    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

  1. Introducing Health Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mannheimer, L N; Gulis, G; Lehto, J

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Intersectoral Action for Health (IAH) and its Health Impact Assessment (HIA) tool are built on collaboration between actors and sectors, requiring multidimensional and horizontal way of working. The study aims to analyse the enablers and barriers when such a new way of working and tool...... used by which the actual problems, the governmental actions (or non-actions) (politics) and the understanding, implementation and evaluation of the initiative (policy) could be analysed. All actors involved, civil servants, politicians, representatives of the local public health institute...... and researchers, were interviewed and made to answer a questionnaire. RESULTS: The results showed that there were a number of factors behind the initiation of HIA, which either delayed or accelerated the process. The problems identified were e.g. the prevailing traditional health care focus and the deteriorating...

  2. Animal welfare impact assessments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    SandĂže, Peter; Gamborg, Christian

    2017-01-01

    of this paper is to evaluate the potential of AWIA. We begin by showing how ideas akin to AWIA already play a significant role in other animal ethics controversies, particularly those concerning laboratory animal use and livestock production; and we bring in lessons learnt from these controversies. Then we......Control of wild animals may give rise to controversy, as is seen in the case of badger control to manage TB in cattle in the UK. However, it is striking that concerns about the potential suffering of the affected animals themselves are often given little attention or completely ignored in policies...... aimed at dealing with wild animals. McCulloch and Reiss argue that this could be remedied by means of a “mandatory application of formal and systematic Animal Welfare Impact Assessment (AWIA)”. Optimistically, they consider that an AWIA could help to resolve controversies involving wild animals. The aim...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 "platiĂšres". 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 "platiĂšres". 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 "platiĂšres" are high and uncovered, with frequent overhangs. The collapsed sandstone blocks of the "chaos" are

  5. Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggers, J.; Tröltzsch, K.; Falcucci, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Ozinga, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining to different taxonomic groups. Using

  6. Biodiversity of 52 chicken populations assessed by microsatellite typing of DNA pools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomson Pippa

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In a project on the biodiversity of chickens funded by the European Commission (EC, eight laboratories collaborated to assess the genetic variation within and between 52 populations from a wide range of chicken types. Twenty-two di-nucleotide microsatellite markers were used to genotype DNA pools of 50 birds from each population. The polymorphism measures for the average, the least polymorphic population (inbred C line and the most polymorphic population (Gallus gallus spadiceus were, respectively, as follows: number of alleles per locus, per population: 3.5, 1.3 and 5.2; average gene diversity across markers: 0.47, 0.05 and 0.64; and proportion of polymorphic markers: 0.91, 0.25 and 1.0. These were in good agreement with the breeding history of the populations. For instance, unselected populations were found to be more polymorphic than selected breeds such as layers. Thus DNA pools are effective in the preliminary assessment of genetic variation of populations and markers. Mean genetic distance indicates the extent to which a given population shares its genetic diversity with that of the whole tested gene pool and is a useful criterion for conservation of diversity. The distribution of population-specific (private alleles and the amount of genetic variation shared among populations supports the hypothesis that the red jungle fowl is the main progenitor of the domesticated chicken.

  7. Biodiversity and Climate Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onyango, J.C.O.; Ojoo-Massawa, E.; Abira, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    Biological diversity or biodiversity is crucial for ecological stability including regulation of climate change, recreational and medicinal use; and scientific advancement. Kenya like other developing countries, especially, those in Sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to depend greatly on her biodiversity for present and future development. This important resource must, therefore be conserved. This chapter presents an overview of Kenya's biodiversity; its importance and initiatives being undertaken for its conservation; and in detail, explores issues of climate change and biodiversity, concentrating on impacts of climate change

  8. Social Impact Assessment in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Sanne Vammen; Hansen, Anne Merrild; Lyhne, Ivar

    2015-01-01

    Social impact assessment (SIA) is applied worldwide to assess social impacts of plans and projects. In Europe, directives on environmental assessment (EA) require attention to social impacts, however, there is a need to investigate the implementation in practise. To this end, we study three Danish...... cases, which are characterised by debates and conflicts on social issues. Analysis of the EA statements shows inclusion of a broad range of social impacts. However, the EAs do not fully match the concerns of the public, and social impacts are not always analysed in depth, mitigation measures...... are not suggested or are postponed and the geographical distribution of impacts assessed is biased towards including negative local impacts. We discuss the scope and handling of social impacts, and possible implications. Based on this, we conclude with the view that EA might do the job of handling social impacts...

  9. The environmental impact assessment of uranium mining in Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morvell, G.

    2002-01-01

    Federal environmental impact assessment legislation has existed in Australia since 1974. A number of uranium mines have been developed in this time, utilizing a range of mining techniques, including opencut, underground and in-situ leach. Projects have also been undertaken in a variety of geographical areas requiring consideration of diverse biodiversity, cultural heritage and social impact issues. Assessment of uranium mining proposals in Australia is also conducted in a climate of political opposition from a cross section of the Australian community. This paper outlines some of the key issues that arose during recent assessments and which provide a lead to the role of environmental impact assessment in environmental policy development. Issues are also relevant to recent assessments on a replacement nuclear reactor, shipments of waste for reprocessing and proposed assessments on proposals for low and intermediate level nuclear waste facilities. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Pechora River basin integrated system management PRISM; biodiversity assessment for the Pechora River basin; Cluster B: biodiversity, land use & forestry modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sluis, van der T.

    2005-01-01

    This report describes the biodiversity for the Pechora River basin Integrated System Management (PRISM). The Pechora River Basin, situated just west of the Ural Mountains, Russia, consists of vast boreal forests and tundra landscapes, partly pristine and undisturbed. The concept of biodiversity is

  12. Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hossaert-Mckey, M.

    2007-01-01

    We are studying the impact of global change on two obligate species-specific insect-plant mutualisms. Our approach combines correlative methods (examining spatial patterns of genetic diversity in populations of pairs of mutualists, to examine their responses to past climate change) and experiments (studying responses of plant partners to CO 2 fertilization). Mutualisms function because the partners have contrasting and complementary biological traits, so that a service implying only a low cost to one partner may confer a great benefit to the other. Because they can lead mutualist partners to respond differently to rapid ecological change, the biological differences that are fundamental to mutualisms may also make them vulnerable. Imbalances thereby introduced can disrupt the functioning of the mutualism. By comparing two strongly contrasting systems-fig/wasp pollination mutualisms and ant-plant protection mutualisms-we aim to characterize the diversity of responses of mutualisms to global change. By identifying points in common, we also aim to propose robust generalizations about the response to global change of obligate, specific mutualisms, an important and neglected component of tropical biodiversity. Our results show that the two mutualisms studied differ greatly in their response to Pleistocene and Holocene climatic fluctuations. Fig/wasp systems show little spatial genetic differentiation, indicating that the great dispersal capacities of both figs and their pollinating wasps resulted in maintenance of high effective population sizes throughout cycles of climatic and vegetation change. In contrast, limited dispersal capacity of both ant and plant partners has resulted in greater impact of climatic fluctuations on ant/plant protection mutualisms: species-distribution patterns suggest restriction of the system to refugia, and strong spatial genetic structure indicates widespread bottlenecks during fragmentation and expansion. Alternate contraction and expansion

  13. Citation patterns of a controversial and high-impact paper: Worm et al. (2006) "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Trevor A

    2013-01-01

    Citation patterns were examined for Worm et al. 2006 (Science 314:787-790), a high-impact paper that focused on relationships between marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. This paper sparked much controversy through its projection, highlighted in the press release, that all marine fisheries would be collapsed by 2048. Analysis of 664 citing papers revealed that only a small percentage (11%) referred to the 2048 projection, while 39% referred to fisheries collapse in general, and 40% to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The 2048 projection was mentioned more often in papers published soon after the original paper, in low-impact journals, and in journals outside of fields that would be expected to focus on biodiversity. Citing papers also mentioned the 2048 projection more often if they had few authors (28% of single-author papers vs. 2% of papers with 10 or more authors). These factors suggest that the more knowledgeable the authors of citing papers were about the controversy over the 2048 projection, the less likely they were to refer to it. A noteworthy finding was that if the original authors were also involved in the citing papers, they rarely (1 of 55 papers, 2%) mentioned the 2048 projection. Thus the original authors have emphasized the broader concerns about biodiversity loss, rather than the 2048 projection, as the key result of their study.

  14. Citation patterns of a controversial and high-impact paper: Worm et al. (2006 "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor A Branch

    Full Text Available Citation patterns were examined for Worm et al. 2006 (Science 314:787-790, a high-impact paper that focused on relationships between marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. This paper sparked much controversy through its projection, highlighted in the press release, that all marine fisheries would be collapsed by 2048. Analysis of 664 citing papers revealed that only a small percentage (11% referred to the 2048 projection, while 39% referred to fisheries collapse in general, and 40% to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The 2048 projection was mentioned more often in papers published soon after the original paper, in low-impact journals, and in journals outside of fields that would be expected to focus on biodiversity. Citing papers also mentioned the 2048 projection more often if they had few authors (28% of single-author papers vs. 2% of papers with 10 or more authors. These factors suggest that the more knowledgeable the authors of citing papers were about the controversy over the 2048 projection, the less likely they were to refer to it. A noteworthy finding was that if the original authors were also involved in the citing papers, they rarely (1 of 55 papers, 2% mentioned the 2048 projection. Thus the original authors have emphasized the broader concerns about biodiversity loss, rather than the 2048 projection, as the key result of their study.

  15. Assessment of biodiversities and spatial structure of Zarivar Wetland in Kurdistan Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAHDI REYAHI-KHORAM

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Reyahi-Khoram M, Hoshmand K. 2012. Assessment of biodiversities and spatial structure of Zarivar Wetland in Kurdistan Province, Iran. Biodiversitas 13: 130-134. Wetlands are valuable ecosystems that occupy about 6% of the world’s land surface. Iran has over 250 wetlands measuring about 2.5 million hectares. Zarivar wetland (ZW is the only natural aquatic ecosystem in Kurdistan province in Iran. The present research was carried out during 2009 through 2010 with the aim of recognizing the capabilities and limitations of ZW through documentary, extensive field visits and also direct field observations during the years of study. Geographic Information System (GIS has been used to evaluate the land as a main tool. The results of this research showed that ZW has a great talent regarding diversity of bird species and the ecological status of wetland has caused the said wetland welcome numerous species of birds. The results of this research showed that industrial pollutions are not considered as threats to the wetland but evacuation of agricultural runoff and development of Marivan city toward the wetland and the resulting pollution load could be introduced as an important part of the wetland threats. It is recommended to make necessary studies in the field of various physical and biological parameters of the wetland, and also the facing threats and opportunities.

  16. DNA Barcoding of Zooplankton in the Hampton Roads Area: A Biodiversity Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo, A.; Rodríguez, Á. E.; Gibson, D. M.

    2016-02-01

    The study of zooplankton biodiversity and distribution is crucial to understand oceanic ecosystems and anticipate the effects of climate change. Previously, identification of zooplankton relied in morphological identification employed by expert taxonomists. DNA barcoding, a technique that uses the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Cytochrome Oxidase 1 (CO1) gene is widely used for taxonomic identification. Thus, this molecular technique will be used to begin a detailed characterization of zooplankton diversity, abundance and community structure in the Hampton Roads Area (HRA). Stations 1 (Jones Creek) and 3 (lower Chesapeake Bay) were sampled in June 19, 2015. Stations 1, 2 (James River), and 3 were sampled in September 2015. Zooplankton samples were collected in triplicates with a 0.5m, 200 ”m mesh net. Physical parameters (dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature and, water transparency) were measured. Species identified as Opistonema oglinum (Atlantic Thread Herring) and Paracalanus parvus copepods were found at station 3; Anchoa mitchilli and Acartia tonsa copepods were found at stations 1 and 3. This study indicates that mtDNA-CO1 barcoding is suitable to identify zooplankton to the species level and helps validate DNA barcoding as a faster, more accurate taxonomic approach. The long term objective of this project is to provide a comprehensive assessment of zooplankton in the HRA and to generate a reference record for broad monitoring programs; vital for a better understanding and management of ecologically and commercially important species.

  17. Climate change adaptation impact cost assessment in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    This document reports the works of an inter-departmental group and of sector-based and transverse groups which aimed at assessing the impacts of climate change. After a first contribution about the assessment methodology, the works of sector-based groups and transverse groups are reported. These groups are dealing with agriculture, forest, infrastructures and built environment, tourism, energy, health, water, natural risks (and insurance and adaptation to climatic change in metropolitan France), biodiversity and land. For each of them, challenges, assessment approaches, first results and perspectives are discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Estimating the potential biodiversity impact of redeveloping small urban spaces: the Natural History Museum’s grounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen R.P. Phillips

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background With the increase in human population, and the growing realisation of the importance of urban biodiversity for human wellbeing, the ability to predict biodiversity loss or gain as a result of land use change within urban settings is important. Most models that link biodiversity and land use are at too coarse a scale for informing decisions, especially those related to planning applications. Using the grounds of the Natural History Museum, London, we show how methods used in global models can be applied to smaller spatial scales to inform urban planning. Methods Data were extracted from relevant primary literature where species richness had been recorded in more than one habitat type within an urban setting. As within-sample species richness will increase with habitat area, species richness estimates were also converted to species density using theory based on the species–area relationship. Mixed-effects models were used to model the impact on species richness and species density of different habitat types, and to estimate these metrics in the current grounds and under proposed plans for redevelopment. We compared effects of three assumptions on how within-sample diversity scales with habitat area as a sensitivity analysis. A pre-existing database recording plants within the grounds was also used to estimate changes in species composition across different habitats. Results Analysis estimated that the proposed plans would result in an increase of average biodiversity of between 11.2% (when species density was modelled and 14.1% (when within-sample species richness was modelled. Plant community composition was relatively similar between the habitats currently within the grounds. Discussion The proposed plans for change in the NHM grounds are estimated to result in a net gain in average biodiversity, through increased number and extent of high-diversity habitats. In future, our method could be improved by incorporating purposefully

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Forest biodiversity, carbon and other ecosystem services: relationships and impacts of deforestation and forest degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian D. Thompson; Joice Ferreira; Toby Gardner; Manuel Guariguata; Lian Pin Koh; Kimiko Okabe; Yude Pan; Christine B. Schmitt; Jason Tylianakis; Jos Barlow; Valerie Kapos; Werner A. Kurz; John A. Parrotta; Mark D. Spalding; Nathalie. van Vliet

    2012-01-01

    REDD+ actions should be based on the best science and on the understanding that forests can provide more than a repository for carbon but also offer a wide range of services beneficial to people. Biodiversity underpins many ecosystem services, one of which is carbon sequestration, and individual speciesñ€™ functional traits play an important role in determining...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    L.N. Hudson; T. Newbold; S. Contu

    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 speciesñ€™ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that...

  4. Proceedings of the Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop: Assessing the Conservation Status of Mongolian Mammals and Fishes: II – Mam- mals: Assessment Results and Threats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L. Clark

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop was held at the National University of Mongolia and Hustai National Park from 1 st October to 4 th November, 2005. As part of the workshop, participants assessed the conservation status of all Mongolian mammal species using the IUCN Categories and Cri - teria. Of the 128 species assessed, 2% were Critically Endangered (CR, 11% Endangered (EN and 4% Vulnerable (VU. A further 5% were categorised as Near Threatened (NT and 36% categorised as Data Deficient (DD. Ungulates were the most highly impacted: 79% were threatened with extinction. Twelve percent of carnivore species and 12% of rodent species were threatened. No non-rodent small mammal species were listed in a threatened category. Rodents and non-rodent small mammals were less well known, with 44% and 43% respectively found to be Data Deficient. This may have affected the threat assessment of these species. Greatest species richness of Mongolian mammals was found in the northern and western part of the country. The greatest number of threatened species also inhabit the north of the country, as well as the south-west. The main threat affecting most mammals in Mongolia was hunting, with lack of enforcement of legislation also considered a problem.

