WorldWideScience

Sample records for identify conservation priorities

  1. Combining endangered plants and animals as surrogates to identify priority conservation areas in Yunnan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Feiling; Hu, Jinming; Wu, Ruidong

    2016-08-01

    Suitable surrogates are critical for identifying optimal priority conservation areas (PCAs) to protect regional biodiversity. This study explored the efficiency of using endangered plants and animals as surrogates for identifying PCAs at the county level in Yunnan, southwest China. We ran the Dobson algorithm under three surrogate scenarios at 75% and 100% conservation levels and identified four types of PCAs. Assessment of the protection efficiencies of the four types of PCAs showed that endangered plants had higher surrogacy values than endangered animals but that the two were not substitutable; coupled endangered plants and animals as surrogates yielded a higher surrogacy value than endangered plants or animals as surrogates; the plant-animal priority areas (PAPAs) was the optimal among the four types of PCAs for conserving both endangered plants and animals in Yunnan. PAPAs could well represent overall species diversity distribution patterns and overlap with critical biogeographical regions in Yunnan. Fourteen priority units in PAPAs should be urgently considered as optimizing Yunnan’s protected area system. The spatial pattern of PAPAs at the 100% conservation level could be conceptualized into three connected conservation belts, providing a valuable reference for optimizing the layout of the in situ protected area system in Yunnan.

  2. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yi; Lu, Ming

    2018-01-01

    Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES) and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP) methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km 2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups ( p -values between groups urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  3. Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity. PMID:24260502

  4. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin McCreless

    Full Text Available The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

  5. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

  6. Opuntia in Mexico: identifying priority areas for conserving biodiversity in a multi-use landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Illoldi-Rangel

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

  7. Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L.; Wearn, Oliver R.; Owen, Nisha R.

    2018-01-01

    The scale of the ongoing biodiversity crisis requires both effective conservation prioritisation and urgent action. As extinction is non-random across the tree of life, it is important to prioritise threatened species which represent large amounts of evolutionary history. The EDGE metric prioritises species based on their Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED), which measures the relative contribution of a species to the total evolutionary history of their taxonomic group, and Global Endangerment (GE), or extinction risk. EDGE prioritisations rely on adequate phylogenetic and extinction risk data to generate meaningful priorities for conservation. However, comprehensive phylogenetic trees of large taxonomic groups are extremely rare and, even when available, become quickly out-of-date due to the rapid rate of species descriptions and taxonomic revisions. Thus, it is important that conservationists can use the available data to incorporate evolutionary history into conservation prioritisation. We compared published and new methods to estimate missing ED scores for species absent from a phylogenetic tree whilst simultaneously correcting the ED scores of their close taxonomic relatives. We found that following artificial removal of species from a phylogenetic tree, the new method provided the closest estimates of their “true” ED score, differing from the true ED score by an average of less than 1%, compared to the 31% and 38% difference of the previous methods. The previous methods also substantially under- and over-estimated scores as more species were artificially removed from a phylogenetic tree. We therefore used the new method to estimate ED scores for all tetrapods. From these scores we updated EDGE prioritisation rankings for all tetrapod species with IUCN Red List assessments, including the first EDGE prioritisation for reptiles. Further, we identified criteria to identify robust priority species in an effort to further inform conservation action whilst

  8. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Qu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups (p-values between groups < 0.05, which helped to refine management strategies formulated to best enhance ES across the study area. The proposed method allows conservation and management plans to easily adapt to a wide variety of quantitative ES target goals within urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  9. Does taxonomic diversity in indicator groups influence their effectiveness in identifying priority areas for species conservation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Larsen, Frank Wugt; Rahbek, Carsten

    2008-01-01

    The identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation is a cornerstone of systematic conservation planning. However, biodiversity, or even the distribution of all species, cannot be directly quantified, due to the inherent complexity of natural systems. Species indicator groups may...... serve as important tools for the identification of priority areas for conservation. Yet, it is unclear which factors make certain indicator groups perform better than others. In this study, using data on the Danish distribution of 847 species of plants, vertebrates and insects, we assessed whether...... the taxonomic diversity in species indicator groups influence their effectiveness in the identification of priority areas for species conservation. We tested whether indicator groups comprising a higher taxonomic diversity (i.e. indicator groups consisting of species from many different taxonomic groups...

  10. Identifying Priority Areas for Conservation: A Global Assessment for Forest-Dependent Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M.; Donald, Paul F.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000–2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  11. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme M Buchanan

    Full Text Available Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species, we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005 included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing

  12. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M; Donald, Paul F; Butchart, Stuart H M

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  13. Setting conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Kerrie A; Carwardine, Josie; Possingham, Hugh P

    2009-04-01

    A generic framework for setting conservation priorities based on the principles of classic decision theory is provided. This framework encapsulates the key elements of any problem, including the objective, the constraints, and knowledge of the system. Within the context of this framework the broad array of approaches for setting conservation priorities are reviewed. While some approaches prioritize assets or locations for conservation investment, it is concluded here that prioritization is incomplete without consideration of the conservation actions required to conserve the assets at particular locations. The challenges associated with prioritizing investments through time in the face of threats (and also spatially and temporally heterogeneous costs) can be aided by proper problem definition. Using the authors' general framework for setting conservation priorities, multiple criteria can be rationally integrated and where, how, and when to invest conservation resources can be scheduled. Trade-offs are unavoidable in priority setting when there are multiple considerations, and budgets are almost always finite. The authors discuss how trade-offs, risks, uncertainty, feedbacks, and learning can be explicitly evaluated within their generic framework for setting conservation priorities. Finally, they suggest ways that current priority-setting approaches may be improved.

  14. Identifying conservation and restoration priorities for saproxylic and old-growth forest species: a case study in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachat, Thibault; Bütler, Rita

    2009-07-01

    Saproxylic (dead-wood-associated) and old-growth species are among the most threatened species in European forest ecosystems, as they are susceptible to intensive forest management. Identifying areas with particular relevant features of biodiversity is of prime concern when developing species conservation and habitat restoration strategies and in optimizing resource investments. We present an approach to identify regional conservation and restoration priorities even if knowledge on species distribution is weak, such as for saproxylic and old-growth species in Switzerland. Habitat suitability maps were modeled for an expert-based selection of 55 focal species, using an ecological niche factor analyses (ENFA). All the maps were then overlaid, in order to identify potential species' hotspots for different species groups of the 55 focal species (e.g., birds, fungi, red-listed species). We found that hotspots for various species groups did not correspond. Our results indicate that an approach based on "richness hotspots" may fail to conserve specific species groups. We hence recommend defining a biodiversity conservation strategy prior to implementing conservation/restoration efforts in specific regions. The conservation priority setting of the five biogeographical regions in Switzerland, however, did not differ when different hotspot definitions were applied. This observation emphasizes that the chosen method is robust. Since the ENFA needs only presence data, this species prediction method seems to be useful for any situation where the species distribution is poorly known and/or absence data are lacking. In order to identify priorities for either conservation or restoration efforts, we recommend a method based on presence data only, because absence data may reflect factors unrelated to species presence.

  15. Scale-dependent complementarity of climatic velocity and environmental diversity for identifying priority areas for conservation under climate change.

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    Carroll, Carlos; Roberts, David R; Michalak, Julia L; Lawler, Joshua J; Nielsen, Scott E; Stralberg, Diana; Hamann, Andreas; Mcrae, Brad H; Wang, Tongli

    2017-11-01

    As most regions of the earth transition to altered climatic conditions, new methods are needed to identify refugia and other areas whose conservation would facilitate persistence of biodiversity under climate change. We compared several common approaches to conservation planning focused on climate resilience over a broad range of ecological settings across North America and evaluated how commonalities in the priority areas identified by different methods varied with regional context and spatial scale. Our results indicate that priority areas based on different environmental diversity metrics differed substantially from each other and from priorities based on spatiotemporal metrics such as climatic velocity. Refugia identified by diversity or velocity metrics were not strongly associated with the current protected area system, suggesting the need for additional conservation measures including protection of refugia. Despite the inherent uncertainties in predicting future climate, we found that variation among climatic velocities derived from different general circulation models and emissions pathways was less than the variation among the suite of environmental diversity metrics. To address uncertainty created by this variation, planners can combine priorities identified by alternative metrics at a single resolution and downweight areas of high variation between metrics. Alternately, coarse-resolution velocity metrics can be combined with fine-resolution diversity metrics in order to leverage the respective strengths of the two groups of metrics as tools for identification of potential macro- and microrefugia that in combination maximize both transient and long-term resilience to climate change. Planners should compare and integrate approaches that span a range of model complexity and spatial scale to match the range of ecological and physical processes influencing persistence of biodiversity and identify a conservation network resilient to threats operating at

  16. Backcasting the decline of a vulnerable Great Plains reproductive ecotype: identifying threats and conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthington, Thomas A.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Grabowski, Timothy B.; Mueller, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species are challenging because the multi-scale factors that relate to their decline or inhibit their recovery are often unknown. To further exacerbate matters, the perceptions associated with the mechanisms of species decline are often viewed myopically rather than across the entire species range. We used over 80 years of fish presence data collected from the Great Plains and associated ecoregions of the United States, to investigate the relative influence of changing environmental factors on the historic and current truncated distributions of the Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi. Arkansas River shiner represent a threatened reproductive ecotype considered especially well adapted to the harsh environmental extremes of the Great Plains. Historic (n = 163 records) and current (n = 47 records) species distribution models were constructed using a vector-based approach in MaxEnt by splitting the available data at a time when Arkansas River shiner dramatically declined. Discharge and stream order were significant predictors in both models; however, the shape of the relationship between the predictors and species presence varied between time periods. Drift distance (river fragment length available for ichthyoplankton downstream drift before meeting a barrier) was a more important predictor in the current model and indicated river segments 375–780 km had the highest probability of species presence. Performance for the historic and current models was high (area under the curve; AUC > 0.95); however, forecasting and backcasting to alternative time periods suggested less predictive power. Our results identify fragments that could be considered refuges for endemic plains fish species and we highlight significant environmental factors (e.g., discharge) that could be manipulated to aid recovery.

  17. An Approach to Evaluate Comprehensive Plan and Identify Priority Lands for Future Land Use Development to Conserve More Ecological Values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Zhou

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has significant impacts on the regional environmental quality through altering natural lands, converting them to urban built-up areas. One common strategy applied by urban planners to manage urbanization and preserve natural resources is to make a comprehensive plan and concentrate future land use in certain areas. However, in practice, planners used to make future land use planning mainly based on their subjective interpretations with limited ecological supporting evidence and analysis. Here, we propose a new approach composed of ecological modelling and land use zoning in the spatial matrix to evaluate the comprehensive plan and identify priority lands for sustainable land use planning. We use the city of Corvallis, OR, as the test bed to demonstrate this new approach. The results indicate that the Corvallis Comprehensive Plan 1998–2020 featured with compact development is not performing efficiently in conserving ecological values, and the land use plan featured with mixed-use spreading development generated by the proposed approach meets the city’s land demands for urban growth, and conserves 103% more ecological value of retaining storm water nitrogen, 270% more ecological value of retaining storm water phosphorus and 19% more ecological value in storing carbon in the whole watershed. This study indicates that if planned with scientific analysis and evidence, spreading urban development does not necessarily result in less sustainable urban environment than the compact development recommended in smart growth.

  18. Identifying national freshwater ecosystem priority areas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nel, JL

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This presentation highlights the use of systematic conservation planning to identify priority areas for managing the health of freshwater ecosystems and their associated biodiversity and ecosystem services....

  19. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    Full Text Available Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs, and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts we developed a "conservation priorities portfolio" system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58. We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority

  20. SPECIES RICHNESS AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PRIORITIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterns in the geographic distribution of seven species groups were used to identify important areas for conservation in British Columbia, Canada. Potential priority sites for conservation were determined using an integer programming algorithm that maximized the number of speci...

  1. Global Priorities for Marine Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selig, Elizabeth R.; Turner, Will R.; Troëng, Sebastian; Wallace, Bryan P.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Kaschner, Kristin; Lascelles, Ben G.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Mittermeier, Russell A.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity. PMID:24416151

  2. Global priorities for marine biodiversity conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth R Selig

    Full Text Available In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ. Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity.

  3. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  4. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  5. Priority Questions and Horizon Scanning for Conservation: A Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kark, Salit; Sutherland, William J.; Shanas, Uri; Klass, Keren; Achisar, Hila; Dayan, Tamar; Gavrieli, Yael; Justo-Hanani, Ronit; Mandelik, Yael; Orion, Nir; Pargament, David; Portman, Michelle; Reisman-Berman, Orna; Safriel, Uriel N.; Schaffer, Gad; Steiner, Noa; Tauber, Israel; Levin, Noam

    2016-01-01

    Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to socio-political issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future

  6. Optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation in China: a systematic conservation planning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ruidong; Long, Yongcheng; Malanson, George P; Garber, Paul A; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Diqiang; Zhao, Peng; Wang, Longzhu; Duo, Hairui

    2014-01-01

    By addressing several key features overlooked in previous studies, i.e. human disturbance, integration of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and principles of complementarity and representativeness, we present the first national-scale systematic conservation planning for China to determine the optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation. We compiled a spatial database on the distributions of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and modeled a human disturbance index (HDI) by aggregating information using several socioeconomic proxies. We ran Marxan with two scenarios (HDI-ignored and HDI-considered) to investigate the effects of human disturbance, and explored the geographic patterns of the optimized spatial conservation priorities. Compared to when HDI was ignored, the HDI-considered scenario resulted in (1) a marked reduction (∼9%) in the total HDI score and a slight increase (∼7%) in the total area of the portfolio of priority units, (2) a significant increase (∼43%) in the total irreplaceable area and (3) more irreplaceable units being identified in almost all environmental zones and highly-disturbed provinces. Thus the inclusion of human disturbance is essential for cost-effective priority-setting. Attention should be targeted to the areas that are characterized as moderately-disturbed, conservation. We delineated 23 primary large-scale priority areas that are significant for conserving China's biodiversity, but those isolated priority units in disturbed regions are in more urgent need of conservation actions so as to prevent immediate and severe biodiversity loss. This study presents a spatially optimized national-scale portfolio of conservation priorities--effectively representing the overall biodiversity of China while minimizing conflicts with economic development. Our results offer critical insights for current conservation and strategic land-use planning in China. The approach is transferable and easy

  7. Conservation Priority Index for Estuarine Fish (COPIEF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Paulo; Costa, José Lino; Raposo de Almeida, Pedro

    2008-12-01

    Public awareness regarding environmental issues has increased in recent decades. The increasing number of impact assessment studies, management and conservation plans, as well as ecological monitoring studies, demand new and more efficient techniques. Indices are an important tool to aid biologists in these studies and should allow an easier comprehension of the data by managers, decision-makers and the general public. This study presents the first multi-metrical index able to establish a hierarchical ordination of the conservation priority of the estuarine fish species using 72 species from 16 estuarine systems (W and S coasts of Portugal). The index is composed of 10 metrics, comprising species life traits, distribution and population trends. The information needed to score each metric was gathered from the published literature and the index validation was done by external means. This methodology allowed the definition of those fish species most in need of conservation planning, and those less prone to extinction in Portuguese estuarine systems. The proposed index fills a gap in our knowledge and provides a useful tool to the scientific community and to the decision-makers, being a breakthrough in the field of conservation planning of estuarine fish species.

  8. Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Ricketts

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four "priority sets" of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.

  9. Conservation Priorities for Tree Ferns (Cyatheaceae in Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. G. Ranil

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Diversity, phytogeography and conservation status of Sri Lankan tree-ferns are discussed in this paper. The family Cyatheaceae is represented by eight taxa (seven species and one doubtful variety in Sri Lanka with a high rate of endemism of 75%. Apart from Cyathea walkerae and C. gigantea, the other species are restricted to geographically isolated areas in the country with limited population sizes. Fortunately, all Sri Lankan species of Cyathea occur within the protected areas of the wet zone. However, ex situ conservation is limited to C. walkerae and C. crinita at Botanic Gardens in Hakgala. Despite the family being listed in Annex II of CITES, its species have not yet been assessed in Sri Lanka for the Red Listing criteria. Identification of the nature and level of threat to Sri Lankan Cyathea species is therefore a major priority, followed by the monitoring of populations in situ in protected areas in the wet zone. Ex situ conservation of rare species and cultivation of Cyathea species from spores have also been identified as priority areas. A strong programme should be developed with the National Herbarium to explore little known forest patches in the wet zone to enhance our knowledge of Cyathea species in Sri Lanka. Such information will provide a strong basis for preparing a conservation and management plan for tree-ferns in the country.

  10. Threats from urban expansion, agricultural transformation and forest loss on global conservation priority areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moilanen, Atte; Di Minin, Enrico

    2017-01-01

    Including threats in spatial conservation prioritization helps identify areas for conservation actions where biodiversity is at imminent risk of extinction. At the global level, an important limitation when identifying spatial priorities for conservation actions is the lack of information on the spatial distribution of threats. Here, we identify spatial conservation priorities under three prominent threats to biodiversity (residential and commercial development, agricultural expansion, and forest loss), which are primary drivers of habitat loss and threaten the persistence of the highest number of species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and for which spatial data is available. We first explore how global priority areas for the conservation of vertebrate (mammals, birds, and amphibians) species coded in the Red List as vulnerable to each threat differ spatially. We then identify spatial conservation priorities for all species vulnerable to all threats. Finally, we identify the potentially most threatened areas by overlapping the identified priority areas for conservation with maps for each threat. We repeat the same with four other well-known global conservation priority area schemes, namely Key Biodiversity Areas, Biodiversity Hotspots, the global Protected Area Network, and Wilderness Areas. We find that residential and commercial development directly threatens only about 4% of the global top 17% priority areas for species vulnerable under this threat. However, 50% of the high priority areas for species vulnerable to forest loss overlap with areas that have already experienced some forest loss. Agricultural expansion overlapped with ~20% of high priority areas. Biodiversity Hotspots had the greatest proportion of their total area under direct threat from all threats, while expansion of low intensity agriculture was found to pose an imminent threat to Wilderness Areas under future agricultural expansion. Our results

  11. Global mapping of ecosystem services and conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidoo, R.; Balmford, A.; Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Green, R. E.; Lehner, B.; Malcolm, T. R.; Ricketts, T. H.

    2008-01-01

    Global efforts to conserve biodiversity have the potential to deliver economic benefits to people (i.e., “ecosystem services”). However, regions for which conservation benefits both biodiversity and ecosystem services cannot be identified unless ecosystem services can be quantified and valued and their areas of production mapped. Here we review the theory, data, and analyses needed to produce such maps and find that data availability allows us to quantify imperfect global proxies for only four ecosystem services. Using this incomplete set as an illustration, we compare ecosystem service maps with the global distributions of conventional targets for biodiversity conservation. Our preliminary results show that regions selected to maximize biodiversity provide no more ecosystem services than regions chosen randomly. Furthermore, spatial concordance among different services, and between ecosystem services and established conservation priorities, varies widely. Despite this lack of general concordance, “win–win” areas—regions important for both ecosystem services and biodiversity—can be usefully identified, both among ecoregions and at finer scales within them. An ambitious interdisciplinary research effort is needed to move beyond these preliminary and illustrative analyses to fully assess synergies and trade-offs in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:18621701

  12. Integrating agricultural expansion into conservation biogeography: conflicts and priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Dobrovolski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing food production without compromising biodiversity is one of the great challenges for humanity. The aims of my thesis were to define spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation and to evaluate conservation conflicts considering agricultural expansion in the 21st century. I also tested the effect of globalizing conservation efforts on both food production and biodiversity conservation. I found spatial conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion. However, incorporating agricultural expansion data into the spatial prioritization process can significantly alleviate conservation conflicts, by reducing spatial correlation between the areas under high impact of agriculture and the priority areas for conservation. Moreover, developing conservation blueprints at the global scale, instead of the usual approach based on national boundaries, can benefit both food production and biodiversity. Based on these findings I conclude that the incorporation of agricultural expansion as a key component for defining global conservation strategies should be added to the list of solutions for our cultivated planet.

  13. Research priorities for conservation and natural resource management in Oceania's small-island developing states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, R; Adams, V M

    2018-02-01

    For conservation science to effectively inform management, research must focus on creating the scientific knowledge required to solve conservation problems. We identified research questions that, if answered, would increase the effectiveness of conservation and natural resource management practice and policy in Oceania's small-island developing states. We asked conservation professionals from academia, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations across the region to propose such questions and then identify which were of high priority in an online survey. We compared the high-priority questions with research questions identified globally and for other regions. Of 270 questions proposed by respondents, 38 were considered high priority, including: What are the highest priority areas for conservation in the face of increasing resource demand and climate change? How should marine protected areas be networked to account for connectivity and climate change? What are the most effective fisheries management policies that contribute to sustainable coral reef fisheries? High-priority questions related to the particular challenges of undertaking conservation on small-island developing states and the need for a research agenda that is responsive to the sociocultural context of Oceania. Research priorities for Oceania relative to elsewhere were broadly similar but differed in specific issues relevant to particular conservation contexts. These differences emphasize the importance of involving local practitioners in the identification of research priorities. Priorities were reasonably well aligned among sectoral groups. Only a few questions were widely considered answered, which may indicate a smaller-than-expected knowledge-action gap. We believe these questions can be used to strengthen research collaborations between scientists and practitioners working to further conservation and natural resource management in this region. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology

  14. Setting practical conservation priorities for birds in the Western Andes of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2014-10-01

    We aspired to set conservation priorities in ways that lead to direct conservation actions. Very large-scale strategic mapping leads to familiar conservation priorities exemplified by biodiversity hotspots. In contrast, tactical conservation actions unfold on much smaller geographical extents and they need to reflect the habitat loss and fragmentation that have sharply restricted where species now live. Our aspirations for direct, practical actions were demanding. First, we identified the global, strategic conservation priorities and then downscaled to practical local actions within the selected priorities. In doing this, we recognized the limitations of incomplete information. We started such a process in Colombia and used the results presented here to implement reforestation of degraded land to prevent the isolation of a large area of cloud forest. We used existing range maps of 171 bird species to identify priority conservation areas that would conserve the greatest number of species at risk in Colombia. By at risk species, we mean those that are endemic and have small ranges. The Western Andes had the highest concentrations of such species-100 in total-but the lowest densities of national parks. We then adjusted the priorities for this region by refining these species ranges by selecting only areas of suitable elevation and remaining habitat. The estimated ranges of these species shrank by 18-100% after accounting for habitat and suitable elevation. Setting conservation priorities on the basis of currently available range maps excluded priority areas in the Western Andes and, by extension, likely elsewhere and for other taxa. By incorporating detailed maps of remaining natural habitats, we made practical recommendations for conservation actions. One recommendation was to restore forest connections to a patch of cloud forest about to become isolated from the main Andes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Science for avian conservation: Priorities for the new millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, J.M.; Petit, D.R.; Sauer, J.R.; Samuel, M.D.; Johnson, F.A.; Fornwall, M.D.; Korschgen, C.E.; Bennett, J.P.

    2003-01-01

    Over the past decade, bird conservation activities have become the preeminent natural resource conservation effort in North America. Maturation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), establishment of Partners in Flight (PIF), and creation of comprehensive colonial waterbird and shorebird conservation plans have stimulated unprecedented interest in, and funding for, bird conservation in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries in the western hemisphere. Key to that success in the United States has been active collaboration among federal, state and local governments, conservation organizations, academia, and industry. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), which has primary statutory responsibility for migratory bird conservation and management, has been a key partner.Despite the great strides that have been made in bird conservation science, historical approaches to research and monitoring have often failed to provide sufficient information and understanding to effectively manage bird populations at large spatial scales. That shortcoming, and the lack of an integrated strategy and comprehensive set of research priorities, is more evident in light of the goals established by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). The NABCI is a trinational, coalition-driven effort to provide an organizational umbrella for existing conservation initiatives. The expanded focus of NABCI and individual bird conservation initiatives is to work together in an integrated, holistic fashion to keep common birds common and to increase populations of declining, threatened, and endangered species.To assist bird conservation initiatives in defining goals and developing new approaches to effective research, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the research agency of DOI, convened a workshop, “Science for Avian Conservation: Understanding, Modeling, and Applying Ecological Relationships,” on 31 October–2 November 2000, which brought together

  16. Identifying ambassador species for conservation marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.A. Macdonald

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation relies heavily on external funding, much of it from a supportive public. Therefore it is important to know which species are most likely to catalyse such funding. Whilst previous work has looked at the physical attributes that contribute to a species' appeal, no previous studies have tried to examine the extent to which a species' sympatriots might contribute to it's potential as flagship for wider conservation. Therefore, here we estimate ‘flexibility’ and ‘appeal’ scores for all terrestrial mammals (n = 4320 and identify which of these might serve as ambassadors (defined as both highly appealing and flexible. Relatively few mammals (between 240 and 331 emerged as ambassadors, with carnivores featuring heavily in this group (representing 5% of terrestrial mammals but 39% of ambassadors. ‘Top ambassadors’ were defined as those with both flexibility and appeal scores greater than 1 standard deviation above the mean. Less than a quarter of the 20 most endangered and evolutionary distinct species in this study were classed as ambassadors, highlighting the need for surrogate species to catalyse conservation effort in areas with such priority species. This is the first global analysis bringing together flexibility and appeal for all terrestrial mammals, and demonstrates an approach for determining how best to market species in order to achieve maximal conservation gain in a world with urgent conservation need but limited resources.

  17. Use of demand for and spatial flow of ecosystem services to identify priority areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, Willem; Kukkala, Aija S.; Moilanen, Atte; van Teeffelen, Astrid J.A.; Verburg, Peter H.

    2017-01-01

    Policies and research increasingly focus on the protection of ecosystem services (ESs) through priority-area conservation. Priority areas for ESs should be identified based on ES capacity and ES demand and account for the connections between areas of ES capacity and demand (flow) resulting in areas

  18. Priority conservation plans of ecological function areas for terrestrial endangered mammals in China

    OpenAIRE

    Gongqi Sun; Yi Qu; Meiqing Tang; Xiao Liu; Xiaofeng Luan

    2013-01-01

    To reduce costs and maximize species protection in China, we identified conservation priorities of endangered terrestrial mammals. Using geographic information system (GIS), we identified the irreplaceable values (IR) of 1,434 units of the terrestrial ecological function areas. Based on the IR values of the units, we divided the units into three classes with decreasing priorities, including the mandatory reserve (MR) units (20), the negotiable reserve (NR) units (29), and the partially reserv...

  19. Conservation Priorities for Terrestrial Birds in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells

    2005-01-01

    As part of the Partners in Flight (PIF) bird-conservation planning process, we assessed breeding land bird species according to seven categories of population vulnerability to derive a priority species pool in each of 12 physiographic areas that overlap the northeastern U.S. We then grouped species into the following habitat-species suites: (1) boreal-mountaintop...

  20. Use of demand for and spatial flow of ecosystem services to identify priority areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhagen, Willem; Kukkala, Aija S; Moilanen, Atte; van Teeffelen, Astrid J A; Verburg, Peter H

    2017-08-01

    Policies and research increasingly focus on the protection of ecosystem services (ESs) through priority-area conservation. Priority areas for ESs should be identified based on ES capacity and ES demand and account for the connections between areas of ES capacity and demand (flow) resulting in areas of unique demand-supply connections (flow zones). We tested ways to account for ES demand and flow zones to identify priority areas in the European Union. We mapped the capacity and demand of a global (carbon sequestration), a regional (flood regulation), and 3 local ESs (air quality, pollination, and urban leisure). We used Zonation software to identify priority areas for ESs based on 6 tests: with and without accounting for ES demand and 4 tests that accounted for the effect of ES flow zone. There was only 37.1% overlap between the 25% of priority areas that encompassed the most ESs with and without accounting for ES demand. The level of ESs maintained in the priority areas increased from 23.2% to 57.9% after accounting for ES demand, especially for ESs with a small flow zone. Accounting for flow zone had a small effect on the location of priority areas and level of ESs maintained but resulted in fewer flow zones without ES maintained relative to ignoring flow zones. Accounting for demand and flow zones enhanced representation and distribution of ESs with local to regional flow zones without large trade-offs relative to the global ES. We found that ignoring ES demand led to the identification of priority areas in remote regions where benefits from ES capacity to society were small. Incorporating ESs in conservation planning should therefore always account for ES demand to identify an effective priority network for ESs. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Governance factors in the identification of global conservation priorities for mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, Johanna; Arponen, Anni; Visconti, Piero; Cabeza, Mar

    2011-09-27

    Global conservation priorities have often been identified based on the combination of species richness and threat information. With the development of the field of systematic conservation planning, more attention has been given to conservation costs. This leads to prioritizing developing countries, where costs are generally low and biodiversity is high. But many of these countries have poor governance, which may result in ineffective conservation or in larger costs than initially expected. We explore how the consideration of governance affects the selection of global conservation priorities for the world's mammals in a complementarity-based conservation prioritization. We use data on Control of Corruption (Worldwide Governance Indicators project) as an indicator of governance effectiveness, and gross domestic product per capita as an indicator of cost. We show that, while core areas with high levels of endemism are always selected as important regardless of governance and cost values, there are clear regional differences in selected sites when biodiversity, cost or governance are taken into account separately. Overall, the analysis supports the concentration of conservation efforts in most of the regions generally considered of high priority, but stresses the need for different conservation approaches in different continents owing to spatial patterns of governance and economic development.

  2. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All

  3. Representation of global and national conservation priorities by Colombia's Protected Area Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forero-Medina, German; Joppa, Lucas

    2010-10-12

    How do national-level actions overlap with global priorities for conservation? Answering this question is especially important in countries with high and unique biological diversity like Colombia. Global biodiversity schemes provide conservation guidance at a large scale, while national governments gazette land for protection based on a combination of criteria at regional or local scales. Information on how a protected area network represents global and national conservation priorities is crucial for finding gaps in coverage and for future expansion of the system. We evaluated the agreement of Colombia's protected area network with global conservation priorities, and the extent to which the network reflects the country's biomes, species richness, and common environmental and physical conditions. We used this information to identify priority biomes for conservation. We find the dominant strategy in Colombia has been a proactive one, allocating the highest proportion of protected land on intact, difficult to access and species rich areas like the Amazon. Threatened and unique areas are disproportionately absent from Colombia's protected lands. We highlight six biomes in Colombia as conservation priorities that should be considered in any future expansion of Colombia's protected area network. Two of these biomes have less than 3% of their area protected and more than 70% of their area transformed for human use. One has less than 3% protected and high numbers of threatened vertebrates. Three biomes fall in both categories. Expansion of Colombia's Protected Area Network should consider the current representativeness of the network. We indicate six priority biomes that can contribute to improving the representation of threatened species and biomes in Colombia.

