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.

  2. Assessing the impact of plantation forestry on plant biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Ch. Braun

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Effects of plantation forestry on biodiversity are controversially discussed in literature. While some authors stress positive effects, others tend to attribute a largely negative influence to plantations. One important factor steering the influence on biodiversity are management practices. A second important factor is the environmental matrix. Chile offers the option to analyse both factors jointly. The coastal range of central Chile has experienced rapid and widespread replacement of native Nothofagus spp. forests in favour of Pinus radiata plantations. Here, native forests remain limited to small patches surrounded by an environmental matrix of plantations. Management is rather intensive and not designed to maintain biodiversity. While in the coastal range of central Chile the transformation from native forests to non-native tree plantations has almost come to an end, spatial extension of P. contorta and P. ponderosa plantations has just recently begun in Chilean Patagonia. While the management is similar to central Chile, plantations rather exist as small patches surrounded by an environmental matrix of native plant formations (e.g. Nothofagus spp. forests and Nothofagus spp. scrublands. In the framework of this work, effects of the two diametric land usages on biodiversity are assessed and compared. Biodiversity is assessed at the α-, β- and γ-scale. At the α-scale, biodiversity impacts are inferred statistically, using one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s PostHoc test. Biodiversity of plants at both sites is significantly reduced in plantations when compared to native forests or scrublands. Plantation forestry lowers α-biodiversity and does not provide additional habitats for specialists. At the β-scale, weak edge effects due to the presence of native forests are observed. In total, plantation forestry tends to promote plant invasions and impairs the survival of endemics. At the γ-scale, plant species communities where predominantly native

  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. Assessing impacts of intensified biomass production and biodiversity protection on ecosystem services provided by European forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkerk, P.J.; Mavsar, R.; Giergiczny, M.; Lindner, M.; Edwards, D.; Schelhaas, M.J.

    2014-01-01

    To develop viable strategies for intensifying the use of forest biomass and for increasing forest protection, impacts on ecosystem services need to be assessed. We investigated the biophysical and economic impacts of increased forest biomass production and biodiversity protection on forest ecosystem

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss. PMID:22308313

  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. 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

  10. 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

    This study applied a structured expert elicitation technique, the Delphi method, to identify the impacts of five forest management alternatives and several forest characteristics on the preservation of biodiversity and habitats in the boreal zone of the Nordic countries. The panel of experts...... as a valuable addition to on-going empirical and modeling efforts. The findings could assist forest managers in developing forest management strategies that generate benefits from timber production while taking into account the trade-offs with biodiversity goals....

  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. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of GM crops on biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Janet E

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Uncertainty in projected impacts of climate change on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garcia, Raquel A.

    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, uncerta......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......, 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...

  1. 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

  2. Including biodiversity in life cycle assessment – State of the art, gaps and research needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winter, Lisa; Lehmann, Annekatrin; Finogenova, Natalia; Finkbeiner, Matthias

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: For over 20 years the feasibility of including man-made impacts on biodiversity in the context of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been explored. However, a comprehensive biodiversity impact assessment has so far not been performed. The aim of this study is to analyse how biodiversity is currently viewed in LCA, to highlight limitations and gaps and to provide recommendations for further research. Method: Firstly, biodiversity indicators are examined according to the level of biodiversity they assess (genetic, species, ecosystem) and to their usefulness for LCA. Secondly, relevant pressures on biodiversity that should be included in LCA are identified and available models (in and outside of an LCA context) for their assessment are discussed. Thirdly, existing impact assessment models are analysed in order to determine whether and how well pressures are already integrated into LCA. Finally, suggestions on how to include relevant pressures and impacts on biodiversity in LCA are provided and the necessary changes in each LCA phase that must follow are discussed. Results: The analysis of 119 indicators shows that 4% of indicators represent genetic diversity, 40% species diversity and 35% ecosystem diversity. 21% of the indicators consider further biodiversity-related topics. Out of the indicator sample, 42 indicators are deemed useful as impact indicators in LCA. Even though some identified pressures are already included in LCA with regard to their impacts on biodiversity (e.g. land use, carbon dioxide emissions etc.), other proven pressures on biodiversity have not yet been considered (e.g. noise, artificial light). Conclusion: Further research is required to devise new options (e.g. impact assessment models) for integrating biodiversity into LCA. The final goal is to cover all levels of biodiversity and include all missing pressures in LCA. Tentative approaches to achieve this goal are outlined. - Highlights: •Calculating man-made impacts highlights

  3. Human impact gradient on mammalian biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Munguía

    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

  4. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition in world biodiversity hotspots: the need for a greater global perspective in assessing N deposition impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Phoenix, G.K.; Hicks, W.K.; Cinderby, S.; Kuylenstierna, J.C.I.; Stock, W.D.; Dentener, F.J.; Giller, K.E.; Austin, A.T.; Lefroy, R.D.B.; Gimeno, B.S.; Ashmore, M.R.; Ineson, P.

    2006-01-01

    Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is known to reduce plant diversity in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, yet our understanding of these impacts comes almost entirely from studies in northern Europe and North America. Currently, we lack an understanding of the threat of N deposition

  5. 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... Observation for Biodiversity Assessment (EO-BA) programme is designed to enhance biodiversity assessment and conservation through the application of earth observation data, with particular focus on the African continent. MISSION To initiate and develop...

  6. Biodiversity analyses for risk assessment of genetically modified potato

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lazebnik, Jenny; Dicke, Marcel; Braak, ter Cajo J.F.; Loon, van Joop J.A.

    2017-01-01

    An environmental risk assessment for the introduction of genetically modified crops includes assessing the consequences for biodiversity. In this study arthropod biodiversity was measured using pitfall traps in potato agro-ecosystems in Ireland and The Netherlands over two years. We tested the

  7. Curbing UK impacts on global biodiversity: an agenda for action

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Steve [Scott Wilson Ltd (United Kingdom); Craeynest, Lies [WWF (United Kingdom); Bass, Steve

    2008-05-15

    Stemming the tide of biodiversity loss is a global issue with national implications. The UK has set up initiatives to reduce its impacts on biodiversity worldwide — but as a government review found in 2006, these have yet to add up to a comprehensive strategy. How can the gaps be filled? New research suggests that action on a number of fronts is key. Many UK policies and practices clearly affect biodiversity even though they do not directly address it. For instance, UK imports such as coffee, cocoa and sugar are linked to biodiversity loss. By integrating relevant mainstream concerns such as trade and exploitation of natural resources into an overall strategy, the UK government could better demonstrate its commitment to reducing biodiversity loss significantly by the target date of 2010.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Andreas Christian; Koch, Barbara

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Temperature impacts on deep-sea biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

    Temperature is considered to be a fundamental factor controlling biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but precisely what role temperature plays in modulating diversity is still not clear. The deep ocean, lacking light and in situ photosynthetic primary production, is an ideal model system to test the effects of temperature changes on biodiversity. Here we synthesize current knowledge on temperature-diversity relationships in the deep sea. Our results from both present and past deep-sea assemblages suggest that, when a wide range of deep-sea bottom-water temperatures is considered, a unimodal relationship exists between temperature and diversity (that may be right skewed). It is possible that temperature is important only when at relatively high and low levels but does not play a major role in the intermediate temperature range. Possible mechanisms explaining the temperature-biodiversity relationship include the physiological-tolerance hypothesis, the metabolic hypothesis, island biogeography theory, or some combination of these. The possible unimodal relationship discussed here may allow us to identify tipping points at which on-going global change and deep-water warming may increase or decrease deep-sea biodiversity. Predicted changes in deep-sea temperatures due to human-induced climate change may have more adverse consequences than expected considering the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to temperature changes. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. 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

  13. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity offers multiple opportunities for development and improving human well-being. It is the basis for essential environmental services upon which life on Earth depends. Thus, its conservation and sustainable use are of critical importance...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Tailoring Global Data to Guide Corporate Investments in Biodiversity, Environmental Assessments and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Kiesecker

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Companies make significant investments in environmental impacts assessments, biodiversity action plans, life-cycle assessments, and environmental management systems, but guidance on where and when these tools can be best used, and how they may scale-up to inform corporation-wide planning, is sorely lacking. A major barrier to informed environmental decision-making within companies, especially in data poor regions of the world, is the difficulty accessing, analyzing, and interpreting biodiversity information. To address this shortcoming, we analyzed nine publicly available environmental datasets, and created five globally-relevant metrics associated with biodiversity: habitat intactness, habitat protection, species richness (globally and biome normalized, and threatened species. We demonstrate how packaging these metrics within an open-source, web-based mapping tool can facilitate corporations in biodiversity prioritization of their sites (or their supply chains, ultimately guiding potential investments in the environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-16

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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),...

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Giraldo; Luis Jair

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is a really surprising ecological event, as long as there is an extraordinary chemical and biochemical homogeneity at the very foundation of all living beings. It is believed that there are at least three phenomena that may explain it: Darwinian evolution, that is a kind of ramifying evolution; structural coupling, as defined by H. Maturana; and, finally, thermodynamical phenomena, as presented by S. Kauffman leaning on the concepts of organization and a propagating organization that diversifies, and they are all interpreted by E. D. Schneider and J. J. Kay from the idea of Earth as a thermodynamical system. The explanatory importance of this idea in the current environmental crisis, evident in other events such as global warming, is of great relevance.

  8. Landscape Ecological Analysis and Assessment in an Urbanising Environment - forest birds as biodiversity indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Mörtberg, Ulla

    2004-01-01

    To achieve a sustainable development, impacts onbiodiversity of urbanisation, infrastructure, land use changesand other developments must be considered on a landscape andregional scale. Landscape ecology can provide a conceptualframework for the assessment of consequences of long-termdevelopment processes like urbanisation on biodiversity on alandscape scale, and for evaluating the impacts of alternativeplanning scenarios. The aim of this study was to explore theeffects of habitat quality, qu...

  9. Dangerous Climate Velocities from Geoengineering Termination: Potential Biodiversity Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trisos, C.; Gurevitch, J.; Zambri, B.; Xia, L.; Amatulli, G.; Robock, A.

    2016-12-01

    Geoengineering has been suggested as a potential societal response to the impacts of ongoing global warming. If ongoing mitigation and adaptation measures do not prevent the most dangerous consequences of climate change, it is important to study whether solar radiation management would make the world less dangerous. While impacts of albedo modification on temperature, precipitation, and agriculture have been studied before, here for the first time we investigate its potential ecological impacts. We estimate the speeds marine and terrestrial ecosystems will need to move to remain in their current climate conditions (i.e., climate velocities) in response to the implementation and subsequent termination of geoengineering. We take advantage of climate model simulations conducted using the G4 scenario of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project, in which increased radiative forcing from the RCP4.5 scenario is balanced by a stratospheric aerosol cloud produced by an injection of 5 Tg of SO2 per year into the lower stratosphere for 50 years, and then stopped. The termination of geoengineering is projected to produce a very rapid warming of the climate, resulting in climate velocities much faster than those that will be produced from anthropogenic global warming. Should ongoing geoengineering be terminated abruptly due to society losing the means or will to continue, the resulting ecological impacts, as measured by climate velocities, could be severe for many terrestrial and marine biodiversity hotspots. Thus, the implementation of solar geoengineering represents a potential danger not just to humans, but also to biodiversity globally.

  10. 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

  11. Toward integrated analysis of human impacts on forest biodiversity: lessons from Latin America.

    OpenAIRE

    Newton, Adrian C.; Cayuela Delgado, Luis; Echeverría, Cristian; Armesto, Juan J.; Del Castillo, Rafael F.; Golicher, Duncan; Geneletti, Davide; González Espinosa, Mario; Huth, Andreas; López Barrera, Fabiola; Malizia, Lucio; Manson, Robert; Premoli, Andrea; Ramírez Marcial, Neptali; Rey Benayas, José María

    2009-01-01

    Although sustainable forest management (SFM) has been widely adopted as a policy and management goal, high rates of forest loss and degradation are still occurring in many areas. Human activities such as logging, livestock husbandry, crop cultivation, infrastructural development, and use of fire are causing widespread loss of biodiversity, restricting progress toward SFM. In such situations, there is an urgent need for tools that can provide an integrated assessment of human impacts on forest...

  12. 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, Bárbara; Heath, Melanie; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hutton, Jon; Johnson, Tim; Joolia, Ackbar; Keith, David A; Langhammer, Penny F; Luedtke, Jennifer; Nic Lughadha, Eimear; Lutz, Maiko; May, Ian; Miller, Rebecca M; Oliveira-Miranda, María A; Parr, Mike; Pollock, Caroline M; Ralph, Gina; Rodríguez, Jon Paul; Rondinini, Carlo; Smart, Jane; Stuart, Simon; Symes, Andy; Tordoff, Andrew W; Woodley, Stephen; Young, Bruce; Kingston, Naomi

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Integrated assessment of marine biodiversity status using a prototype indicator-based assessment tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H; Dahl, Karsten; Göke, Cordula

    2014-01-01

    the biodiversity status of Danish marine waters. The biodiversity status was in no areas classified as “unaffected by human activities.” In all the 22 assessment areas, the status was classified as either “moderately affected by human activities” or “significantly affected by human activities.” Spatial variations...