  5. Does the impact of biodiversity differ between emerging and endemic pathogens? The need to separate the concepts of hazard and risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, Parviez R; Mills, James N; Prieur-Richard, Anne-HélÚne; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Bailly, Xavier; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Suzån, Gerardo; Vittecoq, Marion; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Daszak, Peter; Guégan, Jean-François; Roche, Benjamin

    2017-06-05

    Biodiversity is of critical value to human societies, but recent evidence that biodiversity may mitigate infectious-disease risk has sparked controversy among researchers. The majority of work on this topic has focused on direct assessments of the relationship between biodiversity and endemic-pathogen prevalence, without disentangling intervening mechanisms; thus study outcomes often differ, fuelling more debate. Here, we suggest two critical changes to the approach researchers take to understanding relationships between infectious disease, both endemic and emerging, and biodiversity that may help clarify sources of controversy. First, the distinct concepts of hazards versus risks need to be separated to determine how biodiversity and its drivers may act differently on each. This distinction is particularly important since it illustrates that disease emergence drivers in humans could be quite different to the general relationship between biodiversity and transmission of endemic pathogens. Second, the interactive relationship among biodiversity, anthropogenic change and zoonotic disease risk, including both direct and indirect effects, needs to be recognized and accounted for. By carefully disentangling these interactions between humans' activities and pathogen circulation in wildlife, we suggest that conservation efforts could mitigate disease risks and hazards in novel ways that complement more typical disease control efforts.This article is part of the themed issue 'Conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease: scientific evidence and policy implications'. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Zhou

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. How economic contexts shape calculations of yield in biodiversity offsetting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, L; Sullivan, S

    2017-10-01

    We examined and analyzed methods used to create numerical equivalence between sites affected by development and proposed conservation offset sites. Application of biodiversity offsetting metrics in development impact and mitigation assessments is thought to standardize biodiversity conservation outcomes, sometimes termed yield by those conducting these calculations. The youth of biodiversity offsetting in application, however, means little is known about how biodiversity valuations and offset contracts between development and offset sites are agreed on in practice or about long-term conservation outcomes. We examined how sites were made commensurable and how biodiversity gains or yields were calculated and negotiated for a specific offset contract in a government-led pilot study of biodiversity offsets in England. Over 24 months, we conducted participant observations of various stages in the negotiation of offset contracts through repeated visits to 3 (anonymized) biodiversity offset contract sites. We conducted 50 semistructured interviews of stakeholders in regional and local government, the private sector, and civil society. We used a qualitative data analysis software program (DEDOOSE) to textually analyze interview transcriptions. We also compared successive iterations of biodiversity-offsetting calculation spreadsheets and planning documents. A particular focus was the different iterations of a specific biodiversity impact assessment in which the biodiversity offsetting metric developed by the U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was used. We highlight 3 main findings. First, biodiversity offsetting metrics were amended in creative ways as users adapted inputs to metric calculations to balance and negotiate conflicting requirements. Second, the practice of making different habitats equivalent to each other through the application of biodiversity offsetting metrics resulted in commensuration outcomes that may not provide projected

  8. BIODIVERSITY MAPPING VIA NATURA 2000 CONSERVATION STATUS AND EBV ASSESSMENT USING AIRBORNE LASER SCANNING IN ALKALI GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zlinszky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. Developments in Social Impact Assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanclay, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Along with environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment (SIA) has its origins in the 1970s and has developed from being a tool to meet regulatory requirements, to a discipline that seeks to contribute proactively to better project and policy development and to enhance the wellbeing of

  10. Environmental Impact Assessment: A Procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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


  11. Baltic Sea biodiversity status vs. cumulative human pressures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Korpinen, Samuli

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Many studies have tried to explain spatial and temporal variations in biodiversity status of marine areas from a single-issue perspective, such as fishing pressure or coastal pollution, yet most continental seas experience a wide range of human pressures. Cumulative impact assessments have...... been developed to capture the consequences of multiple stressors for biodiversity, but the ability of these assessments to accurately predict biodiversity status has never been tested or ground-truthed. This relationship has similarly been assumed for the Baltic Sea, especially in areas with impaired...... status, but has also never been documented. Here we provide a first tentative indication that cumulative human impacts relate to ecosystem condition, i.e. biodiversity status, in the Baltic Sea. Thus, cumulative impact assessments offer a promising tool for informed marine spatial planning, designation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinyere V Nzeduru

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Evaluation of Filtration and DNA Extraction Methods for Environmental DNA Biodiversity Assessments across Multiple Trophic Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anni Djurhuus

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Metabarcoding of marine environmental DNA (eDNA, originating from tissue, cells, or extracellular DNA, offers the opportunity to survey the biological composition of communities across multiple trophic levels from a non-invasive seawater sample. Here we compare results of eDNA metabarcoding of multiple trophic levels from individual seawater samples collected from a kelp forest in Monterey Bay, California in order to establish methods for future cross-trophic level eDNA analysis. Triplicate 1 L water samples were filtered using five different 47 mm diameter membrane filters (PVDF, PES, GFF, PCTE, and NC and DNA was extracted from triplicates of each filter-type using three widely-used extraction methods (the DNeasy Blood and Tissue kit, the MoBio PowerWater DNA Isolation kit, and standard phenol/chloroform methods resulting in 45 individual eDNA samples prepared with 15 workflow combinations. Each DNA extract was amplified using PCR primers for the 16S rRNA gene (microorganisms; Bacteria and Archaea, 18S rRNA gene (phytoplankton, and the 12S rRNA gene (vertebrates, and PCR products were sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform. The richness and community composition of microbial, phytoplankton, and vertebrate OTUs were not significantly different between any of the 0.2 ÎŒm pore-size filter types extracted with the DNeasy or MoBio kits. However, phenol/chloroform extraction resulted in significantly different community structures. This study provides insight into multiple choices for extraction and filtration methods to use eDNA metabarcoding for biodiversity assessment of multiple trophic levels from a single sample. We recommend any combination of either DNeasy or MoBio with PES, PCTE, PVDF, or NC filters for a cross trophic level comparison.

  15. Biodiversity assessment of the fishes of Saba Bank atoll, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey T Williams

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Monitoring protected areas from space: A multi-temporal assessment using raptors as biodiversity surrogates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AdriĂĄn Regos

    Full Text Available Monitoring protected areas (PAs is essential for systematic evaluation of their effectiveness in terms of habitat protection, preservation and representativeness. This study illustrates how the use of species distribution models that combine remote sensing data and information about biodiversity surrogates can contribute to develop a systematic protocol for monitoring PAs. In particular, we assessed the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 (N2000 network, for conserving and preserving the representativeness of seven raptor species in a highly-dynamic landscape in northwest Spain between 2001 and 2014. We also evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the N2000 network by using the total area under protection as a proxy for conservation costs. Overall, the N2000 network was found to poorly represent the habitats of the raptor species. Despite the low representativeness, this network showed a high degree of effectiveness due to increased overall habitat availability for generalist and forest specialist species between 2001 and 2014. Nevertheless, additional protected areas should be established in the near future to increase their representativeness, and thus ensure the protection of open-habitat specialist species and their priority habitats. In addition, proactive conservation measures in natural and semi-natural ecosystems (in particular, montane heathlands will be essential for long-term protection of Montagu's harrier (species listed in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, and thus complying with the current European Environmental Legislation. This study sheds light on how the development and application of new protected area indices based on the combined use of freely-available satellite data and species distribution models may contribute substantially to the cost-efficiency of the PA monitoring systems, and to the 'Fitness Check' process of EU Nature Directives.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Assessing shortfalls and complementary conservation areas for national plant biodiversity in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Hyeyeong; Thorne, James H; Huber, Patrick R; Lee, Dongkun; Quinn, James F

    2018-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are often considered the most important biodiversity conservation areas in national plans, but PAs often do not represent national-scale biodiversity. We evaluate the current conservation status of plant biodiversity within current existing PAs, and identify potential additional PAs for South Korea. We modeled species ranges for 2,297 plant species using Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines and compared the level of mean range representation in South Korea's existing PAs, which comprise 5.7% of the country's mainland area, with an equal-area alternative PA strategy selected with the reserve algorithm Marxan. We also used Marxan to model two additional conservation scenarios that add lands to approach the Aichi Biodiversity Target objectives (17% of the country). Existing PAs in South Korea contain an average of 6.3% of each plant species' range, compared to 5.9% in the modeled equal-area alternative. However, existing PAs primarily represent a high percentage of the ranges for high-elevation and small range size species. The additional PAs scenario that adds lands to the existing PAs covers 14,587.55 km2, and would improve overall plant range representation to a mean of 16.8% of every species' range. The other additional PAs scenario, which selects new PAs from all lands and covers 13,197.35 km2, would improve overall plant range representation to a mean of 13.5%. Even though the additional PAs that includes existing PAs represents higher percentages of species' ranges, it is missing many biodiversity hotspots in non-mountainous areas and the additional PAs without locking in the existing PAs represent almost all species' ranges evenly, including low-elevation ones with larger ranges. Some priority conservation areas we identified are expansions of, or near, existing PAs, especially in northeastern and southern South Korea. However, lowland coastal areas and areas surrounding the capital city, Seoul, are also critical for biodiversity

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Contribution of large-scale forest inventories to biodiversity assessment and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piermaria Corona; Gherardo Chirici; Ronald E. McRoberts; Susanne Winter; Anna. Barbati

    2011-01-01

    Statistically-designed inventories and biodiversity monitoring programs are gaining relevance for biological conservation and natural resources management. Mandated periodic surveys provide unique opportunities to identify and satisfy natural resources management information needs. However, this is not an end in itself but rather is the beginning of a process that...

  3. Success stories in landscape management for functional biodiversity: an assessment from 5 west-European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoo, de G.R.; Burgio, G.; Eggenschwiler, L.; Gerowitt, B.; Mante, J.; Powell, W.; Alebeek, van F.A.N.; Kragten, S.; Rossing, W.A.H.

    2006-01-01

    Within IOBC, a small scale inventory was made to collect success stories in landscape management for functional biodiversity. Five projects from different European countries were analysed to define the indicators in the people, planet and profit domains being seen as important for success. Projects

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Regional data to support biodiversity assessments: terrestrial vertebrate and butterfly data from the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darren J. Bender; Curtis H. Flather; Kenneth R. Wilson; Gordon C. Reese

    2005-01-01

    Spatially explicit data on the location of species across broad geographic areas greatly facilitate effective conservation planning on lands managed for multiple uses. The importance of these data notwithstanding, our knowledge about the geography of biodiversity is remarkably incomplete. An important factor contributing to our ignorance is that much of the...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Ahumada, J.A.; O’Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Jansen, P.A.

    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

  7. Insights and Opportunities Offered by a Rapid Ecosystem Service Assessment in Promoting a Conservation Agenda in an Urban Biodiversity Hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O'Farrell

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Regional and global scale ecosystem service assessments have demonstrated the socioeconomic value of protecting biodiversity and have been integrated into associated policy. Local government decision makers are still unsure of the applicability, return on investment, and usefulness of these assessments in aiding their decision making. Cape Town, a developing city in a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, has numerous competing land uses. City managers, with a tightly constrained budget, requested an exploratory study on the links between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation within this municipal area. We set out to develop and test a simple and rapid ecosystem service assessment method aimed at determining the contribution natural vegetation remnants make to ecosystem service provision. We took selected services, identified in conjunction with city managers, and assessed these in two ways. First we used an area weighted approach to attribute services to vegetation types and assessed how these had changed through time and into the future given development needs. Second, we did a regulatory and cultural service remnant distance analysis to better understand proximity effects and linkages. Provisioning services were found to have been most severely affected through vegetation transformation. Regulatory services have been similarly affected, and these losses are more significant because regulatory services can only function in situ and cannot be outsourced in the way provisioning services can. The most significant losses were in coastal zone protection and flood mitigation services, both of which will be placed under even greater pressure given the predicted changes in climatic regimes. The role of remnant vegetation in regulating and cultural services was shown to be a significant additional consideration in making the case for conservation in the city. Our rapid assessment approach does not allow for nuanced and individual

  8. Dimensions of biodiversity loss: Spatial mismatch in land-use impacts on species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of European bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of human impacts on bee diversity across Europe, we assess multiple, complementary indices of diversity. One Thousand four hundred and forty six sites across Europe. We collated data on bee occurrence and abundance from the published literature and supplemented them with the PREDICTS database. Using Rao's Quadratic Entropy, we assessed how species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of 1,446 bee communities respond to land-use characteristics including land-use class, cropland intensity, human population density and distance to roads. We combined these models with statistically downscaled estimates of land use in 2005 to estimate and map-at a scale of approximately 1 km 2 -the losses in diversity relative to semi-natural/natural baseline (the predicted diversity of an uninhabited grid square, consisting only of semi-natural/natural vegetation). We show that-relative to the predicted local diversity in uninhabited semi-natural/natural habitat-half of all EU27 countries have lost over 10% of their average local species diversity and two-thirds of countries have lost over 5% of their average local functional and phylogenetic diversity. All diversity measures were generally lower in pasture and higher-intensity cropland than in semi-natural/natural vegetation, but facets of diversity showed less consistent responses to human population density. These differences have led to marked spatial mismatches in losses: losses in phylogenetic diversity were in some areas almost 20 percentage points (pp.) more severe than losses in species diversity, but in other areas losses were almost 40 pp. less severe. These results highlight the importance of exploring

  9. Selective‐logging and oil palm: multitaxon impacts, biodiversity indicators, and trade‐offs for conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Magrach, Ainhoa; Woodcock, Paul; Ji, Yinqiu; Lim, Norman T -L; Edwards, Felicity A; Larsen, Trond H; Hsu, Wayne W; Benedick, Suzan; Khen, Chey Vun; Chung, Arthur Y C; Reynolds, Glen; Fisher, Brendan; Laurance, William F; Wilcove, David S; Hamer, Keith C; Yu, Douglas W

    Strong global demand for tropical timber and agricultural products has driven large-scale logging and subsequent conversion of tropical forests. Given that the majority of tropical landscapes have been or will likely be logged, the protection of biodiversity within tropical forests thus depends on whether species can persist in these economically exploited lands, and if species cannot persist, whether we can protect enough primary forest from logging and conversion. However, our knowledge of the impact of logging and conversion on biodiversity is limited to a few taxa, often sampled in different locations with complex land-use histories, hampering attempts to plan cost-effective conservation strategies and to draw conclusions across taxa. Spanning a land-use gradient of primary forest, once- and twice-logged forests, and oil palm plantations, we used traditional sampling and DNA metabarcoding to compile an extensive data set in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo for nine vertebrate and invertebrate taxa to quantify the biological impacts of logging and oil palm, develop cost-effective methods of protecting biodiversity, and examine whether there is congruence in response among taxa. Logged forests retained high species richness, including, on average, 70% of species found in primary forest. In contrast, conversion to oil palm dramatically reduces species richness, with significantly fewer primary-forest species than found on logged forest transects for seven taxa. Using a systematic conservation planning analysis, we show that efficient protection of primary-forest species is achieved with land portfolios that include a large proportion of logged-forest plots. Protecting logged forests is thus a cost-effective method of protecting an ecologically and taxonomically diverse range of species, particularly when conservation budgets are limited. Six indicator groups (birds, leaf-litter ants, beetles, aerial hymenopterans, flies, and true bugs) proved to be consistently good

  10. Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Repository

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This repository contains Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) that have been vetted/approved. Section 208 of the Electronic Government Act of 2002 (E-Gov Act) requires...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Monitoring Hawaiian biodiversity: Pilot study to assess changes to forest birds and their habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Camp, Richard J.; Gaudioso, Jacqueline; Brinck, Kevin W.; Berkowitz, Paul; Jacobi, James D.