  4. From continental priorities to local conservation: a multi-level analysis for African tortoises.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierluigi Bombi

    Full Text Available Terrestrial tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrates but they are still largely ignored for defining global conservation priorities. In this paper, we explored within a hierarchical framework the potential contribution of prioritization studies at the continental scale to the planning of local initiatives for the conservation of African tortoises at the regional level. First, we modeled the distribution of all the African tortoise species, we calculated three indicators of conservation priority (i.e., species richness, conservation value, and complementarity, and we carried out a gap analysis at continental scale. Second, we focused on the most important region for tortoise conservation and performed the same analyses at higher resolution. Finally, we compared the results from the two scales for understanding the degree to which they are complementary. Southern Africa emerged from the continental analysis as the most important region for tortoises. Within this area, the high-resolution analysis pointed out specific core sites for conservation. The relative degree of species protection was assessed similarly at the two different resolutions. Two species appeared particularly vulnerable at both scales. Priority indices calculated at high resolution were correlated to the values calculated for the corresponding cells at low resolution but the congruence was stronger for species richness. Our results suggest to integrate the calculation of conservation value and complementarity into a hierarchical framework driven by species richness. The advantages of large scale planning include its broad perspective on complementarity and the capability to identify regions with greatest conservation potential. In this light, continental analyses allow targeting fine scale studies toward regions with maximum priority. The regional analyses at fine scale allow planning conservation measure at a resolution similar to that required for the practical

  5. Research Priorities from Animal Behaviour for Maximising Conservation Progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greggor, Alison L; Berger-Tal, Oded; Blumstein, Daniel T; Angeloni, Lisa; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Blackwell, Bradley F; St Clair, Colleen Cassady; Crooks, Kevin; de Silva, Shermin; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Goldenberg, Shifra Z; Mesnick, Sarah L; Owen, Megan; Price, Catherine J; Saltz, David; Schell, Christopher J; Suarez, Andrew V; Swaisgood, Ronald R; Winchell, Clark S; Sutherland, William J

    2016-12-01

    Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaboration across these two disciplines are unlikely to improve without clearly identified management needs and demonstrable impacts of behavioural-based conservation management. To facilitate this process, a team of wildlife managers and animal behaviour researchers conducted a research prioritisation exercise, identifying 50 key questions that have great potential to resolve critical conservation and management problems. The resulting agenda highlights the diversity and extent of advances that both fields could achieve through collaboration. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Priority setting partnership to identify the top 10 research priorities for the management of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, Katherine H O; Flaherty, Helen; Daley, David J; Pascoe, Roland; Penhale, Bridget; Clarke, Carl E; Sackley, Catherine; Storey, Stacey

    2014-12-14

    This priority setting partnership was commissioned by Parkinson's UK to encourage people with direct and personal experience of the condition to work together to identify and prioritise the top 10 evidential uncertainties that impact on everyday clinical practice for the management of Parkinson's disease (PD). The UK. Anyone with experience of PD including: people with Parkinson's (PwP), carers, family and friends, healthcare and social care professionals. Non-clinical researchers and employees of pharmaceutical or medical devices companies were excluded. 1000 participants (60% PwP) provided ideas on research uncertainties, 475 (72% PwP) initially prioritised them and 27 (37% PwP) stakeholders agreed a final top 10. Using a modified nominal group technique, participants were surveyed to identify what issues for the management of PD needed research. Unique research questions unanswered by current evidence were identified and participants were asked to identify their top 10 research priorities from this list. The top 26 uncertainties were presented to a consensus meeting with key stakeholders to agree the top 10 research priorities. 1000 participants provided 4100 responses, which contained 94 unique unanswered research questions that were initially prioritised by 475 participants. A consensus meeting with 27 stakeholders agreed the top 10 research priorities. The overarching research aspiration was an effective cure for PD. The top 10 research priorities for PD management included the need to address motor symptoms (balance and falls, and fine motor control), non-motor symptoms (sleep and urinary dysfunction), mental health issues (stress and anxiety, dementia and mild cognitive impairments), side effects of medications (dyskinesia) and the need to develop interventions specific to the phenotypes of PD and better monitoring methods. These research priorities identify crucial gaps in the existing evidence to address everyday practicalities in the management of the

  7. Understanding the effects of different social data on selecting priority conservation areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Azadeh; Tulloch, Ayesha I T; Brown, Greg; Hockings, Marc

    2017-12-01

    Conservation success is contingent on assessing social and environmental factors so that cost-effective implementation of strategies and actions can be placed in a broad social-ecological context. Until now, the focus has been on how to include spatially explicit social data in conservation planning, whereas the value of different kinds of social data has received limited attention. In a regional systematic conservation planning case study in Australia, we examined the spatial concurrence of a range of spatially explicit social values and land-use preferences collected using a public participation geographic information system and biological data. We used Zonation to integrate the social data with the biological data in a series of spatial-prioritization scenarios to determine the effect of the different types of social data on spatial prioritization compared with biological data alone. The type of social data (i.e., conservation opportunities or constraints) significantly affected spatial prioritization outcomes. The integration of social values and land-use preferences under different scenarios was highly variable and generated spatial prioritizations 1.2-51% different from those based on biological data alone. The inclusion of conservation-compatible values and preferences added relatively few new areas to conservation priorities, whereas including noncompatible economic values and development preferences as costs significantly changed conservation priority areas (48.2% and 47.4%, respectively). Based on our results, a multifaceted conservation prioritization approach that combines spatially explicit social data with biological data can help conservation planners identify the type of social data to collect for more effective and feasible conservation actions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Conservation priorities for mammals in megadiverse Mexico: the efficiency of reserve networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo

    2007-03-01

    A major goal of conservation biologists is to identify critical areas for the conservation of biological diversity and then strategically include them in an efficient system of reserves. In general, however, reserve networks have been selected for different objectives, and most countries lack an evaluation of their reserves' ability to represent a percentage of the national diversity. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a network of reserves to represent the species of mammals in Mexico. The focus of the analyses is on species and site level, evaluating the representation of all terrestrial mammals in the 30 most important reserves. The representation of all species, endemic species, endangered species, and species with restricted distributions in the reserves was assessed and compared. Endemic or endangered species with restricted distributions were expected to be less represented in reserves than were widespread species. The most important reserves for the conservation of mammals were determined with the use of complementarity analyses. Priority sites for the representation of all the species currently absent from the reserve network were then selected. The results have broad applications for conservation. First, 82% of the mammal species from Mexico were represented in the reserve network, which covers a small portion (3.8%) of the country. Second, this percentage is certainly larger as several reserves were not evaluated due to a lack of data. A priority for a national conservation strategy could be to conduct biological surveys in those reserves lacking inventories to evaluate their contribution to conservation. Third, in spite of its demonstrated value, Mexico's reserve network can be improved by designating complementary areas. Additional priority sites, where reserves are required to represent most gap species in the network, were identified. Finally, it is clear that this reserve network has limitations for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem

  9. Biodiversity conservation in Costa Rica: a correspondence analysis between identified biodiversity hotspots (Araceae, Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, and Scarabaeinae and conservation priority life zones Conservación de la biodiversidad en Costa Rica: análisis de la correspondencia entre áreas identificadas clave por su biodiversidad (Araceae, Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae y Scarabaeinae y zonas de vida prioritarias para la conservación

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bert Kohlmann

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper undertook an analysis of the distribution of high species richness and areas of endemism based on plants (Araceae, Arecaceae, and Bromeliaceae and dung beetles (Scarabaeinae inhabiting the different Holdridge Life Zones of Costa Rica. Using a geographic information system (GIS we analyzed biogeographic provinces, in terms of their representativity in sampling areas, life zones, and protected areas. Species richness and endemism maps served as a base for conducting a gap analysis and defining 6 different levels of high priority conservation areas. What percentages of these priority areas are under some type of protection or conservation scheme and which of these areas should be enlarged were also investigated. The degree of feasibility that these areas under protection have for enlargement is indicated. A list is included of all the aforementioned registered species for Costa Rica, as well as their presence in the different Holdridge Life Zones and their endemism status. Four areas with the highest species richness were identified, and 3 new areas of endemism are proposed. The most important conservation priority areas are the tropical wet forests on the northeastern lowlands, the Osa Peninsula region, and the premontane wet forest along the Guanacaste, Tilarán and Central mountain ranges. This study clearly demonstrates the need to include and compare different groups of organisms in biodiversity-endemism studies, in order to obtain more robust and finer-grained studies.El presente estudio analiza la distribución de áreas de alta riqueza específica y endemismos basado en plantas (Araceae, Arecaceae, y Bromeliaceae y escarabajos del estiércol (Scarabaeinae, que habitan las diferentes Zonas de Vida de Holdridge en Costa Rica. Mediante el uso de un sistema de información geográfica (SIG analizamos provincias biogeográficas, en relación a la representatividad de las áreas de muestreo, las zonas de vida y las áreas protegidas

  10. Effects of threat management interactions on conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auerbach, Nancy A; Wilson, Kerrie A; Tulloch, Ayesha I T; Rhodes, Jonathan R; Hanson, Jeffrey O; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-12-01

    Decisions need to be made about which biodiversity management actions are undertaken to mitigate threats and about where these actions are implemented. However, management actions can interact; that is, the cost, benefit, and feasibility of one action can change when another action is undertaken. There is little guidance on how to explicitly and efficiently prioritize management for multiple threats, including deciding where to act. Integrated management could focus on one management action to abate a dominant threat or on a strategy comprising multiple actions to abate multiple threats. Furthermore management could be undertaken at sites that are in close proximity to reduce costs. We used cost-effectiveness analysis to prioritize investments in fire management, controlling invasive predators, and reducing grazing pressure in a bio-diverse region of southeastern Queensland, Australia. We compared outcomes of 5 management approaches based on different assumptions about interactions and quantified how investment needed, benefits expected, and the locations prioritized for implementation differed when interactions were taken into account. Managing for interactions altered decisions about where to invest and in which actions to invest and had the potential to deliver increased investment efficiency. Differences in high priority locations and actions were greatest between the approaches when we made different assumptions about how management actions deliver benefits through threat abatement: either all threats must be managed to conserve species or only one management action may be required. Threatened species management that does not consider interactions between actions may result in misplaced investments or misguided expectations of the effort required to mitigate threats to species. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Identifying Priorities for Aging Policies in Two Portuguese Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárrios, Maria João; Fernandes, Ana Alexandre; Fonseca, António Manuel

    2018-02-20

    The aging population has an impact on health, social, and economic issues in regard to individuals, communities, and organizations. The challenge for local policies in response to aging is to create sufficient resources to meet the population's needs, wishes, and rights as people age. Active aging constitutes one of the guiding perspectives on policies. Taking into account the local governance perspective, the Model for Aging Local Policies Analysis (MALPA) was created in order to convert the active aging paradigm into a practical approach, as a technique to evaluate and analyze local aging policies. In this research, the MALPA instrument was applied in two Portuguese communities (Coruche and Oeiras). The objective was to identify the intervention priorities of aging policies in both communities, determining whether the instrument can facilitate the development of proposals for the improvement of local aging policies. It was possible to evaluate the communities and programs, identifying the least appropriate policy actions regarding the intervention priorities. The results allowed us to identify 10 priorities about collaborative governance, involvement of the elderly in the policy-making process, lifelong learning, economic hardship, policies for all ages, isolated vulnerable and fragile groups, intergenerational contacts, safety in all policies, labor opportunities, and conditions and transport network improvement.

  12. Identification of priority conservation areas and potential corridors for jaguars in the Caatinga biome, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; Ferraz, Katia Maria Paschoaletto Micchi de Barros; de Paula, Rogério Cunha; de Campos, Cláudia Bueno

    2014-01-01

    The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a top predator with the extant population found within the Brazilian Caatinga biome now known to be on the brink of extinction. Designing new conservation units and potential corridors are therefore crucial for the long-term survival of the species within the Caatinga biome. Thus, our aims were: 1) to recognize suitable areas for jaguar occurrence, 2) to delineate areas for jaguar conservation (PJCUs), 3) to design corridors among priority areas, and 4) to prioritize PJCUs. A total of 62 points records of jaguar occurrence and 10 potential predictors were analyzed in a GIS environment. A predictive distributional map was obtained using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) as performed by the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) algorithm. Areas equal to or higher than the median suitability value of 0.595 were selected as of high suitability for jaguar occurrence and named as Priority Jaguar Conservation Units (PJCU). Ten PJCUs with sizes varying from 23.6 km2 to 4,311.0 km2 were identified. Afterwards, we combined the response curve, as generated by SDM, and expert opinions to create a permeability matrix and to identify least cost corridors and buffer zones between each PJCU pair. Connectivity corridors and buffer zone for jaguar movement included an area of 8.884,26 km2 and the total corridor length is about 160.94 km. Prioritizing criteria indicated the PJCU representing c.a. 68.61% of the total PJCU area (PJCU # 1) as of high priority for conservation and connectivity with others PJCUs (PJCUs # 4, 5 and 7) desirable for the long term survival of the species. In conclusion, by using the jaguar as a focal species and combining SDM and expert opinion we were able to create a valid framework for practical conservation actions at the Caatinga biome. The same approach could be used for the conservation of other carnivores.

  13. Identification of priority conservation areas and potential corridors for jaguars in the Caatinga biome, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato

    Full Text Available The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a top predator with the extant population found within the Brazilian Caatinga biome now known to be on the brink of extinction. Designing new conservation units and potential corridors are therefore crucial for the long-term survival of the species within the Caatinga biome. Thus, our aims were: 1 to recognize suitable areas for jaguar occurrence, 2 to delineate areas for jaguar conservation (PJCUs, 3 to design corridors among priority areas, and 4 to prioritize PJCUs. A total of 62 points records of jaguar occurrence and 10 potential predictors were analyzed in a GIS environment. A predictive distributional map was obtained using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM as performed by the Maximum Entropy (Maxent algorithm. Areas equal to or higher than the median suitability value of 0.595 were selected as of high suitability for jaguar occurrence and named as Priority Jaguar Conservation Units (PJCU. Ten PJCUs with sizes varying from 23.6 km2 to 4,311.0 km2 were identified. Afterwards, we combined the response curve, as generated by SDM, and expert opinions to create a permeability matrix and to identify least cost corridors and buffer zones between each PJCU pair. Connectivity corridors and buffer zone for jaguar movement included an area of 8.884,26 km2 and the total corridor length is about 160.94 km. Prioritizing criteria indicated the PJCU representing c.a. 68.61% of the total PJCU area (PJCU # 1 as of high priority for conservation and connectivity with others PJCUs (PJCUs # 4, 5 and 7 desirable for the long term survival of the species. In conclusion, by using the jaguar as a focal species and combining SDM and expert opinion we were able to create a valid framework for practical conservation actions at the Caatinga biome. The same approach could be used for the conservation of other carnivores.

  14. Key Biodiversity Areas in the Philippines: Priorities for Conservation

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    R.G.R. Ambal

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available A process for identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs for the Philippines was undertaken in two phases. The 128 terrestrial and freshwater KBAs were identified in 2006 and the 123 marine KBAs were identified in 2009. A total of 228 KBAs resulted from the integration of the terrestrial, freshwater and marine KBAs. These KBAs represent the known habitat of 855 globally important species of plants, corals, molluscs, elasmobranchs, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in the country. Inclusion of these KBAs in the country’s protected area system will be a significant step towards ensuring the conservation of the full scope of the country’s natural heritage.

  15. Temporal evaluation of the Conservation Priority Index for medicinal plants

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    André dos Santos Souza

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We investigated, through a temporal comparison, the extraction of non-timber forest resources by quantitatively analyzing the Conservation Priority Index (CPI. The study focused on the Fulni-ô Indigenous Territory, in the municipality of Águas Belas, PE (Northeast Brazil, which is characterized by caatinga vegetation (seasonal dry forest. Information on the availability of the exploited resources and the reported use of the species were obtained from vegetation sampling and semi-structured interviews, respectively. Our results demonstrated a reduction in species richness overtime, which may be due to continued resource extraction in the area, and that some species with low densities were even more affected. The species reported as being at high risk in the current study apparently did not differ from their status in the previous study, which supports the idea that these species are most evident in this situation more for their high potential of use than for their high densities. When we associate these events together with the disappearance of some rare species, we can conclude that the CPI was not efficient in predicting changes, and that the combination of variables used with the biological variables of the species needs to be adjusted.

  16. Conservation priorities for endangered Indian tigers through a genomic lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natesh, Meghana; Atla, Goutham; Nigam, Parag; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Zachariah, Arun; Borthakur, Udayan; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2017-08-29

    Tigers have lost 93% of their historical range worldwide. India plays a vital role in the conservation of tigers since nearly 60% of all wild tigers are currently found here. However, as protected areas are small (<300 km 2 on average), with only a few individuals in each, many of them may not be independently viable. It is thus important to identify and conserve genetically connected populations, as well as to maintain connectivity within them. We collected samples from wild tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) across India and used genome-wide SNPs to infer genetic connectivity. We genotyped 10,184 SNPs from 38 individuals across 17 protected areas and identified three genetically distinct clusters (corresponding to northwest, southern and central India). The northwest cluster was isolated with low variation and high relatedness. The geographically large central cluster included tigers from central, northeastern and northern India, and had the highest variation. Most genetic diversity (62%) was shared among clusters, while unique variation was highest in the central cluster (8.5%) and lowest in the northwestern one (2%). We did not detect signatures of differential selection or local adaptation. We highlight that the northwest population requires conservation attention to ensure persistence of these tigers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-20

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

  18. Taxonomic research priorities for the conservation of the South African flora

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    Lize von Staden

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Taxonomic revisions, monographs and floras are the most important, and often the only source of data for assessing the extinction risk of plants, with recent revisions contributing to more accurate assessments. The recently completed Red List of South African plants involved an overview of the taxonomic literature pertaining to the South African flora, providing an opportunity to identify critical gaps in taxonomic coverage. In this study we identified taxonomic research priorities for effective conservation of South African plants. Priorities were identified at genus level, according to time since last revision, level of endemism, collecting effort, proportion of taxa included in revisions, and specimen identification confidence. Although the results indicate that 62% of the flora has been recently revised, revisionary taxonomic output has declined drastically, particularly in the past 10 years. This decline is a result of a decrease in revisionary productivity per taxonomist and not a result of a decline in the number of working taxonomists. The family Aizoaceae is the top priority for taxonomic research with 55% of taxa in need of revision, followed by Hyacinthaceae with 34% of taxa not yet revised. Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae, Malvaceae, Asteraceae and Acanthaceae are also priorities with over 30% of taxa last revised before 1970. We recommend the reinstatement of the Flora of Southern Africa project in an online format in order to centralise South Africa's existing taxonomic information and reinvigorate revisionary taxonomic study. This project will allow South Africa to fulfil its commitments to the Convention on Biodiversity by achieving Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

  19. [Identification of marine and coastal biodiversity conservation priorities in Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado, Juan José; Herrera, Bernal; Corrales, Lenin; Asch, Jenny; Paaby, Pía

    2011-06-01

    Costa Rica is recognized as one of the most diverse countries in species and ecosystems, in their terrestrial realm as well as in the marine. Besides this relevance, the country presents a delay on conservation and management of marine and coastal biodiversity, with respect to terrestrial. For 2006, the marine protected surface was 5,208.8 km2, with 331.5 km of coastline, in 20 protected areas. The country has made progress on the conservation priority sites identification for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity, with few efforts on marine planning. This research presents the analysis and results of the gap identification process, for marine and coastal biodiversity conservation in the protected areas system of Costa Rica. The analysis was built with the spatial information available on the presence and distribution of coastal and marine biodiversity, the establishment of the conservation goals and a threat analysis over the ecological integrity of this biodiversity. The selection of high-priority sites was carried out using spatial optimization techniques and the superposition over the current shape of marine protected areas, in order to identify representation gaps. A total of 19,076 km2 of conservation gaps were indentified, with 1,323 km2 in the Caribbean and 17,753 km2 in the Pacific. Recommendations are aimed at planning and strengthening the marine protected areas system, using the gaps identified as a framework. It is expected that the results of this study would be the scientific base needed for planning and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the country.

  20. Identifying research priorities for effective retention strategies in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Anna; Daykin, Anne; Shaw, Alison R G; Lane, Athene J; Blazeby, Jane M; Clarke, Mike; Williamson, Paula; Gamble, Carrol

    2017-08-31

    The failure to retain patients or collect primary-outcome data is a common challenge for trials and reduces the statistical power and potentially introduces bias into the analysis. Identifying strategies to minimise missing data was the second highest methodological research priority in a Delphi survey of the Directors of UK Clinical Trial Units (CTUs) and is important to minimise waste in research. Our aim was to assess the current retention practices within the UK and priorities for future research to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to reduce attrition. Seventy-five chief investigators of NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA)-funded trials starting between 2009 and 2012 were surveyed to elicit their awareness about causes of missing data within their trial and recommended practices for improving retention. Forty-seven CTUs registered within the UKCRC network were surveyed separately to identify approaches and strategies being used to mitigate missing data across trials. Responses from the current practice surveys were used to inform a subsequent two-round Delphi survey with registered CTUs. A consensus list of retention research strategies was produced and ranked by priority. Fifty out of seventy-five (67%) chief investigators and 33/47 (70%) registered CTUs completed the current practice surveys. Seventy-eight percent of trialists were aware of retention challenges and implemented strategies at trial design. Patient-initiated withdrawal was the most common cause of missing data. Registered CTUs routinely used newsletters, timeline of participant visits, and telephone reminders to mitigate missing data. Whilst 36 out of 59 strategies presented had been formally or informally evaluated, some frequently used strategies, such as site initiation training, have had no research to inform practice. Thirty-five registered CTUs (74%) participated in the Delphi survey. Research into the effectiveness of site initiation training, frequency of patient contact

  1. RD & D priorities for energy production and resource conservation from municipal solid waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-08-01

    This report identifies research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) needs and priorities associated with municipal solid waste (MSW) management technologies that conserve or produce energy or resources. The changing character of MSW waste management and the public`s heightened awareness of its real and perceived benefits and costs creates opportunities for RD&D in MSW technologies. Increased recycling, for example, creates new opportunities for energy, chemicals, and materials recovery. New technologies to control and monitor emissions from MSW combustion facilities are available for further improvement or application. Furthermore, emerging waste-to-energy technologies may offer environmental, economic, and other advantages. Given these developments, DOE identified a need to assess the RD&D needs and pdodties and carefully target RD&D efforts to help solve the carbon`s waste management problem and further the National Energy Strategy. This report presents such an assessment. It identifies and Documents RD&D needs and priorities in the broad area of MSW resource . recovery, focusing on efforts to make MSW management technologies commercially viable or to improve their commercial deployment over a 5 to l0 year period. Panels of technical experts identifies 279 RD&D needs in 12 technology areas, ranking about one-fifth of these needs as priorities. A ``Peer Review Group`` identified mass-burn combustion, ``systems studies,`` landfill gas, and ash utilization and disposal as high priority areas for RD&D based on cost and the impacts of further RD&D. The results of this assessment are intended to provide guidance to DOE concerning possible future RD&D projects.

  2. Practical approaches for assessing local land use change and conservation priorities in the tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivas, Cassandra J.

    the SCP assessment and ways to overcome limitations. These included obtaining and using publicly available data resources, collaborating with institutions or organizations with resources, and using expertise to employ the analytical process. In conclusion, the local conservation organization should ultimately decide whether or not to use the SCP approach using reviews such as this one and the feasibility assessment model provided in this chapter. In Chapter 3, to support locally based conservation planning efforts in southwestern Nicaragua, I collaborated with a small NGO and produced valuable data products for conservation planning. I produced a land-use and land cover change (LULC) classification and identified hot and cold spots (i.e., high and low concentration) of land cover change between the years of 2000 - 2009. I used SPOT satellite imagery from 2009, ground referenced data, and manual training points to classify 10 LULC types using a regression tree algorithm. I employed a post-classification change detection analysis to compare my classification to one from the year of 2000, applied a cluster analysis to delineate hot and cold spots of change, and used the resulting data products to identify preliminary conservation and restoration priorities. The LULC classification accuracy was 87.9% and deforestation rates were approximately 5.6% per year. I observed that pasture was the most converted-to class, plantation was a proliferating class, and some regrowth succeeded into secondary forest. Hotspots and cold spots of change for conservation concern included areas converted from forest into pasture, which often occurred in areas of rugged terrain. Hotspots from forest to plantation occurred in the northern isthmus, while cold spots occurred in the south. These two trends revealed the vulnerability of remaining secondary forests, which are of primary importance to regional conservation efforts. Conservation priorities included remaining old secondary forest

  3. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina

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    Matthew L. Clark

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas.

  4. Top priorities of Canadian and American policymakers for conservation science

    Science.gov (United States)

    We summarize the content of America's "top 40" conservation research questions and how they can inform policy and management needs that emerged from informal interviews with senior policymakers and other decision makers

  5. Setting conservation priorities for migratory networks under uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L; Klaassen, Marcel; Nicol, Sam; Possingham, Hugh P; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A

    2017-06-01

    Conserving migratory species requires protecting connected habitat along the pathways they travel. Despite recent improvements in tracking animal movements, migratory connectivity remains poorly resolved at a population level for the vast majority of species, thus conservation prioritization is hampered. To address this data limitation, we developed a novel approach to spatial prioritization based on a model of potential connectivity derived from empirical data on species abundance and distance traveled between sites during migration. We applied the approach to migratory shorebirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Conservation strategies that prioritized sites based on connectivity and abundance metrics together maintained larger populations of birds than strategies that prioritized sites based only on abundance metrics. The conservation value of a site therefore depended on both its capacity to support migratory animals and its position within the migratory pathway; the loss of crucial sites led to partial or total population collapse. We suggest that conservation approaches that prioritize sites supporting large populations of migrants should, where possible, also include data on the spatial arrangement of sites. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Delineating priority habitat areas for the conservation of Andean bears in northern Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralvo, M.F.; Cuesta, F.; Van Manen, F.

    2005-01-01

    We sought to identify priority areas for the conservation of Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) habitat in the northern portion of the eastern Andean cordillera in Ecuador. The study area included pa??ramo and montane forest habitats within the Antisana and Cayambe-Coca ecological reserves, and unprotected areas north of these reserves with elevations ranging from 1,800 to 4,300 m. We collected data on bear occurrence along 53 transects during 2000-01 in the Oyacachi River basin, an area of indigenous communities within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. We used those data and a set of 7 environmental variables to predict suitability of Andean bear habitat using Mahalanobis distance, a multivariate measure of dissimilarity. The Mahalanobis distance values were classified into 5 classes of habitat suitability and generalized to a resolution of 1,650-m ?? 1,650-m grid cells. Clusters of grid cells with high suitability values were delineated from the generalized model and denned as important habitat areas (IHAs) for conservation. The IHAs were ranked using a weighted index that included factors of elevation range, influence from disturbed areas, and current conservation status. We identified 12 IHAs, which were mainly associated with pa??ramo and cloud forest habitats; 2 of these areas have high conservation priorities because they are outside existing reserves and close to areas of human pressure. The distribution of the IHAs highlighted the role of human land use as the main source of fragmentation of Andean bear habitat in this region, emphasizing the importance of preserving habitat connectivity to allow the seasonal movements among habitat types that we documented for this species. Furthermore, the existence of areas with high habitat suitability close to areas of intense human use indicates the importance of bear-human conflict management as a critical Andean bear conservation strategy. We suggest that a promising conservation opportunity for this species is

  7. Conservation priorities in a biodiversity hotspot: analysis of narrow endemic plant species in New Caledonia.

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    Adrien S Wulff

    Full Text Available New Caledonia is a global biodiversity hotspot facing extreme environmental degradation. Given the urgent need for conservation prioritisation, we have made a first-pass quantitative assessment of the distribution of Narrow Endemic Species (NES in the flora to identify species and sites that are potentially important for conservation action. We assessed the distributional status of all angiosperm and gymnosperm species using data from taxonomic descriptions and herbarium samples. We characterised species as being NES if they occurred in 3 or fewer locations. In total, 635 of the 2930 assessed species were classed as NES, of which only 150 have been subjected to the IUCN conservation assessment. As the distributional patterns of un-assessed species from one or two locations correspond well with assessed species which have been classified as Critically Endangered or Endangered respectively, we suggest that our distributional data can be used to prioritise species for IUCN assessment. We also used the distributional data to produce a map of "Hotspots of Plant Narrow Endemism" (HPNE. Combined, we used these data to evaluate the coincidence of NES with mining activities (a major source of threat on New Caledonia and also areas of conservation protection. This is to identify species and locations in most urgent need of further conservation assessment and subsequent action. Finally, we grouped the NES based on the environments they occurred in and modelled the habitat distribution of these groups with a Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Model (MaxEnt. The NES were separable into three different groups based primarily on geological differences. The distribution of the habitat types for each group coincide partially with the HPNE described above and also indicates some areas which have high habitat suitability but few recorded NES. Some of these areas may represent under-sampled hotspots of narrow endemism and are priorities for further field work.

  8. Factoring economic costs into conservation planning may not improve agreement over priorities for protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armsworth, Paul R; Jackson, Heather B; Cho, Seong-Hoon; Clark, Melissa; Fargione, Joseph E; Iacona, Gwenllian D; Kim, Taeyoung; Larson, Eric R; Minney, Thomas; Sutton, Nathan A

    2017-12-21

    Conservation organizations must redouble efforts to protect habitat given continuing biodiversity declines. Prioritization of future areas for protection is hampered by disagreements over what the ecological targets of conservation should be. Here we test the claim that such disagreements will become less important as conservation moves away from prioritizing areas for protection based only on ecological considerations and accounts for varying costs of protection using return-on-investment (ROI) methods. We combine a simulation approach with a case study of forests in the eastern United States, paying particular attention to how covariation between ecological benefits and economic costs influences agreement levels. For many conservation goals, agreement over spatial priorities improves with ROI methods. However, we also show that a reliance on ROI-based prioritization can sometimes exacerbate disagreements over priorities. As such, accounting for costs in conservation planning does not enable society to sidestep careful consideration of the ecological goals of conservation.

  9. Terrestrial Birds and Conservation Priorities in Baja California Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricardo Rodriguez-Estrella

    2005-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula has been categorized as an Endemic Bird Area of the world and it is an important wintering area for a number of aquatic, wading and migratory landbird species. It is an important area for conservation of bird diversity in northwestern México. In spite of this importance, only few, scattered studies have been done on the ecology...

  10. Ecosystem services and opportunity costs shift spatial priorities for conserving forest biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schröter

    Full Text Available Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone or partially restricted (partial use zone. Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2% and the non-use zone (+3.2%. Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%, which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1% of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.

  11. Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröter, Matthias; Rusch, Graciela M.; Barton, David N.; Blumentrath, Stefan; Nordén, Björn

    2014-01-01

    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%. PMID:25393951

  12. Priority areas for large mammal conservation in Equatorial Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Mizuki; Ruffler, Heidi; Berlemont, Antoine; Campbell, Genevieve; Esono, Fidel; Agbor, Anthony; Mbomio, Domingo; Ebana, Agustín; Nze, Antonio; Kühl, Hjalmar S

    2013-01-01

    Hunting is one of the main driving forces behind large mammal density distribution in many regions of the world. In tropical Africa, urban demand for bushmeat has been shown to dominate over subsistence hunting and its impact often overrides spatial-ecological species characteristics. To effectively protect remaining mammal populations the main factors that influence their distribution need to be integrated into conservation area prioritisation and management plans. This information has been lacking for Río Muni, Equatorial Guinea, as prior studies have been outdated or have not systematically covered the continental region of the country. In this study we evaluated: 1) the relative importance of local vs. commercial hunting; 2) wildlife density of protected vs. non-protected areas; and 3) the importance of ecological factors vs. human influence in driving mammal density distribution in Río Muni. We adopted a systematic countrywide line transect approach with particular focus on apes and elephants, but also including other mammal species. For analysis of field data we used generalised linear models with a set of predictor variables representing ecological conditions, anthropogenic pressure and protected areas. We estimate that there are currently 884 (437-1,789) elephants and 11,097 (8,719-13,592) chimpanzees and gorillas remaining in Río Muni. The results indicate strong hunting pressures on both local and commercial levels, with roads demonstrating a negative impact on elephants and overall mammal body mass. Protected areas played no role in determining any of the mammal species distributions and significant human hunting signs were found inside these protected areas, illustrating the lack of environmental law enforcement throughout the country. Río Muni is currently under-represented in conservation efforts in Western Equatorial Africa, and we recommend a focus on cross-boundary conservation, in particular in the Monte Alén-Monts de Cristal and Río Campo

  13. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Conservation priority setting based on phylogenetic diversity has frequently been proposed but rarely implemented. Here, we define a simple index that measures the contribution made by different species to phylogenetic diversity and show how the index might contribute towards species-based conservation priorities. We describe procedures to control for missing species, incomplete phylogenetic resolution and uncertainty in node ages that make it possible to apply the method in poorly known clades. We also show that the index is independent of clade size in phylogenies of more than 100 species, indicating that scores from unrelated taxonomic groups are likely to be comparable. Similar scores are returned under two different species concepts, suggesting that the index is robust to taxonomic changes. The approach is applied to a near-complete species-level phylogeny of the Mammalia to generate a global priority list incorporating both phylogenetic diversity and extinction risk. The 100 highest-ranking species represent a high proportion of total mammalian diversity and include many species not usually recognised as conservation priorities. Many species that are both evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE species do not benefit from existing conservation projects or protected areas. The results suggest that global conservation priorities may have to be reassessed in order to prevent a disproportionately large amount of mammalian evolutionary history becoming extinct in the near future.

