WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodiversity loss threatens

  1. 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.

  2. Mutualism Disruption Threatens Global Plant Biodiversity: A Systematic Review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare E Aslan

    Full Text Available As global environmental change accelerates, biodiversity losses can disrupt interspecific interactions. Extinctions of mutualist partners can create "widow" species, which may face reduced ecological fitness. Hypothetically, such mutualism disruptions could have cascading effects on biodiversity by causing additional species coextinctions. However, the scope of this problem - the magnitude of biodiversity that may lose mutualist partners and the consequences of these losses - remains unknown.We conducted a systematic review and synthesis of data from a broad range of sources to estimate the threat posed by vertebrate extinctions to the global biodiversity of vertebrate-dispersed and -pollinated plants. Though enormous research gaps persist, our analysis identified Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and global oceanic islands as geographic regions at particular risk of disruption of these mutualisms; within these regions, percentages of plant species likely affected range from 2.1-4.5%. Widowed plants are likely to experience reproductive declines of 40-58%, potentially threatening their persistence in the context of other global change stresses.Our systematic approach demonstrates that thousands of species may be impacted by disruption in one class of mutualisms, but extinctions will likely disrupt other mutualisms, as well. Although uncertainty is high, there is evidence that mutualism disruption directly threatens significant biodiversity in some geographic regions. Conservation measures with explicit focus on mutualistic functions could be necessary to bolster populations of widowed species and maintain ecosystem functions.

  3. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

  4. Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Simon; Adger, W Neil

    2003-05-01

    This paper investigates the relationship between economic growth, biodiversity loss and efforts to conserve biodiversity using a combination of panel and cross section data. If economic growth is a cause of biodiversity loss through habitat transformation and other means, then we would expect an inverse relationship. But if higher levels of income are associated with increasing real demand for biodiversity conservation, then investment to protect remaining diversity should grow and the rate of biodiversity loss should slow with growth. Initially, economic growth and biodiversity loss are examined within the framework of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis. Biodiversity is represented by predicted species richness, generated for tropical terrestrial biodiversity using a species-area relationship. The environmental Kuznets hypothesis is investigated with reference to comparison of fixed and random effects models to allow the relationship to vary for each country. It is concluded that an environmental Kuznets curve between income and rates of loss of habitat and species does not exist in this case. The role of conservation effort in addressing environmental problems is examined through state protection of land and the regulation of trade in endangered species, two important means of biodiversity conservation. This analysis shows that the extent of government environmental policy increases with economic development. We argue that, although the data are problematic, the implications of these models is that conservation effort can only ever result in a partial deceleration of biodiversity decline partly because protected areas serve multiple functions and are not necessarily designated to protect biodiversity. Nevertheless institutional and policy response components of the income biodiversity relationship are important but are not well captured through cross-country regression analysis.

  5. School Students' Conceptions about Biodiversity Loss: Definitions, Reasons, Results and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilinc, Ahmet; Yesiltas, Namik Kemal; Kartal, Tezcan; Demiral, Ümit; Eroglu, Baris

    2013-01-01

    Environmental degradation stemming from anthropocentric causes threatens the biodiversity more than ever before, leading scholars to warn governments about the impending consequences of biodiversity loss (BL). At this point, it is of great importance to study the public's conceptions of BL in order to identify significant educational implications.…

  6. Banning Trophy Hunting Will Exacerbate Biodiversity Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. globally threatened biodiversity of the eastern arc mountains and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    subspecies, 42 varieties) of animals and plants in the Eastern Arc Mountains and. Coastal ... threatened species and increasing the total number of threatened species from 333 to 343. ...... A new servaline genet (Carnivora, Viverridae) from.

  8. Global biodiversity loss: Exaggerated versus realistic estimates

    OpenAIRE

    John C. Briggs

    2016-01-01

    For the past 50 years, the public has been made to feel guilty about the tragedy of human-caused biodiversity loss due to the extinction of hundreds or thousands of species every year. Numerous articles and books from the scientific and popular press and publicity on the internet have contributed to a propaganda wave about our grievous loss and the beginning of a sixth mass extinction. However, within the past few years, questions have arisen about the validity of the data which led to the do...

  9. Global biodiversity loss: Exaggerated versus realistic estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John C. Briggs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available For the past 50 years, the public has been made to feel guilty about the tragedy of human-caused biodiversity loss due to the extinction of hundreds or thousands of species every year. Numerous articles and books from the scientific and popular press and publicity on the internet have contributed to a propaganda wave about our grievous loss and the beginning of a sixth mass extinction. However, within the past few years, questions have arisen about the validity of the data which led to the doom scenario. Here I show that, for the past 500 years, terrestrial animals (insects and vertebrates have been losing less than two species per year due to human causes. The majority of the extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands with little effect on continental ecology. In the marine environment, losses have also been very low. At the same time, speciation has continued to occur and biodiversity gain by this means may have equaled or even surpassed the losses. While species loss is not, so far, a global conservation problem, ongoing population declines within thousands of species that are at risk on land and in the sea constitute an extinction debt that will be paid unless those species can be rescued.

  10. Identifying biodiversity hotspots for threatened mammal species in Iran

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farashi, Azita; Shariati Najafabadi, Mitra; Hosseini, Mahshid

    2017-01-01

    Conservation biology has much more attention for biodiversity hot spots than before. In order to recognize the hotspots for Iranian terrestrial mammal species that are listed in any red list, nationally or globally, ten Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been applied. The SDMs evaluation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Breaking boundaries for biodiversity : expanding the policy agenda to halt biodiversity loss

    OpenAIRE

    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 – could not be met. The picture in the Netherlands is less positive if the average low quality of the remaining Dutch biodiversity is taken into account. If the impacts on biodiversity abroad of impo...

  15. Infectious diseases and their outbreaks in Asia-Pacific: biodiversity and its regulation loss matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morand, Serge; Jittapalapong, Sathaporn; Suputtamongkol, Yupin; Abdullah, Mohd Tajuddin; Huan, Tan Boon

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing control measures, numerous parasitic and infectious diseases are emerging, re-emerging or causing recurrent outbreaks particularly in Asia and the Pacific region, a hot spot of both infectious disease emergence and biodiversity at risk. We investigate how biodiversity affects the distribution of infectious diseases and their outbreaks in this region, taking into account socio-economics (population size, GDP, public health expenditure), geography (latitude and nation size), climate (precipitation, temperature) and biodiversity (bird and mammal species richness, forest cover, mammal and bird species at threat). We show, among countries, that the overall richness of infectious diseases is positively correlated with the richness of birds and mammals, but the number of zoonotic disease outbreaks is positively correlated with the number of threatened mammal and bird species and the number of vector-borne disease outbreaks is negatively correlated with forest cover. These results suggest that, among countries, biodiversity is a source of pathogens, but also that the loss of biodiversity or its regulation, as measured by forest cover or threatened species, seems to be associated with an increase in zoonotic and vector-borne disease outbreaks.

  16. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Reich, Peter B; Tilman, David; Hobbie, Sarah E; Polasky, Stephen; Binder, Seth

    2013-07-16

    Anthropogenic drivers of environmental change often have multiple effects, including changes in biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning. It remains unknown whether such shifts in biodiversity and species composition may, themselves, be major contributors to the total, long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem functioning. Moreover, although numerous experiments have shown that random losses of species impact the functioning of ecosystems, human-caused losses of biodiversity are rarely random. Here we use results from long-term grassland field experiments to test for direct effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on ecosystem productivity, and for indirect effects of enrichment on productivity mediated by resultant species losses. We found that ecosystem productivity decreased through time most in plots that lost the most species. Chronic nitrogen addition also led to the nonrandom loss of initially dominant native perennial C4 grasses. This loss of dominant plant species was associated with twice as great a loss of productivity per lost species than occurred with random species loss in a nearby biodiversity experiment. Thus, although chronic nitrogen enrichment initially increased productivity, it also led to loss of plant species, including initially dominant species, which then caused substantial diminishing returns from nitrogen fertilization. In contrast, elevated CO2 did not decrease grassland plant diversity, and it consistently promoted productivity over time. Our results support the hypothesis that the long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change on ecosystem functioning can strongly depend on how such drivers gradually decrease biodiversity and restructure communities.

  17. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Reich, Peter B.; Tilman, David; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Polasky, Stephen; Binder, Seth

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic drivers of environmental change often have multiple effects, including changes in biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning. It remains unknown whether such shifts in biodiversity and species composition may, themselves, be major contributors to the total, long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem functioning. Moreover, although numerous experiments have shown that random losses of species impact the functioning of ecosystems, human-caused losses of biodiversity are rarely random. Here we use results from long-term grassland field experiments to test for direct effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on ecosystem productivity, and for indirect effects of enrichment on productivity mediated by resultant species losses. We found that ecosystem productivity decreased through time most in plots that lost the most species. Chronic nitrogen addition also led to the nonrandom loss of initially dominant native perennial C4 grasses. This loss of dominant plant species was associated with twice as great a loss of productivity per lost species than occurred with random species loss in a nearby biodiversity experiment. Thus, although chronic nitrogen enrichment initially increased productivity, it also led to loss of plant species, including initially dominant species, which then caused substantial diminishing returns from nitrogen fertilization. In contrast, elevated CO2 did not decrease grassland plant diversity, and it consistently promoted productivity over time. Our results support the hypothesis that the long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change on ecosystem functioning can strongly depend on how such drivers gradually decrease biodiversity and restructure communities. PMID:23818582

  18. All is not loss: plant biodiversity in the anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Biodiversity Loss and the Ecological Footprint of Trade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elias Lazarus

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Human pressure on ecosystems is among the major drivers of biodiversity loss. As biodiversity plays a key role in supporting the human enterprise, its decline puts the well-being of human societies at risk. Halting biodiversity loss is therefore a key policy priority, as reflected in the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets under strategic goal A. The Ecological Footprint has become a widely used metric for natural capital and ecosystem accounting, and is frequently cited in the sustainability debate, where it is often used for tracking human-induced pressures on ecosystems and biodiversity. Given its potential role as an indirect metric for biodiversity-related policies, this paper breaks down the Ecological Footprint into its components and analyzes resource and ecosystem service flows at an international level. We discuss its usefulness in tracking the underlying drivers of habitat impacts and biodiversity loss. We find that: China is a major net importer of all biomass biocapacity components; the largest net exporters of forest biocapacity are not low-income countries; a very high proportion of the Ecological Footprint of fishing grounds is traded internationally; Singapore and at least three Middle East countries are almost wholly reliant on net imports for the cropland biocapacity they consume.

  20. Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brose, Ulrich; Blanchard, Julia L.; Eklöf, Anna

    2016-01-01

    and use novel allometric and size-spectrum concepts that include body mass as a primary species trait at the levels of populations and individuals, respectively, to re-assess three classic debates on the relationships between biodiversity and (i) food-web structural complexity, (ii) community dynamic......Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic...... units characterizing communities only by species number without accounting for species traits. However, extinctions do not occur at random as there is a clear correlation between extinction risk and species traits. In this review, we assume that large species will be most threatened by extinction...

  1. The efficiency of voluntary incentive policies for preventing biodiversity loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Lewis; Andrew J. Plantinga; Erik Nelson; Stephen. Polasky

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss is a primary cause of loss of biodiversity but conserving habitat for species presents challenges. Land parcels differ in their ability to produce returns for landowners and landowners may have private information about the value of the land to them. Land parcels also differ in the type and quality of habitat and the spatial pattern of land use across...

  2. A cross-national analysis of how economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Tim G; Peterson, Garry D; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    We used socioeconomic models that included economic inequality to predict biodiversity loss, measured as the proportion of threatened plant and vertebrate species, across 50 countries. Our main goal was to evaluate whether economic inequality, measured as the Gini index of income distribution, improved the explanatory power of our statistical models. We compared four models that included the following: only population density, economic footprint (i.e., the size of the economy relative to the country area), economic footprint and income inequality (Gini index), and an index of environmental governance. We also tested the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis, but it was not supported by the data. Statistical comparisons of the models revealed that the model including both economic footprint and inequality was the best predictor of threatened species. It significantly outperformed population density alone and the environmental governance model according to the Akaike information criterion. Inequality was a significant predictor of biodiversity loss and significantly improved the fit of our models. These results confirm that socioeconomic inequality is an important factor to consider when predicting rates of anthropogenic biodiversity loss.

  3. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss

    OpenAIRE

    Keil Petr; Storch David; Jetz Walter

    2015-01-01

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics–area and backward species–area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional div...

  4. Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops.

  5. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-11-17

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics-area and backward species-area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional diversity, is highest when habitable area disappears inward from the edge of a region, lower when it disappears from the centre outwards, and lowest when area is lost at random. In inward destruction, species loss is almost proportional to area loss, although the decline in phylogenetic and functional diversity is less severe. These trends are explained by the geometry of species ranges and the shape of phylogenetic and functional trees, which may allow baseline predictions of biodiversity decline for underexplored taxa.

  6. Student Teachers' Understanding of the Terminology, Distribution, and Loss of Biodiversity: Perspectives from a Biodiversity Hotspot and an Industrialized Country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebelkorn, Florian; Menzel, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is one of the most urgent global environmental problems of our time. Public education and awareness building is key to successful biodiversity protection. Knowledgeable and skilled student teachers are a key component for the successful implementation of biodiversity education in schools. Yet, little empirical evidence…

  7. Student Teachers' Understanding of the Terminology, Distribution, and Loss of Biodiversity: Perspectives from a Biodiversity Hotspot and an Industrialized Country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebelkorn, Florian; Menzel, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is one of the most urgent global environmental problems of our time. Public education and awareness building is key to successful biodiversity protection. Knowledgeable and skilled student teachers are a key component for the successful implementation of biodiversity education in schools. Yet, little empirical evidence…

  8. Biodiversity loss and infectious diseases: chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

    When conservation biologists think about infectious diseases, their thoughts are mostly negative. Infectious diseases have been associated with the extinction and endangerment of some species, though this is rare, and other factors like habitat loss and poorly regulated harvest still are the overwhelming drivers of endangerment. Parasites are pervasive and play important roles as natural enemies on par with top predators, from regulating population abundances to maintaining species diversity. Sometimes, parasites themselves can be endangered. However, it seems unlikely that humans will miss extinct parasites. Parasites are often sensitive to habitat loss and degradation, making them positive indicators of ecosystem “health”. Conservation biologists need to carefully consider infectious diseases when planning conservation actions. This can include minimizing the movement of domestic and invasive species, vaccination, and culling.

  9. Consequences of biodiversity loss for litter decomposition across biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handa, I Tanya; Aerts, Rien; Berendse, Frank; Berg, Matty P; Bruder, Andreas; Butenschoen, Olaf; Chauvet, Eric; Gessner, Mark O; Jabiol, Jérémy; Makkonen, Marika; McKie, Brendan G; Malmqvist, Björn; Peeters, Edwin T H M; Scheu, Stefan; Schmid, Bernhard; van Ruijven, Jasper; Vos, Veronique C A; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2014-05-08

    The decomposition of dead organic matter is a major determinant of carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, and of carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Decomposition is driven by a vast diversity of organisms that are structured in complex food webs. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of biodiversity on decomposition is critical given the rapid loss of species worldwide and the effects of this loss on human well-being. Yet despite comprehensive syntheses of studies on how biodiversity affects litter decomposition, key questions remain, including when, where and how biodiversity has a role and whether general patterns and mechanisms occur across ecosystems and different functional types of organism. Here, in field experiments across five terrestrial and aquatic locations, ranging from the subarctic to the tropics, we show that reducing the functional diversity of decomposer organisms and plant litter types slowed the cycling of litter carbon and nitrogen. Moreover, we found evidence of nitrogen transfer from the litter of nitrogen-fixing plants to that of rapidly decomposing plants, but not between other plant functional types, highlighting that specific interactions in litter mixtures control carbon and nitrogen cycling during decomposition. The emergence of this general mechanism and the coherence of patterns across contrasting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suggest that biodiversity loss has consistent consequences for litter decomposition and the cycling of major elements on broad spatial scales.

  10. Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardinale, Bradley J.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hooper, David U.; Perrings, Charles; Patrick, Venail; Narwani, Anita; Mace, Georgina M.; Tilman, David; Wardle, David A.; Kinzig, Ann P.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Loreau, Michel; Grace, James B.; Larigauderie, Anne; Srivastava, Diane S.; Naeem, Shahid

    2012-01-01

    The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions were dismantling the Earth's ecosystems, eliminating genes, species and biological traits at an alarming rate. This observation led to the question of how such loss of biological diversity will alter the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services needed to prosper.

  11. Predicting and mitigating future biodiversity loss using long-term ecological proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fordham, Damien A.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Alroy, John; Saltré, Frédérik; Wigley, Tom M. L.; Brook, Barry W.

    2016-10-01

    Uses of long-term ecological proxies in strategies for mitigating future biodiversity loss are too limited in scope. Recent advances in geochronological dating, palaeoclimate reconstructions and molecular techniques for inferring population dynamics offer exciting new prospects for using retrospective knowledge to better forecast and manage ecological outcomes in the face of global change. Opportunities include using fossils, genes and computational models to identify ecological traits that caused species to be differentially prone to regional and range-wide extinction, test if threatened-species assessment approaches work and locate habitats that support stable ecosystems in the face of shifting climates. These long-term retrospective analyses will improve efforts to predict the likely effects of future climate and other environmental change on biodiversity, and target conservation management resources most effectively.

  12. Biodiversity loss decreases parasite diversity: theory and patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2012-10-19

    Past models have suggested host-parasite coextinction could lead to linear, or concave down relationships between free-living species richness and parasite richness. I explored several models for the relationship between parasite richness and biodiversity loss. Life cycle complexity, low generality of parasites and sensitivity of hosts reduced the robustness of parasite species to the loss of free-living species diversity. Food-web complexity and the ordering of extinctions altered these relationships in unpredictable ways. Each disassembly of a food web resulted in a unique relationship between parasite richness and the richness of free-living species, because the extinction trajectory of parasites was sensitive to the order of extinctions of free-living species. However, the average of many disassemblies tended to approximate an analytical model. Parasites of specialist hosts and hosts higher on food chains were more likely to go extinct in food-web models. Furthermore, correlated extinctions between hosts and parasites (e.g. if parasites share a host with a specialist predator) led to steeper declines in parasite richness with biodiversity loss. In empirical food webs with random removals of free-living species, the relationship between free-living species richness and parasite richness was, on average, quasi-linear, suggesting biodiversity loss reduces parasite diversity more than previously thought.

  13. Biodiversity loss decreases parasite diversity: theory and patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Past models have suggested host–parasite coextinction could lead to linear, or concave down relationships between free-living species richness and parasite richness. I explored several models for the relationship between parasite richness and biodiversity loss. Life cycle complexity, low generality of parasites and sensitivity of hosts reduced the robustness of parasite species to the loss of free-living species diversity. Food-web complexity and the ordering of extinctions altered these relationships in unpredictable ways. Each disassembly of a food web resulted in a unique relationship between parasite richness and the richness of free-living species, because the extinction trajectory of parasites was sensitive to the order of extinctions of free-living species. However, the average of many disassemblies tended to approximate an analytical model. Parasites of specialist hosts and hosts higher on food chains were more likely to go extinct in food-web models. Furthermore, correlated extinctions between hosts and parasites (e.g. if parasites share a host with a specialist predator) led to steeper declines in parasite richness with biodiversity loss. In empirical food webs with random removals of free-living species, the relationship between free-living species richness and parasite richness was, on average, quasi-linear, suggesting biodiversity loss reduces parasite diversity more than previously thought.

  14. School Students' Conceptions about Biodiversity Loss: Definitions, Reasons, Results and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilinc, Ahmet; Yeşiltaş, Namik Kemal; Kartal, Tezcan; Demiral, Ümit; Eroğlu, Baris

    2013-12-01

    Environmental degradation stemming from anthropocentric causes threatens the biodiversity more than ever before, leading scholars to warn governments about the impending consequences of biodiversity loss (BL). At this point, it is of great importance to study the public's conceptions of BL in order to identify significant educational implications. However, a review of the literature reveals a relatively small body of research about the public understanding of BL. In this qualitative study, we thus strived to elicit Turkish school students' conceptions about BL using a written questionnaire including open-ended questions with respect to the definition of biodiversity as well as reasons for, results of and solutions to BL. The sample consisted of 245 school students in a relatively small city. A two-staged content analysis was run on the responses. The results showed that school students most commonly preferred species-focused definitions of biodiversity and understood BL through such various conceptual patterns as, `balance of nature', `forest', `global warming', `hunting' and `indirect conservation'. At the end of the paper, the possible educational implications and future perspectives were discussed.

  15. Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dornelas, Maria; Gotelli, Nicholas J; McGill, Brian; Shimadzu, Hideyasu; Moyes, Faye; Sievers, Caya; Magurran, Anne E

    2014-04-18

    The extent to which biodiversity change in local assemblages contributes to global biodiversity loss is poorly understood. We analyzed 100 time series from biomes across Earth to ask how diversity within assemblages is changing through time. We quantified patterns of temporal α diversity, measured as change in local diversity, and temporal β diversity, measured as change in community composition. Contrary to our expectations, we did not detect systematic loss of α diversity. However, community composition changed systematically through time, in excess of predictions from null models. Heterogeneous rates of environmental change, species range shifts associated with climate change, and biotic homogenization may explain the different patterns of temporal α and β diversity. Monitoring and understanding change in species composition should be a conservation priority.

  16. Global change and biodiversity loss: Some impediments to response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borza, Karen; Jamieson, Dale

    1991-01-01

    Discussed here are the effects of anthropogenic global climate change on biodiversity. The focus is on human responses to the problem. Greenhouse warming-induced climate change may shift agricultural growing belts, reduce forests of the Northern Hemisphere and drive many species to extinction, among other effects. If these changes occur together with the mass extinctions already occurring, we may suffer a profound loss of biological diversity.

  17. THE IMPACT OF DEFORESTATION ON BIODIVERSITY LOSS IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Putu Gede Ardhana

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of deforestation on biodiversity loss in Indonesia. Firstly author presented information about deforestation trends that spread across Indonesia. And presented information about forest fires that triggered off the continuous deforestation and occurred one after another throughout the year. The collected data showed deforestation and forest fires have occurred since 1960 to 2015, and deforestation and forest fires implicated in the extinction of species diversity, genetics, and ecosystems that spreads from Sunda region to Sahul region. Author used descriptive regulation and legislation methods, used literature approach, as well as arranged with descriptive and interpretational form in papers. From the results of this study author concluded that deforestation rate implicates in forest fires that occur continuously throughout the year and can not be inevitable possibility of extinction of biodiversity spread across Indonesia.

  18. Quantifying Biodiversity Losses Due to Human Consumption: A Global-Scale Footprint Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilting, Harry C; Schipper, Aafke M; Bakkenes, Michel; Meijer, Johan R; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2017-03-21

    It is increasingly recognized that human consumption leads to considerable losses of biodiversity. This study is the first to systematically quantify these losses in relation to land use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production and consumption of (inter)nationally traded goods and services by presenting consumption-based biodiversity losses, in short biodiversity footprint, for 45 countries and world regions globally. Our results showed that (i) the biodiversity loss per citizen shows large variations among countries, with higher values when per-capita income increases; (ii) the share of biodiversity losses due to GHG emissions in the biodiversity footprint increases with income; (iii) food consumption is the most important driver of biodiversity loss in most of the countries and regions, with a global average of 40%; (iv) more than 50% of the biodiversity loss associated with consumption in developed economies occurs outside their territorial boundaries; and (v) the biodiversity footprint per dollar consumed is lower for wealthier countries. The insights provided by our analysis might support policymakers in developing adequate responses to avert further losses of biodiversity when population and incomes increase. Both the mitigation of GHG emissions and land use related reduction options in production and consumption should be considered in strategies to protect global biodiversity.

  19. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waycott, Michelle; Duarte, Carlos M.; Carruthers, Tim J. B.; Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Calladine, Ainsley; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Williams, Susan L.

    2009-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and invertebrate species; and a major food source for endangered dugong, manatee, and green turtle. Although individual impacts from coastal development, degraded water quality, and climate change have been documented, there has been no quantitative global assessment of seagrass loss until now. Our comprehensive global assessment of 215 studies found that seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate of 110 km2 yr−1 since 1980 and that 29% of the known areal extent has disappeared since seagrass areas were initially recorded in 1879. Furthermore, rates of decline have accelerated from a median of 0.9% yr−1 before 1940 to 7% yr−1 since 1990. Seagrass loss rates are comparable to those reported for mangroves, coral reefs, and tropical rainforests and place seagrass meadows among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. PMID:19587236

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  1. Land use compounds habitat losses under projected climate change in a threatened California ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Coulter Riordan

    Full Text Available Given the rapidly growing human population in mediterranean-climate systems, land use may pose a more immediate threat to biodiversity than climate change this century, yet few studies address the relative future impacts of both drivers. We assess spatial and temporal patterns of projected 21(st century land use and climate change on California sage scrub (CSS, a plant association of considerable diversity and threatened status in the mediterranean-climate California Floristic Province. Using a species distribution modeling approach combined with spatially-explicit land use projections, we model habitat loss for 20 dominant shrub species under unlimited and no dispersal scenarios at two time intervals (early and late century in two ecoregions in California (Central Coast and South Coast. Overall, projected climate change impacts were highly variable across CSS species and heavily dependent on dispersal assumptions. Projected anthropogenic land use drove greater relative habitat losses compared to projected climate change in many species. This pattern was only significant under assumptions of unlimited dispersal, however, where considerable climate-driven habitat gains offset some concurrent climate-driven habitat losses. Additionally, some of the habitat gained with projected climate change overlapped with projected land use. Most species showed potential northern habitat expansion and southern habitat contraction due to projected climate change, resulting in sharply contrasting patterns of impact between Central and South Coast Ecoregions. In the Central Coast, dispersal could play an important role moderating losses from both climate change and land use. In contrast, high geographic overlap in habitat losses driven by projected climate change and projected land use in the South Coast underscores the potential for compounding negative impacts of both drivers. Limiting habitat conversion may be a broadly beneficial strategy under climate change

  2. Land use compounds habitat losses under projected climate change in a threatened California ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riordan, Erin Coulter; Rundel, Philip W

    2014-01-01

    Given the rapidly growing human population in mediterranean-climate systems, land use may pose a more immediate threat to biodiversity than climate change this century, yet few studies address the relative future impacts of both drivers. We assess spatial and temporal patterns of projected 21(st) century land use and climate change on California sage scrub (CSS), a plant association of considerable diversity and threatened status in the mediterranean-climate California Floristic Province. Using a species distribution modeling approach combined with spatially-explicit land use projections, we model habitat loss for 20 dominant shrub species under unlimited and no dispersal scenarios at two time intervals (early and late century) in two ecoregions in California (Central Coast and South Coast). Overall, projected climate change impacts were highly variable across CSS species and heavily dependent on dispersal assumptions. Projected anthropogenic land use drove greater relative habitat losses compared to projected climate change in many species. This pattern was only significant under assumptions of unlimited dispersal, however, where considerable climate-driven habitat gains offset some concurrent climate-driven habitat losses. Additionally, some of the habitat gained with projected climate change overlapped with projected land use. Most species showed potential northern habitat expansion and southern habitat contraction due to projected climate change, resulting in sharply contrasting patterns of impact between Central and South Coast Ecoregions. In the Central Coast, dispersal could play an important role moderating losses from both climate change and land use. In contrast, high geographic overlap in habitat losses driven by projected climate change and projected land use in the South Coast underscores the potential for compounding negative impacts of both drivers. Limiting habitat conversion may be a broadly beneficial strategy under climate change. We emphasize

  3. 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 Nethe

  4. 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

  5. Biodiversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobson, A. (Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)); Carper, R. (John Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States))

    1993-10-30

    Traditional herbalists act as a first-level screen for plants which may contain chemicals with significant pharmaceutical potential. Unfortunately, the destruction of rain forests is likely to lead to the extinction of many plant species before their potential can be explored. 165,000 km[sup 2] of tropical forest and 90,000 km[sup 2] of range land are destroyed or degraded each year, an annual attrition rate of about 1% for tropical forest. If these losses continue until only land set aside in parks is left, 66% of plant and 69% of animal species may be lost. The burning of forests to clear land for human settlement also makes a significant contribution to the greenhouse gases that are raising global mean temperatures. There are synergisms--here between rainforest destruction, loss of biodiversity, and global climate change--with potential impacts on health. Some aspects will be explored more fully in the contributions on vector-borne diseases and direct impacts and in the collaborative review of monitoring with which the series ends.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove-Fanning, William

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove-Fanning, William

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Biodiversity loss in grasslands : consequences for ecosystem functioning and interactions with above- and belowground organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.

    2005-01-01

    Considering the current rate of extinctions, it is crucial to understand the consequences of these losses of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems. Grasslands proved a very suitable ecosystem for biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.In earlier experiments, nitrogen-

  9. Biodiversity loss in Latin American coffee landscapes: review of the evidence on ants, birds, and trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Philpott; W.J. Arendt; I. Armbrecht; P. Bichier; T.V. Diestch; C. Gordon; R. Greenberg; I. Perfecto; R. Reynoso-Santos; L. Soto-Pinto; C. Tejeda-Cruz; G. Williams-Linera; J. Valenzuela; J.M. Zolotoff

    2008-01-01

    Studies have documented biodiversity losses due to intensification of coffee management (reduction in canopy richness and complexity). Nevertheless, questions remain regarding relative sensitivity of different taxa, habitat specialists, and functional groups, and whether implications for biodiversity conservation vary across regions.We quantitatively reviewed data from...

  10. Species traits outweigh nested structure in driving the effects of realistic biodiversity loss on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfi, Amelia A; Zavaleta, Erika S

    2015-01-01

    While most studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have examined randomized diversity losses, several recent experiments have employed nested, realistic designs and found that realistic species losses had larger consequences than random losses for ecosystem functioning. Progressive, realistic, biodiversity losses are generally strongly nested, but this nestedness is a potentially confounding effect. Here, we address whether nonrandom trait loss or degree of nestedness drives the relationship between diversity and productivity in a realistic biodiversity-loss experiment. We isolated the effect of nestedness through post hoc analyses of data from an experimental biodiversity manipulation in a California serpentine grassland. We found that the order in which plant traits are lost as diversity declines influences the diversity-productivity relationship more than the degree of nestedness does. Understanding the relationship between the expected order of species loss and functional traits is becoming increasingly important in the face of ongoing biodiversity loss worldwide. Our findings illustrate the importance of species composition and the order of species loss, rather than nestedness per se, for understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of realistic species losses on ecosystem functioning.

  11. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available is well endowed with both variety and abundance of living things, together referred to as biological diversity, or biodiversity. That biodiversity, with some exceptions, is currently in a better condition than in many parts of the world. Biodiversity... Africa and the southern Cape (Cowling and others 1996). In between are the subtropical deserts, which are generally a zone of lower diversity: for example, a vast part of the Sahara, the Ténéré, is home to only 20 plant species in an area of about...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Loss of native rocky reef biodiversity in Australian metropolitan embayments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Edgar, Graham J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Barrett, Neville S; Fowles, Amelia E; Hill, Nicole A; Cooper, Antonia T; Myers, Andrew P; Oh, Elizabeth S; Pocklington, Jacqui B; Thomson, Russell J

    2015-06-15

    Urbanisation of the coastal zone represents a key threat to marine biodiversity, including rocky reef communities which often possess disproportionate ecological, recreational and commercial importance. The nature and magnitude of local urban impacts on reef biodiversity near three Australian capital cities were quantified using visual census methods. The most impacted reefs in urbanised embayments were consistently characterised by smaller, faster growing species, reduced fish biomass and richness, and reduced mobile invertebrate abundance and richness. Reef faunal distribution varied significantly with heavy metals, local population density, and proximity to city ports, while native fish and invertebrate communities were most depauperate in locations where invasive species were abundant. Our study adds impetus for improved urban planning and pollution management practises, while also highlighting the potential for skilled volunteers to improve the tracking of changes in marine biodiversity values and the effectiveness of management intervention.

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Varsha Vijay; Pimm, Stuart L.; Clinton N Jenkins; 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...

  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

    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...... compensation abroad, did not always require commensurate compensation within their own country, and required more forest creation if background trends were for habitat decline or if forest creation had fauna co-benefits. Our findings suggest that, under certain circumstances, international biodiversity trades...... to stakeholders when they are not experts? We surveyed 691 students with limited or no knowledge of NNL policy across three countries, eliciting perceptions of what constitutes sufficient ecological compensation for forest habitat losses from infrastructure development. NNL policies assume that biodiversity...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Biodiversity and the Recovery of Threatened and Endangered Salmon Species in the Columbia River Basin : Recovery Issues for Threatened and Endangered Snake River Salmon : Technical Report of 8 of 11.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steward, C. R. (Cleveland R.)

    1993-06-01

    The stated purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to provide a means whereby the ecosystem upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved. Conservation of the Columbia River ecosystem and the diversity of gene pools, life histories, species, and communities that comprise it, should become a major objective of species recovery and fish and wildlife management programs in the Columbia River Basin. Biodiversity is important to both species and ecosystem health, and is a prerequisite to long-term sustainability of biological resources. In this paper, I provide an overview of various approaches to defining, measuring, monitoring, and protecting biodiversity. A holistic approach is stressed that simultaneously considers diverse species and resource management needs. Emphasis is on threatened and endangered species of salmon and their associated habitat.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. The Loss of Biodiversity as a Challenge for Sustainable Development: How Do Pupils in Chile and Germany Perceive Resource Dilemmas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Susanne; Bögeholz, Susanne

    2009-08-01

    The topic of biodiversity is of high value for education for sustainable development as it reflects the interaction of ecological, economic and social issues particularly well. Especially in so-called biodiversity hotspots, among them Chile, natural resources are often depleted for economic interest which, in many cases, is required income. Therefore, economic and social aspects must be considered in order to fully understand biodiversity loss. Being such an important issue, it is surprising that little is known thus far about learning prerequisites concerning biodiversity. This paper presents a qualitative interview study that investigated 16 to 18-year-old Chilean and German learners’ perception of biodiversity and its loss ( n = 24). Firstly, the pupils’ cognitive frameworks were analysed. Secondly, subjective theories about biodiversity loss due to resource dilemmas were explored. Three subjective theories that emerged from the data reflected the notion that most pupils focused on either ecological or economic aspects of biodiversity loss. Pupils who concentrated on ecological aspects often referred to incorrect ecological facts. Moreover, these pupils showed difficulties in developing empathy and solidarity with impoverished people, who depend economically on plants in a resource dilemma. A smaller group of pupils succeeded in integrating the ecological, economic, and social aspects. Regarding the two samples, Chilean pupils seemed to have greater difficulties in recognising the social aspects of biodiversity loss, while German pupils were largely unaware of biodiversity loss on a local level. Implications for biodiversity education and future research will be outlined and discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Flowering phenology shifts in response to biodiversity loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Amelia A.; Zavaleta, Erika S; Selmants, Paul C.

    2017-01-01

    Observational studies and experimental evidence agree that rising global temperatures have altered plant phenology—the timing of life events, such as flowering, germination, and leaf-out. Other large-scale global environmental changes, such as nitrogen deposition and altered precipitation regimes, have also been linked to changes in flowering times. Despite our increased understanding of how abiotic factors influence plant phenology, we know very little about how biotic interactions can affect flowering times, a significant knowledge gap given ongoing human-caused alteration of biodiversity and plant community structure at the global scale. We experimentally manipulated plant diversity in a California serpentine grassland and found that many plant species flowered earlier in response to reductions in diversity, with peak flowering date advancing an average of 0.6 days per species lost. These changes in phenology were mediated by the effects of plant diversity on soil surface temperature, available soil N, and soil moisture. Peak flowering dates were also more dispersed among species in high-diversity plots than expected based on monocultures. Our findings illustrate that shifts in plant species composition and diversity can alter the timing and distribution of flowering events, and that these changes to phenology are similar in magnitude to effects induced by climate change. Declining diversity could thus contribute to or exacerbate phenological changes attributed to rising global temperatures.

  8. Quantifying the Benefit of Early Climate Change Mitigation in Avoiding Biodiversity Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, R.; Vanderwal, J.; Price, J.; Welbergen, J.; Atkinson, I. M.; Ramirez-Villegas, J.; Osborn, T.; Shoo, L.; Jarvis, A.; Williams, S.; Lowe, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Quantitative simulations of the global-scale benefits of climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss are presented. Previous studies have projected widespread global and regional impacts of climate change on biodiversity. However, these have focused on analysis of business-as-usual scenarios, with no explicit mitigation policy included. This study finds that early, stringent mitigation would avoid a large proportion of the impacts of climate change induced biodiversity loss projected for the 2080s. Furthermore, despite the large number of studies addressing extinction risks in particular species groups, few studies have explored the issue of potential range loss in common and widespread species. Our study is a comprehensive global scale analysis of 48,786 common and widespread species. We show that without climate change mitigation, 57+/-6% of the plants and 34+/-7% of the animals studied are likely to lose over 50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s. This estimate incorporates realistic, taxon-specific dispersal rates. With stringent mitigation, in which emissions peak in 2016 and are reduced by 5% annually thereafter, these losses are reduced by 60%. Furthermore, with stringent mitigation, global temperature rises more slowly, allowing an additional three decades for biodiversity to adapt to a temperature rise of 2C above pre-industrial levels. The work also shows that even with mitigation not all the impacts can now be avoided, and ecosystems and biodiversity generally has a very limited capacity to adapt. Delay in mitigation substantially reduces the percentage of impacts that can be avoided, for example if emissions do not peak until 2030, the percentage of losses that can be avoided declines to 40%. Since even small declines in common and widespread species can disrupt ecosystem function and services, these results indicate that without mitigation, globally widespread losses in ecosystem service provision are to be expected.

  9. Linkages between biodiversity loss and human health: a global indicator analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynen, M.M.T.E.; Martens, P.; Groot, de R.S.

    2004-01-01

    The association between health and biodiversity loss was explored by means of regression analysis on a global scale, with control for confounding by socio-economic developments. For this we selected indicators of human health (life expectancy, disability adjusted life expectancy, infant mortality

  10. Awareness of Consequence of High School Students on Loss of Bio-Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasot, Nazim; Özbas, Serap

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the egoistic, altruistic and biospheric awareness of the consequence of high school students regarding the loss of bio-diversity, then comparing the results on the basis of some independent variables (gender, class and family income). The research data were collected from 884 ninth and tenth grade high school…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biodiversity loss in Latin American coffee landscapes: review of the evidence on ants, birds, and trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M; Arendt, Wayne J; Armbrecht, Inge; Bichier, Peter; Diestch, Thomas V; Gordon, Caleb; Greenberg, Russell; Perfecto, Ivette; Reynoso-Santos, Roberto; Soto-Pinto, Lorena; Tejeda-Cruz, Cesar; Williams-Linera, Guadalupe; Valenzuela, Jorge; Zolotoff, José Manuel

    2008-10-01

    Studies have documented biodiversity losses due to intensification of coffee management (reduction in canopy richness and complexity). Nevertheless, questions remain regarding relative sensitivity of different taxa, habitat specialists, and functional groups, and whether implications for biodiversity conservation vary across regions.We quantitatively reviewed data from ant, bird, and tree biodiversity studies in coffee agroecosystems to address the following questions: Does species richness decline with intensification or with individual vegetation characteristics? Are there significant losses of species richness in coffee-management systems compared with forests? Is species loss greater for forest species or for particular functional groups?and Are ants or birds more strongly affected by intensification? Across studies, ant and bird richness declined with management intensification and with changes in vegetation. Species richness of all ants and birds and of forest ant and bird species was lower in most coffee agroecosystems than in forests, but rustic coffee (grown under native forest canopies) had equal or greater ant and bird richness than nearby forests. Sun coffee(grown without canopy trees) sustained the highest species losses, and species loss of forest ant, bird, and tree species increased with management intensity. Losses of ant and bird species were similar, although losses of forest ants were more drastic in rustic coffee. Richness of migratory birds and of birds that forage across vegetation strata was less affected by intensification than richness of resident, canopy, and understory bird species. Rustic farms protected more species than other coffee systems, and loss of species depended greatly on habitat specialization and functional traits. We recommend that forest be protected, rustic coffee be promoted,and intensive coffee farms be restored by augmenting native tree density and richness and allowing growth of epiphytes. We also recommend that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; Alt, Fabian; Binkenstein, Julia; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Böhm, Stefan; Grassein, Fabrice; Hölzel, Norbert; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Morris, E Kathryn; Oelmann, Yvonne; Prati, Daniel; Renner, Swen C; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffen-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Fischer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    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 introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land-use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-23

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

  16. The transition from no net loss to a net gain of biodiversity is far from trivial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Joseph William; Brownlie, S.