    2017-01-01

    Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the variety and abundance of species in a defined area, and is one of the oldest and most basic descriptions of biological communities. Understanding how populations and communities are structured and change over space and time in response to internal and external forces is a management priority. Effective management practices and conservation strategies depend on our understanding of the relationship between changes in biodiversity and ecological drivers such as invasive species, land use and climate change. To demonstrate how changes in biodiversity may be monitored over a large (400 km2) tract of native forest habitat, we compared bird and plant community composition and structure in an upper montane region of Hawai‘i Island originally surveyed in 1977 as part of the Hawai‘i Forest Bird Survey (Scott et al. 1986) with a comprehensive sample of the same region in 2015.Our findings suggest that across a region spanning an elevation range of 600 to 2,000 m considerable changes occurred in the plant and bird communities between 1977 and 2015. Endemic and indigenous plants species richness (i.e., total number of species) decreased dramatically in the low and middle elevations below an invasive weed front, whereas naturalized plant species richness did not change between the two periods at any elevation. Endemic bird abundance decreased and two species were lost in the lower elevations (environment. Forest habitat in a variety of settings (i.e., islands and regions with differing land-use histories and elevation ranges), however, can provide opportunities to evaluate the influence of ecological drivers. Declines in native bird biodiversity in low-elevation areas may be attributed to invasive species as land use and climate conditions have remained relatively similar over the 40-year period. Thus, the shift from an endemic-naturalized co-dominated community in 1977 to one dominated by naturalized, alien birds in 2015, and

  13. Environmental impact assessment screening tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-05-01

    An environmental assessment and impact planning software, SCREENER, was tested at a pilot project at the Cameco site (Port Hope). SCREENER was used to screen the impacts of a new construction project in accordance with the process and reporting requirements laid out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The software test concentrated on the activities that are directly involved with the structure construction and site preparation activities. In addition, a two and one half day training course was given to three AECB staff using the test case as a hands on example. The conclusion of this project is that an automated tool such as SCREENER (or Calyx, the new generation of environmental assessment tools from ESSA Software Ltd.), will help the AECB to standardize the approach to environmental assessment, assist in project planning, and save resources in the screening process. The new approach could allow to allocate AECB limited resources to the detailed assessments required for maximum impact activities

  14. Long-term datasets in biodiversity research and monitoring: assessing change in ecological communities through time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magurran, Anne E; Baillie, Stephen R; Buckland, Stephen T; Dick, Jan McP; Elston, David A; Scott, E Marian; Smith, Rognvald I; Somerfield, Paul J; Watt, Allan D

    2010-10-01

    The growing need for baseline data against which efforts to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss can be judged highlights the importance of long-term datasets, some of which are as old as ecology itself. We review methods of evaluating change in biodiversity at the community level using these datasets, and contrast whole-community approaches with those that combine information from different species and habitats. As all communities experience temporal turnover, one of the biggest challenges is distinguishing change that can be attributed to external factors, such as anthropogenic activities, from underlying natural change. We also discuss methodological issues, such as false alerts and modifications in design, of which users of these data sets need to be aware. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. PaleoClim: new datasets to quantify the impact of past climate changes on modern biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, D. J.; Brown, J. T.; Carnaval, A. C.; Haywood, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Palaeoclimate history is an important driver of modern patterns of biodiversity and many ecological modelling studies have shown the predictive power of palaeoclimate information. However, a major limiting factor to such studies is the availability of global palaeoclimate reconstructions in the relevant bioclim layers. The primary source of such fields is from climate model simulations, which are currently limited to the key PMIP (Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project) intervals of the mid-Holocene (6ka), the Last Glacial Maximum (21ka) and the Last Interglaciation (130ka). The PaleoClim project will significantly increase the availability of pre-processed palaeoclimate bioclim information and provide a new platform for accessing the information. The first new PaleoClim time period will be the mid-Pliocene Warm Period (3Ma). This is the last period of sustained globally warmer than modern climate in Earth history and represents the last global warmth before the cooling into the Pleistocene ice ages. Being 3 million years ago this represents a significant lengthening of the time range of available bioclim layers and the first time these have been available over evolutionary timescales. PaleoClim will also greatly expand the available Pleistocene time periods, looking to both quantify the differences between the late Pleistocene interglacial periods and understand the role of orbital changes in modulating tropical precipitation and driving modern biodiversity patterns.

  16. Regional assessment of North America: Urbanization trends, biodiversity patterns, and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhearson, Timon; Auch, Roger F.; Alberti, Marina

    2013-01-01

    North America contains some of the most urbanized landscapes in the world. In the United States (U.S.) and Canada, approximately 80 % of the population is urban, with Mexico slightly less (Kaiser Family Foundation 2013). Population growth combined with economic growth has fueled recent urban land expansion in North America. Between 1970 and 2000, urban land area expanded at a rate of 3.31 % (Seto et al. 2011) creating unique challenges for conserving biodiversity and maintaining regional and local ecosystem services.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 t...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Arellano

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Biodiversity analysis of vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostler, W. K.; Hansen, D. J.

    2000-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecl, Gretta T; AraĂșjo, Miguel B; Bell, Johann D; Blanchard, Julia; Bonebrake, Timothy C; Chen, I-Ching; Clark, Timothy D; Colwell, Robert K; Danielsen, Finn; EvengĂ„rd, 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; VergĂ©s, 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. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Climate changes and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsmeier, C.

    2011-01-01

    As some people forecast an average temperature increase between 1 and 3.5 degrees by the end of the century, with higher increases under high latitudes (it could reach 8 degrees in some regions of Canada), other changes will occur: precipitations, sea level rise, reductions in polar ice, extreme climatic events, glacier melting, and so on. The author discusses how these changes will impact biodiversity as they will threat habitat and living conditions of many species. Some studies assess a loss of 15 to 37 per cent of biodiversity by 2050. Moreover, physiology is influenced by temperature: for some species, higher temperatures favour the development of female embryos, or the increase of their population, or may result in an evolution of their reproduction strategy. Life rhythm will also change, for plants as well as for animals. Species will keep on changing their distribution area, but some others will not be able to and are therefore threatened. Finally, as the evolutions concern their vectors, some diseases will spread in new regions

  5. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrends, Antje; Burgess, Neil David; Gereau, Roy E.

    2011-01-01

    Aim Effective conservation of biodiversity relies on an unbiased knowledge of its distribution. Conservation priority assessments are typically based on the levels of species richness, endemism and threat. Areas identified as important receive the majority of conservation investments, often...... facilitating further research that results in more species discoveries. Here, we test whether there is circularity between funding and perceived biodiversity, which may reinforce the conservation status of areas already perceived to be important while other areas with less initial funding may remain overlooked......, and variances decomposed in partial regressions. Cross-correlations are used to assess whether perceived biodiversity drives funding or vice versa. Results Funding explained 65% of variation in perceived biodiversity patterns – six times more variation than accounted for by 34 candidate environmental factors...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  8. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Rasmus Meyer; Lehmann, Martin; Christensen, Per

    - a challenge that needs to be shared between conservationists, green organisations, public authorities, as well as the private sector. A new wave of green initiatives has emerged within the culture of business and marketing. The reasons for why businesses should engage in environmental actions are many......Despite the overall importance of biodiversity, the quality measures of biodiversity show worrying figures. Numerous human impacts on nature impose serious hazard to its inherent diversity. This expansion of human activities leaves the battle against loss of biodiversity to be a great challenge......, but the effort has until now considered biodiversity actions relatively little, compared to other areas such as e.g. climate related actions. Nevertheless, the opportunity for businesses to meet their responsibilities and lift a share of the challenge is far from being just a romantic thought. Nor...

  9. Health impact assessment in Korea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  10. Introducing Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauschild, Michael Zwicky; Huijbregts, Mark AJ

    2015-01-01

    methodology projects and presents the international scientific discussions and methodological consensus attempts in consecutive working groups under the auspices of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) as well as the UNEP/ SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, and the (almost) parallel......This chapter serves as an introduction to the presentation of the many aspects of life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) in this volume of the book series ‘LCA Compendium’. It starts with a brief historical overview of the development of life cycle impact assessment driven by numerous national LCIA...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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


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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Climate change and UV-B impacts on Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems. Biodiversity, Distributions and Adaptations of Arctic Species in the Context of Environmental Change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Callaghan, T. V.; Björn, L. O.; Chernov, Y.; Chapin, T.; Christensen, T. R.; Huntley, B.; Ims, R. A.; Johansson, M.; Jolly, D.; Jonasson, S.; Matveyeva, N.; Panikov, N.; Oechel, W.; Shaver, G.; Elster, Josef; Henttonen, H.; Laine, K.; Taulavuori, K.; Taulavuori, E.; Zockler, Ch.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 7 (2004), s. 404-417 ISSN 0044-7447 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK6005114; GA MƠk ME 576 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : cyanobacteria * algae * biodiversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.403, year: 2004

  14. Impact assessment in EU lawmaking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwese, Anne Claartje Margreet

    2008-01-01

    The European Commission introduced impact assessment (IA) in 2002 following recommendations from the Mandelkern group on Better Regulation. The basic rationale of IA is that proposals must be prepared on the basis of an analysis of whether regulatory intervention is needed and whether it is

  15. Environmental Impact Assessment in Antarctica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastmeijer, C.J.; Roura, R.; Bastmeijer, K.; Koivurova, T.

    2008-01-01

    This publication focuses on the instrument of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that has been developed within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) as one of the tools to promote environmental protection. The states involved in the ATS already recognized the importance of this instrument in 1975

  16. Impact assessment of commodity standards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruben, Ruerd

    2017-01-01

    Voluntary commodity standards are widely used to enhance the performance of tropical agro-food chains and to support the welfare and sustainability of smallholder farmers. Different methods and approaches are used to assess the effectiveness and impact of these certification schemes at

  17. Impacts of people and tigers on leopard spatiotemporal activity patterns in a global biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Carter

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Leopard population declines largely occur in areas where leopards and people frequently interact. Research on how leopards respond to human presence and competitors, like other predators, can provide important insights on leopard ecology and conservation in human-dominated regions; however, such research is lacking. Here we used data from field cameras in 2010 and 2011 to examine how human presence, prey, and tigers influence leopard spatiotemporal activity patterns in and around Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, part of a global biodiversity hotspot. We found that leopards were adjusting their spatiotemporal activity patterns to both tigers and people, but by different mechanisms. Leopards spatially avoided tigers in 2010, but were generally active at the same times of day that tigers were. Despite pervasive human presence, people on foot and vehicles had no significant effect on leopard detection and space use, but leopard temporal activity was displaced from those periods of time with highest human activity. Temporal displacement from humans was especially pronounced outside the park, where there is a much greater prevalence of natural resource collection by local people. Continuing to evaluate the interconnections among leopards, tigers, prey, and people across different land management regimes is needed to develop robust landscape-scale conservation strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

    Floodplain ecosystems are characterized by alternating wet and dry phases and periodic inundation defines their ecological character. Climate change, river regulation and the construction of levees have substantially altered natural flooding and drying regimes worldwide with uncertain effects on key biotic groups. In southern Australia, we hypothesized that soil eukaryotic communities in climate change affected areas of a semi-arid floodplain would transition towards comprising mainly dry-soil specialist species with increasing drought severity. Here, we used 18S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing to measure the eukaryote community composition in soils that had been depleted of water to varying degrees to confirm that reproducible transitional changes occur in eukaryotic biodiversity on this floodplain. Interflood community structures (3 years post-flood) were dominated by persistent rather than either aquatic or dry-specialist organisms. Only 2% of taxa were unique to dry locations by 8 years post-flood, and 10% were restricted to wet locations (inundated a year to 2 weeks post-flood). Almost half (48%) of the total soil biota were detected in both these environments. The discovery of a large suite of organisms able to survive nearly a decade of drought, and up to a year submerged supports the concept of inherent resilience of Australian semi-arid floodplain soil communities under increasing pressure from climatic induced changes in water availability. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (Pwater quality indices than those of the downstream. The total number of macrobenthic taxa and their overall richness indices and diversity indices were significantly (Pwater. This study also highlighted the impacts of anthropogenic land-based activities such as urban runoff on the distribution and species diversity of macrobenthic invertebrates in the downstream of the Langat River. The data obtained in this study supported the use of the bioindicator concept for Malaysian rivers. Some sensitive (Trichopteran caddisflies and Ephemeraptera) and resistant species (Oligochaeta such as Limnodrilus spp.) are identified as potential bioindicators of clean and polluted river ecosystems, respectively, for Malaysian rivers.

  20. Impacts on the biodiversity by living inside a protected area, Natma Taung National Park, Myanmar; A human perspective

    OpenAIRE

    San, Khin Nyein

    2017-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are aimed to maintain or restore the balance in nature. PAs are also an important indicator in measuring the biodiversity loss caused by humans. Global biodiversity is under the long term threats all over the world and we need to understand the behavior of human, ourselves which is challenging the conservation of biodiversity. PAs are usually located in the most remote regions of the countries where people living close to the PAs have poor social status. Local people in ...

  1. Selecting Focal Songbird Species for Biodiversity Conservation Assessment: Response to Forest Cover Amount and Configuration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Rempel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Conservation of biodiversity is now a firmly entrenched objective of sustainable forest management, and emulating natural disturbance has been widely adopted as a conservation strategy. Yet the foundation for this approach is still very much a hypothesis based on first principles, and there has been little rigorous testing of the approach. In addition, practical constraints mean that the full range and character of natural patterns can never be implemented, so decisions must still be made in setting forest management targets and levels. An alternative, but complementary approach is to select a focal group of species and use their habitat requirements to define the range of conditions that should be maintained on the landscape. In this study, I used a balanced factorial sample design to test the effect of landscape vs. local scale factors for explaining relative abundance of 30 forest songbird species in boreal Ontario, and then examined components of variance, and used multivariate analysis and logistic regression to describe these relationships in more detail. Based on statistically defendable inferences and habitat model coefficients, 13 species were selected, with habitat associations ranging from high to low edge density, homogeneous to heterogeneous forest matrix, hardwood to softwood dominated overstory, young to old stands, and open to closed canopy. I found that variations in amount and configuration of mature forest cover had relatively little influence on the overall boreal forest songbird community, but that individual species differ in their response to these variables. To be successful, biodiversity conservation strategies must emulate the patterns created through natural disturbance by maintaining the full range of forest cover homogeneity and heterogeneity on the landscape. The habitat requirements for Alder Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Brown Creeper, Common Yellowthroat

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. Madhav Gadgil1 2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. Biodiversity Unit, Jowaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O. Jakkur, Bangalore 560064, India ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Woodcock

    Full Text Available 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (pprotected 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Ye

    Full Text Available 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. Assessment of Traffic Noise Impacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rich, Jeppe Husted; Nielsen, Otto Anker

    2004-01-01

    A steady growth in traffic intensities in most urban areas throughout the world has forced planners and politicians to seriously consider the resulting environmental impact, such as traffic noise, accidents and air pollution. The assessment of such negative factors is needed in order to reveal...... the true social benefit of infrastructure plans. The paper presents a noise assessment model for the Copenhagen region, which brings together GIS technology and non-linear hedonic regression models to reveal the implicit costs of traffic noise measured as the marginal percentage loss in property values...... with respect to the decibel traffic noise. The model distinguishes between houses and apartments and shows that the ability to include refined accessibility variables have significant impact on estimated prices....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth E Feber

    taxa with lower 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Proceedings of the Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop: Assessing the Conservation Status of Mongolian Mammals and Fishes: I - Results and Outputs of the Workshop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L. Clark

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop was held at the National University of Mongolia and Hustai National Park from 1 st October to 4 th November, 2005. Participants assessed the conserva- tion status of all Mongolian mammals and fishes using the IUCN Categories and Criteria, and also met the other main objectives of the workshop, including: creating a Biodiversity Databank, revising species lists and maps for Mongolian mammals and fishes, and developing Summary Conservation Action Plans for a number of threatened or commercially important species. This article includes information about the IUCN Categories and Criteria used to assess Mongolian mammals and fish and these outputs. The Biodiversity Databank holds baseline data on the ecology, distribution, threats, conservation measures, and conservation status for all Mongolian mammals and fishes. Revised species lists have been agreed upon for the Biodiversity Databank project including 128 native species of mammals and 64 native spe- cies of fish. Digital maps have been produced for all mammals and fish, where data exists. Results of the workshop should provide baseline information for conservation of Mongolian biodiversity and provide resources for researchers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

  17. Biodiversity and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.R. Willig

    2011-01-01

    Researchers predict that human activities especially landscape modification and climate change will have a considerable impact on the distribution and abundance of species at local, regional, and global scales in the 21st century ( 1, 2). This is a concern for a number of reasons, including the potential loss of goods and services that biodiversity provides to people...