  14. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  15. Sources and sinks of diversification and conservation priorities for the Mexican tropical dry forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith X Becerra

    Full Text Available Elucidating the geographical history of diversification is critical for inferring where future diversification may occur and thus could be a valuable aid in determining conservation priorities. However, it has been difficult to recognize areas with a higher likelihood of promoting diversification. We reconstructed centres of origin of lineages and identified areas in the Mexican tropical dry forest that have been important centres of diversification (sources and areas where species are maintained but where diversification is less likely to occur (diversity sinks. We used a molecular phylogeny of the genus Bursera, a dominant member of the forest, along with information on current species distributions. Results indicate that vast areas of the forest have historically functioned as diversity sinks, generating few or no extant Bursera lineages. Only a few areas have functioned as major engines of diversification. Long-term preservation of biodiversity may be promoted by incorporation of such knowledge in decision-making.

  16. Priority areas for large mammal conservation in Equatorial Guinea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mizuki Murai

    Full Text Available Hunting is one of the main driving forces behind large mammal density distribution in many regions of the world. In tropical Africa, urban demand for bushmeat has been shown to dominate over subsistence hunting and its impact often overrides spatial-ecological species characteristics. To effectively protect remaining mammal populations the main factors that influence their distribution need to be integrated into conservation area prioritisation and management plans. This information has been lacking for Río Muni, Equatorial Guinea, as prior studies have been outdated or have not systematically covered the continental region of the country. In this study we evaluated: 1 the relative importance of local vs. commercial hunting; 2 wildlife density of protected vs. non-protected areas; and 3 the importance of ecological factors vs. human influence in driving mammal density distribution in Río Muni. We adopted a systematic countrywide line transect approach with particular focus on apes and elephants, but also including other mammal species. For analysis of field data we used generalised linear models with a set of predictor variables representing ecological conditions, anthropogenic pressure and protected areas. We estimate that there are currently 884 (437-1,789 elephants and 11,097 (8,719-13,592 chimpanzees and gorillas remaining in Río Muni. The results indicate strong hunting pressures on both local and commercial levels, with roads demonstrating a negative impact on elephants and overall mammal body mass. Protected areas played no role in determining any of the mammal species distributions and significant human hunting signs were found inside these protected areas, illustrating the lack of environmental law enforcement throughout the country. Río Muni is currently under-represented in conservation efforts in Western Equatorial Africa, and we recommend a focus on cross-boundary conservation, in particular in the Monte Alén-Monts de Cristal

  17. Survey of energy conservation in India: priorities and policy dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pachauri, R K

    1983-01-01

    The formulating and implementing of an energy conservation policy in India was delayed, because emphasis was placed upon an increase of energy production in the mistaken belief that this is tantamount to an improvement in the standard of life. Statistical data of energy production according to its source and of its consumption by individual sectors of the national economy are presented. They show that by far the largest turnover is in energy derived from firewood and vegetable and animal waste for domestic use in rural India. Although a very great potential for energy conservation exists in this domain, its implementation on a large scale is hardly practicable because it would affect many millions of village households with very different life styles dictated by varying natural conditions in individual areas of the country. Energy derived from oil and coal is used rather wastefully mainly because of obsolete equipment and technology. There is a vast scope for improvement in this area and appropriate measures have been initiated by the Government. The demand for oil derivatives for transportation is increasing dangerously, mainly because of dieselization of the national railways and of development of motorized road transport. A turnaround of this trend would require, however, a restructuring of the Indian transportation system.

  18. Science priorities for seamounts: research links to conservation and management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm R Clark

    Full Text Available Seamounts shape the topography of all ocean basins and can be hotspots of biological activity in the deep sea. The Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam was a field program that examined seamounts as part of the global Census of Marine Life (CoML initiative from 2005 to 2010. CenSeam progressed seamount science by collating historical data, collecting new data, undertaking regional and global analyses of seamount biodiversity, mapping species and habitat distributions, challenging established paradigms of seamount ecology, developing new hypotheses, and documenting the impacts of human activities on seamounts. However, because of the large number of seamounts globally, much about the structure, function and connectivity of seamount ecosystems remains unexplored and unknown. Continual, and potentially increasing, threats to seamount resources from fishing and seabed mining are creating a pressing demand for research to inform conservation and management strategies. To meet this need, intensive science effort in the following areas will be needed: 1 Improved physical and biological data; of particular importance is information on seamount location, physical characteristics (e.g. habitat heterogeneity and complexity, more complete and intensive biodiversity inventories, and increased understanding of seamount connectivity and faunal dispersal; 2 New human impact data; these shall encompass better studies on the effects of human activities on seamount ecosystems, as well as monitoring long-term changes in seamount assemblages following impacts (e.g. recovery; 3 Global data repositories; there is a pressing need for more comprehensive fisheries catch and effort data, especially on the high seas, and compilation or maintenance of geological and biodiversity databases that underpin regional and global analyses; 4 Application of support tools in a data-poor environment; conservation and management will have to increasingly rely on predictive

  19. Science priorities for seamounts: research links to conservation and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R; Schlacher, Thomas A; Rowden, Ashley A; Stocks, Karen I; Consalvey, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Seamounts shape the topography of all ocean basins and can be hotspots of biological activity in the deep sea. The Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam) was a field program that examined seamounts as part of the global Census of Marine Life (CoML) initiative from 2005 to 2010. CenSeam progressed seamount science by collating historical data, collecting new data, undertaking regional and global analyses of seamount biodiversity, mapping species and habitat distributions, challenging established paradigms of seamount ecology, developing new hypotheses, and documenting the impacts of human activities on seamounts. However, because of the large number of seamounts globally, much about the structure, function and connectivity of seamount ecosystems remains unexplored and unknown. Continual, and potentially increasing, threats to seamount resources from fishing and seabed mining are creating a pressing demand for research to inform conservation and management strategies. To meet this need, intensive science effort in the following areas will be needed: 1) Improved physical and biological data; of particular importance is information on seamount location, physical characteristics (e.g. habitat heterogeneity and complexity), more complete and intensive biodiversity inventories, and increased understanding of seamount connectivity and faunal dispersal; 2) New human impact data; these shall encompass better studies on the effects of human activities on seamount ecosystems, as well as monitoring long-term changes in seamount assemblages following impacts (e.g. recovery); 3) Global data repositories; there is a pressing need for more comprehensive fisheries catch and effort data, especially on the high seas, and compilation or maintenance of geological and biodiversity databases that underpin regional and global analyses; 4) Application of support tools in a data-poor environment; conservation and management will have to increasingly rely on predictive modelling

  20. Science Priorities for Seamounts: Research Links to Conservation and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R.; Schlacher, Thomas A.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Stocks, Karen I.; Consalvey, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Seamounts shape the topography of all ocean basins and can be hotspots of biological activity in the deep sea. The Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam) was a field program that examined seamounts as part of the global Census of Marine Life (CoML) initiative from 2005 to 2010. CenSeam progressed seamount science by collating historical data, collecting new data, undertaking regional and global analyses of seamount biodiversity, mapping species and habitat distributions, challenging established paradigms of seamount ecology, developing new hypotheses, and documenting the impacts of human activities on seamounts. However, because of the large number of seamounts globally, much about the structure, function and connectivity of seamount ecosystems remains unexplored and unknown. Continual, and potentially increasing, threats to seamount resources from fishing and seabed mining are creating a pressing demand for research to inform conservation and management strategies. To meet this need, intensive science effort in the following areas will be needed: 1) Improved physical and biological data; of particular importance is information on seamount location, physical characteristics (e.g. habitat heterogeneity and complexity), more complete and intensive biodiversity inventories, and increased understanding of seamount connectivity and faunal dispersal; 2) New human impact data; these shall encompass better studies on the effects of human activities on seamount ecosystems, as well as monitoring long-term changes in seamount assemblages following impacts (e.g. recovery); 3) Global data repositories; there is a pressing need for more comprehensive fisheries catch and effort data, especially on the high seas, and compilation or maintenance of geological and biodiversity databases that underpin regional and global analyses; 4) Application of support tools in a data-poor environment; conservation and management will have to increasingly rely on predictive modelling

  1. Radioactivity and United Kingdom estuaries: an overview identifying research priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, E.I.; Clifton, R.J.; Stevens, H.E.

    1985-05-01

    The report consists of the results of an evaluation of research priorities for the environmental radioactivity of estuaries, (and near shore waters) of the United Kingdom. The format of this report is:(i) general conclusions for the future requirements for research in the field of environmental radioactivity; (ii) an overview of some specific recommendations for research; and (iii) an appendix in which a comprehensive evaluation of the research priorities for specific areas of research are given. On the basis that man is the prime target for concern and protection, special attention has been given to the environment in the vicinity of the British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) reprocessing plant at Sellafield, Cumbria, which is the source of major releases of a variety of radionuclides into the natural environment. Subjects covered in the Appendix are: site factors; pathways to man; source term; hot particles; terrestrial inputs; surveys and monitoring; analysis; organics; field versus laboratory data; biology; bioaccumulation factors; some bioaccumulators of radioactivity; bioturbation; bacteria; genetics; natural change; sediment; resuspension; surfaces; Ksub(d) factors; pore liquids; diagenesis and the ageing processes; airborne transport of radionuclides; models; natural radioactivity; public opinion; recreation; the ICRP; the ALARA principle; decommissioning of nuclear power stations; identification of research requirements; environmental radioactivity - the national effort. (U.K.)

  2. Research Priorities for the Conservation and Sustainable Governance of Andean Forest Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The long-term survival of Andean forest landscapes (AFL and of their capacity to contribute to sustainable development in a context of global change requires integrated adaptation and mitigation responses informed by a thorough understanding of the dynamic and complex interactions between their ecological and social components. This article proposes a research agenda that can help guide AFL research efforts for the next 15 years. The agenda was developed between July 2015 and June 2016 through a series of workshops in Ecuador, Peru, and Switzerland and involved 48 researchers and development experts working on AFL from different disciplinary perspectives. Based on our review of current research and identification of pressing challenges for the conservation and sustainable governance of AFL, we propose a conceptual framework that draws on sustainability sciences and social–ecological systems research, and we identify a set of high-priority research goals and objectives organized into 3 broad categories: systems knowledge, target knowledge, and transformation knowledge. This paper is intended to be a reference for a broad array of actors engaged in policy, research, and implementation in the Andean region. We hope it will trigger collaborative research initiatives for the continued conservation and sustainable governance of AFL.

  3. Conservation priorities of Iberoamerican pig breeds and their ancestors based on microsatellite information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, O; Martinez, A M; Cañon, J; Sevane, N; Gama, L T; Ginja, C; Landi, V; Zaragoza, P; Carolino, N; Vicente, A; Sponenberg, P; Delgado, J V

    2016-07-01

    Criollo pig breeds are descendants from pigs brought to the American continent starting with Columbus second trip in 1493. Pigs currently play a key role in social economy and community cultural identity in Latin America. The aim of this study was to establish conservation priorities among a comprehensive group of Criollo pig breeds based on a set of 24 microsatellite markers and using different criteria. Spain and Portugal pig breeds, wild boar populations of different European geographic origins and commercial pig breeds were included in the analysis as potential genetic influences in the development of Criollo pig breeds. Different methods, differing in the weight given to within- and between-breed genetic variability, were used in order to estimate the contribution of each breed to global genetic diversity. As expected, the partial contribution to total heterozygosity gave high priority to Criollo pig breeds, whereas Weitzman procedures prioritized Iberian Peninsula breeds. With the combined within- and between-breed approaches, different conservation priorities were achieved. The Core Set methodologies highly prioritized Criollo pig breeds (Cr. Boliviano, Cr. Pacifico, Cr. Cubano and Cr. Guadalupe). However, weighing the between- and within-breed components with FST and 1-FST, respectively, resulted in higher contributions of Iberian breeds. In spite of the different conservation priorities according to the methodology used, other factors in addition to genetic information also need to be considered in conservation programmes, such as the economic, cultural or historical value of the breeds involved.

  4. Large-scale patterns of plant diversity and conservation priorities in South East Asia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marsh, S.T.; Brummitt, N.A.; Kok, de R.P.J.; Utteridge, T.M.A.

    2009-01-01

    In the absence of a complete floristic inventory, conservation priorities within South East Asia must often be based on incomplete knowledge or a rough approximation of diversity such as habitat cover. To help overcome this, a database containing distribution data for all 3 523 known flowering plant

  5. Toward sustainable environmental quality: Identifying priority research questions for Latin America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furley, Tatiana Heid; Brodeur, Julie; Silva de Assis, Helena C; Carriquiriborde, Pedro; Chagas, Katia R; Corrales, Jone; Denadai, Marina; Fuchs, Julio; Mascarenhas, Renata; Miglioranza, Karina SB; Miguez Caramés, Diana Margarita; Navas, José Maria; Nugegoda, Dayanthi; Planes, Estela; Rodriguez‐Jorquera, Ignacio Alejandro; Orozco‐Medina, Martha; Boxall, Alistair BA; Rudd, Murray A

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Global Horizon Scanning Project (GHSP) is an innovative initiative that aims to identify important global environmental quality research needs. Here we report 20 key research questions from Latin America (LA). Members of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) LA and other scientists from LA were asked to submit research questions that would represent priority needs to address in the region. One hundred questions were received, then partitioned among categories, examined, and some rearranged during a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Twenty priority research questions were subsequently identified. These research questions included developing, improving, and harmonizing across LA countries methods for 1) identifying contaminants and degradation products in complex matrices (including biota); 2) advancing prediction of contaminant risks and effects in ecosystems, addressing lab‐to‐field extrapolation challenges, and understanding complexities of multiple stressors (including chemicals and climate change); and 3) improving management and regulatory tools toward achieving sustainable development. Whereas environmental contaminants frequently identified in these key questions were pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors or modulators, plastics, and nanomaterials, commonly identified environmental challenges were related to agriculture, urban effluents, solid wastes, pulp and paper mills, and natural extraction activities. Several interesting research topics included assessing and preventing pollution impacts on conservation protected areas, integrating environment and health assessments, and developing strategies for identification, substitution, and design of less hazardous chemicals (e.g., green chemistry). Finally, a recurrent research need included developing an understanding of differential sensitivity of regional species and ecosystems to environmental contaminants and other stressors. Addressing these critical

  6. 78 FR 25093 - Multistate Conservation Grant Program; Priority List and Approval for Conservation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-29

    ... nongovernmental organizations that represent conservation organizations, sportsmen's and women's organizations... Regionally- coordinated Science and Collaboration. 9......... Compilation of Reservoir Habitat Arkansas Game...

  7. Estimation of Soil Erosion Dynamics in the Koshi Basin Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Assess Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Kabir; Murthy, M S R; Wahid, Shahriar M; Matin, Mir A

    2016-01-01

    High levels of water-induced erosion in the transboundary Himalayan river basins are contributing to substantial changes in basin hydrology and inundation. Basin-wide information on erosion dynamics is needed for conservation planning, but field-based studies are limited. This study used remote sensing (RS) data and a geographic information system (GIS) to estimate the spatial distribution of soil erosion across the entire Koshi basin, to identify changes between 1990 and 2010, and to develop a conservation priority map. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was used in an ArcGIS environment with rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, cover-management, and support practice factors as primary parameters. The estimated annual erosion from the basin was around 40 million tonnes (40 million tonnes in 1990 and 42 million tonnes in 2010). The results were within the range of reported levels derived from isolated plot measurements and model estimates. Erosion risk was divided into eight classes from very low to extremely high and mapped to show the spatial pattern of soil erosion risk in the basin in 1990 and 2010. The erosion risk class remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010 in close to 87% of the study area, but increased over 9.0% of the area and decreased over 3.8%, indicating an overall worsening of the situation. Areas with a high and increasing risk of erosion were identified as priority areas for conservation. The study provides the first assessment of erosion dynamics at the basin level and provides a basis for identifying conservation priorities across the Koshi basin. The model has a good potential for application in similar river basins in the Himalayan region.

  8. Patient-Identified Priorities Leading to Attempted Suicide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stulz, Niklaus; Hepp, Urs; Gosoniu, Dominic G; Grize, Leticia; Muheim, Flavio; Weiss, Mitchell G; Riecher-Rössler, Anita

    2018-01-01

    Attempted suicide is a major public health problem. The aim of this study was to identify patient-identified problems and triggers typically leading to attempted suicide. A representative sample of 66 adult patients was recruited from all clinical sites and psychiatrists who treat patients after attempted suicide in the Canton of Basel-City (Switzerland). Patients were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and interviewed with a local adaptation of the Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) to study underlying problems and triggers of attempted suicide. Of the patients, 92.4% had at least one DSM-IV disorder, with depressive disorders being the most prevalent disorder. Although half (50.0%) of the patients identified a health problem, 71.2% identified an interpersonal conflict as underlying problem leading to the suicide attempt. Furthermore, an interpersonal conflict was identified as the trigger of the suicide attempt by more than half of the patients (54.5%). The study included German-speaking patients only. According to patients, interpersonal problems often amplify underlying psychiatric problems, leading to suicide attempts. Social and interpersonal stressors should be acknowledged with integrated clinical and social interventions to prevent suicidal behavior in patients and populations.

  9. Benchmarking in Identifying Priority Directions of Development of Telecommunication Operators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaharchenko Lolita A.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses evolution of development and possibilities of application of benchmarking in the telecommunication sphere. It studies essence of benchmarking on the basis of generalisation of approaches of different scientists to definition of this notion. In order to improve activity of telecommunication operators, the article identifies the benchmarking technology and main factors, that determine success of the operator in the modern market economy, and the mechanism of benchmarking and component stages of carrying out benchmarking by a telecommunication operator. It analyses the telecommunication market and identifies dynamics of its development and tendencies of change of the composition of telecommunication operators and providers. Having generalised the existing experience of benchmarking application, the article identifies main types of benchmarking of telecommunication operators by the following features: by the level of conduct of (branch, inter-branch and international benchmarking; by relation to participation in the conduct (competitive and joint; and with respect to the enterprise environment (internal and external.

  10. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Teixeira Duarte

    Full Text Available Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services-carbon stock and sediment retention-and a biodiversity proxy-habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention

  11. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Gabriela Teixeira; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Paglia, Adriano Pereira

    2016-01-01

    Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services-carbon stock and sediment retention-and a biodiversity proxy-habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention distribution.

  12. Habitat evaluation of wild Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and conservation priority setting in north-eastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaofeng, Luan; Yi, Qu; Diqiang, Li; Shirong, Liu; Xiulei, Wang; Bo, Wu; Chunquan, Zhu

    2011-01-01

    The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is one of the world's most endangered species. Recently, habitat fragmentation, food scarcity and human hunting have drastically reduced the population size and distribution areas of Amur tigers in the wild, leaving them on the verge of extinction. Presently, they are only found in the north-eastern part of China. In this study, we developed a reference framework using methods and technologies of analytic hierarchy process (AHP), remote sensing (RS), geographic information system (GIS), GAP analysis and Natural Break (Jenks) classification to evaluate the habitat and to set the conservation priorities for Amur tigers in eastern areas of Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces of northeast China. We proposed a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) incorporating 7 factors covering natural conditions and human disturbance. Based on the HSI values, the suitability was classified into five levels from the most to not suitable. Finally, according to results of GAP analysis, we identified six conservation priorities and designed a conservation landscape incorporating four new nature reserves, enlarging two existing ones, and creating four linkages for Amur tigers in northeast China. The case study showed that the core habitats (the most suitable and highly suitable habitats) identified for Amur tigers covered 35,547 km(2), accounting for approximately 26.71% of the total study area (1,33,093 km(2)). However, existing nature reserves protected only (7124 km(2) or) 20.04% of the identified core habitats. Thus, enlargement of current reserves is necessary and urgent for the tiger's conservation and restoration. Moreover, the establishment of wildlife corridors linking core habitats will provide an efficient reserve network for tiger conservation to maintain the evolutionary potential of Amur tigers facing environmental changes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Building on IUCN regional red lists to produce lists of species of conservation priority: a model with Irish bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Una; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J; Brown, Mark J F

    2007-10-01

    A World Conservation Union (IUCN) regional red list is an objective assessment of regional extinction risk and is not the same as a list of conservation priority species. Recent research reveals the widespread, but incorrect, assumption that IUCN Red List categories represent a hierarchical list of priorities for conservation action. We developed a simple eight-step priority-setting process and applied it to the conservation of bees in Ireland. Our model is based on the national red list but also considers the global significance of the national population; the conservation status at global, continental, and regional levels; key biological, economic, and societal factors; and is compatible with existing conservation agreements and legislation. Throughout Ireland, almost one-third of the bee fauna is threatened (30 of 100 species), but our methodology resulted in a reduced list of only 17 priority species. We did not use the priority species list to broadly categorize species to the conservation action required; instead, we indicated the individual action required for all threatened, near-threatened, and data-deficient species on the national red list based on the IUCN's conservation-actions template file. Priority species lists will strongly influence prioritization of conservation actions at national levels, but action should not be exclusive to listed species. In addition, all species on this list will not necessarily require immediate action. Our method is transparent, reproducible, and readily applicable to other taxa and regions.

  14. 76 FR 793 - Multistate Conservation Grant Program; Priority List for Conservation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-06

    ... conservation organizations, sportsmen's organizations, and industries that support or promote fishing, hunting...,200.00 the Industry, Federal and State Agency Coalition. 11-001 Review and AFWA 46,200.00 46,200.00 92... Incentive Program. 11-069 Operation of the Arkansas Game & 0 296,000.00 296,000.00 Reservoir Fish. Fisheries...

  15. 75 FR 1651 - Multistate Conservation Grant Program; Priority List for Conservation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... of wildlife and sport fish conservation projects from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). As required by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000, AFWA...: John C. Stremple, (703) 358-2156 (phone) or [email protected] (e-mail). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION...

  16. Setting Conservation Priorities in a Widespread Species: Phylogeographic and Physiological Variation in the Lake Chub, Couesius plumbeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia M. Schulte

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Defining units of conservation below the species level is a widely accepted conservation priority, but is especially challenging for widespread taxa that have experienced diverse geographic histories and exist across heterogenous environments. The lake chub (Pisces: Couesius plumbeus is a widespread freshwater fish in North America and occurs from the southcentral USA to northwestern Alaska and Canada. We used mtDNA sequence analysis to test for divergent lineages predicted to occur as a result of survival of lake chub in distinct glacial refugia. Lake chub consisted of two major mtDNA lineages separated by 3.8% sequence divergence which are probably late to pre-Pleistocene in origin. We combined these data with those consistent with thermal adaptation in fish living in thermal springs versus those living in a lake with wide seasonal temperature variation, and with data on distribution of lake chub in major watershed units. We assessed these data against objective criteria developed to identify conservation units under Canadian endangered species legislation. Our analysis identified twelve major units of conservation within C. plumbeus that could be assessed under Canada’s Species-at-Risk Act. Our study illustrates how different character traits manifested at very different spatial scales can be used to define conservation units within widely-distributed taxa.

  17. Toward sustainable environmental quality: Identifying priority research questions for Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furley, Tatiana Heid; Brodeur, Julie; Silva de Assis, Helena C; Carriquiriborde, Pedro; Chagas, Katia R; Corrales, Jone; Denadai, Marina; Fuchs, Julio; Mascarenhas, Renata; Miglioranza, Karina Sb; Miguez Caramés, Diana Margarita; Navas, José Maria; Nugegoda, Dayanthi; Planes, Estela; Rodriguez-Jorquera, Ignacio Alejandro; Orozco-Medina, Martha; Boxall, Alistair Ba; Rudd, Murray A; Brooks, Bryan W

    2018-05-01

    The Global Horizon Scanning Project (GHSP) is an innovative initiative that aims to identify important global environmental quality research needs. Here we report 20 key research questions from Latin America (LA). Members of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) LA and other scientists from LA were asked to submit research questions that would represent priority needs to address in the region. One hundred questions were received, then partitioned among categories, examined, and some rearranged during a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Twenty priority research questions were subsequently identified. These research questions included developing, improving, and harmonizing across LA countries methods for 1) identifying contaminants and degradation products in complex matrices (including biota); 2) advancing prediction of contaminant risks and effects in ecosystems, addressing lab-to-field extrapolation challenges, and understanding complexities of multiple stressors (including chemicals and climate change); and 3) improving management and regulatory tools toward achieving sustainable development. Whereas environmental contaminants frequently identified in these key questions were pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors or modulators, plastics, and nanomaterials, commonly identified environmental challenges were related to agriculture, urban effluents, solid wastes, pulp and paper mills, and natural extraction activities. Several interesting research topics included assessing and preventing pollution impacts on conservation protected areas, integrating environment and health assessments, and developing strategies for identification, substitution, and design of less hazardous chemicals (e.g., green chemistry). Finally, a recurrent research need included developing an understanding of differential sensitivity of regional species and ecosystems to environmental contaminants and other stressors. Addressing these critical questions will

  18. Reconciling Mining with the Conservation of Cave Biodiversity: A Quantitative Baseline to Help Establish Conservation Priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Prous, Xavier; Zampaulo, Robson; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Maurity, Clóvis; Oliveira, Guilherme; Brandi, Iuri V; Siqueira, José O

    2016-01-01

    Caves pose significant challenges for mining projects, since they harbor many endemic and threatened species, and must therefore be protected. Recent discussions between academia, environmental protection agencies, and industry partners, have highlighted problems with the current Brazilian legislation for the protection of caves. While the licensing process is long, complex and cumbersome, the criteria used to assign caves into conservation relevance categories are often subjective, with relevance being mainly determined by the presence of obligate cave dwellers (troglobites) and their presumed rarity. However, the rarity of these troglobitic species is questionable, as most remain unidentified to the species level and their habitats and distribution ranges are poorly known. Using data from 844 iron caves retrieved from different speleology reports for the Carajás region (South-Eastern Amazon, Brazil), one of the world's largest deposits of high-grade iron ore, we assess the influence of different cave characteristics on four biodiversity proxies (species richness, presence of troglobites, presence of rare troglobites, and presence of resident bat populations). We then examine how the current relevance classification scheme ranks caves with different biodiversity indicators. Large caves were found to be important reservoirs of biodiversity, so they should be prioritized in conservation programs. Our results also reveal spatial autocorrelation in all the biodiversity proxies assessed, indicating that iron caves should be treated as components of a cave network immersed in the karst landscape. Finally, we show that by prioritizing the conservation of rare troglobites, the current relevance classification scheme is undermining overall cave biodiversity and leaving ecologically important caves unprotected. We argue that conservation efforts should target subterranean habitats as a whole and propose an alternative relevance ranking scheme, which could help simplify the

  19. Identifying primary care patient safety research priorities in the UK: a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Rebecca Lauren; Stocks, Susan Jill; Alam, Rahul; Taylor, Sian; Rolfe, Carly; Glover, Steven William; Whitcombe, Joanne; Campbell, Stephen M

    2018-02-28

    To identify the top 10 unanswered research questions for primary care patient safety research. A modified nominal group technique. UK. Anyone with experience of primary care including: patients, carers and healthcare professionals. 341 patients and 86 healthcare professionals submitted questions. A top 10, and top 30, future research questions for primary care patient safety. 443 research questions were submitted by 341 patients and 86 healthcare professionals, through a national survey. After checking for relevance and rephrasing, a total of 173 questions were collated into themes. The themes were largely focused on communication, team and system working, interfaces across primary and secondary care, medication, self-management support and technology. The questions were then prioritised through a national survey, the top 30 questions were taken forward to the final prioritisation workshop. The top 10 research questions focused on the most vulnerable in society, holistic whole-person care, safer communication and coordination between care providers, work intensity, continuity of care, suicide risk, complex care at home and confidentiality. This study was the first national prioritisation exercise to identify patient and healthcare professional priorities for primary care patient safety research. The research priorities identified a range of important gaps in the existing evidence to inform everyday practice to address primary care patient safety. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  20. Identifying research priorities for patient safety in mental health: an international expert Delphi study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Kevin; Thibaut, Bethan; Ramtale, Sonny Christian; Adam, Sheila; Darzi, Ara; Archer, Stephanie

    2018-01-01

    Objective Physical healthcare has dominated the patient safety field; research in mental healthcare is not as extensive but findings from physical healthcare cannot be applied to mental healthcare because it delivers specialised care that faces unique challenges. Therefore, a clearer focus and recognition of patient safety in mental health as a distinct research area is still needed. The study aim is to identify future research priorities in the field of patient safety in mental health. Design Semistructured interviews were conducted with the experts to ascertain their views on research priorities in patient safety in mental health. A three-round online Delphi study was used to ascertain consensus on 117 research priority statements. Setting and participants Academic and service user experts from the USA, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore were included. Main outcome measures Agreement in research priorities on a five-point scale. Results Seventy-nine statements achieved consensus (>70%). Three out of the top six research priorities were patient driven; experts agreed that understanding the patient perspective on safety planning, on self-harm and on medication was important. Conclusions This is the first international Delphi study to identify research priorities in safety in the mental field as determined by expert academic and service user perspectives. A reasonable consensus was obtained from international perspectives on future research priorities in patient safety in mental health; however, the patient perspective on their mental healthcare is a priority. The research agenda for patient safety in mental health identified here should be informed by patient safety science more broadly and used to further establish this area as a priority in its own right. The safety of mental health patients must have parity with that of physical health patients to achieve this. PMID:29502096

  1. Mapping biodiversity and setting conservation priorities for SE Queensland's rainforests using DNA barcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapcott, Alison; Forster, Paul I; Guymer, Gordon P; McDonald, William J F; Faith, Daniel P; Erickson, David; Kress, W John

    2015-01-01

    Australian rainforests have been fragmented due to past climatic changes and more recently landscape change as a result of clearing for agriculture and urban spread. The subtropical rainforests of South Eastern Queensland are significantly more fragmented than the tropical World Heritage listed northern rainforests and are subject to much greater human population pressures. The Australian rainforest flora is relatively taxonomically rich at the family level, but less so at the species level. Current methods to assess biodiversity based on species numbers fail to adequately capture this richness at higher taxonomic levels. We developed a DNA barcode library for the SE Queensland rainforest flora to support a methodology for biodiversity assessment that incorporates both taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships. We placed our SE Queensland phylogeny based on a three marker DNA barcode within a larger international rainforest barcode library and used this to calculate phylogenetic diversity (PD). We compared phylo- diversity measures, species composition and richness and ecosystem diversity of the SE Queensland rainforest estate to identify which bio subregions contain the greatest rainforest biodiversity, subregion relationships and their level of protection. We identified areas of highest conservation priority. Diversity was not correlated with rainforest area in SE Queensland subregions but PD was correlated with both the percent of the subregion occupied by rainforest and the diversity of regional ecosystems (RE) present. The patterns of species diversity and phylogenetic diversity suggest a strong influence of historical biogeography. Some subregions contain significantly more PD than expected by chance, consistent with the concept of refugia, while others were significantly phylogenetically clustered, consistent with recent range expansions.