    2017-01-01

    seeks a neutral outcome for biodiversity after losses and gains are accounted for, and the latter seeks an improved outcome. Policy-makers often assume that the transition from one to the other is straightforward and essentially a question of the amount of compensation provided. Consequently, companies...... appropriate in evaluating the ecological outcomes, depending on the principle chosen; and (4) stakeholder expectations differ considerably under the two principles. In exploring these arguments we hope to support policy-makers in choosing the more appropriate of the two objectives. We suggest that financial......The objectives of No Net Loss and Net Gain have emerged as key principles in conservation policy. Both give rise to mechanisms by which certain unavoidable biodiversity losses associated with development are quantified, and compensated with comparable gains (e.g. habitat restoration). The former...

  17. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  18. Ecologically informed engineering reduces loss of intertidal biodiversity on artificial shorelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Mark A; Chapman, M Gee

    2011-10-01

    Worldwide responses to urbanization, expanding populations and climatic change mean biodiverse habitats are replaced with expensive, but necessary infrastructure. Coastal cities support vast expanses of buildings and roads along the coast or on "reclaimed" land, leading to "armouring" of shorelines with walls, revetments and offshore structures to reduce erosion and flooding. Currently infrastructure is designed to meet engineering and financial criteria, without considering its value as habitat, despite artificial shorelines causing loss of intertidal species and altering ecological natural processes that sustain natural biodiversity. Most research on ameliorating these impacts focus on soft-sediment habitats and larger flora (e.g., restoring marshes, encouraging plants to grow on walls). In response to needs for greater collaboration between ecologists and engineers to create infrastructure to better support biodiversity, we show how such collaborations lead to small-scale and inexpensive ecologically informed engineering which reduces loss of species of algae and animals from rocky shores replaced by walls. Adding experimental novel habitats to walls mimicking rock-pools (e.g., cavities, attaching flowerpots) increased numbers of species by 110% within months, in particular mobile animals most affected by replacing natural shores with walls. These advances provide new insights about melding engineering and ecological knowledge to sustain biodiversity in cities.

  19. Consequences of biodiversity loss diverge from expectation due to post-extinction compensatory responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Matthias S.; Garcia, Clement; Bolam, Stefan G.; Parker, Ruth; Godbold, Jasmin A.; Solan, Martin

    2017-03-01

    Consensus has been reached that global biodiversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning and the sustainability of services beneficial to humanity. However, the ecosystem consequences of extinction in natural communities are moderated by compensatory species dynamics, yet these processes are rarely accounted for in impact assessments and seldom considered in conservation programmes. Here, we use marine invertebrate communities to parameterise numerical models of sediment bioturbation – a key mediator of biogeochemical cycling – to determine whether post-extinction compensatory mechanisms alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relations following non-random extinctions. We find that compensatory dynamics lead to trajectories of sediment mixing that diverge from those without compensation, and that the form, magnitude and variance of each probabilistic distribution is highly influenced by the type of compensation and the functional composition of surviving species. Our findings indicate that the generalized biodiversity-function relation curve, as derived from multiple empirical investigations of random species loss, is unlikely to yield representative predictions for ecosystem properties in natural systems because the influence of post-extinction community dynamics are under-represented. Recognition of this problem is fundamental to management and conservation efforts, and will be necessary to ensure future plans and adaptation strategies minimize the adverse impacts of the biodiversity crisis.

  20. Consequences of biodiversity loss diverge from expectation due to post-extinction compensatory responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Matthias S.; Garcia, Clement; Bolam, Stefan G.; Parker, Ruth; Godbold, Jasmin A.; Solan, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Consensus has been reached that global biodiversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning and the sustainability of services beneficial to humanity. However, the ecosystem consequences of extinction in natural communities are moderated by compensatory species dynamics, yet these processes are rarely accounted for in impact assessments and seldom considered in conservation programmes. Here, we use marine invertebrate communities to parameterise numerical models of sediment bioturbation – a key mediator of biogeochemical cycling – to determine whether post-extinction compensatory mechanisms alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relations following non-random extinctions. We find that compensatory dynamics lead to trajectories of sediment mixing that diverge from those without compensation, and that the form, magnitude and variance of each probabilistic distribution is highly influenced by the type of compensation and the functional composition of surviving species. Our findings indicate that the generalized biodiversity-function relation curve, as derived from multiple empirical investigations of random species loss, is unlikely to yield representative predictions for ecosystem properties in natural systems because the influence of post-extinction community dynamics are under-represented. Recognition of this problem is fundamental to management and conservation efforts, and will be necessary to ensure future plans and adaptation strategies minimize the adverse impacts of the biodiversity crisis. PMID:28255165

  1. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Messmer, Vanessa; Brooks, Andrew J; Srinivasan, Maya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia). Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity) in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  2. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia. Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  3. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. D Rocha

    Full Text Available Biodiversity corridors comprise a mosaic of land uses connecting fragments of natural forest across a landscape. Two such corridors have been established along the eastern coast of Brazil: the Serra do Mar and the Central da Mata Atlântica corridors, along which most of the coastal plains are restinga areas. In this study, we analyze the present status of the endemic and endangered terrestrial vertebrates of both corridors. We sampled 10 restingas in both corridors, recording species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Some restingas harbor a relatively large number of endemic species, and two main regions of endemism can be identified along the restingas of both corridors: the coastal restingas from northern Espírito Santo State to southern Bahia State (between Linhares, ES, and Trancoso, BA, and the coastal region between the restingas of Maricá and Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro State. Six species of terrestrial vertebrates considered threatened with extinction are found in the restingas of Serra do Mar and Central da Mata Atlântica biodiversity corridors (Liolaemus lutzae, Formicivora littoralis, Mimus gilvus, Schistochlamys melanopis, and Trinomys eliasi. The region located between the restinga of Maricá and that of Jurubatiba is of special relevance for the conservation of vertebrate species of the restingas of the corridors because a considerable number of threatened species of terrestrial vertebrates are found there. We strongly recommend efforts to develop checklists of threatened faunas for the States of Espírito Santo and Bahia.

  4. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The memory remains: application of historical DNA for scaling biodiversity loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eg Nielsen, Einar; Bekkevold, Dorte

    2012-01-01

    in the Columbia River, but also underpins the general significance of shifting baselines in conservation biology, and how to assess loss of genetic biodiversity. The results clearly illustrate the huge and versatile potential of using historical DNA in population and conservation genetics. Because...... now, no ‘smoking gun’ in terms of direct genetic evidence of the loss of a salmon ESU has been produced. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Iwamoto et al. (2012) use microsatellite analysis of historical scale samples of Columbia River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from 1924 (Fig. 1) to ask...

  6. Economic growth, climate change, biodiversity loss: distributive justice for the global north and south.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales, Jon

    2008-12-01

    Economic growth-the increase in production and consumption of goods and services-must be considered within its biophysical context. Economic growth is fueled by biophysical inputs and its outputs degrade ecological processes, such as the global climate system. Economic growth is currently the principal cause of increased climate change, and climate change is a primary mechanism of biodiversity loss. Therefore, economic growth is a prime catalyst of biodiversity loss. Because people desire economic growth for dissimilar reasons-some for the increased accumulation of wealth, others for basic needs-how we limit economic growth becomes an ethical problem. Principles of distributive justice can help construct an international climate-change regime based on principles of equity. An equity-based framework that caps economic growth in the most polluting economies will lessen human impact on biodiversity. When coupled with a cap-and-trade mechanism, the framework can also provide a powerful tool for redistribution of wealth. Such an equity-based framework promises to be more inclusive and therefore more effective because it accounts for the disparate developmental conditions of the global north and south.

  7. Economic growth and biodiversity loss in an age of tradable permits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales, Jon

    2006-08-01

    Tradable permits are increasingly becoming part of environmental policy and conservation programs. The efficacy of tradable permit schemes in addressing the root cause of environmental decline-economic growth--will not be achieved unless the schemes cap economic activity based on ecological thresholds. Lessons can be learned from the largest tradable permit scheme to date, emissions trading now being implemented with the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol caps neither greenhouse gas emissions at a level that will achieve climate stability nor economic growth. If patterned after the Kyoto Protocol, cap-and-trade schemes for conservation will not ameliorate biodiversity loss either because they will not address economic growth. In response to these failures to cap economic growth, professional organizations concerned about biodiversity conservation should release position statements on economic growth and ecological thresholds. The statements can then be used by policy makers to infuse these positions into the local, national, and international environmental science-policy process when these schemes are being developed. Infusing language into the science-policy process that calls for capping economic activity based on ecological thresholds represents sound conservation science. Most importantly, position statements have a greater potential to ameliorate biodiversity loss if they are created and released than if this information remains within professional organizations because there is the potential for these ideas to be enacted into law and policy.

  8. Simultaneous loss of soil biodiversity and functions along a copper contamination gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Moldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic induced changes in biodiversity...... and associated soil functions is limited. Here, we quantified an array of soil biological constituents (plants, earthworms, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi) to explore their interactions and to characterize their influence on various soil functions (habitat for soil organisms, air and water regulation......, and recycling of nutrients and organic waste) along a legacy copper (Cu) pollution gradient. Increasing Cu concentrations had detrimental impact on both plant growth and species richness. Belowground soil biota showed similar response with their sensitivity to elevated Cu concentrations decreasing...

  9. Predictable waves of sequential forest degradation and biodiversity loss spreading from an African city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrends, Antje; Burgess, Neil D; Milledge, Simon A H; Bulling, Mark T; Fisher, Brendan; Smart, James C R; Clarke, G Philip; Mhoro, Boniface E; Lewis, Simon L

    2010-08-17

    Tropical forest degradation emits carbon at a rate of approximately 0.5 Pgxy(-1), reduces biodiversity, and facilitates forest clearance. Understanding degradation drivers and patterns is therefore crucial to managing forests to mitigate climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. Putative patterns of degradation affecting forest stocks, carbon, and biodiversity have variously been described previously, but these have not been quantitatively assessed together or tested systematically. Economic theory predicts a systematic allocation of land to its highest use value in response to distance from centers of demand. We tested this theory to see if forest exploitation would expand through time and space as concentric waves, with each wave targeting lower value products. We used forest data along a transect from 10 to 220 km from Dar es Salaam (DES), Tanzania, collected at two points in time (1991 and 2005). Our predictions were confirmed: high-value logging expanded 9 kmxy(-1), and an inner wave of lower value charcoal production 2 kmxy(-1). This resource utilization is shown to reduce the public goods of carbon storage and species richness, which significantly increased with each kilometer from DES [carbon, 0.2 Mgxha(-1); 0.1 species per sample area (0.4 ha)]. Our study suggests that tropical forest degradation can be modeled and predicted, with its attendant loss of some public goods. In sub-Saharan Africa, an area experiencing the highest rate of urban migration worldwide, coupled with a high dependence on forest-based resources, predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of degradation can inform policies designed to extract resources without unsustainably reducing carbon storage and biodiversity.

  10. Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jos; Lennox, Gareth D; Ferreira, Joice; Berenguer, Erika; Lees, Alexander C; Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Louzada, Julio; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Parry, Luke; Solar, Ricardo Ribeiro de Castro; Vieira, Ima C G; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Braga, Rodrigo F; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Souza, Carlos M; Moura, Nárgila G; Nunes, Sâmia Serra; Siqueira, João Victor; Pardini, Renata; Silveira, Juliana M; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Gardner, Toby A

    2016-07-07

    Concerted political attention has focused on reducing deforestation, and this remains the cornerstone of most biodiversity conservation strategies. However, maintaining forest cover may not reduce anthropogenic forest disturbances, which are rarely considered in conservation programmes. These disturbances occur both within forests, including selective logging and wildfires, and at the landscape level, through edge, area and isolation effects. Until now, the combined effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the conservation value of remnant primary forests has remained unknown, making it impossible to assess the relative importance of forest disturbance and forest loss. Here we address these knowledge gaps using a large data set of plants, birds and dung beetles (1,538, 460 and 156 species, respectively) sampled in 36 catchments in the Brazilian state of Pará. Catchments retaining more than 69–80% forest cover lost more conservation value from disturbance than from forest loss. For example, a 20% loss of primary forest, the maximum level of deforestation allowed on Amazonian properties under Brazil’s Forest Code, resulted in a 39–54% loss of conservation value: 96–171% more than expected without considering disturbance effects. We extrapolated the disturbance-mediated loss of conservation value throughout Pará, which covers 25% of the Brazilian Amazon. Although disturbed forests retained considerable conservation value compared with deforested areas, the toll of disturbance outside Pará’s strictly protected areas is equivalent to the loss of 92,000–139,000 km2 of primary forest. Even this lowest estimate is greater than the area deforested across the entire Brazilian Amazon between 2006 and 2015 (ref. 10). Species distribution models showed that both landscape and within-forest disturbances contributed to biodiversity loss, with the greatest negative effects on species of high conservation and functional value. These results demonstrate an urgent need

  11. Possible shift in macaque trophic level following a century of biodiversity loss in Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Luke

    2011-07-01

    Biodiversity loss in tropical forests is a major problem in conservation biology, and nowhere is this more dire than in Southeast Asia. Deforestation and the associated loss of species may trigger shifts in habitat and feeding preferences of persisting species. In this study, I compared the habitat use and diet of long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) populations in Singapore from two time periods: museum specimens originally collected between 1893 and 1944, and living macaques sampled in 2009. I collected hair and used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis to identify temporal changes in dietary source and trophic position, respectively. δ(13)C ratios were virtually identical, suggesting that macaques foraged in similar habitats during both time periods. However, δ(15)N ratios decreased considerably over time, suggesting that macaques today feed at a lower trophic level than previously. This decline in trophic level may be because of the disappearance or decline of other species that compete with macaques for fruit. This study highlights the effect of biodiversity loss on persisting species in degraded habitats of Southeast Asia, and improves our understanding of how species will adapt to further human-driven changes in tropical forest habitats.

  12. Non-random biodiversity loss underlies predictable increases in viral disease prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacroix, Christelle; Jolles, Anna; Seabloom, Eric W; Power, Alison G; Mitchell, Charles E; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2014-03-06

    Disease dilution (reduced disease prevalence with increasing biodiversity) has been described for many different pathogens. Although the mechanisms causing this phenomenon remain unclear, the disassembly of communities to predictable subsets of species, which can be caused by changing climate, land use or invasive species, underlies one important hypothesis. In this case, infection prevalence could reflect the competence of the remaining hosts. To test this hypothesis, we measured local host species abundance and prevalence of four generalist aphid-vectored pathogens (barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses) in a ubiquitous annual grass host at 10 sites spanning 2000 km along the North American West Coast. In laboratory and field trials, we measured viral infection as well as aphid fecundity and feeding preference on several host species. Virus prevalence increased as local host richness declined. Community disassembly was non-random: ubiquitous hosts dominating species-poor assemblages were among the most competent for vector production and virus transmission. This suggests that non-random biodiversity loss led to increased virus prevalence. Because diversity loss is occurring globally in response to anthropogenic changes, such work can inform medical, agricultural and veterinary disease research by providing insights into the dynamics of pathogens nested within a complex web of environmental forces.

  13. Compensating biodiversity loss : Dutch companies’ experience with biodiversity compensation, including their supply chain : the ‘BioCom’ project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.; Schaick, van J.

    2011-01-01

    Compensation for damage to biodiversity is a relatively new topic in the business environment. Most private sector companies dealing with compensation do so because of a legal obligation. Companies are increasingly becoming aware, though, that our welfare and well-being depend on healthy ecosystems

  14. Forest loss and the biodiversity threshold: an evaluation considering species habitat requirements and the use of matrix habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estavillo, Candelaria; Pardini, Renata; da Rocha, Pedro Luís Bernardo

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the current biodiversity crisis, a landscape-scale process that affects the survival of spatially-structured populations. Although it is well-established that species responses to habitat loss can be abrupt, the existence of a biodiversity threshold is still the cause of much controversy in the literature and would require that most species respond similarly to the loss of native vegetation. Here we test the existence of a biodiversity threshold, i.e. an abrupt decline in species richness, with habitat loss. We draw on a spatially-replicated dataset on Atlantic forest small mammals, consisting of 16 sampling sites divided between forests and matrix habitats in each of five 3600-ha landscapes (varying from 5% to 45% forest cover), and on an a priori classification of species into habitat requirement categories (forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-area specialists). Forest specialists declined abruptly below 30% of forest cover, and spillover to the matrix occurred only in more forested landscapes. Generalists responded positively to landscape heterogeneity, peaking at intermediary levels of forest cover. Open area specialists dominated the matrix and did not spillover to forests. As a result of these distinct responses, we observed a biodiversity threshold for the small mammal community below 30% forest cover, and a peak in species richness just above this threshold. Our results highlight that cross habitat spillover may be asymmetrical and contingent on landscape context, occurring mainly from forests to the matrix and only in more forested landscapes. Moreover, they indicate the potential for biodiversity thresholds in human-modified landscapes, and the importance of landscape heterogeneity to biodiversity. Since forest loss affected not only the conservation value of forest patches, but also the potential for biodiversity-mediated services in anthropogenic habitats, our work indicates the importance of proactive

  15. Loss of genetic diversity and increased subdivision in an endemic Alpine Stonefly threatened by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Steve; Giersch, Jonathan J.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Hotalling, Scott; Fanning, Liz; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    Much remains unknown about the genetic status and population connectivity of high-elevation and high-latitude freshwater invertebrates, which often persist near snow and ice masses that are disappearing due to climate change. Here we report on the conservation genetics of the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana (Ricker) of Montana, USA, a cold-water obligate species. We sequenced 1530 bp of mtDNA from 116 L. tumana individuals representing “historic” (>10 yr old) and 2010 populations. The dominant haplotype was common in both time periods, while the second-most-common haplotype was found only in historic samples, having been lost in the interim. The 2010 populations also showed reduced gene and nucleotide diversity and increased genetic isolation. We found lower genetic diversity in L. tumana compared to two other North American stonefly species, Amphinemura linda (Ricker) and Pteronarcys californica Newport. Our results imply small effective sizes, increased fragmentation, limited gene flow, and loss of genetic variation among contemporary L. tumana populations, which can lead to reduced adaptive capacity and increased extinction risk. This study reinforces concerns that ongoing glacier loss threatens the persistence of L. tumana, and provides baseline data and analysis of how future environmental change could impact populations of similar organisms.

  16. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Thomas W; Jenkins, Stuart R; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J; Hiddink, Jan G

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  17. Rescuing Perishable Neuroanatomical Information from a Threatened Biodiversity Hotspot: Remote Field Methods for Brain Tissue Preservation Validated by Cytoarchitectonic Analysis, Immunohistochemistry, and X-Ray Microcomputed Tomography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel F Hughes

    Full Text Available Biodiversity hotspots, which harbor more endemic species than elsewhere on Earth, are increasingly threatened. There is a need to accelerate collection efforts in these regions before threatened or endangered species become extinct. The diverse geographical, ecological, genetic, morphological, and behavioral data generated from the on-site collection of an individual specimen are useful for many scientific purposes. However, traditional methods for specimen preparation in the field do not permit researchers to retrieve neuroanatomical data, disregarding potentially useful data for increasing our understanding of brain diversity. These data have helped clarify brain evolution, deciphered relationships between structure and function, and revealed constraints and selective pressures that provide context about the evolution of complex behavior. Here, we report our field-testing of two commonly used laboratory-based techniques for brain preservation while on a collecting expedition in the Congo Basin and Albertine Rift, two poorly known regions associated with the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. First, we found that transcardial perfusion fixation and long-term brain storage, conducted in remote field conditions with no access to cold storage laboratory equipment, had no observable impact on cytoarchitectural features of lizard brain tissue when compared to lizard brain tissue processed under laboratory conditions. Second, field-perfused brain tissue subjected to prolonged post-fixation remained readily compatible with subsequent immunohistochemical detection of neural antigens, with immunostaining that was comparable to that of laboratory-perfused brain tissue. Third, immersion-fixation of lizard brains, prepared under identical environmental conditions, was readily compatible with subsequent iodine-enhanced X-ray microcomputed tomography, which facilitated the non-destructive imaging of the intact brain within its skull. In summary, we

  18. Rescuing Perishable Neuroanatomical Information from a Threatened Biodiversity Hotspot: Remote Field Methods for Brain Tissue Preservation Validated by Cytoarchitectonic Analysis, Immunohistochemistry, and X-Ray Microcomputed Tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Daniel F; Walker, Ellen M; Gignac, Paul M; Martinez, Anais; Negishi, Kenichiro; Lieb, Carl S; Greenbaum, Eli; Khan, Arshad M

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity hotspots, which harbor more endemic species than elsewhere on Earth, are increasingly threatened. There is a need to accelerate collection efforts in these regions before threatened or endangered species become extinct. The diverse geographical, ecological, genetic, morphological, and behavioral data generated from the on-site collection of an individual specimen are useful for many scientific purposes. However, traditional methods for specimen preparation in the field do not permit researchers to retrieve neuroanatomical data, disregarding potentially useful data for increasing our understanding of brain diversity. These data have helped clarify brain evolution, deciphered relationships between structure and function, and revealed constraints and selective pressures that provide context about the evolution of complex behavior. Here, we report our field-testing of two commonly used laboratory-based techniques for brain preservation while on a collecting expedition in the Congo Basin and Albertine Rift, two poorly known regions associated with the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. First, we found that transcardial perfusion fixation and long-term brain storage, conducted in remote field conditions with no access to cold storage laboratory equipment, had no observable impact on cytoarchitectural features of lizard brain tissue when compared to lizard brain tissue processed under laboratory conditions. Second, field-perfused brain tissue subjected to prolonged post-fixation remained readily compatible with subsequent immunohistochemical detection of neural antigens, with immunostaining that was comparable to that of laboratory-perfused brain tissue. Third, immersion-fixation of lizard brains, prepared under identical environmental conditions, was readily compatible with subsequent iodine-enhanced X-ray microcomputed tomography, which facilitated the non-destructive imaging of the intact brain within its skull. In summary, we have validated

  19. Biodiversity loss and turnover in alternative states in the Mediterranean Sea: a case study on meiofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea hard-bottom macroalgal meadows may switch to alternative and less-productive barrens grounds, as a result of sea urchins overgrazing. Meiofauna (and especially nematodes) represent key components of benthic ecosystems, are highly-diversified, sensitive to environmental change and anthropogenic impacts, but, so-far, have been neglected in studies on regime shifts. We report here that sedimentary organic matter contents, meiofaunal taxa richness and community composition, nematode α- and β-biodiversity vary significantly between alternative macroalgal and barren states. The observed differences are consistent in six areas spread across the Mediterranean Sea, irrespective of barren extent. Our results suggest also that the low biodiversity levels in barren states are the result of habitat loss/fragmentation, which is associated also with a lower availability of trophic resources. Furthermore, differences in meiofaunal and nematode abundance, biomass and diversity between macroalgal meadow and barren states persist when the latter is not fully formed, or consists of patches interspersed in macroalgal meadows. Since barren grounds are expanding rapidly along the Mediterranean Sea and meiofauna are a key trophic component in marine ecosystems, we suggest that the extension and persistence of barrens at the expenses of macroalgal meadows could also affect resilience of higher trophic level. PMID:27708343

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Biodiversity loss and turnover in alternative states in the Mediterranean Sea: a case study on meiofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea hard-bottom macroalgal meadows may switch to alternative and less-productive barrens grounds, as a result of sea urchins overgrazing. Meiofauna (and especially nematodes) represent key components of benthic ecosystems, are highly-diversified, sensitive to environmental change and anthropogenic impacts, but, so-far, have been neglected in studies on regime shifts. We report here that sedimentary organic matter contents, meiofaunal taxa richness and community composition, nematode α- and β-biodiversity vary significantly between alternative macroalgal and barren states. The observed differences are consistent in six areas spread across the Mediterranean Sea, irrespective of barren extent. Our results suggest also that the low biodiversity levels in barren states are the result of habitat loss/fragmentation, which is associated also with a lower availability of trophic resources. Furthermore, differences in meiofaunal and nematode abundance, biomass and diversity between macroalgal meadow and barren states persist when the latter is not fully formed, or consists of patches interspersed in macroalgal meadows. Since barren grounds are expanding rapidly along the Mediterranean Sea and meiofauna are a key trophic component in marine ecosystems, we suggest that the extension and persistence of barrens at the expenses of macroalgal meadows could also affect resilience of higher trophic level.

  2. Conservation Status of Marine Biodiversity in Oceania: An Analysis of Marine Species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth A. Polidoro

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the economic and cultural dependence on the marine environment in Oceania and a rapidly expanding human population, many marine species populations are in decline and may be vulnerable to extinction from a number of local and regional threats. IUCN Red List assessments, a widely used system for quantifying threats to species and assessing species extinction risk, have been completed for 1190 marine species in Oceania to date, including all known species of corals, mangroves, seagrasses, sea snakes, marine mammals, sea birds, sea turtles, sharks, and rays present in Oceania, plus all species in five important perciform fish groups. Many of the species in these groups are threatened by the modification or destruction of coastal habitats, overfishing from direct or indirect exploitation, pollution, and other ecological or environmental changes associated with climate change. Spatial analyses of threatened species highlight priority areas for both site- and species-specific conservation action. Although increased knowledge and use of newly available IUCN Red List assessments for marine species can greatly improve conservation priorities for marine species in Oceania, many important fish groups are still in urgent need of assessment.

  3. Predictable waves of sequential forest degradation and biodiversity loss spreading from an African city

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrends, A.; Burgess, N.D.; Milledge, S.A.H.

    2010-01-01

    ). Our predictions were confirmed: high-value logging expanded 9 km.y(-1), and an inner wave of lower value charcoal production 2 km.y(-1). This resource utilization is shown to reduce the public goods of carbon storage and species richness, which significantly increased with each kilometer from DES...... [carbon, 0.2 Mg.ha(-1); 0.1 species per sample area (0.4 ha)]. Our study suggests that tropical forest degradation can be modeled and predicted, with its attendant loss of some public goods. In sub-Saharan Africa, an area experiencing the highest rate of urban migration worldwide, coupled with a high...... dependence on forest based resources, predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of degradation can inform policies designed to extract resources without unsustainably reducing carbon storage and biodiversity...

  4. Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Carrasco, L Roman; Kastner, Thomas

    2017-05-15

    Identifying the global hotspots of forestry driven species, ecosystem services losses and informing the consuming nations of their environmental footprint domestically and abroad is essential to design demand side interventions and induce sustainable production methods. Here we first use countryside species area relationship model to project species extinctions of four vertebrate taxa (mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles) due to forest land use in 174 countries. We combine the projected extinctions with a global database on the monetary value of ecosystem services provided by different biomes and with bilateral trade data of wood products to calculate species extinctions and ecosystem services losses inflicted by national wood consumption and international wood trade. Results show that globally a total of 485 species are projected to go extinct due to current forest land use. About 32% of this projected loss can be attributed to land use devoted for export production. However, under the counterfactual scenario with the same consumption levels but no international trade of wood products, an additional 334 species are projected to go extinct. Globally, we find that losses of ecosystem services worth $1.5trillion/year are embodied in the timber trade. Compared to high-income nations, tropical countries such as Philippines, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Gambia and Bolivia presented the highest net ecosystem services losses (>3000US$/ha/year) that could not be compensated through current land rents, indicating underpriced exports. Small tropical countries also gained much lower rents per species extinction suffered. These results can help internalize these costs into the global trade through financial compensation mechanisms such as REDD+ or through price premiums on wood sourced from these countries. Overall the results can provide valuable insights for devising national strategies to meet several of the global Aichi 2020 biodiversity targets and can also be useful for

  5. Brazilian Atlantic Forest lato sensu: the most ancient Brazilian forest, and a biodiversity hotspot, is highly threatened by climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, A F; Joly, C A

    2010-10-01

    After 500 years of exploitation and destruction, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest has been reduced to less the 8% of its original cover, and climate change may pose a new threat to the remnants of this biodiversity hotspot. In this study we used modelling techniques to determine present and future geographical distribution of 38 species of trees that are typical of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica), considering two global warming scenarios. The optimistic scenario, based in a 0.5% increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, predicts an increase of up to 2 °C in the Earth's average temperature; in the pessimistic scenario, based on a 1% increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, temperature increase may reach 4 °C. Using these parameters, the occurrence points of the studied species registered in literature, the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Predictions/GARP and Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions/MaxEnt we developed models of present and future possible occurrence of each species, considering Earth's mean temperature by 2050 with the optimistic and the pessimistic scenarios of CO2 emission. The results obtained show an alarming reduction in the area of possible occurrence of the species studied, as well as a shift towards southern areas of Brazil. Using GARP, on average, in the optimistic scenario this reduction is of 25% while in the pessimistic scenario it reaches 50%, and the species that will suffer the worst reduction in their possible area of occurrence are: Euterpe edulis, Mollinedia schottiana, Virola bicuhyba, Inga sessilis and Vochysia magnifica. Using MaxEnt, on average, in the optimistic scenario the reduction will be of 20% while in the pessimistic scenario it reaches 30%, and the species that will suffer the worst reduction are: Hyeronima alchorneoides, Schefflera angustissima, Andira fraxinifolia and the species of Myrtaceae studied.

  6. Brazilian Atlantic Forest lato sensu: the most ancient Brazilian forest, and a biodiversity hotspot, is highly threatened by climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AF. Colombo

    Full Text Available After 500 years of exploitation and destruction, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest has been reduced to less the 8% of its original cover, and climate change may pose a new threat to the remnants of this biodiversity hotspot. In this study we used modelling techniques to determine present and future geographical distribution of 38 species of trees that are typical of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica, considering two global warming scenarios. The optimistic scenario, based in a 0.5% increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, predicts an increase of up to 2 °C in the Earth's average temperature; in the pessimistic scenario, based on a 1% increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, temperature increase may reach 4 °C. Using these parameters, the occurrence points of the studied species registered in literature, the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Predictions/GARP and Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions/MaxEnt we developed models of present and future possible occurrence of each species, considering Earth's mean temperature by 2050 with the optimistic and the pessimistic scenarios of CO2 emission. The results obtained show an alarming reduction in the area of possible occurrence of the species studied, as well as a shift towards southern areas of Brazil. Using GARP, on average, in the optimistic scenario this reduction is of 25% while in the pessimistic scenario it reaches 50%, and the species that will suffer the worst reduction in their possible area of occurrence are: Euterpe edulis, Mollinedia schottiana, Virola bicuhyba, Inga sessilis and Vochysia magnifica. Using MaxEnt, on average, in the optimistic scenario the reduction will be of 20% while in the pessimistic scenario it reaches 30%, and the species that will suffer the worst reduction are: Hyeronima alchorneoides, Schefflera angustissima, Andira fraxinifolia and the species of Myrtaceae studied.

  7. Protected areas network and conservation efforts concerning threatened amphibians in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Campos,F.S.; Llorente, G. A.; L. Rincón; R. Lourenço-de-Moraes; Solé, M.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most common conservation strategies used to preserve threatened species is the establishment of protected areas (PAs), providing a maximum representation of biodiversity with the smallest possible cost. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities, having high rate of habitat loss, which is one of the main factors driving threatened amphibians to extinction. Considering that amphibians are the vertebrate g...

  8. Economic valuation of environmental costs of soil erosion and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services caused by food wastage

    OpenAIRE

    Patrizia Schwegler

    2015-01-01

    Food wastage costs society far more than the direct economic loss of US$ 750 billion per year. When food is discarded, all embodied natural resources are wasted, too. The aim of this study is to estimate global environmental costs of soil erosion and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services caused by food wastage. Firstly, environmental indicators and their quantities such as soil erosion rates, N, P and pesticide inputs and land use changes to agricultural production were assessed thr...

  9. Biodiversity offsetting and restoration under the European Union Habitats Directive: balancing between no net loss and deathbed conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Schoukens

    2016-12-01

    's biodiversity. A reinforcement of the preventative approach is instrumental to avert a further biodiversity loss within the European Union, even if it will lead to additional permit refusals for unsustainable project developments.

  10. Four decades of Andean timberline migration and implications for biodiversity loss with climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Lutz

    Full Text Available Rapid 21st-century climate change may lead to large population decreases and extinction in tropical montane cloud forest species in the Andes. While prior research has focused on species migrations per se, ecotones may respond to different environmental factors than species. Even if species can migrate in response to climate change, if ecotones do not they can function as hard barriers to species migrations, making ecotone migrations central to understanding species persistence under scenarios of climate change. We examined a 42-year span of aerial photographs and high resolution satellite imagery to calculate migration rates of timberline--the grassland-forest ecotone-inside and outside of protected areas in the high Peruvian Andes. We found that timberline in protected areas was more likely to migrate upward in elevation than in areas with frequent cattle grazing and fire. However, rates in both protected (0.24 m yr(-1 and unprotected (0.05 m yr(-1 areas are only 0.5-2.3% of the rates needed to stay in equilibrium with projected climate by 2100. These ecotone migration rates are 12.5 to 110 times slower than the observed species migration rates within the same forest, suggesting a barrier to migration for mid- and high-elevation species. We anticipate that the ecotone will be a hard barrier to migration under future climate change, leading to drastic population and biodiversity losses in the region unless intensive management steps are taken.

  11. Four decades of Andean timberline migration and implications for biodiversity loss with climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, David A; Powell, Rebecca L; Silman, Miles R

    2013-01-01

    Rapid 21st-century climate change may lead to large population decreases and extinction in tropical montane cloud forest species in the Andes. While prior research has focused on species migrations per se, ecotones may respond to different environmental factors than species. Even if species can migrate in response to climate change, if ecotones do not they can function as hard barriers to species migrations, making ecotone migrations central to understanding species persistence under scenarios of climate change. We examined a 42-year span of aerial photographs and high resolution satellite imagery to calculate migration rates of timberline--the grassland-forest ecotone-inside and outside of protected areas in the high Peruvian Andes. We found that timberline in protected areas was more likely to migrate upward in elevation than in areas with frequent cattle grazing and fire. However, rates in both protected (0.24 m yr(-1)) and unprotected (0.05 m yr(-1)) areas are only 0.5-2.3% of the rates needed to stay in equilibrium with projected climate by 2100. These ecotone migration rates are 12.5 to 110 times slower than the observed species migration rates within the same forest, suggesting a barrier to migration for mid- and high-elevation species. We anticipate that the ecotone will be a hard barrier to migration under future climate change, leading to drastic population and biodiversity losses in the region unless intensive management steps are taken.

  12. Continental divide: Predicting climate-mediated fragmentation and biodiversity loss in the boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Dennis L.; Peers, Michael J. L.; Majchrzak, Yasmine N.; Wehtje, Morgan; Ferreira, Catarina; Pickles, Rob S. A.; Row, Jeffrey R.; Thornton, Daniel H.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change threatens natural landscapes through shifting distribution and abundance of species and attendant change in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, it remains unclear how climate-mediated variation in species’ environmental niche space may lead to large-scale fragmentation of species distributions, altered meta-population dynamics and gene flow, and disrupted ecosystem integrity. Such change may be especially relevant when species distributions are restricted either spatially or to a narrow environmental niche, or when environments are rapidly changing. Here, we use range-wide environmental niche models to posit that climate-mediated range fragmentation aggravates the direct effects of climate change on species in the boreal forest of North America. We show that climate change will directly alter environmental niche suitability for boreal-obligate species of trees, birds and mammals (n = 12), with most species ranges becoming smaller and shifting northward through time. Importantly, species distributions will become increasingly fragmented, as characterized by smaller mean size and greater isolation of environmentally-suitable landscape patches. This loss is especially pronounced along the Ontario-Québec border, where the boreal forest is narrowest and roughly 78% of suitable niche space could disappear by 2080. Despite the diversity of taxa surveyed, patterns of range fragmentation are remarkably consistent, with our models predicting that spruce grouse (Dendragapus canadensis), boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus), moose (Alces americanus) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) could have entirely disjunct east-west population segments in North America. These findings reveal potentially dire consequences of climate change on population continuity and species diversity in the boreal forest, highlighting the need to better understand: 1) extent and primary drivers of anticipated climate-mediated range loss and fragmentation; 2) diversity of

  13. Continental divide: Predicting climate-mediated fragmentation and biodiversity loss in the boreal forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Dennis L; Peers, Michael J L; Majchrzak, Yasmine N; Wehtje, Morgan; Ferreira, Catarina; Pickles, Rob S A; Row, Jeffrey R; Thornton, Daniel H

    2017-01-01

    Climate change threatens natural landscapes through shifting distribution and abundance of species and attendant change in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, it remains unclear how climate-mediated variation in species' environmental niche space may lead to large-scale fragmentation of species distributions, altered meta-population dynamics and gene flow, and disrupted ecosystem integrity. Such change may be especially relevant when species distributions are restricted either spatially or to a narrow environmental niche, or when environments are rapidly changing. Here, we use range-wide environmental niche models to posit that climate-mediated range fragmentation aggravates the direct effects of climate change on species in the boreal forest of North America. We show that climate change will directly alter environmental niche suitability for boreal-obligate species of trees, birds and mammals (n = 12), with most species ranges becoming smaller and shifting northward through time. Importantly, species distributions will become increasingly fragmented, as characterized by smaller mean size and greater isolation of environmentally-suitable landscape patches. This loss is especially pronounced along the Ontario-Québec border, where the boreal forest is narrowest and roughly 78% of suitable niche space could disappear by 2080. Despite the diversity of taxa surveyed, patterns of range fragmentation are remarkably consistent, with our models predicting that spruce grouse (Dendragapus canadensis), boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus), moose (Alces americanus) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) could have entirely disjunct east-west population segments in North America. These findings reveal potentially dire consequences of climate change on population continuity and species diversity in the boreal forest, highlighting the need to better understand: 1) extent and primary drivers of anticipated climate-mediated range loss and fragmentation; 2) diversity of

  14. Land-use intensification can exaggerate the reduction of functionality with increasing soil biodiversity loss in an alpine meadow on eastern Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Manqiang; Chen, Xiaoyun; Chen, Chenying; Hu, Zhengkun; Guo, Hui; Li, Junyong; Du, Guozhen; Li, Huixin; Hu, Feng

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota plays a pivotal role in ecosystem functionality which is of central importance to sustainable services such as food and fiber production. Intensive land use is associated with species loss and subsequent the related functionality loss. Currently, the claim that negligible effects of soil biodiversity loss due to high functional redundancy has been questioned in the face of intense human activities. Recent studies corroborated that soil biodiversity guaranteed functionality following perturbation. Few studies have, however, attempted to explore the intensive land use on the relationship between soil biodiversity and function particularly for the region susceptible to human perturbation and climate change. With increasing demands for livestock on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, extensive fertilization is a common way to fill the gap of grass productivity in the alpine meadow. However, excess chemical fertilizer can lead to the species loss and functionality degradation. Do the fertilizer-induced changes in soil biota lead to a higher risk of functionality? We predicted that fertilization would exacerbate effects of biodiversity-loss on the reduction of functionality. Herein, a dilution-to-extinction approach was used to set up soil biodiversity loss by inoculating serially diluted soil suspension (ranging from 100 to 10-8 levels) from two long-term fertilization treatments to the sterilized soil that has never been fertilized. The two fertilization treatments represented two distinct intensification land use including the unfertilized control (NP0) and a fertilized treatment (NP120) amended with (NH4)2HPO4 annually (120 kg ha-1 yr-1) since 2002 in an alpine meadow on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Soil microcosms of 2 fertilization levels crossing 8 biodiversity levels were incubated for 8 months. Then, soil community and multi-functionality parameters including carbon (C)and nutrient mineralization, plant growth and functional stability were determined

  15. Threatened Reef Corals of the World

    OpenAIRE

    Danwei Huang

    2012-01-01

    A substantial proportion of the world's living species, including one-third of the reef-building corals, are threatened with extinction and in pressing need of conservation action. In order to reduce biodiversity loss, it is important to consider species' contribution to evolutionary diversity along with their risk of extinction for the purpose of setting conservation priorities. Here I reconstruct the most comprehensive tree of life for the order Scleractinia (1,293 species) that includes al...

  16. Scenarios of biodiversity loss in southern Africa in the 21st century

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biggs, R.H.; Simons, H.; Bakkenes, M.; Scholes, R.J.; Eickhout, B.; Vuuren, van D.; Alkemade, R.