  18. Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Ahumada, J.A.; Bowser, A.; Fernandez, M.; FernĂĄndez, N.; Garcia, E.A.; Guralnick, R.P.; Isaac, N.J.B.; Kelling, S.; Los, W.; McRae, L.; Mihoub, J.-B.; Obst, M.; Santamaria, M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Williams, K.J.; Agosti, D.; Amariles, D.; Arvanitidis, C.; Bastin, L.; De Leo, F.; Egloff, W.; Elith, J.; Hobern, D.; Martin, D.; Pereira, H.M.; Pesole, G.; Peterseil, J.; Saarenmaa, H.; Schigel, D.; Schmeller, D.S.; Segata, N.; Turak, E.; Uhlir, P.F.; Wee, B.; Hardisty, A.R.

    2018-01-01

    Much biodiversity data is collected worldwide, but it remains challenging to assemble the scattered knowledge for assessing biodiversity status and trends. The concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) was introduced to structure biodiversity monitoring globally, and to harmonize and

  19. Environmental Impact Assessment: Uri hydroelectric power project on River Jhelum in Kashmir, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nyman, L.

    1995-09-01

    This report is an Initial Aquatic Environmental Impact Assessment of the Uri Hydroelectric Power Project on River Jhelum in Kashmir, India. It includes the Terms of Reference of the assessment, a discussion on biodiversity and threats to it, the environmental indicators used to monitor and predict the impacts, a description of the physical, chemical and biological prerequisites of the River Jhelum ecosystem, a description of the survey sites chosen, and an overview of the present fish and bottom fauna. Finally, there are sections on the potential impacts on biota of the Uri Project and a list of proposals for how mitigating and enhancing measures could be enforced

  20. Responses of leaf processing to impacts in streams in Atlantic rain forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--a test of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulton, T P; MagalhĂŁes, S A P

    2003-02-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been intensely debated and researched in recent times. It is generally agreed that there is redundancy of species in ecosystems such that loss of species does not necessarily result in change in the functioning of the ecosystem in which they occur. However the state of our knowledge does not allow prediction of sensitivity or specificity of this relationship for any particular ecosystem. A widely-held opinion is that ecosystem functioning is relatively stable to environmental impact, whereas biodiversity is more sensitive. We tested this in streams of the Atlantic forest using leaf decomposition as an aspect of ecosystem functioning and measuring the diversity of the associated fauna. In lightly impacted streams of the urban park Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, RJ, leaf processing rate of a hard-leaf species, Myrcia rostrata (Myrtaceae) was more than 50% slower than in "intact" streams at the biological reserve of Ilha Grande, RJ. Taxon diversity of fauna of the leaves was not significantly lower in the impacted than the intact streams. We construe this as preliminary evidence contrary to the notion that ecosystem functioning is less sensitive than biodiversity to impacts in this system.

  1. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Tim S; Glen, Alistair S; Nimmo, Dale G; Ritchie, Euan G; Dickman, Chris R

    2016-10-04

    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.

  2. Parameters for assessing the aquatic environmental impact of cosmetic products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vita, N A; Brohem, C A; Canavez, A D P M; Oliveira, C F S; Kruger, O; Lorencini, M; Carvalho, C M

    2018-05-01

    The cosmetic industry's growing concern about the impact of its supply chain on the environment, sustainability of raw materials, and biodiversity increases the need to ensure that the final product has a lower environmental impact. The objective of this review is to summarize and compare the information available from international organizations and legislation regarding the main criteria used to assess raw materials for aquatic toxicity, as well as the most suitable alternative methods for obtaining assessment parameters. Using the literature available in databases, a review of the scientific literature and international legislation, this work discusses and compares the parameters established by international organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C), as well as European legislation, namely, European Regulation 1272/2008, for assessing environmental impact. Defining the ecotoxicity parameters of the main classes of raw materials in rinse-off cosmetic products can enable the development of products that are more environmentally sustainable, prioritizing substances with less environmental impact. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fayle, Tom Maurice

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 24 (2014), s. 4701-4735 ISSN 2045-7758 Grant - others:U.K. Natural Environment Research Council(GB) NE/J011193/1; U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council(GB) BB/F017324/1 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : data sharing * global change * habitat destruction Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.320, year: 2014 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.1303/epdf

  4. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production

    OpenAIRE

    Brunetti, Ilaria; Tidball, Mabel; Couvet, Denis

    2018-01-01

    Agriculture is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. In this work we model the interdependent relationship between biodiversity and agriculture on a farmed land, supposing that, while agriculture has a negative impact on biodiversity, the latter can increase agricultural production. Farmers act as myopic agents, who maximize their instantaneous profit without considering the negative effects of their practice on the evolution of biodiversity. We find that a tax on inputs can have a pos...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Moreira

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhav Gadgil1 2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. Biodiversity Unit, Jowaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O. Jakkur, Bangalore 560064, India. Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Current Issue : Vol. 23, Issue 2 · Current Issue

  8. How Do “Renewable Products” Impact Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – The Example of Natural Rubber in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Cotter

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to present the implications brought by the expansion of “renewable products” plantation systems in the tropics with cultivation of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis as a main focus. Throughout South East Asia, natural forest is being replaced by rubber or oil palm (Elaeis guineensis plantations, with severe consequences for the local flora and fauna. Main aspects of this review are: i The provision of an overview over renewable resources in general and rubber in particular, with eco-physiological and agronomical information concerning rubber cultivation. ii The effect of rubber plantations on biodiversity and species composition under different rubber farming approaches. In addition we debate the possible influences of such large scale land cover transformations on ecosystem services. iii The conversion of natural forests into rubber plantations releases considerable amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We estimated these values for different land cover types in southern China and assessed the carbon sequestration potential of local rubber plantations.

  9. Considerations regarding the impact of the Vidraru hydro facility on Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    REMUS PRÃVÃLIE

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available ConsidĂ©rations concernant l'impact de l’amĂ©nagement hydrotehnique Vidraru sur la biodiversitĂ©. L’amĂ©nagement du lac de retenue Vidraru a dĂ©terminĂ© des changements profonds dans le milieu rĂ©gional, Ă©tant le plus frĂ©quemment un facteur perturbateur des Ă©lĂ©ments de l’environnement. De cette maniĂšre, Ă©tant donnĂ© que les Ă©lĂ©ments biogĂ©ographiques sont l’un des composants le plus affectĂ©s de l’environnement, cet article traite des principales modifications apparues au niveau de la vĂ©gĂ©tation et de la faune (ichtyofaune, la biodiversitĂ© ayant subi les effets les plus importants Ă  la suite de cette intervention anthropique (humaine.

  10. Sense-making and Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyhne, Ivar

    The poster integrates knowledge about how we make sense of situations into SEA methodology to strengthen the staging of impact assessments and the process of scoping impacts.......The poster integrates knowledge about how we make sense of situations into SEA methodology to strengthen the staging of impact assessments and the process of scoping impacts....

  11. Is Environmental Impact Assessment fulfilling its potential?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Sanne Vammen

    2014-01-01

    fuel with CO2-neutral energy sources. A variety of these projects are subject to environmental impact assessment (EIA), which raises the following questions: What role does an impact assessment play? When is the project environmentally friendly? How are climate change-related impacts assessed...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Impacts of the climatic change on the biodiversity and on the carbon cycle in prairies (IMAGINE)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soussana, J.F.

    2007-01-01

    The Imagine project uses a combination of experimental and modelling techniques to investigate the impacts of climate change on plant communities comprising herbaceous and woody species. We describe our novel experimental approach and present results from two studies carried out in contrasting climates: a mountain site in the Massif Central and a Mediterranean site at Montpellier. We show that above-ground biomass, community leaf traits and grass species phenology in a mountain grassland community respond to elevated temperature (+3.5 C), summer drought and elevated atmospheric CO 2 treatments. We demonstrate that elevated atmospheric CO 2 can mitigate the negative effects of summer drought on above-ground biomass, and may facilitate woody seedling establishment. After one year of study, changes in species composition are limited but there is a trend towards an increased abundance of dicot species under elevated CO 2 . Work on an artificial plant community at Montpellier shows a negative effect of drought on net photosynthesis, transpiration rates and total respiration measured at the community level. We also find a significant increase in leaf decomposition rates in response to elevated temperature. In contrast, net primary productivity, microbial activity and soil respiration rates show no significant effects of climate treatments. (authors)

  14. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  15. Rapid assessment of historic, current and future habitat quality for biodiversity around UK Natura 2000 sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vogiatzakis, I.N.; Stirpe, M.T.; Rickebusch, S.; Metzger, M.J.; Xu, G.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Bommarco, R.; Potts, S.G.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in landscape composition and structure may impact the conservation and management of protected areas. Species that depend on specific habitats are at risk of extinction when these habitats are degraded or lost. Designing robust methods to evaluate landscape composition will assist decision-

  16. Assessment of Light Pollution Impact on Protected Areas in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, W.; He, G.; Ni, Y.

    2017-09-01

    The Protected Areas (PAs) with natural, ecological and cultural value play important role in biological processes, biodiversity and ecosystem service. During the past years of rapid urban expansion in China, the spatial range and intensity of light pollution unprecedented increase. Historically, optical remote sensing and field survey data had been used to reveal that human activities impacted on PAs for individual areas and few papers documented the issue of light pollution impact on PAs at national scale. Here, time series night-time light satellite images of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) were selected to assess the light pollution impacted on PAs in China. The method we proposed can be effectively applied to assess the impact of light pollution on PAs and the percent of dark PAs decreased by 35.38 % from 1992 to 2012 at nationwide. The trend of light pollution of most PAs in stable, however, light pollution of the local area is increase significantly, especially in northern Xinjiang, Gansu, Xizang, Yunnan, Jiangsu and Shandong. Considering the current status of light pollution encroach into PAs, two strategies of appropriate buffer zone and wide measured for light pollution are also recommend.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J Mayor

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. The Effectiveness of Conservation Reserves: Land Tenure Impacts upon Biodiversity across Extensive Natural Landscapes in the Tropical Savannahs of the Northern Territory, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John C.Z. Woinarski

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines whether there is a biodiversity benefit (“dividend” associated with the existence and management of conservation reserves in the extensive and largely natural landscape of northern Australia. Species richness and abundance of vertebrate fauna and the intensity of a range of disturbance factors were compared across a set of 967 sampled quadrats, located either in pastoral lands, Indigenous lands or conservation reserves, with all sampled quadrats within a single vegetation type (open forests and savannah woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus miniata and/or E. tetrodonta. The relationships with land tenure varied between major taxonomic groups, but generally (and particularly for threatened species values were highest for conservation reserves. This “biodiversity dividend” associated with conservation reserves is considered to be due to the effects of management rather than because conservation reserves were established on lands supporting atypically high conservation values. The impact of weeds and (unsurprisingly livestock was greatest on pastoral lands, and pig impact was greatest in conservation reserves. Although pastoral and Indigenous lands supported lower biodiversity tallies than reserved lands, the conservation values of reserved lands in this region are probably substantially supported by the maintenance of relatively intact ecological systems across all lands.

  2. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  3. Environmental impact assessment Geopressure Subprogram

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-07-01

    This environmental impact assessment (EIA) addresses the expected programmatic activities of the Geopressure Subprogram of the Division of Geothermal Energy. The goal of the Geopressure Subprogram is to stimulate development of geopressured resources as an economic, reliable, operationally safe, and environmentally acceptable energy source. The subprogram includes activities in the areas of engineering research and development; resource exploration, assessment, and development; resource utilization including pilot and demonstration facilities; and environmental research and control technology development. It should be recognized that most of the subprogram activities extend over several years and are in their early stages of implementation at this time. The zones of potential geopressure development are in the region located along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts extending up to 200 miles (300 km) inland. Geopressured zones are sedimentary basins where water is trapped at high pressures within or below thick, nearly impermeable shale sequences. The confined water supports most or all of the weight of the overburden. This inhibits sediment compaction and causes formation pore pressure to exceed hydrostatic pressure. in sedimentary basins that are underlain by thin oceanic crust, upward thermal conduction from the mantle heats geopressured fluids and sediments to abnormally high temperatures, often in excess of 260 C (500 F).

  4. Assessing Multi-scale Reptile and Amphibian Biodiversity: Mojave Ecoregion Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment now and into the future. Because of the variability among living orga...

  5. Environmental impact assessment of fish farm hatcheries ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental impact assessments were taken to determine the causes of environmental threats to farm lands and the environment in the selected areas. Of significance of impact assessment were activities like air, traffic, noise, had insignificant impact (p > 0.05), while water pollution, insecurity as a result of land exposure ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Options for promoting high-biodiversity REDD+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swan, Steve; Mcnally, Richard; Grieg-Gran, Maryanne; Roe, Dilys; Mohammed, Essam Yassin

    2011-11-15

    International climate and biodiversity conventions agree that to be effective in the long term, strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, and sustainable forest management (REDD+), must not undermine biodiversity. But how do countries achieve 'high-biodiversity REDD+' in practice? At a global level, options include immediate policy strengthening in international negotiations; promotion of co-benefit standards; and financial incentives and preferences for buying countries. At a national level, developing countries can also promote high-biodiversity REDD+ through more coherent policies; integrated planning; regulatory and economic instruments; and improved monitoring of biodiversity impacts.

  9. Public participation in Malawi's environmental impact assessment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Since the adoption of the Environmental Management Act of 1996, Malawi has been using environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a tool for predicting and assessing the impact of development projects on the environment. This study assessed the extent of public participation in Malawi's EIA process. Desktop study of ...