  2. Mapping Biodiversity and Setting Conservation Priorities for SE Queensland’s Rainforests Using DNA Barcoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapcott, Alison; Forster, Paul I.; Guymer, Gordon P.; McDonald, William J. F.; Faith, Daniel P.; Erickson, David; Kress, W. John

    2015-01-01

    Australian rainforests have been fragmented due to past climatic changes and more recently landscape change as a result of clearing for agriculture and urban spread. The subtropical rainforests of South Eastern Queensland are significantly more fragmented than the tropical World Heritage listed northern rainforests and are subject to much greater human population pressures. The Australian rainforest flora is relatively taxonomically rich at the family level, but less so at the species level. Current methods to assess biodiversity based on species numbers fail to adequately capture this richness at higher taxonomic levels. We developed a DNA barcode library for the SE Queensland rainforest flora to support a methodology for biodiversity assessment that incorporates both taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships. We placed our SE Queensland phylogeny based on a three marker DNA barcode within a larger international rainforest barcode library and used this to calculate phylogenetic diversity (PD). We compared phylo- diversity measures, species composition and richness and ecosystem diversity of the SE Queensland rainforest estate to identify which bio subregions contain the greatest rainforest biodiversity, subregion relationships and their level of protection. We identified areas of highest conservation priority. Diversity was not correlated with rainforest area in SE Queensland subregions but PD was correlated with both the percent of the subregion occupied by rainforest and the diversity of regional ecosystems (RE) present. The patterns of species diversity and phylogenetic diversity suggest a strong influence of historical biogeography. Some subregions contain significantly more PD than expected by chance, consistent with the concept of refugia, while others were significantly phylogenetically clustered, consistent with recent range expansions. PMID:25803607

  3. The crowded sea: incorporating multiple marine activities in conservation plans can significantly alter spatial priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessa Mazor

    Full Text Available Successful implementation of marine conservation plans is largely inhibited by inadequate consideration of the broader social and economic context within which conservation operates. Marine waters and their biodiversity are shared by a host of stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, recreational users and offshore developers. Hence, to improve implementation success of conservation plans, we must incorporate other marine activities while explicitly examining trade-offs that may be required. In this study, we test how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added (e.g., commercial fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration interests, aquaculture, and shipping lanes. We applied the marine zoning decision support tool Marxan to each planning scenario and tested a the ability of each scenario to reach biodiversity targets, b the change in opportunity cost and c the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. Complex plans with more activities incurred greater opportunity cost and did not reach biodiversity targets as easily as simplified plans with less marine activities. We discovered that including hydrocarbon data in the planning process significantly alters spatial priorities. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that in order to protect at least 10% of the range of 166 marine biodiversity features there would be a loss of ∼15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ∼5% of prospective hydrocarbon revenue. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and

  4. Planning priority conservation areas under climate change for six plant species with extremely small populations in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Qu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The concept of Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP has been employed to guide conservation of threatened plant species in China. Climate change has a high potential to threaten PSESP. As a result, it is necessary to integrate climate change effects on PSESP into conservation planning in China. Here, ecological niche modelling is used to project current and future habitat distributions of six PSESP in China under climate change scenarios and conservation planning software is applied to identify priority conservation areas (PCAs for these PSESP based on habitat distributions. These results were used to provide proposals for in-situ and ex-situ conservation measures directed at PSESP. It was found that annual precipitation was important for habitat distributions for all six PSESP (with the percentage contribution to habitat distributions ranging from 18.1 % to 74.9 % and non-climatic variables including soil and altitude have a large effect on habitat suitability of PSESP. Large quantities of PCAs occurred within some provincial regions for these six PSESP (e.g. Sichuan and Jilin for the PSESP Cathaya argyrophylla, Taxus cuspidata, Annamocarya sinensis and Madhuca pasquieri, indicating that these are likely to be appropriate areas for in-situ and ex-situ conservation measures directed at these PSESP. Those nature reserves with large quantities of PCAs were identified as promising sites for in-situ conservation measures of PSESP; such reserves include Yangzie and Dongdongtinghu for C. argyrophylla, Songhuajiangsanhu and Changbaishan for T. cuspidata and Shiwandashanshuiyuanlian for Tsoongiodendron odorum. These results suggest that existing seed banks and botanical gardens occurring within identified PCAs should allocate more resources and space to ex-situ conservation of PSESP. In addition, there should be additional botanical gardens established for ex-situ conservation of PSESP in PCAs outside existing nature reserves. To

  5. Systematic reviews addressing identified health policy priorities in Eastern Mediterranean countries: a situational analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Jardali, Fadi; Akl, Elie A; Karroum, Lama Bou; Kdouh, Ola; Akik, Chaza; Fadlallah, Racha; Hammoud, Rawan

    2014-08-20

    Systematic reviews can offer policymakers and stakeholders concise, transparent, and relevant evidence pertaining to pressing policy priorities to help inform the decision-making process. The production and the use of systematic reviews are specifically limited in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The extent to which published systematic reviews address policy priorities in the region is still unknown. This situational analysis exercise aims at assessing the extent to which published systematic reviews address policy priorities identified by policymakers and stakeholders in Eastern Mediterranean region countries. It also provides an overview about the state of systematic review production in the region and identifies knowledge gaps. We conducted a systematic search of the Health System Evidence database to identify published systematic reviews on policy-relevant priorities pertaining to the following themes: human resources for health, health financing, the role of the non-state sector, and access to medicine. Priorities were identified from two priority-setting exercises conducted in the region. We described the distribution of these systematic reviews across themes, sub-themes, authors' affiliations, and countries where included primary studies were conducted. Out of the 1,045 systematic reviews identified in Health System Evidence on selected themes, a total of 200 systematic reviews (19.1%) addressed the priorities from the Eastern Mediterranean region. The theme with the largest number of systematic reviews included was human resources for health (115) followed by health financing (33), access to medicine (27), and role of the non-state sector (25). Authors based in the region produced only three systematic reviews addressing regional priorities (1.5%). Furthermore, no systematic review focused on the Eastern Mediterranean region. Primary studies from the region had limited contribution to systematic reviews; 17 systematic reviews (8.5%) included primary

  6. Systematic reviews addressing identified health policy priorities in Eastern Mediterranean countries: a situational analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Systematic reviews can offer policymakers and stakeholders concise, transparent, and relevant evidence pertaining to pressing policy priorities to help inform the decision-making process. The production and the use of systematic reviews are specifically limited in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The extent to which published systematic reviews address policy priorities in the region is still unknown. This situational analysis exercise aims at assessing the extent to which published systematic reviews address policy priorities identified by policymakers and stakeholders in Eastern Mediterranean region countries. It also provides an overview about the state of systematic review production in the region and identifies knowledge gaps. Methods We conducted a systematic search of the Health System Evidence database to identify published systematic reviews on policy-relevant priorities pertaining to the following themes: human resources for health, health financing, the role of the non-state sector, and access to medicine. Priorities were identified from two priority-setting exercises conducted in the region. We described the distribution of these systematic reviews across themes, sub-themes, authors’ affiliations, and countries where included primary studies were conducted. Results Out of the 1,045 systematic reviews identified in Health System Evidence on selected themes, a total of 200 systematic reviews (19.1%) addressed the priorities from the Eastern Mediterranean region. The theme with the largest number of systematic reviews included was human resources for health (115) followed by health financing (33), access to medicine (27), and role of the non-state sector (25). Authors based in the region produced only three systematic reviews addressing regional priorities (1.5%). Furthermore, no systematic review focused on the Eastern Mediterranean region. Primary studies from the region had limited contribution to systematic reviews; 17 systematic reviews

  7. Incorporating the effects of socioeconomic uncertainty into priority setting for conservation investment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBride, Marissa F; Wilson, Kerrie A; Bode, Michael; Possingham, Hugh P

    2007-12-01

    Uncertainty in the implementation and outcomes of conservation actions that is not accounted for leaves conservation plans vulnerable to potential changes in future conditions. We used a decision-theoretic approach to investigate the effects of two types of investment uncertainty on the optimal allocation of global conservation resources for land acquisition in the Mediterranean Basin. We considered uncertainty about (1) whether investment will continue and (2) whether the acquired biodiversity assets are secure, which we termed transaction uncertainty and performance uncertainty, respectively. We also developed and tested the robustness of different rules of thumb for guiding the allocation of conservation resources when these sources of uncertainty exist. In the presence of uncertainty in future investment ability (transaction uncertainty), the optimal strategy was opportunistic, meaning the investment priority should be to act where uncertainty is highest while investment remains possible. When there was a probability that investments would fail (performance uncertainty), the optimal solution became a complex trade-off between the immediate biodiversity benefits of acting in a region and the perceived longevity of the investment. In general, regions were prioritized for investment when they had the greatest performance certainty, even if an alternative region was highly threatened or had higher biodiversity value. The improved performance of rules of thumb when accounting for uncertainty highlights the importance of explicitly incorporating sources of investment uncertainty and evaluating potential conservation investments in the context of their likely long-term success.

  8. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  9. Ranking energy-conservation measures to establish research priorities: synopsis of a workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Le, T.Q.; Pierce, B.

    1979-05-02

    A workshop was convened to assist DOE's Technology Assessment Division in evaluating the need to prepare additional environmental- and social-impact assessments of different energy-conservation measures. Attendees participated in a decision-making exercise designed to rank 19 different energy-conservation measures according to their overall potential for achieving important national goals and their ease of implementation. The participants felt that the most-important ranking criteria dealt with questions concerning feasibility (economic, political/institutional, social, and technical) and economic efficiency. Other criteria, such as environmental quality and occupational health and safety received lower weights; possibly because of the widespread belief that most of the conservation measures presented would be environmentally beneficial. In the participants' view, the most-promising and feasible conservation measures include new-building-performance standards, retrofit of existing housing stock, new-appliance-performance standards and increased use of smaller cars. In contrast, conservation options which ranked rather low, such as diesel engines, coal-fired aluminum remelt furnaces, and cupola furnace modifications were expected to have some harmful environmental and health impacts. Most of these impacts are expected to be highly localized and of lesser national concern. Disagreement exists as to the efficacy of funding those projects deemed highly desirable and feasible versus those which are expected to have the greater environmental and social impacts. These differences must be taken into account in the research priorities that are eventually established. While environmental and social impacts of alternative energy-conservation measures may prove to be either harmful or beneficial, neither side should be ignored by the policy maker.

  10. Comparing spatially explicit ecological and social values for natural areas to identify effective conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Brett Anthony; Raymond, Christopher Mark; Crossman, Neville David; King, Darran

    2011-02-01

    Consideration of the social values people assign to relatively undisturbed native ecosystems is critical for the success of science-based conservation plans. We used an interview process to identify and map social values assigned to 31 ecosystem services provided by natural areas in an agricultural landscape in southern Australia. We then modeled the spatial distribution of 12 components of ecological value commonly used in setting spatial conservation priorities. We used the analytical hierarchy process to weight these components and used multiattribute utility theory to combine them into a single spatial layer of ecological value. Social values assigned to natural areas were negatively correlated with ecological values overall, but were positively correlated with some components of ecological value. In terms of the spatial distribution of values, people valued protected areas, whereas those natural areas underrepresented in the reserve system were of higher ecological value. The habitats of threatened animal species were assigned both high ecological value and high social value. Only small areas were assigned both high ecological value and high social value in the study area, whereas large areas of high ecological value were of low social value, and vice versa. We used the assigned ecological and social values to identify different conservation strategies (e.g., information sharing, community engagement, incentive payments) that may be effective for specific areas. We suggest that consideration of both ecological and social values in selection of conservation strategies can enhance the success of science-based conservation planning. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Stakeholder Engagement to Identify Priorities for Improving the Quality and Value of Critical Care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry T Stelfox

    Full Text Available Large amounts of scientific evidence are generated, but not implemented into patient care (the 'knowledge-to-care' gap. We identified and prioritized knowledge-to-care gaps in critical care as opportunities to improve the quality and value of healthcare.We used a multi-method community-based participatory research approach to engage a Network of all adult (n = 14 and pediatric (n = 2 medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs in a fully integrated geographically defined healthcare system serving 4 million residents. Participants included Network oversight committee members (n = 38 and frontline providers (n = 1,790. Network committee members used a modified RAND/University of California Appropriateness Methodology, to serially propose, rate (validated 9 point scale and revise potential knowledge-to-care gaps as priorities for improvement. The priorities were sent to frontline providers for evaluation. Results were relayed back to all frontline providers for feedback.Initially, 68 knowledge-to-care gaps were proposed, rated and revised by the committee (n = 32 participants over 3 rounds of review and resulted in 13 proposed priorities for improvement. Then, 1,103 providers (62% response rate evaluated the priorities, and rated 9 as 'necessary' (median score 7-9. Several factors were associated with rating priorities as necessary in multivariable logistic regression, related to the provider (experience, teaching status of ICU and topic (strength of supporting evidence, potential to benefit the patient, potential to improve patient/family experience, potential to decrease costs.A community-based participatory research approach engaged a diverse group of stakeholders to identify 9 priorities for improving the quality and value of critical care. The approach was time and cost efficient and could serve as a model to prioritize areas for research quality improvement across other settings.

  12. Stakeholder Engagement to Identify Priorities for Improving the Quality and Value of Critical Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelfox, Henry T; Niven, Daniel J; Clement, Fiona M; Bagshaw, Sean M; Cook, Deborah J; McKenzie, Emily; Potestio, Melissa L; Doig, Christopher J; O'Neill, Barbara; Zygun, David

    2015-01-01

    Large amounts of scientific evidence are generated, but not implemented into patient care (the 'knowledge-to-care' gap). We identified and prioritized knowledge-to-care gaps in critical care as opportunities to improve the quality and value of healthcare. We used a multi-method community-based participatory research approach to engage a Network of all adult (n = 14) and pediatric (n = 2) medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in a fully integrated geographically defined healthcare system serving 4 million residents. Participants included Network oversight committee members (n = 38) and frontline providers (n = 1,790). Network committee members used a modified RAND/University of California Appropriateness Methodology, to serially propose, rate (validated 9 point scale) and revise potential knowledge-to-care gaps as priorities for improvement. The priorities were sent to frontline providers for evaluation. Results were relayed back to all frontline providers for feedback. Initially, 68 knowledge-to-care gaps were proposed, rated and revised by the committee (n = 32 participants) over 3 rounds of review and resulted in 13 proposed priorities for improvement. Then, 1,103 providers (62% response rate) evaluated the priorities, and rated 9 as 'necessary' (median score 7-9). Several factors were associated with rating priorities as necessary in multivariable logistic regression, related to the provider (experience, teaching status of ICU) and topic (strength of supporting evidence, potential to benefit the patient, potential to improve patient/family experience, potential to decrease costs). A community-based participatory research approach engaged a diverse group of stakeholders to identify 9 priorities for improving the quality and value of critical care. The approach was time and cost efficient and could serve as a model to prioritize areas for research quality improvement across other settings.

  13. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A Balaguera-Reina

    Full Text Available Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius, defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU and regional research priorities (RRP for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2 and Venezuela (919 km2, which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius' potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries. Caño Guaritico (Creek and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species

  14. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S.; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A.; Seijas, Andrés E.; Lasso, Carlos A.; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU) and regional research priorities (RRP) for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM) to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2) and Venezuela (919 km2), which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius’ potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon) exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries) where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia) and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries). Caño Guaritico (Creek) and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species is

  15. The kidney cancer research priority-setting partnership: Identifying the top 10 research priorities as defined by patients, caregivers, and expert clinicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jennifer; Bhatt, Jaimin; Avery, Jonathan; Laupacis, Andreas; Cowan, Katherine; Basappa, Naveen; Basiuk, Joan; Canil, Christina; Al-Asaaed, Sohaib; Heng, Daniel; Wood, Lori; Stacey, Dawn; Kollmannsberger, Christian; Jewett, Michael A S

    2017-12-01

    It is critically important to define disease-specific research priorities to better allocate limited resources. There is growing recognition of the value of involving patients and caregivers, as well as expert clinicians in this process. To our knowledge, this has not been done this way for kidney cancer. Using the transparent and inclusive process established by the James Lind Alliance, the Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada (KCRNC) sponsored a collaborative consensus-based priority-setting partnership (PSP) to identify research priorities in the management of kidney cancer. The final result was identification of 10 research priorities for kidney cancer, which are discussed in the context of current initiatives and gaps in knowledge. This process provided a systematic and effective way to collaboratively establish research priorities with patients, caregivers, and clinicians, and provides a valuable resource for researchers and funding agencies.

  16. Identifying species conservation strategies to reduce disease-associated declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Brian D.; Converse, Sarah J.; Muths, Erin L.; Crockett, Harry J.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing toad population persistence and landscape-level distribution, while considering costs. The most robust strategy is expected to reduce the decline of toad breeding sites from 53% to 21% over 50 years. Our findings are incorporated into management policy to guide conservation planning. Our online modeling application provides a template for managers of other systems challenged by EIDs.

  17. Priority setting for bird conservation in Mexico: the role of the Important Bird Areas program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma. del Coro Arizmendi; Laura Marquez Valdelamar; Humberto Berlanga

    2005-01-01

    Many species in Mexico are threatened and in need of protection. At least seventy species are considered to be globally threatened, yet conservation actions have been scarce and not coordinated. In 1996 BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas Program was initiated in Mexico to identify a network of the most important places in Mexico for birds, with the...

  18. Stakeholder-led science: engaging resource managers to identify science needs for long-term management of floodplain conservation lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouska, Kristin L.; Lindner, Garth; Paukert, Craig P.; Jacobson, Robert B.

    2016-01-01

    Floodplains pose challenges to managers of conservation lands because of constantly changing interactions with their rivers. Although scientific knowledge and understanding of the dynamics and drivers of river-floodplain systems can provide guidance to floodplain managers, the scientific process often occurs in isolation from management. Further, communication barriers between scientists and managers can be obstacles to appropriate application of scientific knowledge. With the coproduction of science in mind, our objectives were the following: (1) to document management priorities of floodplain conservation lands, and (2) identify science needs required to better manage the identified management priorities under nonstationary conditions, i.e., climate change, through stakeholder queries and interactions. We conducted an online survey with 80 resource managers of floodplain conservation lands along the Upper and Middle Mississippi River and Lower Missouri River, USA, to evaluate management priority, management intensity, and available scientific information for management objectives and conservation targets. Management objectives with the least information available relative to priority included controlling invasive species, maintaining respectful relationships with neighbors, and managing native, nongame species. Conservation targets with the least information available to manage relative to management priority included pollinators, marsh birds, reptiles, and shore birds. A follow-up workshop and survey focused on clarifying science needs to achieve management objectives under nonstationary conditions. Managers agreed that metrics of inundation, including depth and extent of inundation, and frequency, duration, and timing of inundation would be the most useful metrics for management of floodplain conservation lands with multiple objectives. This assessment provides guidance for developing relevant and accessible science products to inform management of highly

  19. The conservation of native priority medicinal plants in a Caatinga area in Ceará, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIA O. SANTOS

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Much of the Brazilian semiarid region faces a considerable process of degradation of natural resources, and ethnobotanical studies have collaborated with important information about the use and traditional knowledge, serving as a tool to design conservation strategies of native plant species. Thus, this study aimed to determine medicinal species meriting conservation priorities in a “Caatinga” area in the northeastern of Brazilian territory. The ethnobotanical data were collected through semi-structured interviews with key subjects selected through the “snowball” technique. The availability and species conservation priority was verified by relative density, risk of collection, local use and use of diversity in the forest fragment sampled. It was recorded 42 native medicinal plants and conservation priority score was calculated for seven species, including Mimosa tenuiflora, Hymenaea courbaril, Ximenia americana and Amburana cearensis need immediate conservation and attention, since their collection does not occur in a sustainable way. In order to ensure the perpetuation of the species and the sustainability of traditional therapeutic practice there needs to be a development of conservation practices of caatinga remaining to better conserve the species of the biome.

  20. Cave Conservation Priority Index to Adopt a Rapid Protection Strategy: A Case Study in Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza Silva, Marconi; Martins, Rogério Parentoni; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes

    2015-02-01

    Cave environments are characterized by possessing specialized fauna living in high environmental stability with limited food conditions. These fauna are highly vulnerable to impacts, because this condition can frequently be easily altered. Moreover, environmental determinants of the biodiversity patterns of caves remain poorly understood and protected. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to propose a cave conservation priority index (CCPi) for a rapid assessment for troglobiotic and troglophile protection. Furthermore, the troglobiotic diversity, distribution and threats have been mapped in the Brazilian Atlantic forest. To propose the CCPi, the human impacts and richness of troglobiotic and troglophile species of 100 caves were associated. Data related to troglomorphic/troglobiotic fauna from another 200 caves were used to map the troglobiotic diversity and distribution. The CCPi reveals extremely high conservation priority for 15 % of the caves, high for 36 % and average for 46 % of the caves. Fourteen caves with extremely high priorities should have urgent conservation and management actions. The geographical distribution of the 221 known troglobiotic/troglomorphic species allowed us to select 19 karst areas that need conservation actions. Seven areas were considered to have urgent priority for conservation actions. The two richest areas correspond to the "iron quadrangle" with iron ore caves (67 spp.) and the "Açungui limestone group" (56 spp.). Both areas have several caves and are important aquifers. The use of the CCPi can prevent future losses because it helps assessors to select caves with priorities for conservation which should receive emergency attention in relation to protection, management and conservation actions.

  1. Social Network Analysis Identifies Key Participants in Conservation Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, Cooper M; Reed, Sarah E; Pejchar, Liba

    2018-05-01

    Understanding patterns of participation in private lands conservation, which is often implemented voluntarily by individual citizens and private organizations, could improve its effectiveness at combating biodiversity loss. We used social network analysis (SNA) to examine participation in conservation development (CD), a private land conservation strategy that clusters houses in a small portion of a property while preserving the remaining land as protected open space. Using data from public records for six counties in Colorado, USA, we compared CD participation patterns among counties and identified actors that most often work with others to implement CDs. We found that social network characteristics differed among counties. The network density, or proportion of connections in the network, varied from fewer than 2 to nearly 15%, and was higher in counties with smaller populations and fewer CDs. Centralization, or the degree to which connections are held disproportionately by a few key actors, was not correlated strongly with any county characteristics. Network characteristics were not correlated with the prevalence of wildlife-friendly design features in CDs. The most highly connected actors were biological and geological consultants, surveyors, and engineers. Our work demonstrates a new application of SNA to land-use planning, in which CD network patterns are examined and key actors are identified. For better conservation outcomes of CD, we recommend using network patterns to guide strategies for outreach and information dissemination, and engaging with highly connected actor types to encourage widespread adoption of best practices for CD design and stewardship.

  2. Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Stakeholder Engagement Project identified systematic review priority areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Anna Mae; Clark, Justin; Dooley, Liz; Jones, Ann; Jones, Mark; Del Mar, Chris

    2018-05-22

    Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) Group conducts systematic reviews of the evidence for treatment and prevention of ARIs. We report the results of a prioritisation project, aiming to identify highest priority systematic review topics. The project consisted of 2 Phases. Phase 1 analysed the gap between existing RCTs and Cochrane Systematic Reviews (reported previously). Phase 2 (reported here) consisted of a two-round survey. In round 1, respondents prioritised 68 topics and suggested up to 10 additional topics; in Round 2, respondents prioritised top 25 topics from Round 1. Respondents included clinicians, researchers, systematic reviewers, allied health, patients, and carers, from 33 different countries. In Round 1, 154 respondents identified 20 priority topics, most commonly selecting topics in non-specific ARIs, influenza, and common cold. 50 respondents also collectively suggested 134 additional topics. In Round 2, 78 respondents prioritised top 25 topics, most commonly in the areas of non-specific ARIs, pneumonia and influenza. We generated a list of priority systematic review topics, to guide the Cochrane ARI Group's systematic review work for the next 24 months. Stakeholder involvement enhanced the transparency of the process, and will increase the usability and relevance of the Group's work to stakeholders. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Identifying and Prioritizing Information Needs and Research Priorities of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegfried, Alexa L; Carbone, Eric G; Meit, Michael B; Kennedy, Mallory J; Yusuf, Hussain; Kahn, Emily B

    2017-10-01

    This study describes findings from an assessment conducted to identify perceived knowledge gaps, information needs, and research priorities among state, territorial, and local public health preparedness directors and coordinators related to public health emergency preparedness and response (PHPR). The goal of the study was to gather information that would be useful for ensuring that future funding for research and evaluation targets areas most critical for advancing public health practice. We implemented a mixed-methods approach to identify and prioritize PHPR research questions. A web survey was sent to all state, city, and territorial health agencies funded through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement program and a sample of local health departments (LHDs). Three focus groups of state and local practitioners and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were subsequently conducted, followed by 3 meetings of an expert panel of PHPR practitioners and CDC experts to prioritize and refine the research questions. We identified a final list of 44 research questions that were deemed by study participants as priority topics where future research can inform PHPR programs and practice. We identified differences in perceived research priorities between PHEP awardees and LHD survey respondents; the number of research questions rated as important was greater among LHDs than among PHEP awardees (75%, n=33, compared to 24%, n=15). The research questions identified provide insight into public health practitioners' perceived knowledge gaps and the types of information that would be most useful for informing and advancing PHPR practice. The study also points to a higher level of information need among LHDs than among PHEP awardees. These findings are important for CDC and the PHPR research community to ensure that future research studies are responsive to practitioners' needs and provide the information

  4. Setting Priorities for Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research and Identifying Evidence Gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Jimmy T; Hutfless, Susan; Li, Tianjing; Bressler, Neil M; Heyward, James; Bittner, Ava K; Glassman, Adam; Dickersin, Kay

    2017-01-01

    Prioritizing comparative effectiveness research may contribute to obtaining answers that clinicians perceive they need and may minimize research that could be considered wasteful. Our objective was to identify evidence gaps and set priorities for new systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials for managing diabetic retinopathy (DR), including diabetic macular edema (DME). Cross-sectional study. Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) investigators. We provided recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 2012 Preferred Practice Patterns for Diabetic Retinopathy as 91 answerable clinical research questions about intervention effectiveness to 410 DRCR.net investigators to rate each question's importance from 0 (not important) to 10 (very important) using a 2-round Delphi survey and to suggest additional questions. We considered questions as high priority if at least 75% of respondents to both rounds assigned an importance rating of 5 or more in round 2. We also extracted outcome measures relevant to DR and asked respondents to identify those that must be measured in all studies. We mapped Cochrane reviews published up to March 2016 to high-priority clinical research questions. Ranking of importance of each clinical question. Thirty-two individuals completed rounds 1 and 2 and suggested 15 questions. Among the final list of 106 clinical research questions, 22 questions met our definition of high priority: 9 of 22 concerned the effectiveness of anti-VEGF therapy, and 13 of 22 focused on how often patients should be followed up (re-examination) and treatment effectiveness in patients with specific characteristics (e.g., DME). Outcomes that 75% or more of respondents marked as "must be measured in all studies" included visual acuity and visual loss, death of participants, and intraocular pressure. Only 1 prioritized question was associated with conclusive evidence from a Cochrane systematic review. A limited response rate among

  5. Generation of priority research questions to inform conservation policy and management at a national level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudd, Murray A; Beazley, Karen F; Cooke, Steven J; Fleishman, Erica; Lane, Daniel E; Mascia, Michael B; Roth, Robin; Tabor, Gary; Bakker, Jiselle A; Bellefontaine, Teresa; Berteaux, Dominique; Cantin, Bernard; Chaulk, Keith G; Cunningham, Kathryn; Dobell, Rod; Fast, Eleanor; Ferrara, Nadia; Findlay, C Scott; Hallstrom, Lars K; Hammond, Thomas; Hermanutz, Luise; Hutchings, Jeffrey A; Lindsay, Kathryn E; Marta, Tim J; Nguyen, Vivian M; Northey, Greg; Prior, Kent; Ramirez-Sanchez, Saudiel; Rice, Jake; Sleep, Darren J H; Szabo, Nora D; Trottier, Geneviève; Toussaint, Jean-Patrick; Veilleux, Jean-Philippe

    2011-06-01

    Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research. We identify 40 questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada. A total of 396 candidate questions drawn from natural and social science disciplines were contributed by individuals with diverse organizational affiliations. These were collaboratively winnowed to 40 by our team of collaborators. The questions emphasize understanding ecosystems, the effects and mitigation of climate change, coordinating governance and management efforts across multiple jurisdictions, and examining relations between conservation policy and the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal peoples. The questions we identified provide potential links between evidence from the conservation sciences and formulation of policies for conservation and resource management. Our collaborative process of communication and engagement between scientists and decision makers for

  6. Wild gazelles of the southern Levant: genetic profiling defines new conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia Hadas

    Full Text Available The mountain gazelle (Gazella gazelle, Dorcas gazelle (Gazella Dorcas and acacia gazelle (Gazella arabica acacia were historically abundant in the southern Levant, and more specifically in Israel. Anthropogenic and natural changes have caused a rapid decline in gazelle populations, raising concerns about their conservation status and future survival. The genetic profile of 111 wild gazelles from Israel was determined based on three regions of mitochondrial DNA (control region, Cytochrome b and 12S ribosomal RNA and nine nuclear microsatellite markers. Genetic analysis of the mountain gazelle population, the largest known population of this rare species, revealed adequate diversity levels and gene flow between subpopulations. Nevertheless, ongoing habitat degradation and other human effects, such as poaching, suggest the need for drastic measures to prevent species extinction. Dorcas gazelles in Israel displayed inbreeding within subpopulations while still maintaining considerable genetic diversity overall. This stable population, represented by a distinctive genetic profile, is fragmented and isolated from its relatives in neighboring localities. Based on the genetic profile of a newly sampled subpopulation in Israel, we provide an alternative hypothesis for the historic dispersal of Dorcas gazelle, from the Southern Levant to northern Africa. The small acacia gazelle population was closest to gazelles from the Farasan Islands of Saudi Arabia, based on mitochondrial markers. The two populations did not share haplotypes, suggesting that these two populations may be the last remnant wild gazelles of this species worldwide. Only a dozen acacia gazelles survive in Israel, and urgent steps are needed to ensure the survival of this genetically distinctive lineage. The genetic assessments of our study recognize new conservation priorities for each gazelle species in the Southern Levant.

  7. Global priority conservation areas in the face of 21st century climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junsheng Li

    Full Text Available In an era when global biodiversity is increasingly impacted by rapidly changing climate, efforts to conserve global biodiversity may be compromised if we do not consider the uneven distribution of climate-induced threats. Here, via a novel application of an aggregate Regional Climate Change Index (RCCI that combines changes in mean annual temperature and precipitation with changes in their interannual variability, we assess multi-dimensional climate changes across the "Global 200" ecoregions - a set of priority ecoregions designed to "achieve the goal of saving a broad diversity of the Earth's ecosystems" - over the 21(st century. Using an ensemble of 62 climate scenarios, our analyses show that, between 1991-2010 and 2081-2100, 96% of the ecoregions considered will be likely (more than 66% probability to face moderate-to-pronounced climate changes, when compared to the magnitudes of change during the past five decades. Ecoregions at high northern latitudes are projected to experience most pronounced climate change, followed by those in the Mediterranean Basin, Amazon Basin, East Africa, and South Asia. Relatively modest RCCI signals are expected over ecoregions in Northwest South America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, yet with considerable uncertainties. Although not indicative of climate-change impacts per se, the RCCI-based assessment can help policy-makers gain a quantitative and comprehensive overview of the unevenly distributed climate risks across the G200 ecoregions. Whether due to significant climate change signals or large uncertainties, the ecoregions highlighted in the assessment deserve special attention in more detailed impact assessments to inform effective conservation strategies under future climate change.