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2017-04-21

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Impact of the European Water framework directive on knowledge of biodiversity Impact of the European Water framework directive on knowledge of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Argillier and Mario Lepage

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The European Water framework directive requires observation and monitoring of certain biological communities to assess the ecological status of aquatic environments. How does the WFD contribute to knowledge and evaluation of aquatic biodiversity? What may be the results in terms of monitoring?The concept of biodiversity is complex and difficult to describe in an exhaustive manner. The Water Framework Directive (WFD, through its aquatic ecosystem monitoring network, aims to assess the ecological and chemical status of water bodies. This assessment requires observations on certain biological communities in a definite number of European sites representing continental, transitional and coastal water bodies. Consequently, the WFD contributes to improving knowledge on biodiversity. Nevertheless, genetic diversity and some communities are clearly not targeted and the monitoring networks are not well designed to assess changes in biodiversity. However, we may expect improvements in scientific knowledge of ecosystems and in the monitoring programmes that will make possible better convergence of environmental objectives.

  1. 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 ...

  2. CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: A SPECIAL REFERENCE TO GILGIT-BALTISTAN OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    S. Ishaq; M. Z. Khan; F. Begum; K. Hussain; R. Amir; A. Hussain; S. Ali

    2016-01-01

    Climate Change is not a stationary phenomenon; it moves from time to time, it represents a major threat to mountainous biodiversity and to ecosystem integrity. The present study is an attempt to identify the current knowledge gap and the effects of climate change on mountainous biodiversity, a special reference to the Gilgit-Baltistan is briefly reviewed. Measuring the impact of climate change on mountain biodiversity is quite challenging, because climate change interacts with every phenomeno...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. managing the impact of urbanization on biodiversity in emerging

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    were carried out; ortho-photographs were used to determine the spatial attributes of the green spaces. The ... Land use planning, environmental impact assessment and contracting supervisory .... significance of the green spaces in their.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:28658288

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Animal welfare impact assessments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandøe, Peter; Gamborg, Christian

    2017-01-01

    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...... is a welfare issue. Furthermore, we argue that AWIA is unlikely to prevent serious moral disagreements over how to weigh concerns about wild animals against priorities in human health, the health of domestic and farm animals, and biodiversity, but that it may nonetheless serve to limit harms imposed......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...

  11. 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

  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. 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

    the distinctiveness of species; this paper proposes the use of an FD index to calculate characterization factors (CFs) for land use impacts. Furthermore, we compare the results of the CFs to current practice and assess the increase in complexity introduced by the use of the new indicator.The model proposed is based...... challenges. Such indices are data hungry (requiring species composition and traits) require more complex calculations than current common practice, including decisions on the choice of a method to calculate FD and the selection of traits.......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...

  14. 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.

  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. Benchmarking DNA Metabarcoding for Biodiversity-Based Monitoring and Assessment

    KAUST Repository

    Aylagas, Eva; Borja, Á ngel; Irigoien, Xabier; Rodrí guez-Ezpeleta, Naiara

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NM. Piorski

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlson, Mårten; 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

  1. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlson, Mårten, E-mail: mkarlso@kth.se; Mörtberg, Ulla, E-mail: mortberg@kth.se; Balfors, Berit, E-mail: balfors@kth.se

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species, community, ecosystem and biome scales, notably showing that species can respond to climate change challenges by shifting their climatic niche along three non-exclusive axes: time (e.g. phenology), space (e.g. range) and self (e.g. physiology). Then, we present the principal specificities and caveats of the most common approaches used to estimate future biodiversity at global and sub-continental scales and we synthesise their results. Finally, we highlight several challenges for future research both in theoretical and applied realms. Overall, our review shows that current estimates are very variable, depending on the method, taxonomic group, biodiversity loss metrics, spatial scales and time periods considered. Yet, the majority of models indicate alarming consequences for biodiversity, with the worst-case scenarios leading to extinction rates that would qualify as the sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  4. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Urban land-cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. However, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to nearly 5 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change and explore the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

    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...... 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...

  9. Why Include Impacts on Biodiversity from Land Use in LCIA and How to Select Useful Indicators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottar Michelsen

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity is one of the most severe threats to sustainability, and land use and land use changes are still the single most important factor. Still, there is no sign of any consensus on how to include impacts on biodiversity from land use and land use changes in LCIA. In this paper, different characteristics of biodiversity are discussed and related to proposals on how to include land use and land use changes in LCIA. We identify the question of why we should care about biodiversity as a key question, since different motivations will result in different choices for the indicators, and we call for more openness in the motivation for indicator selection. We find a promising trend in combining pressure indicators with geographic weighting and regard this as a promising way ahead. More knowledge on the consequences of different choices, such as the selection of a reference state, is still needed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Teixidó

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Assessing biodiversity risks with socio economic methods: the ALARM experience

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Humans play an undeniable role in the acceleration of threats to the diversity of ecosystems, species and genes. This book is a response to the urgent need of policy oriented socio-ecological research, profoundly based on empirical evidence. Socio-environmental patterns and political responses are compared through the use of case studies analyzing a range of pressures to biodiversity. Aquatic bioinvasions in the Ebro River and Lake Izabal exemplify socio-environmental processes linked to rive...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. Accounting for no net loss: A critical assessment of biodiversity offsetting metrics and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreras Gamarra, Maria Jose; Lassoie, James Philip; Milder, Jeffrey

    2018-08-15

    Biodiversity offset strategies are based on the explicit calculation of both losses and gains necessary to establish ecological equivalence between impact and offset areas. Given the importance of quantifying biodiversity values, various accounting methods and metrics are continuously being developed and tested for this purpose. Considering the wide array of alternatives, selecting an appropriate one for a specific project can be not only challenging, but also crucial; accounting methods can strongly influence the biodiversity outcomes of an offsetting strategy, and if not well-suited to the context and values being offset, a no net loss outcome might not be delivered. To date there has been no systematic review or comparative classification of the available biodiversity accounting alternatives that aim at facilitating metric selection, and no tools that guide decision-makers throughout such a complex process. We fill this gap by developing a set of analyses to support (i) identifying the spectrum of available alternatives, (ii) understanding the characteristics of each and, ultimately (iii) making the most sensible and sound decision about which one to implement. The metric menu, scoring matrix, and decision tree developed can be used by biodiversity offsetting practitioners to help select an existing metric, and thus achieve successful outcomes that advance the goal of no net loss of biodiversity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Toward Integrated Analysis of Human Impacts on Forest Biodiversity: Lessons from Latin America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian C. Newton

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Although sustainable forest management (SFM has been widely adopted as a policy and management goal, high rates of forest loss and degradation are still occurring in many areas. Human activities such as logging, livestock husbandry, crop cultivation, infrastructural development, and use of fire are causing widespread loss of biodiversity, restricting progress toward SFM. In such situations, there is an urgent need for tools that can provide an integrated assessment of human impacts on forest biodiversity and that can support decision making related to forest use. This paper summarizes the experience gained by an international collaborative research effort spanning more than a decade, focusing on the tropical montane forests of Mexico and the temperate rain forests of southern South America, both of which are global conservation priorities. The lessons learned from this research are identified, specifically in relation to developing an integrated modeling framework for achieving SFM. Experience has highlighted a number of challenges that need to be overcome in such areas, including the lack of information regarding ecological processes and species characteristics and a lack of forest inventory data, which hinders model parameterization. Quantitative models are poorly developed for some ecological phenomena, such as edge effects and genetic diversity, limiting model integration. Establishment of participatory approaches to forest management is difficult, as a supportive institutional and policy environment is often lacking. However, experience to date suggests that the modeling toolkit approach suggested by Sturvetant et al. (2008 could be of value in such areas. Suggestions are made regarding desirable elements of such a toolkit to support participatory-research approaches in domains characterized by high uncertainty, including Bayesian Belief Networks, spatial multi-criteria analysis, and scenario planning.

  4. 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.

  5. CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: A SPECIAL REFERENCE TO GILGIT-BALTISTAN OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ishaq

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Climate Change is not a stationary phenomenon; it moves from time to time, it represents a major threat to mountainous biodiversity and to ecosystem integrity. The present study is an attempt to identify the current knowledge gap and the effects of climate change on mountainous biodiversity, a special reference to the Gilgit-Baltistan is briefly reviewed. Measuring the impact of climate change on mountain biodiversity is quite challenging, because climate change interacts with every phenomenon of ecosystem. The scale of this change is so large and very adverse so strongly connected to ecosystem services, and all communities who use natural resources. This study aims to provide the evidences on the basis of previous literature, in particular context to mountain biodiversity of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB. Mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan have most fragile ecosystem and are more vulnerable to climate change. These mountains host variety of wild fauna and flora, with many endangered species of the world. There are still many gaps in our knowledge of literature we studied because very little research has been conducted in Gilgit-Baltistan about climate change particular to biodiversity. Recommendations are made for increased research efforts in future this including jointly monitoring programs, climate change models and ecological research. Understanding the impact of climate change particular to biodiversity of GB is very important for sustainable management of these natural resources. The Government organizations, NGOs and the research agencies must fill the knowledge gap, so that it will help them for policy making, which will be based on scientific findings and research based.

  6. Climate change impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries and society in the Arabian Gulf.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colette C C Wabnitz

    Full Text Available Climate change-reflected in significant environmental changes such as warming, sea level rise, shifts in salinity, oxygen and other ocean conditions-is expected to impact marine organisms and associated fisheries. This study provides an assessment of the potential impacts on, and the vulnerability of, marine biodiversity and fisheries catches in the Arabian Gulf under climate change. To this end, using three separate niche modelling approaches under a 'business-as-usual' climate change scenario, we projected the future habitat suitability of the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf for 55 expert-identified priority species, including charismatic and non-fish species. Second, we conducted a vulnerability assessment of national economies to climate change impacts on fisheries. The modelling outputs suggested a high rate of local extinction (up to 35% of initial species richness by 2090 relative to 2010. Spatially, projected local extinctions are highest in the southwestern part of the Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE. While the projected patterns provided useful indicators of potential climate change impacts on the region's diversity, the magnitude of changes in habitat suitability are more uncertain. Fisheries-specific results suggested reduced future catch potential for several countries on the western side of the Gulf, with projections differing only slightly among models. Qatar and the UAE were particularly affected, with more than a 26% drop in future fish catch potential. Integrating changes in catch potential with socio-economic indicators suggested the fisheries of Bahrain and Iran may be most vulnerable to climate change. We discuss limitations of the indicators and the methods used, as well as the implications of our overall findings for conservation and fisheries management policies in the region.

  7. Climate change impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries and society in the Arabian Gulf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Vicky W. Y.; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Teh, Lydia C. L.; Al-Abdulrazzak, Dalal; Khalfallah, Myriam; Pauly, Daniel; Palomares, Maria L. Deng; Zeller, Dirk; Cheung, William W. L.

    2018-01-01

    Climate change–reflected in significant environmental changes such as warming, sea level rise, shifts in salinity, oxygen and other ocean conditions–is expected to impact marine organisms and associated fisheries. This study provides an assessment of the potential impacts on, and the vulnerability of, marine biodiversity and fisheries catches in the Arabian Gulf under climate change. To this end, using three separate niche modelling approaches under a ‘business-as-usual’ climate change scenario, we projected the future habitat suitability of the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf) for 55 expert-identified priority species, including charismatic and non-fish species. Second, we conducted a vulnerability assessment of national economies to climate change impacts on fisheries. The modelling outputs suggested a high rate of local extinction (up to 35% of initial species richness) by 2090 relative to 2010. Spatially, projected local extinctions are highest in the southwestern part of the Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the projected patterns provided useful indicators of potential climate change impacts on the region’s diversity, the magnitude of changes in habitat suitability are more uncertain. Fisheries-specific results suggested reduced future catch potential for several countries on the western side of the Gulf, with projections differing only slightly among models. Qatar and the UAE were particularly affected, with more than a 26% drop in future fish catch potential. Integrating changes in catch potential with socio-economic indicators suggested the fisheries of Bahrain and Iran may be most vulnerable to climate change. We discuss limitations of the indicators and the methods used, as well as the implications of our overall findings for conservation and fisheries management policies in the region. PMID:29718919

  8. Climate change impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries and society in the Arabian Gulf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wabnitz, Colette C C; Lam, Vicky W Y; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Teh, Lydia C L; Al-Abdulrazzak, Dalal; Khalfallah, Myriam; Pauly, Daniel; Palomares, Maria L Deng; Zeller, Dirk; Cheung, William W L

    2018-01-01

    Climate change-reflected in significant environmental changes such as warming, sea level rise, shifts in salinity, oxygen and other ocean conditions-is expected to impact marine organisms and associated fisheries. This study provides an assessment of the potential impacts on, and the vulnerability of, marine biodiversity and fisheries catches in the Arabian Gulf under climate change. To this end, using three separate niche modelling approaches under a 'business-as-usual' climate change scenario, we projected the future habitat suitability of the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf) for 55 expert-identified priority species, including charismatic and non-fish species. Second, we conducted a vulnerability assessment of national economies to climate change impacts on fisheries. The modelling outputs suggested a high rate of local extinction (up to 35% of initial species richness) by 2090 relative to 2010. Spatially, projected local extinctions are highest in the southwestern part of the Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the projected patterns provided useful indicators of potential climate change impacts on the region's diversity, the magnitude of changes in habitat suitability are more uncertain. Fisheries-specific results suggested reduced future catch potential for several countries on the western side of the Gulf, with projections differing only slightly among models. Qatar and the UAE were particularly affected, with more than a 26% drop in future fish catch potential. Integrating changes in catch potential with socio-economic indicators suggested the fisheries of Bahrain and Iran may be most vulnerable to climate change. We discuss limitations of the indicators and the methods used, as well as the implications of our overall findings for conservation and fisheries management policies in the region.

  9. 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.