    2008-01-01

    The rich biodiversity of southern Africa has to date been relatively unimpacted by the activities of modern society, but to what degree will this situation persist into the 21st century? We use a leading global environmental assessment model (IMAGE) to explore future land use and climate change in s

  17. Biodiversity and globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Heal, Geoffrey

    2002-01-01

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

  18. The integration of biodiversity into One Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, C; Cooper, H D; de Souza Dias, B F

    2014-08-01

    A better understanding of the links between biodiversity, health and disease presents major opportunities for policy development, and can enhance our understanding of how health-focused measures affect biodiversity, and conservation measures affect health. The breadth and complexity of these relationships, and the socio-economic drivers by which they are influenced, in the context of rapidly shifting global trends, reaffirm the need for an integrative, multidisciplinary and systemic approach to the health of people, livestock and wildlife within the ecosystem context. Loss of biodiversity, habitat fragmentation and the loss of natural environments threaten the full range of life-supporting services provided by ecosystems at all levels of biodiversity, including species, genetic and ecosystem diversity. The disruption of ecosystem services has direct and indirect implications for public health, which are likely to exacerbate existing health inequities, whether through exposure to environmental hazards or through the loss of livelihoods. One Health provides a valuable framework for the development of mutually beneficial policies and interventions at the nexus between health and biodiversity, and it is critical that One Health integrates biodiversity into its strategic agenda.

  19. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2014-04-08

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth's biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability.

  20. Evaluating plant biodiversity measurements and exotic species detection in National Resources Inventory Sampling protocols using examples from the Northern Great Plains of the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Native plant biodiversity loss and exotic species invasions are threatening the ability of many ecosystems to maintain key functions and processes. We currently lack detailed plant biodiversity data at a national scale with which to make management decisions and recommendations based on current cons...

  1. Biodiversity conservation in the face of dramatic forest disease: an integrated conservation strategy for tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) threatened by sudden oak death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard C. Cobb; David M. Rizzo; Katherine J. Hayden; Matteo Garbelotto; A.N. Filipe João; Christopher A. Gilligan; Whalen W. Dillon; Ross K. Meentemeyer; Yana S. Vlachovic; Ellen Goheen; Tedmund J. Swiecki; Everett M. Hansen; Susan J. Frankel

    2013-01-01

    Non-native diseases of dominant tree species have diminished North American forest biodiversity, structure, and ecosystem function over the last 150 years. Since the mid-1990s, coastal California forests have suffered extensive decline of the endemic overstory tree tanoak, Notholithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos, Cannon & S. H. Oh...

  2. A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, David U; Adair, E Carol; Cardinale, Bradley J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Hungate, Bruce A; Matulich, Kristin L; Gonzalez, Andrew; Duffy, J Emmett; Gamfeldt, Lars; O'Connor, Mary I

    2012-05-02

    Evidence is mounting that extinctions are altering key processes important to the productivity and sustainability of Earth's ecosystems. Further species loss will accelerate change in ecosystem processes, but it is unclear how these effects compare to the direct effects of other forms of environmental change that are both driving diversity loss and altering ecosystem function. Here we use a suite of meta-analyses of published data to show that the effects of species loss on productivity and decomposition--two processes important in all ecosystems--are of comparable magnitude to the effects of many other global environmental changes. In experiments, intermediate levels of species loss (21-40%) reduced plant production by 5-10%, comparable to previously documented effects of ultraviolet radiation and climate warming. Higher levels of extinction (41-60%) had effects rivalling those of ozone, acidification, elevated CO(2) and nutrient pollution. At intermediate levels, species loss generally had equal or greater effects on decomposition than did elevated CO(2) and nitrogen addition. The identity of species lost also had a large effect on changes in productivity and decomposition, generating a wide range of plausible outcomes for extinction. Despite the need for more studies on interactive effects of diversity loss and environmental changes, our analyses clearly show that the ecosystem consequences of local species loss are as quantitatively significant as the direct effects of several global change stressors that have mobilized major international concern and remediation efforts.

  3. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin.

  4. Loss or gain? Invasive aliens and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galil, B.S. [National Institute of Oceanography, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, POB 8030, Haifa 31080 (Israel)]. E-mail: galil@post.tau.ac.il

    2007-07-01

    More than 500 alien species were listed from the Mediterranean Sea. Though no extinction of a native species is known, sudden decline in abundance, and even local extirpations, concurrent with proliferation of aliens, had been recorded. Examination of the profound ecological impacts of some of the most conspicuous invasive alien species underscores their role, among multiple anthropogenic stressors, in altering the infralittoral communities. Local population losses and niche contraction of native species may not induce immediate extirpation, but they augur reduction of genetic diversity, loss of functions, processes, and habitat structure, increase the risk of decline and extinction, and lead to biotic homogenization. The relevant environmental policy and management framework is discussed.

  5. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  6. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60% coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  7. Threatened species and the potential loss of phylogenetic diversity: conservation scenarios based on estimated extinction probabilities and phylogenetic risk analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faith, Daniel P

    2008-12-01

    New species conservation strategies, including the EDGE of Existence (EDGE) program, have expanded threatened species assessments by integrating information about species' phylogenetic distinctiveness. Distinctiveness has been measured through simple scores that assign shared credit among species for evolutionary heritage represented by the deeper phylogenetic branches. A species with a high score combined with a high extinction probability receives high priority for conservation efforts. Simple hypothetical scenarios for phylogenetic trees and extinction probabilities demonstrate how such scoring approaches can provide inefficient priorities for conservation. An existing probabilistic framework derived from the phylogenetic diversity measure (PD) properly captures the idea of shared responsibility for the persistence of evolutionary history. It avoids static scores, takes into account the status of close relatives through their extinction probabilities, and allows for the necessary updating of priorities in light of changes in species threat status. A hypothetical phylogenetic tree illustrates how changes in extinction probabilities of one or more species translate into changes in expected PD. The probabilistic PD framework provided a range of strategies that moved beyond expected PD to better consider worst-case PD losses. In another example, risk aversion gave higher priority to a conservation program that provided a smaller, but less risky, gain in expected PD. The EDGE program could continue to promote a list of top species conservation priorities through application of probabilistic PD and simple estimates of current extinction probability. The list might be a dynamic one, with all the priority scores updated as extinction probabilities change. Results of recent studies suggest that estimation of extinction probabilities derived from the red list criteria linked to changes in species range sizes may provide estimated probabilities for many different species

  8. An index of risk as a measure of biodiversity conservation achieved through land reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Susan; Price, Robbie; Stephens, R T Theo

    2008-02-01

    We measured the net progress of land reform in achieving a national policy goal for biodiversity conservation in the context of ongoing clearing of native vegetation and additions of land to a highly nonrepresentative (residual) reserve network, interior South Island, New Zealand. We used systematic conservation-planning approaches to develop a spatially explicit index of risk of biodiversity loss (RBL). The index incorporated information from national data sets that describe New Zealand's remaining indigenous land cover, legal protection, and land environments and modeled risk to biodiversity on the basis of stated assumptions about the effects of past habitat loss and legal protection. The index identified irreplaceable and vulnerable native habitats in lowland environments as the most at risk of biodiversity loss, and risk was correlated with the density of threatened plant records. To measure achievement, we used changes in the index that reflected gains made and opportunity costs incurred by legal protection and privatization. Application of the index to measure the difference made by land reform showed it had caused a net increase in the risk of biodiversity loss because most land vulnerable to habitat modification and rich in threatened plant species was privatized and land at least risk of biodiversity loss was protected. The application revealed that new high-elevation reserves did little to mitigate biodiversity decline, that privatization of low-elevation land further jeopardized the most vulnerable biodiversity in lowland native habitats, and that outcomes of land reform for biodiversity deteriorated over time. Further development of robust achievement measures is needed to encourage more accountable biodiversity conservation decisions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Modeling the Population-Level Processes of Biodiversity Gain and Loss at Geological Timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortelius, Mikael; Geritz, Stefan; Gyllenberg, Mats; Raia, Pasquale; Toivonen, Jaakko

    2015-12-01

    The path of species diversification is commonly observed by inspecting the fossil record. Yet, how species diversity changes at geological timescales relate to lower-level processes remains poorly understood. Here we use mathematical models of spatially structured populations to show that natural selection and gradual environmental change give rise to discontinuous phenotype changes that can be connected to speciation and extinction at the macroevolutionary level. In our model, new phenotypes arise in the middle of the environmental gradient, while newly appearing environments are filled by existing phenotypes shifting their adaptive optima. Slow environmental change leads to loss of phenotypes in the middle of the extant environmental range, whereas fast change causes extinction at one extreme of the environmental range. We compared our model predictions against a well-known yet partially unexplained pattern of intense hoofed mammal diversification associated with grassland expansion during the Late Miocene. We additionally used the model outcomes to cast new insight into Cope's law of the unspecialized. Our general finding is that the rate of environmental change determines where generation and loss of diversity occur in the phenotypic and physical spaces.

  11. A toxic endophyte-infected grass helps reverse degradation and loss of biodiversity of over-grazed grasslands in northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiang; Christensen, Michael J; Bao, Gensheng; Zhang, Chunping; Li, Xiuzhang; Li, Chunjie; Nan, Zhibiao

    2015-12-18

    Overgrazing of China's grasslands is increasingly causing biodiversity to decline. In degenerated grasslands of northwest China endophyte (Epichloё gansuensis) infected Achnatherum inebrians (drunken horse grass) is becoming widely distributed because of its toxicity to livestock. In this study, we investigated the ecological consequences of endophyte toxicity in this native grass, at three sites in northwest China, by comparing seed production of plant species and arthropod abundance in overgrazed grasslands with and without the presence of A. inebrians. Our findings demonstrate that the presence of endophyte infected A. inebrians reduces the loss of plant and arthropod biodiversity by providing a protected nursery free of animal grazing. Therefore, A. inebrians, typically regarded as an unwanted toxic invader by pastoralists, should be viewed as beneficial for grasslands as its presence maintains plant and arthropod biodiversity, and provides a foundation stone in the reconstruction and restoration of these grassland ecosystems.

  12. The ecological consequences of megafaunal loss: giant tortoises and wetland biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froyd, Cynthia A; Coffey, Emily E D; van der Knaap, Willem O; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F N; Tye, Alan; Willis, Katherine J

    2014-02-01

    The giant tortoises of the Galápagos have become greatly depleted since European discovery of the islands in the 16th Century, with populations declining from an estimated 250 000 to between 8000 and 14 000 in the 1970s. Successful tortoise conservation efforts have focused on species recovery, but ecosystem conservation and restoration requires a better understanding of the wider ecological consequences of this drastic reduction in the archipelago's only large native herbivore. We report the first evidence from palaeoecological records of coprophilous fungal spores of the formerly more extensive geographical range of giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Upland tortoise populations on Santa Cruz declined 500-700 years ago, likely the result of human impact or possible climatic change. Former freshwater wetlands, a now limited habitat-type, were found to have converted to Sphagnum bogs concomitant with tortoise loss, subsequently leading to the decline of several now-rare or extinct plant species.

  13. Loss of plant biodiversity eliminates stimulatory effect of elevated CO2 on earthworm activity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, John A; Zaller, Johann G; Hofer, Gabriela; Schmid, Bernhard; Körner, Christian

    2013-03-01

    Earthworms are among the world's most important ecosystem engineers because of their effects on soil fertility and plant productivity. Their dependence on plants for carbon, however, means that any changes in plant community structure or function caused by rising atmospheric CO2 or loss of plant species diversity could affect earthworm activity, which may feed back on plant communities. Production of surface casts measured during three consecutive years in field experimental plots (n = 24, 1.2 m(2)) planted with local calcareous grassland species that varied in plant species richness (diversity levels: high, 31 species; medium, 12; low, 5) and were exposed to ambient (356 μl CO2 l(-1)) or elevated (600 μl CO2 l(-1)) CO2 was only consistently stimulated in high diversity plots exposed to elevated CO2 (+120 %, 31 spp: 603 ± 52 under ambient CO2 vs. 1,325 ± 204 g cast dwt. m(-2) year(-1) under elevated CO2 in 1996; +77 %, 940 ± 44 vs. 1,663 ± 204 g cast dwt. m(-2) year(-1) in 1998). Reductions in plant diversity had little effect on cast production in ecosystems maintained at ambient CO2, but the stimulatory effect of elevated CO2 on cast production disappeared when plant species diversity was decreased to 12 and 5 species. High diversity plots were also the only communities that included plant species that an earlier field study showed to be among the most responsive to elevated CO2 and to be most preferred by earthworms to deposit casts near. Further, the +87 % CO2-induced increase in cast production measured over the 3 years corresponded to a parallel increase in cumulative total nitrogen of 5.7 g N m(-2) and would help explain the large stimulation of aboveground plant biomass production observed in high-diversity communities under elevated CO2. The results of this study demonstrate how the loss of plant species from communities can alter responses of major soil heterotrophs and consequently ecosystem biogeochemistry.

  14. The Loss of Biodiversity as a Challenge for Sustainable Development: How Do Pupils in Chile and Germany Perceive Resource Dilemmas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Susanne; Bogeholz, Susanne

    2009-01-01

    The topic of biodiversity is of high value for education for sustainable development as it reflects the interaction of ecological, economic and social issues particularly well. Especially in so-called biodiversity hotspots, among them Chile, natural resources are often depleted for economic interest which, in many cases, is required income.…

  15. The Loss of Biodiversity as a Challenge for Sustainable Development: How Do Pupils in Chile and Germany Perceive Resource Dilemmas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Susanne; Bogeholz, Susanne

    2009-01-01

    The topic of biodiversity is of high value for education for sustainable development as it reflects the interaction of ecological, economic and social issues particularly well. Especially in so-called biodiversity hotspots, among them Chile, natural resources are often depleted for economic interest which, in many cases, is required income.…

  16. Biodiversity loss following the introduction of exotic competitors: does intraguild predation explain the decline of native lady beetles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chelsea A; Gardiner, Mary M

    2013-01-01

    Exotic species are widely accepted as a leading cause of biodiversity decline. Lady beetles (Coccinellidae) provide an important model to study how competitor introductions impact native communities since several native coccinellids have experienced declines that coincide with the establishment and spread of exotic coccinellids. This study tested the central hypothesis that intraguild predation by exotic species has caused these declines. Using sentinel egg experiments, we quantified the extent of predation on previously-common (Hippodamia convergens) and common (Coleomegilla maculata) native coccinellid eggs versus exotic coccinellid (Harmonia axyridis) eggs in three habitats: semi-natural grassland, alfalfa, and soybean. Following the experiments quantifying egg predation, we used video surveillance to determine the composition of the predator community attacking the eggs. The extent of predation varied across habitats, and egg species. Native coccinellids often sustained greater egg predation than H. axyridis. We found no evidence that exotic coccinellids consumed coccinellid eggs in the field. Harvestmen and slugs were responsible for the greatest proportion of attacks. This research challenges the widely-accepted hypothesis that intraguild predation by exotic competitors explains the loss of native coccinellids. Although exotic coccinellids may not be a direct competitor, reduced egg predation could indirectly confer a competitive advantage to these species. A lower proportion of H. axyridis eggs removed by predators may have aided its expansion and population increase and could indirectly affect native species via exploitative or apparent competition. These results do not support the intraguild predation hypothesis for native coccinellid decline, but do bring to light the existence of complex interactions between coccinellids and the guild of generalist predators in coccinellid foraging habitats.

  17. Biodiversity loss following the introduction of exotic competitors: does intraguild predation explain the decline of native lady beetles?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea A Smith

    Full Text Available Exotic species are widely accepted as a leading cause of biodiversity decline. Lady beetles (Coccinellidae provide an important model to study how competitor introductions impact native communities since several native coccinellids have experienced declines that coincide with the establishment and spread of exotic coccinellids. This study tested the central hypothesis that intraguild predation by exotic species has caused these declines. Using sentinel egg experiments, we quantified the extent of predation on previously-common (Hippodamia convergens and common (Coleomegilla maculata native coccinellid eggs versus exotic coccinellid (Harmonia axyridis eggs in three habitats: semi-natural grassland, alfalfa, and soybean. Following the experiments quantifying egg predation, we used video surveillance to determine the composition of the predator community attacking the eggs. The extent of predation varied across habitats, and egg species. Native coccinellids often sustained greater egg predation than H. axyridis. We found no evidence that exotic coccinellids consumed coccinellid eggs in the field. Harvestmen and slugs were responsible for the greatest proportion of attacks. This research challenges the widely-accepted hypothesis that intraguild predation by exotic competitors explains the loss of native coccinellids. Although exotic coccinellids may not be a direct competitor, reduced egg predation could indirectly confer a competitive advantage to these species. A lower proportion of H. axyridis eggs removed by predators may have aided its expansion and population increase and could indirectly affect native species via exploitative or apparent competition. These results do not support the intraguild predation hypothesis for native coccinellid decline, but do bring to light the existence of complex interactions between coccinellids and the guild of generalist predators in coccinellid foraging habitats.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Biodiversity: Luxury or necessity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rotmans, J.; Groot, de R.S.; Vliet, van A.J.H.

    2002-01-01

    Because biodiversity is so complex and varied, knowledge in this area is still relatively limited. It can be stated that this complexity, combined with structural uncertainty, may well lead to an unpredictable future and further loss of biodiversity which will be characterised by non-linearity, thre

  1. Drastic underestimation of amphipod biodiversity in the endangered Irano-Anatolian and Caucasus biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katouzian, Ahmad-Reza; Sari, Alireza; Macher, Jan N; Weiss, Martina; Saboori, Alireza; Leese, Florian; Weigand, Alexander M

    2016-03-01

    Biodiversity hotspots are centers of biological diversity and particularly threatened by anthropogenic activities. Their true magnitude of species diversity and endemism, however, is still largely unknown as species diversity is traditionally assessed using morphological descriptions only, thereby ignoring cryptic species. This directly limits evidence-based monitoring and management strategies. Here we used molecular species delimitation methods to quantify cryptic diversity of the montane amphipods in the Irano-Anatolian and Caucasus biodiversity hotspots. Amphipods are ecosystem engineers in rivers and lakes. Species diversity was assessed by analysing two genetic markers (mitochondrial COI and nuclear 28S rDNA), compared with morphological assignments. Our results unambiguously demonstrate that species diversity and endemism is dramatically underestimated, with 42 genetically identified freshwater species in only five reported morphospecies. Over 90% of the newly recovered species cluster inside Gammarus komareki and G. lacustris; 69% of the recovered species comprise narrow range endemics. Amphipod biodiversity is drastically underestimated for the studied regions. Thus, the risk of biodiversity loss is significantly greater than currently inferred as most endangered species remain unrecognized and/or are only found locally. Integrative application of genetic assessments in monitoring programs will help to understand the true magnitude of biodiversity and accurately evaluate its threat status.

  2. Linking disturbance and resistance to invasion via changes in biodiversity: a conceptual model and an experimental test on rocky reefs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bulleri, Fabio; Benedetti‐Cecchi, Lisandro; Jaklin, Andrej; Iveša, Ljiljana

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions threaten biodiversity worldwide. Nonetheless, a unified theory linking disturbance and resistance to invasion through a mechanistic understanding of the changes caused to biodiversity is elusive...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank W Larsen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Turner, Will R.; Brooks, Thomas M.

    2012-01-01

    Protecting natural habitats in priority areas is essential to halt the loss of biodiversity. Yet whether these benefits for biodiversity also yield benefits for human well-being remains controversial. Here we assess the potential human well-being benefits of safeguarding a global network of sites...... identified as top priorities for the conservation of threatened species. Conserving these sites would yield benefits - in terms of a) climate change mitigation through avoidance of CO2 emissions from deforestation; b) freshwater services to downstream human populations; c) retention of option value; and d......) benefits to maintenance of human cultural diversity - significantly exceeding those anticipated from randomly selected sites within the same countries and ecoregions. Results suggest that safeguarding sites important for biodiversity conservation provides substantial benefits to human well-being....

  6. Conserving Critical Sites for Biodiversity Provides Disproportionate Benefits to People

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Protecting natural habitats in priority areas is essential to halt the loss of biodiversity. Yet whether these benefits for biodiversity also yield benefits for human well-being remains controversial. Here we assess the potential human well-being benefits of safeguarding a global network of sites identified as top priorities for the conservation of threatened species. Conserving these sites would yield benefits – in terms of a) climate change mitigation through avoidance of CO2 emissions from deforestation; b) freshwater services to downstream human populations; c) retention of option value; and d) benefits to maintenance of human cultural diversity – significantly exceeding those anticipated from randomly selected sites within the same countries and ecoregions. Results suggest that safeguarding sites important for biodiversity conservation provides substantial benefits to human well-being. PMID:22666337

  7. Sites for priority biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    V. Anadon-Irizarry; D.C. Wege; A. Upgren; Young, R.; Boom, B; Leon, Y.M.; Y. Arias; Koenig, K.; Morales, A. L.; Burke, W.

    2012-01-01

    The Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot is exceptionally important for global biodiversity conservation due to high levels of species endemism and threat. A total of 755 Caribbean plant and vertebrate species are considered globally threatened, making it one of the top Biodiversity Hotspots in terms of threat levels. In 2009, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) were identified for the Caribbean Islands through a regional-level analysis of accessible data and literature, followed by extensive nat...

  8. Host density and human activities mediate increased parasite prevalence and richness in primates threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbora, David N M; McPeek, Mark A

    2009-01-01

    1. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the principal causes of the loss of biological diversity. In addition, parasitic diseases are an emerging threat to many animals. Nevertheless, relatively few studies have tested how habitat loss and fragmentation influence the prevalence and richness of parasites in animals. 2. Several studies of nonhuman primates have shown that measures of human activity and forest fragmentation correlate with parasitism in primates. However, these studies have not tested for the ecological mechanism(s) by which human activities or forest fragmentation influence the prevalence and richness of parasites. 3. We tested the hypothesis that increased host density due to forest fragmentation and loss mediates increases in the prevalence and richness of gastrointestinal parasites in two forest primates, the Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus, Peters 1879) and mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus galeritus, Peters 1879). We focused on population density because epidemiological theory states that host density is a key determinant of the prevalence and richness of directly transmitted parasites in animals. 4. The Tana River red colobus and mangabey are endemic to a highly fragmented forest ecosystem in eastern Kenya where habitat changes are caused by a growing human population increasingly dependent on forest resources and on clearing forest for cultivation. 5. We found that the prevalence of parasites in the two monkeys was very high compared to primates elsewhere. Density of monkeys was positively associated with forest area and disturbance in forests. In turn, the prevalence and richness of parasites was significantly associated with monkey density, and attributes indicative of human disturbance in forests. 6. We also found significant differences in the patterns of parasitism between the colobus and the mangabey possibly attributable to differences in their behavioural ecology. Colobus are arboreal folivores while mangabeys are terrestrial

  9. Biodiversity: past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. 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....

  11. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nüchel, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Global change is affecting a substantial part of the globe and its many impacts, such as deforestation, are the main drivers of ecosystems degradation and loss of biodiversity. This thesis investigates different aspect of how global change has impacted ecosystems and biodiversity in China. China...... constitutes an important region for studying the impacts of global change on ecosystems and biodiversity as the country is both rich in biodiversity, has experienced extensively anthropogenic impacts, and suffers from some of the worst environmental problems in the world. This thesis provides new insights...... into the factors that determine the changes and distribution of tree cover in China, along with the factors that determine the changes and distribution of the genus of threatened mammals Rhinopithecus. Furthermore, it provides deeper understanding of the role of anthropogenic factor’s direct influence on global...

  13. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Venter

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11 and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12. These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence. Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case.

  14. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A; Segan, Daniel B; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H M; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E M

    2014-06-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case.

  15. 论生态学热点-生物多样性丧失的原因%Reason of ecology hot - biodiversity loss

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范升

    2014-01-01

    Biological diversity is closely related to human production and living. However, with the increase of population and economic activities of mankind, the loss of biodiversity is increasingly intensified, has received the widespread attention of the international community, for the reason of the loss of biodiversity, China and other countries have carried out a lot of research work. Shallow described the research status in this field, this paper summarizes the loss of reason from two aspects: natural causes and human factors, the human factor includes habitat destruction, excessive utilization, environment pollution, exotic species invasion, land use change (urbanization and agricultural activities), etc, this paper finally put forward relevant countermeasures.%生物多样性与人类的生产生活息息相关。然而,随着人口的增加和人类的经济活动,生物多样性的丧失正日益加剧,受到了国际社会的广泛关注,国内外对于生物多样性丧失的原因都开展了大量的研究工作。文章浅述了该领域的研究现状,从自然原因和人为原因两大方面综述了丧失原因,其中人为原因又分别从生境破坏、过度利用、环境污染、外来种入侵、土地利用变化(城市化和农业活动)等方面逐一论述,最后提出相关保护对策。

  16. Eco-engineered rock pools: a concrete solution to biodiversity loss and urban sprawl in the marine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firth, Louise B.; Browne, Keith A.; Knights, Antony M.; Hawkins, Stephen J.; Nash, Róisín

    2016-09-01

    In coastal habitats artificial structures typically support lower biodiversity and can support greater numbers of non-native and opportunistic species than natural rocky reefs. Eco-engineering experiments are typically trialed to succeed; but arguably as much is learnt from failure than from success. Our goal was to trial a generic, cost effective, eco-engineering technique that could be incorporated into rock armouring anywhere in the world. Artificial rock pools were created from manipulated concrete between boulders on the exposed and sheltered sides of a causeway. Experimental treatments were installed in locations where they were expected to fail and compared to controls installed in locations in which they were expected to succeed. Control pools were created lower on the structure where they were immersed on every tidal cycle; experimental pools were created above mean high water spring tide which were only immersed on spring tides. We hypothesised that lower and exposed pools would support significantly higher taxon and functional diversity than upper and sheltered pools. The concrete pools survived the severe winter storms of 2013/14. After 12 months, non-destructive sampling revealed significantly higher mean taxon and functional richness in lower pools than upper pools on the exposed side only. After 24 months the sheltered pools had become inundated with sediments, thus failing to function as rock pools as intended. Destructive sampling on the exposed side revealed significantly higher mean functional richness in lower than upper pools. However, a surprisingly high number of taxa colonised the upper pools leading to no significant difference in mean taxon richness among shore heights. A high number of rare taxa in the lower pools led to total taxon richness being almost twice that of upper pools. These findings highlight that even when expected to fail concrete pools supported diverse assemblages, thus representing an affordable, replicable means of

  17. Future habitat loss and extinctions driven by land-use change in biodiversity hotspots under four scenarios of climate-change mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jantz, Samuel M; Barker, Brian; Brooks, Thomas M; Chini, Louise P; Huang, Qiongyu; Moore, Rachel M; Noel, Jacob; Hurtt, George C

    2015-08-01

    Numerous species have been pushed into extinction as an increasing portion of Earth's land surface has been appropriated for human enterprise. In the future, global biodiversity will be affected by both climate change and land-use change, the latter of which is currently the primary driver of species extinctions. How societies address climate change will critically affect biodiversity because climate-change mitigation policies will reduce direct climate-change impacts; however, these policies will influence land-use decisions, which could have negative impacts on habitat for a substantial number of species. We assessed the potential impact future climate policy could have on the loss of habitable area in biodiversity hotspots due to associated land-use changes. We estimated past extinctions from historical land-use changes (1500-2005) based on the global gridded land-use data used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and habitat extent and species data for each hotspot. We then estimated potential extinctions due to future land-use changes under alternative climate-change scenarios (2005-2100). Future land-use changes are projected to reduce natural vegetative cover by 26-58% in the hotspots. As a consequence, the number of additional species extinctions, relative to those already incurred between 1500 and 2005, due to land-use change by 2100 across all hotspots ranged from about 220 to 21000 (0.2% to 16%), depending on the climate-change mitigation scenario and biological factors such as the slope of the species-area relationship and the contribution of wood harvest to extinctions. These estimates of potential future extinctions were driven by land-use change only and likely would have been higher if the direct effects of climate change had been considered. Future extinctions could potentially be reduced by incorporating habitat preservation into scenario development to reduce projected future land-use changes in hotspots or by

  18. Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve the performance of protected areas and conserve freshwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego Juffe-Bignoli; Ian Harrison; Stuart HM Butchart; Rebecca Flitcroft; Virgilio Hermoso; Harry Jonas; Anna Lukasiewicz; Michele Thieme; Eren Turak; Heather Bingham; James Dalton; William Darwall; Marine Deguignet; Nigel Dudley; Royal Gardner; Jonathan Higgins; Ritesh Kumar; Simon Linke; G Randy Milton; Jamie Pittock; Kevin G Smith; Arnout van Soesbergen

    2016-01-01

    1. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011–2020), adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, sets 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets to be met by 2020 to address biodiversity loss and ensure its sustainable and equitable use. Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 describes what an improved conservation network would look...

  19. 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.

  20. 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 p

  1. Trading biodiversity for pest problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent shifts in agricultural practices have resulted in increased pesticide use, land use intensification, and landscape simplification, all of which threaten biodiversity in and near farms. Pests are major challenges to food security, and responses to pests can represent unintended socioeconomic a...

  2. Overlooked mountain rock pools in deserts are critical local hotspots of biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cândida Gomes Vale

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

  3. Overlooked mountain rock pools in deserts are critical local hotspots of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vale, Cândida Gomes; Pimm, Stuart L; Brito, José Carlos

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Biodiversity Prospecting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittenfeld, Ana; Lovejoy, Annie

    1994-01-01

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

  5. Genetic diversity loss in a biodiversity hotspot: ancient DNA quantifies genetic decline and former connectivity in a critically endangered marsupial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacioni, Carlo; Hunt, Helen; Allentoft, Morten E; Vaughan, Timothy G; Wayne, Adrian F; Baynes, Alexander; Haouchar, Dalal; Dortch, Joe; Bunce, Michael

    2015-12-01

    The extent of genetic diversity loss and former connectivity between fragmented populations are often unknown factors when studying endangered species. While genetic techniques are commonly applied in extant populations to assess temporal and spatial demographic changes, it is no substitute for directly measuring past diversity using ancient DNA (aDNA). We analysed both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear microsatellite loci from 64 historical fossil and skin samples of the critically endangered Western Australian woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi), and compared them with 231 (n = 152 for mtDNA) modern samples. In modern woylie populations 15 mitochondrial control region (CR) haplotypes were identified. Interestingly, mtDNA CR data from only 29 historical samples demonstrated 15 previously unknown haplotypes and detected an extinct divergent clade. Through modelling, we estimated the loss of CR mtDNA diversity to be between 46% and 91% and estimated this to have occurred in the past 2000-4000 years in association with a dramatic population decline. In addition, we obtained near-complete 11-loci microsatellite profiles from 21 historical samples. In agreement with the mtDNA data, a number of 'new' microsatellite alleles was only detected in the historical populations despite extensive modern sampling, indicating a nuclear genetic diversity loss >20%. Calculations of genetic diversity (heterozygosity and allelic rarefaction) showed that these were significantly higher in the past and that there was a high degree of gene flow across the woylie's historical range. These findings have an immediate impact on how the extant populations are managed and we recommend the implementation of an assisted migration programme to prevent further loss of genetic diversity. Our study demonstrates the value of integrating aDNA data into current-day conservation strategies.

  6. Loss of plant biodiversity over a seven-year period in two constructed wetlands in Central New York.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Miranda A; Fickbohm, Scott; Zhu, Weixing

    2013-05-01

    Since wetland construction projects are becoming more commonplace, meaningful follow-up studies are needed to evaluate how these systems change over time. To that end, the objective of our study was to examine the temporal changes in plant community composition and water chemistry in two constructed wetlands. We investigated two wetland sites that were constructed in 2003 in northern Otsego County, NY, a county that is largely dominated by agriculture. Site 1 was previously an active cow pasture and site 2 was previously a wet meadow surrounded by agricultural fields. No active plant introduction was made during the construction; however, both sites were located in areas with many remnant wetlands and were connected to through-flowing streams. In 2004 (Year 1) and 2010 (Year 7), the plant community composition and nitrogen retention were assessed. We found that both sites experienced site-wide declines in plant species richness, including the loss of upland and facultative upland species and the unanticipated loss of facultative wetland and some obligate species. We propose that high water levels, which, at their maximum depth were >1.5 m deeper than in Year 1, maintained by landowners in the years after the initial survey, may have been responsible for the unexpected loss of wetland species. We also found that site 1 exhibited considerable nitrogen retention in both Year 1 and Year 7; however, N concentrations were low at site 2 in both years.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. The underestimated biodiversity of tropical grassy biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-19

    For decades, there has been enormous scientific interest in tropical savannahs and grasslands, fuelled by the recognition that they are a dynamic and potentially unstable biome, requiring periodic disturbance for their maintenance. However, that scientific interest has not translated into widespread appreciation of, and concern about threats to, their biodiversity. In terms of biodiversity, grassy biomes are considered poor cousins of the other dominant biome of the tropics-forests. Simple notions of grassy biomes being species-poor cannot be supported; for some key taxa, such as vascular plants, this may be valid, but for others it is not. Here, we use an analysis of existing data to demonstrate that high-rainfall tropical grassy biomes (TGBs) have vertebrate species richness comparable with that of forests, despite having lower plant diversity. The Neotropics stand out in terms of both overall vertebrate species richness and number of range-restricted vertebrate species in TGBs. Given high rates of land-cover conversion in Neotropical grassy biomes, they should be a high priority for conservation and greater inclusion in protected areas. Fire needs to be actively maintained in these systems, and in many cases re-introduced after decades of inappropriate fire exclusion. The relative intactness of TGBs in Africa and Australia make them the least vulnerable to biodiversity loss in the immediate future. We argue that, like forests, TGBs should be recognized as a critical-but increasingly threatened-store of global biodiversity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Coendangered hard-ticks: threatened or threatening?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cozma Vasile

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The overwhelming majority of animal conservation projects are focused on vertebrates, despite most of the species on Earth being invertebrates. Estimates state that about half of all named species of invertebrates are parasitic in at least one stage of their development. The dilemma of viewing parasites as biodiversity or pest has been discussed by several authors. However, ticks were omitted. The latest taxonomic synopses of non-fossil Ixodidae consider valid 700 species. Though, how many of them are still extant is almost impossible to tell, as many of them are known only from type specimens in museums and were never collected since their original description. Moreover, many hosts are endangered and as part of conservation efforts of threatened vertebrates, a common practice is the removal of, and treatment for external parasites, with devastating impact on tick populations. There are several known cases when the host became extinct with subsequent coextinction of their ectoparasites. For our synoptic approach we have used the IUCN status of the host in order to evaluate the status of specifically associated hard-ticks. As a result, we propose a number of 63 coendangered and one extinct hard-tick species. On the other side of the coin, the most important issue regarding tick-host associations is vectorial transmission of microbial pathogens (i.e. viruses, bacteria, protozoans. Tick-borne diseases of threatened vertebrates are sometimes fatal to their hosts. Mortality associated with pathogens acquired from ticks has been documented in several cases, mostly after translocations. Are ticks a real threat to their coendangered host and should they be eliminated? Up to date, there are no reliable proofs that ticks listed by us as coendangered are competent vectors for pathogens of endangered animals.

  11. Poor prospects for avian biodiversity in Amazonian oil palm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lees, Alexander C; Moura, Nárgila G; de Almeida, Arlete Silva; Vieira, Ima C G

    2015-01-01

    Expansion of oil palm plantations across the humid tropics has precipitated massive loss of tropical forest habitats and their associated speciose biotas. Oil palm plantation monocultures have been identified as an emerging threat to Amazonian biodiversity, but there are no quantitative studies exploring the impact of these plantations on the biome's biota. Understanding these impacts is extremely important given the rapid projected expansion of oil palm cultivation in the basin. Here we investigate the biodiversity value of oil palm plantations in comparison with other dominant regional land-uses in Eastern Amazonia. We carried out bird surveys in oil palm plantations of varying ages, primary and secondary forests, and cattle pastures. We found that oil palm plantations retained impoverished avian communities with a similar species composition to pastures and agrarian land-uses and did not offer habitat for most forest-associated species, including restricted range species and species of conservation concern. On the other hand, the forests that the oil palm companies are legally obliged to protect hosted a relatively species-rich community including several globally-threatened bird species. We consider oil palm to be no less detrimental to regional biodiversity than other agricultural land-uses and that political pressure exerted by large landowners to allow oil palm to count as a substitute for native forest vegetation in private landholdings with forest restoration deficits would have dire consequences for regional biodiversity.

  12. A review of biodiversity-related issues and challenges in megadiverse Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina von Rintelen

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Indonesia is one of the ten member states of the economically and politically diverse regional organization of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN. Southeast Asia comprises four of the 25 global biodiversity hotspots, three of the 17 global megadiverse countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines and the most diverse coral reefs in the world. All member states are Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD. We discuss ASEAN-wide joint activities on nature conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity that do not stop at national borders. The Indonesian archipelago comprises two of the world’s biodiversity hotspots (areas with a high degree of endemic species that are highly threatened by loss of habitats: Its insular character and complex geological history led to the evolution of a megadiverse fauna and flora on the global scale. The importance of biodiversity, e.g., in traditional medicine and agriculture, is deep-rooted in Indonesian society. Modern biodiversity pathways include new fields of application in technology, pharmacy and economy along with environmental policies. This development occurred not only in Indonesia but also in other biodiversity-rich tropical countries. This review summarizes and discusses the unique biodiversity of Indonesia from different angles (science, society, environmental policy, and bioeconomy and brings it into context within the ASEAN region. The preconditions of each member state for biodiversity-related activities are rather diverse. Much was done to improve the conditions for biodiversity research and use in several countries, primarily in those with a promising economic development. However, ASEAN as a whole still has further potential for more joint initiatives. Especially Indonesia has the highest biodiversity potential within the ASEAN and beyond, but likewise the highest risk of biodiversity loss. We conclude that Indonesia has not taken full advantage of this

  13. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 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.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The biogeography of threatened insular iguanas and opportunities for invasive vertebrate management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tershy, Bernie R.; Newton, Kelly M.; Spatz, Dena R.; Swinnerton, Kirsty; Iverson, John B.; Fisher, Robert N.; Harlow, Peter S.; Holmes, Nick D.; Croll, Donald A.; Iverson, J.B.; Grant, T. D.; Knapp, C. R.; Pasachnik, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    Iguanas are a particularly threatened group of reptiles, with 61% of species at risk of extinction. Primary threats to iguanas include habitat loss, direct and indirect impacts by invasive vertebrates, overexploitation, and human disturbance. As conspicuous, charismatic vertebrates, iguanas also represent excellent flagships for biodiversity conservation. To assist planning for invasive vertebrate management and thus benefit threatened iguana recovery, we identified all islands with known extant or extirpated populations of Critically Endangered and Endangered insular iguana taxa as recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. For each island, we determined total area, sovereignty, the presence of invasive alien vertebrates, and human population. For the 23 taxa of threatened insular iguanas we identified 230 populations, of which iguanas were extant on 185 islands and extirpated from 45 islands. Twenty-one iguana taxa (91% of all threatened insular iguana taxa) occurred on at least one island with invasive vertebrates present; 16 taxa had 100% of their population(s) on islands with invasive vertebrates present. Rodents, cats, ungulates, and dogs were the most common invasive vertebrates. We discuss biosecurity, eradication, and control of invasive vertebrates to benefit iguana recovery: (1) on islands already free of invasive vertebrates; (2) on islands with high iguana endemicity; and (3) for species and subspecies with small total populations occurring across multiple small islands. Our analyses provide an important first step toward understanding how invasive vertebrate management can be planned effectively to benefit threatened insular iguanas.

  16. 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.

  17. Phylogenetic approaches reveal biodiversity threats under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Orozco, Carlos E.; Pollock, Laura J.; Thornhill, Andrew H.; Mishler, Brent D.; Knerr, Nunzio; Laffan, Shawn W.; Miller, Joseph T.; Rosauer, Dan F.; Faith, Daniel P.; Nipperess, David A.; Kujala, Heini; Linke, Simon; Butt, Nathalie; Külheim, Carsten; Crisp, Michael D.; Gruber, Bernd

    2016-12-01

    Predicting the consequences of climate change for biodiversity is critical to conservation efforts. Extensive range losses have been predicted for thousands of individual species, but less is known about how climate change might impact whole clades and landscape-scale patterns of biodiversity. Here, we show that climate change scenarios imply significant changes in phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism at a continental scale in Australia using the hyper-diverse clade of eucalypts. We predict that within the next 60 years the vast majority of species distributions (91%) across Australia will shrink in size (on average by 51%) and shift south on the basis of projected suitable climatic space. Geographic areas currently with high phylogenetic diversity and endemism are predicted to change substantially in future climate scenarios. Approximately 90% of the current areas with concentrations of palaeo-endemism (that is, places with old evolutionary diversity) are predicted to disappear or shift their location. These findings show that climate change threatens whole clades of the phylogenetic tree, and that the outlined approach can be used to forecast areas of biodiversity losses and continental-scale impacts of climate change.