  8. Integrating Stakeholder Preferences and GIS-Based Multicriteria Analysis to Identify Forest Landscape Restoration Priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Uribe

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A pressing question that arises during the planning of an ecological restoration process is: where to restore first? Answering this question is a complex task; it requires a multidimensional approach to consider economic constrains and the preferences of stakeholders. Being the problem of spatial nature, it may be explored effectively through Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA performed in a Geographical Information System (GIS environment. The proposed approach is based on the definition and weighting of multiple criteria for evaluating land suitability. An MCDA-based methodology was used to identify priority areas for Forest Landscape Restoration in the Upper Mixtec region, Oaxaca (Mexico, one of the most degraded areas of Latin America. Socioeconomic and environmental criteria were selected and evaluated. The opinions of four different stakeholder groups were considered: general public, academic, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs and governmental officers. The preferences of these groups were spatially modeled to identify their priorities. The final result was a map that identifies the most preferable sites for restoration, where resources and efforts should be concentrated. MCDA proved to be a very useful tool in collective planning, when alternative sites have to be identified and prioritized to guide the restoration work.

  9. Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B. Sutton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1 evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2 using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus, Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi, Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia, Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei, and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch, whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.

  10. Comparative analysis of components incorporated in conservation priority assessments: a case study based on South African species of terrestrial mammals

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Keith, M

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available priority assessments of South African terrestrial mammals 99 Estimates of conservation value a) Relative Endemism (RE) – (modified from Freitag & van Jaarsveld (1997)). The extent of occurrence, obtained from various sources (Halte- north & Diller 1980... of threat a) Relative Body Mass (RBM) – Based on average body weights (in grams) for each taxon obtained from Dorst & Dandelot (1972), Haltenorth & Diller (1980), Skinner & Smithers (1990), and Skinner & Chimimba (2005) and was computed as: RBM = log...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    conservation activities, and ongoing research on conservation and raising of public awareness. Following this summary, we evaluate the status quo and future of Lake Ohrid and its biota. A comprehensive conservation strategy should include measures that result in an immediate reduction of nutrient input, particularly with phosphorus, in order to slow down the ongoing eutrophication process. The existing watershed management should become more effective. Implementation and particularly with a view to the enforcement of national laws should be enhanced. Increased research on the lakes' limnology, biodiversity, and conservation management practices are necessary. The latter research should identify conservation priorities. Public awareness should be enhanced. Facing these parallel needs to protect the unique biodiversity of Lake Ohrid, we suggest urging (a) implementation and enforcement of the General Management Plan that would ensure long-term integrated and sustainable use of the lake and its watershed, (b) scientific studies on ecology, biodiversity and effects of human impact, (c) the establishment of Core Conservation areas (CCA), including underwater reserves, and (d) Coastal Zone Management (CZM) areas that would constitute buffer zones for the CCAs around the lake. Given the number of identified threats, it is clear that only concerted international action can stop or at least slow down further degradation of Lake Ohrid and the creeping biodiversity crisis already evident. All conservation activities should, among others, ultimately lead to a trans-boundary major conservation area of the Ohrid-Prespa region that would allow long-term integration of both humans and nature.

  12. Identifying Breeding Priorities for Blueberry Flavor Using Biochemical, Sensory, and Genotype by Environment Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Jessica L.; Guthart, Matthew J.; Gezan, Salvador A.; Pisaroglo de Carvalho, Melissa; Schwieterman, Michael L.; Colquhoun, Thomas A.; Bartoshuk, Linda M.; Sims, Charles A.; Clark, David G.; Olmstead, James W.

    2015-01-01

    Breeding for a subjective goal such as flavor is challenging, as many blueberry cultivars are grown worldwide, and identifying breeding targets relating to blueberry flavor biochemistry that have a high degree of genetic control and low environmental variability are priorities. A variety of biochemical compounds and physical characters induce the sensory responses of taste, olfaction, and somatosensation, all of which interact to create what is perceived flavor. The goal of this study was to identify the flavor compounds with a larger genetic versus environmental component regulating their expression over an array of cultivars, locations, and years. Over the course of three years, consumer panelists rated overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness, and flavor intensity of 19 southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrids) genotypes in 30 sensory panels. Significant positive correlations to overall liking of blueberry fruit (Panalysis was used to identify sugars, acids, and volatile compounds contributing to liking and sensory intensities, and revealed strong effects of fructose, pH, and several volatile compounds upon all sensory parameters measured. To assess the feasibility of breeding for flavor components, a three year study was conducted to compare genetic and environmental influences on flavor biochemistry. Panelists could discern genotypic variation in blueberry sensory components, and many of the compounds affecting consumer favor of blueberries, such as fructose, pH, β-caryophyllene oxide and 2-heptanone, were sufficiently genetically controlled that allocating resources for their breeding is worthwhile. PMID:26378911

  13. High spatial resolution mapping of land cover types in a priority area for conservation in the Brazilian savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, F.; Roberts, D. A.; Hess, L. L.; Davis, F. W.; Caylor, K. K.; Nackoney, J.; Antunes Daldegan, G.

    2017-12-01

    Savannas are heterogeneous landscapes consisting of highly mixed land cover types that lack clear distinct boundaries. The Brazilian Cerrado is a Neotropical savanna considered a biodiversity hotspot for conservation due to its biodiversity richness and rapid transformation of its landscape by crop and pasture activities. The Cerrado is one of the most threatened Brazilian biomes and only 2.2% of its original extent is strictly protected. Accurate mapping and monitoring of its ecosystems and adjacent land use are important to select areas for conservation and to improve our understanding of the dynamics in this biome. Land cover mapping of savannas is difficult due to spectral similarity between land cover types resulting from similar vegetation structure, floristically similar components, generalization of land cover classes, and heterogeneity usually expressed as small patch sizes within the natural landscape. These factors are the major contributor to misclassification and low map accuracies among remote sensing studies in savannas. Specific challenges to map the Cerrado's land cover types are related to the spectral similarity between classes of land use and natural vegetation, such as natural grassland vs. cultivated pasture, and forest ecosystem vs. crops. This study seeks to classify and evaluate the land cover patterns across an area ranked as having extremely high priority for future conservation in the Cerrado. The main objective of this study is to identify the representativeness of each vegetation type across the landscape using high to moderate spatial resolution imagery using an automated scheme. A combination of pixel-based and object-based approaches were tested using RapidEye 3A imagery (5m spatial resolution) to classify the Cerrado's major land cover types. The random forest classifier was used to map the major ecosystems present across the area, and demonstrated to have an effective result with 68% of overall accuracy. Post

  14. Identifying research priorities in anaesthesia and perioperative care: final report of the joint National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia/James Lind Alliance Research Priority Setting Partnership

    OpenAIRE

    Boney, O.; Bell, M.; Bell, N.; Conquest, A.; Cumbers, M.; Drake, S.; Galsworthy, M.; Gath, J.; Grocott, M. P.; Harris, E.; Howell, S.; Ingold, A.; Nathanson, M. H.; Pinkney, T.; Metcalf, L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To identify research priorities for Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. Design Prospective surveys and consensus meetings guided by an independent adviser. Setting UK. Participants 45 stakeholder organisations (25 professional, 20 patient/carer) affiliated as James Lind Alliance partners. Outcomes First ?ideas-gathering? survey: Free text research ideas and suggestions. Second ?prioritisation? survey: Shortlist of ?summary? research questions (derived from the first survey) rank...

  15. Identifying Important Atlantic Areas for the conservation of Balearic shearwaters: Spatial overlap with conservation areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Roda, Amparo; Delord, Karine; Boué, Amélie; Arcos, José Manuel; García, David; Micol, Thierry; Weimerskirch, Henri; Pinaud, David; Louzao, Maite

    2017-07-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are considered one of the main tools in both fisheries and conservation management to protect threatened species and their habitats around the globe. However, MPAs are underrepresented in marine environments compared to terrestrial environments. Within this context, we studied the Atlantic non-breeding distribution of the southern population of Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) breeding in Eivissa during the 2011-2012 period based on global location sensing (GLS) devices. Our objectives were (1) to identify overall Important Atlantic Areas (IAAs) from a southern population, (2) to describe spatio-temporal patterns of oceanographic habitat use, and (3) to assess whether existing conservation areas (Natura 2000 sites and marine Important Bird Areas (IBAs)) cover the main IAAs of Balearic shearwaters. Our results highlighted that the Atlantic staging (from June to October in 2011) dynamic of the southern population was driven by individual segregation at both spatial and temporal scales. Individuals ranged in the North-East Atlantic over four main IAAs (Bay of Biscay: BoB, Western Iberian shelf: WIS, Gulf of Cadiz: GoC, West of Morocco: WoM). While most individuals spent more time on the WIS or in the GoC, a small number of birds visited IAAs at the extremes of their Atlantic distribution range (i.e., BoB and WoM). The chronology of the arrivals to the IAAs showed a latitudinal gradient with northern areas reached earlier during the Atlantic staging. The IAAs coincided with the most productive areas (higher chlorophyll a values) in the NE Atlantic between July and October. The spatial overlap between IAAs and conservation areas was higher for Natura 2000 sites than marine IBAs (areas with and without legal protection, respectively). Concerning the use of these areas, a slightly higher proportion of estimated positions fell within marine IBAs compared to designated Natura 2000 sites, with Spanish and Portuguese conservation

  16. Survived so what? Identifying priorities for research with children and families post-paediatric intensive care unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Joseph C; Hemingway, Pippa; Redsell, Sarah A

    2018-03-01

    The involvement of patients and the public in the development, implementation and evaluation of health care services and research is recognized to have tangible benefits in relation to effectiveness and credibility. However, despite >96% of children and young people surviving critical illness or injury, there is a paucity of published reports demonstrating their contribution to informing the priorities for aftercare services and outcomes research. We aimed to identify the service and research priorities for Paediatric Intensive Care Unit survivors with children and young people, their families and other stakeholders. We conducted a face-to-face, multiple-stakeholder consultation event, held in the Midlands (UK), to provide opportunities for experiences, views and priorities to be elicited. Data were gathered using write/draw and tell and focus group approaches. An inductive content analytical approach was used to categorize and conceptualize feedback. A total of 26 individuals attended the consultation exercise, including children and young people who were critical care survivors; their siblings; parents and carers; health professionals; academics; commissioners; and service managers. Consultation findings indicated that future services, interventions and research must be holistic and family-centred. Children and young people advisors reported priorities that focused on longer-term outcomes, whereas adult advisors identified priorities that mapped against the pathways of care. Specific priorities included developing and testing interventions that address unmet communication and information needs. Furthermore, initiatives to optimize the lives and longer-term functional and psycho-social outcomes of Paediatric Intensive Care Unit survivors were identified. This consultation exercise provides further evidence of the value of meaningful patient and public involvement in identifying the priorities for research and services for Paediatric Intensive Care Unit survivors

  17. Identifying Breeding Priorities for Blueberry Flavor Using Biochemical, Sensory, and Genotype by Environment Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Jessica L; Guthart, Matthew J; Gezan, Salvador A; Pisaroglo de Carvalho, Melissa; Schwieterman, Michael L; Colquhoun, Thomas A; Bartoshuk, Linda M; Sims, Charles A; Clark, David G; Olmstead, James W

    2015-01-01

    Breeding for a subjective goal such as flavor is challenging, as many blueberry cultivars are grown worldwide, and identifying breeding targets relating to blueberry flavor biochemistry that have a high degree of genetic control and low environmental variability are priorities. A variety of biochemical compounds and physical characters induce the sensory responses of taste, olfaction, and somatosensation, all of which interact to create what is perceived flavor. The goal of this study was to identify the flavor compounds with a larger genetic versus environmental component regulating their expression over an array of cultivars, locations, and years. Over the course of three years, consumer panelists rated overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness, and flavor intensity of 19 southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrids) genotypes in 30 sensory panels. Significant positive correlations to overall liking of blueberry fruit (Pblueberry sensory components, and many of the compounds affecting consumer favor of blueberries, such as fructose, pH, β-caryophyllene oxide and 2-heptanone, were sufficiently genetically controlled that allocating resources for their breeding is worthwhile.

  18. High spatial resolution mapping of the Cerrado's land cover and land use types in the priority area for conservation Chapada da Contagem, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, F.; Roberts, D. A.; Davis, F. W.; Antunes Daldegan, G.; Nackoney, J.; Hess, L. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Brazilian savanna, Cerrado, is the second largest biome over South America and the most floristically diverse savanna in the world. This biome is considered a conservation hotspot in respect to its biodiversity importance and rapid transformation of its landscape. The Cerrado's natural vegetation has been severely transformed by agriculture and pasture activities. Currently it is the main agricultural frontier in Brazil and one of the most threatened Brazilian biomes. This scenario results in environmental impacts such as ecosystems fragmentation as well as losses in connectivity, biodiversity and gene flow, changes in the microclimate and energy, carbon and nutrients cycles, among others. The Priority Areas for Conservation is a governmental program from Brazil that identifies areas with high conservation priority. One of this program's recommendation is a natural vegetation map including their major ecosystem classes. This study aims to generate more precise information for the Cerrado's vegetation. The main objective of this study is to identify which ecosystems are being prioritized and/or threatened by land use, refining information for further protection. In order to test methods, the priority area for conservation Chapada da Contagem was selected as the study site. This area is ranked as "extremely high priority" by the government and is located in the Federal District and Goias State, Brazil. Satellites with finer spatial resolution may improve the classification of the Cerrado's vegetation. Remote sensing methods and two criteria were tested using RapidEye 3A imagery (5m spatial resolution) collected in 2014 in order to classify the Cerrado's major land cover types of this area, as well as its land use. One criterion considers the Cerrado's major terrestrial ecosystems, which are divided into forest, savanna and grassland. The other involves scaling it down to the major physiognomic groups of each ecosystem. Other sources of environmental dataset such

  19. Space Weather Impacts on Spacecraft Operations: Identifying and Establishing High-Priority Operational Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, G.; Reid, S.; Tranquille, C.; Evans, H.

    2013-12-01

    Space Weather is a multi-disciplinary and cross-domain system defined as, 'The physical and phenomenological state of natural space environments. The associated discipline aims, through observation, monitoring, analysis and modelling, at understanding and predicting the state of the Sun, the interplanetary and planetary environments, and the solar and non-solar driven perturbations that affect them, and also at forecasting and nowcasting the potential impacts on biological and technological systems'. National and Agency-level efforts to provide services addressing the myriad problems, such as ESA's SSA programme are therefore typically complex and ambitious undertakings to introduce a comprehensive suite of services aimed at a large number and broad range of end users. We focus on some of the particular threats and risks that Space Weather events pose to the Spacecraft Operations community, and the resulting implications in terms of User Requirements. We describe some of the highest-priority service elements identified as being needed by the Operations community, and outline some service components that are presently available, or under development. The particular threats and risks often vary according to orbit, so the particular User Needs for Operators at LEO, MEO and GEO are elaborated. The inter-relationship between these needed service elements and existing service components within the broader Space Weather domain is explored. Some high-priority service elements and potential correlation with Space Weather drivers include: solar array degradation and energetic proton storms; single event upsets at GEO and solar proton events and galactic cosmic rays; surface charging and deep dielectric charging at MEO and radiation belt dynamics; SEUs at LEO and the South Atlantic Anomaly and its variability. We examine the current capability to provide operational services addressing such threats and identify some advances that the Operations community can expect to benefit

  20. Identifying Breeding Priorities for Blueberry Flavor Using Biochemical, Sensory, and Genotype by Environment Analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Gilbert

    Full Text Available Breeding for a subjective goal such as flavor is challenging, as many blueberry cultivars are grown worldwide, and identifying breeding targets relating to blueberry flavor biochemistry that have a high degree of genetic control and low environmental variability are priorities. A variety of biochemical compounds and physical characters induce the sensory responses of taste, olfaction, and somatosensation, all of which interact to create what is perceived flavor. The goal of this study was to identify the flavor compounds with a larger genetic versus environmental component regulating their expression over an array of cultivars, locations, and years. Over the course of three years, consumer panelists rated overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness, and flavor intensity of 19 southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrids genotypes in 30 sensory panels. Significant positive correlations to overall liking of blueberry fruit (P<0.001 were found with sweetness (R2 = 0.70, texture (R2 = 0.68, and flavor (R2 = 0.63. Sourness had a significantly negative relationship with overall liking (R2 = 0.55. The relationship between flavor and texture liking was also linear (R2 = 0.73, P<0.0001 demonstrating interaction between olfaction and somatosensation. Partial least squares analysis was used to identify sugars, acids, and volatile compounds contributing to liking and sensory intensities, and revealed strong effects of fructose, pH, and several volatile compounds upon all sensory parameters measured. To assess the feasibility of breeding for flavor components, a three year study was conducted to compare genetic and environmental influences on flavor biochemistry. Panelists could discern genotypic variation in blueberry sensory components, and many of the compounds affecting consumer favor of blueberries, such as fructose, pH, β-caryophyllene oxide and 2-heptanone, were sufficiently genetically controlled that allocating resources for their

  1. Wood Density as a Conservation Tool: Quantification of Disturbance and Identification of Conservation-Priority Areas in Tropical Forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slik, J.W.F.; Bernard, C.S.; Breman, F.C.; Beek, van M.; Salim, A.; Sheil, D.

    2008-01-01

    Inventories of tree species are often conducted to guide conservation efforts in tropical forests. Such surveys are time consuming, demanding of expertise, and expensive to perform and interpret. Approaches to make survey efforts simpler or more effective would be valuable. In particular, it would

  2. The role of landscape connectivity in planning and implementing conservation and restoration priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah A. Rudnick; Sadie J. Ryan; Paul Beier; Samuel A. Cushman; Fred Dieffenbach; Clinton W. Epps; Leah R. Gerber; Joel Hartter; Jeff S. Jenness; Julia Kintsch; Adina M. Merenlender; Ryan M. Perkl; Damian V. Preziosi; Stephen C. Trombulak

    2012-01-01

    Landscape connectivity, the extent to which a landscape facilitates the movements of organisms and their genes, faces critical threats from both fragmentation and habitat loss. Many conservation efforts focus on protecting and enhancing connectivity to offset the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity conservation, and to increase the resilience of...

  3. An international eDelphi study identifying the research and education priorities in wound management and tissue repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowman, Seamus; Gethin, Georgina; Clarke, Eric; Moore, Zena; Craig, Gerardine; Jordan-O'Brien, Julie; McLain, Niamh; Strapp, Helen

    2012-02-01

    To incorporate an international and multidisciplinary consensus in the determination of the research and education priorities for wound healing and tissue repair. A compelling reason for the study is the lack of an agreed list of priorities for wound care research and education. Furthermore, there is a growth in the prevalence of chronic wounds, a growth in wound care products and marketing, and an increase in clinician attendance at conferences and education programmes. The study used a survey method. A four-round eDelphi technique was used to collect responses from an international population of health professionals across 24 countries. Responses were obtained from 360 professionals representing many health care settings. The top education priorities related to the standardisation of all foundation education programmes in wound care, the inclusion of wound care in all professional undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes, selecting dressings and the prevention of pressure ulcers. The top research priorities related to the dressing selection, pressure ulcer prevention and wound infection. conclusion: Professionals from different backgrounds and countries who are engaged in wound management share a common set of priorities for research and education. Most notably, the priorities identified relate to long-established clinical challenges in wound care and underpin the principles of good patient care practices. The priorities are closely allied to an ageing population and identify many challenges ahead for practitioners engaged in wound management services. The provision of wound care is a major investment of health service resources and remains a clinical challenge today. Research is essential to building evidence-based practice and fundamental to development of quality in standards of practice; education is central to achieving competence to deliver effective care. The determination of research and education priorities is therefore an absolute requirement

  4. An international eDelphi study identifying the research and education priorities in wound management and tissue repair.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2012-02-01

    Aim. To incorporate an international and multidisciplinary consensus in the determination of the research and education priorities for wound healing and tissue repair. Background. A compelling reason for the study is the lack of an agreed list of priorities for wound care research and education. Furthermore, there is a growth in the prevalence of chronic wounds, a growth in wound care products and marketing, and an increase in clinician attendance at conferences and education programmes. Design. The study used a survey method. Methods. A four-round eDelphi technique was used to collect responses from an international population of health professionals across 24 countries. Results. Responses were obtained from 360 professionals representing many health care settings. The top education priorities related to the standardisation of all foundation education programmes in wound care, the inclusion of wound care in all professional undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes, selecting dressings and the prevention of pressure ulcers. The top research priorities related to the dressing selection, pressure ulcer prevention and wound infection. Conclusion. Professionals from different backgrounds and countries who are engaged in wound management share a common set of priorities for research and education. Most notably, the priorities identified relate to long-established clinical challenges in wound care and underpin the principles of good patient care practices. The priorities are closely allied to an ageing population and identify many challenges ahead for practitioners engaged in wound management services. Relevance to clinical practice. The provision of wound care is a major investment of health service resources and remains a clinical challenge today. Research is essential to building evidence-based practice and fundamental to development of quality in standards of practice; education is central to achieving competence to deliver effective care. The

  5. The hepatitis C cascade of care: identifying priorities to improve clinical outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linas, Benjamin P; Barter, Devra M; Leff, Jared A; Assoumou, Sabrina A; Salomon, Joshua A; Weinstein, Milton C; Kim, Arthur Y; Schackman, Bruce R

    2014-01-01

    As highly effective hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies emerge, data are needed to inform the development of interventions to improve HCV treatment rates. We used simulation modeling to estimate the impact of loss to follow-up on HCV treatment outcomes and to identify intervention strategies likely to provide good value for the resources invested in them. We used a Monte Carlo state-transition model to simulate a hypothetical cohort of chronically HCV-infected individuals recently screened positive for serum HCV antibody. We simulated four hypothetical intervention strategies (linkage to care; treatment initiation; integrated case management; peer navigator) to improve HCV treatment rates, varying efficacies and costs, and identified strategies that would most likely result in the best value for the resources required for implementation. Sustained virologic responses (SVRs), life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE), costs from health system and program implementation perspectives, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). We estimate that imperfect follow-up reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapies by approximately 75%. In the base case, a modestly effective hypothetical peer navigator program maximized the number of SVRs and QALE, with an ICER compared to the next best intervention of $48,700/quality-adjusted life year. Hypothetical interventions that simultaneously addressed multiple points along the cascade provided better outcomes and more value for money than less costly interventions targeting single steps. The 5-year program cost of the hypothetical peer navigator intervention was $14.5 million per 10,000 newly diagnosed individuals. We estimate that imperfect follow-up during the HCV cascade of care greatly reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapy. Our mathematical model shows that modestly effective interventions to improve follow-up would likely be cost-effective. Priority should be given to developing and

  6. The hepatitis C cascade of care: identifying priorities to improve clinical outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin P Linas

    Full Text Available As highly effective hepatitis C virus (HCV therapies emerge, data are needed to inform the development of interventions to improve HCV treatment rates. We used simulation modeling to estimate the impact of loss to follow-up on HCV treatment outcomes and to identify intervention strategies likely to provide good value for the resources invested in them.We used a Monte Carlo state-transition model to simulate a hypothetical cohort of chronically HCV-infected individuals recently screened positive for serum HCV antibody. We simulated four hypothetical intervention strategies (linkage to care; treatment initiation; integrated case management; peer navigator to improve HCV treatment rates, varying efficacies and costs, and identified strategies that would most likely result in the best value for the resources required for implementation.Sustained virologic responses (SVRs, life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE, costs from health system and program implementation perspectives, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs.We estimate that imperfect follow-up reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapies by approximately 75%. In the base case, a modestly effective hypothetical peer navigator program maximized the number of SVRs and QALE, with an ICER compared to the next best intervention of $48,700/quality-adjusted life year. Hypothetical interventions that simultaneously addressed multiple points along the cascade provided better outcomes and more value for money than less costly interventions targeting single steps. The 5-year program cost of the hypothetical peer navigator intervention was $14.5 million per 10,000 newly diagnosed individuals.We estimate that imperfect follow-up during the HCV cascade of care greatly reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapy. Our mathematical model shows that modestly effective interventions to improve follow-up would likely be cost-effective. Priority should be given to

  7. Identifying research priorities for public health research to address health inequalities: use of Delphi-like survey methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, S; Ollerhead, E; Cook, A

    2017-10-09

    In the funding of health research and public health research it is vital that research questions posed are important and that funded research meets a research need or a gap in evidence. Many methods are used in the identification of research priorities, however, these can be resource intensive, costly and logistically challenging. Identifying such research priorities can be particularly challenging for complex public health problems as there is a need to consult a number of experts across disciplines and with a range of expertise. This study investigated the use of Delphi-like survey methods in identifying important research priorities relating to health inequalities and framing tractable research questions for topic areas identified. The study was conducted in two phases, both using Delphi-like survey methods. Firstly, public health professionals with an interest in health inequalities were asked to identify research priorities. Secondly academic researchers were asked to frame tractable research questions relating to the priorities identified. These research priorities identified using Delphi-like survey methods were subsequently compared to those identified using different methods. A total of 52 public health professionals and 21 academics across the United Kingdom agreed to take part. The response rates were high, from public health professionals across three survey rounds (69%, 50% and 40%) and from academics across one round (52%), indicating that participants were receptive to the method and motivated to respond. The themes identified as encompassing the most important research priorities were mental health, healthy environment and health behaviours. Within these themes, the topic areas that emerged most strongly included community interventions for prevention of mental health problems and the food and alcohol environment. Some responses received from academic researchers were (as requested) in the form of tractable research questions, whereas others

  8. Identifying research priorities in anaesthesia and perioperative care: final report of the joint National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia/James Lind Alliance Research Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boney, Oliver; Bell, Madeline; Bell, Natalie; Conquest, Ann; Cumbers, Marion; Drake, Sharon; Galsworthy, Mike; Gath, Jacqui; Grocott, Michael P W; Harris, Emma; Howell, Simon; Ingold, Anthony; Nathanson, Michael H; Pinkney, Thomas; Metcalf, Leanne

    2015-12-16

    To identify research priorities for Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. Prospective surveys and consensus meetings guided by an independent adviser. UK. 45 stakeholder organisations (25 professional, 20 patient/carer) affiliated as James Lind Alliance partners. First 'ideas-gathering' survey: Free text research ideas and suggestions. Second 'prioritisation' survey: Shortlist of 'summary' research questions (derived from the first survey) ranked by respondents in order of priority. Final 'top ten': Agreed by consensus at a final prioritisation workshop. First survey: 1420 suggestions received from 623 respondents (49% patients/public) were refined into a shortlist of 92 'summary' questions. Second survey: 1718 respondents each nominated up to 10 questions as research priorities. Top ten: The 25 highest-ranked questions advanced to the final workshop, where 23 stakeholders (13 professional, 10 patient/carer) agreed the 10 most important questions: ▸ What can we do to stop patients developing chronic pain after surgery? ▸ How can patient care around the time of emergency surgery be improved? ▸ What long-term harm may result from anaesthesia, particularly following repeated anaesthetics?▸ What outcomes should we use to measure the 'success' of anaesthesia and perioperative care? ▸ How can we improve recovery from surgery for elderly patients? ▸ For which patients does regional anaesthesia give better outcomes than general anaesthesia? ▸ What are the effects of anaesthesia on the developing brain? ▸ Do enhanced recovery programmes improve short and long-term outcomes? ▸ How can preoperative exercise or fitness training, including physiotherapy, improve outcomes after surgery? ▸ How can we improve communication between the teams looking after patients throughout their surgical journey? Almost 2000 stakeholders contributed their views regarding anaesthetic and perioperative research priorities. This is the largest example of patient and public

  9. Identifying designatable units for intraspecific conservation prioritization: a hierarchical approach applied to the lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Jonathan A; Bernatchez, Louis; Reist, Jim D; Rogers, Sean M; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    The concept of the designatable unit (DU) affords a practical approach to identifying diversity below the species level for conservation prioritization. However, its suitability for defining conservation units in ecologically diverse, geographically widespread and taxonomically challenging species complexes has not been broadly evaluated. The lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.) is geographically widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains a great deal of variability in ecology and evolutionary legacy within and among populations, as well as a great deal of taxonomic ambiguity. Here, we employ a set of hierarchical criteria to identify DUs within the Canadian distribution of the lake whitefish species complex. We identified 36 DUs based on (i) reproductive isolation, (ii) phylogeographic groupings, (iii) local adaptation and (iv) biogeographic regions. The identification of DUs is required for clear discussion regarding the conservation prioritization of lake whitefish populations. We suggest conservation priorities among lake whitefish DUs based on biological consequences of extinction, risk of extinction and distinctiveness. Our results exemplify the need for extensive genetic and biogeographic analyses for any species with broad geographic distributions and the need for detailed evaluation of evolutionary history and adaptive ecological divergence when defining intraspecific conservation units.

  10. Cave invertebrates in Espírito Santo state, Brazil: a primary analysis of endemism, threats and conservation priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marconi Souza Silva

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The cave-dwelling invertebrates were studied according to their composition, biodiversity, distribution and threats in the Atlantic Forest Central Biodiversity Corridor, a priority area for conservation actions in Brazil. Twelve obligate cave species were found, plus 495 troglophile species. Araneae (103 spp., Coleoptera (61 spp., Diptera (56 spp. and Lepidoptera (38 spp. were the richest taxa. The richness was higher in the carbonate caves (63 spp., sd = 16.7 and the highest diversity in granitic caves (H´= 2.68, sd = 0.5. The spatial turnover was 63.45 and similarity less than 30%. The total richness was correlated with the linear extension of the caves (Rs = 0.757, p ≤ 0.05. Surrounding area deforestation and religious and tourist use were the main threats. Emergency attention is recommended regarding protective actions, management and conservation of caves of extremely high biological importance.

  11. 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 conducted...... for which spatial planning and appropriate conservation mechanisms (e.g., payments for ecosystem services) can be used to realize synergies and mitigate tradeoffs....