  10. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica invasions in the US: Mechanisms, impacts, and threats to biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A. Estrada

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Invasions of non-native species can suppress biodiversity and alter ecosystem functions, but for many of the most widespread invasive species the mechanisms underlying their invasive success and effects on native species are poorly understood. Here we evaluated the peer-reviewed literature on causes and impacts of invasion by cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica, one of the most problematic invasive plant species in the southeast US. We assess what is known about why cogongrass is particularly invasive and how it affects native communities and ecosystems, review patterns in research methods employed, and provide a roadmap for future research on cogongrass. Although many studies have focused on the basic biology and management of cogongrass, we found surprisingly few (30 studies that have directly tested mechanisms or impacts of cogongrass invasions. The most commonly tested mechanisms, disturbance and allelopathy, were evaluated 4 and 12 times, respectively, and studies on invasion impacts were limited to five studies total: native plant diversity (2 studies, nitrogen cycling (2, decomposition (1, and fine fuel loads (1. Excluding laboratory studies on allelopathy, 75% (6/8 of impact studies used observational methods, raising questions about cause and effect. Given the paucity of studies on the ecology of cogongrass invasions, and the need to protect conservation areas from invasions, we urge that research efforts focus on: (1 environmental correlates of distribution and performance, (2 the role of propagule pressure in invasion success, (3 enemy release and post-introduction evolution as mechanisms of invasion, and (4 experimental tests of community and ecosystem impacts of invasions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seto, Karen C; Güneralp, 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.

  14. Global Forecasts of Urban Expansion to 2030 and Direct Impacts on Biodiversity and Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seto, K. C.; Guneralp, B.; Hutyra, L.

    2012-12-01

    Urban land cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. Yet, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to 4.3 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop the first global probabilistic forecasts of urban land cover change and explore the impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue, then by 2030, urban land cover will expand between 800,000 and 3.3 million km2, representing a doubling to five-fold increase from the global urban land cover in 2000. This would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, including the Guinean forests of West Africa, Tropical Andes, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Within the pan-tropics, loss in forest biomass from urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr-1), equal to approximately 5% of emissions from tropical land use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and forest carbon losses.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    gradients. We used macrophyte, fish and macroinvertebrate data from Danish lowland streams to investigate whether (1) high connectivity in reaches situated in lower parts of the stream network (downstream sites) generates high α-diversity, while dispersal limitation and high habitat heterogeneity across......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. γ-, α- and β-diversity) change along present-day anthropogenic impact...... the more isolated upper reaches (headwater sites) generate high β-diversity, (2) γ-, α- and β- 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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 Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R; Willig, Michael R; Winarni, Nurul L; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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 Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H.; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R.; Willig, Michael R.; Winarni, Nurul L.; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J.

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Towards harmonised assessment and classification of "biodiversity status" in the North Sea eco-region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, H.; Andersen, Jesper; Vinther, M.

    As one of the milestones in the HARMONY-project a demonstration of the application of the integrative indicator based biodiversity assessment tool (BEAT) was undertaken for the Greater North Sea sub-region across a range of coastal and offshore areas. The first version of the BEAT tool was applie...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-15

    In this paper we describe a methodology to model the impacts of policy measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on farm production, income and prices, and on farmland biodiversity. Two stylised scenarios are used to illustrate how the method works. The effects of CAP measures, such as subsidies and regulations, are calculated and translated into changes in land use and land-use intensity. These factors are then used to model biodiversity with a species-based indicator on a 1 km scale in the EU27. The Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact Modelling System (CAPRI) is used to conduct the economic analysis and Dyna-CLUE (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects) is used to model land use changes. An indicator that expresses the relative species richness was used as the indicator for biodiversity in agricultural areas. The methodology is illustrated with a baseline scenario and two scenarios that include a specific policy. The strength of the methodology is that impacts of economic policy instruments can be linked to changes in agricultural production, prices and incomes, on the one hand, and to biodiversity effects, on the other - with land use and land-use intensity as the connecting drivers. The method provides an overall assessment, but for detailed impact assessment at landscape, farm or field level, additional analysis would be required. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Catherine Marina; Hill, Wendy

    2007-12-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. Potential impact of genetically modified Lepidoptera-resistant Brassica napus in biodiversity hotspots: Sicily as a theoretical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manachini, Barbara; Bazan, Giuseppe; Schicchi, Rosario

    2018-03-14

    The general increase of the cultivation and trade of Bt transgenic plants resistant to Lepidoptera pests raises concerns regarding the conservation of animal and plant biodiversity. Demand for biofuels has increased the cultivation and importation of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), including transgenic lines. In environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for its potential future cultivation as well as for food and feed uses, the impact on wild Brassicaeae relatives and on non-target Lepidoptera should be assessed. Here we consider the potential exposure of butterflies as results of possible cultivation or naturalization of spilled seed in Sicily (Italy). Diurnal Lepidoptera, which are pollinators, can be exposed directly to the insecticidal proteins as larvae (mainly of Pieridae) through the host and through the pollen that can deposit on other host plants. Adults can be exposed via pollen and nectar. The flight periods of butterflies were recorded, and they were found to overlap for about 90% of the flowering period of B. napus for the majority of the species. In addition, B. napus has a high potential to hybridise with endemic taxa belonging to the B. oleracea group. This could lead to an exposure of non-target Lepidoptera if introgression of the Bt gene into a wild population happens. A rank of the risk for butterflies and wild relatives of oilseed rape is given. We conclude that, in environmental risk assessments, attention should be paid to plant-insect interaction especially in a biodiversity hotspot such as Sicily. © 2018 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varsha Vijay

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aust, Shelly K; Ahrendsen, Dakota L; Kellar, P Roxanne

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Adaptation and evolution in marine environments. Vol. 2. The impacts of global change on biodiversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verde, Cinzia; Di Prisco, Guido (eds.) [CNR, Napoli (Italy). Inst. of Protein Biochemistry

    2013-02-01

    Offers a regionally focussed approach. Describes research on adaptive evolution. State-of-the-art content. The second volume of ''Adaptation and Evolution in Marine Environments - The Impacts of Global Change on Biodiversity'' from the series ''From Pole to Pole'' integrates the marine biology contribution of the first tome to the IPY 2007-2009, presenting overviews of organisms (from bacteria and ciliates to higher vertebrates) thriving on polar continental shelves, slopes and deep sea. The speed and extent of warming in the Arctic and in regions of Antarctica (the Peninsula, at the present) are greater than elsewhere. Changes impact several parameters, in particular the extent of sea ice; organisms, ecosystems and communities that became finely adapted to increasing cold in the course of millions of years are now becoming vulnerable, and biodiversity is threatened. Investigating evolutionary adaptations helps to foresee the impact of changes in temperate areas, highlighting the invaluable contribution of polar marine research to present and future outcomes of the IPY in the Earth system scenario.

  1. Change Agents & Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kørnøv, 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....

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Focus on CSIR research in pollution waste: South African national spatial biodiversity assessment 2004 (Technical report volume 2: river component)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Roux, D

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available the first ever systematic assessment of river biodiversity in South Africa. The approach and results should therefore be seen as the first attempt towards deriving a systematic and scientifically defensible method for identifying river heterogeneity...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Geodiversity and biodiversity assessment of the Słupsk Bank, Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najwer, Alicja; Zelewska, Izabela; Zwoliński, Zbigniew

    2017-04-01

    Recognizing the most diversified parts of the territory turns out to be very crucial for management and planning of natural protected areas. There is an increasing number of studies concerning assessing geodiversity and biodiversity of the land areas. However, there is noticeable lack of such publications for submerged zones. The study area consists of 100km2 Słupsk sandy shoal sporadically covered with boulder layers, located in the southern part of the Baltic Sea. It is characterised by landscapes of a significant nature value protected by Natura 2000 and is as well designated as an open sea by Helsinki Commission Baltic Sea Protected Area (HELCOM BSPA). The main aim of the presentation is an attempt to integrate geodiversity and biodiversity assessments of the submerged area using GIS platform. The basis for the diversity assessment is the proper selection of features of the marine environment, its reclassification and integration by the map algebra analysis. The map of geodiversity is based on three factor maps: a relief energy map (classification based on bathymetric model, a landform fragmentation/geomorphological map (expert classification using BPI - Bathymetric Position Index), and a lithological map (classification of the average size of grain fraction). The map of biodiversity is based on the following factor maps: a map of biomass distribution of Ceraminum Diaphanum, a map of biomass distribution of Coccotylus Truncatus, a map of biomass distribution of Polysiphonia Fucoides, a map of biomass distribution of Mytilus Edulis Trossulus, a map of distribution of macroalgae, and finally a map of distribution of macrozoobenthos. It was decided to use four classes of diversity (from low through medium and high, up to very high). The designation of the lowest class was abandoned because it characterizes areas with high anthropopressure. Maps of geodiversity and biodiversity may prove to be helpful in determining the directions for management of the most

  8. 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.

  9. Environmental impact assessment report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, K. J.; Paik, S. T.; Chung, U. S.; Jung, K. H.; Park, S. K.; Lee, D. G.; Kim, H. R.; Kim, J. K.; Yang, S. H.; Lee, B. J.; Kim, E. H.; Choi, K. S

    2000-10-01

    This report is the revised Environmental Impact Assessment Report which was made and submitted as one of the license documents for TRIGA Research Reactor D and D Project. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report includes introduction of decommissioning plan, status of reactors and environmental impact of surroundings. Also it was assessed and analyzed on radioactivity for environment, and the plan was established to minimize radioactive material release. Finally environmental monitoring plan was established to confirm whether contaminated or not from radioactivity during decommissioning period. According to the assessment results, the risk of excess exposure will be not on environment and public. The first Environmental Impact Assessment Report was submitted to the government for the license and reviewed by Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety. The first Report was revised including answers for the questions arising from review process.

  10. Impact assessment revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    ; 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......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 we discuss the quantification of the invaded range. These improvements are crucial for impact assessment with the overall aim of prioritizing management of invasive species....

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. Recent trends in local-scale marine biodiversity reflect community structure and human impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 [1-7]. Reconciling the threat of global biodiversity loss [2, 4, 6-9] with recent evidence of

  15. Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    This chapter is dedicated to the third phase of an LCA study, the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) where the life cycle inventory’s information on elementary flows is translated into environmental impact scores. In contrast to the three other LCA phases, LCIA is in practice largely automated...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-30

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    There is growing interest in broad-scale biodiversity assessments that can serve as benchmarks for identifying ecological change. Genetic tools have been used for such assessments for decades, but spatial sampling considerations have largely been ignored. Here, we demonstrate how intensive sampling efforts across a large geographical scale can influence identification...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Greening the Common Agricultural Policy. Impacts on farmland biodiversity on an EU scale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Zeijts, H.; Overmars, K.; Van der Bilt, W.; Schulp, N.; Notenboom, J.; Westhoek, H. [Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL, Den Haag (Netherlands); Helming, J.; Terluin, I. [LEI, Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR, Wageningen (Netherlands); Janssen, S. [Alterra Wageningen UR, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2011-08-15

    'Greening' the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as proposed by the European Commission (EC), will slow down the decline in farmland biodiversity, most notably in intensive farming areas. Extensively farmed areas are better served by policies preserving their rich biodiversity. Regional variation in policies tailored to reflect local conditions could, therefore, result in a better outcome.

  8. Ten-year assessment of the 100 priority questions for global biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jucker, Tommaso; Wintle, Bonnie; Shackelford, Gorm; Bocquillon, Pierre; Geffert, Jan Laurens; Kasoar, Tim; Kovacs, Eszter; Mumby, Hannah S; Orland, Chloé; Schleicher, Judith; Tew, Eleanor R; Zabala, Aiora; Amano, Tatsuya; Bell, Alexandra; Bongalov, Boris; Chambers, Josephine M; Corrigan, Colleen; Durán, América P; Duvic-Paoli, Leslie-Anne; Emilson, Caroline; da Silva, Jéssica Fonseca; Garnett, Emma E; Green, Elizabeth J; Guth, Miriam K; Hacket-Pain, Andrew; Hinsley, Amy; Igea, Javier; Kunz, Martina; Luke, Sarah H; Lynam, William; Martin, Philip A; Nunes, Matheus H; Ockendon, Nancy; Pavitt, Aly; Payne, Charlotte L R; Plutshack, Victoria; Rademacher, Tim T; Robertson, Rebecca J; Rose, David C; Serban, Anca; Simmons, Benno I; Emilson, Erik J S; Tayleur, Catherine; Wordley, Claire F R; Mukherjee, Nibedita

    2018-06-20

    In 2008, a group of conservation scientists compiled a list of 100 priority questions for the conservation of the world's biodiversity [Sutherland et al. (2009) Conservation Biology, 23, 557-567]. However, now almost a decade later, no one has yet published a study gauging how much progress has been made in addressing these 100 high-priority questions in the peer-reviewed literature. Here we take a first step toward re-examining the 100 questions and identify key knowledge gaps that still remain. Through a combination of a questionnaire and a literature review, we evaluated each of the 100 questions on the basis of two criteria: relevance and effort. We defined highly-relevant questions as those which - if answered - would have the greatest impact on global biodiversity conservation, while effort was quantified based on the number of review publications addressing a particular question, which we used as a proxy for research effort. Using this approach we identified a set of questions that, despite being perceived as highly relevant, have been the focus of relatively few review publications over the past ten years. These questions covered a broad range of topics but predominantly tackled three major themes: the conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems, the role of societal structures in shaping interactions between people and the environment, and the impacts of conservation interventions. We see these questions as important knowledge gaps that have so far received insufficient attention and may need to be prioritised in future research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Liming impacts on soils, crops and biodiversity in the UK: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J E; Bennett, A E; Newton, A C; White, P J; McKenzie, B M; George, T S; Pakeman, R J; Bailey, J S; Fornara, D A; Hayes, R C

    2018-01-01

    Fertile soil is fundamental to our ability to achieve food security, but problems with soil degradation (such as acidification) are exacerbated by poor management. Consequently, there is a need to better understand management approaches that deliver multiple ecosystem services from agricultural land. There is global interest in sustainable soil management including the re-evaluation of existing management practices. Liming is a long established practice to ameliorate acidic soils and many liming-induced changes are well understood. For instance, short-term liming impacts are detected on soil biota and in soil biological processes (such as in N cycling where liming can increase N availability for plant uptake). The impacts of liming on soil carbon storage are variable and strongly relate to soil type, land use, climate and multiple management factors. Liming influences all elements in soils and as such there are numerous simultaneous changes to soil processes which in turn affect the plant nutrient uptake; two examples of positive impact for crops are increased P availability and decreased uptake of toxic heavy metals. Soil physical conditions are at least maintained or improved by liming, but the time taken to detect change varies significantly. Arable crops differ in their sensitivity to soil pH and for most crops there is a positive yield response. Liming also introduces implications for the development of different crop diseases and liming management is adjusted according to crop type within a given rotation. Repeated lime applications tend to improve grassland biomass production, although grassland response is variable and indirect as it relates to changes in nutrient availability. Other indicators of liming response in grassland are detected in mineral content and herbage quality which have implications for livestock-based production systems. Ecological studies have shown positive impacts of liming on biodiversity; such as increased earthworm abundance that

  14. 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.)