  18. Biodiversity Risk Assessment of Protected Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitalija Rudzkienė

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Forest ecosystems are characterised by the most abundant biodiversity because there are the best conditions for existence of various species of plants, animals and various other organisms there. Generally, in the last decades a lot of attention is given to biodiversity, and scientific research draws attention to an increasing loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity measurements are needed in order to understand biodiversity changes and to control them. Measurements and assessments of biodiversity of ecosystems reveal the condition of an ecosystem of a certain territory as well as create the basis for a strategy of preserving separate species. A lot of indices for assessing biodiversity risk have been created in the last decades. Integrated indices are composed when joining indices, and one of them is the integrated biodiversity risk assessment index NABRAI (National Biodiversity Risk Assessment Index. This article analyses the principles of creating biodiversity risk indices, possible alternatives of components (variables of biodiversity resources, impact and response indices, and their suitability at the national level. Assessment and ranking methodology, adapted for assessment of biodiversity risk of local protected territories and for ranking of territories, is presented. Report data of directorates of Lithuanian national and regional parks are used for the analysis, as well as the data served as a basis to calculate integrated biodiversity risk indices of several protected territories of Lithuania.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.erem.65.3.4478

  19. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferry Slik JW

    2010-11-01

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

  20. Biodiversity Performs!

    Science.gov (United States)

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

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

  1. The need for an integrated biodiversity policy support process – Building the European contribution to a global Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke Hoffmann

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is threatened on a global scale and the losses are ongoing. In order to stop further losses and maintain important ecosystem services, programmes have been put into place to reduce and ideally halt these processes. A whole suite of different approaches is needed to meet these goals. One major scientific contribution is to collate, integrate and analyse the large amounts of fragmented and diverse biodiversity data to determine the current status and trends of biodiversity in order to inform the relevant decision makers. To contribute towards the achievement of these challenging tasks, the project EU BON was developed. The project is focusing mainly on the European continent but contributes at the same time to a much wider global initiative the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON, which itself is a part of the Group of Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS. EU BON will build on existing infrastructures such as GBIF, LifeWatch and national biodiversity data centres in Europe and will integrate relevant biodiversity data from on-ground observations to remote sensing information, covering terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.A key feature of EU BON will be the delivery of relevant, fully integrated data to multiple and different stakeholders and end users ranging from local to global levels. Through development and application of new standards and protocols, EU BON will enable greater interoperability of different data layers and systems, provide access to improved analytical tools and services, and will provide better harmonized biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes from citizen science efforts to long-term research programs to mainstream future data collecting. Furthermore EU BON will support biodiversity science-policy interfaces, and facilitate political decisions for sound environmental management, also to help conserve biodiversity for human well-being at different levels

  2. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, William F; Useche, D Carolina; Rendeiro, Julio; Kalka, Margareta; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Sloan, Sean P; Laurance, Susan G; Campbell, Mason; Abernethy, Kate; Alvarez, Patricia; Arroyo-Rodriguez, Victor; Ashton, Peter; Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Blom, Allard; Bobo, Kadiri S; Cannon, Charles H; Cao, Min; Carroll, Richard; Chapman, Colin; Coates, Rosamond; Cords, Marina; Danielsen, Finn; De Dijn, Bart; Dinerstein, Eric; Donnelly, Maureen A; Edwards, David; Edwards, Felicity; Farwig, Nina; Fashing, Peter; Forget, Pierre-Michel; Foster, Mercedes; Gale, George; Harris, David; Harrison, Rhett; Hart, John; Karpanty, Sarah; Kress, W John; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Logsdon, Willis; Lovett, Jon; Magnusson, William; Maisels, Fiona; Marshall, Andrew R; McClearn, Deedra; Mudappa, Divya; Nielsen, Martin R; Pearson, Richard; Pitman, Nigel; van der Ploeg, Jan; Plumptre, Andrew; Poulsen, John; Quesada, Mauricio; Rainey, Hugo; Robinson, Douglas; Roetgers, Christiane; Rovero, Francesco; Scatena, Frederick; Schulze, Christian; Sheil, Douglas; Struhsaker, Thomas; Terborgh, John; Thomas, Duncan; Timm, Robert; Urbina-Cardona, J Nicolas; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Wright, S Joseph; Arias-G, Juan Carlos; Arroyo, Luzmila; Ashton, Mark; Auzel, Philippe; Babaasa, Dennis; Babweteera, Fred; Baker, Patrick; Banki, Olaf; Bass, Margot; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Blake, Stephen; Brockelman, Warren; Brokaw, Nicholas; Brühl, Carsten A; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Chao, Jung-Tai; Chave, Jerome; Chellam, Ravi; Clark, Connie J; Clavijo, José; Congdon, Robert; Corlett, Richard; Dattaraja, H S; Dave, Chittaranjan; Davies, Glyn; Beisiegel, Beatriz de Mello; da Silva, Rosa de Nazaré Paes; Di Fiore, Anthony; Diesmos, Arvin; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Doran-Sheehy, Diane; Eaton, Mitchell; Emmons, Louise; Estrada, Alejandro; Ewango, Corneille; Fedigan, Linda; Feer, François; Fruth, Barbara; Willis, Jacalyn Giacalone; Goodale, Uromi; Goodman, Steven; Guix, Juan C; Guthiga, Paul; Haber, William; Hamer, Keith; Herbinger, Ilka; Hill, Jane; Huang, Zhongliang; Sun, I Fang; Ickes, Kalan; Itoh, Akira; Ivanauskas, Natália; Jackes, Betsy; Janovec, John; Janzen, Daniel; Jiangming, Mo; Jin, Chen; Jones, Trevor; Justiniano, Hermes; Kalko, Elisabeth; Kasangaki, Aventino; Killeen, Timothy; King, Hen-biau; Klop, Erik; Knott, Cheryl; Koné, Inza; Kudavidanage, Enoka; Ribeiro, José Lahoz da Silva; Lattke, John; Laval, Richard; Lawton, Robert; Leal, Miguel; Leighton, Mark; Lentino, Miguel; Leonel, Cristiane; Lindsell, Jeremy; Ling-Ling, Lee; Linsenmair, K Eduard; Losos, Elizabeth; Lugo, Ariel; Lwanga, Jeremiah; Mack, Andrew L; Martins, Marlucia; McGraw, W Scott; McNab, Roan; Montag, Luciano; Thompson, Jo Myers; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Nakagawa, Michiko; Nepal, Sanjay; Norconk, Marilyn; Novotny, Vojtech; O'Donnell, Sean; Opiang, Muse; Ouboter, Paul; Parker, Kenneth; Parthasarathy, N; Pisciotta, Kátia; Prawiradilaga, Dewi; Pringle, Catherine; Rajathurai, Subaraj; Reichard, Ulrich; Reinartz, Gay; Renton, Katherine; Reynolds, Glen; Reynolds, Vernon; Riley, Erin; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Rothman, Jessica; Round, Philip; Sakai, Shoko; Sanaiotti, Tania; Savini, Tommaso; Schaab, Gertrud; Seidensticker, John; Siaka, Alhaji; Silman, Miles R; Smith, Thomas B; de Almeida, Samuel Soares; Sodhi, Navjot; Stanford, Craig; Stewart, Kristine; Stokes, Emma; Stoner, Kathryn E; Sukumar, Raman; Surbeck, Martin; Tobler, Mathias; Tscharntke, Teja; Turkalo, Andrea; Umapathy, Govindaswamy; van Weerd, Merlijn; Rivera, Jorge Vega; Venkataraman, Meena; Venn, Linda; Verea, Carlos; de Castilho, Carolina Volkmer; Waltert, Matthias; Wang, Benjamin; Watts, David; Weber, William; West, Paige; Whitacre, David; Whitney, Ken; Wilkie, David; Williams, Stephen; Wright, Debra D; Wright, Patricia; Xiankai, Lu; Yonzon, Pralad; Zamzani, Franky

    2012-09-13

    The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human encroachment and other environmental stresses. As pressures mount, it is vital to know whether existing reserves can sustain their biodiversity. A critical constraint in addressing this question has been that data describing a broad array of biodiversity groups have been unavailable for a sufficiently large and representative sample of reserves. Here we present a uniquely comprehensive data set on changes over the past 20 to 30 years in 31 functional groups of species and 21 potential drivers of environmental change, for 60 protected areas stratified across the world’s major tropical regions. Our analysis reveals great variation in reserve ‘health’: about half of all reserves have been effective or performed passably, but the rest are experiencing an erosion of biodiversity that is often alarmingly widespread taxonomically and functionally. Habitat disruption, hunting and forest-product exploitation were the strongest predictors of declining reserve health. Crucially, environmental changes immediately outside reserves seemed nearly as important as those inside in determining their ecological fate, with changes inside reserves strongly mirroring those occurring around them. These findings suggest that tropical protected areas are often intimately linked ecologically to their surrounding habitats, and that a failure to stem broad-scale loss and degradation of such habitats could sharply increase the likelihood of serious biodiversity declines.

  3. Why financial incentives can destroy economically valuable biodiversity in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gatzweiler, F.; Reichhuber, A.; Hein, L.G.

    2007-01-01

    Ethiopian montane rainforests are economically valuable repositories of biodiversity, especially of wild Coffea arabica populations, and they are vanishing at accelerating rates. Our research results confirm theory which explains biodiversity loss by diverging private and social net benefits from la

  4. Regional Conservation Status of Scleractinian Coral Biodiversity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Richards

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Preventing the loss of biodiversity is a major challenge in mega-diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs where there is a critical shortage of baseline demographic data. Threatened species assessments play a valuable role in guiding conservation action to manage and mitigate biodiversity loss, but they must be undertaken with precise information at an appropriate spatial scale to provide accurate classifications. Here we explore the regional conservation status of scleractinian corals on isolated Pacific Ocean atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We compile an integrated regional species list based upon new and historical records, and compare how well the regional threat classifications reflect species level priorities at a global scale. A similar proportion of the 240 species of hard coral recorded in the current survey are classified as Vulnerable at the regional scale as the global scale using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List criteria (23% and 20% respectively, however there are distinct differences in the composition of species. When local abundance data is taken into account, a far greater proportion of the regional diversity (up to 80% may face an elevated risk of local extinction. These results suggest coral communities on isolated Pacific coral reefs, which are often predicted to be at low risk, are still vulnerable due to the small and fragmented nature of their populations. This reinforces that to adequately protect biodiversity, ongoing threatened species monitoring and the documentation of species-level changes in abundance and distribution is imperative.

  5. Cotton expansion and biodiversity loss in African savannahs, opportunities and challenges for conservation agriculture: a review paper based on two case studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudron, F.; Corbeels, M.; Monicat, F.; Giller, K.E.

    2009-01-01

    We review agricultural impacts on biodiversity and the potential of conservation agriculture in developing productive and environment-friendly cropping systems. We then analyse experiences from two African landscapes of global importance for conservation: the Mid Zambezi Valley in Southern Africa an

  6. How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity?

    OpenAIRE

    Fitzherbert, E.B.; Struebig, M.J.; Morel, A.; Danielsen, F.; Brühl, C.A.; Donald, P.F.; Phalan, B.

    2008-01-01

    Metadata only record This article explores the impacts of oil palm expansion on biodiversity and tropical deforestation. Oil palm plantations support substantially less biodiversity than natural forest or even other tree crops. Because regions with favorable conditions for oil palm plantations tend to be areas of critical importance for biodiversity, the rising international demand for vegetable oils and biofuels could prompt further wide-scale tropical deforestation and large losses of bi...

  7. Habitat degradation is threatening reef replenishment by making fish fearless.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I; Chivers, Douglas P; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2014-09-01

    Habitat degradation is one of the 'Big Five' drivers of biodiversity loss. However, the mechanisms responsible for this progressive loss of biodiversity are poorly understood. In marine ecosystems, corals play the role of ecosystem engineers, providing essential habitat for hundreds of thousands of species and hence their health is crucial to the stability of the whole ecosystem. Climate change is causing coral bleaching and degradation, and while this has been known for a while, little do we know about the cascading consequences of these events on the complex interrelationships between predators and their prey. The goal of our study was to investigate, under completely natural conditions, the effect of coral degradation on predator-prey interactions. Settlement stage ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), a common tropical fish, were released on patches of healthy or dead corals, and their behaviours in situ were measured, along with their response to injured conspecific cues, a common risk indicator. This study also explored the effect of habitat degradation on natural levels of mortality at a critical life-history transition. We found that juveniles in dead corals displayed risk-prone behaviours, sitting further away and higher up on the reef patch, and failed to respond to predation cues, compared to those on live coral patches. In addition, in situ survival experiments over 48 h indicated that juveniles on dead coral habitats had a 75% increase in predation-related mortality, compared to fish released on live, healthy coral habitats. Our results provide the first of many potential mechanisms through which habitat degradation can impact the relationship between prey and predators in the coral reef ecosystem. As the proportion of dead coral increases, the recruitment and replenishment of coral reef fishes will be threatened, and so will the level of diversity in these biodiversity hot spots.

  8. Sites for priority biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Anadon-Irizarry

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot is exceptionally important for global biodiversity conservation due to high levels of species endemism and threat. A total of 755 Caribbean plant and vertebrate species are considered globally threatened, making it one of the top Biodiversity Hotspots in terms of threat levels. In 2009, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs were identified for the Caribbean Islands through a regional-level analysis of accessible data and literature, followed by extensive national-level stakeholder consultation. By applying the Vulnerability criterion, a total of 284 Key Biodiversity Areas were defined and mapped as holding 409 (54% of the region’s threatened species. Of these, 144 (or 51% overlapped partially or completely with protected areas. Cockpit Country, followed by Litchfield Mountain - Matheson’s Run, Blue Mountains (all Jamaica and Massif de la Hotte (Haiti were found to support exceptionally high numbers of globally threatened taxa, with more than 40 such species at each site. Key Biodiversity Areas, building from Important Bird Areas, provide a valuable framework against which to review the adequacy of existing national protected-area systems and also to prioritize which species and sites require the most urgent conservation attention.

  9. Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; John A. Parrotta; Christopher Quine; Jeffrey Sayer

    2008-01-01

    Losses of natural and semi-natural forests, mostly to agriculture, are a significant concern for biodiversity. Against this trend, the area of intensively managed plantation forests increases, and there is much debate about the implications for biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive review of the function of plantation forests as habitat compared with other land...

  10. Traits, trees and taxa: global dimensions of biodiversity in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shan; Stephens, Patrick R; Gittleman, John L

    2012-12-22

    Measures of biodiversity encompass variation along several dimensions such as species richness (SR), phylogenetic diversity (PD) and functional/trait diversity (TD). At the global scale, it is widely recognized that SR and PD are strongly correlated, but the extent to which either tends to capture variation in TD is unclear. Here, we assess relationships among PD, SR and TD for a number of traits both across clades and regional assemblages of mammals. We also contrast results using two different measures of TD, trait variance and a new measure we refer to as trait bin filling (the number of orders of magnitude of variation that contain at least one species). When TD is defined as trait variance, PD is a much stronger correlate of TD than SR across clades, consistent with hypotheses about the conservation value of PD. However, when TD is defined as bin filling, PD and SR show similar correlations with TD across clades and space. We also investigate potential losses of SR, PD and TD if species that are currently threatened were to go extinct, and find that threatened PD is often a similar predictor of threatened TD as SR.

  11. Biodiversity and its fragility in Yunnan, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PU Ying-shan; ZHANG Zhi-yi; PU Li-na; HUI Chao-mao

    2007-01-01

    In Yunnan, 8 major aspects of biodiversity and fragility in landforms, ecosystems, distribution populations, alien invasion, segregation, pollution and maladministration with various menace factors causing biodiversity loss have been described. It is revealed that the facts that the biodiversity and fragility coexists in this paper. Accordingly, 6 major countermeasures for effective conservation and rational utilization of the provincial biodiversity were suggested on the basis of thescientific development concepts, principles of nature protection,conservation biology, resource management and ethnobotany and present status in Yunnan with rich intangible resources such as climatic,ethnical and cultural diversity, etc.

  12. 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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. Hollow rhodoliths increase Svalbard's shelf biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Sebastian

    2014-11-01

    Rhodoliths are coralline red algal assemblages that commonly occur in marine habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes. They form rigid structures of high-magnesium calcite and have a good fossil record. Here I show that rhodoliths are ecosystem engineers in a high Arctic environment that increase local biodiversity by providing habitat. Gouged by boring mussels, originally solid rhodoliths become hollow ecospheres intensely colonised by benthic organisms. In the examined shelf areas, biodiversity in rhodolith-bearing habitats is significantly greater than in habitats without rhodoliths and hollow rhodoliths yield a greater biodiversity than solid ones. This biodiversity, however, is threatened because hollow rhodoliths take a long time to form and are susceptible to global change and anthropogenic impacts such as trawl net fisheries that can destroy hollow rhodoliths. Rhodoliths and other forms of coralline red algae play a key role in a plurality of environments and need improved management and protection plans.

  14. Nitrogen deposition and terrestrial biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher M. Clark; Yongfei Bai; William D. Bowman; Jane M. Cowles; Mark E. Fenn; Frank S. Gilliam; Gareth K. Phoenix; Ilyas Siddique; Carly J. Stevens; Harald U. Sverdrup; Heather L. Throop

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen deposition, along with habitat losses and climate change, has been identified as a primary threat to biodiversity worldwide (Butchart et al., 2010; MEA, 2005; Sala et al., 2000). The source of this stressor to natural systems is generally twofold: burning of fossil fuels and the use of fertilizers in modern intensive agriculture. Each of these human...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  16. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S; Hudson, Peter J; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of competent reservoir hosts. Second, biodiversity loss could disproportionately affect non-competent, or less competent reservoir hosts, which would otherwise interfere with pathogen transmission to human populations by, for example, wasting the bites of infected vectors. A negative association between biodiversity and disease risk, sometimes called the "dilution effect hypothesis," has been supported for a few disease agents, suggests an exciting win-win outcome for the environment and society, and has become a pervasive topic in the disease ecology literature. Case studies have been assembled to argue that the dilution effect is general across disease agents. Less touted are examples in which elevated biodiversity does not affect or increases infectious disease risk for pathogens of public health concern. In order to assess the likely generality of the dilution effect, we review the association between biodiversity and public health across a broad variety of human disease agents. Overall, we hypothesize that conditions for the dilution effect are unlikely to be met for most important diseases of humans. Biodiversity probably has little net effect on most human infectious diseases but, when it does have an effect, observation and basic logic suggest that biodiversity will be more likely to increase than to decrease infectious disease risk.

  17. Biodiversity Risks from Fossil Fuel Extraction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    N. Butt; H. L. Beyer; J. R. Bennett; D. Biggs; R. Maggini; M. Mills; A. R. Renwick; L. M. Seabrook; H. P. Possingham

    2013-01-01

    .... Although fossil fuel (FF) extraction has traditionally been seen as a temporary and spatially limited perturbation to ecosystems , even local or limited biodiversity loss can have large cascade effects on ecosystem function and productivity...

  18. Reptile assemblages across agricultural landscapes: where does biodiversity hide?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biaggini, M.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The transition from traditional to intensive farming, aimed at large–scale production, has rapidly altered agricultural landscapes, leading to the reduction and fragmentation of natural habitats and to the consequent loss of biodiversity. Herpetofauna is seriously threatened by agriculture intensification worldwide, but less is known about its distribution in agro–ecosystems, especially at field scale. We analysed reptile abundance and diversity in eight agricultural and semi–natural land uses, and inside vegetated buffer strips interspersed among fields. Interestingly, most reptiles were recorded in the buffer strips while intensive crops and pastures hosted just one lizard species. Richness of individuals and species increased when strips were connected to semi–natural areas, independently of their width and vegetation structure. In view of our results, that highlight the role of minor landscape features for the presence of vertebrates in intensive agro–ecosystems, we recommend the implementation of buffer strips among the measures for vertebrate conservation in agricultural landscapes.

  19. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, S.; Ebeling, A.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Mommer, L.; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Abstract. Human-caused declines in biodiversity have stimulated intensive research on the consequences
    of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services and policy initiatives to preserve the functioning of
    ecosystems. Short-term biodiversity experiments have documented positive effects of plant s

  20. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, S.; Ebeling, A.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Mommer, L.; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Human-caused declines in biodiversity have stimulated intensive research on the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services and policy initiatives to preserve the functioning of ecosystems. Short-term biodiversity experiments have documented positive effects of plant species richness on

  1. Scenarios for Global Biodiversity in the 21st Century

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Henrique M. Pereira; Paul W. Leadley; Vânia Proença; Rob Alkemade; Jörn P. W. Scharlemann; Juan F. Fernandez-Manjarrés; Miguel B. Araújo; Patricia Balvanera; Reinette Biggs; William W. L. Cheung; Louise Chini; H. David Cooper; Eric L. Gilman; Sylvie Guénette; George C. Hurtt; Henry P. Huntington; Georgina M. Mace; Thierry Oberdorff; Carmen Revenga; Patrícia Rodrigues; Robert J. Scholes; Ussif Rashid Sumaila; Matt Walpole

    2010-01-01

    .... We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts...

  2. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The threatened plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, P

    1997-01-01

    This article discusses changes in disease patterns affecting human health that may be related to environmental and social changes in the world. The World Health Report reveals that 30 new diseases emerged in the past 20 years. Old diseases are becoming resistant to new drugs. Infectious diseases that were in decline are spreading: diphtheria, whooping cough, and measles. Illnesses such as malaria, fevers, cholera, and rodent-borne viruses are becoming more frequent. Diseases that are transmitted by animals or water are related to environmental and social changes. Degraded environments are susceptible to the appearance of opportunistic species, such as weeds, rodents, insects, and microorganisms. Stable environments support the welfare of large predators and control opportunistic species. Owls, coyotes, and snakes eat rodents that carry Lyme disease ticks and a variety of viruses, plague, and bacteria. Reptiles, birds, spiders, ladybugs, bats, and fish consume larvae and mosquitoes that cause malaria and fevers. Habitat loss and fragmentation, monocultures, excessive use of toxic chemicals, climate change, and weather instability are widespread global changes that reduce the predator population. Small wilderness habitats favor pests. Monocultures reduce genetic diversity and increase vulnerability. Excessive use of pesticides harms birds and helpful insects. A sign of a failing ecosystem is the population explosion of pests and disequilibrium. The Environmental Distress Syndrome is characterized as: 1) emerging infectious diseases, 2) loss of biodiversity, 3) increased generalist species and decreased specialist species, 4) declines in specific specialists, such as pollinators responsible for preservation of flowering plants, and 5) increased coastal algal blooms. The impacts of disease mean considerable costs to humans, agriculture, and livestock. Loss of resources is also costly.

  6. Would protecting tropical forest fragments provide carbon and biodiversity cobenefits under REDD+?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnago, Luiz Fernando S; Magrach, Ainhoa; Laurance, William F; Martins, Sebastião V; Meira-Neto, João Augusto A; Simonelli, Marcelo; Edwards, David P

    2015-09-01

    Tropical forests store vast amounts of carbon and are the most biodiverse terrestrial habitats, yet they are being converted and degraded at alarming rates. Given global shortfalls in the budgets required to prevent carbon and biodiversity loss, we need to seek solutions that simultaneously address both issues. Of particular interest are carbon-based payments under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism to also conserve biodiversity at no additional cost. One potential is for REDD+ to protect forest fragments, especially within biomes where contiguous forest cover has diminished dramatically, but we require empirical tests of the strength of any carbon and biodiversity cobenefits in such fragmented systems. Using the globally threatened Atlantic Forest landscape, we measured above-ground carbon stocks within forest fragments spanning 13 to 23 442 ha in area and with different degrees of isolation. We related these stocks to tree community structure and to the richness and abundance of endemic and IUCN Red-listed species. We found that increasing fragment size has a positive relationship with above-ground carbon stock and with abundance of IUCN Red-listed species and tree community structure. We also found negative relationships between distance from large forest block and tree community structure, endemic species richness and abundance, and IUCN Red-listed species abundance. These resulted in positive congruence between carbon stocks and Red-listed species, and the abundance and richness of endemic species, demonstrating vital cobenefits. As such, protecting forest fragments in hotspots of biodiversity, particularly larger fragments and those closest to sources, offers important carbon and biodiversity cobenefits. More generally, our results suggest that macroscale models of cobenefits under REDD+ have likely overlooked key benefits at small scales, indicating the necessity to apply models that include finer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. The Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Estimates, Patterns, and Threats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S.; Gasol, Josep M.; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M.; Lotze, Heike K.; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Saša; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet—undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  9. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Coll

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Habitat degradation through anthropogenic development is a key driver of biodiversity loss. One way to compensate losses is "biodiversity offsetting" (wherein biodiversity impacted is "replaced" through restoration elsewhere). A challenge in implementing offsets, which has received scant attention in the literature, is the accurate determination of residual biodiversity losses. We explore this challenge for offsetting gas extraction in the Ustyurt Plateau, Uzbekistan. Our goal was to determine the landscape extent of habitat impacts, particularly how the footprint of "linear" infrastructure (i.e. roads, pipelines), often disregarded in compensation calculations, compares with "hub" infrastructure (i.e. extraction facilities). We measured vegetation cover and plant species richness using the line-intercept method, along transects running from infrastructure/control sites outward for 500 m, accounting for wind direction to identify dust deposition impacts. Findings from 24 transects were extrapolated to the broader plateau by mapping total landscape infrastructure network using GPS data and satellite imagery. Vegetation cover and species richness were significantly lower at development sites than controls. These differences disappeared within 25 m of the edge of the area physically occupied by infrastructure. The current habitat footprint of gas infrastructure is 220 ± 19 km(2) across the Ustyurt (total ∼ 100,000 km(2)), 37 ± 6% of which is linear infrastructure. Vegetation impacts diminish rapidly with increasing distance from infrastructure, and localized dust deposition does not conspicuously extend the disturbance footprint. Habitat losses from gas extraction infrastructure cover 0.2% of the study area, but this reflects directly eliminated vegetation only. Impacts upon fauna pose a more difficult determination, as these require accounting for behavioral and demographic responses to disturbance by elusive mammals, including threatened species. This study

  11. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

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

  12. Changes in the location of biodiversity-ecosystem function hot spots across the seafloor landscape with increasing sediment nutrient loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Kraan, Casper; Lohrer, A M; Pilditch, Conrad A; Douglas, Emily

    2017-04-12

    Declining biodiversity and loss of ecosystem function threatens the ability of habitats to contribute ecosystem services. However, the form of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) and how relationships change with environmental change is poorly understood. This limits our ability to predict the consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function, particularly in real-world marine ecosystems that are species rich, and where multiple ecosystem functions are represented by multiple indicators. We investigated spatial variation in BEF relationships across a 300 000 m(2) intertidal sandflat by nesting experimental manipulations of sediment pore water nitrogen concentration into sites with contrasting macrobenthic community composition. Our results highlight the significance of many different elements of biodiversity associated with environmental characteristics, community structure, functional diversity, ecological traits or particular species (ecosystem engineers) to important functions of coastal marine sediments (benthic oxygen consumption, ammonium pore water concentrations and flux across the sediment-water interface). Using the BEF relationships developed from our experiment, we demonstrate patchiness across a landscape in functional performance and the potential for changes in the location of functional hot and cold spots with increasing nutrient loading that have important implications for mapping and predicating change in functionality and the concomitant delivery of ecosystem services. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Deforestation and fragmentation of natural forests in the upper Changhua watershed, Hainan, China: implications for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, De-Li; Cannon, Charles H; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhang, Cui-Ping; Xu, Jian-Chu

    2015-01-01

    Hainan, the largest tropical island in China, belongs to the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. The Changhua watershed is a center of endemism for plants and birds and the cradle of Hainan's main rivers. However, this area has experienced recent and ongoing deforestation and habitat fragmentation. To quantify habitat loss and fragmentation of natural forests, as well as the land-cover changes in the Changhua watershed, we analyzed Landsat images obtained in 1988, 1995, and 2005. Land-cover dynamics analysis showed that natural forests increased in area (97,909 to 104,023 ha) from 1988 to 1995 but decreased rapidly to 76,306 ha over the next decade. Rubber plantations increased steadily throughout the study period while pulp plantations rapidly expanded after 1995. Similar patterns of land cover change were observed in protected areas, indicating a lack of enforcement. Natural forests conversion to rubber and pulp plantations has a general negative effect on biodiversity, primarily through habitat fragmentation. The fragmentation analysis showed that natural forests area was reduced and patch number increased, while patch size and connectivity decreased. These land-cover changes threatened local biodiversity, especially island endemic species. Both natural forests losses and fragmentation should be stopped by strict enforcement to prevent further damage. Preserving the remaining natural forests and enforcing the status of protected areas should be a management priority to maximize the watershed's biodiversity conservation value.

  14. Correcting the disconnect between phylogenetics and biodiversity informatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Joseph T; Jolley-Rogers, Garry

    2014-01-14

    Rich collections of biodiversity data are now synthesized in publically available databases and phylogenetic knowledge now provides a sound understanding of the origin of organisms and their place in the tree of life. However, these knowledge bases are poorly linked, leading to underutilization or worse, an incorrect understanding of biodiversity because there is poor evolutionary context. We address this problem by integrating biodiversity information aggregated from many sources onto phylogenetic trees. PhyloJIVE connects biodiversity and phylogeny knowledge bases by providing an integrated evolutionary view of biodiversity data which in turn can improve biodiversity research and the conservation decision making process. Biodiversity science must assert the centrality of evolution to provide effective data to counteract global change and biodiversity loss.

  15. 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.

  16. A Future for Small Farms? Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    James K. Boyce

    2004-01-01

    Small farms play a crucial role in conserving the agricultural biodiversity that underpins long-term food security worldwide. Particularly in centers of crop genetic diversity – such as Mesoamerica in the case of maize (corn) and the Andean region in the case of potatoes – small farmers are the ‘keystone species’ in agricultural ecosystems of great value to humankind. Today, however, a formidable nexus of market forces and political forces threatens both small farmers and the biodiversity the...

  17. Progress in Biodiversity Informatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keping Ma

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity Informatics is a young and rapidly growing field that brings information science and technologies to bear on the data and information generated by the study of biodiversity and related subjects. Recent years, biodiversity informatics community has made an extraordinary effort to digitize primary biodiversity data, and develop modelling tools, data integration, and county/ regional/ global biodiversity networks. In doing so, the community is creating an unprecedented global sharing of information and data produced by biodiversity science, and encouraging people to consider, survey and monitor natural biodiversity. Due to success of several international biodiversity informatics projects, such as Species 2000, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Barcoding of Life and Encyclopedia of Life, digitized information on species inventories, herbarium specimens, multimedia and literature is available through internet. These projects not only make great contributions to sharing digitized biodiversity data, but also in prompting the implementation of important biodiversity information standards, such as Darwin Core, and in the establishment of regional and national biodiversity networks. These efforts will facilitate the future establishment of a strong information infrastructure for data sharing and exchange at a global scale. Besides focusing on browsing and searching digitized data, scientists should also work on building data mining and modeling, such as MAXENT for Ecological Niche Modelling and LifeDesk for taxonomist’s knowledge management. At the same time, the idea of citizen sciences gains popularity showing us the benefit of the public working closely with the scientific community in completing internet-based biodiversity informatics activities. Therefore, biodiversity informatics has broad prospects, and is helping to build strong facilities that will aid in implementing the goals set by Global Plant Conservation Strategy and

  18. Biodiversity Is Life

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Greater numbers of species are disappearing from the planet. Biodiversity protection has become an urgent task for all of us.Given this,the UN declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. Chinese conservationists call for increased awareness of the importance of saving the biodiversity.The following are the perspectives of some Chinese scientists on the significance of,and measures for,biodiversity protection:

  19. Threats to China's Biodiversity by Contradictions Policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Heran; Cao, Shixiong

    2015-02-01

    China has among the highest biodiversities in the world, but faces extreme biodiversity losses due to the country's huge population and its recent explosive socioeconomic development. Despite huge efforts and investments by the government and Chinese society to conserve biodiversity, especially in recent decades, biodiversity losses may not have been reversed, and may even have been exacerbated by unintended consequences resulting from these projects. China's centralized approach to biodiversity conservation, with limited local participation, creates an inflexible and inefficient approach because of conflicts between local communities and national administrators over the benefits. Although community-based conservation may be an imperfect approach, it is an essential component of a successful future national conservation plan. Biodiversity conservation should be considered from the perspective of systems engineering and a governance structure that combines centralization with community-level conservation. In this paper, we describe China's complex challenge: how to manage interactions between humans and nature to find win-win solutions that can ensure long-term biodiversity conservation without sacrificing human concerns.

  20. 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

  1. International trade drives biodiversity threats in developing nations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenzen, M; Moran, D; Kanemoto, K; Foran, B; Lobefaro, L; Geschke, A

    2012-06-06

    Human activities are causing Earth's sixth major extinction event-an accelerating decline of the world's stocks of biological diversity at rates 100 to 1,000 times pre-human levels. Historically, low-impact intrusion into species habitats arose from local demands for food, fuel and living space. However, in today's increasingly globalized economy, international trade chains accelerate habitat degradation far removed from the place of consumption. Although adverse effects of economic prosperity and economic inequality have been confirmed, the importance of international trade as a driver of threats to species is poorly understood. Here we show that a significant number of species are threatened as a result of international trade along complex routes, and that, in particular, consumers in developed countries cause threats to species through their demand of commodities that are ultimately produced in developing countries. We linked 25,000 Animalia species threat records from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List to more than 15,000 commodities produced in 187 countries and evaluated more than 5 billion supply chains in terms of their biodiversity impacts. Excluding invasive species, we found that 30% of global species threats are due to international trade. In many developed countries, the consumption of imported coffee, tea, sugar, textiles, fish and other manufactured items causes a biodiversity footprint that is larger abroad than at home. Our results emphasize the importance of examining biodiversity loss as a global systemic phenomenon, instead of looking at the degrading or polluting producers in isolation. We anticipate that our findings will facilitate better regulation, sustainable supply-chain certification and consumer product labelling.

  2. 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.

  3. Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, William M; Aveling, Ros; Brockington, Dan; Dickson, Barney; Elliott, Jo; Hutton, Jon; Roe, Dilys; Vira, Bhaskar; Wolmer, William

    2004-11-12

    It is widely accepted that biodiversity loss and poverty are linked problems and that conservation and poverty reduction should be tackled together. However, success with integrated strategies is elusive. There is sharp debate about the social impacts of conservation programs and the success of community-based approaches to conservation. Clear conceptual frameworks are needed if policies in these two areas are to be combined. We review the links between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation and present a conceptual typology of these relationships.

  4. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change threatens to create fundamental shifts in in the distributions and abundances of species. Given projected losses, increased emphasis on management for ecosystem resilience to help buffer fish and wildlife populations against climate change is emerging. Such effort...

  5. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change threatens to create fundamental shifts in in the distributions and abundances of species. Given projected losses, increased emphasis on management for ecosystem resilience to help buffer fish and wildlife populations against climate change is emerging. Such effort...

  6. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Major conservation policy issues for biodiversity in Oceania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingsford, R T; Watson, J E M; Lundquist, C J; Venter, O; Hughes, L; Johnston, E L; Atherton, J; Gawel, M; Keith, D A; Mackey, B G; Morley, C; Possingham, H P; Raynor, B; Recher, H F; Wilson, K A

    2009-08-01

    Oceania is a diverse region encompassing Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, New Zealand, and Polynesia, and it contains six of the world's 39 hotspots of diversity. It has a poor record for extinctions, particularly for birds on islands and mammals. Major causes include habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, and overexploitation. We identified six major threatening processes (habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, climate change, overexploitation, pollution, and disease) based on a comprehensive review of the literature and for each developed a set of conservation policies. Many policies reflect the urgent need to deal with the effects of burgeoning human populations (expected to increase significantly in the region) on biodiversity. There is considerable difference in resources for conservation, including people and available scientific information, which are heavily biased toward more developed countries in Oceania. Most scientific publications analyzed for four threats (habitat loss, invasive species, overexploitation, and pollution) are from developed countries: 88.6% of Web of Science publications were from Australia (53.7%), New Zealand (24.3%), and Hawaiian Islands (10.5%). Many island states have limited resources or expertise. Even countries that do (e.g., Australia, New Zealand) have ongoing and emerging significant challenges, particularly with the interactive effects of climate change. Oceania will require the implementation of effective policies for conservation if the region's poor record on extinctions is not to continue.

  8. Economic valuation for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  9. Combining landscape-level conservation planning and biodiversity offset programs: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Jared G

    2011-01-01

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

  10. The identification of sites of biodiversity conservation significance: progress with the application of a global standard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.N. Foster

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available As a global community, we have a responsibility to ensure the long-term future of our natural heritage. As part of this, it is incumbent upon us to do all that we can to reverse the current trend of biodiversity loss, using all available tools at our disposal. One effective mean is safeguarding of those sites that are highest global priority for the conservation of biodiversity, whether through formal protected areas, community managed reserves, multiple-use areas, or other means. This special issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa examines the application of the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA approach to identifying such sites. Given the global mandate expressed through policy instruments such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, the KBA approach can help countries meet obligations in an efficient and transparent manner. KBA methodology follows the well-established general principles of vulnerability and irreplaceability, and while it aims to be a globally standardized approach, it recognizes the fundamental need for the process to be led at local and national levels. In this series of papers the application of the KBA approach is explored in seven countries or regions: the Caribbean, Indo-Burma, Japan, Macedonia, Mediterranean Algeria, the Philippines and the Upper Guinea region of West Africa. This introductory article synthesizes some of the common main findings and provides a comparison of key summary statistics.

  11. Consequences of tropical land use for multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Jochum, Malte; Mumme, Steffen; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Farajallah, Achmad; Widarto, Tri Heru; Brose, Ulrich

    2014-10-28

    Our knowledge about land-use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is mostly limited to single trophic levels, leaving us uncertain about whole-community biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We analyse consequences of the globally important land-use transformation from tropical forests to oil palm plantations. Species diversity, density and biomass of invertebrate communities suffer at least 45% decreases from rainforest to oil palm. Combining metabolic and food-web theory, we calculate annual energy fluxes to model impacts of land-use intensification on multitrophic ecosystem functioning. We demonstrate a 51% reduction in energy fluxes from forest to oil palm communities. Species loss clearly explains variation in energy fluxes; however, this relationship depends on land-use systems and functional feeding guilds, whereby predators are the most heavily affected. Biodiversity decline from forest to oil palm is thus accompanied by even stronger reductions in functionality, threatening to severely limit the functional resilience of communities to cope with future global changes.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    CJR. Alho

    2008-01-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper,...

  15. Financial costs of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCarthy, Donal P.; Donald, Paul F.; Scharlemann, Jörn P.W.

    2012-01-01

    World governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020, but the financial costs of meeting these targets are largely unknown. We estimate the cost of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species (by ≥...

  16. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.F. Laurance; D.C. Useche; J. Rendeiro; and others NO-VALUE; Ariel Lugo

    2012-01-01

    The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon1–3. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human encroachment...

  17. Interpreting Biodiversity: A Manual for Environmental Educators in the Tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domroese, Margret C.; Sterling, Eleanor J.

    This manual was developed for educators and natural resource managers who are establishing interpretive programs where biodiversity is the richest and most threatened. The manual contains five units which are based on the experiences of staff at the American Museum of Natural History and represent the key steps of designing an interpretation…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Marcus; Sharp, John

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Transgenic Crops: Implications for Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Patterns and drivers of scattered tree loss in agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Levers, Christian; Mantel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Scattered trees support high levels of farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, but they are threatened by agricultural intensification, urbanization, and land abandonment. This study aimed to map and quantify the decline of orchard meadows (scattered fruit trees...... of high nature conservation value) for a region in Southwestern Germany for the 1968 2009 period and to identify the driving forces of this decline. We derived orchard meadow loss from 1968 and 2009 aerial images and used a boosted regression trees modelling framework to assess the relative importance...... in agricultural landscapes that would be prioritized in conservation efforts....

  1. Accounting for changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services from a business perspective : Preliminary guidelines towards a biodiversity accountability framework

    OpenAIRE

    Houdet, Joël; Pavageau, Charlotte; Trommetter, Michel; Weber, Jacques

    2009-01-01

    Biodiversity refers to the dynamics of interactions between organisms in changing environments. Within the context of accelerating biodiversity loss worldwide, firms are under increasing pressures from stakeholders to develop appropriate tools to account for the nature and consequences of their actions, inclusive of their influences on ecosystem services used by other agents. This paper presents a two-pronged approach towards accounting for changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services from ...

  2. The vulnerability of threatened species: adaptive capability and adaptation opportunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Pam; Ogawa-Onishi, Yuko; McVey, Andrew

    2013-07-01

    Global targets to halt the loss of biodiversity have not been met, and there is now an additional Aichi target for preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status. Climate change increasingly needs to be factored in to these, and thus there is a need to identify the extent to which it could increase species vulnerability. This paper uses the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity framework to assess the vulnerability of a selection of WWF global priority large mammals and marine species to climate change. However, it divides adaptive capacity into adaptive capability and adaptation opportunity, in order to identify whether adaptation is more constrained by the biology of the species or by its environmental setting. Lack of evidence makes it difficult to apply the framework consistently across the species, but it was found that, particularly for the terrestrial mammals, adaptation opportunities seems to be the greater constraint. This framework and analysis could be used by conservationists and those wishing to enhance the resilience of species to climate change.