  10. Impacts of bottom and suspended cultures of mussels Mytilus spp. on the surrounding sedimentary environment and macrobenthic biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ysebaert, T.; Hart, M.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of bottom and suspended mussel cultures, cultured in different physical environments, on the sedimentary environmental conditions and thereby the biodiversity structure of the associated macrofaunal community. We compared two bottom cultures

  11. Assessing Wild Bee Biodiversity in Cranberry Agroenvironments: Influence of Natural Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gervais, Amélie; Fournier, Valérie; Sheffield, Cory S; Chagnon, Madeleine

    2017-08-01

    The conservation of bee populations for pollination in agricultural landscapes has attracted a lot of recent research interest, especially for crop industries undergoing expansion to meet increased production demands. In Canada, much growth has been occurring with commercial cranberry production, a field crop which is largely dependent on bee pollination. Wild bee pollinators could be negatively impacted by losses of natural habitat surrounding cranberry fields to accommodate increased production, but growers have little insight on how to manage their lands to maximize the presence of wild bees. Here, we described a 2-yr study where bee diversity and species composition were investigated to better understand the dynamic between natural habitat and cranberry fields. Bees were sampled using pan-traps and hand netting both within cranberry fields and in one of the three adjacent natural habitat types once a week during the crop flowering period. We found that bee community composition among cranberry fields did not differ based on the respective adjacent habitat type, but fields bordered by meadows were marginally less diverse than fields bordered by forest. As one would expect, field and natural habitat communities differed in terms of species composition and species richness. There was no evidence that one type of natural habitat was more favorable for the bees than another. Future agrobiodiversity studies should simultaneously examine bee diversity comprised in both crop fields and adjacent natural environments to better understand the species dynamics essential to the preservation of pollination services. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonangelo, Ana Teresa B F; Alonso, Diego P; Ribolla, Paulo E M; Colombi, DĂ©bora

    2013-08-01

    Although many Brazilian sugar mills initiate the fermentation process by inoculating selected commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, the unsterile conditions of the industrial sugar cane ethanol fermentation process permit the constant entry of native yeast strains. Certain of those native strains are better adapted and tend to predominate over the initial strain, which may cause problems during fermentation. In the industrial fermentation process, yeast cells are often exposed to stressful environmental conditions, including prolonged cell recycling, ethanol toxicity and osmotic, oxidative or temperature stress. Little is known about these S. cerevisiae strains, although recent studies have demonstrated that heterogeneous genome architecture is exhibited by some selected well-adapted Brazilian indigenous yeast strains that display high performance in bioethanol fermentation. In this study, 11 microsatellite markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of the native autochthonous S. cerevisiae strains in various Brazilian sugar mills. The resulting multilocus data were used to build a similarity-based phenetic tree and to perform a Bayesian population structure analysis. The tree revealed the presence of great genetic diversity among the strains, which were arranged according to the place of origin and the collection year. The population structure analysis revealed genotypic differences among populations; in certain populations, these genotypic differences are combined to yield notably genotypically diverse individuals. The high yeast diversity observed among native S. cerevisiae strains provides new insights on the use of autochthonous high-fitness strains with industrial characteristics as starter cultures at bioethanol plants. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Using spatial metrics to assess the efficacy of biodiversity conservation within the Romanian Carpathian Convention area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PetriƟor Alexandru-Ionuƣ

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The alpine region is of crucial importance for the European Union; as a result, the Carpathian Convention aims at its sustainable development. Since sustainability implies also conservation through natural protected areas, aimed at including regions representative for the national biogeographical space, this article aims at assessing the efficiency of conservation. The methodology consisted of using spatial metrics applied to Romanian and European data on the natural protected areas, land cover and use and their transitional dynamics. The findings show a very good coverage of the Alpine biogeographical region (98% included in the Convention area, and 43% of it protected within the Convention area and of the ecological region of Carpathian montane coniferous forests (88% included in the Convention area, and 42% of it protected within the Convention area. The dominant land cover is represented by forests (63% within the Convention area, and 70% of the total protected area. The main transitional dynamics are deforestation (covering 50% of all changes area within the Convention area and 46% from the changed area within its protected area and forestations – including afforestation, reforestation and colonization of abandoned agricultural areas by forest vegetation (covering 44% of all changes area within the Convention area and 51% from the changed area within its protected area during 1990-2000 and deforestation (covering 97% of all changes area within the Convention area and 99% from the changed area within its protected area during 1990-2000. The results suggest that the coverage of biogeographical and ecological zones is good, especially for the most relevant ones, but deforestations are a serious issue, regardless of occurring before or after achieving the protection status.

  14. Microbial biodiversity assessment of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Kaisa; Rettberg, Petra; Pukall, RĂŒdiger; Auerbach, Anna; Wink, Lisa; Barczyk, Simon; Perras, Alexandra; Mahnert, Alexander; Margheritis, Diana; Kminek, Gerhard; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2017-10-25

    The ExoMars 2016 mission, consisting of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander, was launched on March 14 2016 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and reached its destination in October 2016. The Schiaparelli lander was subject to strict requirements for microbial cleanliness according to the obligatory planetary protection policy. To reach the required cleanliness, the ExoMars 2016 flight hardware was assembled in a newly built, biocontrolled cleanroom complex at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. In this study, we performed microbiological surveys of the cleanroom facilities and the spacecraft hardware before and during the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) activities. Besides the European Space Agency (ESA) standard bioburden assay, that served as a proxy for the microbiological contamination in general, we performed various alternative cultivation assays and utilised molecular techniques, including quantitative PCR and next generation sequencing, to assess the absolute and relative abundance and broadest diversity of microorganisms and their signatures in the cleanroom and on the spacecraft hardware. Our results show that the bioburden, detected microbial contamination and microbial diversity decreased continuously after the cleanroom was decontaminated with more effective cleaning agents and during the ongoing AIT. The studied cleanrooms and change room were occupied by very distinct microbial communities: Overall, the change room harboured a higher number and diversity of microorganisms, including Propionibacterium, which was found to be significantly increased in the change room. In particular, the so called alternative cultivation assays proved important in detecting a broader cultivable diversity than covered by the standard bioburden assay and thus completed the picture on the cleanroom microbiota. During the whole project, the bioburden stayed at acceptable level and did not raise any concern for the ExoMars 2016 mission. The cleanroom complex at

  15. Environmental impact assessment: Process and implementation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, S.Y.; Tsai, S.Y.

    1989-01-01

    In this paper, the procedures and issues regarding the preparation of an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as promulgated by the US Congress in 1969 are discussed. NEPA procedures and requirements are covered in general, while particular attention is given to the preparation of the environmental impact assessment. Also included is a discussion of the social impact assessment. The aim of the social impact assessment is to address the social issues involved in enhancing public understanding of the hazardous risks, thereby mitigating any conflicts that may arise in the NEPA process. 3 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Joanna M; Watson, Gordon J

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna M Murray

    Full Text Available 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

  18. Proceedings of the Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop: Assessing the Conservation Status of Mongolian Mammals and Fishes: III – Fishes: Assessment Results and Threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne F. Ocock

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The Mongolian Biodiversity Databank Workshop was held at the National University of Mongolia and Hustai National Park from 1 st October to 4 th November, 2005. As part of the workshop, a working group of fish experts assessed the conservation status of all Mongolian fishes using the IUCN Catego - ries and Criteria. Of the 64 fish species found in Mongolia, 48 were assessed, with 16 considered Not Applicable (NA by the working group. Only one species, the Siberian sturgeon ( Acipenser baerii was assessed as Critically Endangered (CR in Mongolia, however six species were assigned Endangered (EN status. Four were found to be Vulnerable (VU and three were assessed to be Near Threatened (NT. Forty-eight percent of Mongolian fishes were Data Deficient (DD and 25% were Least Concern (LC. The north-east of Mongolia was most species rich, particularly the Onon River basin and Buir Lake. There was no trend for where the most threatened species occurred as they were found throughout the north of Mongolia. Hunting/fishing was the greatest threat to Mongolian fishes, followed by resource extraction and pollution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Pearman, John K.

    2016-04-26

    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 ÎŒm and 500–2000 ÎŒm 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

  1. Conceptualising the effectiveness of impact assessment processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chanchitpricha, Chaunjit; Bond, Alan

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-02-28

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Environmental impact assessment in the Nordic Countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broden, K.; Palsson, S.E.; Poroddsson, P.

    2000-12-01

    A meeting on Environmental Impact Assessment has been held in Iceland, September 2-6, 2000. It was held within the framework of the project NKS/SOS-3 (Radioactive waste), subproject NKS/SOS-3.1 (Environmental Impact Assessment). The meeting included presentations, discussions and a study trip to the Egilsstadir and Myvatn districts. (au)

  5. ASSESSMENT OF IMPACT DAMAGE TO APPLE FRUITS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2013-03-01

    Mar 1, 2013 ... Abstract. An impact damage assessment of fresh apple fruits was carried out to ascertain the effects of height and surfaces on bruise area and impact energy. Five different impact surfaces namely: Cardboard (E), wood (F), metal (G), plastic (H) and foam (I) were used for the experiment. The weighed fruits ...

  6. Filling in biodiversity threat gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joppa, L. N.; O'Connor, Brian; Visconti, Piero

    2016-01-01

    increase to 10,000 times the background rate should species threatened with extinction succumb to pressures they face (4). Reversing these trends is a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi Targets and is explicitly incorporated...... into the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We identify major gaps in data available for assessing global biodiversity threats and suggest mechanisms for closing them....

  7. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariño Arturo H

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  8. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariño, Arturo H; Chavan, Vishwas; King, Nick

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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 nonparticipant 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. The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to contribute to filling gaps in digitized

  10. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M Mikkelson

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, Thomas W R; Lenton, Timothy M

    2013-01-01

    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. (letter)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  15. Environmental impact assessment of coal power plants in operation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartan Ayfer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Coal power plants constitute an important component of the energy mix in many countries. However, coal power plants can cause several environmental risks such as: climate change and biodiversity loss. In this study, a tool has been proposed to calculate the environmental impact of a coal-fired thermal power plant in operation by using multi-criteria scoring and fuzzy logic method. We take into account the following environmental parameters in our tool: CO, SO2, NOx, particulate matter, fly ash, bottom ash, the cooling water intake impact on aquatic biota, and the thermal pollution. In the proposed tool, the boundaries of the fuzzy logic membership functions were established taking into account the threshold values of the environmental parameters which were defined in the environmental legislation. Scoring of these environmental parameters were done with the statistical analysis of the environmental monitoring data of the power plant and by using the documented evidences that were obtained during the site visits. The proposed method estimates each environmental impact factor level separately and then aggregates them by calculating the Environmental Impact Score (EIS. The proposed method uses environmental monitoring data and documented evidence instead of using simulation models. The proposed method has been applied to the 4 coal-fired power plants that have been operation in Turkey. The Environmental Impact Score was obtained for each power plant and their environmental performances were compared. It is expected that those environmental impact assessments will contribute to the decision-making process for environmental investments to those plants. The main advantage of the proposed method is its flexibility and ease of use.

  16. Environmental impact assessment of coal power plants in operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartan, Ayfer; Kucukali, Serhat; Ar, Irfan

    2017-11-01

    Coal power plants constitute an important component of the energy mix in many countries. However, coal power plants can cause several environmental risks such as: climate change and biodiversity loss. In this study, a tool has been proposed to calculate the environmental impact of a coal-fired thermal power plant in operation by using multi-criteria scoring and fuzzy logic method. We take into account the following environmental parameters in our tool: CO, SO2, NOx, particulate matter, fly ash, bottom ash, the cooling water intake impact on aquatic biota, and the thermal pollution. In the proposed tool, the boundaries of the fuzzy logic membership functions were established taking into account the threshold values of the environmental parameters which were defined in the environmental legislation. Scoring of these environmental parameters were done with the statistical analysis of the environmental monitoring data of the power plant and by using the documented evidences that were obtained during the site visits. The proposed method estimates each environmental impact factor level separately and then aggregates them by calculating the Environmental Impact Score (EIS). The proposed method uses environmental monitoring data and documented evidence instead of using simulation models. The proposed method has been applied to the 4 coal-fired power plants that have been operation in Turkey. The Environmental Impact Score was obtained for each power plant and their environmental performances were compared. It is expected that those environmental impact assessments will contribute to the decision-making process for environmental investments to those plants. The main advantage of the proposed method is its flexibility and ease of use.

  17. Biodiversity change is uncoupled from species richness trends: consequences for conservation and monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillebrand, Helmut; Blasius, Bernd; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Downing, John; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hodapp, Dorothee; Larsen, Stefano; Lewandowska, Aleksandra M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Van de Waal, Dedmer B.; Ryabov, Alexey B.

    2018-01-01

    * Global concern about human impact on biological diversity has triggered an intense research agenda on drivers and consequences of biodiversity change in parallel with international policy seeking to conserve biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions. Quantifying the trends in biodiversity is

  18. Biodiversity change is uncoupled from species richness trends : Consequences for conservation and monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillebrand, Helmut; Blasius, Bernd; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Downing, John A.; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hodapp, Dorothee; Larsen, Stefano; Lewandowska, Aleksandra M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Van de Waal, Dedmer B.; Ryabov, Alexey B.

    Global concern about human impact on biological diversity has triggered an intense research agenda on drivers and consequences of biodiversity change in parallel with international policy seeking to conserve biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions. Quantifying the trends in biodiversity is

  19. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Cumulative human threats on fish biodiversity components in Tunisian waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. BEN RAIS LASRAM

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Human activities are increasingly impacting biodiversity. To improve conservation planning measures in an ecosystem-based management context, we need to explore how the effects of these activities interact with different biodiversity components. In this study, we used a semi-quantitative method to assess the cumulative impacts of human activities on three biodiversity components (species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and functional diversity in Tunisia’s exclusive economic zone. For each of the nine activities considered, we developed an understanding of their effects from local studies and the expert opinion of stakeholders with country-specific experience. We mapped the cumulative effects and the three biodiversity components and then assessed the degree to which these elements overlapped using an overlap index. This is the first time such an assessment has been made for Tunisia’s marine ecosystems and our assessment highlight the inappropriateness of current conservation measures. The results of this study have specific application for the prioritization of future management actions.

  1. Environmental impact assessment - a selected bibliography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawson, W.J.

    1989-01-01

    This bibliography of literature relevant to the environmental impact assessment process is essentially a list of material dealing with the environmental impact assessment process held by Griffith University Library. The list is however well supplemented with citations of material not held in the Griffith University Library. Some economic and social impact assessment citations have been included in the bibliography, as the the environmental impact assessment concept has been interpreted very broadly. The citations are arranged according to broad subject areas, such as methodology, critical reviews, social impacts etc. Citations in each of these subject areas, which are listed in the table of contents, are identified by prefixes which are given in parentheses before the subjects headings. Within each subject area the citations are arragend in alphabetic author sequence

  2. Handbook for value-impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heaberlin, S.W.; Burnham, J.B.; Gallucci, R.H.V.

    1983-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Impact assessment of ionising radiation on wildlife

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copplestone, D.; Bielby, S.; Jones, S.

    2001-01-01

    This R and D project was commissioned by the Environment Agency and English Nature in January 2001 to provide up-to-date information on the impacts of ionising radiation on wildlife, upon which a robust assessment approach may be developed. This approach will also feed into the European Commission funded project 'Framework for Assessment of Environmental Impact' (FASSET), due to complete in October 2003. This report describes the behaviour and transport of radionuclides in the environment, considers the impact of ionising radiation on wildlife, and makes recommendations on an approach for the impact assessment of ionising radiation on wildlife for England and Wales. The assessment approach focuses on three ecosystems representative of those considered potentially most at risk from the impact of authorised radioactive discharges, namely a coastal grassland (terrestrial ecosystem); estuarine and freshwater ecosystems. The likely scale of the impact on wildlife is also assessed in light of a preliminary analysis based on this assessment approach. The aims of the report are: to summarise the latest research on the behaviour, transfer and impact of ionising radiation effects on wildlife; an outline and review of the relevant European and national legislation which has impacts on the requirements for assessments of the impact of ionising radiation on wildlife in the UK; to consider the role of regulatory bodies in assessing the impact of ionising radiation on wildlife with respect to England and Wales; to make recommendations on the relative biological effectiveness of different types of radiation with respect to wildlife; and to recommend an approach to assess the impacts to wildlife from ionising radiation from authorised discharges in England and Wales, with spreadsheets to support the methodology. The report demonstrates the behaviour and transfer of radionuclides in a number of different ecosystem types. Particular emphasis is placed on exposure pathways in those

  5. Biodiversity Analysis of Vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    W. K. Ostler; D. J. Hansen

    2001-01-01

    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

  6. Biodiversity Analysis of Vegetation on the Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  7. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Chown

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Impact assessment: Eroding benefits through streamlining?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. A Framework for Effective Assessment of Model-based Projections of Biodiversity to Inform the Next Generation of Global Conservation Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, B.; Beard, T. D.; Weiskopf, S. R.; Jackson, S. T.; Tittensor, D.; Harfoot, M.; Senay, G. B.; Casey, K.; Lenton, T. M.; Leidner, A. K.; Ruane, A. C.; Ferrier, S.; Serbin, S.; Matsuda, H.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rosa, I.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystems services underpin political targets for the conservation of biodiversity; however, previous incarnations of these biodiversity-related targets have not relied on integrated model based projections of possible outcomes based on climate and land use change. Although a few global biodiversity models are available, most biodiversity models lie along a continuum of geography and components of biodiversity. Model-based projections of the future of global biodiversity are critical to support policymakers in the development of informed global conservation targets, but the scientific community lacks a clear strategy for integrating diverse data streams in developing, and evaluating the performance of, such biodiversity models. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a framework for ongoing testing and refinement of model-based projections of biodiversity trends and change, by linking a broad variety of biodiversity models with data streams generated by advances in remote sensing, coupled with new and emerging in-situ observation technologies to inform development of essential biodiversity variables, future global biodiversity targets, and indicators. Our two main objectives are to (1) develop a framework for model testing and refining projections of a broad range of biodiversity models, focusing on global models, through the integration of diverse data streams and (2) identify the realistic outputs that can be developed and determine coupled approaches using remote sensing and new and emerging in-situ observations (e.g., metagenomics) to better inform the next generation of global biodiversity targets.