  15. 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 appro...... approach overlooks key principles of impact evaluation studies....

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-12

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    protect the environment, it is imperative to conduct environmental impact assessment ... Ethiopia enacted the Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation in 2002 ... flora, fauna, soil, air, water, climate, natural or cultural heritage, other.

  9. 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

  10. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... is the challenge of engaging businesses in responsible actions. The core challenge is to create awareness of the environmental phenomenon biodiversity, inform about the significance of business involvement, and encourage the business world to participate in this process of protecting biodiversity as the valuable...

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian T. Klingbeil

    2015-05-01

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

  13. 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

  14. IndOBIS, an Ocean Biogeographic Information System for assessment and conservation of Indian Ocean biodiversity

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chavan, V.S.; Achuthankutty, C.T.; Berghe, E.V.; Wafar, M.V.M.

    Compilation of inventories of components of coastal and marine biodiversity of Indian Ocean is hampered by several factors: low effort by some countries, preference to certain taxon, dwindling taxonomic expertise, low infrastructure of Information...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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. (letter)

  20. 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.

  1. 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...... 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...... 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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 species’ functional traits play an important role in determining...

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Remotely Sensed Information and Field Data are both Essential to Assess Biodiversity CONDITION!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrow, B.; Schaefer, M.; Scarth, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Christensen, R.; Lowe, A. J.; O'Neill, S.; Thurgate, N.; Wundke, D.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past year the TERN Ausplots facility has hosted a process to determine the definition of Biodiversity Condition in an Australian Continental Context, and conducted a wide collaborative process to determine which environmental attributes are required to be measures to accurately inform on biodiversity condition. A major output from this work was the acknowledgement that good quality data from both remotely sensed sources and good quality field collected data are both essential to provide the best information possible on biodiversity condition. This poster details some background to the project, the assesment of which attributes to measure, and if the are sources primarily from field based or remotely sensed measures. It then proceeds to provide three examples of ways in which the combination of data types provides a superior product as output, with one example being provided for the three cornerstone areas of condition: Structure, Function and Composition.

  9. Artificial reefs as a conservation tool: biodiversity assessment and perspectives in SE Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Soeth

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Artificial reefs (ARs has been suggested as a possible tool for reef fish restoration and biodiversity rehabilitation. In Brazil, and since 1996, ARs has been implemented in the continental shelf between latitudes of 25.6-25.8 S. Underwater visual censuses (UVC of fishes were conducted from 2010 to 2015 at both artificial (AR and natural rocky (NR reefs to assess similarity at local sites. NR were natural formations with an average depth of 10 meters, and UVC were performed between 6 to 8 meters. Protected AR (PAR were installed between the years 1996 to 2001 at depths ranging from 15 to 18 meters. It consist of a total of 1788 hollow blocks (2.4-3.6 m2 divided into eleven groups. Non protected AR (NPAR have been implemented between the years 2010 and 2012 at depths between 9 to 12 meters. It consist of a total of 2832 rectangular hollow blocks (1.2 m2 distributed in 10 parallel groups near the coastal line. Since 2013, NR and PAR were classified as marine protected areas (MPAs. A total of 69 fish species, distributed in 38 families and 10 orders were recorded during the UVC. PERMANOVA analysis showed a decreasing similarity between the NPAR and PAR (20.3%, NR and PAR (15.9%, and NR and NPAR (10.5%. The density of fish showed a strong correlation with the ARs, probably due to a higher perimeter-to-area ratio. Species richness and Shannon diversity index were correlated with NR, such as taxonomic distinctness was correlated to NPAR. Pielou's evenness index and taxonomic diversity were negatively correlated with PAR. Five threatened species (following IUCN, Epinephelus itajara, Epinephelus marginatus, Hyporthodus niveatus, Lutjanus cyanopterus and Lutjanus analis were recorded, which were noticeably more abundant in PAR, namely the former. The hereby data suggested the importance of the implementation of artificial reefs for conservation purposes, namely within MPAs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrián 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regos, Adrián; Tapia, Luis; Gil-Carrera, Alberto; Domínguez, Jesús

    2017-01-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    The Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot contains an exceptionally diverse flora on an ancient, low-relief but edaphically diverse landscape. Since European colonization, the primary threat to the flora has been habitat clearance, though climate change is an impending threat. Here, we review (i) the ecology of nectarivores and biotic pollination systems in the region, (ii) the evidence that trends in pollination strategies are a consequence of characteristics of the landscape, and (iii) ...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Methodologies of environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schroll, H.

    1994-01-01

    This article gives a brief introduction covering the objectives of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and sustainable development, before going on to describe the screening procedure to define the environmental and socio-economic impacts of projects. The EIA procedure outlined encompasses a description of the project, examination of all environmental effects (scoping), identification of existing and predicted environmental conditions and impacts, alternative measures and mitigating measures, co-ordination, with environmental regulations, public participation, and monitoring and approval of the EIA. (UK)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Warming and eutrophication are two of the most important global change stressors for natural ecosystems, but their interaction is poorly understood. We used a dynamic model of complex, size-structured food webs to assess interactive effects on diversity and network structure. We found antagonistic impacts: Warming increases diversity in eutrophic systems and decreases it in oligotrophic systems. These effects interact with the community size structure: Communities of similarly sized species such as parasitoid-host systems are stabilized by warming and destabilized by eutrophication, whereas the diversity of size-structured predator-prey networks decreases strongly with warming, but decreases only weakly with eutrophication. Nonrandom extinction risks for generalists and specialists lead to higher connectance in networks without size structure and lower connectance in size-structured communities. Overall, our results unravel interactive impacts of warming and eutrophication and suggest that size structure may serve as an important proxy for predicting the community sensitivity to these global change stressors. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Environmental impact assessment screening tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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. 2 figs. 7 refs.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Natalie; Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Paterson, David M

    2011-02-14

    Understanding the effects of anthropogenically-driven changes in global temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide and biodiversity on the functionality of marine ecosystems is crucial for predicting and managing the associated impacts. Coastal ecosystems are important sources of carbon (primary production) to shelf waters and play a vital role in global nutrient cycling. These systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of human activities and will be the first areas impacted by rising sea levels. Within these coastal ecosystems, microalgal assemblages (microphytobenthos: MPB) are vital for autochthonous carbon fixation. The level of in situ production by MPB mediates the net carbon cycling of transitional ecosystems between net heterotrophic or autotrophic metabolism. In this study, we examine the interactive effects of elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentrations (370, 600, and 1000 ppmv), temperature (6°C, 12°C, and 18°C) and invertebrate biodiversity on MPB biomass in experimental systems. We assembled communities of three common grazing invertebrates (Hydrobia ulvae, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor) in monoculture and in all possible multispecies combinations. This experimental design specifically addresses interactions between the selected climate change variables and any ecological consequences caused by changes in species composition or richness. The effects of elevated CO(2) concentration, temperature and invertebrate diversity were not additive, rather they interacted to determine MPB biomass, and overall this effect was negative. Diversity effects were underpinned by strong species composition effects, illustrating the importance of individual species identity. Overall, our findings suggest that in natural systems, the complex interactions between changing environmental conditions and any associated changes in invertebrate assemblage structure are likely to reduce MPB biomass. Furthermore, these effects would be sufficient to affect the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaelli Dave

    2011-02-01

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

  19. Biodiversity, ecosystem function and forest management. Part I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Tacon, F.; Selosse, M-A.; Gosselin, F.

    2000-01-01

    In part one, the authors dealt first with the foundations of biodiversity and its role in forest ecosystems. They then go on to the problems relating to its level of expression and the measurements and indicators for assessing it. Following a section on ethical considerations, the authors explore the possible impact of factors involving human activities other than forest management on biodiversity - fragmentation and structuring of space, forest occupancy, picking, disappearance of carnivorous species, depositions and pollution, global warming and forest fires. (authors)

  20. 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).

  1. Modeling the local biodiversity impacts of agricultural water use: case study of a wetland in the coastal arid area of Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verones, Francesca; Bartl, Karin; Pfister, Stephan; Jiménez Vílchez, Ricardo; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2012-05-01

    Global water use is dominated by agriculture and has considerable influence on people's livelihood and ecosystems, especially in semiarid and arid regions. Methods to address the impacts of water withdrawal and consumption on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems within life cycle assessment are still sparse and very generic. Regionalized characterization factors (CFs) for a groundwater-fed wetland at the arid coast of Peru are developed for groundwater and surface water withdrawal and consumption in order to address the spatial dependency of water use related impacts. Several agricultural scenarios for 2020 were developed in a workshop with local stakeholders and used for calculating total biodiversity impacts. In contrast to assumptions used in top-down approaches (e.g., Pfister et al. Environ. Sci Technol. 2009, 43, 4098 ), irrigation with surface water leads in this specific region to benefits for the groundwater-fed wetland, due to additional groundwater recharge from surplus irrigation water. However, irrigation with groundwater leads to ecological damage to the wetland. The CFs derived from the different scenarios are similar and can thus be used as general CFs for this region, helping local decision-makers to plan future agricultural development, including irrigation technologies, crop choices, and protection of the wetland. © 2012 American Chemical Society

  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

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. 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 MŠk ME 576 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : cyanobacteria * algae * biodiversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.403, year: 2004

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental impact assessment of fish farm hatcheries management in lower ... Environmental impact assessments were taken to determine the causes of ... Of significance of impact assessment were activities like air, traffic, noise, had ...

  5. 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.

  6. Backyard Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

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

  7. 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 ...

  8. Introducing Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauschild, Michael Zwicky; Huijbregts, Mark AJ

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

  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. Modelling the impact of climate change and atmospheric N deposition on French forests biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rizzetto, Simon; Belyazid, Salim; Gégout, Jean-Claude; Nicolas, Manuel; Alard, Didier; Corcket, Emmanuel; Gaudio, Noémie; Sverdrup, Harald; Probst, Anne

    2016-01-01

    A dynamic coupled biogeochemical–ecological model was used to simulate the effects of nitrogen deposition and climate change on plant communities at three forest sites in France. The three sites had different forest covers (sessile oak, Norway spruce and silver fir), three nitrogen loads ranging from relatively low to high, different climatic regions and different soil types. Both the availability of vegetation time series and the environmental niches of the understory species allowed to evaluate the model for predicting the composition of the three plant communities. The calibration of the environmental niches was successful, with a model performance consistently reasonably high throughout the three sites. The model simulations of two climatic and two deposition scenarios showed that climate change may entirely compromise the eventual recovery from eutrophication of the simulated plant communities in response to the reductions in nitrogen deposition. The interplay between climate and deposition was strongly governed by site characteristics and histories in the long term, while forest management remained the main driver of change in the short term. - Highlights: • The effects of N atmospheric deposition and climate change on vegetation were simulated. • The model ForSAFE-Veg was calibrated and validated carefully for three forests in France. • Climate has a greater influence on vegetation than N deposition in conifer forests. • N-poor ecosystems are, however, more sensitive to N deposition than to climate change. - Compared to nitrogen atmospheric deposition, climate appears to be the main driver of change in forest plant biodiversity on a century scale, except in N-poor ecosystems.

  11. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Josefsson, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural industrialization alters rural landscapes in Europe, causing large-scale and rapid loss of important biodiversity. The principal instruments to protect farmland biodiversity are various agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, growing awareness of shortcomings to CAP biodiversity integration prompts examination of causes and potential solutions. This thesis assesses the importance of structural heterogeneity of crop and non-crop habi...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Mass mortality of macrobenthos in a biodiverse rocky beach- Impact of a minor oil spill

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vijapure, T.; Sukumaran, S.; Mulik, J.; Rao, N.M.

    aims to highlight the importance of early monitoring of impacted and reference locations for determining the magnitude of damage caused to the environment due to any kind of spill and in turn acquire baseline information for tracing future path...

  19. 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.