  3. The Vulnerability of Threatened Species: Adaptive Capability and Adaptation Opportunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew McVey

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Global targets to halt the loss of biodiversity have not been met, and there is now an additional Aichi target for preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status. Climate change increasingly needs to be factored in to these, and thus there is a need to identify the extent to which it could increase species vulnerability. This paper uses the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity framework to assess the vulnerability of a selection of WWF global priority large mammals and marine species to climate change. However, it divides adaptive capacity into adaptive capability and adaptation opportunity, in order to identify whether adaptation is more constrained by the biology of the species or by its environmental setting. Lack of evidence makes it difficult to apply the framework consistently across the species, but it was found that, particularly for the terrestrial mammals, adaptation opportunities seems to be the greater constraint. This framework and analysis could be used by conservationists and those wishing to enhance the resilience of species to climate change.

  4. Synthesis Report As part of the project Biodiversity of the High Seas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijnsdorp, A.D.; Molenaar, E.J.; Oude Elferink, A.G.; Heessen, H.J.L.; Karman, C.C.

    2009-01-01

    Human activities in areas outside national jurisdiction (ABNJ) which comprise the high seas and the ‘Area’ (the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction) are increasing and may threaten marine biodiversity in these areas. While fisheries are in general considered as the most threatening, ot

  5. Synthesis Report As part of the project Biodiversity of the High Seas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijnsdorp, A.D.; Molenaar, E.J.; Oude Elferink, A.G.; Heessen, H.J.L.; Karman, C.C.

    2009-01-01

    Human activities in areas outside national jurisdiction (ABNJ) which comprise the high seas and the ‘Area’ (the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction) are increasing and may threaten marine biodiversity in these areas. While fisheries are in general considered as the most threatening,

  6. 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.

  7. Rapid forest clearing in a Myanmar proposed national park threatens two newly discovered species of geckos (Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connette, Grant M; Oswald, Patrick; Thura, Myint Kyaw; LaJeunesse Connette, Katherine J; Grindley, Mark E; Songer, Melissa; Zug, George R; Mulcahy, Daniel G

    2017-01-01

    Myanmar's recent transition from military rule towards a more democratic government has largely ended decades of political and economic isolation. Although Myanmar remains heavily forested, increased development in recent years has been accompanied by exceptionally high rates of forest loss. In this study, we document the rapid progression of deforestation in and around the proposed Lenya National Park, which includes some of the largest remaining areas of lowland evergreen rainforest in mainland Southeast Asia. The globally unique forests in this area are rich in biodiversity and remain a critical stronghold for many threatened and endangered species, including large charismatic fauna such as tiger and Asian elephant. We also conducted a rapid assessment survey of the herpetofauna of the proposed national park, which resulted in the discovery of two new species of bent-toed geckos, genus Cyrtodactylus. We describe these new species, C. lenya sp. nov. and C. payarhtanensis sp. nov., which were found in association with karst (i.e., limestone) rock formations within mature lowland wet evergreen forest. The two species were discovered less than 35 km apart and are each known from only a single locality. Because of the isolated nature of the karst formations in the proposed Lenya National Park, these geckos likely have geographical ranges restricted to the proposed protected area and are threatened by approaching deforestation. Although lowland evergreen rainforest has vanished from most of continental Southeast Asia, Myanmar can still take decisive action to preserve one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.

  8. BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION INCENTIVE PROGRAMS FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FORESTS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: a global approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baan, de L.; Alkemade, J.R.M.; Koellner, T.

    2013-01-01

    Land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss and its environmental relevance is widely recognized in research on life cycle assessment (LCA). The inherent spatial heterogeneity of biodiversity and its non-uniform response to land use requires a regionalized assessment, whereas many LCA appl

  10. 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

  11. Role of eucalypt and other planted forests in biodiversity conservation and the provision of biodiversity-related services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; John A. Parrotta; Silvio F.B. Ferraz

    2013-01-01

    Forests provide important habitat for much of the world’s biodiversity, and the continuing global deforestation is one of our greatest environmental concerns. Planted forests represent an increasing proportion of the global forest area and partly compensate for the loss of natural forest in terms of forest area, habitat for biodiversity and ecological function. At...

  12. Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  13. Quantifying temporal change in biodiversity: challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dornelas, Maria; Magurran, Anne E.; Buckland, Stephen T.; Chao, Anne; Chazdon, Robin L.; Colwell, Robert K.; Curtis, Tom; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Kosnik, Matthew A.; McGill, Brian; McCune, Jenny L.; Morlon, Hélène; Mumby, Peter J.; Øvreås, Lise; Studeny, Angelika; Vellend, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Growing concern about biodiversity loss underscores the need to quantify and understand temporal change. Here, we review the opportunities presented by biodiversity time series, and address three related issues: (i) recognizing the characteristics of temporal data; (ii) selecting appropriate statistical procedures for analysing temporal data; and (iii) inferring and forecasting biodiversity change. With regard to the first issue, we draw attention to defining characteristics of biodiversity time series—lack of physical boundaries, uni-dimensionality, autocorrelation and directionality—that inform the choice of analytic methods. Second, we explore methods of quantifying change in biodiversity at different timescales, noting that autocorrelation can be viewed as a feature that sheds light on the underlying structure of temporal change. Finally, we address the transition from inferring to forecasting biodiversity change, highlighting potential pitfalls associated with phase-shifts and novel conditions. PMID:23097514

  14. 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.

  15. Endangered Species & Biodiversity: A Classroom Project & Theme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauro, Brook

    2012-01-01

    Students discover the factors contributing to species losses worldwide by conducting a project about endangered species as a component of a larger classroom theme of biodiversity. Groups conduct research using online endangered- species databases and present results to the class using PowerPoint. Students will improve computer research abilities…

  16. Endangered Species & Biodiversity: A Classroom Project & Theme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauro, Brook

    2012-01-01

    Students discover the factors contributing to species losses worldwide by conducting a project about endangered species as a component of a larger classroom theme of biodiversity. Groups conduct research using online endangered- species databases and present results to the class using PowerPoint. Students will improve computer research abilities…

  17. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future.

  18. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  19. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph M.; Wells, Sarah P.; Mather, Martha E.; Muth, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Because human impacts and climate change threaten aquatic ecosystems, a need exists to quantify catchment-scale biodiversity patterns and identify conservation actions that can mitigate adverse human impacts on aquatic biota.

  20. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  1. 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 stabil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-10

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

  3. Enhanced biodiversity and pollination in UK agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varah, Alexa; Jones, Hannah; Smith, Jo; Potts, Simon G

    2013-07-01

    Monoculture farming systems have had serious environmental impacts such as loss of biodiversity and pollinator decline. The authors explain how temperate agroforestry systems show potential in being able to deliver multiple environmental benefits.

  4. Biodiversity and ecosystem services science for a sustainable planet: the DIVERSITAS vision for 2012–20

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larigauderie, Anne; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Mace, Georgina M; Lonsdale, Mark; Mooney, Harold A; Brussaard, Lijbert; Cooper, David; Cramer, Wolfgang; Daszak, Peter; Díaz, Sandra; Duraiappah, Anantha; Elmqvist, Thomas; Faith, Daniel P; Jackson, Louise E; Krug, Cornelia; Leadley, Paul W; Le Prestre, Philippe; Matsuda, Hiroyuki; Palmer, Margaret; Perrings, Charles; Pulleman, Mirjam; Reyers, Belinda; Rosa, Eugene A; Scholes, Robert J; Spehn, Eva; Turner, BL; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2013-01-01

    DIVERSITAS, the international programme on biodiversity science, is releasing a strategic vision presenting scientific challenges for the next decade of research on biodiversity and ecosystem services: “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Science for a Sustainable Planet”. This new vision is a response of the biodiversity and ecosystem services scientific community to the accelerating loss of the components of biodiversity, as well as to changes in the biodiversity science-policy landscape (establishment of a Biodiversity Observing Network — GEO BON, of an Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services — IPBES, of the new Future Earth initiative; and release of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020). This article presents the vision and its core scientific challenges. PMID:25104977

  5. Biodiversity in marine ecosystems – European developments towards robust assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Stiina Heiskanen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability of marine ecosystems and their services are dependent on marine biodiversity, which is threatened worldwide. Biodiversity protection is a major target of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, requiring assessment of the status of biodiversity on the level of species, habitats, and ecosystems including genetic diversity and the role of biodiversity in food web functioning and structure. This paper provides a summary of the development of new indicators and refinement of existing ones in order to address some of the observed gaps in indicator availability for marine biodiversity assessments considering genetic, species, habitat, and ecosystem levels. Promising new indicators are available addressing genetic diversity of microbial and benthic communities. Novel indicators to assess biodiversity and food webs associated with habitats formed by keystone species (such as macroalgae as well as to map benthic habitats (such as biogenic reefs using high resolution habitat characterization were developed. We also discuss the advances made on indicators for detecting impacts of non-native invasive species and assessing the structure and functioning of marine food-webs. The latter are based on indicators showing the effects of fishing on trophic level and size distribution of fish and elasmobranch communities well as phytoplankton and zooplankton community structure as food web indicators. New and refined indicators are ranked based on quality criteria. Their applicability for various EU and global biodiversity assessments and the need for further development of new indicators and refinement of the existing ones is discussed.

  6. Earthquakes trigger the loss of groundwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galassi, Diana M. P.; Lombardo, Paola; Fiasca, Barbara; di Cioccio, Alessia; di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Petitta, Marco; di Carlo, Piero

    2014-09-01

    Earthquakes are among the most destructive natural events. The 6 April 2009, 6.3-Mw earthquake in L'Aquila (Italy) markedly altered the karstic Gran Sasso Aquifer (GSA) hydrogeology and geochemistry. The GSA groundwater invertebrate community is mainly comprised of small-bodied, colourless, blind microcrustaceans. We compared abiotic and biotic data from two pre-earthquake and one post-earthquake complete but non-contiguous hydrological years to investigate the effects of the 2009 earthquake on the dominant copepod component of the obligate groundwater fauna. Our results suggest that the massive earthquake-induced aquifer strain biotriggered a flushing of groundwater fauna, with a dramatic decrease in subterranean species abundance. Population turnover rates appeared to have crashed, no longer replenishing the long-standing communities from aquifer fractures, and the aquifer became almost totally deprived of animal life. Groundwater communities are notorious for their low resilience. Therefore, any major disturbance that negatively impacts survival or reproduction may lead to local extinction of species, most of them being the only survivors of phylogenetic lineages extinct at the Earth surface. Given the ecological key role played by the subterranean fauna as decomposers of organic matter and ``ecosystem engineers'', we urge more detailed, long-term studies on the effect of major disturbances to groundwater ecosystems.

  7. Economic Science, Endangered Species and Biodiversity Loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bulte, E.H.; Kooten, van G.C.

    2000-01-01

    Although economic analysis can be used to argue for preservation of species and habitats, many natural assets represent inferior investments in society's asset portfolio. We demonstrate this for the case of ancient temperate rainforests and minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata). For both rainfo

  8. Earthquakes trigger the loss of groundwater biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galassi, Diana M P; Lombardo, Paola; Fiasca, Barbara; Di Cioccio, Alessia; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Petitta, Marco; Di Carlo, Piero

    2014-09-03

    Earthquakes are among the most destructive natural events. The 6 April 2009, 6.3-Mw earthquake in L'Aquila (Italy) markedly altered the karstic Gran Sasso Aquifer (GSA) hydrogeology and geochemistry. The GSA groundwater invertebrate community is mainly comprised of small-bodied, colourless, blind microcrustaceans. We compared abiotic and biotic data from two pre-earthquake and one post-earthquake complete but non-contiguous hydrological years to investigate the effects of the 2009 earthquake on the dominant copepod component of the obligate groundwater fauna. Our results suggest that the massive earthquake-induced aquifer strain biotriggered a flushing of groundwater fauna, with a dramatic decrease in subterranean species abundance. Population turnover rates appeared to have crashed, no longer replenishing the long-standing communities from aquifer fractures, and the aquifer became almost totally deprived of animal life. Groundwater communities are notorious for their low resilience. Therefore, any major disturbance that negatively impacts survival or reproduction may lead to local extinction of species, most of them being the only survivors of phylogenetic lineages extinct at the Earth surface. Given the ecological key role played by the subterranean fauna as decomposers of organic matter and "ecosystem engineers", we urge more detailed, long-term studies on the effect of major disturbances to groundwater ecosystems.

  9. Economic Science, Endangered Species and Biodiversity Loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bulte, E.H.; Kooten, van G.C.

    2000-01-01

    Although economic analysis can be used to argue for preservation of species and habitats, many natural assets represent inferior investments in society's asset portfolio. We demonstrate this for the case of ancient temperate rainforests and minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata). For both rainfo

  10. Earthquakes trigger the loss of groundwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galassi, Diana M. P.; Lombardo, Paola; Fiasca, Barbara; Di Cioccio, Alessia; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Petitta, Marco; Di Carlo, Piero

    2014-01-01

    Earthquakes are among the most destructive natural events. The 6 April 2009, 6.3-Mw earthquake in L'Aquila (Italy) markedly altered the karstic Gran Sasso Aquifer (GSA) hydrogeology and geochemistry. The GSA groundwater invertebrate community is mainly comprised of small-bodied, colourless, blind microcrustaceans. We compared abiotic and biotic data from two pre-earthquake and one post-earthquake complete but non-contiguous hydrological years to investigate the effects of the 2009 earthquake on the dominant copepod component of the obligate groundwater fauna. Our results suggest that the massive earthquake-induced aquifer strain biotriggered a flushing of groundwater fauna, with a dramatic decrease in subterranean species abundance. Population turnover rates appeared to have crashed, no longer replenishing the long-standing communities from aquifer fractures, and the aquifer became almost totally deprived of animal life. Groundwater communities are notorious for their low resilience. Therefore, any major disturbance that negatively impacts survival or reproduction may lead to local extinction of species, most of them being the only survivors of phylogenetic lineages extinct at the Earth surface. Given the ecological key role played by the subterranean fauna as decomposers of organic matter and “ecosystem engineers”, we urge more detailed, long-term studies on the effect of major disturbances to groundwater ecosystems. PMID:25182013

  11. The interdependence between biodiversity and socioeconomic variables on a local level: evidence for german counties

    OpenAIRE

    Münch, Angela; Völkl, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores possible interdependence of biodiversity and several socioeconomic and political factors at the county level. It is aimed at the empirical identification of direct and indirect effects between biodiversity (loss) and their theoretical major impact factors. To date, research shows that in addition to geography, agriculture is one major determinant of biodiversity status. However, the impact of regional socioeconomic structures on biodiversity should not be underestimated. S...

  12. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Crowther, Thomas W.; Picard, Nicolas; Wiser, Susan; Zhou, Mo; Alberti, Giorgio; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; McGuire, Anthony David; ,

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem productivity has been explored in detail in herbaceous vegetation, but patterns in forests are far less well understood. Liang et al. have amassed a global forest data set from >770,000 sample plots in 44 countries. A positive and consistent relationship can be discerned between tree diversity and ecosystem productivity at landscape, country, and ecoregion scales. On average, a 10% loss in biodiversity leads to a 3% loss in productivity. This means that the economic value of maintaining biodiversity for the sake of global forest productivity is more than fivefold greater than global conservation costs.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A conservation agenda for the Pantanal's biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR Alho

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

  16. How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  17. Data hosting infrastructure for primary biodiversity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Today, an unprecedented volume of primary biodiversity data are being generated worldwide, yet significant amounts of these data have been and will continue to be lost after the conclusion of the projects tasked with collecting them. To get the most value out of these data it is imperative to seek a solution whereby these data are rescued, archived and made available to the biodiversity community. To this end, the biodiversity informatics community requires investment in processes and infrastructure to mitigate data loss and provide solutions for long-term hosting and sharing of biodiversity data. Discussion We review the current state of biodiversity data hosting and investigate the technological and sociological barriers to proper data management. We further explore the rescuing and re-hosting of legacy data, the state of existing toolsets and propose a future direction for the development of new discovery tools. We also explore the role of data standards and licensing in the context of data hosting and preservation. We provide five recommendations for the biodiversity community that will foster better data preservation and access: (1) encourage the community's use of data standards, (2) promote the public domain licensing of data, (3) establish a community of those involved in data hosting and archival, (4) establish hosting centers for biodiversity data, and (5) develop tools for data discovery. Conclusion The community's adoption of standards and development of tools to enable data discovery is essential to sustainable data preservation. Furthermore, the increased adoption of open content licensing, the establishment of data hosting infrastructure and the creation of a data hosting and archiving community are all necessary steps towards the community ensuring that data archival policies become standardized. PMID:22373257

  18. Biodiversity in cities needs space: a meta-analysis of factors determining intra-urban biodiversity variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beninde, Joscha; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel

    2015-06-01

    Understanding varying levels of biodiversity within cities is pivotal to protect it in the face of global urbanisation. In the early stages of urban ecology studies on intra-urban biodiversity focused on the urban-rural gradient, representing a broad generalisation of features of the urban landscape. Increasingly, studies classify the urban landscape in more detail, quantifying separately the effects of individual urban features on biodiversity levels. However, while separate factors influencing biodiversity variation among cities worldwide have recently been analysed, a global analysis on the factors influencing biodiversity levels within cities is still lacking. We here present the first meta-analysis on intra-urban biodiversity variation across a large variety of taxonomic groups of 75 cities worldwide. Our results show that patch area and corridors have the strongest positive effects on biodiversity, complemented by vegetation structure. Local, biotic and management habitat variables were significantly more important than landscape, abiotic or design variables. Large sites greater than 50 ha are necessary to prevent a rapid loss of area-sensitive species. This indicates that, despite positive impacts of biodiversity-friendly management, increasing the area of habitat patches and creating a network of corridors is the most important strategy to maintain high levels of urban biodiversity. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Climate change threatens European conservation areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Miguel B; Alagador, Diogo; Cabeza, Mar; Nogués-Bravo, David; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2011-01-01

    Europe has the world's most extensive network of conservation areas. Conservation areas are selected without taking into account the effects of climate change. How effectively would such areas conserve biodiversity under climate change? We assess the effectiveness of protected areas and the Natura 2000 network in conserving a large proportion of European plant and terrestrial vertebrate species under climate change. We found that by 2080, 58 ± 2.6% of the species would lose suitable climate in protected areas, whereas losses affected 63 ± 2.1% of the species of European concern occurring in Natura 2000 areas. Protected areas are expected to retain climatic suitability for species better than unprotected areas (P<0.001), but Natura 2000 areas retain climate suitability for species no better and sometimes less effectively than unprotected areas. The risk is high that ongoing efforts to conserve Europe's biodiversity are jeopardized by climate change. New policies are required to avert this risk. PMID:21447141

  20. Combining high biodiversity with high yields in tropical agroforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Yann; Barkmann, Jan; Juhrbandt, Jana; Kessler, Michael; Wanger, Thomas Cherico; Anshary, Alam; Buchori, Damayanti; Cicuzza, Daniele; Darras, Kevin; Putra, Dadang Dwi; Erasmi, Stefan; Pitopang, Ramadhanil; Schmidt, Carsten; Schulze, Christian H.; Seidel, Dominik; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stenchly, Kathrin; Vidal, Stefan; Weist, Maria; Wielgoss, Arno Christian; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-01-01

    Local and landscape-scale agricultural intensification is a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Controversially discussed solutions include wildlife-friendly farming or combining high-intensity farming with land-sparing for nature. Here, we integrate biodiversity and crop productivity data for smallholder cacao in Indonesia to exemplify for tropical agroforests that there is little relationship between yield and biodiversity under current management, opening substantial opportunities for wildlife-friendly management. Species richness of trees, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates did not decrease with yield. Moderate shade, adequate labor, and input level can be combined with a complex habitat structure to provide high biodiversity as well as high yields. Although livelihood impacts are held up as a major obstacle for wildlife-friendly farming in the tropics, our results suggest that in some situations, agroforests can be designed to optimize both biodiversity and crop production benefits without adding pressure to convert natural habitat to farmland. PMID:21536873

  1. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Crowther, Thomas W; Picard, Nicolas; Wiser, Susan; Zhou, Mo; Alberti, Giorgio; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; McGuire, A David; Bozzato, Fabio; Pretzsch, Hans; de-Miguel, Sergio; Paquette, Alain; Hérault, Bruno; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Barrett, Christopher B; Glick, Henry B; Hengeveld, Geerten M; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; Pfautsch, Sebastian; Viana, Helder; Vibrans, Alexander C; Ammer, Christian; Schall, Peter; Verbyla, David; Tchebakova, Nadja; Fischer, Markus; Watson, James V; Chen, Han Y H; Lei, Xiangdong; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Lu, Huicui; Gianelle, Damiano; Parfenova, Elena I; Salas, Christian; Lee, Eungul; Lee, Boknam; Kim, Hyun Seok; Bruelheide, Helge; Coomes, David A; Piotto, Daniel; Sunderland, Terry; Schmid, Bernhard; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Sonké, Bonaventure; Tavani, Rebecca; Zhu, Jun; Brandl, Susanne; Vayreda, Jordi; Kitahara, Fumiaki; Searle, Eric B; Neldner, Victor J; Ngugi, Michael R; Baraloto, Christopher; Frizzera, Lorenzo; Bałazy, Radomir; Oleksyn, Jacek; Zawiła-Niedźwiecki, Tomasz; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bussotti, Filippo; Finér, Leena; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Jucker, Tommaso; Valladares, Fernando; Jagodzinski, Andrzej M; Peri, Pablo L; Gonmadje, Christelle; Marthy, William; O'Brien, Timothy; Martin, Emanuel H; Marshall, Andrew R; Rovero, Francesco; Bitariho, Robert; Niklaus, Pascal A; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Chamuya, Nurdin; Valencia, Renato; Mortier, Frédéric; Wortel, Verginia; Engone-Obiang, Nestor L; Ferreira, Leandro V; Odeke, David E; Vasquez, Rodolfo M; Lewis, Simon L; Reich, Peter B

    2016-10-14

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone-US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation-is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    . Cross-correlation analysis showed that funding is likely to be driving conservation priorities and not vice versa. It was also apparent that investment itself may trigger further investments as a result of reduced start-up costs for new projects in areas where infrastructure already exists......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....... It is therefore difficult to establish whether funding, perceived biodiversity, or both drive further funding. However, in all cases, the results suggest that regional assessments of biodiversity conservation importance may be biased by investment. Funding effects might also confound studies on mechanisms...

  3. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... - a challenge that needs to be shared between conservationists, green organisations, public authorities, as well as the private sector. A new wave of green initiatives has emerged within the culture of business and marketing. The reasons for why businesses should engage in environmental actions are many......, 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...

  4. Global climate change and biodiversity in forests of the southern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devall, M.S.; Parresol, B.R. (Forest Service, New Orleans, LA (United States). Inst. for Quantitative Studies)

    1994-09-01

    This paper examines the effects of projected future climate change scenarios on biodiversity in forests of the southern US. Global climate change will probably influence biodiversity of southern forests as it was affected during periods in the past, with added problems caused by high human population density, development, air pollution, and rising sea levels. Although the increased level of CO[sub 2] could have beneficial effects on plants, climate change could cause serious changes to many ecological systems, for example inducing plants to bloom before their pollinators are available, and could precipitate modifications that few scientists have considered. Certainly many ecological systems will be seriously altered by climate change. Large northward shifts in species' ranges are expected, causing communities and ecosystems to change in composition. Loss of or movement of a dominant tree species may influence many other plant and animal species in the southern forest, bringing about large increases in the numbers of threatened and endangered species, as well as extinctions. Predictions about the effects of global climate change to southern forests and suggestions for detecting and preparing for them are included.

  5. Biodiversity of Coreoidea and Pentatomidae (Heteroptera) from Atlantic forest protected areas. Insights into their conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellapé, Gimena; Colpo, Karine D; Melo, María C; Montemayor, Sara I; Dellapé, Pablo M

    2017-07-24

    Although the majority of threatened species are likely to be tropical insects, knowledge of the diversity, ecological role and impact of insect biodiversity loss on ecosystem processes is very limited. Specimens belonging to four families of Heteroptera: Pentatomidae, Coreidae, Alydidae and Rhopalidae, were collected from a protected area in the Paraná Forest, the largest ecoregion of the Atlantic Forest, in Argentina. The assemblages were characterized and the biodiversity estimated, and they were compared with the assemblages found in five other protected areas in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. In our study area, Pentatomidae had the greatest richness and diversity; Coreidae was the second most diverse family, with highest sampling deficit, highest percentage of singletons, and lowest inventory completeness; and Rhopalidae was the best sampled family with asymptotic rarefaction curves. We explored the application of the Species Conservation Importance index, following four criteria, to evaluate the relative importance of the pentatomid species studied and its usefulness for assigning conservation values to areas. We found similar Site Conservation Values among the six areas and noted that the use of criteria was limited by the lack of information, being crucial to increase the knowledge of most of the species.

  6. Biodiversity and global health—hubris, humility and the unknown

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Carolyn

    2012-03-01

    In November 2011, botanists on a remote island off Papua New Guinea discovered a new species of orchid—uniquely and mysteriously night-flowering [1]. New to science, and with so much more to understand, this flower is threatened by deforestation [2]. Also in November 2011, a survey of 583 conservation scientists reported a unanimous (99.5%) view that 'it is likely a serious loss of biological diversity is underway at a global extent' and that, for scientists, 'protection of biological diversity for its cultural and spiritual values and because of its usefulness to humans were low priorities, which suggests that many scientists do not fully support the utilitarian concept of ecosystem services' [3]. In terms of management, some scientists now advocate controversial conservation strategies such as triage (prioritization of species that provide unique or necessary functions to ecosystems) [4, 5]. Meanwhile, there are many scientists who contend that there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the importance of biodiversity for human health and well-being, arguing that only an anthropocentric view of biodiversity within a paradigm 'ecosystem service' will enable decision-makers to prioritize the theme [6-9]. A 2011 UN report argues that this need for understanding is especially urgent in fragile and vulnerable ecosystems where communities depend directly on the resources of their environment [10]. Here we have a paradox: international conservation scientists think that we cannot protect biodiversity on the basis of its cultural and spiritual value, nor its usefulness to humans. Other scientists argue that using a utilitarian ecosystem services framework is the only way to get humans to protect biodiversity. Meanwhile, communities directly dependent on biodiverse ecosystems are often those who best understand and protect biodiversity, for exactly these reasons of use and spiritual connection, but they do not hold only a utilitarian view of their

  7. Operationalizing biodiversity for conservation planning

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sahotra Sarkar; Chris Margules

    2002-07-01

    Biodiversity has acquired such a general meaning that people now find it difficult to pin down a precise sense for planning and policy-making aimed at biodiversity conservation. Because biodiversity is rooted in place, the task of conserving biodiversity should target places for conservation action; and because all places contain biodiversity, but not all places can be targeted for action, places have to be prioritized. What is needed for this is a measure of the extent to which biodiversity varies from place to place. We do not need a precise measure of biodiversity to prioritize places. Relative estimates of similarity or difference can be derived using partial measures, or what have come to be called biodiversity surrogates. Biodiversity surrogates are supposed to stand in for general biodiversity in planning applications. We distinguish between true surrogates, those that might truly stand in for general biodiversity, and estimator surrogates, which have true surrogates as their target variable. For example, species richness has traditionally been the estimator surrogate for the true surrogate, species diversity. But species richness does not capture the differences in composition between places; the essence of biodiversity. Another measure, called complementarity, explicitly captures the differences between places as we iterate the process of place prioritization, starting with an initial place. The relative concept of biodiversity built into the definition of complementarity has the level of precision needed to undertake conservation planning.

  8. Why and how might genetic and phylogenetic diversity be reflected in the identification of key biodiversity areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, T M; Cuttelod, A; Faith, D P; Garcia-Moreno, J; Langhammer, P; Pérez-Espona, S

    2015-02-19

    'Key biodiversity areas' are defined as sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The identification of these sites builds from existing approaches based on measures of species and ecosystem diversity and process. Here, we therefore build from the work of Sgró et al. (2011 Evol. Appl. 4, 326-337. (doi:10.1111/j.1752-4571.2010.00157.x)) to extend a framework for how components of genetic diversity might be considered in the identification of key biodiversity areas. We make three recommendations to inform the ongoing process of consolidating a key biodiversity areas standard: (i) thresholds for the threatened species criterion currently consider a site's share of a threatened species' population; expand these to include the proportion of the species' genetic diversity unique to a site; (ii) expand criterion for 'threatened species' to consider 'threatened taxa' and (iii) expand the centre of endemism criterion to identify as key biodiversity areas those sites holding a threshold proportion of the compositional or phylogenetic diversity of species (within a taxonomic group) whose restricted ranges collectively define a centre of endemism. We also recommend consideration of occurrence of EDGE species (i.e. threatened phylogenetic diversity) in key biodiversity areas to prioritize species-specific conservation actions among sites.

  9. The Pricelessness of Biodiversity: Using the Endangered Species Act to Help Combat Extinction and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Falberg, Alisha

    2015-01-01

    The science is clear. Climate change is happening, and it has aserious adverse effect on the majority of biodiversity, species,and ecosystems. Currently, there are no laws that serve to protect biodiversity and species from the oncoming changes; however, there is a law that serves to protect endangered and threatened species generally: the Endangered Species Act. This paper proposes using conservation biology principles to suggest several amendments to the Endangered Species Act to help save ...

  10. Toward equality of biodiversity knowledge through technology transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, Monika; Collen, Ben

    2015-10-01

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

  11. The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Data Portal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droege, Gabriele; Barker, Katharine; Astrin, Jonas J; Bartels, Paul; Butler, Carol; Cantrill, David; Coddington, Jonathan; Forest, Félix; Gemeinholzer, Birgit; Hobern, Donald; Mackenzie-Dodds, Jacqueline; Ó Tuama, Éamonn; Petersen, Gitte; Sanjur, Oris; Schindel, David; Seberg, Ole

    2014-01-01

    The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) was formed in 2011 with the principal aim of making high-quality well-documented and vouchered collections that store DNA or tissue samples of biodiversity, discoverable for research through a networked community of biodiversity repositories. This is achieved through the GGBN Data Portal (http://data.ggbn.org), which links globally distributed databases and bridges the gap between biodiversity repositories, sequence databases and research results. Advances in DNA extraction techniques combined with next-generation sequencing technologies provide new tools for genome sequencing. Many ambitious genome sequencing projects with the potential to revolutionize biodiversity research consider access to adequate samples to be a major bottleneck in their workflow. This is linked not only to accelerating biodiversity loss and demands to improve conservation efforts but also to a lack of standardized methods for providing access to genomic samples. Biodiversity biobank-holding institutions urgently need to set a standard of collaboration towards excellence in collections stewardship, information access and sharing and responsible and ethical use of such collections. GGBN meets these needs by enabling and supporting accessibility and the efficient coordinated expansion of biodiversity biobanks worldwide.

  12. Biodiversity, climate change and complexity: An opportunity for securing co-benefits?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, Dilys

    2006-10-15

    Climate change and biodiversity loss are both major environmental concerns, yet the links between them often go unrecognised. Not only does the science of climate change and biodiversity share similar characteristics, but climate change both affects, and is affected by biodiversity. Diversity confers far greater resilience on natural systems, thus reducing their vulnerability – and the vulnerability of the people that depend upon them – to climate change. Yet climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that are blind to biodiversity can undermine this natural and social resilience. Ignoring the links between biodiversity and climate risks exacerbates the problems associated with climate change and represents a missed opportunity for maximising co-benefits.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemei Han

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Biodiversity intactness index

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2005-03-03

    Full Text Available to important factors that influence biodiversity status - and which satisfies the criteria for policy relevance set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Application of the BII is demonstrated on a large region (4 3 10 6 km 2) of southern Africa. The BII...

  16. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  17. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...

  18. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  19. Books, Biodiversity, and Beyond!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Governor, Donna; Helms, Sarah

    2007-01-01

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

  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. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; E. H. Helmer; E. Santiago Valentín

    2012-01-01

    Both the biodiversity and the landscapes of the Caribbean have been greatly modified as a consequence of human activity. In this essay we provide an overview of the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Caribbean and discuss how human activity has affected both. Our Caribbean geographic focus is on the insular Caribbean and the biodiversity focus is on the flora,...

  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.

  3. 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

  4. ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES THREATENING THE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Osondu

    2012-02-17

    Feb 17, 2012 ... America, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo. (Boo, 1990). In Africa, the loss of ... wildlife conservation and tourism. World Tourism Organisation ... Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management Vol. 5 No.1 2012.

  5. Impact of Olive Cultivation on Biodiversity in Messenia, Greece

    OpenAIRE

    Kjellström, Felicia

    2014-01-01

    The biggest threat and cause to loss of biodiversity have been found to be the intensification of agriculture under the 20th century. Messenia is one of the oldest olive cultivation areas in Greece and the landscape is dominated by olive groves characterized by extensive tillage, which causes serious erosion and might be a threat to plant diversity. Organic olive cultivation is an alternative that aims to preserve and support biodiversity. In this study the plant composition in the edge zones...

  6. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    International society has made a commitment to mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into broader socioeconomic development, but an incomplete theoretical basis translates into a lack of practical applications, especially regarding how individual plant productivity changes in response to the overall species loss. In this study, we developed niche–efficiency theory to address two mechanisms behind the effects of biodiversity on individual plant productivity. Supported by empirical evidence a...

  7. Mapping of biodiversity in the Mumbai port using GIS

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Suryanarayana, A.; Joglekar, V.V.

    in the Mumbai port region with the objectives of rapid assessment for monitoring of biodiversity loss/gain and mapping of biological richness to understand its spatial nature that helps in planning and execution. STUDY AREA The ports of Mumbai... and mapping the biodiversity. This system can be uploaded on the website, and can be made available to the users, provided the scripts written in Arc Avenue are converted to web enabled scripts, using any standard scripting language like ASP, PHP etc...

  8. Climate and Pest-Driven Geographic Shifts in Global Coffee Production: Implications for Forest Cover, Biodiversity and Carbon Storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magrach, Ainhoa; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2015-01-01

    Coffee is highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall, making its cultivation vulnerable to geographic shifts in response to a changing climate. This could lead to the establishment of coffee plantations in new areas and potential conflicts with other land covers including natural forest, with consequent implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services. We project areas suitable for future coffee cultivation based on several climate scenarios and expected responses of the coffee berry borer, a principle pest of coffee crops. We show that the global climatically-suitable area will suffer marked shifts from some current major centres of cultivation. Most areas will be suited to Robusta coffee, demand for which could be met without incurring forest encroachment. The cultivation of Arabica, which represents 70% of consumed coffee, can also be accommodated in the future, but only by incurring some natural forest loss. This has corresponding implications for carbon storage, and is likely to affect areas currently designated as priority areas for biodiversity. Where Arabica coffee does encroach on natural forests, we project average local losses of 35% of threatened vertebrate species. The interaction of climate and coffee berry borer greatly influences projected outcomes.

  9. Climate and Pest-Driven Geographic Shifts in Global Coffee Production: Implications for Forest Cover, Biodiversity and Carbon Storage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ainhoa Magrach

    Full Text Available Coffee is highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall, making its cultivation vulnerable to geographic shifts in response to a changing climate. This could lead to the establishment of coffee plantations in new areas and potential conflicts with other land covers including natural forest, with consequent implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services. We project areas suitable for future coffee cultivation based on several climate scenarios and expected responses of the coffee berry borer, a principle pest of coffee crops. We show that the global climatically-suitable area will suffer marked shifts from some current major centres of cultivation. Most areas will be suited to Robusta coffee, demand for which could be met without incurring forest encroachment. The cultivation of Arabica, which represents 70% of consumed coffee, can also be accommodated in the future, but only by incurring some natural forest loss. This has corresponding implications for carbon storage, and is likely to affect areas currently designated as priority areas for biodiversity. Where Arabica coffee does encroach on natural forests, we project average local losses of 35% of threatened vertebrate species. The interaction of climate and coffee berry borer greatly influences projected outcomes.

  10. Market-based mechanisms for biodiversity conservation: a review of existing schemes and an outline for a global mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alvarado Quesada, I.; Hein, L.G.; Weikard, H.P.

    2014-01-01

    Continuous decline of biodiversity over the past decades suggests that efforts to decrease biodiversity loss have been insufficient. One option to deal with this problem is the use of market-based mechanisms for biodiversity conservation. Several studies have analysed such mechanisms individually,

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Frontiers in research on biodiversity and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Ostfeld, Richard S; Keesing, Felicia

    2015-10-01

    Global losses of biodiversity have galvanised efforts to understand how changes to communities affect ecological processes, including transmission of infectious pathogens. Here, we review recent research on diversity-disease relationships and identify future priorities. Growing evidence from experimental, observational and modelling studies indicates that biodiversity changes alter infection for a range of pathogens and through diverse mechanisms. Drawing upon lessons from the community ecology of free-living organisms, we illustrate how recent advances from biodiversity research generally can provide necessary theoretical foundations, inform experimental designs, and guide future research at the interface between infectious disease risk and changing ecological communities. Dilution effects are expected when ecological communities are nested and interactions between the pathogen and the most competent host group(s) persist or increase as biodiversity declines. To move beyond polarising debates about the generality of diversity effects and develop a predictive framework, we emphasise the need to identify how the effects of diversity vary with temporal and spatial scale, to explore how realistic patterns of community assembly affect transmission, and to use experimental studies to consider mechanisms beyond simple changes in host richness, including shifts in trophic structure, functional diversity and symbiont composition. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Temporal and spatial changes in land use patterns and biodiversity in relation to farm productivity at multiple scales in Tigray, Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hadgu Meles, K.

    2008-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity, including agro-biodiversity affects smallholders in dry-land regions by decreasing the buffering capacity of the agro-ecosystem and increasing proneness to yield variability including crop failure due to weather extremes. Loss of biodiversity is associated with land use/land co

  15. 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...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... areas identified on the basis of birds alone performed well in representing overall species diversity where birds were relatively speciose compared to the other taxa in the data sets. Adding species data for one taxon increased surrogate effectiveness better than adding genus- and family-level data...

  16. Educating for preserving biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Méndez, I. E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The notion of “culture of diversity” is presented in a new dimension. “That of educating for preserving biodiversity” is advanced together with its main challenges. The need of educating the masses for preserving biodiversity is perhaps the most outstanding to be faced, particularly if pedagogic requirements and the diversity of population is to be met. Likewise, it should help to put individuals in contact with the many elements conforming biodiversity and lead them to recognize its value ethically and esthetically. The research presents the framework for designing educating programs enhancing the genetic level, the ecosystem and the qualitative dimension and including materials and energy flood and its meaning for the homeostasis and autopoiesis of the system, together with its interactions with other components for achieving an equilibrium and stability. The importance of the natural evolution tendency is highlighted.

  17. Landscape Management and Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Başkent, Emin Zeki

    1998-01-01

    For the protection, enhancement and management of forests for today's and future generations, an understanding of the spatial structure of forest ecosystems along with base forest management planning are necessary. In this study are presented an introduction, a description, an explanation of different approaches and the basic principles of landscape management or ecosystems management within the evolution of the forest management process. Furthermore, the issue of biodiversity or biologi...

  18. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  19. The value of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc.) with their related economic values.

  20. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence, biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc. with their related economic values.

  1. Biodiversity, globalisation and poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olorode, Omotoye

    2007-06-10

    The erosion of the stock of biodiversity on earth developed historically with the so-called voyages of discovery (and their antecedents), colonial conquests and the accompanying movements of natural products and peoples, i.e. movements of populations and genetic materials. These events happened with the development of technology and the so-called conquest, by man, of his environment and the appertaining development of specialization not only in industry but also in agriculture and environmental management. The development of specialization resulted in the homogenization of processes, products, inputs and input industries; this increased homogenization had the corollary of arrested heterogeneity across the board; what they call globalization is part of this process. The efficiency of homogenization, however, engendered new problems of fragility of human environment and of production and social relations and processes. The effects of this complex situation, in general terms and in terms of biodiversity in particular, have been more devastating for the more vulnerable regions, classes of people, and peoples of the world. A continuous rethinking of the epistemology and the social and political bases of existing policies on environment in general, and of biodiversity conservation in particular, has become imperative.