  10. Evaluating the effectiveness of impact assessment instruments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cashmore, Matthew; Richardson, Tim; Hilding-Ryedvik, Tuija

    2010-01-01

    the contemporary research context, learning derived from analysing the meaning and implications of plural interpretations of effectiveness represents the most constructive strategy for advancing impact assessment and policy integration theory. Crown Copyright (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.......The central role of impact assessment instruments globally in policy integration initiatives has been cemented in recent years. Associated with this trend, but also reflecting political emphasis on greater accountability in certain policy sectors and a renewed focus on economic competitiveness...... to sharpen effectiveness evaluation theory for impact assessment instruments this article critically examines the neglected issue of their political constitution. Analytical examples are used to concretely explore the nature and significance of the politicisation of impact assessment. It is argued...

  11. Ecological risk assessment as a framework for environmental impact assessments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Claassen, Marius

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental impact assessments in South Africa are usually conducted according to the integrated environmental management (IEM) procedure. The preliminary investigation reported here, indicated that most of the ecological requirements specified...

  12. Exploring Marine Biodiversity through Inquiry with Primary School Students: A Successful Journey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus-Leibovitz, LuĂ­sa; Faria, ClĂĄudia; Baioa, Ana Margarida; Borges, Rita

    2017-01-01

    In this work, we present a marine ecology inquiry-based activity, implemented with 164 primary school students. The main goal was to evaluate the activity's impact on students' understanding about biodiversity and scientific procedures. We also aimed to analyse the potential use of personal meaning maps (PMMs) to assess the impact of the activity


  13. Untapped potential of health impact assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Winkler, Mirko S; Krieger, Gary R; Divall, Mark J; CissĂ©, GuĂ©ladio; Wielga, Mark; Singer, Burton H; Tanner, Marcel; Utzinger, JĂŒrg

    2013-01-01

    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 i...

  14. Long-Term Impacts of China’s New Commercial Harvest Exclusion Policy on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in the Temperate Forests of Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Liu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Temperate forests in Northeast China have been severely exploited by timber harvesting in the last century. To reverse this trend, China implemented the Classified Forest Management policy in the Natural Forest Conservation Program in 1998 to protect forests from excessive harvesting. However, the policy was unable to meet the 2020 commitment of increasing growing stock (set in the Kyoto Protocol because of high-intensity harvesting. Accordingly, China banned all commercial harvesting in Northeast China in 2014. In this study, we investigated the long-term impacts of the no commercial harvest (NCH policy on ecosystem services and biodiversity using a forest landscape model, LANDIS PRO 7.0, in the temperate forests of the Small Khingan Mountains, Northeast China. We designed three management scenarios: The H scenario (the Classified Forest Management policy used in the past, the NCH scenario (the current Commercial Harvest Exclusion policy, and the LT scenario (mitigation management, i.e., light thinning. We compared total aboveground forest biomass, biomass by tree species, abundance of old-growth forests, and diversity of tree species and age class in three scenarios from 2010 to 2100. We found that compared with the H scenario, the NCH scenario increased aboveground forest biomass, abundance of old-growth forests, and biomass of most timber species over time; however, it decreased the biomass of rare and protected tree species and biodiversity. We found that the LT scenario increased the biomass of rare and protected tree species and biodiversity in comparison with the NCH scenario, while it maintained aboveground forest biomass and abundance of old-growth forests at a high level (slightly less than the NCH scenario. We concluded there was trade-off between carbon storage and biodiversity. We also concluded that light thinning treatment was able to regulate the trade-off and alleviate the negative effects associated with the NCH policy. Our

  15. Health Impact Assessment: Linking Public Health to ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The goal of this presentation is to explore how HIA can help inform hazardous waste permitting regulations and incorporate community vulnerability and cumulative impacts to their potential health risks into permitting decision making by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Presented the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) at the State of California Cumulative Impacts and Community Vulnerability Symposium on July 27 in Diamond Bar, CA.

  16. Comparative study of environmental impact assessment methods ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental Impacts Assessment has been developed as a critically substantial approach to determine, predict and interpret the ecological impact on the environment, public hygiene and healthy ecosystems. This study aims to introduce and systematically investigate the environmental issues during important ...

  17. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Enhancing Life Sciences Teachers' Biodiversity Knowledge

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the last two decades, South Africa has made efforts to integrate biodiversity content in its Life Sciences curriculum ... the ongoing professional learning and development of teachers through support systems that promote the .... of biodiversity, such as: biomes, taxonomic classification, ecological niche, human impact.

  19. Beyond risk assessment: principles for assessing community impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Amy J; Alexeeff, George V

    2010-01-01

    Risk assessment methods have evolved over time to become better at evaluating risks associated with single chemical exposures, yet are limited in evaluating risks faced by communities with exposures to a range of chemical hazards via multiple routes. Recognizing the need to identify better approaches to assess disparate impacts facing certain populations due to environmental pollution, the authors evaluated activities within the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (in California's Environmental Protection Agency) that had begun addressing these concerns by moving beyond standard risk assessment practices. On the basis of these examples, the authors identify 4 overarching principles to guide community assessments and explore how their application can improve these assessments. More work is needed in several areas, including developing information on exposure differences due to cultural practices, lifestyle patterns, and other factors; developing methods to recognize and take into account increased susceptibility; developing tools for assessing cumulative impacts; and improving communication with communities.

  20. Exploring future agricultural development and biodiversity in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Soesbergen, Arnout; Arnell, Andrew P.; Sassen, Marieke

    2017-01-01

    in biodiversity and ecosystem services. We assess the potential implications of a set of plausible socio-economic and climate scenarios for agricultural production and demand and model-associated land use and land cover changes between 2005 and 2050 to assess potential impacts on biodiversity in Uganda, Rwanda......-offs among ecosystem functions. Decision-makers need to understand these trade-offs in order to better balance different demands on land and resources. There is an urgent need for spatially explicit information and analyses on the effects of different trajectories of human-induced landscape change......Competition for land is increasing as a consequence of the growing demands for food and other commodities and the need to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Land conversion and the intensification of current agricultural systems continues to lead to a loss of biodiversity and trade...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  2. Compensation for biodiversity loss – Advice to the Netherlands' Taskforce on Biodiversity and Natural Resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.; Dessel, van B.

    2011-01-01

    Compensation of damage to biodiversity is one of the mechanisms to settle environmental costs. It concerns creating new opportunities for biodiversity, which as a minimum equals the residual impact after a company or organization has attempted to avoid, prevent and mitigate that impact. In the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Cumulative Impact Assessment: Approaching Environmental Capacity in Development Area Using Environmental Impact Assessment Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, N.; Lee, M. J.; Maeng, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    Environmental impact assessment estimates the impact of development as a business unit and establishes mitigation plan. If the development is done, its economic effects can spread to the nearby areas. So that various developments can be distributed at different time intervals. The impact of the new developments can be combined with existing environmental impacts and can have a larger impact. That is, Cumulative impact assessment is needed to consider the environmental capacity of the Nearby area. Cumulative impact assessments require policy tools such as environmental impact assessment information and cumulative impact estimation models. In Korea, environmental information (water quality, air quality, etc.) of the development site is measured for environmental impact assessment and monitored for a certain period (generally 5 years) after the project. In addition, by constructing the environmental information as a spatial database, it is possible to express the environmental impact on a regional basis spatially and to intuitively use it for development site selection. Utilizing a composite model of environmental impact assessment information and Remote Sensing data for cumulative impact estimation, That can be used as a policy decision support tool that provides quantitative information for development area management, such as time series effect and sprawl phenomenon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Impact assessment of ionising radiation in wildlife

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    This R and D project was commissioned by the Environment Agency and English Nature in January 2001 to provide up-to-date information on ionising radiation impact to wildlife, upon which a robust assessment approach may be developed. The methodology will provide an interim approach, whilst awaiting the outcome of the European Commission funded project 'Framework for Assessment of Environmental Impact' (FASSET) due to end in October 2003. The aims of the report were: to summarise the latest research on the behaviour, transfer and impact of ionising radiation effects on wildlife; to outline and review relevant European Directives which have impacted on the requirements to assess the impact to wildlife from ionising radiation in the UK; to consider the role of regulatory bodies in assessing the impact of ionising radiation on wildlife with respect to England and Wales; to make recommendations on the relative biological effectiveness of different types of radiation with respect to wildlife; and to recommend an approach with which to assess the 'scale of risk' to wildlife from the effects of ionising radiation, with spreadsheets to support the methodology. The report describes the behaviour and transfer of radionuclides in a number of different ecosystem types. Particular emphasis is placed on those ecosystems most likely to be impacted by the authorised discharges of radioactivity within the UK. As there is no international consensus on the approach to be taken to assess the impact of ionising radiation on wildlife, some countries have adopted their own legislation. The report evaluates these regulatory frameworks and describe the current UK position

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver T Hogg

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Radiological impact assessment within the IAEA Arctic Assessment Project (IASAP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scott, E.M.; Gurbutt, P.; Harmes, I.

    1998-01-01

    impact was assessed based on several release scenarios prepared by the IASAP Sources working group. These included 'best estimate' release, 'plausible worst case' and 'worst case' scenarios. Collective dose as well as individual dose to identified populations were calculated. This paper reviews......As part of the International Arctic Seas Assessment Project (IASAP) of IAEA, a working group was created to model the dispersal and transfer of radionuclides released from radioactive waste disposed of in the Kara Sea and bays of Novaya Zemlya and to assess the radiological impact. Existing models...... the models developed, highlights the general features of the inter-comparison and discusses the radiological impact assessment and conclusions based on it....

  11. Climate change adaptation impact cost assessment in France; Evaluation du cout des impacts du changement climatique et de l'adaptation en France

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

    This document reports the works of an inter-departmental group and of sector-based and transverse groups which aimed at assessing the impacts of climate change. After a first contribution about the assessment methodology, the works of sector-based groups and transverse groups are reported. These groups are dealing with agriculture, forest, infrastructures and built environment, tourism, energy, health, water, natural risks (and insurance and adaptation to climatic change in metropolitan France), biodiversity and land. For each of them, challenges, assessment approaches, first results and perspectives are discussed

  12. Social impact assessment in energy projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koivujaervi, S.; Kantola, I.; Maekinen, P.

    1998-01-01

    The research report is based on literature and interviews on the social impact assessment (SIA) in energy projects in Finland, both before and after the EIA Act has been in force in Finland. The concept and content of SIA, the requirements set by the legislation, its relation with other environmental impacts, the assessment process and the used methods have been studied on the basis of the literature analysis. A total of 26 persons representing the coordination authorities, persons issuing statements, researchers, civil servants, consultants and project developers were interviewed for the research. The interviews were made by the University of Turku in the form of theme interviews, investigating the present status, practices and expectations of the SIA. The unestablished status was seen to be the problem in the SIA, which was reflected in the interviewers' varying views about the content of the SIA. Among the operators, the general character of the SIA criticism in the statements concerning the assessment programmes or reports was seen as a problem as well; the assessment of social impact has been considered to be insufficient, however, without any identification of the effects or how the effects should have been assessed. For the time preceding the EIA Act, the assessment of the social impact of hydraulic work, power plant and transmission line projects and the project of the fifth nuclear power plant have been studied. As to the power plant and transmission line projects after the validity of the EIA Act, all the 20 projects were gone through which had progressed during the spring 1998 at least to the assessment report stage. Of these projects, the assessment of the social impact of one transmission line and one power plant project was studied in detail. The report also studies the assessment of the social impact of the repository for nuclear waste on the basis of the experience gained in Finland and in other countries. On the basis of the literature study

  13. Assessment of the Threats to the Biodiversity and Habitats in "Stara Reka" Reserve (Bulgaria and Its Adjacent Subalpine and Alpine Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana V. Yocheva

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of the threats in the “Stara Reka” reserve and its adjacent subalpine and alpine areas is important since it makes it possible the appropriate conservation measures to be taken in order to prevent or reduce the negative effects on the biodiversity and habitats. The assessment was based on systematic studies and visits in the “Stara Reka” Reserve, located within National Park “Central Balkan” (Bulgaria, during spring, summer and autumn seasons of 2010-2011. A number of threats were recorded, where those by anthropogenic origin were predominating. Tourists have negatively influenced the wild plants such as Allium ursinum, Inula helenium and Primula frondosa by picking them up. Damages were registered on the information system and signs. Waste disposal, fires, poaching and illegal fishing were also some of the recorded threats. Many natural succession changes quite dynamically vary the habitats in the reserve, but the most dangerous for the biodiversity and degradation of habitats remain fires, erosion and introduction of alien species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Evaluation process of global environmental impact: assessment guidelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Memon, A.R.; Mahar, R.B.

    2001-01-01

    In developed and developing countries, the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is becoming mandatory for the approval of Industrial projects and projects of Environmental hazards. The approving authority of each country has its own guidelines to get projects approved and make project proponents responsible to submit Environmental Impact Statement for the its detailed assessment. In this paper authors have studied an existing EIA Global guidelines and its evaluation process of altogether 40 countries from four continents, Asia, Pacific/Middle East, Europe, Australia and America/Canada. This evaluation process is recorded in the tabulation form and it has been formulated stage wise in which stage one highlights the inception of EIA guidelines of each country and stage two and three gives implementation process. The inception stage of guidelines gives an idea that when EIA was started and an implementation stages provide all information that when EIA become a part of legislation that provide an opportunity to the reader to understand the decision making process for project approvals. The main objective of writing EIA guidelines is to monitor the sustain ability of various types of the projects under different sectoral guidelines, therefore Projects related with different Sectors have been chosen and a detailed record in tabulation form gives an idea to understand the interaction of these guidelines. To make this paper more comprehensive, authors have gone thorough the sectoral guidelines of altogether 64 countries and studied 21 sector oriented project fields. These are of Agriculture/Irrigation, Biodiversity, Coastal/Marine, Community Participation, Extractive industries, Fisheries, Forestry, Hazard Risk, Health, Human settlement, Industry, Multi sectorial, Ports and Harbors, Power, refugees/resettlement, Social, Strategies/Planning, Tourism/Recreational, transportation, Waste Pollution and Wetlands/Water resources. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  18. Environmental impact assessment of coal power plants in operation

    OpenAIRE

    Bartan Ayfer; Kucukali Serhat; Ar Irfan

    2017-01-01

    Coal power plants constitute an important component of the energy mix in many countries. However, coal power plants can cause several environmental risks such as: climate change and biodiversity loss. In this study, a tool has been proposed to calculate the environmental impact of a coal-fired thermal power plant in operation by using multi-criteria scoring and fuzzy logic method. We take into account the following environmental parameters in our tool: CO, SO2, NOx, particulate matter, fly as...

  19. Regional analysis and environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parzyck, D.C.; Brocksen, R.W.; Emanuel, W.R.