  20. Global guidance on environmental life cycle impact assessment indicators: impacts of climate change, fine particulate matter formation, water consumption and land use

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jolliet, Olivier; Antón, Assumpció; Boulay, Anne-Marie

    2018-01-01

    of water consumption on human health assesses the DALYs from malnutrition caused by lack of water for irrigated food production. Land use impacts: CFs representing global potential species loss from land use are proposed as interim recommendation suitable to assess biodiversity loss due to land use......Purpose: Guidance is needed on best-suited indicators to quantify and monitor the man-made impacts on human health, biodiversity and resources. Therefore, the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative initiated a global consensus process to agree on an updated overall life cycle impact assessment (LCIA...... are recommended: (a) The global warming potential 100 years (GWP 100) represents shorter term impacts associated with rate of change and adaptation capacity, and (b) the global temperature change potential 100 years (GTP 100) characterizes the century-scale long term impacts, both including climate-carbon cycle...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.; Fernández, 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  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. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Exploring future agricultural development and biodiversity in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi: a spatially explicit scenario-based assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Soesbergen, Arnout; Arnell, Andrew P.; Sassen, Marieke; Stuch, Benjamin; Schaldach, Rüdiger; Göpel, Jan; Vervoort, Joost; Mason-D’Croz, Daniel; Islam, Shahnila; Palazzo, Amanda

    2017-01-01

    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-offs

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Naturalization and impact of a horticultural species, Cotoneaster horizontalis (Rosaceae) in biodiversity hotspots in Belgium

    OpenAIRE

    Piqueray, Julien; Mahy, Grégory; Vanderhoeven, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    Cultivation of ornamental plant species has been recognized to foster plant naturalization of exotics by counteracting environmental stochasticity and continuously providing propagules. As a preliminary attempt to describe the invasion status of C horizontalis, we gathered information on the occurrence of the species in Belgium by compiling various databases. We assessed the naturalization status of C. horizontalis in Belgian calcareous grasslands, high-value habitats recognized as biodiversi...

  15. 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 Considérations concernant l'impact de l’aménagement hydrotehnique Vidraru sur la biodiversité. L’aménagement du lac de retenue Vidraru a déterminé des changements profonds dans le milieu régional, étant le plus fréquemment un facteur perturbateur des éléments de l’environnement. De cette manière, étant donné que les éléments biogéographiques sont l’un des composants le plus affectés de l’environnement, cet article traite des principales modifications apparues au niveau de la végétation et de la faune (ichtyofaune, la biodiversité ayant subi les effets les plus importants à la suite de cette intervention anthropique (humaine.

  16. Assessing the EC ILUC proposal. Dutch national ILUC Impact Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peters, D.; Toop, G.; Van den Bos, A.; Spoettle, M.

    2013-04-15

    Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) is the effect that when existing agricultural land producing food is used for biofuel feedstock production, food production is reduced and this reduction is partially compensated by the conversion of non-agricultural land into new cropland elsewhere. ILUC can have a negative impact on the GHG performance of biofuels and can lead to loss of biodiversity. ILUC, its quantification and possible policy measures have been debated in the EU since 2008. The final legislative text to be negotiated on the basis of the ILUC proposal is likely to have a profound impact on the current EU biofuels market but especially on its future development. This report assesses the legal soundness and factual basis of the proposal. It also assesses the policy risks, effectiveness of, and economic consequences resulting from the four most important proposed measures. Alternative scenarios are explored for each of the proposed measures. The report starts with a description of the Dutch biofuels market as the current situation and future perspective of this market is naturally of specific concern for Dutch negotiators in Brussels. This report takes the IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) 2011 modelling study as a starting point when assessing the ILUC impacts of EU biofuels. The IFPRI study modelling results assign high ILUC emissions to conventional biodiesel and assigns much lower ILUC emissions to conventional ethanol. The study does not model ILUC effects of advanced biofuels. The Dutch biofuels market is dominated by biodiesel, of which a large share is double counting. Following the IFPRI 2011 ILUC modelling, this means that a high share of biofuels with a high ILUC risk are supplied to the market but also a high share of advanced, double counting biofuels with a low to medium ILUC risk. The Netherlands hosts a relatively large oilseed crushing and biofuel production industry, of which an important share consists of advanced biofuel

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. The blind men meet the elephant at the dam: Alternative spatial and taxonomic components reveal different insights about how low-head dams impact fish biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fencl, Jane S.; Mather, Martha E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Hitchman, Sean M.

    2017-01-01

    Dams are ubiquitous environmental impacts that threaten aquatic ecosystems. The ability to compare across research studies is essential to conserve the native biodiversity that is impacted by the millions of low‐head dams that currently fragment streams and rivers. Here, we identify a previously unaddressed obstacle that impedes this generalization. Specifically, divergent spatial and taxonomic approaches that result from different conceptualizations of the dam‐biodiversity problem can produce conflicting science‐based conclusions about the same dam impact. In this research, using the same dammed and undammed sites, we evaluated the scientific generality of different conceptualizations of the dam‐biodiversity problem. We compared two different but commonly used spatial approaches—(1) above dam–below dam vs. (2) undammed–dammed comparisons—and 11 different, commonly used taxonomic approaches (three assemblage summaries, eight guilds). Sites above the dam structure had less diverse fish assemblages than sites below dams, whereas sites below the dam structure were similar to undammed sites. Thus, spatial approach 1 detected a large dam effect and spatial approach 2 detected a small dam effect. Similarly, some taxonomic responses (species richness, diversity, abundance, and number of guilds) detected large dam effects; other responses detected small (riffle specialist guild) or no dam effects (pool generalists). In summary, our results showed that how the problem was framed altered scientific conclusions and created different dam realities. The metaphor of how individual blind men disagree about the structure of an elephant, based on examinations of different body parts, reinforces the need for a coordinated, holistic perspective on dam research. Although no single approach is adequate for all problems, identifying the form, consequences of, and relationships among different research conceptualizations will set the stage for future syntheses of dam‐biodiversity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petit, S.; Elbersen, B.S.

    2006-01-01

    Intensification of farming practices is still a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe, despite the implementation of policies that aim to reverse this trend. A conceptual framework called MIRABEL was previously developed that enabled a qualitative and expert-based assessment of the impact of

  3. 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.

  4. 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-

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. 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.

  8. Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity of moving from a 2°C to a 1.5°C target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Jeff; Molotoks, Amy; Warren, Rachel

    2018-01-01

    We applied a recently developed tool to examine the reduction in climate risk to biodiversity in moving from a 2°C to a 1.5°C target. We then reviewed the recent literature examining the impact of (a) land-based mitigation options and (b) land-based greenhouse gas removal options on biodiversity. We show that holding warming to 1.5°C versus 2°C can significantly reduce the number of species facing a potential loss of 50% of their climatic range. Further, there would be an increase of 5.5–14% of the globe that could potentially act as climatic refugia for plants and animals, an area equivalent to the current global protected area network. Efforts to meet the 1.5°C target through mitigation could largely be consistent with biodiversity protection/enhancement. For impacts of land-based greenhouse gas removal technologies on biodiversity, some (e.g. soil carbon sequestration) could be neutral or positive, others (e.g. bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) are likely to lead to conflicts, while still others (e.g. afforestation/reforestation) are context-specific, when applied at scales necessary for meaningful greenhouse gas removal. Additional effort to meet the 1.5°C target presents some risks, particularly if inappropriately managed, but it also presents opportunities. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'. PMID:29610386

  9. Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity of moving from a 2°C to a 1.5°C target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Pete; Price, Jeff; Molotoks, Amy; Warren, Rachel; Malhi, Yadvinder

    2018-05-01

    We applied a recently developed tool to examine the reduction in climate risk to biodiversity in moving from a 2°C to a 1.5°C target. We then reviewed the recent literature examining the impact of (a) land-based mitigation options and (b) land-based greenhouse gas removal options on biodiversity. We show that holding warming to 1.5°C versus 2°C can significantly reduce the number of species facing a potential loss of 50% of their climatic range. Further, there would be an increase of 5.5-14% of the globe that could potentially act as climatic refugia for plants and animals, an area equivalent to the current global protected area network. Efforts to meet the 1.5°C target through mitigation could largely be consistent with biodiversity protection/enhancement. For impacts of land-based greenhouse gas removal technologies on biodiversity, some (e.g. soil carbon sequestration) could be neutral or positive, others (e.g. bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) are likely to lead to conflicts, while still others (e.g. afforestation/reforestation) are context-specific, when applied at scales necessary for meaningful greenhouse gas removal. Additional effort to meet the 1.5°C target presents some risks, particularly if inappropriately managed, but it also presents opportunities. This article is part of the theme issue `The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Assessment of long-term effects of climate change on biodiversity and vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oene, H.; Berendse, F.; De Kovel, C.G.F. [Nature Consevation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen (Netherlands); Alkemade, J.R.M.; Bakkenes, M.; Ihle, F. [National Institute of Public Health and the Environment RIVM, Bilthoven (Netherlands)

    1999-07-01

    The aim of this project was to analyze the effects of climatic change on plant species diversity and ecosystem functioning. The direct effects of climatic change on plant species diversity are analyzed using a species based probabilistic Model (EUROMOVE) that relates the probability of occurrence of ca 1400 European plant species to climatic variables as the mean temperature of the coldest month, the effective temperature sum, the annual precipitation, the annual potential and actual evapotranspiration, the length of the growing season, and the mean growing season temperature. The indirect effects of raised C0{sub 2} levels and increased temperatures on ecosystem functioning and the consequences of these indirect effects for plant diversity are analyzed by combining a mechanistic simulation model (NUCOM) with regression models. NUCOM predicts the effects of environmental changes on dominant plant species composition and ecosystem variables. The predicted ecosystem variables are linked to plant species diversity of subordinate species by regression models, using Ellenberg indices for N availability, soil acidity, soil moisture, and light intensity. With these two approaches, the consequences of climatic change scenarios (IPCC Baseline A, IPCC Stabilization 450) and N deposition scenarios (reduced, constant) are analyzed for Europe (EUROMOVE) and part of the Netherlands (NUCOM). The results showed that the direct effects of climatic change may have large impact on plant species diversity and distribution. The indirect effects of climatic change on plant diversity appeared minor but effects of changes in soil moisture are not included. Other environmental changes like eutrofication and human impact have large effect on ecosystem variables and plant species diversity. Reductions in nitrogen emission have a positive effect but take time to become apparent. 49 refs.

  15. 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).

  16. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of sp...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Household location choices: implications for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Kaisa; Rettberg, Petra; Pukall, Rüdiger; 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrişor Alexandru-Ionuţ

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahmoudi, Hossein, E-mail: mahmoudi@uni-hohenheim.de [Department of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim (Germany); Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C. (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Renn, Ortwin [Department of Technology and Environmental Sociology (and DIALOGIK), University of Stuttgart (Germany); Vanclay, Frank [Department of Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen (Netherlands); Hoffmann, Volker [Department of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim (Germany); Karami, Ezatollah [College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2013-11-15

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. What is Health Impact Assessment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Soysal

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Health Impact Assessment (HIA was disseminated by World Health Organization (WHO European Region in Gothenburg consensus paper in 1999. In this consensus, HIA is defined as ‘a combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, program or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of population and the distribution of those effects within the population’. HIA was accepted as a goal for 4th phase of healthy city projects between 2003- 2008. HIA is a new process for our country and especially municipal boroughs, local authorities interest with it. There is no legal base for HIA in our country. EIA practices conducted since 1993 showed us that, environmental and public health was postponed. Functional and decisive implementation of HAI depends on legal basis and national acceptance. If legal basis is supplied, society must take care about it, work for strict application and have to put a crimp in going back. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2010; 9(6.000: 689-694

  8. 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 μm and 500–2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p < 0.001); revealing that Annelida were generally the dominant phyla (in terms of reads) of all fractions and reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but

  9. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Radiation environmental impact assessment of copper exploitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fan Guang; Wen Zhijian

    2010-01-01

    The radiation environmental impact of mineral exploitation on the surrounding environment has become a public concern. This paper presents the radiation environmental impact assessment of copper exploitation. Based on the project description and detailed investigations of surrounding environment, systematic radiation environmental impacts have been identified. The environmental impacts are assessed during both construction and operation phase. The environmental protection measures have also been proposed. The related conclusion and measures can play an active role in copper exploitation and environmental protection. (authors)

  12. 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

  13. 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....

  14. 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.

  15. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-16

    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.

  16. 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)

  17. "Got rats?" Global environmental costs of thirst for milk include acute biodiversity impacts linked to dairy feed production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque-Larena, Juan J; Mougeot, François; Arroyo, Beatriz; Lambin, Xavier

    2018-07-01

    Rodents damaging alfalfa crops typically destined for export to booming Eastern markets often cause economical losses to farmers, but management interventions attempting to control rodents (i.e., use of rodenticides) are themselves damaging to biodiversity. These damages resonate beyond dairy feed producing regions through animal migration and are an overlooked part of the transferred environmental burden caused by a growing thirst for milk in China and elsewhere. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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

  19. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  20. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    OpenAIRE

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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)

    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...

  4. 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......One of the topics receiving much attention in recent years is climate change and the potential of its integration in impact assessment, both in terms of achieving mitigation and adaptation. Renewable energy projects are part of the efforts to mitigate climate change, replacing the use of fossil...... adaptation is absent. Also, the results show an emphasis on positive impacts in the reports, and in a few cases discussions of enhancements. Identification and assessment of negative climate change impacts are less apparent. This leads to a discussion of the results in the light of the purpose of EIA....