  2. Reactions to threatening health messages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ten Hoor Gill A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Threatening health messages that focus on severity are popular, but frequently have no effect or even a counterproductive effect on behavior change. This paradox (i.e. wide application despite low effectiveness may be partly explained by the intuitive appeal of threatening communication: it may be hard to predict the defensive reactions occurring in response to fear appeals. We examine this hypothesis by using two studies by Brown and colleagues, which provide evidence that threatening health messages in the form of distressing imagery in anti-smoking and anti-alcohol campaigns cause defensive reactions. Methods We simulated both Brown et al. experiments, asking participants to estimate the reactions of the original study subjects to the threatening health information (n = 93. Afterwards, we presented the actual original study outcomes. One week later, we assessed whether this knowledge of the actual study outcomes helped participants to more successfully estimate the effectiveness of the threatening health information (n = 72. Results Results showed that participants were initially convinced of the effectiveness of threatening health messages and were unable to anticipate the defensive reactions that in fact occurred. Furthermore, these estimates did not improve after participants had been explained the dynamics of threatening communication as well as what the effects of the threatening communication had been in reality. Conclusions These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the effectiveness of threatening health messages is intuitively appealing. What is more, providing empirical evidence against the use of threatening health messages has very little effect on this intuitive appeal.

  3. Maintenance of Brazilian Biodiversity by germplasm bank

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana C. Machado

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Currently the importance of using alternative strategies for biodiversity conservation is emphasized and since the establishment of germplasm bank is an alternative to the conservation of endangered species. This is a technique of great importance for the maintenance of Brazilian fauna. Since the early70'sthere was a growing concern about the need to preserve essential genetic resources for food and agriculture, mainly for conservation of genetic material from farm animals. Thus was created the Brasilia Zoo, in July 2010, the first Germplasm Bank of Wild Animals in Latin America, as an alternative strategy for the conservation of threatened or endangered species, using both gametes and somatic cells and stem cells. Then we argue to create new banks or research networks among different regions with aimed to tissue preservation.

  4. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  6. Amerindian and Afro-American perceptions of their traditional knowledge in the Chocó biodiversity hotspot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Camara Leret, Rodrigo; Copete Maturana, Juan; Balslev, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    of TK, decreasing use of forests, and intergenerational differences in perceptions in the Chocó could accelerate the erosion of TK, and therefore could ultimately limit the contribution of Amerindian and Afro-Colombian TK to IPBES’s goals of assessing on-the-ground changes in biodiversity.......The Chocó biodiversity hotspot is one of the most biodiverse and threatened regions on Earth, yet the traditional knowledge (TK) of its inhabitants about biodiversity remains little studied. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) aims to integrate different...... knowledge systems, including scientific and TK, to assess the state of the planet's biodiversity. We documented the TK of three ethnic groups: Afro-Colombians (n=86 participants), and Amerindian Emberá (n=88) and Tsa’chila (n=52), focusing on their perceptions about (i) the most important palms, (ii...

  7. GEOSPATIAL CHARACTERIZATION OF BIODIVERSITY: NEED AND CHALLENGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. S. Roy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Explaining the distribution of species and understanding their abundance and spatial distribution at multiple scales using remote sensing and ground based observation have been the central aspect of the meeting of COP10 for achieving CBD 2020 targets. In this respect the Biodiveristy Characterization at Landscape Level for India is a milestone in biodiversity study in this country. Satellite remote sensing has been used to derive the spatial extent and vegetation composition patterns. Sensitivity of different multi-scale landscape metrics, species composition, ecosystem uniqueness and diversity in distribution of biological diversity is assessed through customized landscape analysis software to generate the biological richness surface. The uniqueness of the study lies in the creation of baseline geo-spatial data on vegetation types using multi-temporal satellite remote sensing data (IRS LISS III, deriving biological richness based on spatial landscape analysis and inventory of location specific information about 7964 unique plant species recorded in 20,000 sample plots in India and their status with respect to endemic, threatened and economic/medicinal importance. The results generated will serve as a baseline database for various assessment of the biodiversity for addressing CBD 2020 targets.

  8. Look both ways: mainstreaming biodiversity and poverty reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bass, Steve; Roe, Dilys; Smith, Jessica

    2010-10-15

    The world's failure to meet its 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss demonstrates that conservation efforts have so far been insufficient. They are too often undermined by seemingly more pressing economic and poverty goals — despite the frequent correlation of high biodiversity with high incidence of poverty. But it shouldn't be a competition. Biodiversity and poverty reduction are intrinsically linked and demand an integrated approach. The Convention on Biological Diversity has long emphasised the need for integrating, or 'mainstreaming', biodiversity into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies, most recently in its new Strategic Plan. Lessons learnt from wider experience of environmental mainstreaming can help parties to the Convention achieve this target in practice — they point to a six-step plan for the task.

  9. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  10. Biodiversity and key ecosystem services in agroforestry coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Biome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, de H.N.

    2012-01-01

    The thesis reports the results of long-term experimentation (since 1993) of family farmers with agroforestry (AF) coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region, a highly fragmented and threatened biodiversity hotspot. The farmers used native trees from forest fragments during a

  11. Are invasive aliens a real threat to biodiversity in South Africa?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Wilgen, B

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available South Africa has abundant biodiversity, but also many invasive alien species, especially plants and fish, that can transform ecosystems. Invading alien trees and shrubs impact on fynbos and threaten up to a quarter of the nation's plant species...

  12. Biodiversity and key ecosystem services in agroforestry coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Biome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, de H.N.

    2012-01-01

    The thesis reports the results of long-term experimentation (since 1993) of family farmers with agroforestry (AF) coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region, a highly fragmented and threatened biodiversity hotspot. The farmers used native trees from forest fragments during a transiti

  13. Soil biodiversity and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Biodiversity conservation including uncharismatic species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muñoz, Joaquin

    2007-01-01

    Recent papers mention ideas on the topics of biodiversity conservation strategies and priorities (Redford et al. 2003; Lamoreux et al. 2006; Rodrı´guez et al. 2006), the current status of biodiversity (Loreau et al. 2006), the obligations of conservation biologists regarding management policies...... (Chapron 2006; Schwartz 2006), and the main threats to biodiversity (including invasive species) (Bawa 2006). I suggest, however, that these articles do not really deal with biodiversity. Rather, they all focus on a few obviously charismatic groups (mammals, birds, some plants, fishes, human culture...

  15. Threatened bird valuation in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Kerstin K; Ainsworth, Gillian B; Meyerhoff, Jürgen; Garnett, Stephen T

    2014-01-01

    Threatened species programs need a social license to justify public funding. A contingent valuation survey of a broadly representative sample of the Australian public found that almost two thirds (63%) supported funding of threatened bird conservation. These included 45% of a sample of 645 respondents willing to pay into a fund for threatened bird conservation, 3% who already supported bird conservation in another form, and 15% who could not afford to pay into a conservation fund but who nevertheless thought that humans have a moral obligation to protect threatened birds. Only 6% explicitly opposed such payments. Respondents were willing to pay about AUD 11 annually into a conservation fund (median value), including those who would pay nothing. Highest values were offered by young or middle aged men, and those with knowledge of birds and those with an emotional response to encountering an endangered bird. However, the prospect of a bird going extinct alarmed almost everybody, even most of those inclined to put the interests of people ahead of birds and those who resent the way threatened species sometimes hold up development. The results suggest that funding for threatened birds has widespread popular support among the Australian population. Conservatively they would be willing to pay about AUD 14 million per year, and realistically about AUD 70 million, which is substantially more than the AUD 10 million currently thought to be required to prevent Australian bird extinctions.

  16. Patterns in Biodiversity: Spatial organisation of biodiversity in the Netherland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    A better understanding of biodiversity and its current threats is urgently needed, especially in the Netherlands where high population density, industrialisation, and intensive land-use have radically altered the natural landscape. Often, biodiversity research is seriously hampered by a lack of

  17. Patterns in Biodiversity: Spatial organisation of biodiversity in the Netherland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    A better understanding of biodiversity and its current threats is urgently needed, especially in the Netherlands where high population density, industrialisation, and intensive land-use have radically altered the natural landscape. Often, biodiversity research is seriously hampered by a lack of data

  18. Structural analysis of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirovich, Lawrence; Stoeckle, Mark Y; Zhang, Yu

    2010-02-24

    Large, recently-available genomic databases cover a wide range of life forms, suggesting opportunity for insights into genetic structure of biodiversity. In this study we refine our recently-described technique using indicator vectors to analyze and visualize nucleotide sequences. The indicator vector approach generates correlation matrices, dubbed Klee diagrams, which represent a novel way of assembling and viewing large genomic datasets. To explore its potential utility, here we apply the improved algorithm to a collection of almost 17,000 DNA barcode sequences covering 12 widely-separated animal taxa, demonstrating that indicator vectors for classification gave correct assignment in all 11,000 test cases. Indicator vector analysis revealed discontinuities corresponding to species- and higher-level taxonomic divisions, suggesting an efficient approach to classification of organisms from poorly-studied groups. As compared to standard distance metrics, indicator vectors preserve diagnostic character probabilities, enable automated classification of test sequences, and generate high-information density single-page displays. These results support application of indicator vectors for comparative analysis of large nucleotide data sets and raise prospect of gaining insight into broad-scale patterns in the genetic structure of biodiversity.

  19. Strategic studies on the biodiversity sustainability in Yunnan Province,Southwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pu Ying-shan; Zhang Zhi-yi; Pu Li-na

    2007-01-01

    With an area of 394,000 km2 (4.1% of China's total area) and specific diversified geographical environments, Yunnan houses over 18,000 species of higher plants (51.6% of China's total), 1,836 vertebrate species (54.8% of China's total) and multitudinous species of rare, endemic and epibiotic wildlife, ranking first in species richness value and endemicity rate of China's biodiversity, thus becoming a rare gene bank of wildlife species with the most concentrated distribution of important wildlife taxa and a key terrestrial biodiversity region of global significance. Despite its evident abundance and endemism, however, the biodiversity is faced with threats of ecological fragility and human disturbances in socioeconomic development resulting in attenuation of biodiversity,degradation of ecosystems and serious loss of species, thus, it needs to be carefully studied for its sustainability. Based on the analyses of the geographical diversity, the macro material bases of Yunnan's biodiversity were reviewed and six characteristics of the provincial biodiversity were described in the ecosystems, forest types, species compositions, endemic species, genetic resources, etc. By appraising the present status of the provincial biodiversity conservation, the facts that the biodiversity coexisted with fragility were revealed so that eight key disadvantageous factors in the provincial ecological fragility causing serious biodiversity loss were summarized and described in this paper. In order to satisfy the two-fold needs of biodiversity sustainability and socioeconomic development, eight strategies for the sustainable development were intensively elaborated by borrowing certain theories in modem conservation biology, recycling economics and some successful innovations, and by giving comprehensive consideration to the ecological fragility mechanism, nature reserve construction, environmental protection and the exploitability of resources for biodiversity sustainability and

  20. Plant Biodiversity in Urbanized Areas Plant Functional Traits in Space and Time, Plant Rarity and Phylogenetic Diversity

    CERN Document Server

    Knapp, Sonja

    2010-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the main drivers of global change. It often takes place in areas with high biodiversity, threatening species worldwide. To protect biodiversity not only outside but also right within urban areas, knowledge about the effects of urban land use on species assemblages is essential. Sonja Knapp compares several aspects of plant biodiversity between urban and rural areas in Germany. Using extensive databases and modern statistical methods, she goes beyond species richness: Urban areas are rich in species but plant species in urban areas are closer related to each other than plant species in rural areas, respectively. The urban environment, characterized by high temperatures and frequent disturbances, changes the functional composition of the flora. It promotes e.g. short-lived species with leaves adapted to drought but threatens insect-pollinated or wind-dispersed species. The author claims that the protection of biodiversity should not only focus on species richness but also on functional an...

  1. The Effects of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baron, J.S.; Barber, M.; Adams, M.; Dobben, van H.F.

    2014-01-01

    This chapter reports the findings of a Working Group on how atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition affects both terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. Regional and global scale impacts on biodiversity are addressed, together with potential indicators. Key conclusions are that: the rates of loss in bi

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    and that expanding protected areas to include other important biodiversity areas can help reduce biodiversity losses in all three countries. These results highlight the need for effective protection and the potential benefits of expanding the protected area network while meeting agricultural production needs....

  3. Biodiversity Differences between Managed and Unmanaged Forests: Meta-Analysis of Species Richness in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paillet, Y.; Bergès, L.; Hjältén, J.; Ódor, P.; Avon, C.; Bernhardt-Römermann, M.; Bijlsma, R.J.; Bruyn, de L.; Fuhr, M.; Grandin, U.; Kanka, R.; Lundin, L.; Luque, S.; Magura, T.; Matesanz, S.; Mészáros, I.; Sebastià, M.T.; Schmidt, W.; Standovár, T.; Tóthmérész, B.; Uotila, A.; Valladares, F.; Vellak, K.; Virtanen, R.

    2010-01-01

    Past and present pressures on forest resources have led to a drastic decrease in the surface area of unmanaged forests in Europe. Changes in forest structure, composition, and dynamics inevitably lead to changes in the biodiversity of forest-dwelling species. The possible biodiversity gains and loss

  4. A framework for the assessment of the spatial and temporal patterns of threatened coastal delphinids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jingzhen; Yang, Yingting; Yang, Feng; Li, Yuelin; Li, Lianjie; Lin, Derun; He, Tangtian; Liang, Bo; Zhang, Tao; Lin, Yao; Li, Ping; Liu, Wenhua

    2016-01-01

    The massively accelerated biodiversity loss rate in the Anthropocene calls for an efficient and effective way to identify the spatial and temporal dynamics of endangered species. To this end, we developed a useful identification framework based on a case study of locally endangered Sousa chinensis by combining both LEK (local ecological knowledge) evaluation and regional boat-based survey methods. Our study investigated the basic ecological information of Sousa chinensis in the estuaries of eastern Guangdong that had previously been neglected, which could guide the future study and conservation. Based on the statistical testing of reported spatial and temporal dolphins sighting data from fishermen and the ecological monitoring analyses, including sighting rate, site fidelity and residence time estimations, some of the current Sousa chinensis units are likely to be geographically isolated and critically endangered, which calls for much greater conservation efforts. Given the accelerated population extinction rate and increasing budgetary constraints, our survey pattern can be applied in a timely and economically acceptable manner to the spatial and temporal assessment of other threatened coastal delphinids, particularly when population distributions are on a large scale and traditional sampling methods are difficult to implement.

  5. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiele-Bruhn, S.; Bloem, J.; Vries, de F.T.; Kalbitz, K.; Wagg, C.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biodiversity vastly exceeds aboveground biodiversity, and is prerequisite for ecosystem stability and services. This review presents recent findings in soil biodiversity research focused on interrelations with agricultural soil management. Richness and community structure of soil biota depend o

  6. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiele-Bruhn, S.; Bloem, J.; de Vries, F.T.; Kalbitz, K.; Wagg, C.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biodiversity vastly exceeds aboveground biodiversity, and is prerequisite for ecosystem stability and services. This review presents recent findings in soil biodiversity research focused on interrelations with agricultural soil management. Richness and community structure of soil biota depend

  7. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does conf

  8. Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hui-Ju; Lin, Yu-Teh Kirk

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated American and Taiwan undergraduate students' attitudes toward biodiversity. The survey questionnaire consisted of statements prompted by the question "To what extent do you agree with the following statements about problems with the biodiversity issues." Students indicated strongly disagree, disagree, agree,…

  9. Biodiversity: Who Knows, Who Cares?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemits, Birut

    2006-01-01

    Biodiversity is an abstract concept, attracting various responses from different people according to where they have come from and what ecosystems they have been closely linked to. In theory, most people would agree that protecting biodiversity is an important process, but in practice, few people commit to actions on a local level. This paper…

  10. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  11. Opportunities for biodiversity gains under the world's largest reforestation programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Fangyuan; Wang, Xiaoyang; Zheng, Xinlei; Fisher, Brendan; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Jianguo; Tang, Ya; Yu, Douglas W.; Wilcove, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Reforestation is a critical means of addressing the environmental and social problems of deforestation. China's Grain-for-Green Program (GFGP) is the world's largest reforestation scheme. Here we provide the first nationwide assessment of the tree composition of GFGP forests and the first combined ecological and economic study aimed at understanding GFGP's biodiversity implications. Across China, GFGP forests are overwhelmingly monocultures or compositionally simple mixed forests. Focusing on birds and bees in Sichuan Province, we find that GFGP reforestation results in modest gains (via mixed forest) and losses (via monocultures) of bird diversity, along with major losses of bee diversity. Moreover, all current modes of GFGP reforestation fall short of restoring biodiversity to levels approximating native forests. However, even within existing modes of reforestation, GFGP can achieve greater biodiversity gains by promoting mixed forests over monocultures; doing so is unlikely to entail major opportunity costs or pose unforeseen economic risks to households. PMID:27598524

  12. Invasion ecology: Origin and biodiversity effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John C. Briggs

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The history of invasion ecology, with respect to its mid-19th century beginning and its extended relationship with island biogeography, has not been investigated. In fact, most historical accounts begin with the publication of Charles Elton's book in 1958. Since that time, the field has undergone a phenomenal growth until it has become a major specialty area related to ecology, biogeography, and macroecology. Over the years, invasion studies have made significant contributions to knowledge in the areas of colonization, adaptation, biodiversity, evolution, and species relationships. But also, many ecologists became convinced that invasive species were responsible for native extinctions and the loss of biodiversity. However, new studies, based upon documented extinctions and their causes, have shown that invaders are rarely implicated. Instead, successful (colonizing invaders are almost invariably accommodated by the native species that occupy the necessary habitat. Accommodation results in a gain in species diversity of the invaded area. Diversity gain generally results in a more stable system with higher productivity and a greater resistance to invasion. Furthermore, as the fossil data indicate, invasions may eventually result in additional speciation that adds to global biodiversity. These data provide evidence of a dynamic, global system consisting of successful invasions that extend from high species diversity centers outward to where diversity is less and the competition weaker.

  13. Climate change patterns in Amazonia and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Hai; Sinha, Ashish; Cruz, Francisco W; Wang, Xianfeng; Edwards, R Lawrence; d'Horta, Fernando M; Ribas, Camila C; Vuille, Mathias; Stott, Lowell D; Auler, Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    Precise characterization of hydroclimate variability in Amazonia on various timescales is critical to understanding the link between climate change and biodiversity. Here we present absolute-dated speleothem oxygen isotope records that characterize hydroclimate variation in western and eastern Amazonia over the past 250 and 20 ka, respectively. Although our records demonstrate the coherent millennial-scale precipitation variability across tropical-subtropical South America, the orbital-scale precipitation variability between western and eastern Amazonia exhibits a quasi-dipole pattern. During the last glacial period, our records imply a modest increase in precipitation amount in western Amazonia but a significant drying in eastern Amazonia, suggesting that higher biodiversity in western Amazonia, contrary to 'Refugia Hypothesis', is maintained under relatively stable climatic conditions. In contrast, the glacial-interglacial climatic perturbations might have been instances of loss rather than gain in biodiversity in eastern Amazonia, where forests may have been more susceptible to fragmentation in response to larger swings in hydroclimate.

  14. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    on Earth, life within the soil is often hidden away and suffers by being 'out of sight and out of mind'. What kind of life is there in soil? What do we mean by soil biodiversity? What is special about soil biology? How do our activities affect soil ecosystems? What are the links between soil biota...... and climate change? The first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity uses informative texts, stunning photographs and maps to answer these questions and other issues. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity functions as a comprehensive guide allowing non-specialists to access information about this unseen...... Biodiversity'. Starting with the smallest organisms such as the bacteria, this segment works through a range of taxonomic groups such as fungi, nematodes, insects and macro-fauna to illustrate the astonishing levels of heterogeneity of life in soil. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity is more than just...

  15. Cross-taxon congruence in wetlands: Assessing the value of waterbirds as surrogates of macroinvertebrate biodiversity in Mediterranean Ramsar sites

    OpenAIRE

    Guareschi, Simone; Abellán,Pedro; Laini, A.; Green, Andy J.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Velasco, Josefa; Millán,Andrés

    2015-01-01

    © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Wetlands are among the most threatened habitats and the species they support among the most endangered taxa. Measuring and monitoring wetland biodiversity is vital for conservation, restoration and management, and often relies on the use of surrogate taxa. Waterbirds are commonly used as flagships of biodiversity and are the subject of major conservation initiatives. Therefore, it is important to assess the extent to which waterbirds indicate the gene...

  16. Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tukiainen, Helena; Bailey, Joseph J; Field, Richard; Kangas, Katja; Hjort, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Understanding threatened species diversity is important for long-term conservation planning. Geodiversity-the diversity of Earth surface materials, forms, and processes-may be a useful biodiversity surrogate for conservation and have conservation value itself. Geodiversity and species richness relationships have been demonstrated; establishing whether geodiversity relates to threatened species' diversity and distribution pattern is a logical next step for conservation. We used 4 geodiversity variables (rock-type and soil-type richness, geomorphological diversity, and hydrological feature diversity) and 4 climatic and topographic variables to model threatened species diversity across 31 of Finland's national parks. We also analyzed rarity-weighted richness (a measure of site complementarity) of threatened vascular plants, fungi, bryophytes, and all species combined. Our 1-km(2) resolution data set included 271 threatened species from 16 major taxa. We modeled threatened species richness (raw and rarity weighted) with boosted regression trees. Climatic variables, especially the annual temperature sum above 5 °C, dominated our models, which is consistent with the critical role of temperature in this boreal environment. Geodiversity added significant explanatory power. High geodiversity values were consistently associated with high threatened species richness across taxa. The combined effect of geodiversity variables was even more pronounced in the rarity-weighted richness analyses (except for fungi) than in those for species richness. Geodiversity measures correlated most strongly with species richness (raw and rarity weighted) of threatened vascular plants and bryophytes and were weakest for molluscs, lichens, and mammals. Although simple measures of topography improve biodiversity modeling, our results suggest that geodiversity data relating to geology, landforms, and hydrology are also worth including. This reinforces recent arguments that conserving nature

  17. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B

    2014-11-06

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.

  18. Economic prosperity, biodiversity conservation, and the environmental Kuznets curve

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, Julianne H.; Waite, Thomas A. [Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, 300 Aronoff Laboratory, 318 W. 12th Ave., Columbus, OH, 43210 (United States)

    2009-05-15

    Many conservationists contend that economic growth and biodiversity conservation are incompatible goals. Some economists contest this viewpoint, arguing that wealthier countries have the luxury of investing more heavily in efforts to conserve biodiversity. Under this assumption, we expect a U-shaped relationship between per capita wealth and proportion of species conserved. We test this environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) using estimates of per capita income and deforestation rates (index of biodiversity threat) for 35 tropical countries. A prior analysis [Dietz, S., Adger, W.N., 2003. Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort. Journal of Environmental Management, 68:23-35] using conventional regression techniques failed to provide any support for the parabolic relationship predicted by the EKC hypothesis. Here, we introduce the use of quantile regression and spatial filtering to reanalyze this data, addressing issues of heteroskedasticity and spatial autocorrelation. We note that preliminary analysis using these methods provides some initial evidence for an EKC. However, a series of panel analyses with country-specific dummy variables eliminated or even reversed much of this support. A closer examination of conservation practices and environmental indicators within the countries, particularly those countries that drove our initial support, suggests that wealth is not a reliable indicator of improved conservation practice. Our findings indicate that an EKC for biodiversity is overly simplistic and further exploration is required to fully understand the mechanisms by which income affects biodiversity. (author)

  19. Earth support systems: Threatened? Why? What can we do?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Paul H Reitan; Eric H Reitan

    2001-12-01

    The most important concept to emerge in the 20th century was the recognition that sustainability is threatened. A sustainable society is one that functions and lives in such harmony with earth systems that future generations will be able to function with equal or greater ease and the quality of life will in no way be diminished. Evidence of threats to sustainability is found in: global energy use; global climate change; availability of sufficient safe water; degradation of soil on agricultural lands; food production for a global population of 9,000 million by 2050; accelerated extinction rates and loss of biodiversity; human under- and over-nourishment; and the spread of diseases. Ignorance borne of alienation from nature deprives us of sensitivity to the threats human activities cause. Alienation may be traced to the agricultural revolution, but has become widespread and even inescapable for many with massive control of energy and the industrial revolution, dependence on machines, and urbanization. With the control of enough energy to dominate nature and the achievement of a high, but transient, level of wealth, a world view extolling growth - led by the highly industrialized nations, but now being emulated in the developing countries - has committed the world to an unsustainable path. Because of this, world societies must work to find practical "sustainability" world views to help guide our future choices. Wise choices will depend upon good scientiffic understanding and must be based upon a deep respect for the non-human world and a concern for the future. The environmental meaning of different world views, whether founded in the world religions or in non-religious philosophy, share a common concern to promote an equitable, harmonious, and sustainable relationship between humanity and nature. The similarities in pragmatic meaning in relation to nature of, e.g., Christian stewardship and Deep Ecology, illustrate this. Our attention must not be directed towards

  20. Earth support systems: Threatened? why? what can we do?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reitan, Paul H.; Reitan, Eric H.

    2001-12-01

    The most important concept to emerge in the 20th century was the recognition that sustainability is threatened. A sustainable society is one that functions and lives in such harmony with earth systems that future generations will be able to function with equal or greater ease and the quality of life will in no way be diminished. Evidence of threats to sustainability is found in: global energy use; global climate change; availability of sufficient safe water; degradation of soil on agricultural lands; food production for a global population of 9,000 million by 2050; accelerated extinction rates and loss of biodiversity; human under- and over-nourishment; and the spread of diseases. Ignorance borne of alienation from nature deprives us of sensitivity to the threats human activities cause. Alienation may be traced to the agricultural revolution, but has become widespread and even inescapable for many with massive control of energy and the industrial revolution, dependence on machines, and urbanization. With the control of enough energy to dominate nature and the achievement of a high, but transient, level of wealth, a world view extolling growth—led by the highly industrialized nations, but now being emulated in the developing countries—has committed the world to an unsustainable path. Because of this, world societies must work to find practical “sustainability” world views to help guide our future choices. Wise choices will depend upon good scientific understanding and must be based upon a deep respect for the non-human world and a concern for the future. The environmental meaning of different world views, whether founded in the world religions or in nonreligious philosophy, share a common concern to promote an equitable, harmonious, and sustainable relationship between humanity and nature. The similarities in pragmatic meaning in relation to nature of, e.g., Christian stewardship and Deep Ecology, illustrate this. Our attention must not be directed towards

  1. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...... contains papers which cover other themes thus continuing with the spirit of the meetings in the Nordic Benthological Society (NORBS) by being an open forum for exchanging knowledge on all aspects of benthic ecology. Overall, we feel the proceeding contains a wide selection of very interesting papers...... representing the state-of-the-art of benthic ecology research within, and to a lesser degree, outside the Nordic countries. We wish to thank all the authors for their inspirational contributions to the proceeding, but we feel that a special thanks is due to the invited speakers for their readiness to produce...

  2. 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.

  3. Funding Biodiversity Protection in Central and Eastern Europe A Case Study of Bosnia Herzegovina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirza DAUTBASIC

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation has drawn considerable attention as to where the funding is available in order for governments concerned with the conservation of biodiversity to fulfil their obligations. This paper examines if financing resources provided through Global Environmental Facility (GEF in Bosnia Herzegovina could be supplemented with locally voluntary provided funding to lead to an appropriate protection level of threatened species. A study was conducted on a 1189 persons sample to establish the local population willingness to contribute to GEF sponsored biodiversity conservation projects. It was found that the local people are willing to contribute positively higher than the actual spending of the GEF and findings can be used to argue for more attention to preferences of the public in decision making on biodiversity protection activity and spending in Bosnia Herzegovina.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariño Arturo H

    2011-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Biodiversity hotspots: A shortcut for a more complicated concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Marchese

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In an era of human activities, global environmental changes, habitat loss and species extinction, conservation strategies are a crucial step toward minimizing biodiversity loss. For instance, oceans acidification and land use are intensifying in many places with negative and often irreversible consequences for biodiversity. Biodiversity hotspots, despite some criticism, have become a tool for setting conservation priorities and play an important role in decision-making for cost-effective strategies to preserve biodiversity in terrestrial and, to some extent, marine ecosystems. This area-based approach can be applied to any geographical scale and it is considered to be one of the best approaches for maintaining a large proportion of the world’s biological diversity. However, delineating hotspots includes quantitative criteria along with subjective considerations and the risk is to neglect areas, such as coldspots, with other types of conservation value. Nowadays, it is widely acknowledged that biodiversity is much more than just the number of species in a region and a conservation strategy cannot be based merely on the number of taxa present in an ecosystem. Therefore, the idea that strongly emerges is the need to reconsider conservation priorities and to go toward an interdisciplinary approach through the creation of science-policy partnerships.

  9. Evolutionary history and the effect of biodiversity on plant productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W; Cardinale, Bradley J; Oakley, Todd H

    2008-11-04

    Loss of biological diversity because of extinction is one of the most pronounced changes to the global environment. For several decades, researchers have tried to understand how changes in biodiversity might impact biomass production by examining how biomass correlates with a number of biodiversity metrics (especially the number of species and functional groups). This body of research has focused on species with the implicit assumption that they are independent entities. However, functional and ecological similarities are shaped by patterns of common ancestry, such that distantly related species might contribute more to production than close relatives, perhaps by increasing niche breadth. Here, we analyze 2 decades of experiments performed in grassland ecosystems throughout the world and examine whether the evolutionary relationships among the species comprising a community predict how biodiversity impacts plant biomass production. We show that the amount of phylogenetic diversity within communities explained significantly more variation in plant community biomass than other measures of diversity, such as the number of species or functional groups. Our results reveal how evolutionary history can provide critical information for understanding, predicting, and potentially ameliorating the effects of biodiversity loss and should serve as an impetus for new biodiversity experiments.

  10. Functional consequences of realistic biodiversity changes in a marine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Friberg, Sara E; Gonzalez-Dorantes, Cirse A; Williams, Susan L

    2008-01-22

    Declines in biodiversity have prompted concern over the consequences of species loss for the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the functional consequences of realistic, nonrandom changes in biodiversity. Instead, most designs have used randomly selected assemblages from a local species pool to construct diversity gradients. It is therefore difficult, based on current evidence, to predict the functional consequences of realistic declines in biodiversity. In this study, we used tide pool microcosms to demonstrate that the effects of real-world changes in biodiversity may be very different from those of random diversity changes. Specifically, we measured the relationship between the diversity of a seaweed assemblage and its ability to use nitrogen, a key limiting nutrient in nearshore marine systems. We quantified nitrogen uptake using both experimental and model seaweed assemblages and found that natural increases in diversity resulted in enhanced rates of nitrogen use, whereas random diversity changes had no effect on nitrogen uptake. Our results suggest that understanding the real-world consequences of declining biodiversity will require addressing changes in species performance along natural diversity gradients and understanding the relationships between species' susceptibility to loss and their contributions to ecosystem functioning.

  11. Urban biodiversity: patterns and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faeth, Stanley H; Bang, Christofer; Saari, Susanna

    2011-03-01

    The patterns of biodiversity changes in cities are now fairly well established, although diversity changes in temperate cities are much better studied than cities in other climate zones. Generally, plant species richness often increases in cities due to importation of exotic species, whereas animal species richness declines. Abundances of some groups, especially birds and arthropods, often increase in urban areas despite declines in species richness. Although several models have been proposed for biodiversity change, the processes underlying the patterns of biodiversity in cities are poorly understood. We argue that humans directly control plants but relatively few animals and microbes-the remaining biological community is determined by this plant "template" upon which natural ecological and evolutionary processes act. As a result, conserving or reconstructing natural habitats defined by vegetation within urban areas is no guarantee that other components of the biological community will follow suit. Understanding the human-controlled and natural processes that alter biodiversity is essential for conserving urban biodiversity. This urban biodiversity will comprise a growing fraction of the world's repository of biodiversity in the future.

  12. Protected areas and agricultural expansion: Biodiversity conservation versus economic growth in the Southeast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraes, Mayra Cristina Prado de; Mello, Kaline de; Toppa, Rogério Hartung

    2017-03-01

    The conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and urban areas plays a threat to the protected areas and the natural ecosystems conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the agricultural expansion and its impact on the landscape spatial and temporal patterns in a buffer zone of a protected area located in the transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The land use and land cover were mapped between 1971 and 2008 and landscape metrics were calculated to provide a spatiotemporal analysis of the forest structure and the expansion of the croplands. The results showed that the landscape patterns were affected by the economic cycles. The predominant crop surrounding the protected area is sugar cane, which increased by 39% during this period, followed by citrus. This landscape change is connected to the Brazilian oil crisis in 1973. The rapid expansion of sugar cane was largely driven by Brazil's biofuel program, the "Proálcool" (pro-alcohol), a project in 1975 that mixed ethanol with gas for automotive fuel. The forest loss occurred mainly between 1971 and 1988, decreasing the forest cover from 17% in 1971 to 12.7% in 2008. Most of the forest patches are smaller than 50 ha and has low connectivity. Throughout the years, the fragments in the buffer zone have become smaller and with an elongated shape, and the park has become isolated. This forest fragmentation process and the predominance of monoculture lands in the buffer zone threaten the protected areas, and can represent a barrier for these areas to provide the effective biodiversity conservation. The measures proposed are necessary to ensure the capability of this ecosystem to sustain its original biodiversity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-12-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and herbivorous), but its determinants in human-altered tropical landscapes are largely unknown. Using structural equation models, we assessed the direct and indirect effects of forest loss on insect herbivory in 40 landscapes (115 ha each) from two regions with contrasting land-use change trajectories in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. We considered landscape forest cover as an exogenous predictor and (1) forest structure, (2) abundance of predators (birds and arthropods), and (3) abundance of herbivorous arthropods as endogenous predictors of insect leaf damage. From 12 predicted pathways, 11 were significant and showed that (1) leaf damage increases with forest loss (direct effect); (2) leaf damage increases with forest loss through the simplification of vegetation structure and its associated dominance of herbivorous insects (indirect effect); and further demonstrate (3) a lack of top-down control of herbivores by predators (birds and arthropods). We conclude that forest loss favors insect herbivory by undermining the bottom-up control (presumably reduced plant antiherbivore defense mechanisms) in forests dominated by fast-growing pioneer plant species, and by improving the conditions required for herbivores proliferation. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Indicators for Monitoring Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bispo, A.; Cluzeau, D.; Creamer, R.

    2009-01-01

    is made for a set of suitable indicators for monitoring the decline in soil biodiversity (Bispo et al. 2007). These indicators were selected both from a literature review and an inventory of national monitoring programmes. Decline in soil biodiversity was defined as the reduction of forms of life living...... indicators are actually measured.   For monitoring application it was considered in ENVASSO that only three key indicators per soil stress were practical. For indicating biodiversity decline it was difficult to arrive at a small set of indicators due to the complexity of soil biota and functions. Therefore...

  15. Financial costs of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCarthy, Donal P.; Donald, Paul F.; Scharlemann, Jörn P.W.

    2012-01-01

    World governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020, but the financial costs of meeting these targets are largely unknown. We estimate the cost of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species (by ≥1...... International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List category) to be U.S. $0.875 to $1.23 billion annually over the next decade, of which 12% is currently funded. Incorporating threatened nonavian species increases this total to U.S. $3.41 to $4.76 billion annually. We estimate that protecting...... and effectively managing all terrestrial sites of global avian conservation significance (11,731 Important Bird Areas) would cost U.S. $65.1 billion annually. Adding sites for other taxa increases this to U.S. $76.1 billion annually. Meeting these targets will require conservation funding to increase by at least...

  16. Global priorities for conservation of threatened species, carbon storage, and freshwater services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Londoño-Murcia, Maria C.; Turner, Will R.

    2011-01-01

    The potential of global biodiversity conservation efforts to also deliver critical benefits, such as carbon storage and freshwater services, is still unclear. Using spatially explicit data on 3,500 range-restricted threatened species, carbon storage, and freshwater provision to people, we conduct...... for which spatial planning and appropriate conservation mechanisms (e.g., payments for ecosystem services) can be used to realize synergies and mitigate tradeoffs....

  17. 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.

  18. Threatened plants of Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hall, AV

    1980-05-01

    Full Text Available Lists are provided of 1 915 vascular plant taxa regarded to be either extinct or variously threatened in southern Africa, the region south of (but excluding) Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. These include 39 recently extinct taxa} 105 endangered...

  19. Effectiveness of vegetation-based biodiversity offset metrics as surrogates for ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanford, Jayne K; Crowther, Mathew S; Hochuli, Dieter F

    2017-02-01

    Biodiversity offset schemes are globally popular policy tools for balancing the competing demands of conservation and development. Trading currencies for losses and gains in biodiversity value at development and credit sites are usually based on several vegetation attributes combined to yield a simple score (multimetric), but the score is rarely validated prior to implementation. Inaccurate biodiversity trading currencies are likely to accelerate global biodiversity loss through unrepresentative trades of losses and gains. We tested a model vegetation multimetric (i.e., vegetation structural and compositional attributes) typical of offset trading currencies to determine whether it represented measurable components of compositional and functional biodiversity. Study sites were located in remnant patches of a critically endangered ecological community in western Sydney, Australia, an area representative of global conflicts between conservation and expanding urban development. We sampled ant fauna composition with pitfall traps and enumerated removal by ants of native plant seeds from artificial seed containers (seed depots). Ants are an excellent model taxon because they are strongly associated with habitat complexity, respond rapidly to environmental change, and are functionally important at many trophic levels. The vegetation multimetric did not predict differences in ant community composition or seed removal, despite underlying assumptions that biodiversity trading currencies used in offset schemes represent all components of a site's biodiversity value. This suggests that vegetation multimetrics are inadequate surrogates for total biodiversity value. These findings highlight the urgent need to refine existing offsetting multimetrics to ensure they meet underlying assumptions of surrogacy. Despite the best intentions, offset schemes will never achieve their goal of no net loss of biodiversity values if trades are based on metrics unrepresentative of total

  20. Certificated sickness absence in industrial employees threatened with redundancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beale, N; Nethercott, S

    1988-05-28

    The proposition that workers take less sick leave when threatened by redundancy was examined in a longitudinal, controlled study using information from case records in a general practice. The hypothesis was only partly supported--certificated sickness absence dropped only in employees under the age of 40. Workers fearing job loss reported more illness, and their periods of absence were significantly longer, especially for men and for workers who had previously consulted their general practitioner infrequently. This study provides further evidence that the fear of mass redundancy is stressful to workers so threatened and costly to a society experiencing rising unemployment.

  1. Entangled in the web of life: biodiversity and the media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shanahan, Mike

    2008-05-15

    Biodiversity — the variety of genes, species and ecosystems on the planet — is disappearing faster than at any time since the demise of the dinosaurs. The implications are profound, for humanity and for our efforts to tackle poverty and climate change. Yet the media has under-reported this urgent environmental challenge, partly because researchers and policymakers have failed to communicate the issues in a way that is relevant to most people. This briefing explains why biodiversity loss will be an increasingly important story in the coming years. It suggests ways for journalists to improve their reporting and make it mean more to their audiences.

  2. An international biodiversity observation year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall; Adams; Mooney; Boxshall; Dobson; Nakashizuka

    2001-01-01

    The International Geophysical Year (IGY), which took place between July 1957 and December 1958, helped us to rethink the world. At a time when there was a major paradigm shift in our understanding of the physical world, the international collaboration of the IGY helped to reset the discipline. The International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) is now occurring at a time when our dependence on, and understanding of, biodiversity is being acknowledged as a paradigm shift in our present view of the world. Although the benefits of IGY were initially intellectual with practical effects remaining unknown until many years later, the benefits of greater knowledge of biodiversity will support efforts towards sustainability and affect the quality of life, both now and in the future. By providing the framework for international collaborations between scientists involved in every aspect of life on Earth, IBOY has the potential to redefine our current understanding of biodiversity in a manner similar to how IGY helped redefine the geophysical world.

  3. MCBS Sites of Biodiversity Significance

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer represents areas with varying levels of native biodiversity that may contain high quality native plant communities, rare plants, rare animals, and/or...

  4. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  5. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aerts Raf

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an

  6. Ecotoxicology & Impact on Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanky Bhat

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Ecotoxicology can be defined as the ‘study of impacts of pollutants on the structure and function of ecosystems’ it can be by manmade poisonous chemicals and their effect on the environment, it does not include the study of naturally occurring toxins or it is a scientific discipline combining the methods of ecology and toxicology in studying the effects of toxic substances and especially pollutants on the environment. Ecotoxicology is a mix of various discipline ecology, toxicology, analytical chemistry, physiology, molecular biology, and mathematics. Ecotoxicology looks at the impacts of contaminants including populations, pesticides on individuals, natural communities, and ecosystems. Communities of living things and the environments they live in form ecosystems.Ecosystems include rivers, ponds, deserts, grasslands, and forests, and they too can be affected by pesticides. Ecotoxicologists also study what happens to the pesticides themselves, where they go in the environment, how long they last, and how they finally break down. Herein we review what is ecotoxicology, different kinds of toxicants their impact on biodiversity, assessment of toxicity of environmental toxicant.