    1976-01-01

    This paper presents a number of techniques that can be used to assess environmental impacts on a regional scale. Regional methodologies have been developed which examine impacts upon aquatic and terrestrial biota in regions through consideration of changes in land use, land cover, air quality, water resource use, and water quality. Techniques used to assess long-range atmospheric transport, water resources, effects on sensitive forest and animal species, and impacts on man are presented in this paper, along with an optimization approach which serves to integrate the analytical techniques in an overall assessment framework. A brief review of the research approach and certain modeling techniques used within one regional studies program is provided. While it is not an all inclusive report on regional analyses, it does present an illustration of the types of analyses that can be performed on a regional scale

  20. Underwater noise modelling for environmental impact assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farcas, Adrian [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT (United Kingdom); Thompson, Paul M. [Lighthouse Field Station, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Cromarty IV11 8YL (United Kingdom); Merchant, Nathan D., E-mail: nathan.merchant@cefas.co.uk [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT (United Kingdom)

    2016-02-15

    Assessment of underwater noise is increasingly required by regulators of development projects in marine and freshwater habitats, and noise pollution can be a constraining factor in the consenting process. Noise levels arising from the proposed activity are modelled and the potential impact on species of interest within the affected area is then evaluated. Although there is considerable uncertainty in the relationship between noise levels and impacts on aquatic species, the science underlying noise modelling is well understood. Nevertheless, many environmental impact assessments (EIAs) do not reflect best practice, and stakeholders and decision makers in the EIA process are often unfamiliar with the concepts and terminology that are integral to interpreting noise exposure predictions. In this paper, we review the process of underwater noise modelling and explore the factors affecting predictions of noise exposure. Finally, we illustrate the consequences of errors and uncertainties in noise modelling, and discuss future research needs to reduce uncertainty in noise assessments.

  1. Making Marine Noise Pollution Impacts Heard: The Case of Cetaceans in the North Sea within Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heleen Middel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence of most marine animals on sound for their communication, foraging, protection, and ultimately their survival, the effects of noise pollution from human activities are of growing concern. Life cycle assessment (LCA can play a role in the understanding of how potential environmental impacts are related to industrial processes. However, noise pollution impacts on marine ecosystems have not yet been taken into account. This paper presents a first approach for the integration of noise impacts on marine ecosystems into the LCA framework by developing characterization factors (CF for the North Sea. Noise pollution triggers a large variety of impact pathways, but as a starting point and proof-of-concept we assessed impacts on the avoidance behaviour of cetaceans due to pile-driving during the construction of offshore windfarms in the North Sea. Our approach regards the impact of avoidance behaviour as a temporary loss of habitat, and assumes a temporary loss of all individuals within that habitat from the total regional population. This was verified with an existing model that assessed the population-level effect of noise pollution on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena in the North Sea. We expanded our CF to also include other cetacean species and tested it in a case study of the construction of an offshore windfarm (Prinses Amalia wind park. The total impact of noise pollution was in the same order of magnitude as impacts on other ecosystems from freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Although there are still many improvements to be made to this approach, it provides a basis for the implementation of noise

  2. Untapped potential of health impact assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Mirko S; Krieger, Gary R; Divall, Mark J; CissĂ©, GuĂ©ladio; Wielga, Mark; Singer, Burton H; Tanner, Marcel; Utzinger, JĂŒrg

    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.

  3. Livestock biodiversity and sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, I.

    2011-01-01

    Sustainable development equally includes environmental protection including biodiversity, economic growth and social equity, both within and between generations. The paper first reviews different aspects related to the sustainable use of livestock biodiversity and property regimes that influence

  4. Assessing the Economic Impacts of Pesticide Regulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe A. Schneider

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Economic impacts of pesticide regulations are assessed using five alternative methodologies. The regulations include crop supply-enhancing eradication programs and crop supply-decreasing pesticide bans. Alternative assessment methodologies differ regarding assumptions about market price and crop acreage adjustments. Results show that market and producer adjustments substantially impact conclusions about winners and losers from regulations, and estimated welfare effects can differ widely between the different methodologies. For small technological changes such as the hypothetical pendimethalin regulation, farm budgeting and sector modeling yield similar estimates. For more severe technological changes—like the boll weevil eradication program—simple budgeting approaches lead to a substantial bias.

  5. Life Cycle Thinking in Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bidstrup, Morten

    2015-01-01

    It has been advocated that life cycle thinking (LCT) should be applied in impact assessment (IA) to a greater extent, since some development proposals pose a risk of significant impacts throughout the interconnected activities of product systems. Multiple authors have proposed the usage of life...... cycle assessment (LCA) for such analytical advancement, but little to no research on this tool application has been founded in IA practice so far. The aim of this article is to elaborate further on the gains assigned to application of LCA. The research builds on a review of 85 Danish IA reports, which...

  6. Making robust policy decisions using global biodiversity indicators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Nicholson

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Eunyoung; Song, Wonkyong; Lee, Dongkun

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. Biodiversity in the Marketplace

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Heal

    2000-01-01

    What is the nature of biodiversity as an economic commodity and why does it matter? How would its conservation contribute economically to our well-being? In this article, Geoffrey Heal considers three issues: Why is biodiversity important from an economic perspective? What kind of commodity is it? Does our usual economic mechanism, the market system, have the capacity to appreciate the economic value of biodiversity? The author first tries to characterize biodiversity from an economic perspec...

  9. Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    David Pearce

    2005-01-01

    Biodiversity is important for human wellbeing, but it is declining. Measures to conserve biodiversity are essential but may be a waste of effort if several paradoxes are not addressed. The highest levels of diversity are in nations least able to practise effective conservation. The flow of funds to international biodiversity conservation appears trivial when compared to the scale of biodiversity loss. International agreements may not actually protect or conserve more than what would have been...

  10. New Weapons in the Toad Toolkit: A Review of Methods to Control and Mitigate the Biodiversity Impacts of Invasive Cane Toads (Rhinella Marina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingley, Reid; Ward-Fear, Georgia; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Greenlees, Matthew J; Phillips, Benjamin L; Brown, Gregory; Clulow, Simon; Webb, Jonathan; Capon, Robert; Sheppard, Andy; Strive, Tanja; Tizard, Mark; Shine, Richard

    2017-06-01

    Our best hope of developing innovative methods to combat invasive species is likely to come from the study of high-profile invaders that have attracted intensive research not only into control, but also basic biology. Here we illustrate that point by reviewing current thinking about novel ways to control one of the world’s most well-studied invasions: that of the cane toad in Australia. Recently developed methods for population suppression include more effective traps based on the toad’s acoustic and pheromonal biology. New tools for containing spread include surveillance technologies (e.g., eDNA sampling and automated call detectors), as well as landscape-level barriers that exploit the toad’s vulnerability to desiccation—a strategy that could be significantly enhanced through the introduction of sedentary, range-core genotypes ahead of the invasion front. New methods to reduce the ecological impacts of toads include conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging predators, gene banking, and targeted gene flow. Lastly, recent advances in gene editing and gene drive technology hold the promise of modifying toad phenotypes in ways that may facilitate control or buffer impact. Synergies between these approaches hold great promise for novel and more effective means to combat the toad invasion and its consequent impacts on biodiversity.

  11. Molecular epidemiological analysis to assess the influence of pet-ownership in the biodiversity of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in dog- and non-dog-owning healthy households.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VAN Balen, J C; Landers, T; Nutt, E; Dent, A; Hoet, A E

    2017-04-01

    It has been suggested that zoonotic transmission of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) can occur between owners and their pets within the same household. However, the influence that pet-ownership could have in the biodiversity of SA/MRSA strains circulating among owners is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to perform a molecular epidemiological analysis to evaluate and compare the biodiversity of SA/MRSA strains in dog-owning and non-dog-owning healthy households within the same community. Antimicrobial resistance, SCCmec type, USA type and clonality were assessed. Overall, 33·1% (165/499) of human subjects carried SA and 2·8% (14/499) carried MRSA. Among dogs, 7·1% (8/113) carried SA but none were MRSA positive. No difference was detected in the diversity index of SA/MRSA pulsotypes between dog-owning and non-dog-owning households; but, a marked variation was still observed in the pulsotypes circulating in each type of household. Additionally, simultaneous carriage of the same SA pulsotype in owner(s) and dog was observed in 57% of households with positive humans and pets. These results demonstrate that dogs can indeed participate in the circulation of SA/MRSA pulsotypes within a home and that the presence of a pet does not seem to favour certain strains within their household.

  12. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, María; Domeño, Celia; Nerín, Cristina

    2008-06-01

    The air quality in the AragĂłn 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 AragĂłn 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.

  13. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blasco, Maria; Domeno, Celia; Nerin, Cristina [Grupo GUIA-Instituto de Investigacion de Ingenieria en Aragon (I3A), Centro Superior de Ingenieros (CPS), Zaragoza (Spain)

    2008-06-15

    The air quality in the Aragon 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 Aragon valley ranged from 692 to 6420 ng g{sup -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{sup -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. (orig.)

  14. Impact of Office Automation: An Empirical Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-12-01

    imp F rq(I NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Monterey, California N I < DTIC S ELECTEI THESIS -’° "I I MPACT OF OFFICE AUTOMATION : AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT by...FLNDiNG NUMBERS PROGRAM PROCT TASK IWORK UNIT ELEMNT O NONO ACCESSION NO 11 TITLE (Include Security Classification) IMPACT OF OFFICE AUTOMATION : AN...identity by block number) FIELD GROUP I SB-GROLP Productivity Assessment; SACONS; Office Automation I I 19 ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary

  15. Biodiversity and globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Heal, Geoffrey

    2002-01-01

    Reduction of the earth’s biodiversity as a result of human activities is a matter of great concern to prominent scientists. What are the economic aspects of this loss? In economic terms, what is biodiversity and why might it matter? And is the loss of biodiversity in any way connected with globalization of the economy?

  16. Knowing Agricultural Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvany, P.

    2001-01-01

    The term "agricultural biodiversity" is relatively recent, perhaps post-CBD. Although, the specific nature of the biodiversity used by people was recognised for a long time, the overwhelming emphasis in the CBD was on general biodiversity, mainly 'wild' flora and fauna that inhabit this fragile biosphere in which people also live.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  18. Let us make impact assessment more accessible

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alton, Charles C.; Underwood, P. Benjamin

    2003-01-01

    Impact assessment professionals have traditionally written documents for themselves. Often, their work appears to be received with indifference by business professionals and decision makers who have different needs and interests. The two groups conflict when they should be thinking and planning together at the 'big picture' level (including the understanding of the social factors at work in environmental impact assessment) and developing related and workable 'site-specific' implementation that characterizes socially acceptable decision making. To achieve this goal, the IA professional needs to rethink the approach. IA professionals often focus on the traditional 'physical' environment, confining the assessment to facts and figures about hard aspects of the environment. Reams of detailed data are compiled to demonstrate impact assessment and to achieve a degree of certainty and precision. However, the sheer bulk of data assures that it will not be read by those who most need to use it. The IA professional must learn to prepare assessments that effectively consider less quantifiable, 'softer' aspects of the environment. We advocate preparation of an impact analysis that management decision makers and environmental stewards can use as a reference tool. The goal is to reduce or eliminate the hundreds of unread pages containing lengthy modeling runs and obscure details, and instead to prepare documents that are useful in both courtroom and boardroom. This convenient and quick-study 'consumer report' style combines with a tiered decision making process that assures broad long-term thinking and planning, and focused short-term detailed implementation, using a level of detail appropriate to the decision at hand. This methodology integrates social factors into decision making, so as to provide meaningful discussion and analysis. These principles, which have been proven in US boardrooms and courtrooms, will be illustrated with actual examples from broad policy-level impact

  19. Measuring temporal trends in biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Buckland, S. T.; Yuan, Y.; Marcon, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Yuan was part-funded by EPSRC/NERC Grant EP/1000917/1 and Marcon by ANR-10-LABX-25-01. In 2002, nearly 200 nations signed up to the 2010 target of the Convention for Biological Diversity, ‘to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’. In order to assess whether the target was met, it became necessary to quantify temporal trends in measures of diversity. This resulted in a marked shift in focus for biodiversity measurement. We explore the developments in measuring biodiver...

  20. Assessing prevention research impact: a bibliometric analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franks, Adele L; Simoes, Eduardo J; Singh, Rajdeep; Sajor Gray, Barbara

    2006-03-01

    This study was undertaken to explore a bibliometric approach to assessing the impact of selected prevention research center (PRC) peer-reviewed publications. The 25 eligible PRCs were asked to submit 15 papers that they considered the most important to be published in the decade 1994-2004. Journal articles (n=227) were verified in 2004 and categorized: 73% were research reports, 10% discussion articles, 9% dissemination articles, and 7% review articles. Only 189 articles (83%) were searchable via the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science databases for citation tracking in 2004. These 189 articles were published in 76 distinct journals and subsequently cited 4628 times (range 0 to 1523) in 1013 journals. Articles published before 2001 were cited a median of 14 times each. Publishing journals had a median ISI impact factor of 2.6, and ISI half-life of 7.2. No suitable benchmarks were available for comparison. The PRC influence factor (number of PRCs that considered a journal highly influential) was only weakly correlated with the ISI impact factor and was not correlated with half-life. Conventional bibliometric analysis to assess the scientific impact of public health prevention research is feasible, but of limited utility because of omissions from ISI's databases, and because citation benchmarks for prevention research have not been established: these problems can and should be addressed. Assessment of impact on public health practice, policy, or on the health of populations, will require more than a bibliometric approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 land use policies: Introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezlepkina, I.; Brouwer, F.M.; Reidsma, P.

    2014-01-01

    This special issue is built around a series of impact assessments of land use policies and sustainable development in developing countries, carried out in the EU-funded project LUPIS (Sixth framework programme, Global Change and Ecosystems, Contract 36955). The project targeted at the development

  3. Uncertainties in climate change impact assessment

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Overview Graphics. Uncertainties in climate change impact assessment. Possible errors in climate models, crop models and data used. Decrease in irrigation water availability will further reduce yields. Increased frequency of weather extremes will further increase production variability ...

  4. Case Study Report about Gender Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Stine Thidemann; Agustin, Lise Rolandsen

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this national case study report is to take a closer look at the use of Gender Impact Assessments in Denmark in order to describe the Danish implementation of this specific Gender Mainstreaming method. By way of analyzing two selected cases (two law proposals put forward by The Danish...

  5. Sustainability impacts of building products: An assessment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    include other building product assessment methodologies. This aspect makes it particularly relevant to developing countries where there is a strong interest in using construction and related industries to create beneficial social and economic impacts such as job creation and training. Keywords: sustainability, building ...

  6. Environmental Impact Assessment in Sustainable Water Resources ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The sustainable development of water resources is a multi-dimensional way of thinking about the connections or interdependencies among natural, social, and economic systems in the use of water. The purpose of environmental impact assessment is to guarantee a sustainable development that is in harmony with human ...

  7. Assessing Environmental Impact on Aquatic Macrophyte Species ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impact of environmental variables on distribution and composition of aquatic macrophyte community in a tropical river was assessed for one year (March 2009 to February 2010). Hypothesis tested was that the spatial variation in environmental variables on the river's longitudinal gradient affects macrophyte species ...

  8. GEOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Osondu

    GEOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND BENEFIT OF. GRANITIC ROCKS OF MINNA AREA, NORTHWESTERN NIGERIA. Alabi, A. A.. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejesm.v4i4.5. Received November 23rd 2011; accepted December 5th 2011. Abstract. Nigeria basement complex has shown that the ...

  9. Sustainability impacts of building products: An assessment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article investigates sustainability impacts of building products during production stage in developing countries. An analysis of literature is undertaken in order to establish current building product assessment methodologies and their relevance to developing country contexts. The review finds that many of these ...

  10. Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Toro CalderĂłn

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA in Colombia constitutes the primary tool for making decisions with respect to projects, works and activities (PWA with potential for significant environmental impacts. In the case of the infrastructure of the PWA, the EIA is mandatory and determines the environmental license (EL for construction and operation. This paper analyzes the methods used to assess the environmental impact of the PWA that have applied for licenses with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. It was found that the method most frequently used is the qualitative proposal by Conesa, with modifications that reduce the effectiveness of the EIA and favor the subjectivity and bias of the evaluator. Finally a series of recom­mendations to improve the process in the country are proposed.