  5. How does economic risk aversion affect biodiversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouysset, L; Doyen, L; Jiguet, F

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Conceptualising the effectiveness of impact assessment processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chanchitpricha, Chaunjit, E-mail: chaunjit@g.sut.ac.th [School of Environmental Health, Suranaree University of Technology, 111 University Avenue, Maung District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000 (Thailand); Bond, Alan, E-mail: alan.bond@uea.ac.uk [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, Internal Box 375, North West University (Potchefstroom campus) (South Africa)

    2013-11-15

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Assessment of cooling tower impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This guideline describes the state of the art of the meteorological impact of wet cooling towers that are about 80 m to 170 m high, and have a waste heat power in the range of 1000 MW and 2500 MW. The physical processes occurring in the lowest layer of the atmosphere and their impact in the dispersion of cooling tower emissions are represented. On the basis of these facts, the impact on weather or climate in the vicinity of a high wet cooling tower is estimated. Thereby the results of the latest investigations (observations, measurements, and modeling) on the different locations of plants as well as their different power and construction types are taken into consideration. (orig.) [de

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus-Leibovitz, Luísa; Faria, Cláudia; 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Developing wind energy in Ireland - consequences for our biodiversity and ecosystem services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourke, David; Stout, Jane

    2011-07-01

    Full text: In response to climate change, the EU has set a target to achieve 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 (Directive 2009/28/EC). Consequently, Ireland has set targets of 40, 10 and 12% of energy coming from renewable sources for electricity, transport and heat, respectively, by 2020. Wind energy is expected to contribute significantly to achieving these targets given Ireland.s large onshore and offshore wind potential. However, the potential impacts of these wind farm developments on Ireland.s biodiversity remain largely un quantified. The SIMBIOSYS (www.SIMBIOSYS.ie) project was set up to investigate the impacts of a range of sectors on biodiversity and ecosystem services, with part of the project.s focus on those measures that may help mitigate the effects of climate change. In this paper we aim to assess the potential positive and negative impacts of wind farms on Ireland.s marine and terrestrial biodiversity, highlighting potential conflicts concerning the spatial distribution of our wind and biodiversity resources. To help make these assessments an extensive review of the national and international scientific literature is used to highlight the potential positive and negative impacts of wind farm developments on biodiversity to date. Using GIS, spatial analyses are then used to quantify the extent to which wind resources and current and future wind farm developments overlap with biodiversity, using indicators such as Natura 2000 sites and Red Data List Plants. The outputs of these analyses are combined to help make recommendations on the sustainable future planning and management of wind farms in Ireland. Appropriate impact assessment and careful spatial planning will help ensure the direct benefits of green house gas emission reduction are maximised without compromising the protection of biodiversity in Ireland. (Author)

  5. Impact assessment: Eroding benefits through streamlining?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bond, Alan, E-mail: alan.bond@uea.ac.uk [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (United Kingdom); School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University (South Africa); Pope, Jenny, E-mail: jenny@integral-sustainability.net [Integral Sustainability (Australia); Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (Australia); Morrison-Saunders, Angus, E-mail: A.Morrison-Saunders@murdoch.edu.au [School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University (South Africa); Environmental Science, Murdoch University (Australia); Retief, Francois, E-mail: francois.retief@nwu.ac.za [School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University (South Africa); Gunn, Jill A.E., E-mail: jill.gunn@usask.ca [Department of Geography and Planning and School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

    2014-02-15

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

  6. 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

  7. Applicable international environmental impact assessment laws for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lawrence Hart

    1971-05-28

    May 28, 1971 ... appraise selected International Environmental laws and the Nigerian Environmental Impact Assessment methodology ... maze of pipelines, delivery lines, flow lines, canals and .... Toxic Materials and international waterways.

  8. Integrating Ecosystem Services Into Health Impact Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Evaluating the effectiveness of impact assessment instruments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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......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...... that raising awareness about the political character of impact assessment instruments, in itself, is a vital step in advancing effectiveness evaluation theory. Broader theoretical lessons on the framing of evaluation research are also drawn from the political analysis. We conclude that, at least within...

  10. Assessing the Impacts of Agricultural Biotechnologies

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    The group has completed studies of applications in livestock production and .... into the design and application of impact assessment tools from the outset. ...... Corn producers in the United States, who supply the manufacturers of fructose. 4.

  11. Africa's hotspots of biodiversity redefined

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Küper, W.; Sommer, J.H.; Lovett, J.C.; Beentje, H.J.; Rompaey, van R.S.A.R.; Chatelain, C.; Sosef, M.S.M.; Barthlott, W.

    2004-01-01

    A key problem for conservation is the coincidence of regions of high biodiversity with regions of high human impact. Twenty-five of the most threatened centers of plant diversity were identified by Myers et al., and these "hotspots" play a crucial role in international conservation strategies. The

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Introduction: The effectiveness of impact assessment instruments

    OpenAIRE

    Cashmore, M; Bond, A; Sadler, B

    2009-01-01

    The global application of impact assessment instruments to achieve a variety of policy integration goals (e.g. the mainstreaming of environmental, gender or economic efficiency concerns) continues to proliferate. These instruments represent important components of contemporary political governance and hence are an important locus for applied research. This special issue of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal critically examines 'state-of-the-art' knowledge and understanding of the effecti...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. “Love for sale”: biodiversity banking and the struggle to commodify nature in Sabah, Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Brock, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    In Malaysia, second largest palm oil producer worldwide, logging companies, palm oil corporations, and even responsible citizens can now compensate their biodiversity impacts by purchasing Biodiversity Conservation Certificates in an emerging new biodiversity market: the Malua BioBank. Biodiversity markets are part of a wider trend of marketisation and neoliberalisation of biodiversity governance; introduced and promoted as (technical) win–win solutions to counter biodiversity loss and enable...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Lenoir, Jonathan; Normand, Signe; Skov, Flemming

    2009-11-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Connecting Earth observation to high-throughput biodiversity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Alex; Sollmann, Rahel; Wilting, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Understandably, given the fast pace of biodiversity loss, there is much interest in using Earth observation technology to track biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, because most biodiversity is invisible to Earth observation, indicators based on Earth observation could...... observation data. This approach is achievable now, offering efficient and near-real-time monitoring of management impacts on biodiversity and its functions and services....

  7. Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment : An Introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a well-established instrument of environmental law and policy that aims to ensure that potential adverse environmental effects of human activities are assessed before decisions on such activities are made. The instrument is increasingly being applied in

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1998-01-01

    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...

  9. 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

  10. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF STRUCTURAL FLOOD MITIGATION MEASURES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZVIJAKOVA LENKA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the paper is to propose a methodology for assessing water constructions, which will allow impact assessment of water constructions on the environment and hence select the best option for the permission process. The result is “Guideline for environmental impact assessment of flood protection object”, which uses the method of UMRA (universal matrix of risk analysis, which is one of the methods of risk analysis proposed not only to enhance the transparency and sensitivity of the evaluation process, but also to cope with the requirements of the EIA system in the Slovakia and Europe Union.

  11. 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.

  12. From ecological records to big data: the invention of global biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devictor, Vincent; Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette

    2016-12-01

    This paper is a critical assessment of the epistemological impact of the systematic quantification of nature with the accumulation of big datasets on the practice and orientation of ecological science. We examine the contents of big databases and argue that it is not just accumulated information; records are translated into digital data in a process that changes their meanings. In order to better understand what is at stake in the 'datafication' process, we explore the context for the emergence and quantification of biodiversity in the 1980s, along with the concept of the global environment. In tracing the origin and development of the global biodiversity information facility (GBIF) we describe big data biodiversity projects as a techno-political construction dedicated to monitoring a new object: the global diversity. We argue that, biodiversity big data became a powerful driver behind the invention of the concept of the global environment, and a way to embed ecological science in the political agenda.

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Assessment of psychosocial impact of dental aesthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Munizeh; Fida, Mubassar

    2008-09-01

    To assess the psychosocial impact of dental aesthetics using the 'Psychosocial Impact of Dental Aesthetics Questionnaire' (PIDAQ) and self-rated Aesthetic Component (AC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). Cross-sectional study. Dental Section, the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from August to September 2006. Adults with no prior orthodontic treatment were asked to complete a modified version of the 'Psychosocial Impact of Dental Aesthetics Questionnaire' (PIDAQ). A total of four variables including 'Dental Self-confidence', 'Social impact', 'Psychological impact' and 'Perceived orthodontic treatment need' were assessed by a series of statements, whereas dental aesthetics were assessed by the respondents using the IOTN Aesthetic Component (self-rated IOTN-AC). Kruskal-Walli's test was applied to determine significance. The respondents were 120 adults (70 females and 50 males; mean age 25.8 years), all four of the above-mentioned variables measuring psychosocial impact showed positive and significant correlations with the perceived severity of malocclusion as depicted by the Aesthetic Component (AC) of Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN), with p-value of less than 0.01 for all variables. The results indicate the strong psychosocial impact of altered dental aesthetics on the emotional state of an individual. The association between self-rated IOTN-AC grading with psychosocial well-being stands established, indicating that the perceived aesthetics of malocclusion may be as significant a factor in determining treatment need as the degree of malocclusion.

  17. 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 Aragón valley, in the central Pyrenees, has been assessed by evaluation of lichen biodiversity and mapped by elaboration of the Index of Air Purity (IAP) based on observations of the presence and abundance of eight kinds of lichen with different sensitivity to air pollution. The IAP values obtained have been compared with quantitative analytical measures of 16 PAHs in the lichen Evernia prunastri, because this species was associated with a wide range of traffic exposure and levels of urbanization. Analyses of PAHs were carried out by the DSASE method followed by an SPE clean-up step and GC-MS analysis. The concentration of total PAHs found in lichen samples from the Aragón valley ranged from 692 to 6420 ng g(-1) and the PAHs profile showed predominance of compounds with three aromatic rings. The influence of the road traffic in the area has been shown because values over the median concentration of PAHs (>1092 ng g(-1)), percentage of combustion PAHs (>50%), and equivalent toxicity (>169) were found in lichens collected at places exposed to the influence of traffic. The combination of both methods suggests IAP as a general method for evaluating the air pollution referenced to PAHs because it can be correlated with the content of combustion PAHs and poor lichen biodiversity can be partly explained by the air pollution caused by specific PAHs.

  18. 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

  19. Real-time DNA barcoding in a rainforest using nanopore sequencing: opportunities for rapid biodiversity assessments and local capacity building.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Aaron; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Arteaga, Alejandro; Bustamante, Lucas; Pichardo, Frank; Coloma, Luis A; Barrio-Amorós, César L; Salazar-Valenzuela, David; Prost, Stefan

    2018-04-01

    Advancements in portable scientific instruments provide promising avenues to expedite field work in order to understand the diverse array of organisms that inhabit our planet. Here, we tested the feasibility for in situ molecular analyses of endemic fauna using a portable laboratory fitting within a single backpack in one of the world's most imperiled biodiversity hotspots, the Ecuadorian Chocó rainforest. We used portable equipment, including the MinION nanopore sequencer (Oxford Nanopore Technologies) and the miniPCR (miniPCR), to perform DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction amplification, and real-time DNA barcoding of reptile specimens in the field. We demonstrate that nanopore sequencing can be implemented in a remote tropical forest to quickly and accurately identify species using DNA barcoding, as we generated consensus sequences for species resolution with an accuracy of >99% in less than 24 hours after collecting specimens. The flexibility of our mobile laboratory further allowed us to generate sequence information at the Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica in Quito for rare, endangered, and undescribed species. This includes the recently rediscovered Jambato toad, which was thought to be extinct for 28 years. Sequences generated on the MinION required as few as 30 reads to achieve high accuracy relative to Sanger sequencing, and with further multiplexing of samples, nanopore sequencing can become a cost-effective approach for rapid and portable DNA barcoding. Overall, we establish how mobile laboratories and nanopore sequencing can help to accelerate species identification in remote areas to aid in conservation efforts and be applied to research facilities in developing countries. This opens up possibilities for biodiversity studies by promoting local research capacity building, teaching nonspecialists and students about the environment, tackling wildlife crime, and promoting conservation via research-focused ecotourism.

  20. Biodiversity of Terrestrial Vegetation during Past Warm Periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies-Barnard, T.; Valdes, P. J.; Ridgwell, A.

    2016-12-01

    Previous modelling studies of vegetation have generally used a small number of plant functional types to understand how the terrestrial biosphere responds to climate changes. Whilst being useful for understanding first order climate feedbacks, this climate-envelope approach makes a lot of assumptions about past vegetation being very similar to modern. A trait-based method has the advantage for paleo modelling in that there are substantially less assumptions made. In a novel use of the trait-based dynamic vegetation model JeDi, forced with output from climate model HadCM3, we explore past biodiversity and vegetation carbon changes. We use JeDi to model an optimal 2000 combinations of fifteen different traits to enable assessment of the overall level of biodiversity as well as individual growth strategies. We assess the vegetation shifts and biodiversity changes in past greenhouse periods to better understand the impact on the terrestrial biosphere. This work provides original insights into the response of vegetation and terrestrial carbon to climate and hydrological changes in high carbon dioxide climates over time, including during the Late Permian and Cretaceous. We evaluate how the location of biodiversity hotspots and species richness in past greenhouse climates is different to the present day.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Underwater noise modelling for environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farcas, Adrian; Thompson, Paul M.; Merchant, Nathan D.

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Eunyoung, E-mail: eykim@kei.re.kr [Korea Environment Institute, 215 Jinheungno, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul 122-706 (Korea, Republic of); Song, Wonkyong, E-mail: wksong79@gmail.com [Suwon Research Institute, 145 Gwanggyo-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 443-270 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Dongkun, E-mail: dklee7@snu.ac.kr [Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural System Engineering, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanakro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-09-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. The relation of risk assessment and health impact assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ádám, Balázs; Gulis, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    than assessing a present situation. As part of this process, however, methods applied in risk assessment are used. Risk assessment typically characterises relation of a well-defined risk factor to a well-defined health outcome. Within HIA usually several individual risk assessments are needed...... of the causal chain from the proposal through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The stepwise analysis, systematic prioritization and consideration of horizontal interactions between the causal pathways make it feasible to use widely recognized risk assessment methods in the HIA......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...