  12. Identifying trial recruitment uncertainties using a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership - the PRioRiTy (Prioritising Recruitment in Randomised Trials) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, Patricia; Galvin, Sandra; Williamson, Paula R; Treweek, Shaun; Whiting, Caroline; Maeso, Beccy; Bray, Christopher; Brocklehurst, Peter; Moloney, Mary Clarke; Douiri, Abdel; Gamble, Carrol; Gardner, Heidi R; Mitchell, Derick; Stewart, Derek; Jordan, Joan; O'Donnell, Martin; Clarke, Mike; Pavitt, Sue H; Guegan, Eleanor Woodford; Blatch-Jones, Amanda; Smith, Valerie; Reay, Hannah; Devane, Declan

    2018-03-01

    Despite the problem of inadequate recruitment to randomised trials, there is little evidence to guide researchers on decisions about how people are effectively recruited to take part in trials. The PRioRiTy study aimed to identify and prioritise important unanswered trial recruitment questions for research. The PRioRiTy study - Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) included members of the public approached to take part in a randomised trial or who have represented participants on randomised trial steering committees, health professionals and research staff with experience of recruiting to randomised trials, people who have designed, conducted, analysed or reported on randomised trials and people with experience of randomised trials methodology. This partnership was aided by the James Lind Alliance and involved eight stages: (i) identifying a unique, relevant prioritisation area within trial methodology; (ii) establishing a steering group (iii) identifying and engaging with partners and stakeholders; (iv) formulating an initial list of uncertainties; (v) collating the uncertainties into research questions; (vi) confirming that the questions for research are a current recruitment challenge; (vii) shortlisting questions and (viii) final prioritisation through a face-to-face workshop. A total of 790 survey respondents yielded 1693 open-text answers to 6 questions, from which 1880 potential questions for research were identified. After merging duplicates, the number of questions was reduced to 496. Questions were combined further, and those that were submitted by fewer than 15 people and/or fewer than 6 of the 7 stakeholder groups were excluded from the next round of prioritisation resulting in 31 unique questions for research. All 31 questions were confirmed as being unanswered after checking relevant, up-to-date research evidence. The 10 highest priority questions were ranked at a face-to-face workshop. The number 1 ranked question was "How can randomised trials become

  13. PRIORITY AREAS FOR FOREST CONSERVATION, AIMING AT THE MAINTENANCE OF WATER RESOURCES, THROUGH THE MULTICRITERIA EVALUATION1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor A M Silva

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Replacing the original land cover by other land uses, especially when it is associated with inadequate management practices, can cause changes in runoff and rainwater infiltration. This can result in above normal levels of soil erosion and sediment-carrying to the rivers and streams. The original land cover conservation in the watersheds is, therefore, essential for the maintenance of its water resources. In this context, the main objective of this study was to prioritize areas for forest conservation in two watersheds, aiming at maintaining the water availability, in terms of quantity and quality, for the public supply. The watersheds were selected considering their regional importance and because they are similar in terms of land use / land cover. The study was developed in the Multicriteria Evaluation (MCE context, which permits the integration of different landscape characteristics (i.e. factors, in order to obtain a solution for the decision-making process. The following criteria were selected by considering the expert's opinions: slope, flow accumulation, aspect, and land use / land cover. Their relative importance (i.e. factor weight was defined through the Pairwise Comparison Method. The criteria maps units were normalized by a common scale and then aggregated through an MCE method named Weighted Linear Combination (WLC. Pearson correlation was used to evaluate the criteria contribution on the final map. The watershed 1 was classified in approximately 14% of its area as very high priority; 27% as high; 19% as medium; 21% as low; and 18% as very low. The watershed 2 obtained, respectively, 17%; 29%; 17%; 21%; e 17%. We conclude that the WLC method supports the definition of priority areas for forest conservation in the watersheds, in order to have an appropriate design of actions for forest conservation.

  14. A higher-taxon approach to rodent conservation priorities for the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amori, G.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Although rodents are not considered among the most threatened mammals, there is ample historical evidence concerning the vulnerability to extinction of several rodent phylogenetic lineages. Owing to the high number of species, poor taxonomy and the lack of detailed information on population status, the assessment of threat status according to IUCN criteria has still to be considered arbitrary in some cases. Public appreciation is scarce and tends to overlook the ecological role and conservation problems of an order representing about 41 percent of mammalian species. We provide an overview of the most relevant information concerning the conservation status of rodents at the genus, subfamily, and family level. For species¿poor taxa, the importance of distinct populations is highlighted and a splitter approach in taxonomy is adopted. Considering present constraints, strategies for the conservation of rodent diversity must rely mainly on higher taxon and hot-spot approaches. A clear understanding of phyletic relationships among difficult groups -such as Rattus, for instance- is an urgent goal. Even if rodent taxonomy is still unstable, high taxon approach is amply justified from a conservation standpoint as it offers a more subtle overview of the world terrestrial biodiversity than that offered by large mammals. Of the circa 451 living rodent genera, 126 (27,9 %, representing 168 living species, deserve conservation attention according to the present study. About 76 % of genera at risk are monotypic, confirming the danger of losing a considerable amount of phylogenetic distinctiveness.

  15. Estimating landholders' probability of participating in a stewardship program, and the implications for spatial conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M Adams

    Full Text Available The need to integrate social and economic factors into conservation planning has become a focus of academic discussions and has important practical implications for the implementation of conservation areas, both private and public. We conducted a survey in the Daly Catchment, Northern Territory, to inform the design and implementation of a stewardship payment program. We used a choice model to estimate the likely level of participation in two legal arrangements--conservation covenants and management agreements--based on payment level and proportion of properties required to be managed. We then spatially predicted landholders' probability of participating at the resolution of individual properties and incorporated these predictions into conservation planning software to examine the potential for the stewardship program to meet conservation objectives. We found that the properties that were least costly, per unit area, to manage were also the least likely to participate. This highlights a tension between planning for a cost-effective program and planning for a program that targets properties with the highest probability of participation.

  16. Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinthya A Ureña-Aranda

    Full Text Available A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

  17. Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.

    2015-09-08

    The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was highly centralized. Twenty of 188 priority areas accounted for 80 percent of the total centrality scores. These priority areas, characterized by large size and a central location in the range-wide distribution, are strongholds for greater sage-grouse populations and also might function as sources. Mid-ranking priority areas may serve as stepping stones because of their location between large central and smaller peripheral priority areas. The current network design and conservation strategy has risks. The contribution of almost one-half (n = 93) of the priority areas combined for less than 1 percent of the cumulative centrality scores for the network. These priority areas individually are likely too small to support viable sage-grouse populations within their boundary. Without habitat corridors to connect small priority areas either to larger priority areas or as a clustered group within the network, their isolation could lead to loss of sage-grouse within these regions of the network. 

  18. What are your priorities right now? Identifying service needs across recovery stages to inform service development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laudet, Alexandre B; White, William

    2010-01-01

    Substance use disorders (SUD) are, for many, chronic conditions that are typically associated with severe impairments in multiple areas of functioning. "Recovery" from SUD is, for most, a lengthy process; improvements in other areas of functioning do not necessarily follow the attainment of abstinence. The current SUD service model providing intense, short-term, symptom-focused services is ill-suited to address these issues. A recovery-oriented model of care is emerging, which provides coordinated recovery-support services using a chronic-care model of sustained recovery management. Information is needed about substance users' priorities, particularly persons in recovery who are not currently enrolled in treatment, to guide the development of recovery-oriented systems. As a first step in filling this gap, we present qualitative data on current life priorities among a sample of individuals that collectively represent successive recovery stages (N = 356). Findings suggest that many areas of functioning remain challenging long after abstinence is attained, most notably employment and education, family/social relations, and housing. Although the ranking of priorities changes somewhat across recovery stages, employment is consistently the second most important priority, behind working on one's recovery. Study limitations are noted, and the implications of findings for the development and evaluation of recovery-oriented services are discussed.

  19. Identifying priority healthcare trainings in frozen conflict situations: The case of Nagorno Karabagh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Michael E; Dorian, Alina H; Harutyunyan, Tsovinar L

    2010-12-09

    Health care in post-war situations, where the system's human and fixed capital are depleted, is challenging. The addition of a frozen conflict situation, where international recognition of boundaries and authorities are lacking, introduces further complexities. Nagorno Karabagh (NK) is an ethnically Armenian territory locked within post-Soviet Azerbaijan and one such frozen conflict situation. This article highlights the use of evidence-based practice and community engagement to determine priority areas for health care training in NK. Drawing on the precepts of APEXPH (Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health) and MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships), this first-of-its-kind assessment in NK relied on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions supplemented with expert assessments and field observations. Training options were evaluated against a series of ethical and pragmatic principles. A unique factor among the ethical and pragmatic considerations when prioritizing among alternatives was NK's ambiguous political status and consequent sponsor constraints. Training priorities differed across the region and by type of provider, but consensus prioritization emerged for first aid, clinical Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, and Adult Disease Management. These priorities were then incorporated into the training programs funded by the sponsor. Programming responsive to both the evidence-base and stakeholder priorities is always desirable and provides a foundation for long-term planning and response. In frozen conflict, low resource settings, such an approach is critical to balancing the community's immediate humanitarian needs with sponsor concerns and constraints.

  20. Research priorities for conservation of metallophyte biodiversity and their potential for restoration and site remediation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whiting, S.N.; Reeves, R.D.; Richards, D.; Johnson, M.S.; Cooke, J.A.; Malaisse, F.; Paton, A.; Smith, J.A.C.; Angle, J.S.; Chaney, R.L.; Ginocchio, R.; Jaffre, T.; Johns, R.; McIntyre, T.; Purvis, O.W.; Salt, D.E.; Zhao, F.J.; Baker, A.J.M.; Schat, H.

    2004-01-01

    Plants that have evolved to survive on metal-rich soils-metallophytes-have key values that must drive research of their unique properties and ultimately their conservation. The ability of metallophytes to tolerate extreme metal concentrations commends them for revegetation of mines and

  1. Conservation priorities for Ethiopian sheep breeds combining threat status, breed merits and contributions to genetic diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gizaw, S.; Komen, J.; Windig, J.J.; Hanotte, O.; Arendonk, van J.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    Prioritizing livestock breeds for conservation needs to incorporate both genetic and non-genetic aspects important for the survival of the breeds. Here, we apply a maximum-utility-strategy to prioritize 14 traditional Ethiopian sheep breeds based on their threat status, contributions to farmer

  2. An interactive database for setting conservation priorities for western neotropical migrants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael F. Carter; Keith Barker

    1993-01-01

    We develop and explain a species ranking system for the states and physiographic regions of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program's West Working Group. The ranking criteria attempt to measure characteristics of species which make them vulnerable to extirpation, as well as assess the relative importance of different geographic and/or political areas...

  3. Width of riparian buffer and structure of adjacent plantations influence occupancy of conservation priority birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roger W. Perry; T. Bently Wigley; M. Anthony Melchiors; Ronald E. Thill; Philip A. Tappe; Darren A. Miller

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity on forest landscapes dominated by plantations has become an increasingly important topic, and opportunities to maintain or enhance biodiversity within these forests need to be recognized and applied. Riparian buffers of mature forest retained along streams in managed forest landscapes offer an opportunity to enhance biodiversity across...

  4. Refining Current Scientific Priorities and Identifying New Scientific Gaps in HIV-Related Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twigg, Homer L; Crystal, Ronald; Currier, Judith; Ridker, Paul; Berliner, Nancy; Kiem, Hans-Peter; Rutherford, George; Zou, Shimian; Glynn, Simone; Wong, Renee; Peprah, Emmanuel; Engelgau, Michael; Creazzo, Tony; Colombini-Hatch, Sandra; Caler, Elisabet

    2017-09-01

    The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) AIDS Program's goal is to provide direction and support for research and training programs in areas of HIV-related heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) diseases. To better define NHLBI current HIV-related scientific priorities and with the goal of identifying new scientific priorities and gaps in HIV-related HLBS research, a wide group of investigators gathered for a scientific NHLBI HIV Working Group on December 14-15, 2015, in Bethesda, MD. The core objectives of the Working Group included discussions on: (1) HIV-related HLBS comorbidities in the antiretroviral era; (2) HIV cure; (3) HIV prevention; and (4) mechanisms to implement new scientific discoveries in an efficient and timely manner so as to have the most impact on people living with HIV. The 2015 Working Group represented an opportunity for the NHLBI to obtain expert advice on HIV/AIDS scientific priorities and approaches over the next decade.

  5. DNA analysis indicates that Asian elephants are native to Borneo and are therefore a high priority for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prithiviraj Fernando

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available The origin of Borneo's elephants is controversial. Two competing hypotheses argue that they are either indigenous, tracing back to the Pleistocene, or were introduced, descending from elephants imported in the 16th-18th centuries. Taxonomically, they have either been classified as a unique subspecies or placed under the Indian or Sumatran subspecies. If shown to be a unique indigenous population, this would extend the natural species range of the Asian elephant by 1300 km, and therefore Borneo elephants would have much greater conservation importance than if they were a feral population. We compared DNA of Borneo elephants to that of elephants from across the range of the Asian elephant, using a fragment of mitochondrial DNA, including part of the hypervariable d-loop, and five autosomal microsatellite loci. We find that Borneo's elephants are genetically distinct, with molecular divergence indicative of a Pleistocene colonisation of Borneo and subsequent isolation. We reject the hypothesis that Borneo's elephants were introduced. The genetic divergence of Borneo elephants warrants their recognition as a separate evolutionary significant unit. Thus, interbreeding Borneo elephants with those from other populations would be contraindicated in ex situ conservation, and their genetic distinctiveness makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation.

  6. Integration of species and ecosystem monitoring for selecting priority areas for biodiversity conservation: Case studies from the Palearctic of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey A. Romanov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available At the start of the third millennium, new opportunities have arisen in biogeographical research, namely in the generalisation, visualisation and cross-spectrum analysis of biological and geographical information and in the compilation of biogeographical maps and innovative models for regions that differ in the availability of distribution data. These tasks include long-term monitoring of plants and animals which are in danger of extinction, geographical analysis of biodiversity distribution and development of effective wildlife conservation strategies for specific regions. The studies of the Department of Biogeography of Moscow University on geography and biodiversity conservation are based on long-term field expeditions. The examples of the Asian Subarctic Mountains, the steppes of Central Kazakhstan and the urbanised north-west of Russia are used to illustrate Russian approaches to the use of biogeographical monitoring for the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation. The species populations of the higher plants and vertebrates listed in the Red Books have been considered as the basic units of biodiversity.

  7. Priorities for improving the scientific foundation of conservation policy in North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noss, Reed F; Fleishman, Erica; Dellasala, Dominick A; Fitzgerald, John M; Gross, Mart R; Main, Martin B; Nagle, Fiona; O'Malley, Stacey L; Rosales, Jon

    2009-08-01

    The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) can enhance conservation of biodiversity in North America by increasing its engagement in public policy. Toward this end, the North America Section of SCB is establishing partnerships with other professional organizations in order to speak more powerfully to decision makers and taking other actions--such as increasing interaction with chapters--geared to engage members more substantively in science-policy issues. Additionally, the section is developing a North American Biodiversity Blueprint, which spans the continental United States and Canada and is informed by natural and social science. This blueprint is intended to clarify the policy challenges for protecting continental biodiversity, to foster bilateral collaboration to resolve common problems, and to suggest rational alternative policies and practices that are more likely than current practices to sustain North America's natural heritage. Conservation scientists and practitioners can play a key role by drawing policy makers' attention to ultimate, as well as proximate, causes of biodiversity decline and to the ecological and economic consequences of not addressing these threats.

  8. A trans-national monarch butterfly population model and implications for regional conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberhauser, Karen; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Ries, Leslie; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Semmens, Brice

    2017-01-01

    1. The monarch has undergone considerable population declines over the past decade, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have agreed to work together to conserve the species.2. Given limited resources, understanding where to focus conservation action is key for widespread species like monarchs. To support planning for continental-scale monarch habitat restoration, we address the question of where restoration efforts are likely to have the largest impacts on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus Linn.) population growth rates.3. We present a spatially explicit demographic model simulating the multi-generational annual cycle of the eastern monarch population, and use the model to examine management scenarios, some of which focus on particular regions of North America.4. Improving the monarch habitat in the north central or southern parts of the monarch range yields a slightly greater increase in the population growth rate than restoration in other regions. However, combining restoration efforts across multiple regions yields population growth rates above 1 with smaller simulated improvements in habitat per region than single-region strategies.5. Synthesis and applications: These findings suggest that conservation investment in projects across the full monarch range will be more effective than focusing on one or a few regions, and will require international cooperation across many land use categories.

  9. Identifying priority healthcare trainings in frozen conflict situations: The case of Nagorno Karabagh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorian Alina H

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Health care in post-war situations, where the system's human and fixed capital are depleted, is challenging. The addition of a frozen conflict situation, where international recognition of boundaries and authorities are lacking, introduces further complexities. Case description Nagorno Karabagh (NK is an ethnically Armenian territory locked within post-Soviet Azerbaijan and one such frozen conflict situation. This article highlights the use of evidence-based practice and community engagement to determine priority areas for health care training in NK. Drawing on the precepts of APEXPH (Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health and MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, this first-of-its-kind assessment in NK relied on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions supplemented with expert assessments and field observations. Training options were evaluated against a series of ethical and pragmatic principles. Discussion and Evaluation A unique factor among the ethical and pragmatic considerations when prioritizing among alternatives was NK's ambiguous political status and consequent sponsor constraints. Training priorities differed across the region and by type of provider, but consensus prioritization emerged for first aid, clinical Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, and Adult Disease Management. These priorities were then incorporated into the training programs funded by the sponsor. Conclusions Programming responsive to both the evidence-base and stakeholder priorities is always desirable and provides a foundation for long-term planning and response. In frozen conflict, low resource settings, such an approach is critical to balancing the community's immediate humanitarian needs with sponsor concerns and constraints.

  10. Setting priorities for private land conservation in fire-prone landscapes: Are fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation competing or compatible objectives?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra D. Syphard

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although wildfire plays an important role in maintaining biodiversity in many ecosystems, fire management to protect human assets is often carried out by different agencies than those tasked for conserving biodiversity. In fact, fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation are often viewed as competing objectives. Here we explored the role of management through private land conservation and asked whether we could identify private land acquisition strategies that fulfill the mutual objectives of biodiversity conservation and fire risk reduction, or whether the maximization of one objective comes at a detriment to the other. Using a fixed budget and number of homes slated for development, we simulated 20 years of housing growth under alternative conservation selection strategies, and then projected the mean risk of fires destroying structures and the area and configuration of important habitat types in San Diego County, California, USA. We found clear differences in both fire risk projections and biodiversity impacts based on the way conservation lands are prioritized for selection, but these differences were split between two distinct groupings. If no conservation lands were purchased, or if purchases were prioritized based on cost or likelihood of development, both the projected fire risk and biodiversity impacts were much higher than if conservation lands were purchased in areas with high fire hazard or high species richness. Thus, conserving land focused on either of the two objectives resulted in nearly equivalent mutual benefits for both. These benefits not only resulted from preventing development in sensitive areas, but they were also due to the different housing patterns and arrangements that occurred as development was displaced from those areas. Although biodiversity conflicts may still arise using other fire management strategies, this study shows that mutual objectives can be attained through land-use planning in this region

  11. Setting priorities for private land conservation in fire-prone landscapes: Are fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation competing or compatible objectives?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Butsic, Van; Bar-Massada, Avi; Keeley, Jon E.; Tracey, Jeff A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2016-01-01

    Although wildfire plays an important role in maintaining biodiversity in many ecosystems, fire management to protect human assets is often carried out by different agencies than those tasked for conserving biodiversity. In fact, fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation are often viewed as competing objectives. Here we explored the role of management through private land conservation and asked whether we could identify private land acquisition strategies that fulfill the mutual objectives of biodiversity conservation and fire risk reduction, or whether the maximization of one objective comes at a detriment to the other. Using a fixed budget and number of homes slated for development, we simulated 20 years of housing growth under alternative conservation selection strategies, and then projected the mean risk of fires destroying structures and the area and configuration of important habitat types in San Diego County, California, USA. We found clear differences in both fire risk projections and biodiversity impacts based on the way conservation lands are prioritized for selection, but these differences were split between two distinct groupings. If no conservation lands were purchased, or if purchases were prioritized based on cost or likelihood of development, both the projected fire risk and biodiversity impacts were much higher than if conservation lands were purchased in areas with high fire hazard or high species richness. Thus, conserving land focused on either of the two objectives resulted in nearly equivalent mutual benefits for both. These benefits not only resulted from preventing development in sensitive areas, but they were also due to the different housing patterns and arrangements that occurred as development was displaced from those areas. Although biodiversity conflicts may still arise using other fire management strategies, this study shows that mutual objectives can be attained through land-use planning in this region. These results likely

  12. Identifying Potential Recommendation Domains for Conservation Agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  13. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Kahlil Khoury

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding.

  14. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoury, Colin K; Heider, Bettina; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Achicanoy, Harold A; Sosa, Chrystian C; Miller, Richard E; Scotland, Robert W; Wood, John R I; Rossel, Genoveva; Eserman, Lauren A; Jarret, Robert L; Yencho, G C; Bernau, Vivian; Juarez, Henry; Sotelo, Steven; de Haan, Stef; Struik, Paul C

    2015-01-01

    Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here, we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme Southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding.

  15. Identifying missing dictionary entries with frequency-conserving context models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jake Ryland; Clark, Eric M.; Bagrow, James P.; Danforth, Christopher M.; Dodds, Peter Sheridan

    2015-10-01

    In an effort to better understand meaning from natural language texts, we explore methods aimed at organizing lexical objects into contexts. A number of these methods for organization fall into a family defined by word ordering. Unlike demographic or spatial partitions of data, these collocation models are of special importance for their universal applicability. While we are interested here in text and have framed our treatment appropriately, our work is potentially applicable to other areas of research (e.g., speech, genomics, and mobility patterns) where one has ordered categorical data (e.g., sounds, genes, and locations). Our approach focuses on the phrase (whether word or larger) as the primary meaning-bearing lexical unit and object of study. To do so, we employ our previously developed framework for generating word-conserving phrase-frequency data. Upon training our model with the Wiktionary, an extensive, online, collaborative, and open-source dictionary that contains over 100 000 phrasal definitions, we develop highly effective filters for the identification of meaningful, missing phrase entries. With our predictions we then engage the editorial community of the Wiktionary and propose short lists of potential missing entries for definition, developing a breakthrough, lexical extraction technique and expanding our knowledge of the defined English lexicon of phrases.

  16. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community. PMID:26966659

  17. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  18. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  19. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bourne

    Full Text Available Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from

  20. Identifying priorities in methodological research using ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 administrative data: report from an international consortium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Jin

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health administrative data are frequently used for health services and population health research. Comparative research using these data has been facilitated by the use of a standard system for coding diagnoses, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD. Research using the data must deal with data quality and validity limitations which arise because the data are not created for research purposes. This paper presents a list of high-priority methodological areas for researchers using health administrative data. Methods A group of researchers and users of health administrative data from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Australia, China and the United Kingdom came together in June 2005 in Banff, Canada to discuss and identify high-priority methodological research areas. The generation of ideas for research focussed not only on matters relating to the use of administrative data in health services and population health research, but also on the challenges created in transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10. After the brain-storming session, voting took place to rank-order the suggested projects. Participants were asked to rate the importance of each project from 1 (low priority to 10 (high priority. Average ranks were computed to prioritise the projects. Results Thirteen potential areas of research were identified, some of which represented preparatory work rather than research per se. The three most highly ranked priorities were the documentation of data fields in each country's hospital administrative data (average score 8.4, the translation of patient safety indicators from ICD-9 to ICD-10 (average score 8.0, and the development and validation of algorithms to verify the logic and internal consistency of coding in hospital abstract data (average score 7.0. Conclusion The group discussions resulted in a list of expert views on critical international priorities for future methodological research relating to health

  1. Benefits of coastal recreation in Europe: identifying trade-offs and priority regions for sustainable management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghermandi, Andrea

    2015-04-01

    This paper examines the welfare dimension of the recreational services of coastal ecosystems through the application of a meta-analytical value transfer framework, which integrates Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the characterization of climate, biodiversity, accessibility, and anthropogenic pressure in each of 368 regions of the European coastal zone. The relative contribution of international, domestic, and local recreationists to aggregated regional values is examined. The implications of the analysis for prioritization of conservation areas and identification of good management practices are highlighted through the comparative assessment of estimated recreation values, current environmental pressures, and existing network of protected sites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Proactive prevention in occupational safety and health: how to identify tomorrow's prevention priorities and preventive measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauke, Angelika; Flaspöler, Eva; Reinert, Dietmar

    2018-04-17

    Global trends such as digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change are changing workplaces, and accordingly occupational safety and health (OSH) needs. To better prepare for the future and to foster proactive prevention, the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) established an OSH risk observatory (RO OSH). The RO OSH relies on an online survey and calls upon the expertise of labour inspectors. 398 labour inspectors participated in the first RO OSH enquiry. They rated developments with regard to their sector-specific relevance for OSH in the near future. The RO OSH also provides ideas for preventive measures that can be implemented by the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions. Work intensity, demographic aspects, and digitalisation play a major role for most or all sectors. However, familiar OSH issues such as musculoskeletal strain and noise also continue to be of major importance and require further consideration and specific solutions in prevention. For the DGUV, training and consulting bear great potential for proactive prevention in the above priority areas, e.g. by fostering a prevention culture and supporting companies in (psychosocial) risk assessment (also for mobile work). For instance, concepts for increasing physical activity at sedentary workplaces, and data security require continued research.

  3. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  4. Environmental Modeling, The Buffer Priority layers for Phosphorus / Sediment) Removal identify priority forest/grass buffer opportunities by subwatershed. Land use, hydrology, soil, and landscape characteristics were analyzed to rank buffer opportunities with high P/sed removal., Published in 2014, Smaller than 1:100000 scale, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — Environmental Modeling dataset current as of 2014. The Buffer Priority layers for Phosphorus / Sediment) Removal identify priority forest/grass buffer opportunities...

  5. Environmental Modeling, The Natural Filter Wetland Priority layers identify priority wetland restoration sites by subwatershed. Land use, hydrology, soil, and landscape characteristics were analyzed to rank opportunities with high nutrient removal potential., Published in 2014, Smaller than 1:100000 scale, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — Environmental Modeling dataset current as of 2014. The Natural Filter Wetland Priority layers identify priority wetland restoration sites by subwatershed. Land use,...

  6. Predicting and setting conservation priorities for Bolivian mammals based on biological correlates of the risk of decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñaranda, Diego A; Simonetti, Javier A

    2015-06-01

    The recognition that growing proportions of species worldwide are endangered has led to the development of comparative analyses to elucidate why some species are more prone to extinction than others. Understanding factors and patterns of species vulnerability might provide an opportunity to develop proactive conservation strategies. Such comparative analyses are of special concern at national scales because this is the scale at which most conservation initiatives take place. We applied powerful ensemble learning models to test for biological correlates of the risk of decline among the Bolivian mammals to understand species vulnerability at a national scale and to predict the population trend for poorly known species. Risk of decline was nonrandomly distributed: higher proportions of large-sized taxa were under decline, whereas small-sized taxa were less vulnerable. Body mass, mode of life (i.e., aquatic, terrestrial, volant), geographic range size, litter size, home range, niche specialization, and reproductive potential were strongly associated with species vulnerability. Moreover, we found interacting and nonlinear effects of key traits on the risk of decline of mammals at a national scale. Our model predicted 35 data-deficient species in decline on the basis of their biological vulnerability, which should receive more attention in order to prevent their decline. Our results highlight the relevance of comparative analysis at relatively narrow geographical scales, reveal previously unknown factors related to species vulnerability, and offer species-by-species outcomes that can be used to identify targets for conservation, especially for insufficiently known species. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Blood biochemistry reveals malnutrition in black-necked swans (Cygnus melanocoryphus) living in a conservation priority area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artacho, Paulina; Soto-Gamboa, Mauricio; Verdugo, Claudio; Nespolo, Roberto F

    2007-02-01

    The application of clinical biochemical techniques to determine the products of intermediary metabolism has proved to be a reliable approach for the study of the physiological state of animals in nature. More specifically, the determination of plasma metabolites, such as glucose, total proteins (PRO), albumin (ALB), globulins (GL), urea, uric acid, triglycerides (TG) and beta-hydroxy-butyrate (BHB), and plasma enzymes such as creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in wild animals is a valuable possibility for a non-destructive assessment of health in endangered populations. Since August 2004 to January 2005, we conducted a temporal study in a conservation priority site, the "Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary" to determine blood biochemistry of a wild population of black-necked swans (Cygnus melanocoryphus). This population was experiencing a drastic reduction, according to the actual knowledge about yearly fluctuations in numbers and breeding pairs. In six months, we periodically sampled about 12 swans (a total of 122 individuals), which exhibited a reduction near 30% in body mass (body mass corrected by total length). Our results showed reductions in most plasma biochemical parameters (glucose, PRO, ALB, uric acid, TG) and increase in BHB, which taken together indicated signs of chronic malnutrition. Also, the increase in AST and CK that we found, together with additional evidences of sub-lethal hepatic damage (in dead individuals), and iron pollution in aquatic plants and water confirmed that water pollution was the ultimate cause of this population reduction.

  8. Moving into Protected Areas? Setting Conservation Priorities for Romanian Reptiles and Amphibians at Risk from Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Viorel D.; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  9. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viorel D Popescu

    Full Text Available Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s, and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas, but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1 building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2 facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside

  10. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Viorel D; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Kostoski

    2010-12-01

    measures, international conservation activities, and ongoing research on conservation and raising of public awareness. Following this summary, we evaluate the status quo and future of Lake Ohrid and its biota. A comprehensive conservation strategy should include measures that result in an immediate reduction of nutrient input, particularly with phosphorus, in order to slow down the ongoing eutrophication process. The existing watershed management should become more effective. Implementation and particularly with a view to the enforcement of national laws should be enhanced. Increased research on the lakes' limnology, biodiversity, and conservation management practices are necessary. The latter research should identify conservation priorities. Public awareness should be enhanced. Facing these parallel needs to protect the unique biodiversity of Lake Ohrid, we suggest urging (a implementation and enforcement of the General Management Plan that would ensure long-term integrated and sustainable use of the lake and its watershed, (b scientific studies on ecology, biodiversity and effects of human impact, (c the establishment of Core Conservation areas (CCA, including underwater reserves, and (d Coastal Zone Management (CZM areas that would constitute buffer zones for the CCAs around the lake. Given the number of identified threats, it is clear that only concerted international action can stop or at least slow down further degradation of Lake Ohrid and the creeping biodiversity crisis already evident. All conservation activities should, among others, ultimately lead to a trans-boundary major conservation area of the Ohrid-Prespa region that would allow long-term integration of both humans and nature.

  12. Research Priorities for Fertility and Conception Research as Identified by Multidisciplinary Health Care Practitioners and Researchers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa J. Moran

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Robinson Research Institute of the University of Adelaide convened a multidisciplinary group of n = 33 clinicians, researchers and representatives of government organisations on the 2 October 2014 for a workshop entitled “Promoting fertility and healthy conception. How do we generate greater reproductive health awareness?” The key aim of the workshop was to assess the body of knowledge that informs clinical practice and government policy, and to identify questions and additional information needed by health practitioners and government representatives working in the field of reproductive health and to frame future research and policy. The workshop identified topics that fell mostly into three categories: lifestyle-related, societal and biological factors. The lifestyle topics included nutrition and diet, exercise, obesity, shift work and other factors deemed to be modifiable at the level of the individual. The societal topics included discussions of matters that are structural, and resistant to change by individuals, including specific ethical issues, social disadvantage, government and educational policies. The biological factors are intrinsic physical states of the individual, and included many factors where there is a dense body of scientific knowledge which may not be readily accessible in less academic language. This workshop thus provided an opportunity to identify further actions that could be undertaken to meet the needs of diverse organisations and groups of professionals with an interest in human fertility. Since so many factors in our social and biological environment can impact fertility and preconception health, it is imperative to involve many disciplines or levels of government or societal organisations that have not traditionally been involved in this area.

  13. Assessing School Wellness Policies and Identifying Priorities for Action: Results of a Bi-State Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Susan P; Markenson, Deborah; Gibson, Cheryl A

    2018-05-01

    Obesity is a complex health problem affecting more than one-third of school-aged youth. The increasing obesity rates in Kansas and Missouri has been particularly concerning, with efforts being made to improve student health through the implementation of school wellness policies (SWPs). The primary purpose of this study was to conduct a rigorous assessment of SWPs in the bi-state region. SWPs were collected from 46 school districts. The Wellness School Assessment Tool (WellSAT) was used to assess comprehensiveness and strength. Additionally, focus group discussions and an online survey were conducted with school personnel to identify barriers and supports needed. Assessment of the SWPs indicated that most school districts failed to provide strong and specific language. Due to these deficiencies, districts reported lack of enforcement of policies. Several barriers to implementing the policies were reported by school personnel; supports needed for effective implementation were identified. To promote a healthful school environment, significant improvements are warranted in the strength and comprehensiveness of the SWPs. The focus group discussions provided insight as to where we need to bridge the gap between the current state of policies and the desired beneficial practices to support a healthy school environment. © 2018, American School Health Association.