  7. 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.

  8. Biodiversity of the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parulekar, A

    stream_size 2 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt stream_source_info Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text.../plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  9. 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

  10. Diversity, Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joao Carlos Marques

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed regarding their historical emergence, and their intrinsic meaning and differences are discussed. Through a brief synopsis, difficulties usually experienced by statisticians in capturing the dynamics of diversity are analysed and main problems identified. The shift from diversity to the more holistic biodiversity as a working concept is appraised in terms of the novelty involved. Through a number of examples, the way the two concepts capture natural cyclic changes is analysed, and their reciprocal and complementary relations are approached theoretically. The way diversity could develop from the stores of biodiversity as its active expression through selective and evolutionary processes is described. Through the use of a very simple dynamic model, the concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed in extremely opposite hypothetical scenarios. Comparisons with natural situations are made and the theoretical implications from the conservation point of view are discussed. These support the opinion that conservation undertaken in restricted and protected areas is not self-sustainable, needing permanent external intervention to regulate internal processes, and in the long run will most probably lead in the direction of obsolescence and extinction. Finally, the relations between diversity, biodiversity, and sustainability are approached. The vagueness of the sustainability concept is discussed. Preservation of biodiversity is then defended as one of the best available indicators to assist us in fixing boundaries which may help to provide a more precise definition of sustainability.

  11. Marine biodiversity in the Australian region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Alan J; Rees, Tony; Beesley, Pam; Bax, Nicholas J

    2010-08-02

    The entire Australian marine jurisdictional area, including offshore and sub-Antarctic islands, is considered in this paper. Most records, however, come from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the continent of Australia itself. The counts of species have been obtained from four primary databases (the Australian Faunal Directory, Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota, Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums, and the Australian node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System), but even these are an underestimate of described species. In addition, some partially completed databases for particular taxonomic groups, and specialized databases (for introduced and threatened species) have been used. Experts also provided estimates of the number of known species not yet in the major databases. For only some groups could we obtain an (expert opinion) estimate of undiscovered species. The databases provide patchy information about endemism, levels of threat, and introductions. We conclude that there are about 33,000 marine species (mainly animals) in the major databases, of which 130 are introduced, 58 listed as threatened and an unknown percentage endemic. An estimated 17,000 more named species are either known from the Australian EEZ but not in the present databases, or potentially occur there. It is crudely estimated that there may be as many as 250,000 species (known and yet to be discovered) in the Australian EEZ. For 17 higher taxa, there is sufficient detail for subdivision by Large Marine Domains, for comparison with other National and Regional Implementation Committees of the Census of Marine Life. Taxonomic expertise in Australia is unevenly distributed across taxa, and declining. Comments are given briefly on biodiversity management measures in Australia, including but not limited to marine protected areas.

  12. Food webs: reconciling the structure and function of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ross M; Brose, Ulrich; Dunne, Jennifer A; Hall, Robert O; Hladyz, Sally; Kitching, Roger L; Martinez, Neo D; Rantala, Heidi; Romanuk, Tamara N; Stouffer, Daniel B; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-12-01

    The global biodiversity crisis concerns not only unprecedented loss of species within communities, but also related consequences for ecosystem function. Community ecology focuses on patterns of species richness and community composition, whereas ecosystem ecology focuses on fluxes of energy and materials. Food webs provide a quantitative framework to combine these approaches and unify the study of biodiversity and ecosystem function. We summarise the progression of food-web ecology and the challenges in using the food-web approach. We identify five areas of research where these advances can continue, and be applied to global challenges. Finally, we describe what data are needed in the next generation of food-web studies to reconcile the structure and function of biodiversity.

  13. The effect of buffer zone width on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navntoft, Søren; Sigsgaard, Lene; Kristensen, Kristian

    2012-01-01

    Field margin management for conservation purposes is a way to protect both functional biodiversity and biodiversity per se without considerable economical loss as field margins are less productive. However, the effect of width of the buffer zone on achievable biodiversity gains has received little...... attention in previous studies. In this paper we report on finding for syrphids, spiders and carabids, three taxonomic groups with different mobility, all important for conservation biological control. For all groups we found an effect of buffer zone width on their density. A buffer width of 6m...... was the narrowest that consistently promoted a higher abundance or activity of arthropods within the field area (outside the hedge bottom). However, a further increase in buffer width always increased the abundance and activity of arthropods a little more....

  14. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2016-05-01

    Although diversity-stability relationships have been extensively studied in local ecosystems, the global biodiversity crisis calls for an improved understanding of these relationships in a spatial context. Here, we use a dynamical model of competitive metacommunities to study the relationships between species diversity and ecosystem variability across scales. We derive analytic relationships under a limiting case; these results are extended to more general cases with numerical simulations. Our model shows that, while alpha diversity decreases local ecosystem variability, beta diversity generally contributes to increasing spatial asynchrony among local ecosystems. Consequently, both alpha and beta diversity provide stabilising effects for regional ecosystems, through local and spatial insurance effects respectively. We further show that at the regional scale, the stabilising effect of biodiversity increases as spatial environmental correlation increases. Our findings have important implications for understanding the interactive effects of global environmental changes (e.g. environmental homogenisation) and biodiversity loss on ecosystem sustainability at large scales.

  15. Restoration of ecosystem services and biodiversity: conflicts and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, James M; Aronson, James; Newton, Adrian C; Pywell, Richard F; Rey-Benayas, Jose M

    2011-10-01

    Ecological restoration is becoming regarded as a major strategy for increasing the provision of ecosystem services as well as reversing biodiversity losses. Here, we show that restoration projects can be effective in enhancing both, but that conflicts can arise, especially if single services are targeted in isolation. Furthermore, recovery of biodiversity and services can be slow and incomplete. Despite this uncertainty, new methods of ecosystem service valuation are suggesting that the economic benefits of restoration can outweigh costs. Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes could therefore provide incentives for restoration, but require development to ensure biodiversity and multiple services are enhanced and the needs of different stakeholders are met. Such approaches must be implemented widely if new global restoration targets are to be achieved.

  16. Designing Biodiversity Friendly Communities. Liveable Cities Forum: Key outcomes and findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-10-15

    The Liveable Cities Forum, held 21-22 August in Montreal Canada, created a platform to share best practices on biodiversity management and application at the local level. The Forum also highlighted the importance of partnership building and presented instruments (such as the Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity) that help to move the biodiversity agenda forward. A findings report on the Forum has recently been released, offering panel and workshop summaries, key outcomes, and a scope of future opportunities for local governments. Some of the key outcomes are as follows: Biodiversity protection is at its core a local issue, and in order to mitigate biodiversity loss in cities, there is an undeniable need for local governments to come together and work through solutions collectively; Urban centers influence local, regional and global biodiversity. Therefore, it is important that cities con-serve their local biodiversity through the sustainable use of resources beyond their borders; It is important for municipalities to engage and partner with local residents, academic institutions, and organizations, not only to have a finger on the pulse, but also to have local allies and secure long-term support; and Integrated policies help drive action. To effectively mainstream biodiversity at the local level, it is important to incorporate biodiversity considerations into multiple departments, plans and programs.

  17. The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Foale

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss differences in the ways transnational conservationists and Melanesian farmers, hunters and fishers value "biodiversity". The money for conservation projects in developing countries originates from people who are embedded in a capitalist system, which allows engagement with nature as an abstract entity. Their western education has given them a scientific/ evolutionary-based worldview, which attributes intrinsic value to all species (and particular arrangements of species, e.g. rainforests and coral reefs, irrespective of economic value or ecosystem function. Because this value system is mostly not shared by the custodians of the biodiversity that conservationists want to save, alternative tactics and arguments are utilised. These inevitably take the form of so-called "win-win" economic rationales for preserving biodiversity, most of which do not work well (e.g. bioprospecting, ecotourism, non-timber forest products, environmental certification schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc., for reasons which we detail. Agriculture- and aquaculture-based livelihoods appear to enjoy more success than the "win-win" options but do not necessarily obviate or deter further biodiversity loss. Artisanal use of species-poor but productive and resilient pelagic fisheries is increasing. These ecological and economic realities bring into sharp focus the importance of understanding differences in value systems for successful biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  18. PARTICULARITIES AND THREATS ON THE BIODIVERSITY FROM CROATIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreea BĂLTĂREŢU

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Because it has a specific geographic position and it’s situated at the crossroads of several bio-geographical regions and as a result of its ecological characteristics, the climate and geo-morphological conditions, Croatia is one of the wealthiest countries from Europe concerning the biodiversity. The great variety of the territory, maritime and underground habitats has determined the existence of numerous species and subspecies, including a significant number of endemic species. Although the climate of Croatia has a great value, many of its components are threatened. The most important threats of wild species are losing the habitats and the degradation. Because of its shape and its position in Europe, Croatia has very rich landscape diversity. Croatia contains significant populations of many species that are threatened at the European level. These are connected to preserved large areas of their habitats. Vast mountain beech and fir forests are rich in bear, wolf and lynx populations. Large wetland complexes with alluvial forests are important breeding, the migration and wintering sites for European water birds and for wetland birds nesting in forests. The wealth of marine biodiversity, in combination with the immense diversity of islands and cliffs with endemic life forms, gives the Croatian coastal area international significance.

  19. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, J Y

    2013-01-01

    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 characterized by

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Plant biodiversity impacts on soil stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Iain; Quinton, John; Bardgett, Richard

    2014-05-01

    In recent times, growing threats to global biodiversity have raised awareness from the scientific community, with particular interest on how plant diversity impacts on ecosystem functioning. In the field of plant-soil interactions, much work has been done to research the implications of species loss, primarily focussing on biological processes such as plant productivity, microbial activity and carbon cycling. Consequently, virtually nothing is known about how plant diversity might impact on soil physical properties, and what mechanisms might be involved. This represents a serious gap in knowledge, given that maintaining soils with good structural integrity can reduce soil erosion and water pollution, and can lead to improved plant yield. Therefore, there is a need for a greater understanding of how plant communities and ecological interactions between plant roots and soils can play a role in regulating soil physical structure. Soil aggregation is an important process in determining soil stability by regulating soil water infiltration and having consequences for erodibility. This is influenced by both soil physical constituents and biological activity; including soil organic carbon content, microbial growth, and increased plant rooting. As previously mentioned, plant diversity influences carbon dynamics, microbial activity and plant growth, therefore could have substantial consequences for soil aggregate stability. Here, we present results from a series of plant manipulation experiments, on a range of scales, to understand more about how plant diversity could impact on soil aggregate stability. Soils from both a plant manipulation mesocosm experiment, and a long term biodiversity field study, were analysed using the Le Bissonnais method of aggregate stability breakdown. Increasing plant species richness was found to have a significant positive impact on soil aggregate stability at both scales. In addition to this, the influence of species identity, functional group

  3. Evidence that Threatening Situations Enhance Creativity

    OpenAIRE

    Riley, Sean N.; Gabora, Liane

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that threatening situations enhance creativity. 60 participants viewed a series of photographs and rated them on level of threat. They then wrote two short stories: one based on the photograph they rated as most threatening, and the other based on the photograph they rated as least threatening. The stories were rated for level of creativity. Paired samples t-tests revealed that stories based on threatening pictures produced a higher degree of creativity than those bas...

  4. Measuring the Condition of Saline Wetlands Threatened by Agricultural Intensification

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    The saline wetlands,or "saladas",of Monegros Desert,NE Spain,contain biodiversity that depends on the establishment of a prognostic monitoring system that can warn of approaching irreversible damage.In the context of a lack of existing biodiversity inventories for the saladas,we determined their state of conservation and vulnerability using seven physical indicators:escarpment continuity,cropping,stone dumping,size,water occurrence,distance to roads,and proximity to irrigated areas.These features were combined into three meaningful indexes,i.e.,conservation,current vulnerability,and future vulnerability,thus creating an assessment of the preservation or degradation of saladas in the context of encroaching agricultural irrigation projects.The proposed indexes produced consistent results and showed that a great number of the Monegros wetlands were threatened,regardless of their size or frequency of water occurrence.Only 20% of the saladas studied were classified as being in a good or very good conservation,whereas 50% were in bad or very bad shape.A high current vulnerability was found for 60% of the saiadas.For saladas located in land to be irrigated,we predicted that 73% would have a high or very high future vulnerability.Currently,58% of the saladas were in bad or very bad condition and fully 65% of the saladas,variable in size,presented a bad or very bad prognosis.Our approach provides a monitoring strategy for the conservation of saline wetlands threatened by agricultural intensification,especially irrigation.

  5. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Waycott, Michelle; Duarte, Carlos M.; Carruthers, Tim J.B.; Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Calladine, Ainsley; Fourgqurean, James W.; Heck, Jr., Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Williams, Susan L.

    2009-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and inv...

  6. Evolution, plant breeding and biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with changes in biodiversity during the course of evolution, plant domestication and plant breeding. It shows than man has had a strong influence on the progressive decrease of biodiversity, unconscious at first and deliberate in modern times. The decrease in biodiversity in the agricultures of the North causes a severe threat to food security and is in contrasts with the conservation of biodiversity which is part of the culture of several populations in the South. The concluding section of the paper shows that man could have guided evolution in a different way and shows an example of participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding which is done in collaboration with farmers and is based on selection for specific adaptation. Even though participatory plant breeding has been practiced for only about 20 years and by relatively few groups, the effects on both biodiversity and crop production are impressive. Eventually the paper shows how participatory plant breeding can be developed into ‘evolutionary plant breeding’ to cope in a dynamic way with climate changes.

  7. Motivations for conserving urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dearborn, Donald C; Kark, Salit

    2010-04-01

    In a time of increasing urbanization, the fundamental value of conserving urban biodiversity remains controversial. How much of a fixed budget should be spent on conservation in urban versus nonurban landscapes? The answer should depend on the goals that drive our conservation actions, yet proponents of urban conservation often fail to specify the motivation for protecting urban biodiversity. This is an important shortcoming on several fronts, including a missed opportunity to make a stronger appeal to those who believe conservation biology should focus exclusively on more natural, wilder landscapes. We argue that urban areas do offer an important venue for conservation biology, but that we must become better at choosing and articulating our goals. We explored seven possible motivations for urban biodiversity conservation: preserving local biodiversity, creating stepping stones to nonurban habitat, understanding and facilitating responses to environmental change, conducting environmental education, providing ecosystem services, fulfilling ethical responsibilities, and improving human well-being. To attain all these goals, challenges must be faced that are common to the urban environment, such as localized pollution, disruption of ecosystem structure, and limited availability of land. There are, however, also challenges specific only to particular goals, meaning that different goals will require different approaches and actions. This highlights the importance of specifying the motivations behind urban biodiversity conservation. If the goals are unknown, progress cannot be assessed.

  8. Biodiversity Conservation in Rice Paddies in China: Toward Ecological Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufeng Luo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Rice paddies are artificial wetlands that supply people with food and provide wildlife with habitats, breeding areas, shelters, feeding grounds and other services, and rice paddies play an important part in agricultural ecological systems. However, modern agricultural practices with large-scale intensive farming have significantly accelerated the homogenization of the paddy field ecosystem. Modern agriculture mostly relies on chemically-driven modern varieties and irrigation to ensure high production, resulting in the deterioration and imbalance of the ecosystem. Consequently, outbreaks of diseases, insects and weeds have become more frequent in paddy fields. This paper describes the current situation of rice paddy biodiversity in China and analyzes the community characteristics of arthropods and weedy plants. Meanwhile, we discuss how biodiversity was affected by modern agriculture changes, which have brought about a mounting crisis threatening to animals and plants once common in rice paddies. Measures should be focused to firstly preventing further deterioration and, then, also, promoting restoration processes. Ecological sustainability can be achieved by restoring paddy field biodiversity through protecting the ecological environment surrounding the paddy fields, improving paddy cropping patterns, growing rice with less agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers, constructing paddy systems with animals and plants and promoting ecological education and public awareness.

  9. Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Hill, Samantha L L; Contu, Sara; Lysenko, Igor; Senior, Rebecca A; Börger, Luca; Bennett, Dominic J; Choimes, Argyrios; Collen, Ben; Day, Julie; De Palma, Adriana; Díaz, Sandra; Echeverria-Londoño, Susy; Edgar, Melanie J; Feldman, Anat; Garon, Morgan; Harrison, Michelle L K; Alhusseini, Tamera; Ingram, Daniel J; Itescu, Yuval; Kattge, Jens; Kemp, Victoria; Kirkpatrick, Lucinda; Kleyer, Michael; Correia, David Laginha Pinto; Martin, Callum D; Meiri, Shai; Novosolov, Maria; Pan, Yuan; Phillips, Helen R P; Purves, Drew W; Robinson, Alexandra; Simpson, Jake; Tuck, Sean L; Weiher, Evan; White, Hannah J; Ewers, Robert M; Mace, Georgina M; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2015-04-01

    Human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are causing global biodiversity declines. How local ecological assemblages are responding is less clear--a concern given their importance for many ecosystem functions and services. We analysed a terrestrial assemblage database of unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and related changes. Here we show that in the worst-affected habitats, these pressures reduce within-sample species richness by an average of 76.5%, total abundance by 39.5% and rarefaction-based richness by 40.3%. We estimate that, globally, these pressures have already slightly reduced average within-sample richness (by 13.6%), total abundance (10.7%) and rarefaction-based richness (8.1%), with changes showing marked spatial variation. Rapid further losses are predicted under a business-as-usual land-use scenario; within-sample richness is projected to fall by a further 3.4% globally by 2100, with losses concentrated in biodiverse but economically poor countries. Strong mitigation can deliver much more positive biodiversity changes (up to a 1.9% average increase) that are less strongly related to countries' socioeconomic status.

  10. Predicting loss of evolutionary history: Where are we?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veron, Simon; Davies, T Jonathan; Cadotte, Marc W; Clergeau, Philippe; Pavoine, Sandrine

    2017-02-01

    The Earth's evolutionary history is threatened by species loss in the current sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Such extinction events not only eliminate species but also their unique evolutionary histories. Here we review the expected loss of Earth's evolutionary history quantified by phylogenetic diversity (PD) and evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) at risk. Due to the general paucity of data, global evolutionary history losses have been predicted for only a few groups, such as mammals, birds, amphibians, plants, corals and fishes. Among these groups, there is now empirical support that extinction threats are clustered on the phylogeny; however this is not always a sufficient condition to cause higher loss of phylogenetic diversity in comparison to a scenario of random extinctions. Extinctions of the most evolutionarily distinct species and the shape of phylogenetic trees are additional factors that can elevate losses of evolutionary history. Consequently, impacts of species extinctions differ among groups and regions, and even if global losses are low within large groups, losses can be high among subgroups or within some regions. Further, we show that PD and ED are poorly protected by current conservation practices. While evolutionary history can be indirectly protected by current conservation schemes, optimizing its preservation requires integrating phylogenetic indices with those that capture rarity and extinction risk. Measures based on PD and ED could bring solutions to conservation issues, however they are still rarely used in practice, probably because the reasons to protect evolutionary history are not clear for practitioners or due to a lack of data. However, important advances have been made in the availability of phylogenetic trees and methods for their construction, as well as assessments of extinction risk. Some challenges remain, and looking forward, research should prioritize the assessment of expected PD and ED loss for more taxonomic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

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

  12. Monitoring Biodiversity using Environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis

    DNA). Especially the advance in DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized this field and opened new frontiers in ecology, evolution and environmental sciences. Also, it is becoming a powerful tool for field biologist, with new and efficient methods for monitoring biodiversity. This thesis focuses on the use...... of eDNA in monitoring of biodiversity in different settings. First, it is shown that a diversity of rare freshwater animals – representing amphibians, fish, mammals, insects and crustaceans – can be detected based on eDNA obtained directly from 15 ml water samples of lakes, ponds and streams...... setting, showing that eDNA obtained directly from ½ l seawater samples can account for marine fish biodiversity using NGS. Promisingly, eDNA covered the fish diversity better than any of 9 methods, conventionally used in marine fish surveys. Additionally, it is shown that even short 100-bp. fish e...

  13. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... network of scientists, conservation organizations, government agencies, Permanent Participants Arctic community experts and leaders. Using an ecosystem-based monitoring approach which includes species, ecological functions, ecosystems, their interactions, and potential drivers, the CBMP focuses...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP...

  14. Biodiversity Areas under Threat: Overlap of Climate Change and Population Pressures on the World’s Biodiversity Priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pricope, Narcisa G.; Husak, Gregory J.; Lopez-Carr, David

    2017-01-01

    Humans and the ecosystem services they depend on are threatened by climate change. Places with high or growing human population as well as increasing climate variability, have a reduced ability to provide ecosystem services just as the need for these services is most critical. A spiral of vulnerability and ecosystem degradation often ensues in such places. We apply different global conservation schemes as proxies to examine the spatial relation between wet season precipitation, population change over three decades, and natural resource conservation. We pose two research questions: 1) Where are biodiversity and ecosystem services vulnerable to the combined effects of climate change and population growth? 2) Where are human populations vulnerable to degraded ecosystem services? Results suggest that globally only about 20% of the area between 50 degrees latitude North and South has experienced significant change–largely wetting–in wet season precipitation. Approximately 40% of rangelands and 30% of rainfed agriculture lands have experienced significant precipitation changes, with important implications for food security. Over recent decades a number of critical conservation areas experienced high population growth concurrent with significant wetting or drying (e.g. the Horn of Africa, Himalaya, Western Ghats, and Sri Lanka), posing challenges not only for human adaptation but also to the protection and sustenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Identifying areas of climate and population risk and their overlap with conservation priorities can help to target activities and resources that promote biodiversity and ecosystem services while improving human well-being. PMID:28125659

  15. Using biodiversity stewardship as a means to secure the natural wild values on communal land in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin McCann; Roelie Kloppers; Andrew Venter

    2015-01-01

    South Africa is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries in the world, with much valuable biodiversity situated on a range of different land tenure types, including state, private and communal land. Despite this, these wild lands are being lost at an unprecedented rate, with the resultant loss of natural areas and associated ecosystem services. The challenge lies in...

  16. Data intensive computing for biodiversity

    CERN Document Server

    Dhillon, Sarinder K

    2013-01-01

    This book is focused on the development of a data integration framework for retrieval of biodiversity information from heterogeneous and distributed data sources. The data integration system proposed in this book links remote databases in a networked environment, supports heterogeneous databases and data formats, links databases hosted on multiple platforms, and provides data security for database owners by allowing them to keep and maintain their own data and to choose information to be shared and linked. The book is a useful guide for researchers, practitioners, and graduate-level students interested in learning state-of-the-art development for data integration in biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Andrew; Jensen, Eric; Gusset, Markus

    2015-04-01

    The United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is a key initiative within global efforts to halt and eventually reverse the loss of biodiversity. The very first target of this plan states that "by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably." Zoos and aquariums worldwide, attracting more than 700 million visits every year, could potentially make a positive contribution to this target. However, a global evaluation of the educational impacts of visits to zoos and aquariums is entirely lacking in the existing literature. To address this gap, we conducted a large-scale impact evaluation study. We used a pre- and postvisit repeated-measures survey design to evaluate biodiversity literacy-understanding of biodiversity and knowledge of actions to help protect it-of zoo and aquarium visitors worldwide. Ours was the largest and most international study of zoo and aquarium visitors ever conducted. In total, 5661 visitors to 26 zoos and aquariums from 19 countries around the globe participated in the study. Aggregate biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity both significantly increased over the course of zoo and aquarium visits. There was an increase from previsit (69.8%) to postvisit (75.1%) in respondents demonstrating at least some positive evidence of biodiversity understanding. Similarly, there was an increase from previsit (50.5%) to postvisit (58.8%) in respondents who could identify actions to help protect biodiversity that could be achieved at an individual level. Our results are the most compelling evidence to date that zoo and aquarium visits contribute to increasing the number of people who understand biodiversity and know actions they can take to help protect biodiversity. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Systematic temporal patterns in the relationship between housing development and forest bird biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidgeon, Anna M; Flather, Curtis H; Radeloff, Volker C; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Keuler, Nicholas S; Wood, Eric M; Stewart, Susan I; Hammer, Roger B

    2014-10-01

    As people encroach increasingly on natural areas, one question is how this affects avian biodiversity. The answer to this is partly scale-dependent. At broad scales, human populations and biodiversity concentrate in the same areas and are positively associated, but at local scales people and biodiversity are negatively associated with biodiversity. We investigated whether there is also a systematic temporal trend in the relationship between bird biodiversity and housing development. We used linear regression to examine associations between forest bird species richness and housing growth in the conterminous United States over 30 years. Our data sources were the North American Breeding Bird Survey and the 2000 decennial U.S. Census. In the 9 largest forested ecoregions, housing density increased continually over time. Across the conterminous United States, the association between bird species richness and housing density was positive for virtually all guilds except ground nesting birds. We found a systematic trajectory of declining bird species richness as housing increased through time. In more recently developed ecoregions, where housing density was still low, the association with bird species richness was neutral or positive. In ecoregions that were developed earlier and where housing density was highest, the association of housing density with bird species richness for most guilds was negative and grew stronger with advancing decades. We propose that in general the relationship between human settlement and biodiversity over time unfolds as a 2-phase process. The first phase is apparently innocuous; associations are positive due to coincidence of low-density housing with high biodiversity. The second phase is highly detrimental to biodiversity, and increases in housing density are associated with biodiversity losses. The long-term effect on biodiversity depends on the final housing density. This general pattern can help unify our understanding of the relationship

  1. Status of Biodiversity at Wetland Ecosystem of Mohangonj Upazila in Netrakona District

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad Zahangeer Alam

    2014-01-01

    Species in wetlands provide ecosystem services, and protect the sustainable environment for human beings. The wetland biodiversity has been impacted at Mohangonj in Bangladesh due to the development of major environmental threats. The present research is undertaken to report the species status, wetland properties, and major environmental pressures in each wetland ecosystem. Among the recorded species, the total percentage of visible, threatened, endangered, and extinct species was 69.23, 18.6...

  2. Strategies for the sustainability of online open-access biodiversity databases

    OpenAIRE

    Costello, Mark J.; Appeltans, Ward; Bailly, Nicolas; Berendsohn, Walter G.; de Jong, Yde; Edwards, Martin; Froese, Rainer; Huettmann, Falk; Los, Wouter; Mees, Jan; Segers, Hendrik; Bisby, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Open-access online scholarly biodiversity databases are threatened by a lack of funding and institutional support. • Strategic approaches to aid sustainability are summarised. • Issues include database coverage, quality, uniqueness; clarity of Intellectual Property Rights, ownership and governance. • Long-term support from institutions and scientists is easier for high-quality, comprehensive, prestigious global databases. • Larger multi-partner governed databases ...

  3. Persistence and vulnerability: retaining biodiversity in the landscape and in protected areas

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    K J Gaston; R L Pressey; C R Margules

    2002-07-01

    An objective of biodiversity conservation activities is to minimize the exposure of biodiversity features to threatening processes and to ensure, as far as possible, that biodiversity persists in the landscape. We discuss how issues of vulnerability and persistence can and should be addressed at all stages of the conservation planning and implementation process. Procedures for estimating the likelihood of persistence and for measuring degrees of vulnerability at different spatial and temporal scales using subjective assessments, rules of thumb and analytical and simulation models are reviewed. The application of information on vulnerability and persistence to conservation planning and management is discussed under the headings of natural dynamics, replication of protection, levels of representation, source and sink population structures, refuges and critical resources, reserve design, habitat fragmentation and levels of management.

  4. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmavathy, A; Poyyamoli, G

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Spatial patterns of carbon, biodiversity, deforestation threat, and REDD+ projects in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Josil P; Grenyer, Richard; Wunder, Sven; Raes, Niels; Jones, Julia P G

    2015-10-01

    There are concerns that Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) may fail to deliver potential biodiversity cobenefits if it is focused on high carbon areas. We explored the spatial overlaps between carbon stocks, biodiversity, projected deforestation threats, and the location of REDD+ projects in Indonesia, a tropical country at the forefront of REDD+ development. For biodiversity, we assembled data on the distribution of terrestrial vertebrates (ranges of amphibians, mammals, birds, reptiles) and plants (species distribution models for 8 families). We then investigated congruence between different measures of biodiversity richness and carbon stocks at the national and subnational scales. Finally, we mapped active REDD+ projects and investigated the carbon density and potential biodiversity richness and modeled deforestation pressures within these forests relative to protected areas and unprotected forests. There was little internal overlap among the different hotspots (richest 10% of cells) of species richness. There was also no consistent spatial congruence between carbon stocks and the biodiversity measures: a weak negative correlation at the national scale masked highly variable and nonlinear relationships island by island. Current REDD+ projects were preferentially located in areas with higher total species richness and threatened species richness but lower carbon densities than protected areas and unprotected forests. Although a quarter of the total area of these REDD+ projects is under relatively high deforestation pressure, the majority of the REDD+ area is not. In Indonesia at least, first-generation REDD+ projects are located where they are likely to deliver biodiversity benefits. However, if REDD+ is to deliver additional gains for climate and biodiversity, projects will need to focus on forests with the highest threat to deforestation, which will have cost implications for future REDD+ implementation.

  7. Analysis of Forest Biodiversity Changes in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    By reference of the evaluative data of forest biodiversity changes in China from 1973 to 1998, the variation analysis models of the pressure index of forest biodiversity, forest ecosystem diversity and forest species diversity, as well as the general index of forest biodiversity are developed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Furthermore established is the relevant model of mutation of forest diversity potential functions. This paper points out that changes of forest biodiversity...

  8. Spatial Pattern Determination of Biodiversity Threats at Landscape Level (Case Study: Golestan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mirzaei

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Mapping spatial patterns of potential biodiversity threats is one of the important steps for effective conservation planning and activities. To determine the spatial patterns of threats in Golestan province, 12 criteria in four main groups including structural (fractal coefficient of perimeter, circularity ratio of area, average slope, compositional aspects of biodiversity (presence of species at risk, non-biological threats (distance to city, distance to village, distance to road, distance to infrastructure, distance to agricultural land, soil pollution, risk of fire and isolation (Nearest Neighbor Index were used. These data layers were digitized in GIS environment and were weighted through Analytical Hierarchy Process. A weighted linear combination was then used to map the spatial pattern of biodiversity threats in the province. Compositional aspect (0.59, non-biological threats (0.23, isolation (0.11, and structural aspect (0.07 were relatively weighted in the order of importance. Central parts of the province and patches in the northern and southern parts were recognized to be more exposed to biodiversity threats. The central parts of the province were mostly threatened by urban, industrial, road and agricultural development, whereas the northern and southern parts were recognized as areas of conservation importance having a variety of threatened birds.

  9. Monitoring rarity: the critically endangered Saharan cheetah as a flagship species for a threatened ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belbachir, Farid; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Wacher, Tim; Belbachir-Bazi, Amel; Durant, Sarah M

    2015-01-01

    Deserts are particularly vulnerable to human impacts and have already suffered a substantial loss of biodiversity. In harsh and variable desert environments, large herbivores typically occur at low densities, and their large carnivore predators occur at even lower densities. The continued survival of large carnivores is key to healthy functioning desert ecosystems, and the ability to gather reliable information on these rare low density species, including presence, abundance and density, is critical to their monitoring and management. Here we test camera trap methodologies as a monitoring tool for an extremely rare wide-ranging large felid, the critically endangered Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki). Two camera trapping surveys were carried out over 2-3 months across a 2,551 km2 grid in the Ti-n-hağğen region in the Ahaggar Cultural Park, south central Algeria. A total of 32 records of Saharan cheetah were obtained. We show the behaviour and ecology of the Saharan cheetah is severely constrained by the harsh desert environment, leading them to be more nocturnal, be more wide-ranging, and occur at lower densities relative to cheetah in savannah environments. Density estimates ranged from 0.21-0.55/1,000 km2, some of the lowest large carnivore densities ever recorded in Africa, and average home range size over 2-3 months was estimated at 1,583 km2. We use our results to predict that, in order to detect presence of cheetah with p>0.95 a survey effort of at least 1,000 camera trap days is required. Our study identifies the Ahaggar Cultural Park as a key area for the conservation of the Saharan cheetah. The Saharan cheetah meets the requirements for a charismatic flagship species that can be used to "market" the Saharan landscape at a sufficiently large scale to help reverse the historical neglect of threatened Saharan ecosystems.

  10. Monitoring rarity: the critically endangered Saharan cheetah as a flagship species for a threatened ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid Belbachir

    Full Text Available Deserts are particularly vulnerable to human impacts and have already suffered a substantial loss of biodiversity. In harsh and variable desert environments, large herbivores typically occur at low densities, and their large carnivore predators occur at even lower densities. The continued survival of large carnivores is key to healthy functioning desert ecosystems, and the ability to gather reliable information on these rare low density species, including presence, abundance and density, is critical to their monitoring and management. Here we test camera trap methodologies as a monitoring tool for an extremely rare wide-ranging large felid, the critically endangered Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki. Two camera trapping surveys were carried out over 2-3 months across a 2,551 km2 grid in the Ti-n-hağğen region in the Ahaggar Cultural Park, south central Algeria. A total of 32 records of Saharan cheetah were obtained. We show the behaviour and ecology of the Saharan cheetah is severely constrained by the harsh desert environment, leading them to be more nocturnal, be more wide-ranging, and occur at lower densities relative to cheetah in savannah environments. Density estimates ranged from 0.21-0.55/1,000 km2, some of the lowest large carnivore densities ever recorded in Africa, and average home range size over 2-3 months was estimated at 1,583 km2. We use our results to predict that, in order to detect presence of cheetah with p>0.95 a survey effort of at least 1,000 camera trap days is required. Our study identifies the Ahaggar Cultural Park as a key area for the conservation of the Saharan cheetah. The Saharan cheetah meets the requirements for a charismatic flagship species that can be used to "market" the Saharan landscape at a sufficiently large scale to help reverse the historical neglect of threatened Saharan ecosystems.

  11. Nitrogen deposition, competition and the decline of a regionally threatened legume, Desmodium cuspidatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skogen, Krissa A; Holsinger, Kent E; Cardon, Zoe G

    2011-01-01

    Increased nitrogen (N) deposition, resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels, production of synthetic fertilizers, growth of N(2)-fixing crops and high-intensity agriculture, is one of the anthropogenic factors most likely to cause global biodiversity changes over the next century. This influence may be especially large in temperate zone forests, which are highly N limited and occur in regions with the highest levels of N deposition. Within these ecosystems, N(2)-fixing plants, including legumes, may be more sensitive to N deposition than other plant species. Though it has long been recognized that the competitive edge conferred by N(2)-fixation diminishes with increasing soil N availability, the conservation implications of increased N deposition on native N(2)-fixers have received less attention. We focus on Desmodium cuspidatum, which has experienced dramatic population losses in the last 30-40 years in the northeastern United States. We explore competition between this regionally threatened legume and a common non-N(2)-fixing neighbor, Solidago canadensis, across a gradient of N deposition. Our data show that increased N deposition may be detrimental to N(2)-fixers such as D. cuspidatum in two ways: (1) biomass accumulation in the non-N(2)-fixer, S. canadensis, responds more strongly to increasing N deposition, and (2) S. canadensis competes strongly for available mineral nitrogen and can assimilate N previously fixed by D. cuspidatum, resulting in D. cuspidatum relying more heavily on energetically expensive N(2)-fixation when grown with S. canadensis. N deposition may thus reduce or eliminate the competitive advantage of N(2)-fixing species growing in N-limited ecosystems.

  12. Business Meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Man, M. de; Verweij, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee, co

  13. Biodiversity in Word and Meaning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slingsby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article argues that we need to abandon the word "biodiversity", to rediscover the biology that it obscures and to rethink how to introduce this biology to young people. We cannot go back to the systematics that once made up a large part of a biology A-level course (ages 16-18), so we need to find alternative ways of introducing the…

  14. Business Meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Man, M. de; Verweij, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee,

  15. Teaching Biodiversity: A Successful Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Lynne; Brown, Lucy

    2010-01-01

    This article takes you on a journey through the authors' school course unit, the "Variety of Life," which aims to unpick the idea of biodiversity and its many facets. The aims and principles of each teaching topic are defined, teaching activities suggested, resources described and the skills each topic develops listed. Whilst aimed at…

  16. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M.; Wardle, David A.; O’Connor, Mary I.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature’s benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation. PMID:28569811

  17. Biodiversity intactness score for South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Biggs, R

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available South Africa's new Biodiversity Act requires the development of a national framework for the integrated management of biodiversity in the country. The act also requires regular monitoring and reporting of the status of biodiversity. We apply a new...

  18. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  19. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  20. Assessing biodiversity funding during the sixth extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, George; DeSalle, Rob

    2012-08-01

    Funding for understanding biodiversity on this planet has had a checkered and unsatisfactory history. There have been some true successes in developing models for assessing biodiversity, but satisfactory governmental and international support has been piecemeal and unsatisfactory. A true solution to the biodiversity crisis will require greater attention from governmental and international funding agencies.

  1. Delayed biodiversity change: no time to waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  2. Soil biodiversity and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, Johan; Pereg, Lily; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is important for the maintenance of soil quality. Healthy, biodiverse soils are crucial for human health and wellbeing from several reasons, for example: biodiversity has been shown to be important in controlling populations of pathogens; healthy, well-covered soils can reduce disease outbreaks; carbon-rich soils may also reduce outbreaks of human and animal parasites; exposure to soil microbes can reduce allergies; soils have provided many of our current antibiotics; soil organisms can provide biological disease and pest control agents, healthy soils mean healthier and more abundant foods; soil microbes can enhance crop plant resilience; healthy soils promote good clean air quality, less prone to wind and water erosion; and healthy soils provide clean and safe water through filtration, decontamination by microbes and removal of pollutants. Soil microbes and other biota provide many benefits to human health. Soil microbes are a source of medicines, such as antibiotics, anticancer drugs and many more. Organisms that affect soil health and thus human health include those involved in nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter and determining soil structure (e.g. aggregation). Again these are related to food security but also affect human health in other ways. Many beneficial organisms have been isolated from soil - plant growth promoting and disease suppressive microbes used as inoculants, foliar inoculants for improvement of ruminant digestion systems and inoculants used in bioremediation of toxic compounds in the environment. Soil biodiversity is highly recognised now as an important feature of healthy soil and imbalances have been shown to give advantage to harmful over beneficial organisms. This presentation will highlight the many connections of biodiversity to soil quality and human health.

  3. The Netherlands in a Sustainable World. Poverty, Climate and Biodiversity. Second Sustainability Outlook. Summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanemaaijer, A.H.; De Ridder, W.; Aalbers, T.G.; Eickhout, B.; Hilderink, H.B.M.; Manders, A.J.G.; Nagelhout, D.; Petersen, A.C. (eds.)

    2008-07-01

    The world is too small to simultaneously produce enough food (including meat) for everyone and to deliver biofuels on a large enough scale to slow down climate change and maintain biodiversity. The Netherlands in a Sustainable World (second sustainability outlook) presents sufficient options for fighting poverty, tackling climate change and limiting the loss of biodiversity. The costs of these options can be limited to a few percent of GDP in 2040. However, this will only be possible with coordinated international policies.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Morris, Rebecca J.

    2010-01-01

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molotoks, Amy

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Biodiversity monitoring in Europe: the EU FP7 EBONE project. European biodiversity observation NEtwork

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lück-Vogel, Melanie

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available submission Presentation Poster presentation A) Title Biodiversity Monitoring in Europe: The EU FP7 EBONE project European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork B) Short title EBONE - European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork C) Author(s) Vogel, M. (1..., South Africa F) Biodiversity Monitoring in Europe: The EU FP7 EBONE project European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork On April 1st, 2008 the EU FP7 project EBONE (http://www.ebone.wur.nl/) was launched. The aim of the project...

  7. The Interdependence between Biodiversity and Socio-Economic Variables on a Local and Regional Level: Evidence for German Counties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Münch, Angela; Völkl, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores possible interdependence of biodiversity and several socioeconomic and political factors at the county level. It is aimed at the empirical identification of direct and indirect effects between biodiversity (loss) and their theoretical major impact factors. To date, research sh...... of regional socioeconomic structures on biodiversity should not be underestimated. Specifically, in regard to biodiversity loss, the socioeconomic structure determines political measures instituted to protect biodiversity and to change agricultural practice.......This paper explores possible interdependence of biodiversity and several socioeconomic and political factors at the county level. It is aimed at the empirical identification of direct and indirect effects between biodiversity (loss) and their theoretical major impact factors. To date, research...... shows that in addition to geography, agriculture is one major determinant of biodiversity status. In our analysis of Bavarian counties, we show that low-yield areas with low species abundance tend to attract more grassland farming with a lower degree in the intensity of the farming practice. This result...