  7. Climate change effects on the biodiversity of the BES islands : assessment of the possible consequences for the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Dutch Antilles and the options for adaptation measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Bugter, R.J.F.

    2010-01-01

    Due to their vulnerability and low capacity to adapt, the impact of climate change on small island nations will be far larger compared to larger countries. The Dutch BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) form part of the Caribbean global biodiversity hotspot area. The leeward Dutch islands

  8. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Marie Ballouard

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. 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...... Ministry of Employment and the Danish Ministry of Transport, respectively) the aim is to assess the transformative potential of GIA as it is performed in Denmark....

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

  16. A Methodology for Safety Culture Impact Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Kiyoon; Jae, Moosung [Hanyang Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The purpose of this study is to develop methodology for assessing safety culture impact on nuclear power plants. A new methodology for assessing safety culture impact index has been developed and applied for the reference nuclear power plants. The developed SCII model might contribute to comparing the level of safety culture among nuclear power plants as well as to improving the safety of nuclear power plants. Safety culture is defined to be fundamental attitudes and behaviors of the plant staff which demonstrate that nuclear safety is the most important consideration in all activities conducted in nuclear power operation. Through several accidents of nuclear power plant including the Fukusima Daiichi in 2011 and Chernovyl accidents in 1986, the safety of nuclear power plant is emerging into a matter of interest. From the accident review report, it can be easily found out that safety culture is important and one of dominant contributors to accidents. However, the impact methodology for assessing safety culture has not been established analytically yet. It is difficult to develop the methodology for assessing safety culture impact quantitatively.

  17. A Methodology for Safety Culture Impact Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Kiyoon; Jae, Moosung

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop methodology for assessing safety culture impact on nuclear power plants. A new methodology for assessing safety culture impact index has been developed and applied for the reference nuclear power plants. The developed SCII model might contribute to comparing the level of safety culture among nuclear power plants as well as to improving the safety of nuclear power plants. Safety culture is defined to be fundamental attitudes and behaviors of the plant staff which demonstrate that nuclear safety is the most important consideration in all activities conducted in nuclear power operation. Through several accidents of nuclear power plant including the Fukusima Daiichi in 2011 and Chernovyl accidents in 1986, the safety of nuclear power plant is emerging into a matter of interest. From the accident review report, it can be easily found out that safety culture is important and one of dominant contributors to accidents. However, the impact methodology for assessing safety culture has not been established analytically yet. It is difficult to develop the methodology for assessing safety culture impact quantitatively

  18. Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Toro Calderón

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Applying social impact assessment to nursing research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury-Jones, Caroline; Taylor, Julie

    2014-08-05

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, 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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Impact Hazard Assessment for 2011 AG5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, Steven R.; Bhaskaran, S.; Chodas, P. W.; Grebow, D.; Landau, D.; Petropoulos, A. E.; Sims, J. A.; Yeomans, D. K.

    2012-10-01

    2011 AG5 is a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid roughly 140 m in diameter. The current orbit determination, based on 213 optical measurements from 2010-Nov-08.6 to 2011-Sep-21.4, allows for the possibility of an Earth impact on 2040-Feb-05.2 with probability 0.2%. The 2040 potential impact is a 17:10 resonant return from a 2023 Earth encounter, where if the asteroid passes through a 365 km keyhole, it will go on to impact in 2040. We discuss the critical points on the decision tree for averting this potential impact. The decision to proceed with a deflection mission should not be made prematurely, when there is still a chance for eliminating the impact hazard through observations rather than intervention, and yet the decision must not be delayed past the point where it is no longer feasible to achieve a deflection. Thus the decision tree is informed by the evolution of the asteroid’s orbital uncertainty and by the available mission scenarios. We approach the orbital prediction problem by assessing the expected future evolution of the orbital uncertainty at the 2040 encounter based on various observational scenarios. We find that observations made at the next favorable apparition in 2013 are 95% likely to eliminate the possibility of a 2040 impact altogether. With the addition of 2015-16 observations, this likelihood increases to about 99%. Conversely, if the asteroid turns out to really be on an Earth impacting trajectory, the 2013 observations could raise the chance of impact to 10-15%, and observations in 2015-2016 could raise the chance of impact to 70%. On the deflection side, we describe a range of viable kinetic deflection mission scenarios. Mission timelines allow detailed planning to be delayed until after the 2013 observations and spacecraft fabrication to be delayed until after the 2015-16 observations. The full report is available at http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news175.html.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  15. 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

  16. Assessing the impact of aviation on climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Marais

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available We present an assessment of the marginal climate impacts of new aviation activities. We use impulse response functions derived from carbon-cycle and atmospheric models to estimate changes in surface temperature for various aviation impacts (CO2, NOx on methane, NOx on ozone, sulfates, soot, and contrails/induced cirrus. We use different damage functions and discount rates to explore health, welfare and ecological costs for a range of assumptions and scenarios. Since uncertainty is high regarding many aviation effects, we explicitly capture some uncertainty by representing several model parameters as probabilistic distributions. The uncertainties are then propagated using Monte Carlo analysis to derive estimates for the impact of these uncertainties on the marginal future climate impacts. Our goal is to provide a framework that will communicate the potential impacts of aviation on climate change under different scenarios and assumptions, and that will allow decision-makers to compare these potential impacts to other aviation environmental impacts. We present results to describe the influence of parametric uncertainties, scenarios, and assumptions for valuation on the expected marginal future costs of aviation impacts. Estimates of the change in global average surface temperature due to aviation are most sensitive to changes in climate sensitivity, the radiative forcing attributed to short-lived effects (in particular those related to contrails and aviation-induced cirrus, and the choice of emissions scenario. Estimates of marginal future costs of aviation are most sensitive to assumptions regarding the discount rate, followed by assumptions regarding climate sensitivity, and the choice of emissions scenario.

  17. Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Biodiversity Risk in the US: A Spatial Econometric Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert P. Berrens

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates whether the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC relationship is supported for a measure of biodiversity risk and economic development across the United States (US. Using state-level data for all 48 contiguous states, biodiversity risk is measured using a Modified Index (MODEX. This index is an adaptation of a comprehensive National Biodiversity Risk Assessment Index. The MODEX differs from other measures in that it is takes into account the impact of human activities and conservation measures. The econometric approach includes corrections for spatial autocorrelation effects, which are present in the data. Modeling estimation results do not support the EKC hypothesis for biodiversity risk in the US. This finding is robust over ordinary least squares, spatial error, and spatial lag models, where the latter is shown to be the preferred model. Results from the spatial lag regression show that a 1% increase in human population density is associated with about a 0.19% increase in biodiversity risk. Spatial dependence in this case study explains 30% of the variation, as risk in one state spills over into adjoining states. From a policy perspective, this latter result supports the need for coordinated efforts at state and federal levels to address the problem of biodiversity loss.

  18. 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

  19. Critical factors in environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Creasey, R.

    1999-01-01

    Environmental impact assessment (EIA) has shown that it is of proven benefit to the overall planning and environmental management of resource development projects, but certain elements within the application and practice of EIA remain problematic for proponents and regulatory decision makers alike. The use of the word 'critical' in the title of this paper suggests that if the components identified are not considered or implemented properly through the process of EIA, the product will be of less value to both the proponent and decision maker. In the context of EIA, the regulatory, financial, legal and social benefits that accrue make the need for good EIA practice even more imperative. A discussion is included that highlights a number of issues that need to be addressed to improve the effectiveness of EIA, a tool necessary to attaining provincial and federal regulatory approvals. To a large extent, the discussion reflects items of contemporary public concern, and those emerging issues of the scientific and regulatory community. At the same time, it needs to be realized that not all the identified items are necessarily new to the practice of impact assessment, but are nonetheless important to professional environmental impact assessment and decision making. Insight is also provided into the direction of decision making of the Energy and Utilities Board as it will affect the regulatory review and administration of resource development projects in the province of Alberta. 16 refs

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Hurricane Sandy science plan: coastal impact assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stronko, Jakob M.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-16

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

  6. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Smolders, H.; Sours, S.; Pou, S.

    2005-01-01

    Cambodian¿s civil wars have seriously affected the country¿s agro-biodiversity and the farmers¿ 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

  7. 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

  8. 40 CFR 227.22 - Assessment of impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 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... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Assessment of impact. 227.22 Section...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogué, Sandra; de Nascimento, Lea; Froyd, Cynthia A.

    2017-01-01

    to human activities. Consequently, even the most degraded islands are a focus for restoration, eradication, and monitoring programmes to protect the remaining endemic and/or relict populations. Here, we build a framework that incorporates an assessment of the degree of change from multiple baseline...... and the introduction of non-native species. We provide exemplification of how such approaches can provide valuable information for biodiversity conservation managers of island ecosystems....

  12. Biodiversity and Climate Modeling Workshop Series: Identifying gaps and needs for improving large-scale biodiversity models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiskopf, S. R.; Myers, B.; Beard, T. D.; Jackson, S. T.; Tittensor, D.; Harfoot, M.; Senay, G. B.

    2017-12-01

    At the global scale, well-accepted global circulation models and agreed-upon scenarios for future climate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are available. In contrast, biodiversity modeling at the global scale lacks analogous tools. While there is great interest in development of similar bodies and efforts for international monitoring and modelling of biodiversity at the global scale, equivalent modelling tools are in their infancy. This lack of global biodiversity models compared to the extensive array of general circulation models provides a unique opportunity to bring together climate, ecosystem, and biodiversity modeling experts to promote development of integrated approaches in modeling global biodiversity. Improved models are needed to understand how we are progressing towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, many of which are not on track to meet the 2020 goal, threatening global biodiversity conservation, monitoring, and sustainable use. We brought together biodiversity, climate, and remote sensing experts to try to 1) identify lessons learned from the climate community that can be used to improve global biodiversity models; 2) explore how NASA and other remote sensing products could be better integrated into global biodiversity models and 3) advance global biodiversity modeling, prediction, and forecasting to inform the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The 1st In-Person meeting focused on determining a roadmap for effective assessment of biodiversity model projections and forecasts by 2030 while integrating and assimilating remote sensing data and applying lessons learned, when appropriate, from climate modeling. Here, we present the outcomes and lessons learned from our first E-discussion and in-person meeting and discuss the next steps for future meetings.

  13. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Amelioration of soils contaminated with radionuclides: exploiting biodiversity to minimise or maximise soil to plant transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willey, N.

    2004-01-01

    biodiversity landscapes to assess the impacts of radionuclides on biota will be discussed. (author)

  19. Amelioration of soils contaminated with radionuclides: exploiting biodiversity to minimise or maximise soil to plant transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Willey, N. [University of the West of England, Centre for Research in Plant Science, Bristol (United Kingdom)

    2004-07-01

    biodiversity landscapes to assess the impacts of radionuclides on biota will be discussed. (author)

  20. 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 r...... 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?...

  1. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Y Liu

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

  2. NCCOS Assessment: Groundfish biodiversity hotspots off the Pacific Coast of Oregon from 1971-09-05 to 2010-09-20 (NCEI Accession 0156467)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set comprises maps of predicted long-term groundfish biodiversity hotspot probabilities off the Pacific Coast of Oregon. Predicted hotspot probabilities...

  3. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo F Braga

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 species that depend on cool, clean, well-oxygenated water. Of the nine salmon species, three have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are of high priority to restoration efforts in the South Fork—spring Chinook salmon, summer steelhead trout, and bull trout. Growing evidence shows that climate change will exacerbate legacy impacts. This qualitative assessment is a comprehensive analysis of climate change impacts on freshwater habitat and Pacific salmon in the South Fork. It also evaluates the effectiveness of restoration tools that address Pacific salmon recovery.

  8. Framework for assessment of environmental impact (Fasset)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larsson, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    The overall aim of the FASSET project is to develop a framework within which assessment models, relevant to the impact of ionising radiation on the environment, can be applied and results analysed for European ecosystems. Complete documentation on the FASSET project can be found on the FASSET's web-site (www.fasset.org). This paper describes the current state of the project, based on the project's first Annual Report. Seven European ecosystems are considered; four terrestrial (natural forests, semi-natural pastures, agricultural ecosystems and wetlands) and three aquatic (marine, brackish and freshwater). In FASSET Deliverable 1 a list of candidate generic reference organisms has been drawn up on the basis of expert judgement of exposure situations in the selected ecosystems. They serve as a starting points for development of dosimetric models, and for pooling available information on ecological relevance and biological effects. Further analysis of the candidate reference organisms is performed to justify their choice and assess their applicability in different situations, taking into account modelling of radionuclide transfer, estimates of internal and external dose rates, ecological significance and biological effects. Four general 'umbrella' radiation effects on biota are considered that, when manifested in an individual, may have an impact at population level or at higher levels of the organisational hierarchy. The four 'umbrellas' are: morbidity (fitness or well-being), mortality (death directly attributable to radiation), reproductive success (changed number of offspring) and scorable cytogenetic effects (molecular actions, aberrations). A database is being assembled, compiling dose and dose rates data from the literature for a number of organism categories for each of these four umbrella effects. The database also considers the suitability of data to derive the relative biological efficiency (RBE) for different types of radiation. The work from the three

  9. 34 CFR 75.601 - Applicant's assessment of environmental impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. 75.601... Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee? Construction § 75.601 Applicant's assessment of environmental impact. An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction on...

  10. The biodiversity from Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvachi Zambrano, Byron

    2002-01-01

    It is about the flora biodiversity and fauna that it occupied the savannah of Bogota originally, about the flora and extinct fauna and of the flora and fauna that still persist in spite of the colonization

  11. Biodiversity and global change

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Solbrig, Otto Thomas; Emden, H. M. van; Oordt, P. G. W. J. van; Solbrig, Otto T

    1992-01-01

    The IUBS symposium "Biodiversity and Global Change" held during the 24th General Assembly, 1-6 September, 1991, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, represented the first attempt to address the issue of bio...