  14. Unmet health needs identified by Haitian women as priorities for attention: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peragallo Urrutia, Rachel; Merisier, Delson; Small, Maria; Urrutia, Eugene; Tinfo, Nicole; Walmer, David K

    2012-06-01

    This 2009 qualitative study investigated Haitian women's most pressing health needs, barriers to meeting those needs and proposed solutions, and how they thought the community and outside organizations should be involved in addressing their needs. The impetus for the study was to get community input into the development of a Family Health Centre in Leogane, Haiti. Individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with 52 adult women in six communities surrounding Leogane. The most pressing health needs named by the women were accessible, available and affordable health care, potable water, enough food to eat, improved economy, employment, sanitation and education, including health education. Institutional corruption, lack of infrastructure and social organization, the cost of health care, distance from services and lack of transport as barriers to care were also important themes. The involvement of foreign organizations and local community groups, including grassroots women's groups who would work in the best interests of other women, were identified as the most effective solutions. Organizations seeking to improve women's health care in Haiti should develop services and interventions that prioritize community partnership and leadership, foster partnerships with government, and focus on public health needs. Copyright © 2012 Reproductive Health Matters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of PCB sources and releases for identifying priorities to reduce PCBs in Washington State (USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Holly; Delistraty, Damon

    2016-02-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitously distributed in the environment and produce multiple adverse effects in humans and wildlife. As a result, the purpose of our study was to characterize PCB sources in anthropogenic materials and releases to the environment in Washington State (USA) in order to formulate recommendations to reduce PCB exposures. Methods included review of relevant publications (e.g., open literature, industry studies and reports, federal and state government databases), scaling of PCB sources from national or county estimates to state estimates, and communication with industry associations and private and public utilities. Recognizing high associated uncertainty due to incomplete data, we strived to provide central tendency estimates for PCB sources. In terms of mass (high to low), PCB sources include lamp ballasts, caulk, small capacitors, large capacitors, and transformers. For perspective, these sources (200,000-500,000 kg) overwhelm PCBs estimated to reside in the Puget Sound ecosystem (1500 kg). Annual releases of PCBs to the environment (high to low) are attributed to lamp ballasts (400-1500 kg), inadvertent generation by industrial processes (900 kg), caulk (160 kg), small capacitors (3-150 kg), large capacitors (10-80 kg), pigments and dyes (0.02-31 kg), and transformers (PCB distribution and decrease exposures include assessment of PCBs in buildings (e.g., schools) and replacement of these materials, development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to contain PCBs, reduction of inadvertent generation of PCBs in consumer products, expansion of environmental monitoring and public education, and research to identify specific PCB congener profiles in human tissues.

  16. Comparing the Workload Perceptions of Identifying Patient Condition and Priorities of Care Among Burn Providers in Three Burn ICUs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnis, Ian; Murray, Sarah J; Serio-Melvin, Maria; Aden, James K; Mann-Salinas, Elizabeth; Chung, Kevin K; Huzar, Todd; Wolf, Steven; Nemeth, Christopher; Pamplin, Jeremy C

    Multidisciplinary rounds (MDRs) in the burn intensive care unit serve as an efficient means for clinicians to assess patient status and establish patient care priorities. Both tasks require significant cognitive work, the magnitude of which is relevant because increased cognitive work of task completion has been associated with increased error rates. We sought to quantify this workload during MDR using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX). Research staff at three academic regional referral burn centers administered the NASA-TLX to clinicians during MDR. Clinicians assessed their workload associated with 1) "Identify(ing) if the patient is better, same, or worse than yesterday" and 2) "Identify(ing) the most important objectives of care for the patient today." Data were collected on clinician type, years of experience, and hours of direct patient care. Surveys were administered to 116 total clinicians, 41 physicians, 25 nurses, 13 medical students, and 37 clinicians in other roles. Clinicians with less experience reported more cognitive work when completing both tasks (P NASA-TLX was an effective tool for collecting perceptions of cognitive workload associated with MDR. Perceived cognitive work varied by clinician type and experience level when completing two key tasks. Less experience was associated with increased perceived work, potentially increasing mental error rates, and increasing risk to patients. Creating tools or work processes to reduce cognitive work may improve clinician performance.

  17. Allele frequencies of variants in ultra conserved elements identify selective pressure on transcription factor binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toomas Silla

    Full Text Available Ultra-conserved genes or elements (UCGs/UCEs in the human genome are extreme examples of conservation. We characterized natural variations in 2884 UCEs and UCGs in two distinct populations; Singaporean Chinese (n = 280 and Italian (n = 501 by using a pooled sample, targeted capture, sequencing approach. We identify, with high confidence, in these regions the abundance of rare SNVs (MAF5% are more often found in relatively less-conserved nucleotides within UCEs, compared to rare variants. Moreover, prevalent variants are less likely to overlap transcription factor binding site. Using SNPfold we found no significant influence of RNA secondary structure on UCE conservation. All together, these results suggest UCEs are not under selective pressure as a stretch of DNA but are under differential evolutionary pressure on the single nucleotide level.

  18. Allele frequencies of variants in ultra conserved elements identify selective pressure on transcription factor binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silla, Toomas; Kepp, Katrin; Tai, E Shyong; Goh, Liang; Davila, Sonia; Catela Ivkovic, Tina; Calin, George A; Voorhoeve, P Mathijs

    2014-01-01

    Ultra-conserved genes or elements (UCGs/UCEs) in the human genome are extreme examples of conservation. We characterized natural variations in 2884 UCEs and UCGs in two distinct populations; Singaporean Chinese (n = 280) and Italian (n = 501) by using a pooled sample, targeted capture, sequencing approach. We identify, with high confidence, in these regions the abundance of rare SNVs (MAFpower for association studies. By combining our data with 1000 Genome Project data, we show in three independent datasets that prevalent UCE variants (MAF>5%) are more often found in relatively less-conserved nucleotides within UCEs, compared to rare variants. Moreover, prevalent variants are less likely to overlap transcription factor binding site. Using SNPfold we found no significant influence of RNA secondary structure on UCE conservation. All together, these results suggest UCEs are not under selective pressure as a stretch of DNA but are under differential evolutionary pressure on the single nucleotide level.

  19. Using lot quality-assurance sampling and area sampling to identify priority areas for trachoma control: Viet Nam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myatt, Mark; Mai, Nguyen Phuong; Quynh, Nguyen Quang; Nga, Nguyen Huy; Tai, Ha Huy; Long, Nguyen Hung; Minh, Tran Hung; Limburg, Hans

    2005-10-01

    To report on the use of lot quality-assurance sampling (LQAS) surveys undertaken within an area-sampling framework to identify priority areas for intervention with trachoma control activities in Viet Nam. The LQAS survey method for the rapid assessment of the prevalence of active trachoma was adapted for use in Viet Nam with the aim of classifying individual communes by the prevalence of active trachoma among children in primary school. School-based sampling was used; school sites to be sampled were selected using an area-sampling approach. A total of 719 communes in 41 districts in 18 provinces were surveyed. Survey staff found the LQAS survey method both simple and rapid to use after initial problems with area-sampling methods were identified and remedied. The method yielded a finer spatial resolution of prevalence than had been previously achieved in Viet Nam using semiquantitative rapid assessment surveys and multistage cluster-sampled surveys. When used with area-sampling techniques, the LQAS survey method has the potential to form the basis of survey instruments that can be used to efficiently target resources for interventions against active trachoma. With additional work, such methods could provide a generally applicable tool for effective programme planning and for the certification of the elimination of trachoma as a blinding disease.

  20. Application of FEPs analysis to identify research priorities relevant to the safety case for an Australian radioactive waste facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, T.E.; McGlinn, P.J.

    2007-01-01

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has established a project to undertake research relevant to the safety case for the proposed Australian radioactive waste facility. This facility will comprise a store for intermediate level radioactive waste, and either a store or a near-surface repository for low-level waste. In order to identify the research priorities for this project, a structured analysis of the features, events and processes (FEPs) relevant to the performance of the facility was undertaken. This analysis was based on the list of 137 FEPs developed by the IAEA project on 'Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities' (ISAM). A number of key research issues were identified, and some factors which differ in significance for the store, compared to the repository concept, were highlighted. For example, FEPs related to long-term groundwater transport of radionuclides are considered to be of less significance for a store than a repository. On the other hand, structural damage from severe weather, accident or human interference is more likely for a store. The FEPs analysis has enabled the scientific research skills required for the inter-disciplinary project team to be specified. The outcomes of the research will eventually be utilised in developing the design, and assessing the performance, of the future facility. It is anticipated that a more detailed application of the FEPs methodology will be undertaken to develop the safety case for the proposed radioactive waste management facility. (authors)

  1. Using a distribution and conservation status weighted hotspot approach to identify areas in need of conservation action to benefit Idaho bird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Aaron M.; Leu, Matthias; Svancara, Leona K.; Wilson, Gina; Scott, J. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Identification of biodiversity hotspots (hereafter, hotspots) has become a common strategy to delineate important areas for wildlife conservation. However, the use of hotspots has not often incorporated important habitat types, ecosystem services, anthropogenic activity, or consistency in identifying important conservation areas. The purpose of this study was to identify hotspots to improve avian conservation efforts for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the state of Idaho, United States. We evaluated multiple approaches to define hotspots and used a unique approach based on weighting species by their distribution size and conservation status to identify hotspot areas. All hotspot approaches identified bodies of water (Bear Lake, Grays Lake, and American Falls Reservoir) as important hotspots for Idaho avian SGCN, but we found that the weighted approach produced more congruent hotspot areas when compared to other hotspot approaches. To incorporate anthropogenic activity into hotspot analysis, we grouped species based on their sensitivity to specific human threats (i.e., urban development, agriculture, fire suppression, grazing, roads, and logging) and identified ecological sections within Idaho that may require specific conservation actions to address these human threats using the weighted approach. The Snake River Basalts and Overthrust Mountains ecological sections were important areas for potential implementation of conservation actions to conserve biodiversity. Our approach to identifying hotspots may be useful as part of a larger conservation strategy to aid land managers or local governments in applying conservation actions on the ground.

  2. Identifying all moiety conservation laws in genome-scale metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Martino, Andrea; De Martino, Daniele; Mulet, Roberto; Pagnani, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    The stoichiometry of a metabolic network gives rise to a set of conservation laws for the aggregate level of specific pools of metabolites, which, on one hand, pose dynamical constraints that cross-link the variations of metabolite concentrations and, on the other, provide key insight into a cell's metabolic production capabilities. When the conserved quantity identifies with a chemical moiety, extracting all such conservation laws from the stoichiometry amounts to finding all non-negative integer solutions of a linear system, a programming problem known to be NP-hard. We present an efficient strategy to compute the complete set of integer conservation laws of a genome-scale stoichiometric matrix, also providing a certificate for correctness and maximality of the solution. Our method is deployed for the analysis of moiety conservation relationships in two large-scale reconstructions of the metabolism of the bacterium E. coli, in six tissue-specific human metabolic networks, and, finally, in the human reactome as a whole, revealing that bacterial metabolism could be evolutionarily designed to cover broader production spectra than human metabolism. Convergence to the full set of moiety conservation laws in each case is achieved in extremely reduced computing times. In addition, we uncover a scaling relation that links the size of the independent pool basis to the number of metabolites, for which we present an analytical explanation.

  3. Identifying all moiety conservation laws in genome-scale metabolic networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea De Martino

    Full Text Available The stoichiometry of a metabolic network gives rise to a set of conservation laws for the aggregate level of specific pools of metabolites, which, on one hand, pose dynamical constraints that cross-link the variations of metabolite concentrations and, on the other, provide key insight into a cell's metabolic production capabilities. When the conserved quantity identifies with a chemical moiety, extracting all such conservation laws from the stoichiometry amounts to finding all non-negative integer solutions of a linear system, a programming problem known to be NP-hard. We present an efficient strategy to compute the complete set of integer conservation laws of a genome-scale stoichiometric matrix, also providing a certificate for correctness and maximality of the solution. Our method is deployed for the analysis of moiety conservation relationships in two large-scale reconstructions of the metabolism of the bacterium E. coli, in six tissue-specific human metabolic networks, and, finally, in the human reactome as a whole, revealing that bacterial metabolism could be evolutionarily designed to cover broader production spectra than human metabolism. Convergence to the full set of moiety conservation laws in each case is achieved in extremely reduced computing times. In addition, we uncover a scaling relation that links the size of the independent pool basis to the number of metabolites, for which we present an analytical explanation.

  4. Identifying and managing conflicts between forest conservation and other human interests in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niemela, J.; Young, J.; Alard, D.; Askasibar, M.; Henle, K.; Johnson, R.; Kurttila, M.; Larsson, T.B.; Matouch, S.; Nowicki, P.L.; Paiva, R.Q.; Portoghesi, L.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Stevenson, A.; Tartes, U.; Watt, A.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, circumstances where various human activities and interests clash with the conservation of forest biodiversity are examined, with particular focus on the drivers behind the conflicts. After identifying past and current human-related threats potentially leading to conflicts in forests,

  5. Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: Opinions of practising occupational therapists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlan, Justin Newton; Pépin, Geneviève; Haracz, Kirsti; Ennals, Priscilla; Webster, Jayne S; Meredith, Pamela J; Batten, Rachel; Bowman, Siann; Bonassi, Marianne; Bruce, Rosie

    2015-10-01

    The effective preparation of occupational therapy students for mental health practice is critical to facilitate positive consumer outcomes, underpin optimal practice and support new graduates' professional identity. This project was established to determine a set of 'educational priorities' for occupational therapy students to prepare them for current (and future) entry-level practice in mental health, from the perspective of mental health occupational therapists in Australia and New Zealand. The study included two phases. In Phase One, participants identified what they considered to be important educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare them for practice in mental health. For Phase Two, an 'expert panel' was assembled to review and rank these using a Policy Delphi approach. Eighty-five participants provided educational priorities in Phase One. These were grouped into a total of 149 educational themes. In Phase Two, the expert panel (consisting of 37 occupational therapists from diverse locations and practice settings) prioritised these themes across three Delphi rounds. A final priority list was generated dividing educational themes into three prioritised categories: 29 'Essential', 25 'Important' and 44 'Optional' priorities. Highest-ranked priorities were: clinical reasoning, client-centred practice, therapeutic use of self, functional implications of mental illness, therapeutic use of occupation and mental health fieldwork experience. The priority list developed as part of this project provides additional information to support the review of occupational therapy curricula across Australia and New Zealand to ensure that new graduates are optimally prepared for mental health practice. © 2015 Occupational Therapy Australia.

  6. Integrating conservation costs into sea level rise adaptive conservation prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjian Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.

  7. Using a community-driven approach to identify local forest and climate change priorities in Teslin, Yukon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joleen Timko

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The likelihood of addressing the complex environmental, economic, and social/cultural issues associated with local climate change impacts is enhanced when collaborative partnerships with local people are established. Using a community-centered approach in the Teslin region of Canada’s Yukon Territory, we utilized our research skills to respond to local needs for information by facilitating both an internal community process to clarify traditional and local knowledge, values, and perceptions on locally identified priorities, while gathering external information to enable local people to make sound decisions. Specifically, we sought to clarify local perceptions surrounding climate change impacts on fire risk and wildlife habitat, and the potential adaptation strategies appropriate and feasible within the Teslin Tlingit Traditional Territory. This paper provides a characterization of the study region and our project team; provides background on the interview and data collection process; presents our key results; and discusses the importance of our findings and charts a way forward for our continued work with the people in the Teslin region. This approach presents an excellent opportunity to help people holistically connect a range of local values, including fire risk mitigation, habitat enhancement, economic development, and enhanced social health.

  8. A COMPARISON OF TAXONOMIC DISTINCTNESS VERSUS RICHNESS AS CRITERIA FOR SETTING CONSERVATION PRIORITIES FOR NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS. (R825311)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractIn choosing sites for a conservation reserve network, representation of the greatest number of species in the sites selected is a common objective. This approach implicitly assumes that all species have equal conservation value. An alternative objective is to ...

  9. Multivariate ordination identifies vegetation types associated with spider conservation in brassica crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hafiz Sohaib Ahmed Saqib

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation biological control emphasizes natural and other non-crop vegetation as a source of natural enemies to focal crops. There is an unmet need for better methods to identify the types of vegetation that are optimal to support specific natural enemies that may colonize the crops. Here we explore the commonality of the spider assemblage—considering abundance and diversity (H—in brassica crops with that of adjacent non-crop and non-brassica crop vegetation. We employ spatial-based multivariate ordination approaches, hierarchical clustering and spatial eigenvector analysis. The small-scale mixed cropping and high disturbance frequency of southern Chinese vegetation farming offered a setting to test the role of alternate vegetation for spider conservation. Our findings indicate that spider families differ markedly in occurrence with respect to vegetation type. Grassy field margins, non-crop vegetation, taro and sweetpotato harbour spider morphospecies and functional groups that are also present in brassica crops. In contrast, pumpkin and litchi contain spiders not found in brassicas, and so may have little benefit for conservation biological control services for brassicas. Our findings also illustrate the utility of advanced statistical approaches for identifying spatial relationships between natural enemies and the land uses most likely to offer alternative habitats for conservation biological control efforts that generates testable hypotheses for future studies.

  10. Determination of the Sites with Conservation Priority in Research Forests of Yasouj University Based on Physiographic Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Zolfaghari

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Regarding high economic and conservative values of Zagros forests, and livelihood dependency of local people these recourses, determination of sites with higher conservation index can help us to maintain biodiversity of these forests more efficiently. Therefore, 49 plots with 450 m2 in area accompanied by 1, 10 and 45 m2 subplots were taken as systematic random design in research forests of Yasouj University. The number of species in each plot and subplot was recorded. The conservation values for different physiographic regions of forest were calculated using integrative parameters such as the number of species per plot, number of rare species per plot, number of tree species per plot, Jaccards similarity coefficient and slope of species-log(area. Comparing the conservation index in different physiographic sites revealed that the areas located in the north, hills and lower altitudes can be considered for in situ conservation due to higher number of trees, rare species and total plant species, species-log (area slope and lower amount of Jaccard similarity coefficient. But, vegetative sites located in lower slopes and south, because of lower conservation index, can be used for other multipurpose forestry activities. Using this index for different forest areas can be potentially conducted for better conservation and management of Zagros forests.

  11. Environmental Modeling, The Buffer Priority layers for Nitrogen Removal identify priority forest/grass buffer sites by subwatershed. Land use, hydrology, soil, and landscape characteristics were analyzed to rank opportunities with high nitrogen removal potential., Published in 2014, Smaller than 1:100000 scale, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — Environmental Modeling dataset current as of 2014. The Buffer Priority layers for Nitrogen Removal identify priority forest/grass buffer sites by subwatershed. Land...

  12. Assessment of the conservation priority status of South African estuaries for use in management and water allocation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Turpie, JK

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available The future health and productivity of South Africa's approximately 250 estuaries is dependent on two main factors; management and freshwater inputs. Both management and water allocation decisions involve trade-offs between conservation and various...

  13. Sympathy for the Devil: Detailing the Effects of Planning-Unit Size, Thematic Resolution of Reef Classes, and Socioeconomic Costs on Spatial Priorities for Marine Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheok, Jessica; Pressey, Robert L; Weeks, Rebecca; Andréfouët, Serge; Moloney, James

    2016-01-01

    Spatial data characteristics have the potential to influence various aspects of prioritising biodiversity areas for systematic conservation planning. There has been some exploration of the combined effects of size of planning units and level of classification of physical environments on the pattern and extent of priority areas. However, these data characteristics have yet to be explicitly investigated in terms of their interaction with different socioeconomic cost data during the spatial prioritisation process. We quantify the individual and interacting effects of three factors-planning-unit size, thematic resolution of reef classes, and spatial variability of socioeconomic costs-on spatial priorities for marine conservation, in typical marine planning exercises that use reef classification maps as a proxy for biodiversity. We assess these factors by creating 20 unique prioritisation scenarios involving combinations of different levels of each factor. Because output data from these scenarios are analogous to ecological data, we applied ecological statistics to determine spatial similarities between reserve designs. All three factors influenced prioritisations to different extents, with cost variability having the largest influence, followed by planning-unit size and thematic resolution of reef classes. The effect of thematic resolution on spatial design depended on the variability of cost data used. In terms of incidental representation of conservation objectives derived from finer-resolution data, scenarios prioritised with uniform cost outperformed those prioritised with variable cost. Following our analyses, we make recommendations to help maximise the spatial and cost efficiency and potential effectiveness of future marine conservation plans in similar planning scenarios. We recommend that planners: employ the smallest planning-unit size practical; invest in data at the highest possible resolution; and, when planning across regional extents with the intention

  14. Identifying and prioritizing ungulate migration routes for landscape-level conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Hall; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Nielson, Ryan M.; Horne, Jon S.

    2009-01-01

    As habitat loss and fragmentation increase across ungulate ranges, identifying and prioritizing migration routes for conservation has taken on new urgency. Here we present a general framework using the Brownian bridge movement model (BBMM) that: (1) provides a probabilistic estimate of the migration routes of a sampled population, (2) distinguishes between route segments that function as stopover sites vs. those used primarily as movement corridors, and (3) prioritizes routes for conservation based upon the proportion of the sampled population that uses them. We applied this approach to a migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) population in a pristine area of southwest Wyoming, USA, where 2000 gas wells and 1609 km of pipelines and roads have been proposed for development. Our analysis clearly delineated where migration routes occurred relative to proposed development and provided guidance for on-the-ground conservation efforts. Mule deer migration routes were characterized by a series of stopover sites where deer spent most of their time, connected by movement corridors through which deer moved quickly. Our findings suggest management strategies that differentiate between stopover sites and movement corridors may be warranted. Because some migration routes were used by more mule deer than others, proportional level of use may provide a reasonable metric by which routes can be prioritized for conservation. The methods we outline should be applicable to a wide range of species that inhabit regions where migration routes are threatened or poorly understood.

  15. The use of nominal group technique in identifying community health priorities in Moshi rural district, northern Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makundi, E A; Manongi, R; Mushi, A K

    2005-01-01

    in the list implying that priorities should not only be focused on diseases, but should also include health services and social cultural issues. Indeed, methods which are easily understood and applied thus able to give results close to those provided by the burden of disease approaches should be adopted....... The patients/caregivers, women's group representatives, youth leaders, religious leaders and community leaders/elders constituted the principal subjects. Emphasis was on providing qualitative data, which are of vital consideration in multi-disciplinary oriented studies, and not on quantitative information from....... It is the provision of ownership of the derived health priorities to partners including the community that enhances research utilization of the end results. In addition to disease-based methods, the Nominal Group Technique is being proposed as an important research tool for involving the non-experts in priority...

  16. Compendium of Immune Signatures Identifies Conserved and Species-Specific Biology in Response to Inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godec, Jernej; Tan, Yan; Liberzon, Arthur; Tamayo, Pablo; Bhattacharya, Sanchita; Butte, Atul J; Mesirov, Jill P; Haining, W Nicholas

    2016-01-19

    Gene-expression profiling has become a mainstay in immunology, but subtle changes in gene networks related to biological processes are hard to discern when comparing various datasets. For instance, conservation of the transcriptional response to sepsis in mouse models and human disease remains controversial. To improve transcriptional analysis in immunology, we created ImmuneSigDB: a manually annotated compendium of ∼5,000 gene-sets from diverse cell states, experimental manipulations, and genetic perturbations in immunology. Analysis using ImmuneSigDB identified signatures induced in activated myeloid cells and differentiating lymphocytes that were highly conserved between humans and mice. Sepsis triggered conserved patterns of gene expression in humans and mouse models. However, we also identified species-specific biological processes in the sepsis transcriptional response: although both species upregulated phagocytosis-related genes, a mitosis signature was specific to humans. ImmuneSigDB enables granular analysis of transcriptomic data to improve biological understanding of immune processes of the human and mouse immune systems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Red list of Czech spiders: 3rd edition, adjusted according to evidence-based national conservation priorities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řezáč, M.; Kůrka, A.; Růžička, Vlastimil; Heneberg, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 5 (2015), s. 645-666 ISSN 0006-3088 Grant - others:MZe(CZ) RO0415 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : evidence-based conservation * extinction risk * invertebrate surveys Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.719, year: 2015

  18. smRNAome profiling to identify conserved and novel microRNAs in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a family of small RNA (sRNA) population that regulates the gene expression and plays an important role in plant development, metabolism, signal transduction and stress response. Extensive studies on miRNAs have been performed in different plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa etc. and volume of the miRNA database, mirBASE, has been increasing on day to day basis. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is an important perennial herb which accumulates high concentrations of diterpene steviol glycosides which contributes to its high indexed sweetening property with no calorific value. Several studies have been carried out for understanding molecular mechanism involved in biosynthesis of these glycosides, however, information about miRNAs has been lacking in S. rebaudiana. Deep sequencing of small RNAs combined with transcriptomic data is a powerful tool for identifying conserved and novel miRNAs irrespective of availability of genome sequence data. Results To identify miRNAs in S. rebaudiana, sRNA library was constructed and sequenced using Illumina genome analyzer II. A total of 30,472,534 reads representing 2,509,190 distinct sequences were obtained from sRNA library. Based on sequence similarity, we identified 100 miRNAs belonging to 34 highly conserved families. Also, we identified 12 novel miRNAs whose precursors were potentially generated from stevia EST and nucleotide sequences. All novel sequences have not been earlier described in other plant species. Putative target genes were predicted for most conserved and novel miRNAs. The predicted targets are mainly mRNA encoding enzymes regulating essential plant metabolic and signaling pathways. Conclusions This study led to the identification of 34 highly conserved miRNA families and 12 novel potential miRNAs indicating that specific miRNAs exist in stevia species. Our results provided information on stevia miRNAs and their targets building a foundation for future studies to

  19. Combining measures of dispersal to identify conservation strategies in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidner, Allison K; Haddad, Nick M

    2011-10-01

    Understanding the way in which habitat fragmentation disrupts animal dispersal is key to identifying effective and efficient conservation strategies. To differentiate the potential effectiveness of 2 frequently used strategies for increasing the connectivity of populations in fragmented landscapes-corridors and stepping stones-we combined 3 complimentary methods: behavioral studies at habitat edges, mark-recapture, and genetic analyses. Each of these methods addresses different steps in the dispersal process that a single intensive study could not address. We applied the 3 methods to the case study of Atrytonopsis new species 1, a rare butterfly endemic to a partially urbanized stretch of barrier islands in North Carolina (U.S.A.). Results of behavioral analyses showed the butterfly flew into urban and forested areas, but not over open beach; mark-recapture showed that the butterfly dispersed successfully through short stretches of urban areas (5 km) were a dispersal barrier, but shorter stretches of urban areas (≤5 km) were not. Although results from all 3 methods indicated natural features in the landscape, not urbanization, were barriers to dispersal, when we combined the results we could determine where barriers might arise: forests restricted dispersal for the butterfly only when there were long stretches with no habitat. Therefore, urban areas have the potential to become a dispersal barrier if their extent increases, a finding that may have gone unnoticed if we had used a single approach. Protection of stepping stones should be sufficient to maintain connectivity for Atrytonopsis new species 1 at current levels of urbanization. Our research highlights how the use of complementary approaches for studying animal dispersal in fragmented landscapes can help identify conservation strategies. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Identify alternative splicing events based on position-specific evolutionary conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chen

    Full Text Available The evolution of eukaryotes is accompanied by the increased complexity of alternative splicing which greatly expands genome information. One of the greatest challenges in the post-genome era is a complete revelation of human transcriptome with consideration of alternative splicing. Here, we introduce a comparative genomics approach to systemically identify alternative splicing events based on the differential evolutionary conservation between exons and introns and the high-quality annotation of the ENCODE regions. Specifically, we focus on exons that are included in some transcripts but are completely spliced out for others and we call them conditional exons. First, we characterize distinguishing features among conditional exons, constitutive exons and introns. One of the most important features is the position-specific conservation score. There are dramatic differences in conservation scores between conditional exons and constitutive exons. More importantly, the differences are position-specific. For flanking intronic regions, the differences between conditional exons and constitutive exons are also position-specific. Using the Random Forests algorithm, we can classify conditional exons with high specificities (97% for the identification of conditional exons from intron regions and 95% for the classification of known exons and fair sensitivities (64% and 32% respectively. We applied the method to the human genome and identified 39,640 introns that actually contain conditional exons and classified 8,813 conditional exons from the current RefSeq exon list. Among those, 31,673 introns containing conditional exons and 5,294 conditional exons classified from known exons cannot be inferred from RefSeq, UCSC or Ensembl annotations. Some of these de novo predictions were experimentally verified.

  1. An uncertainty inclusive un-mixing model to identify tracer non-conservativeness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherriff, Sophie; Rowan, John; Franks, Stewart; Fenton, Owen; Jordan, Phil; hUallacháin, Daire Ó.

    2015-04-01

    sensitive screening technique than assessing target values against source data. Non-conservative behaviour was identified in field data however only at a significant degree of corruption. Whilst further testing is required to determine the impact of individual and combined uncertainty components on synthetic, controlled experiments and field data, this study provides a framework for future assessment of uncertainty in un-mixing models.

  2. Work-life balance, time and money: identifying the work-life balance priorities of working class workers

    OpenAIRE

    Warren, Tracey

    2017-01-01

    This chapter provides an overview of the relative roles played by time and money in debates around work-life balance. It shows how time trumps money in dominant understandings of what ‘work-life’ means and in what parts of our lives are presumed to be in need of balance. Working ‘too many’ hours is seen to be the major challenge for achieving a work-life balance. This is an incomplete account. It is largely about the work-lives of the middle classes and it neglects the priorities of working c...

  3. Identifying orchid hotspots for biodiversity conservation in Laos: the limestone karst vegetation of Vang Vieng District, Vientiane Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Kumar

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A project to study the phytodiversity of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot (IBBH was initiated by Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong, in 2011, with the aim of surveying primary forest fragments and identifying conservation priorities within this expansive but highly threatened ecoregion. Vang Vieng District of Vientiane Province, northern Laos, was chosen as a focus for a pilot expedition, since it features an extensive karst landscape that has barely been explored. Together with officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Lao PDR, surveys of three sites were conducted in April 2012, at the end of the dry northeast monsoon season. Emphasis was placed on Orchidaceae because it is among the most species-rich and commercially exploited flowering plant families in the region. A total of 179 specimens were collected, of which approximately 135 were unique taxa accounting for 29.6% of the orchids found in Laos and 5.8% of those found in IBBH as a whole, and equivalent to 0.27 species/hectare within the area surveyed, substantially higher than published figures for other limestone areas in the region, such as Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam (0.0055 species/hectare and Perlis State in Peninsular Malaysia (0.0036 species/hectare.  At least one is a species new to science, nine represent new distributional records for Laos and a further nine are new records for Vientiane Province. A list of the species encountered during the study is presented and the significance of the findings is discussed. Major threats to the natural environment in northern Laos are highlighted.