  8. Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Trevon L.; Thomassen, Henri A.; Peralvo, Manuel; Buermann, Wolfgang; Milá, Borja; Kieswetter, Charles M.; Jarrín-V, Pablo; Devitt, Susan E. Cameron; Mason, Eliza; Schweizer, Rena M.; Schlunegger, Jasmin; Chan, Janice; Wang, Ophelia; Schneider, Christopher J.; Pollinger, John P.; Saatchi, Sassan; Graham, Catherine H.; Wayne, Robert K.; Smith, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting where threatened species occur is useful for making informed conservation decisions. However, because they are usually rare, surveying threatened species is often expensive and time intensive. Here, we show how regions where common species exhibit high genetic and morphological divergence among populations can be used to predict the occurrence of species of conservation concern. Intraspecific variation of common species of birds, bats and frogs from Ecuador were found to be a significantly better predictor for the occurrence of threatened species than suites of environmental variables or the occurrence of amphibians and birds. Fully 93 per cent of the threatened species analysed had their range adequately represented by the geographical distribution of the morphological and genetic variation found in seven common species. Both higher numbers of threatened species and greater genetic and morphological variation of common species occurred along elevation gradients. Higher levels of intraspecific divergence may be the result of disruptive selection and/or introgression along gradients. We suggest that collecting data on genetic and morphological variation in common species can be a cost effective tool for conservation planning, and that future biodiversity inventories include surveying genetic and morphological data of common species whenever feasible. PMID:23595273

  9. Speciation gradients and the distribution of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schluter, Dolph; Pennell, Matthew W

    2017-05-31

    Global patterns of biodiversity are influenced by spatial and environmental variations in the rate at which new species form. We relate variations in speciation rates to six key patterns of biodiversity worldwide, including the species-area relationship, latitudinal gradients in species and genetic diversity, and between-habitat differences in species richness. Although they sometimes mirror biodiversity patterns, recent rates of speciation, at the tip of the tree of life, are often highest where species richness is low. Speciation gradients therefore shape, but are also shaped by, biodiversity gradients and are often more useful for predicting future patterns of biodiversity than for interpreting the past.

  10. Biodiversity optimal sampling: an algorithmic solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity sampling is a very serious task. When biodiversity sampling is not representative of the biodiversity spatial pattern due to few data or uncorrected sampling point locations, successive analyses, models and simulations are inevitably biased. In this work, I propose a new solution to the problem of biodiversity sampling. The proposed approach is proficient for habitats, plant and animal species, in addition it is able to answer the two pivotal questions of biodiversity sampling: 1 how many sampling points and 2 where are the sampling points.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Simon G

    2007-02-28

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

  13. 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.

  14. Land Use Change Around Nature Reserves: Implications for Sustaining Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, A. J.; Defries, R.; Curran, L.; Liu, J.; Reid, R.; Turner, B.

    2004-12-01

    The effects of land use change outside of reserves on biodiversity within reserves is not well studied. This paper draws on research from Yellowstone, East Africa, Yucatan, Borneo, and Wolong, China to examine land use effects on nature reserves. Objectives are: quantify rates of change in land use around reserves; examine consequences for biodiversity within the context of specific ecological mechanisms; and draw implications for regional management. Within each of the study regions, semi-natural habitats around nature reserves have been converted to agricultural, rural residential, or urban land uses. Rates vary from 0.2-0.4 %/yr in Yucatan, to 9.5 %/yr in Borneo. Such land use changes may be important because nature reserves are often parts of larger ecosystems that are defined by flows in energy, materials, and organisms. Land use outside of reserves may disrupt these flows and alter biodiversity within reserves. Ecological mechanisms that connect biodiversity to these land use changes include habitat size, ecological flows, crucial habitats, and edge effects. For example, the effective size of the East African study area has been reduced by 45% by human activities. Based on the species area relationship, this reduction in habitat area will lead to a loss of 14% of bird and mammal species. A major conclusion is that the viability of nature reserves can best be ensured by managing them in the context of the surrounding region. Knowledge of the ecological mechanisms by which land use influences nature reserves provides design criteria for this regional management.

  15. [From biodiversity to biodiversification: a new economy of nature?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höhler, Sabine

    2014-03-01

    This paper explores the relations between economy and ecology in the last quarter of the 20th century with the example of biodiversity. From its definition in the 1980s, the concept of biodiversity responded not only to conservational concerns but also to hopes and demands of economic profitability. The paper argues that archival systems of inventorying and surveying nature, the biodiversity database and the biodiversity portfolio, changed the view on nature from a resource to an investment. The paper studies the alliances of ecologists and environmental economists in managing nature according to economic principles of successful asset management, "diversification", with the aim to distribute risk, minimize ecological loss and maximize overall ecosystem performance. Finally, the paper discusses the assumptions and the consequences of transferring principles from financial risk management to landscape management. How has the substitution of the existential values of nature by shareholder value affected the relations between ecology, environment, and ecosystem conservation? Who gains and who looses in exchanging natural capital and financial capital, yields, and profits?

  16. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Danovaro

    investigated (Prokaryotes excluded, most of the unknown species are within the phylum Nematoda, followed by Foraminifera, but an important fraction of macrofaunal and megafaunal species also remains unknown. Data reported here provide new insights into the patterns of biodiversity in the deep-sea Mediterranean and new clues for future investigations aimed at identifying the factors controlling and threatening deep-sea biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    evolutionary and ecological processes, including causes and timing of radiation and divergence for multiple taxa, and associating the onset of the Sahara with diversification processes for low-mobility vertebrates. Examples of phylogeographic patterns are showing the importance of allopatric speciation in the Sahara-Sahel, and this review presents a synthetic overview of the most commonly hypothesised diversification mechanisms. Studies are also stressing that biodiversity is threatened by increasing human activities in the region, including overhunting and natural resources prospection, and in the future by predicted global warming. A representation of areas of conflict, landmines, and natural resources extraction illustrates how human activities and regional insecurity are hampering biodiversity research and conservation. Although there are still numerous knowledge gaps for the optimised conservation of biodiversity in the region, a set of research priorities is provided to identify the framework data needed to support regional conservation planning.

  18. Deep-Sea Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Company, Joan Batista; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; D'Onghia, Gianfranco; Galil, Bella; Gambi, Cristina; Gooday, Andrew J.; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Luna, Gian Marco; Morigi, Caterina; Olu, Karine; Polymenakou, Paraskevi; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Sabbatini, Anna; Sardà, Francesc; Sibuet, Myriam; Tselepides, Anastasios

    2010-01-01

    (Prokaryotes excluded), most of the unknown species are within the phylum Nematoda, followed by Foraminifera, but an important fraction of macrofaunal and megafaunal species also remains unknown. Data reported here provide new insights into the patterns of biodiversity in the deep-sea Mediterranean and new clues for future investigations aimed at identifying the factors controlling and threatening deep-sea biodiversity. PMID:20689848

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Riparian landscapes: Linking geodiversity with habitat and biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmieleski, Jana; Danzeisen, Laura

    2017-04-01

    Keywords: Oder valley, biodiversity, geodiversity River landscapes of all scales originally showed a high diversity of structures and habitats at a small spatial entity, such as the stream beds, terrasses, sand and gravel banks. This variety, with a lot of different elements, patches and patterns, represents not only a variety of geoelements or geomorhological features but also a large biodiversity, both of habitats and species. Riparian landscapes are both, a natural as well as a geoheritage, often even a cultural heritage (sustainabe land use practices). Embankments, utilization for agriculture, constructions for navigation, management measures lead to a strong loss of these structures. This impacts the value of the landscape as well ecosystem functions, not only the biodiversity and the geodiversity but also the recreation function or the aesthetic values. A case study from the National Park Lower Oder Valley in the Northeastern part of Germany, wich is also part of a Geopark („Eiszeitland am Oderrand") presents the connections of the diversity of geomorphological features with biodiversity and shows the loss of features (loss of values) due to intensive utilisation by using GIS-analysis and landscape-metrics. The Northern part of the Oder valley (National Park, transnational protection area of Germany and Poland) have been modified by man since centuries but even so remained in near-natural state that allows semi-(natural) stream dynamics. While the Oder's reparian zone is marked by the stream itself, by its bayous, reed beds, periodically flooded wet meadows and by its natural riparian forest the mineral morainic plateaus are marked by semi-natural forests and dry grasslands. Two areas of different degradation states, a) near-natural and wilderness area and b) grassland area will be compared in order to identify: quantity and extent of features, relation of measure and coverage, connectivity with other features, quantity and types of habitats (with

  1. Biodiversity increases the productivity and stability of phytoplankton communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina A Corcoran

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity losses provide an immediate impetus to elucidate the relationships between biodiversity, productivity and stability. In this study, we quantified the effects of species richness and species combination on the productivity and stability of phytoplankton communities subject to predation by a single rotifer species. We also tested one mechanism of the insurance hypothesis: whether large, slow-growing, potentially-defended cells would compensate for the loss of small, fast-growing, poorly-defended cells after predation. There were significant effects of species richness and species combination on the productivity, relative yield, and stability of phytoplankton cultures, but the relative importance of species richness and combination varied with the response variables. Species combination drove patterns of productivity, whereas species richness was more important for stability. Polycultures containing the most productive single species, Dunaliella, were consistently the most productive. Yet, the most species rich cultures were the most stable, having low temporal variability in measures of biomass. Polycultures recovered from short-term negative grazing effects, but this recovery was not due to the compensation of large, slow-growing cells for the loss of small, fast-growing cells. Instead, polyculture recovery was the result of reduced rotifer grazing rates and persisting small species within the polycultures. Therefore, although an insurance effect in polycultures was found, this effect was indirect and unrelated to grazing tolerance. We hypothesize that diverse phytoplankton assemblages interfered with efficient rotifer grazing and that this "interference effect" facilitated the recovery of the most productive species, Dunaliella. In summary, we demonstrate that both species composition and species richness are important in driving patterns of productivity and stability, respectively, and that stability in biodiverse

  2. Urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, L. K.; Lyytimäki, J.; Normander, B.

    2007-01-01

    biodiversity, recreational, educational and other needs. However, uncovered and unsealed space is constantly under pressure for building and infrastructure development in the urban landscape, and the design and usages of urban green structure is a matter of differing interests and expectations. Integrating...... be important habitats and valuable corridors for both common and less common species. At the same time a comprehensive, functional and viable green structure is important for urban populations to whom it serves many functions and offers a whole range of benefits. Urban green structure should serve both...... the green needs of urban lifestyle in the planning process does not come by itself. Nor does finding the synergies between urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity. Careful planning including stakeholder involvement is required. In this process various mapping techniques and use of indicators can be most...

  3. Place prioritization for biodiversity content

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  4. Urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, L. K.; Lyytimäki, J.; Normander, B.

    2007-01-01

    the green needs of urban lifestyle in the planning process does not come by itself. Nor does finding the synergies between urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity. Careful planning including stakeholder involvement is required. In this process various mapping techniques and use of indicators can be most...... be important habitats and valuable corridors for both common and less common species. At the same time a comprehensive, functional and viable green structure is important for urban populations to whom it serves many functions and offers a whole range of benefits. Urban green structure should serve both...... biodiversity, recreational, educational and other needs. However, uncovered and unsealed space is constantly under pressure for building and infrastructure development in the urban landscape, and the design and usages of urban green structure is a matter of differing interests and expectations. Integrating...

  5. Forest Ecosystem Services: Issues and Challenges for Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Vizzarri

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Although forest ecosystems are fundamental sources of services and global biodiversity, their capacity to maintain these benefits in the future is potentially threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as climate change, land use, and unsustainable management practices. Thus far, studies focusing on forests and their services have gained less attention compared with studies on other biomes. Additionally, management practices may potentially undermine the capacity of forests to sustain biodiversity conservation and services in the future, especially outside protected areas. This study linked the concepts of biodiversity and forest ecosystem services at the national level in Italy. Through a downscaled review, we first analyzed management issues, challenges, and needs within the context of forest ecosystem services. We then carried out a survey on protected areas. The results show that forest biodiversity supports the provision of other services and, hence, needs to be preserved and supported by adaptive management practices. Current research on forest ecosystem services must extend policy trajectories to protected areas (i.e., National Parks as centers of biodiversity and models of the sustainable use of resources.

  6. Can wide consultation help with setting priorities for large-scale biodiversity monitoring programs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Boivin

    Full Text Available Climate and other global change phenomena affecting biodiversity require monitoring to track ecosystem changes and guide policy and management actions. Designing a biodiversity monitoring program is a difficult task that requires making decisions that often lack consensus due to budgetary constrains. As monitoring programs require long-term investment, they also require strong and continuing support from all interested parties. As such, stakeholder consultation is key to identify priorities and make sound design decisions that have as much support as possible. Here, we present the results of a consultation conducted to serve as an aid for designing a large-scale biodiversity monitoring program for the province of Québec (Canada. The consultation took the form of a survey with 13 discrete choices involving tradeoffs in respect to design priorities and 10 demographic questions (e.g., age, profession. The survey was sent to thousands of individuals having expected interests and knowledge about biodiversity and was completed by 621 participants. Overall, consensuses were few and it appeared difficult to create a design fulfilling the priorities of the majority. Most participants wanted 1 a monitoring design covering the entire territory and focusing on natural habitats; 2 a focus on species related to ecosystem services, on threatened and on invasive species. The only demographic characteristic that was related to the type of prioritization was the declared level of knowledge in biodiversity (null to high, but even then the influence was quite small.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Martha J; Gray, Elizabeth M; Townsend, Patricia A

    2008-06-01

    Biofuels are a new priority in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; nevertheless, the rapid increase in production of biofuel feedstock may threaten biodiversity. There are general principles that should be used in developing guidelines for certifying biodiversity-friendly biofuels. First, biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices. The sustainability of any biofuel feedstock depends on good growing practices and sound environmental practices throughout the fuel-production life cycle. Second, the ecological footprint of a biofuel, in terms of the land area needed to grow sufficient quantities of the feedstock, should be minimized. The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae. Third, biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority. Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present, although this is the biofuel that is most advanced for commercial production in the United States. We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock. Conservation biologists can significantly broaden and deepen efforts to develop sustainable fuels by playing active roles in pursuing research on biodiversity-friendly biofuel production practices and by helping define biodiversity-friendly biofuel certification standards.

  9. 78 FR 22556 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for Lost River Sucker and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-16

    ... of the same threats continue, such that both species remain in danger of extinction. Habitat loss... Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for Lost... the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We revised this plan because a...

  10. Cars, Cows, and Checkerspot Butterflies: Nitrogen Deposition and Management of Nutrient-Poor Grasslands for a Threatened Species

    OpenAIRE

    Stuart B Weiss

    1999-01-01

    Nutrient-poor, serpentinitic soils in the San Francisco Bay area sustain a native grassland that supports many rare species, including the Bay checkerspot butterfly ( Euphydryas editha bayensis). Nitrogen (N) deposition from air pollution threatens biodiversity in these grasslands because N is the primary limiting nutrient for plant growth on serpentinitic soils. I investigated the role of N deposition through surveys of butterfly and plant populations across different grazing regimes, by lit...

  11. ANTHROPIC RISK ASSESSMENT ON BIODIVERSITY

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    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 niche...

  12. Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    The discovery and colonization of islands by humans has invariably resulted in their widespread ecological transformation. The small and isolated populations of many island taxa, and their evolution in the absence of humans and their introduced taxa, mean that they are particularly vulnerable to ...... 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....

  13. Reconstituting a rainforest patch in southern Benin for the protection of threatened plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Neuenschwander

    2017-08-01

    of 73 IUCN-listed species that could possibly survive in Drabo. Some of these species occur in only one or two other locations in Benin. The biodiversity richness of the rehabilitated forests of Drabo now rivals that of natural rainforest remnants of the region. As the surrounding landscape becomes ever more impoverished because of the high human population and its ever increasing impact, the maintenance of such managed islands of biodiversity is critical. By establishing rare local species from other locations we can compensate for direct human destruction and long-term stochastic loss of species in this highly fragmented landscape where natural seed dispersal is difficult. Benin, sacred forest, threatened plants, IUCN Red List, forest regeneration, Guineo-Congolese semi-deciduous forest

  14. Priority threat management of invasive animals to protect biodiversity under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer; Maggini, Ramona; Chadès, Iadine; Nicol, Sam; Walters, Belinda; Reeson, Andy; Martin, Tara G; Possingham, Hugh P; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Ponce-Reyes, Rocio; Carwardine, Josie

    2015-11-01

    Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity, and its impacts can act synergistically to heighten the severity of other threats. Most research on projecting species range shifts under climate change has not been translated to informing priority management strategies on the ground. We develop a prioritization framework to assess strategies for managing threats to biodiversity under climate change and apply it to the management of invasive animal species across one-sixth of the Australian continent, the Lake Eyre Basin. We collected information from key stakeholders and experts on the impacts of invasive animals on 148 of the region's most threatened species and 11 potential strategies. Assisted by models of current distributions of threatened species and their projected distributions, experts estimated the cost, feasibility, and potential benefits of each strategy for improving the persistence of threatened species with and without climate change. We discover that the relative cost-effectiveness of invasive animal control strategies is robust to climate change, with the management of feral pigs being the highest priority for conserving threatened species overall. Complementary sets of strategies to protect as many threatened species as possible under limited budgets change when climate change is considered, with additional strategies required to avoid impending extinctions from the region. Overall, we find that the ranking of strategies by cost-effectiveness was relatively unaffected by including climate change into decision-making, even though the benefits of the strategies were lower. Future climate conditions and impacts on range shifts become most important to consider when designing comprehensive management plans for the control of invasive animals under limited budgets to maximize the number of threatened species that can be protected.

  15. Acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment option for threatened miscarriage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Betts Debra

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Threatened miscarriage involves vaginal bleeding in a pregnancy that remains viable. This is a common early pregnancy complication with increased risk factors for early pregnancy loss, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM, preterm delivery, low birth weight babies and maternal antepartum haemorrhage. Currently there are no recommended medical treatment options, rather women receive advice that centres on a 'wait and see' approach. For women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriage providing supportive care in a subsequent pregnancy improves live birthing outcomes, but the provision of supportive care to women experiencing threatened miscarriage has to date not been examined. Discussion While it is known that 50-70% of miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, the potential for therapeutic intervention amongst the remaining percentage of women remains unknown. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM therapies have the potential to provide supportive care for women presenting with threatened miscarriage. Within fertility research, acupuncture demonstrates beneficial hormonal responses with decreased miscarriage rates, raising the possibility acupuncture may promote specific beneficial effects in early pregnancy. With the lack of current medical options for women presenting with threatened miscarriage it is timely to examine the possible treatment benefits of providing CAM therapies such as acupuncture. Summary Despite vaginal bleeding being a common complication of early pregnancy there is often reluctance from practitioners to discuss with women and medical personal how and why CAM may be beneficial. In this debate article, the physiological processes of early pregnancy together with the concept of providing supportive care and acupuncture are examined. The aim is to raise awareness and promote discussion as to the beneficial role CAM may have for women presenting with threatened miscarriage.

  16. Testing the Efficacy of Global Biodiversity Hotspots for Insect Conservation: The Case of South African Katydids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazelet, Corinna S.; Thompson, Aileen C.; Naskrecki, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The use of endemism and vascular plants only for biodiversity hotspot delineation has long been contested. Few studies have focused on the efficacy of global biodiversity hotspots for the conservation of insects, an important, abundant, and often ignored component of biodiversity. We aimed to test five alternative diversity measures for hotspot delineation and examine the efficacy of biodiversity hotspots for conserving a non-typical target organism, South African katydids. Using a 1° fishnet grid, we delineated katydid hotspots in two ways: (1) count-based: grid cells in the top 10% of total, endemic, threatened and/or sensitive species richness; vs. (2) score-based: grid cells with a mean value in the top 10% on a scoring system which scored each species on the basis of its IUCN Red List threat status, distribution, mobility and trophic level. We then compared katydid hotspots with each other and with recognized biodiversity hotspots. Grid cells within biodiversity hotspots had significantly higher count-based and score-based diversity than non-hotspot grid cells. There was a significant association between the three types of hotspots. Of the count-based measures, endemic species richness was the best surrogate for the others. However, the score-based measure out-performed all count-based diversity measures. Species richness was the least successful surrogate of all. The strong performance of the score-based method for hotspot prediction emphasizes the importance of including species’ natural history information for conservation decision-making, and is easily adaptable to other organisms. Furthermore, these results add empirical support for the efficacy of biodiversity hotspots in conserving non-target organisms. PMID:27631131

  17. Partnerships in biodiversity governance. An assessment of their contributions to halting biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visseren-Hamakers, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Having a child is one of the most influential events people experience over their life course. Nowadays this event tends to be a matter of choice. This dissertation provides new insights into the childbearing choices and behaviour of Dutch couples by applying a ‘linked lives’ perspective and combini

  18. Partnerships in biodiversity governance. An assessment of their contributions to halting biodiversity loss

    OpenAIRE

    Visseren-Hamakers, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Having a child is one of the most influential events people experience over their life course. Nowadays this event tends to be a matter of choice. This dissertation provides new insights into the childbearing choices and behaviour of Dutch couples by applying a ‘linked lives’ perspective and combining different data sources and methods. Whereas previous fertility research is largely limited to the effects of individual characteristics, usually women's, this study examines the ways in which ch...

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Protecting marine biodiversity to preserve ecosystem functioning: A tribute to Carlo Heip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Peter; Warwick, Richard; Aller, Robert; Arvanitidis, Christos; Hewitt, Judi; Stal, Lucas; Vincx, Magda

    2015-04-01

    Carlo Heip was the highly respected Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Sea Research until his untimely death on 15 February 2013. As a tribute, the Journal wished to organize a special volume in his honour, the scope of which would provide an overview of the current state of affairs and the future outlook of marine biodiversity, a field of research to which Carlo made a major contribution. The volume places special emphasis on how marine biodiversity links to ecosystem functioning. Authors were invited to address such issues as: Which ecosystem functions are vulnerable to loss of biodiversity and how is the relation causally structured? How do trophic and non-trophic networks in ecosystems function and how do they depend on biodiversity? What is the role of spatial structuring for biodiversity? What is the role of biodiversity in biogeochemical fluxes at different scales? What are the new frontiers in the study of marine biodiversity and how can functional aspects be integrated in them? In this approach we wanted to cover a broad range of organisms reflecting Carlo's interests, the whole marine area from coastal systems to the deep sea, and spatial scales from single locations to worldwide databases.

  1. Spatial patterns of land use changes across a Mediterranean metropolitan landscape: implications for biodiversity management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Başnou, Corina; Álvarez, Enrique; Bagaria, Guillem; Guardiola, Moisès; Isern, Rosó; Vicente, Paloma; Pino, Joan

    2013-10-01

    Land use and land cover change (LUCC) is an acknowledged cause of the current biodiversity crisis, but the link between LUCC and biodiversity conservation remains largely unknown at the regional scale, especially due to the traditional lack of consistent biodiversity data. We provide a methodological approach for assessing this link through defining a set of major pressures on biodiversity from LUCC and evaluating their extent, distribution, and association with a set of physical factors. The study was performed in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona (MRB, NE of Spain) between 1956 and 2000. We generated a LUCC map for the time period, which was reclassified into a set of pressures on biodiversity (forestation, deforestation, crop abandonment, and urbanization). We then explored the association of these pressures with a set of physical factors using redundancy analysis (RDA). Pressures encompassed 38.8% of the MRB area. Urbanization and forestation were the dominating pressures, followed by crop abandonment and deforestation. RDA showed a significant distribution gradient of these pressures in relation to the studied physical factors: while forestation and deforestation are concentrated in remote mountain areas, urbanization mainly occurs in lowlands and especially on the coast, and close to previous urban centers and roads. Unchanged areas are concentrated in rainy and relatively remote mountain areas. Results also showed a dramatic loss of open habitats and of the traditional land use gradient, both featuring Mediterranean landscapes and extremely important for their biodiversity conservation. Implications of these results for biodiversity management are finally discussed.

  2. Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Godwin, Casey M.; Cardinale, Bradley J.

    2017-09-01

    More than 500 controlled experiments have collectively suggested that biodiversity loss reduces ecosystem productivity and stability. Yet the importance of biodiversity in sustaining the world’s ecosystems remains controversial, largely because of the lack of validation in nature, where strong abiotic forcing and complex interactions are assumed to swamp biodiversity effects. Here we test this assumption by analysing 133 estimates reported in 67 field studies that statistically separated the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from those of abiotic forcing. Contrary to the prevailing opinion of the previous two decades that biodiversity would have rare or weak effects in nature, we show that biomass production increases with species richness in a wide range of wild taxa and ecosystems. In fact, after controlling for environmental covariates, increases in biomass with biodiversity are stronger in nature than has previously been documented in experiments and comparable to or stronger than the effects of other well-known drivers of productivity, including climate and nutrient availability. These results are consistent with the collective experimental evidence that species richness increases community biomass production, and suggest that the role of biodiversity in maintaining productive ecosystems should figure prominently in global change science and policy.

  3. Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) biodiversity and grassland ecosystems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG-WEI GUO; HONG-CHANG LI; YA-LING GAN

    2006-01-01

    Interesting results may arise by combining studies on the structure and function of ecosystems with that of biodiversity for certain species. Grasshopper biodiversity is the result of the evolution of grassland ecosystems; however, it also impacts on the structure and the function of those ecosystems. We consider there to be a close relationship between the health of grassland ecosystems and grasshopper biodiversity. The main problems involved in this relationship are likely to include: (i) grasshopper biodiversity and its spatial pattern; (ii) the effect of grasshopper biodiversity on the ecological processes of grassland ecosystems; (iii) the biodiversity threshold of grasshopper population explosions;(iv) the relationship between grasshopper biodiversity and the natural and human factors that affect grassland ecosystems; and (v) grasshopper biodiversity and the health of grassland ecosystems. The solutions to these problems may provide sound bases for controlling disasters caused by grasshoppers and managing grassland ecosystems in the west of China. In this paper, we introduced two concepts for grasshopper biodiversity, that is, "spatial pattern" and "biodiversity threshold". It is helpful to understand the action of the spatial pattern of grasshopper biodiversity on the ecological processes of grassland ecosystems and the effect of this spatial pattern on the health of those ecosystems, owing to the fact that, in the west of China, grasslands are vast and grasshoppers are widely distributed. Moreover, we inferred that the change in the level of component richness at each type of grasshopper biodiversity can make an impact on grassland ecosystems, and therefore, there is likely to be a threshold to grasshopper biodiversity for the stability and the sustainability of those ecosystems.

  4. Comparing wildlife habitat and biodiversity across green roof type

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coffman, R.R. [Oklahoma Univ., Tulsa, OK (United States). Dept. of Landscape Architecture

    2007-07-01

    Green roofs represent restorative practices within human dominated ecosystems. They create habitat, increase local biodiversity, and restore ecosystem function. Cities are now promoting this technology as a part of mitigation for the loss of local habitat, making the green roof necessary in sustainable development. While most green roofs create some form of habitat for local and migratory fauna, some systems are designed to provide specific habitat for species of concern. Despite this, little is actually known about the wildlife communities inhabiting green roofs. Only a few studies have provided broad taxa descriptions across a range of green roof habitats, and none have attempted to measure the biodiversity across green roof class. Therefore, this study examined two different vegetated roof systems representative of North America. They were constructed under alternative priorities such as energy, stormwater and aesthetics. The wildlife community appears to be a result of the green roof's physical composition. Wildlife community composition and biodiversity is expected be different yet comparable between the two general types of green roofs, known as extensive and intensive. This study recorded the community composition found in the two classes of ecoroofs and assessed biodiversity and similarity at the community and group taxa levels of insects, spiders and birds. Renyi family of diversity indices were used to compare the communities. They were further described through indices and ratios such as Shannon's, Simpson's, Sorenson and Morsita's. In general, community biodiversity was found to be slightly higher in the intensive green roof than the extensive green roof. 26 refs., 4 tabs., 4 figs.

  5. Consequences of biodiversity loss for litter decomposition across biomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Handa, I.T.; Aerts, R.; Berendse, F.; Berg, M.P.; Butenschoen, O.; Bruder, A.; Chauvet, E.; Gessner, M.O.; Jabiol, J.; Makkonen, M.; McKie, B.G.; Malmqvist, B.; Peeters, E.T.H.M.; Scheu, S.; Schmid, B.; Ruijven, van J.; Vos, V.C.A.; Hattenschwiler, S.

    2014-01-01

    The decomposition of dead organic matter is a major determinant of carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, and of carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere1, 2, 3. Decomposition is driven by a vast diversity of organisms that are structured in complex food webs2, 4. Identifying the

  6. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  7. A biodiversity hotspot losing its top predator: The challenge of jaguar conservation in the Atlantic Forest of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paviolo, Agustin; De Angelo, Carlos; Ferraz, Katia M P M B; Morato, Ronaldo G; Martinez Pardo, Julia; Srbek-Araujo, Ana C; Beisiegel, Beatriz de Mello; Lima, Fernando; Sana, Denis; Xavier da Silva, Marina; Velázquez, Myriam C; Cullen, Laury; Crawshaw, Peter; Jorge, María Luisa S P; Galetti, Pedro M; Di Bitetti, Mario S; de Paula, Rogerio Cunha; Eizirik, Eduardo; Aide, T Mitchell; Cruz, Paula; Perilli, Miriam L L; Souza, Andiara S M C; Quiroga, Verónica; Nakano, Eduardo; Ramírez Pinto, Fredy; Fernández, Sixto; Costa, Sebastian; Moraes, Edsel A; Azevedo, Fernando

    2016-11-16

    The jaguar is the top predator of the Atlantic Forest (AF), which is a highly threatened biodiversity hotspot that occurs in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. By combining data sets from 14 research groups across the region, we determine the population status of the jaguar and propose a spatial prioritization for conservation actions. About 85% of the jaguar's habitat in the AF has been lost and only 7% remains in good condition. Jaguars persist in around 2.8% of the region, and live in very low densities in most of the areas. The population of jaguars in the AF is probably lower than 300 individuals scattered in small sub-populations. We identified seven Jaguar Conservation Units (JCUs) and seven potential JCUs, and only three of these areas may have ≥50 individuals. A connectivity analysis shows that most of the JCUs are isolated. Habitat loss and fragmentation were the major causes for jaguar decline, but human induced mortality is the main threat for the remaining population. We classified areas according to their contribution to jaguar conservation and we recommend management actions for each of them. The methodology in this study could be used for conservation planning of other carnivore species.

  8. Can biodiversity, human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators be linked?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.A. Mainka

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A mission to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity as a contribution to poverty reduction was agreed as part of the Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity, adopted by the Conference of the Parties in 2002. As 2010 draws to a close it is clear that this target will not be met. To continue and build on momentum generated by the 2010 target, the conservation community has been discussing a potential post-2010 framework that again includes explicit reference to the link between human wellbeing and conservation, and also considers the links with human wellbeing and sustainable development. Given this agreement, we reviewed several human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators compared to existing biodiversity status and trends indicators to determine if clear correlations can be found that could be used to track progress in a new framework. We undertook this review at both the global and continental levels. The indicators for protected area and forest cover showed significant positive correlation across all continents. We found a significant negative correlation between changes in protected area (PA cover and tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions released (GHGe between 1990 and 2005 for all the continents. At the global level we found no other correlation across the indicators reviewed. However, we found that correlations between the biodiversity and human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators varied across continents. As the only indicators for which global level correlations exist, we suggest that either protected area coverage or forest cover may be relevant biodiversity indicators for global analyses of biodiversity-human wellbeing or sustainable development relationships, and that the relationship between protected area cover and greenhouse gases could be one indicator for links between biodiversity and sustainable development. More research is needed to better understand factors involved in the

  9. Local versus landscape spatial influence on biodiversity: a case study across five European industrialized areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piano, E; Isaia, M; Falasco, E; La Morgia, V; Soldato, G; Bona, F

    2017-03-01

    Land use change-mostly habitat loss and fragmentation-has been recognized as one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide. According to the habitat amount hypothesis, these phenomena are mostly driven by the habitat area effect. As a result, species richness is a function of both the extent of suitable habitats and their availability in the surrounding landscape, irrespective of the dimension and isolation of patches of suitable habitat. In this context, we tested how the extent of natural areas, selected as proxies of suitable habitats for biodiversity, influences species richness in highly anthropogenic landscapes. We defined five circular sampling areas of 5 km radius, including both natural reserves and anthropogenic land uses, centred in five major industrial sites in France, Italy and Germany. We monitored different biodiversity indicators for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including breeding birds, diurnal butterflies, grassland vegetation, odonata, amphibians, aquatic plants and benthic diatoms. We studied the response of the different indicators to the extent of natural land uses in the sampling area (local effect) and in the surrounding landscape (landscape effect), identified as a peripheral ring encircling the sampling area. Results showed a positive response of five out of seven biodiversity indicators, with aquatic plants and odonata responding positively to the local effect, while birds, vegetation and diatoms showed a positive response to the landscape effect. Diatoms also showed a significant combined response to both effects. We conclude that surrounding landscapes act as important biodiversity sources, increasing the local biodiversity in highly anthropogenic contexts.

  10. Can Cape Town's unique biodiversity be saved? Balancing conservation imperatives and development needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia M. Holmes

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cape Town is an urban hotspot within the Cape Floristic Region global biodiversity hotspot. This city of 2,460 km² encompasses four local centers of fynbos plant endemism, 19 national terrestrial vegetation types (six endemic to the city, wetland and coastal ecosystems, and 190 endemic plant species. Biodiversity in the lowlands is under threat of extinction as a result of habitat loss to agriculture, urban development, mining, and degradation by invasive alien plants. Cape Town's population is 3.7 million, increasing by an estimated 55,000 people/yr, which puts pressure on biodiversity remnants for development. South Africa is a signatory to international instruments to reduce biodiversity loss and has a good legislative and policy framework to conserve biodiversity, yet implementation actions are slow, with limited national and provincial support to conserve Cape Town's unique and irreplaceable biodiversity. The lack-of-action problem is two-fold: national government is slow to implement the policies developed to realize the international instruments it has signed, with conservation initiatives inadequately funded; and local governments are not yet recognized as important implementation partners. A further problem is created by conflicting policies such as the national housing policy that contributes to urban sprawl and loss of critical biodiversity areas. The City's Biodiversity Management Branch, with partners, is making some headway at implementation, but stronger political commitment is needed at all levels of government. Our objective is to improve the status and management of biodiversity in existing conservation areas through the statutory proclamation process and management effectiveness monitoring, respectively, and to secure priority areas of the BioNet, Cape Town's systematic biodiversity plan. The most important tools for the latter are incorporating the BioNet plan into City spatial plans; communication, education, and public

  11. Stochastic properties of generalised Yule models, with biodiversity applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gernhard, Tanja; Hartmann, Klaas; Steel, Mike

    2008-11-01

    The Yule model is a widely used speciation model in evolutionary biology. Despite its simplicity many aspects of the Yule model have not been explored mathematically. In this paper, we formalise two analytic approaches for obtaining probability densities of individual branch lengths of phylogenetic trees generated by the Yule model. These methods are flexible and permit various aspects of the trees produced by Yule models to be investigated. One of our methods is applicable to a broader class of evolutionary processes, namely the Bellman-Harris models. Our methods have many practical applications including biodiversity and conservation related problems. In this setting the methods can be used to characterise the expected rate of biodiversity loss for Yule trees, as well as the expected gain of including the phylogeny in conservation management. We briefly explore these applications.

  12. 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.

  13. USDA Forest Service Roadless Areas: Potential Biodiversity Conservation Reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colby Loucks

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available In January 2001, approximately 23 x 106 ha of land in the U.S. National Forest System were slated to remain roadless and protected from timber extraction under the Final Roadless Conservation Rule. We examined the potential contributions of these areas to the conservation of biodiversity. Using GIS, we analyzed the concordance of inventoried roadless areas (IRAs with ecoregion-scale biological importance and endangered and imperiled species distributions on a scale of 1:24,000. We found that more than 25% of IRAs are located in globally or regionally outstanding ecoregions and that 77% of inventoried roadless areas have the potential to conserve threatened, endangered, or imperiled species. IRAs would increase the conservation reserve network containing these species by 156%. We further illustrate the conservation potential of IRAs by highlighting their contribution to the conservation of the grizzly bear (Ursos arctos, a wide-ranging carnivore. The area created by the addition of IRAs to the existing system of conservation reserves shows a strong concordance with grizzly bear recovery zones and habitat range. Based on these findings, we conclude that IRAs belonging to the U.S. Forest Service are one of the most important biotic areas in the nation, and that their status as roadless areas could have lasting and far-reaching effects for biodiversity conservation.

  14. 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.

  15. Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreless, Erin E; Huff, David D; Croll, Donald A; Tershy, Bernie R; Spatz, Dena R; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Wilcox, Chris

    2016-08-18

    Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 41-75% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies.

  16. Avitourism and Australian Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle Steven

    Full Text Available Formal protected areas will not provide adequate protection to conserve all biodiversity, and are not always designated using systematic or strategic criteria. Using a systematic process, the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA network was designed to highlight areas of conservation significance for birds (i.e. IBA trigger species, and more recently general biodiversity. Land use activities that take place in IBAs are diverse, including consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Avitourism in Australia, generally a non-consumptive activity, is reliant on the IBA network and the birds IBAs aim to protect. However, companies tend not to mention IBAs in their marketing. Furthermore, avitourism, like other nature-based tourism has the potential to be both a threatening process as well as a conservation tool. We aimed to assess the current use of IBAs among Australian-based avitour companies' marketing, giving some indication of which IBAs are visited by avitourists on organised tours. We reviewed online avitour itineraries, recorded sites featuring in descriptions of avitours and which IBA trigger species are used to sell those tours. Of the 209 avitours reviewed, Queensland is the most featured state (n = 59 tours, and 73% feature at least one IBA. Daintree (n = 22 and Bruny Island (n = 17 IBAs are the most popular, nationally. Trigger species represent 34% (n = 254 out of 747 of species used in avitour descriptions. The most popular trigger species' are wetland species including; Brolga (n = 37, Black-necked Stork (n = 30 and Magpie Goose (n = 27. Opportunities exist to increase collaboration between avitour companies and IBA stakeholders. Our results can provide guidance for managing sustainability of the avitourism industry at sites that feature heavily in avitour descriptions and enhance potential cooperation between avitour companies, IBA stakeholders and bird conservation organisations.

  17. Avitourism and Australian Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Rochelle; Morrison, Clare; Arthur, J Michael; Castley, J Guy

    2015-01-01

    Formal protected areas will not provide adequate protection to conserve all biodiversity, and are not always designated using systematic or strategic criteria. Using a systematic process, the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) network was designed to highlight areas of conservation significance for birds (i.e. IBA trigger species), and more recently general biodiversity. Land use activities that take place in IBAs are diverse, including consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Avitourism in Australia, generally a non-consumptive activity, is reliant on the IBA network and the birds IBAs aim to protect. However, companies tend not to mention IBAs in their marketing. Furthermore, avitourism, like other nature-based tourism has the potential to be both a threatening process as well as a conservation tool. We aimed to assess the current use of IBAs among Australian-based avitour companies' marketing, giving some indication of which IBAs are visited by avitourists on organised tours. We reviewed online avitour itineraries, recorded sites featuring in descriptions of avitours and which IBA trigger species are used to sell those tours. Of the 209 avitours reviewed, Queensland is the most featured state (n = 59 tours), and 73% feature at least one IBA. Daintree (n = 22) and Bruny Island (n = 17) IBAs are the most popular, nationally. Trigger species represent 34% (n = 254 out of 747) of species used in avitour descriptions. The most popular trigger species' are wetland species including; Brolga (n = 37), Black-necked Stork (n = 30) and Magpie Goose (n = 27). Opportunities exist to increase collaboration between avitour companies and IBA stakeholders. Our results can provide guidance for managing sustainability of the avitourism industry at sites that feature heavily in avitour descriptions and enhance potential cooperation between avitour companies, IBA stakeholders and bird conservation organisations.

  18. Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Renner, Swen C; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul C; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-08-25

    Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services

  19. Harnessing private sector conservation of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Productivity Commission

    2002-01-01

    'Harnessing Private Sector Conservation of Biodiversity' was released on 4 December 2001. This paper provides an economic perspective on the role the private sector can play in conservation of biodiversity. It focuses on opportunities for governments to facilitate biodiversity conservation by enabling markets to allocate resources better. With more than 60 per cent of Australia's land area under private management, conservation cannot be adequately addressed without private sector participati...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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