  12. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  13. Dimensions of biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Aim: 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

  14. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Contribution to the Biodiversity Assessment of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Atlantic Forest in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira-de-Freitas, Vinícios; França, Rodrigo Massabki; Bartholomay, Lyric C; Marcondes, Carlos Brisola

    2017-03-01

    The mosquito fauna of a coastal area of Santa Catarina state, Brazil (Baixada do Maciambu), was assessed, and possible mosquito larval habitats were mapped. Five new species records for the state are presented, two of which also are new genera records. From the 24 recognized species present in the area, 28% were from the subfamily Anophelinae and 72% from the Culicinae. The community structure throughout a year, the relevance of the new findings, and the medical importance of some species are discussed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Counterintuitive proposals for trans-boundary ecological compensation under "No Net Loss" biodiversity policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Joseph William; Abatayo, Anna Lou; Strange, Niels

    2017-01-01

    ‘No net loss’ (NNL) policies involve quantifying biodiversity impacts associated with economic development, and implementing commensurate conservation gains to balance losses. Local stakeholders are often affected by NNL biodiversity trades. But to what extent are NNL principles intuitive...... compensation should be: close to development impacts; greater than losses; smaller, given a background trend of biodiversity decline; and, smaller when gains have co-benefits for biodiversity. However, survey participant proposals violated all four principles. Participants proposed substantial forest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-04-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

    Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The South African government, as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing energy crisis, has proposed that biofuels should form an important part of the country’s energy supply. The contribution of liquid biofuels to the national fuel supply is expected to be at least 2% by 2013. The Biofuels Industrial Strategy of the Republic of South Africa of 2007 outlines key incentives for reaching this target and promoting the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. This paper discusses issues relating to this strategy as well as key drivers in biofuel processing with reference to potential impacts on South Africa’s rich biological heritage.

    Our understanding of many of the broader aspects of biofuels needs to be enhanced. We identify key areas where challenges exist, such as the link between technology, conversion processes and feedstock selection. The available and proposed processing technologies have important implications for land use and the use of different non-native plant species as desired feedstocks. South Africa has a long history of planting non-native plant species for commercial purposes, notably for commercial forestry. Valuable lessons can be drawn from this experience on mitigation against potential impacts by considering plausible scenarios and the appropriate management framework and policies. We conceptualise key issues embodied in the biofuels strategy, adapting a framework developed for assessing and quantifying impacts of invasive alien species. In so doing, we provide guidelines for minimising the potential impacts of biofuel projects on biodiversity.

  20. Assessing the Impacts of Multiple Breadbasket Failures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casellas Connors, J. P.; Janetos, A.

    2016-12-01

    A relatively small area of the world accounts for a large proportion of total global cereal production, with most of the area devoted to the production of the world's three major cereal crops, rice, wheat and maize. An extensive literature of the sensitivity of agricultural productivity of these crops, and many others, has arisen over the past 25 years, with a general consensus that continued change in the physical climate system will very likely increase the difficulty of agricultural production in areas of the world that are already marginal with respect to production. But what this research only rarely does is assess the influence of extreme events in shocking agricultural production, and how the rest of the agricultural system reacts, in terms of prices, food insecurity, subsequent land-use change, and terrestrial carbon emissions, among many other possible responses. Because the agricultural system is interlinked with energy systems, food distribution and transportation systems, and economic systems, models that focus only on agricultural productivity can only provide a unidimensional view of the magnitude of potential impacts. We know such impacts can occur as a consequence of extreme climatic events, because they have - the impact of the severe regional drought and heat wave on the Russian and Ukrainian wheat harvests in 2010 had global consequences for food prices, just as one example. In this paper, we use an Integrated Assessment Model, the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), to investigate the potential outcomes of both moderate and severe shocks to agricultural productivity in the major breadbaskets of the world - both singly and in combination. The results demonstrate clearly that there are likely to be multidimensional consequences from the kinds of shocks that are possible from a rapidly changing climate system, especially when combined with other demographic and economic trends in the coming decades. These results are only one aspect of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarakoon, Miriya; Rowan, John S

    2008-03-01

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

  2. Building capacity in biodiversity monitoring at the global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeller, Dirk S.; Bohm, Monika; Arvanitidis, Christos; Barber-Meyer, Shannon; Brummitt, Neil; Chandler, Mark; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Costello, Mark J.; Ding, Hui; García-Moreno, Jaime; Gill, Michael J.; Haase, Peter; Jones, Miranda; Juillard, Romain; Magnusson, William E.; Martin, Corinne S.; McGeoch, Melodie A.; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Proença, Vânia; Peng, Cui; Regan, Eugenie; Schmiedel, Ute; Simsika, John P.; Weatherdon, Lauren; Waterman, Carly; Xu, Haigen; Belnap, Jayne

    2017-01-01

    Human-driven global change is causing ongoing declines in biodiversity worldwide. In order to address these declines, decision-makers need accurate assessments of the status of and pressures on biodiversity. However, these are heavily constrained by incomplete and uneven spatial, temporal and taxonomic coverage. For instance, data from regions such as Europe and North America are currently used overwhelmingly for large-scale biodiversity assessments due to lesser availability of suitable data from other, more biodiversity-rich, regions. These data-poor regions are often those experiencing the strongest threats to biodiversity, however. There is therefore an urgent need to fill the existing gaps in global biodiversity monitoring. Here, we review current knowledge on best practice in capacity building for biodiversity monitoring and provide an overview of existing means to improve biodiversity data collection considering the different types of biodiversity monitoring data. Our review comprises insights from work in Africa, South America, Polar Regions and Europe; in government-funded, volunteer and citizen-based monitoring in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. The key steps to effectively building capacity in biodiversity monitoring are: identifying monitoring questions and aims; identifying the key components, functions, and processes to monitor; identifying the most suitable monitoring methods for these elements, carrying out monitoring activities; managing the resultant data; and interpreting monitoring data. Additionally, biodiversity monitoring should use multiple approaches including extensive and intensive monitoring through volunteers and professional scientists but also harnessing new technologies. Finally, we call on the scientific community to share biodiversity monitoring data, knowledge and tools to ensure the accessibility, interoperability, and reporting of biodiversity data at a global scale.

  3. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Environmental impact assessment of nuclear desalination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-03-01

    Nuclear desalination is gaining interest among the IAEA Member States, as indicated by the planned projects, and it is expected that the number of nuclear desalination plants will increase in the near future. The IAEA has already provided its Member States with reports and documents that disseminate information regarding the technical and economic feasibility of nuclear desalination. With the rising environmental awareness, in the scope of IAEA's activities on seawater desalination using nuclear power, a need was identified for a report that would provide a generic assessment of the environmental issues in nuclear desalination. In order to offer an overview of specific environmental impacts which are to be expected, their probable magnitude, and recommended mitigation measures, this publication encompasses information provided by the IAEA Member States as well as other specialized sources. It is intended for decision makers and experts dealing with environmental, desalination and water management issues, offering insight into the environmental aspects that are essential in planning and developing nuclear desalination

  5. Environmental impact assessment: Retrospect and prospect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jay, Stephen; Jones, Carys; Slinn, Paul; Wood, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    The widespread experience of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as an anticipatory environmental management tool has generated a considerable debate over the extent to which it is achieving its purposes. This has been measured in terms of EIA 'effectiveness', especially as discussion has moved away from issues of procedural implementation, to the more substantive goals of EIA and its place within broader decision-making contexts. Empirical studies have revealed the relatively weak degree of influence on planning decisions that is being exerted by EIA, which is increasingly being attributed to its rationalist beginnings. This article seeks to direct this debate towards the founding political purposes of EIA which, it is argued, provide a neglected, yet strong, basis for EIA reform. A number of illustrative suggestions are made as a result of this redirection, to enable EIA to adopt a more determinative role in decision making and to contribute to more sustainable patterns of development planning

  6. Biodiversity, climate change and poverty: exploring the links

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, Hannah; Swiderska, Krystyna

    2008-02-15

    Biodiversity — the variety of all life, from genes and species to ecosystems — is intimately linked to Earth's climate and, inevitably, to climate change. Biodiversity and poverty are also inextricably connected. For instance, changes to natural ecosystems influence both climate change and people's ability to cope with some of its damaging impacts. And in their turn climate change, as well as people's responses to it, affect biodiversity. Unpicking all these strands clearly shows that conserving and managing biodiversity can help natural systems and vulnerable people cope with a shifting global climate. Yet compared to activities such as forest conservation and afforestation — widely noted as a way of sequestering carbon and cutting greenhouse gas emissions — biodiversity conservation is a neglected area. That must change: urgent support is needed for local solutions to biodiversity loss that provide benefits on all counts.

  7. Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleijn, David; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Smith, Henrik G; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-09-01

    Biodiversity continues to decline, despite the implementation of international conservation conventions and measures. To counteract biodiversity loss, it is pivotal to know how conservation actions affect biodiversity trends. Focussing on European farmland species, we review what is known about the impact of conservation initiatives on biodiversity. We argue that the effects of conservation are a function of conservation-induced ecological contrast, agricultural land-use intensity and landscape context. We find that, to date, only a few studies have linked local conservation effects to national biodiversity trends. It is therefore unknown how the extensive European agri-environmental budget for conservation on farmland contributes to the policy objectives to halt biodiversity decline. Based on this review, we identify new research directions addressing this important knowledge gap. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Biodiversity, climate change and poverty: exploring the links

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, Hannah; Swiderska, Krystyna

    2008-02-15

    Biodiversity — the variety of all life, from genes and species to ecosystems — is intimately linked to Earth's climate and, inevitably, to climate change. Biodiversity and poverty are also inextricably connected. For instance, changes to natural ecosystems influence both climate change and people's ability to cope with some of its damaging impacts. And in their turn climate change, as well as people's responses to it, affect biodiversity. Unpicking all these strands clearly shows that conserving and managing biodiversity can help natural systems and vulnerable people cope with a shifting global climate. Yet compared to activities such as forest conservation and afforestation — widely noted as a way of sequestering carbon and cutting greenhouse gas emissions — biodiversity conservation is a neglected area. That must change: urgent support is needed for local solutions to biodiversity loss that provide benefits on all counts.

  9. Exploring Health Impact Assessment in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Wismar

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available

    Background: Health impact assessment (HIA prospectively judges the potential health impacts of pending decisions and feeds the assessment back into the decision making process. HIA is considered as a key tool for intersectoral collaboration. This article presents selected results of a mapping exercise on HIA in Europe. The mapping exercise is complemented by the presentation of a conceptual framework on the effectiveness of HIA and illustrative examples.

    Method: Two methodologies are employed in this article: First, the use of HIA across Europe is based on a survey conducted by 21 teams in 19 countries. A semi standardized questionnaire was employed, using a wide variety of sources. Second, for the discussion on the effectiveness of HIA, a conceptual framework using four types of effectiveness was employed. Results: HIA is a common practice only in a handful of European countries. In most of Europe, HIA is at an early developmental stage. The mapping exercise, however, provides evidence that HIA can work across all sectors and at all political level, although there is currently a focus on the local level. HIA is conducted in different countries by different sets of actors and organizations, reflecting the existing setup. The evidence on the effectiveness of HIA is still inconclusive. However, single case studies and upcoming evidence suggests that HIA has the capacity to inform and influence the decision making process.

    Conclusions: HIA can work and deliver. The variations in context across European countries have resulted in different forms of implementation and different dynamics of developing HIA.

  10. Catalysis-by-design impacts assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fassbender, L L; Young, J K [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA); Sen, R K [Sen (R.K.) and Associates, Washington, DC (USA)

    1991-05-01

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

  11. Water-quality impact assessment for hydropower

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daniil, E.I.; Gulliver, J.; Thene, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    A methodology to assess the impact of a hydropower facility on downstream water quality is described. Negative impacts can result from the substitution of discharges aerated over a spillway with minimally aerated turbine discharges that are often withdrawn from lower reservoir levels, where dissolved oxygen (DO) is typically low. Three case studies illustrate the proposed method and problems that can be encountered. Historic data are used to establish the probability of low-dissolved-oxygen occurrences. Synoptic surveys, combined with downstream monitoring, give an overall picture of the water-quality dynamics in the river and the reservoir. Spillway aeration is determined through measurements and adjusted for temperature. Theoretical computations of selective withdrawal are sensitive to boundary conditions, such as the location of the outlet-relative to the reservoir bottom, but withdrawal from the different layers is estimated from measured upstream and downstream temperatures and dissolved-oxygen profiles. Based on field measurements, the downstream water quality under hydropower operation is predicted. Improving selective withdrawal characteristics or diverting part of the flow over the spillway provided cost-effective mitigation solutions for small hydropower facilities (less than 15 MW) because of the low capital investment required

  12. An Assessment of Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Hamid Masdiah

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA in evaluating the planning project is a debatable issue among academics and practitioners, since EIA has been claimed to be unable to eliminate the environmental issues. Focusing only on technical improvements is not sufficient for rectifying the problems of EIA; the process of EIA should be clearly identified instead to maximise the effective use of EIA. It is important to note that the effective use of EIA, particularly on process-related issues could significantly minimise bad environmental effects. In summary, this study aims to explore and identify the effectiveness of EIA in the planning process and barriers to evaluate the environmental performance in Malaysia. The findings of this study could be a baseline for organisation to minimize emission, avoid the risk of prosecution and fines arising from potential environment breaches and cost reduction within the organisation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, Benoît

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert I McDonald

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