  11. The value of environmental impact assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sohocki, D.D.

    1996-01-01

    The environment and the economy are inextricably linked. Today the environmental, economic, and social associated with project and program decisions are at times of such a magnitude and duration that they exceed our ability to understand, let alone mitigate them. Energy production, distribution, pricing, policies, end uses, and externalities demonstrate the need for wise planning and informed decision making. International cooperation, based upon mutually shared respect, responsibility, and innovative solutions is an essential component of addressing contemporary issues, impacts, and opportunities. Both egypt and the united states have laws requiring environmental impact assessments. Just as egypt can learn from our successes and failures in the environmental impact assessment field over the past 36 years, the united states and other nations can learn as egypt develops and innovates its own approaches and solutions

  12. Assessing the impact of Solvency Assessment and Management on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study investigates how regulatory changes influence the role of risk management in insurance companies, more specifically the impact which Pillar II of Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) may have on risk management in a South African insurance company. Furthermore, the study evaluates the current ...

  13. Impact assessment of Iran's health technology assessment programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazdizadeh, Bahareh; Mohtasham, Farideh; Velayati, Ashraf

    2018-02-22

    Following approximately 10 years from the beginning of Iran's national Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme, the present study aims to evaluate its success by examining the impact of HTA and identifying the determinant factors leading to the implementation of HTA report results. The triangulation method was employed herein. HTA reports were initially identified and their impact and determinant factors were then examined from the perspectives of both researchers (by preparing a questionnaire according to the Payback model and sending it to HTA principle investigators) and stakeholders (semi-structured interviews held with each HTA stakeholder). Simultaneously, the quality of the HTA reports was examined with relevant critical appraisal checklists. The impact of 19 equipment technologies and four pharmaceutical technologies were assessed in this study. Twenty researchers replied (response rate, 86.96%) to the questionnaire on the impact of HTA reports from the researcher's perspective. To assess the impact of HTA reports from the stakeholder's perspective, seven policy-makers were chosen and interviewed as the main target audience. The most common step taken to disseminate the results of the HTA projects was publication. Conducting the HTA had taught researchers and their colleagues' new skills and had facilitated the securing of research grants from other organisations. Most reports had used the systematic review method but the relevant details had been scarcely presented regarding outcomes, costs and analysis. The greatest impact of HTA reports on decision-making had been on policy-makers providing and allocating finances. Barriers in stewardship, identification and prioritisation of topics, performance and dissemination of HTA results were the main barriers of implementing HTAs. In most aspects, the status of HTA impact reports need improvement. Thus far, the barriers and facilitators of the HTA programme in Iran have been investigated in other studies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The relation of risk assessment and health impact assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ádåm, Balåzs; Gulis, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    The level and distribution of health risks in a society is substantially influenced by measures of various policies, programmes or projects. Risk assessment can evaluate the nature, likelihood and severity of an adverse effect. Health impact assessment (HIA) provides similar function when used...... as a powerful tool for the evaluation of potential health consequences of planned measures. It is often discussed whether HIA is not just another term or form of risk assessment and what is their relation. Our aim is to discuss similarities and differences between the two methods so as to clarify...... their relationship. The experiences accumulated during the preparation of several case studies in a large scale international project (RAPID) are used for argumentation and formulation of recommendations on how risk assessment can be systematically integrated into the HIA process. Risk assessment uses well...

  17. In search of conservation impact. A comment on Schusser 2012: Who determines biodiversity? An analysis of actors' power and interests in community forestry in Namibia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bluwstein, Jevgeniy; Lund, Jens Friis; Balooni, Kulbhushan

    2014-01-01

    The paper 'Who determines biodiversity?' concludes that community forestry contributes to improvement of biodiversity and that this outcome is shaped by certain powerful actors. We do not find that these conclusions are adequately supported by the evidence presented and argue that the study...

  18. Impact assessment of agricultural innovations: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Barrientos-Fuentes

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The current conditions of the markets and favorable policies, as well as the progress of science and communications, are promoting further development and diffusion of agricultural innovations, which have effects on different areas of agrarian development. The objective of this paper is to present a review of characteristics of agricultural innovations and their diffusion, adoption and impacts, as well as an update of the types and methods of assessment. Agricultural innovations are not only new or improved products, they are also models and systems, and should have a positive social effect. Innovation areas in developing countries are more concentrated on production and distribution, whereas developed countries concentrate on offering inputs. Investments from the private sector in agricultural innovations are growing faster than those from the public sector. The adoption of innovations is medium-term, and usually less than 100%. The impact of innovations includes intermediate areas, such as institutional, political, scientific and productive areas. The economic efficiency of the investment in innovations is the most often mentioned purpose of impact assessments in the literature. The efficiency analysis (ex-post and its surplus approach is still the most used method for assessing impact of agricultural innovations. Nevertheless, other goals are becoming more important, such as food security, environmental protection and poverty reduction. Livelihood, comprehensive and multidimensional approaches go beyond the economic approach. Moreover, specific models with advantages of prognosis and improved precision are replacing or complementing the classic socio-economic approach

  19. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Farming Approaches for Greater Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Food Security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Roles of social impact assessment practitioners

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wong, Cecilia H.M., E-mail: ceciliawonghm@gmail.com; Ho, Wing-chung, E-mail: wingcho@cityu.edu.hk

    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.

  2. Roles of social impact assessment practitioners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Land use impact evaluation in life cycle assessment based on ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wagendorp, Tim; Gulinck, Hubert; Coppin, Pol; Muys, Bart

    2006-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies of products with a major part of their life cycle in biological production systems (i.e. forestry and agriculture) are often incomplete because the assessment of the land use impact is not operational. Most method proposals include the quality of the land in a descriptive way using rank scores for an arbitrarily selected set of indicators. This paper first offers a theoretical framework for the selection of suitable indicators for land use impact assessment, based on ecosystem thermodynamics. According to recent theories on the thermodynamics of open systems, a goal function of ecosystems is to maximize the dissipation of exogenic exergy fluxes by maximizing the internal exergy storage under form of biomass, biodiversity and complex trophical networks. Human impact may decrease this ecosystem exergy level by simplification, i.e. decreasing biomass and destroying internal complexity. Within this theoretical framework, we then studied possibilities for assessing the land use impact in a more direct way by measuring the ecosystems' capacity to dissipate solar exergy. Measuring ecosystem thermal characteristics by using remote sensing techniques was considered a promising tool. Once operational, it could offer a quick and cheap alternative to quantify land use impacts in any terrestrial ecosystem of any size. Recommendations are given for further exploration of this method and for its integration into an ISO compatible LCA framework

  4. Plant-Biodiversity Conservation in Academic Institutions: An Efficient Approach for Conserving Biodiversity Across Ecological Regions in India

    OpenAIRE

    Sunil Nautiyal

    2010-01-01

    In view of the fact that 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), with the slogan ‘Biodiversity is Life’, a study was undertaken to assess the biodiversity existing at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), an academic institution, and to understand how academic institutions could play a significant role in conserving biodiversity. ISEC is located in a sylvan 16-hectare campus at Nagarabhavi, abutting the Bangalore University's 'Jnanabharati' premises on the southwe...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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/CerradĂŁo) 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.

  6. Assessment of Environmental Impact of Thai Housing

    OpenAIRE

    Tikul, Nachawit; Srichandr, Panya

    2011-01-01

    Building and construction has consumed a lot of various resources and emitted pollution.  These cause environmental problems, especially global warming.  The buildings and constructions in various regions and different styles will lead to different environmental problems and levels of seriousness.   The objective of this research is to assess the global warming impact from the use of construction materials in residential buildings since this type of buildin...

  7. Biological Assessment on Impacts to Peregrine Falcons

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-03-15

    George W. Ploudre, P.E. Assistant Chief, Engineering Division NPSEN-PL-ER 15 March 1984 LUMMI BAY MARINA, WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT...Randall K. Knapp, and James K. Fackler, .1984. "The Behavior and Ecology of Fall Peregrine Falcons at Lummi Bay and Vicinity, Whatcom County...impacts of the proposed Lummi Bay Marina project, Whatcom County, Washington on the Federally endangered peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus

  8. Social Impact Assessment : Guidance for assessing and managing the social impacts of projects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanclay, Francis; Esteves, Ana Maria; Aucamp, Ilse; Franks, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide advice to various stakeholders about what is expected in good practice social impact assessment (SIA) and social impact management processes, especially in relation to project development. Project development refers to dams, mines, oil and gas

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    JĂžrgensen, Susanne Vedel; Cherubini, Francesco; Michelsen, Ottar

    2014-01-01

    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...

  11. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Environmental impact assessment of NPP decommissioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinca, R.

    2009-01-01

    In this presentation the following potential impacts of decommissioning of NPP are discussed: - Impacts on population; Impacts on natural environment; Land impacts; Impacts on urban complex and land utilisation; Possible impacts on area as a result of failure.

  16. The substantial first impact of bottom fishing on rare biodiversity hotspots: a dilemma for evidence-based conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Cook

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

  17. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassol, S.J.; Zijderveld, J.; Moll, H.

    2004-01-01

    The Arctic is warming much more rapidly than previously known, at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the globe, and increasing greenhouse gases from human activities are projected to make it warmer still, according to an unprecedented four-year scientific study of the region conducted by an international team of 300 scientists. At least half the summer sea ice in the Arctic is projected to melt by the end of this century, along with a significant portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as the region is projected to warm an additional 4-7C by the year 2100. These changes will have major global impacts, such as contributing to global sea-level rise and intensifying global warming, according to the final report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). The assessment was commissioned by the Arctic Council (a ministerial intergovernmental forum comprised of the eight Arctic countries and six Indigenous Peoples organizations) and the International Arctic Science Committee (an international scientific organization appointed by 18 national academies of science). The assessment's projections are based on a moderate estimate of future emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and incorporate results from five major global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [nl

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Power station impacts: socio-economic impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glasson, John; Elson, Martin; Barrett, Brendan; Wee, D. Van der

    1987-01-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the local social and economic impacts of a proposed nuclear power station development at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The proposed development, Hinkley Point C, would be an addition to the existing Hinkley Point A Magnox station, commissioned in 1965, and the Hinkley Point B Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) station, commissioned in 1976. It is hoped that the study will be of assistance to the CEGB, the Somerset County and District Councils and other agencies in their studies of the proposed development. In addition, the study seeks to apply and further develop the methodology and results from previous studies by the Power Station Impacts (PSI) team for predicting the social and economic effects of proposed power station developments on their localities. (author)

  20. Guidelines for Using Movement Science to Inform Biodiversity Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcito, Kendyl; Utzinger, JĂŒrg; 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Breaking boundaries for biodiversity : expanding the policy agenda to halt biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, M.P.; Sanders, M.E.; Tekelenburg, A.; Gerritsen, A.L.; Lörzing, J.A.; Brink, Th.

    2010-01-01

    Our assessment from the perspective of the Netherlands, a country in the temperate zone, showed a slightly positive picture, in line with the overall results for this zone. The loss of biodiversity in the Netherlands has been slowed down, but the European target – halting the loss of biodiversity –

  5. 40 CFR 227.22 - Assessment of impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Assessment of impact. 227.22 Section... FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS Impact of the Proposed Dumping on Other Uses of the Ocean § 227.22 Assessment of impact. The assessment of impact on other uses...

  6. Environmental Impact Assessment and Space Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    2011-01-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najwer, Alicja; Borysiak, Janina; Gudowicz, Joanna; Mazurek, MaƂgorzata; ZwoliƄski, 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 DÄ

  9. Polycladida biodiversity and systematics: an integrative approach

    OpenAIRE

    Bahia Maceira, Juliana

    2017-01-01

    In face of the fact that marine biodiversity is highly threatened by human impacts on the environment, it is important to know what we want to protect. This thesis addresses the biodiversity and systematics of Polycladida, which are free-living Platyhelminthes with highly ramified intestine. Polylclads live in all types of marine environments whereas most areas of the world remain unsampled. From the around 1000 species considered valid many were described based on single or immature specimen...

  10. Assessing the ecological impact of banana farms on water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrate community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Ola; Bellamy, Angelina Sanderson; Van den Brink, Paul J; Tedengren, Michael; Gunnarsson, Jonas S

    2017-01-23

    In Costa Rica, considerable effort goes to conservation and protection of biodiversity, while at the same time agricultural pesticide use is among the highest in the world. Several protected areas, some being wetlands or marine reserves, are situated downstream large-scale banana farms, with an average of 57 pesticide applications per year. The banana industry is increasingly aware of the need to reduce their negative environmental impact, but few ecological field studies have been made to evaluate the efficiency of proposed mitigation strategies. This study compared the composition of benthic macroinvertebrate communities up- and downstream effluent water from banana farms in order to assess whether benthic invertebrate community structure can be used to detect environmental impact of banana farming, and thereby usable to assess improvements in management practises. Aquatic invertebrate samples were collected at 13 sites, using kick-net sampling, both up- and downstream banana farms in fast flowing streams in the Caribbean zone of Costa Rica. In total, 2888 invertebrate specimens were collected, belonging to 15 orders and 48 families or taxa. The change in community composition was analysed using multivariate statistics. Additionally, a biodiversity index and the Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) score system was applied along with a number of community composition descriptors. Multivariate analyses indicated that surface waters immediately up- and downstream large-scale banana farms have different macroinvertebrate community compositions with the most evident differences being higher dominance by a single taxa and a much higher total abundance, mostly of that same taxon. Assessment of macroinvertebrate community composition thus appears to be a viable approach to detect negative impact from chemical-intensive agriculture and could become an effective means to monitor the efficacy of changes/proposed improvements in farming practises in Costa Rica and

  11. Impact assessment as a design tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyhne, Ivar

    Research and development (R&D) programmes constitute a pivotal arena for shaping technologies of the future. In order to make qualified decisions, R&D programmes ought to be subject to impact assessment (IA). It seems, however, that only a few countries have developed a systematic practice. One...... reason for the limited practice might be that IA of R&D policy is said to be particularly difficult. This paper reports on experiences from a voluntary IA application in Danish with point of departure in the question: How does IA work as a design tool in terms of R&D programmes?...

  12. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Smolders, H.; Sours, S.; Pou, S.

    2005-01-01

    CambodianÂżs civil wars have seriously affected the countryÂżs agro-biodiversity and the farmersÂż traditional knowledge in this field. The PEDIGREA project aims at conserving on-farm agro-biodiversity conservation and in Cambodia it focuses on vegetable diversity. It tries to link the preservation of

  13. In Defence of Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, Alfred; Burch Brown, Joanna

    2017-01-01

    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by

  14. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonius G T Schut

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Methodology for Environmental Impact Assessment; Metodik foer miljoekonsekvensbedoemning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malmlund, Anna (Structor Miljoebyraan Stockholm AB (Sweden))

    2010-12-15

    This report is an appendix to 'Environmental Impact Assessment Interim storage, encapsulation and disposal of spent nuclear fuel'. The appendix presents the methodology and criteria used in support investigations to conduct impact assessments.

  17. Integrated Climate Change Impacts Assessment in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Environmental impact assessments for energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loevblad, Gun; Skaerby, Lena

    2000-06-01

    The report is the final report from a jointly financed project within lVL studying methodology for environmental impact assessments (EIAs). The aim has been to show possibilities and problems with EIAs for air pollution emissions from energy production plants in environments where critical loads and levels are exceeded. The project has mainly dealt with plants emitting air pollutants with environmental effects on the regional scale, including sulphur and nitrogen compounds, volatile organic compounds and particles, and effects such as acidification, eutrophication and ozone formation. Conclusions from the work are that project managers, environmental auditors, together with regional and local authorities could have use for better and more detailed guidelines, in the form of more detailed emission data from different types of alternative plants; Guidelines for the elaborating and assessing of relevant zero alternatives; Regional environmental goals and guidelines for the acceptable contribution to these by different activities; Criteria for the definition of the areas of 'environmental influence'. Furthermore, quantitative relationships between exposure and effects may contribute to better and more detailed descriptions of environmental impact and the need of decreasing the load for the recovery of polluted ecosystems

  20. Qualitative Assessment: Evaluating the Impacts of Climate ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    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