  4. Identifying patients at risk of intraoperative and postoperative transfusion in isolated CABG: toward selective conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Rakesh C; Légaré, Jean-Francois; Buth, Karen J; Sullivan, John A; Hirsch, Gregory M

    2004-11-01

    Allogeneic blood product use during cardiac operation is often reported to exceed 40% despite published guidelines and costly blood conservation strategies. We developed a predictive model, based on eight preoperative risk factors, of allogeneic blood product transfusion rates in patients undergoing a cardiac procedure. All 3,046 consecutive, isolated coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures at a university hospital from 1995 to 1998 were included. A logistic regression model was created to identify independent predictors of allogeneic blood product transfusion. This model was validated using a prospective patient sample. Overall use of allogeneic blood products was 23% with a crude operative mortality of 2.1%. In isolated, elective, first-time CABG cases, 16.9% received allogeneic blood products. Independent predictors of blood product usage in CABG patients were preoperative hemoglobin 12.0 or less, emergent operation, renal failure, female sex, age 70 years or older, left ventricular ejection fraction 0.40 or less, redo procedure, and low body surface area. Prospective validation of this model on 2,117 consecutive isolated CABG patients demonstrated an observed-to-expected allogeneic blood product transfusion rate ratio of 1.06. This internally validated logistic regression risk model is a sensitive and specific predictor of allogeneic blood product use in patients undergoing isolated CABG. Utilization of this model allows for preoperative risk stratification and may allow for more rational resource allocation of costly blood conservation strategies and blood bank resources.

  5. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

    The IUCN/WWF Plants Conservation Programme 1984 — 1985. World Wildlife Fund chose plants to be the subject of their fund-raising campaign in the period 1984 — 1985. The objectives were to: 1. Use information techniques to achieve the conservation objectives of the Plants Programme – to save plants;

  6. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

  7. SILAC Proteomics of Planarians Identifies Ncoa5 as a Conserved Component of Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Böser

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Planarian regeneration depends on the presence of pluripotent stem cells in the adult. We developed an in vivo stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC protocol in planarians to identify proteins that are enriched in planarian stem cells. Through a comparison of SILAC proteomes of normal and stem cell-depleted planarians and of a stem cell-enriched population of sorted cells, we identified hundreds of stem cell proteins. One of these is an ortholog of nuclear receptor coactivator-5 (Ncoa5/CIA, which is known to regulate estrogen-receptor-mediated transcription in human cells. We show that Ncoa5 is essential for the maintenance of the pluripotent stem cell population in planarians and that a putative mouse ortholog is expressed in pluripotent cells of the embryo. Our study thus identifies a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells, demonstrating that planarians, in particular, when combined with in vivo SILAC, are a powerful model in stem cell research.

  8. Commercially important species associated with horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) biogenic reefs: A priority habitat for nature conservation and fisheries benefits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kent, Flora E.A.; Mair, James M.; Newton, Jason; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S.; Sanderson, William G.

    2017-01-01

    Horse mussel reefs (Modiolus modiolus) are biodiversity hotspots afforded protection by Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the NE Atlantic. In this study, horse mussel reefs, cobble habitats and sandy habitats were assessed using underwater visual census and drop-down video techniques in three UK regions. Megafauna were enumerated, differences in community composition and individual species abundances were analysed. Samples of conspicuous megafauna were also collected from horse mussel reefs in Orkney for stable isotope analysis. Communities of conspicuous megafauna were different between horse mussel habitats and other habitats throughout their range. Three commercially important species: whelks (Buccinum undatum), queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) and spider crabs (Maja brachydactyla) were significantly more abundant (by as much as 20 times) on horse mussel reefs than elsewhere. Isotopic analysis provided insights into their trophic relationship with the horse mussel reef. Protection of M. modiolus habitat can achieve biodiversity conservation objectives whilst benefiting fisheries also. - Highlights: • Communities of conspicuous megafauna were assessed on Modiolus modiolus reefs, sand and cobble habitats. • Tissue samples from reef fauna were subject to stable isotope analysis to investigate trophic structure. • Reef associated species included Aequipecten opercularis, Buccinum undatum and Maja brachydactyla. • Evidence of the commercial value of M. modiolus reefs in the UK.

  9. Workforce capacity to address obesity: a Western Australian cross-sectional study identifies the gap between health priority and human resources needed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begley, Andrea; Pollard, Christina Mary

    2016-08-25

    The disease burden due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity is high and increasing. An adequately sized and skilled workforce is required to respond to this issue. This study describes the public health nutrition and physical activity (NAPA) practice priorities and explores health managers and practitioner's beliefs regarding workforce capacity to deliver on these priorities. A workforce audit was conducted including a telephone survey of all managers and a postal survey of practitioners working in the area of NAPA promotion in Western Australia in 2004. Managers gave their perspective on workforce priorities, current competencies and future needs, with a 70 % response rate. Practitioners reported on public health workforce priorities, qualifications and needs, with a 56 % response rate. The top practice priorities for managers were diabetes (35 %), alcohol and other drugs (33 %), and cardiovascular disease (27 %). Obesity (19 %), poor nutrition (15 %) and inadequate physical activity (10 %) were of lower priority. For nutrition, managers identified lack of staff (60.4 %), organisational and management factors (39.5 %) and insufficient financial resources (30.2 %) as the major barriers to adequate service delivery. For physical activity services, insufficient financial resources (41.7 %) and staffing (35.4 %) and a lack of specific physical activity service specifications (25.0 %) were the main barriers. Practitioners identified inadequate staffing as the main barrier to service delivery for nutrition (42.3 %) and physical activity (23.3 %). Ideally, managers said they required 152 % more specialist nutritionists in the workforce and 131 % specialists for physical activity services to meet health outcomes in addition to other generalist staff. Human and financial resources and organisational factors were the main barriers to meeting obesity, and public health nutrition and physical activity outcomes. Services were being delivered by

  10. Exploring levers and barriers to accessing primary care for marginalised groups and identifying their priorities for primary care provision: a participatory learning and action research study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Patrick; Tierney, Edel; O'Carroll, Austin; Nurse, Diane; MacFarlane, Anne

    2016-12-03

    The involvement of patients and the public in healthcare has grown significantly in recent decades and is documented in health policy documents internationally. Many benefits of involving these groups in primary care planning have been reported. However, these benefits are rarely felt by those considered marginalised in society and they are often excluded from participating in the process of planning primary care. It has been recommended to employ suitable approaches, such as co-operative and participatory initiatives, to enable marginalised groups to highlight their priorities for care. This Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) research study involved 21 members of various marginalised groups who contributed their views about access to primary care. Using a series of PLA techniques for data generation and co-analysis, we explored barriers and facilitators to primary healthcare access from the perspective of migrants, Irish Travellers, homeless people, drug users, sex workers and people living in deprivation, and identified their priorities for action with regard to primary care provision. Four overarching themes were identified: the home environment, the effects of the 'two-tier' healthcare system on engagement, healthcare encounters, and the complex health needs of many in those groups. The study demonstrates that there are many complicated personal and structural barriers to accessing primary healthcare for marginalised groups. There were shared and differential experiences across the groups. Participants also expressed shared priorities for action in the planning and running of primary care services. Members of marginalised groups have shared priorities for action to improve their access to primary care. If steps are taken to address these, there is scope to impact on more than one marginalised group and to address the existing health inequities.

  11. A predicted protein interactome identifies conserved global networks and disease resistance subnetworks in maize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt eGeisler

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Interactomes are genome-wide roadmaps of protein-protein interactions. They have been produced for humans, yeast, the fruit fly, and Arabidopsis thaliana and have become invaluable tools for generating and testing hypotheses. A predicted interactome for Zea mays (PiZeaM is presented here as an aid to the research community for this valuable crop species. PiZeaM was built using a proven method of interologs (interacting orthologs that were identified using both one-to-one and many-to-many orthology between genomes of maize and reference species. Where both maize orthologs occurred for an experimentally determined interaction in the reference species, we predicted a likely interaction in maize. A total of 49,026 unique interactions for 6,004 maize proteins were predicted. These interactions are enriched for processes that are evolutionarily conserved, but include many otherwise poorly annotated proteins in maize. The predicted maize interactions were further analyzed by comparing annotation of interacting proteins, including different layers of ontology. A map of pairwise gene co-expression was also generated and compared to predicted interactions. Two global subnetworks were constructed for highly conserved interactions. These subnetworks showed clear clustering of proteins by function. Another subnetwork was created for disease response using a bait and prey strategy to capture interacting partners for proteins that respond to other organisms. Closer examination of this subnetwork revealed the connectivity between biotic and abiotic hormone stress pathways. We believe PiZeaM will provide a useful tool for the prediction of protein function and analysis of pathways for Z. mays researchers and is presented in this paper as a reference tool for the exploration of protein interactions in maize.

  12. Dipeptide frequency/bias analysis identifies conserved sites of nonrandomness shared by cysteine-rich motifs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campion, S R; Ameen, A S; Lai, L; King, J M; Munzenmaier, T N

    2001-08-15

    This report describes the application of a simple computational tool, AAPAIR.TAB, for the systematic analysis of the cysteine-rich EGF, Sushi, and Laminin motif/sequence families at the two-amino acid level. Automated dipeptide frequency/bias analysis detects preferences in the distribution of amino acids in established protein families, by determining which "ordered dipeptides" occur most frequently in comprehensive motif-specific sequence data sets. Graphic display of the dipeptide frequency/bias data revealed family-specific preferences for certain dipeptides, but more importantly detected a shared preference for employment of the ordered dipeptides Gly-Tyr (GY) and Gly-Phe (GF) in all three protein families. The dipeptide Asn-Gly (NG) also exhibited high-frequency and bias in the EGF and Sushi motif families, whereas Asn-Thr (NT) was distinguished in the Laminin family. Evaluation of the distribution of dipeptides identified by frequency/bias analysis subsequently revealed the highly restricted localization of the G(F/Y) and N(G/T) sequence elements at two separate sites of extreme conservation in the consensus sequence of all three sequence families. The similar employment of the high-frequency/bias dipeptides in three distinct protein sequence families was further correlated with the concurrence of these shared molecular determinants at similar positions within the distinctive scaffolds of three structurally divergent, but similarly employed, motif modules.

  13. Identifying human disease genes through cross-species gene mapping of evolutionary conserved processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding complex networks that modulate development in humans is hampered by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within and between populations. Here we present a method that exploits natural variation in highly diverse mouse genetic reference panels in which genetic and environmental factors can be tightly controlled. The aim of our study is to test a cross-species genetic mapping strategy, which compares data of gene mapping in human patients with functional data obtained by QTL mapping in recombinant inbred mouse strains in order to prioritize human disease candidate genes.We exploit evolutionary conservation of developmental phenotypes to discover gene variants that influence brain development in humans. We studied corpus callosum volume in a recombinant inbred mouse panel (C57BL/6J×DBA/2J, BXD strains using high-field strength MRI technology. We aligned mouse mapping results for this neuro-anatomical phenotype with genetic data from patients with abnormal corpus callosum (ACC development.From the 61 syndromes which involve an ACC, 51 human candidate genes have been identified. Through interval mapping, we identified a single significant QTL on mouse chromosome 7 for corpus callosum volume with a QTL peak located between 25.5 and 26.7 Mb. Comparing the genes in this mouse QTL region with those associated with human syndromes (involving ACC and those covered by copy number variations (CNV yielded a single overlap, namely HNRPU in humans and Hnrpul1 in mice. Further analysis of corpus callosum volume in BXD strains revealed that the corpus callosum was significantly larger in BXD mice with a B genotype at the Hnrpul1 locus than in BXD mice with a D genotype at Hnrpul1 (F = 22.48, p<9.87*10(-5.This approach that exploits highly diverse mouse strains provides an efficient and effective translational bridge to study the etiology of human developmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.

  14. Residential energy consumption and conservation programs: A systematic approach to identify inefficient households, provide meaningful feedback, and prioritize homes for conservation intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macsleyne, Amelia Chadbourne Carus

    There are three main objectives for residential energy conservation policies: to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the energy costs seen by the consumer (U.S. Department of Energy: Strategic Objectives, 2006). A prominent difficulty currently facing conservation policy makers and program managers is how to identify and communicate with households that would be good candidates for conservation intervention, in such a way that affects a change in consumption patterns and is cost-effective. This research addresses this issue by separating the problem into three components: how to identify houses that are significantly more inefficient than comparable households; how to find the maximum financially-feasible investment in energy efficiency for a household in order to reduce annual energy costs and/or improve indoor comfort; and how to prioritize low-income households for a subsidized weatherization program. Each component of the problem is presented as a paper prepared for publication. Household consumption related to physical house efficiency, thermostat settings, and daily appliance usage is studied in the first and second paper by analyzing natural gas utility meter readings associated with over 10,000 households from 2001-2006. A rich description of a house's architectural characteristics and household demographics is attained by integrating publicly available databases based on the house address. This combination of information allows for the largest number of individual households studied at this level of detail to date. The third paper uses conservation program data from two natural gas utilities that administer and sponsor the program; over 1,000 weatherized households are included in this sample. This research focuses on natural gas-related household conservation. However, the same principles and methods could be applied for electricity-related conservation programs. We find positive policy implications from each of

  15. Sequencing Conservation Actions Through Threat Assessments in the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert D. Sutter; Christopher C. Szell

    2006-01-01

    The identification of conservation priorities is one of the leading issues in conservation biology. We present a project of The Nature Conservancy, called Sequencing Conservation Actions, which prioritizes conservation areas and identifies foci for crosscutting strategies at various geographic scales. We use the term “Sequencing” to mean an ordering of actions over...

  16. Towards data-driven decision-making for sustainable diets in Vietnam: Identifying priority indicators through stakeholder engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayton, H.; Beal, T.; Rubin, J.; Sanchez, A.; Heller, M.; Hoey, L.; Khoury, C. K.; Jones, A.

    2017-12-01

    Globally, food systems impact and are impacted by the sustainability of environmental, societal, political, and public health factors. At the center of these systems are human diets, which vary substantially by culture and region, and have significant influence on human health, community livelihoods, climate change, and natural resources. However, rapidly growing and highly diverse lower middle-income countries like Vietnam face challenges in gathering data and defining clear policy intervention points and approaches that will provide a net-positive systemic influence across sectors. A new collaboration, Entry points to Advance Transitions towards Sustainable diets (EATS), between the University of Michigan and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) aims to identify ways that existing data and insights into the policy process can be leveraged to inform decision-making on where and how to intervene to effectively shift multiple axes of food systems to enhance the sustainability of diets. As a first step towards developing a model that other policy communities could follow, researchers aggregated and characterized approximately 50 major existing datasets on food, agriculture, and nutrition in Vietnam. They also created a conceptual framework for evaluating the sustainability of diets and for characterizing existing datasets, including eight domains and over 200 unique, measurable indicators. Figure 1 summarizes these domains and their key relationships, which forms a foundation for identifying leverage points that can positively impact multiple aspects of sustainable diets. Researchers then engaged food system stakeholders through informal interviews, surveys, and collaborative workshops to prioritize indicators and identify additional relevant data sources. Stakeholders included national government, research, NGO, and private sector representatives from across the range of identified domains. The key indicators identified by stakeholders will

  17. Identifying and managing the conflicts between agriculture and biodiversity conservation in Europe–A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henle, K.; Alard, D.; Clitherow, J.; Cobb, P.; Firbank, L.G.; Kull, T.; McCracken, D.; Moritz, R.F.A.; Niemelä, J.; Rebane, M.; Wascher, D.M.; Watt, A.; Young, J.

    2008-01-01

    This paper reviews conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agricultural activities in agricultural landscapes and evaluates strategies to reconcile such conflicts. Firstly, a historical perspective on the development of conflicts related to biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is

  18. Sex and gender differences in autism spectrum disorder: summarizing evidence gaps and identifying emerging areas of priority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halladay, Alycia K; Bishop, Somer; Constantino, John N; Daniels, Amy M; Koenig, Katheen; Palmer, Kate; Messinger, Daniel; Pelphrey, Kevin; Sanders, Stephan J; Singer, Alison Tepper; Taylor, Julie Lounds; Szatmari, Peter

    2015-01-01

    One of the most consistent findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research is a higher rate of ASD diagnosis in males than females. Despite this, remarkably little research has focused on the reasons for this disparity. Better understanding of this sex difference could lead to major advancements in the prevention or treatment of ASD in both males and females. In October of 2014, Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation co-organized a meeting that brought together almost 60 clinicians, researchers, parents, and self-identified autistic individuals. Discussion at the meeting is summarized here with recommendations on directions of future research endeavors.

  19. Identifying care actions to conserve dignity in end-of-life care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Hilary; Johnston, Bridget; Ostlund, Ulrika

    2011-05-01

    Community nurses have a central role in the provision of palliative and end-of-life care; helping people to die with dignity is an important component of this care. To conserve dignity, care should comprise a broad range of actions addressing the distress that might impact on the patient's sense of dignity. These care actions need to be defined. This study aims to suggest care actions that conserve dignity at the end of life based on evidence from local experience and community nursing practice. Data were collected by focus group interviews and analysed by framework analysis using the Chochinov model of dignity as a predefined framework. Suggestions on care actions were given in relation to all themes. As part of a multi-phase project developing and testing a dignity care pathway, this study might help community nurses to conserve dying patients' dignity.

  20. Identifying the role of conservation biology for solving the environmental crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, Fredrik

    2014-11-01

    Humans are altering their living environment to an extent that could cause environmental collapse. Promoting change into environmental sustainability is therefore urgent. Despite a rapid expansion in conservation biology, appreciation of underlying causes and identification of long-term solutions have largely been lacking. I summarized knowledge regarding the environmental crisis, and argue that the most important contributions toward solutions come from economy, political sciences, and psychology. Roles of conservation biology include providing environmental protection until sustainable solutions have been found, evaluating the effectiveness of implemented solutions, and providing societies with information necessary to align effectively with environmental values. Because of the potential disciplinary discrepancy between finding long-term solutions and short-term protection, we may face critical trade-offs between allocations of resources toward achieving sustainability. Since biological knowledge is required for such trade-offs, an additional role for conservation biologists may be to provide guidance toward finding optimal strategies in such trade-offs.

  1. Dreissenid mussel research priorities workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sytsma, Mark; Phillips, Stephen; Counihan, Timothy D.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, dreissenid mussels have yet to be detected in the northwestern part of the United States and western Canada. Infestation of one of the jurisdictions within the mussel-free Pacific Northwest would likely have significant economic, soci­etal and environmental implications for the entire region. Understanding the biology and environmental tolerances of dreissenid mussels, and effectiveness of various man­agement strategies, is key to prevention.On November 4-5, 2015, the Aquatic Bioinvasion Research and Policy Institute and the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University, the US Geological Survey, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, convened a Dreissenid Mussel Research Priorities Workshop funded by the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The purpose of the workshop was to review dreissenid research priorities in the 2010 Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters, reassess those priorities, incorporate new information and emerging trends, and develop priorities to strategically focus research efforts on zebra and quagga mussels in the Pacific Northwest and ensure that future research is focused on the highest priorities. It is important to note that there is some repetition among dreissenid research priority categories (e.g., prevention, detection, control, monitoring, and biology).Workshop participants with research experience in dreissenid mussel biology and management were identified by a literature review. State and federal agency managers were also invited to the workshop to ensure relevancy and practicality of the work­shop outcomes. A total of 28 experts (see sidebar) in mussel biology, ecology, and management attended the workshop.

  2. Expanding protected areas beyond their terrestrial comfort zone: identifying spatial options for river conservation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nel, JL

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available and processes in both new and existing protected areas. Data to address these objectives were collated in a Geographic Information System (GIS) and a conservation planning algorithm was used as a means of integrating the multiple objectives in a spatially...

  3. Participatory mapping to identify indigenous community use zones : Implications for conservation planning in southern Suriname

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramirez-Gomez, Sara O I; Brown, Greg; Verweij, Pita A.; Boot, René

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale development projects often overlap forest areas that support the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, threatening in situ conservation strategies for the protection of biological and cultural diversity. To address this problem, there is a need to integrate spatially-explicit information on

  4. Wild European Apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.) Population Dynamics: Insight from Genetics and Ecology in the Rhine Valley. Priorities for a Future Conservation Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnitzler, Annik; Arnold, Claire; Cornille, Amandine; Bachmann, Olivier; Schnitzler, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The increasing fragmentation of forest habitats and the omnipresence of cultivars potentially threaten the genetic integrity of the European wild apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill). However, the conservation status of this species remains unclear in Europe, other than in Belgium and the Czech Republic, where it has been declared an endangered species. The population density of M. sylvestris is higher in the forests of the upper Rhine Valley (France) than in most European forests, with an unbalanced age-structure, an overrepresentation of adults and a tendency to clump. We characterize here the ecology, age-structure and genetic diversity of wild apple populations in the Rhine Valley. We use these data to highlight links to the history of this species and to propose guidelines for future conservation strategies. In total, 255 individual wild apple trees from six forest stands (five floodplain forests and one forest growing in drier conditions) were analysed in the field, collected and genotyped on the basis of data for 15 microsatellite markers. Genetic analyses showed no escaped cultivars and few hybrids with the cultivated apple. Excluding the hybrids, the genetically “pure” populations displayed high levels of genetic diversity and a weak population structure. Age-structure and ecology studies of wild apple populations identified four categories that were not randomly distributed across the forests, reflecting the history of the Rhine forest over the last century. The Rhine wild apple populations, with their ecological strategies, high genetic diversity, and weak traces of crop-to-wild gene flow associated with the history of these floodplain forests, constitute candidate populations for inclusion in future conservation programmes for European wild apple. PMID:24827575

  5. Wild European apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.) population dynamics: insight from genetics and ecology in the Rhine Valley. Priorities for a future conservation programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnitzler, Annik; Arnold, Claire; Cornille, Amandine; Bachmann, Olivier; Schnitzler, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The increasing fragmentation of forest habitats and the omnipresence of cultivars potentially threaten the genetic integrity of the European wild apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill). However, the conservation status of this species remains unclear in Europe, other than in Belgium and the Czech Republic, where it has been declared an endangered species. The population density of M. sylvestris is higher in the forests of the upper Rhine Valley (France) than in most European forests, with an unbalanced age-structure, an overrepresentation of adults and a tendency to clump. We characterize here the ecology, age-structure and genetic diversity of wild apple populations in the Rhine Valley. We use these data to highlight links to the history of this species and to propose guidelines for future conservation strategies. In total, 255 individual wild apple trees from six forest stands (five floodplain forests and one forest growing in drier conditions) were analysed in the field, collected and genotyped on the basis of data for 15 microsatellite markers. Genetic analyses showed no escaped cultivars and few hybrids with the cultivated apple. Excluding the hybrids, the genetically "pure" populations displayed high levels of genetic diversity and a weak population structure. Age-structure and ecology studies of wild apple populations identified four categories that were not randomly distributed across the forests, reflecting the history of the Rhine forest over the last century. The Rhine wild apple populations, with their ecological strategies, high genetic diversity, and weak traces of crop-to-wild gene flow associated with the history of these floodplain forests, constitute candidate populations for inclusion in future conservation programmes for European wild apple.

  6. Identifying Farm Pond Habitat Suitability for the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus: A Conservation-Perspective Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hsien Lai

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was employed to evaluate habitat selection factors and calculate the weights of these factors. The results showed that the eight crucial factors, by importance, in descending order, were (1 area ratio of farmlands within 200 m of the farm pond; (2 pond area; (3 pond perimeter; (4 aquatic plant coverage of the pond surface; (5 drought period; (6 coverage of high and low shrubs around the pond bank; (7 bank type; and (8 water-surface-to-bank distance. Subsequently, field evaluations of 75 farm ponds in Chiayi County were performed. The results indicated that 15 farm ponds had highly-suitable habitats and were inhabited by unusually high numbers of Common Moorhens; these habitats were most in need of conservation. A total of two farm ponds were found to require habitat-environment improvements, and Common Moorhens with typical reproductive capacity could be appropriately introduced into 22 farm ponds to restore the ecosystem of the species. Additionally, the habitat suitability and number of Common Moorhens in 36 farm ponds were lower than average; these ponds could be used for agricultural irrigation, detention basins, or for recreational use by community residents. Finally, the total habitat suitability scores and occurrence of Common Moorhens in each farm pond were used to verify the accuracy of the habitat-suitability assessment model for the Common Moorhen. The overall accuracy was 0.8, and the Kappa value was 0.60, which indicates that the model established in this study exhibited high credibility. To sum up, this is an applicable framework not only to assess the habitat suitability of farm ponds for Common Moorhens, but also to determine whether a particular location may

  7. Identifying units for conservation using molecular systematics: the cautionary tale of the Karner blue butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gompert, Zachariah; Nice, Chris C; Fordyce, James A; Forister, Matthew L; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2006-06-01

    The federally endangered North American Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) and the closely related Melissa blue butterfly (L. m. melissa) can be distinguished based on life history and morphology. Western populations of L. m. samuelis share mitochondrial haplotypes with L. m. melissa populations, while eastern populations of L. m. samuelis have divergent haplotypes. Here we test two hypotheses concerning the presence of L. m. melissa mitochondrial haplotypes in western L. m. samuelis populations: (i) mitochondrial introgression has occurred from L. m. melissa populations into western L. m. samuelis populations, or (ii) western populations of the nominal L. m. samuelis are more closely related to L. m. melissa than to eastern L. m. samuelis populations, yet are phenotypically similar to the latter. A Bayesian algorithm was used to cluster 190 L. melissa individuals based on 143 informative amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci. This method clearly differentiated L. m. samuelis and L. m. melissa. Thus, genomic divergence was greater between western L. m. samuelis populations and L. m. melissa populations than it was between western and eastern populations of L. m. samuelis. This supports the hypothesis that the presence of L. m. melissa mitochondrial haplotypes in western L. m. samuelis populations is the result of mitochondrial introgression. These data provide valuable information for conservation and management plans for the endangered L. m. samuelis, and illustrate the risks of using data from a single locus for diagnosing significant units of biodiversity for conservation.

  8. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. Structured decision making as a conceptual framework to identify thresholds for conservation and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, J.; Runge, M.C.; Nichols, J.D.; Lubow, B.C.; Kendall, W.L.

    2009-01-01

    Thresholds and their relevance to conservation have become a major topic of discussion in the ecological literature. Unfortunately, in many cases the lack of a clear conceptual framework for thinking about thresholds may have led to confusion in attempts to apply the concept of thresholds to conservation decisions. Here, we advocate a framework for thinking about thresholds in terms of a structured decision making process. The purpose of this framework is to promote a logical and transparent process for making informed decisions for conservation. Specification of such a framework leads naturally to consideration of definitions and roles of different kinds of thresholds in the process. We distinguish among three categories of thresholds. Ecological thresholds are values of system state variables at which small changes bring about substantial changes in system dynamics. Utility thresholds are components of management objectives (determined by human values) and are values of state or performance variables at which small changes yield substantial changes in the value of the management outcome. Decision thresholds are values of system state variables at which small changes prompt changes in management actions in order to reach specified management objectives. The approach that we present focuses directly on the objectives of management, with an aim to providing decisions that are optimal with respect to those objectives. This approach clearly distinguishes the components of the decision process that are inherently subjective (management objectives, potential management actions) from those that are more objective (system models, estimates of system state). Optimization based on these components then leads to decision matrices specifying optimal actions to be taken at various values of system state variables. Values of state variables separating different actions in such matrices are viewed as decision thresholds. Utility thresholds are included in the objectives

  10. Identifying resource manager information needs for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Andrea; Liedtke, Theresa; Jenni, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are a network of 22 public-private partnerships, defined by ecoregion, that share and provide science to ensure the sustainability of land, water, wildlife and cultural resources in North America. LLCs were established by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) in recognition that response to climate change must be coordinated on a landscape-level basis because important resources, ecosystem processes and resource management challenges extend beyond national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management lands, national parks, and even international boundaries. Therefore, DOI agencies must work with other Federal, State, Tribal (U.S. indigenous peoples), First Nation (Canadian indigenous peoples), and local governments, as well as private landowners, to develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to climate change.

  11. A protein-binding domain, EH, identified in the receptor tyrosine kinase substrate Eps15 and conserved in evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wong, W T; Schumacher, C; Salcini, A E

    1995-01-01

    In this report we structurally and functionally define a binding domain that is involved in protein association and that we have designated EH (for Eps15 homology domain). This domain was identified in the tyrosine kinase substrate Eps15 on the basis of regional conservation with several heteroge......In this report we structurally and functionally define a binding domain that is involved in protein association and that we have designated EH (for Eps15 homology domain). This domain was identified in the tyrosine kinase substrate Eps15 on the basis of regional conservation with several...... heterogeneous proteins of yeast and nematode. The EH domain spans about 70 amino acids and shows approximately 60% overall amino acid conservation. We demonstrated the ability of the EH domain to specifically bind cytosolic proteins in normal and malignant cells of mesenchymal, epithelial, and hematopoietic...... (for Eps15-related). Structural comparison of Eps15 and Eps15r defines a family of signal transducers possessing extensive networking abilities including EH-mediated binding and association with Src homology 3-containing proteins....

  12. Lariat sequencing in a unicellular yeast identifies regulated alternative splicing of exons that are evolutionarily conserved with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Ali R; Manfredo, Amanda; Pleiss, Jeffrey A

    2013-07-30

    Alternative splicing is a potent regulator of gene expression that vastly increases proteomic diversity in multicellular eukaryotes and is associated with organismal complexity. Although alternative splicing is widespread in vertebrates, little is known about the evolutionary origins of this process, in part because of the absence of phylogenetically conserved events that cross major eukaryotic clades. Here we describe a lariat-sequencing approach, which offers high sensitivity for detecting splicing events, and its application to the unicellular fungus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, an organism that shares many of the hallmarks of alternative splicing in mammalian systems but for which no previous examples of exon-skipping had been demonstrated. Over 200 previously unannotated splicing events were identified, including examples of regulated alternative splicing. Remarkably, an evolutionary analysis of four of the exons identified here as subject to skipping in S. pombe reveals high sequence conservation and perfect length conservation with their homologs in scores of plants, animals, and fungi. Moreover, alternative splicing of two of these exons have been documented in multiple vertebrate organisms, making these the first demonstrations of identical alternative-splicing patterns in species that are separated by over 1 billion y of evolution.

  13. Using Water Footprints to Identify Alternatives for Conserving Local Water Resources in California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. L. Marrin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available As a management tool for addressing water consumption issues, footprints have become increasingly utilized on scales ranging from global to personal. A question posed by this paper is whether water footprint data that are routinely compiled for particular regions may be used to assess the effectiveness of actions taken by local residents to conserve local water resources. The current California drought has affected an agriculturally productive region with large population centers that consume a portion of the locally produced food, and the state’s arid climate demands a large volume of blue water as irrigation from its dwindling surface and ground water resources. Although California exports most of its food products, enough is consumed within the state so that residents shifting their food choices and/or habits could save as much or more local blue water as their reduction of household or office water use. One of those shifts is reducing the intake of animal-based products that require the most water of any food group on both a gravimetric and caloric basis. Another shift is reducing food waste, which represents a shared responsibility among consumers and retailers, however, consumer preferences ultimately drive much of this waste.

  14. Distinct and conserved prominin-1/CD133-positive retinal cell populations identified across species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    József Jászai

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Besides being a marker of various somatic stem cells in mammals, prominin-1 (CD133 plays a role in maintaining the photoreceptor integrity since mutations in the PROM1 gene are linked with retinal degeneration. In spite of that, little information is available regarding its distribution in eyes of non-mammalian vertebrates endowed with high regenerative abilities. To address this subject, prominin-1 cognates were isolated from axolotl, zebrafish and chicken, and their retinal compartmentalization was investigated and compared to that of their mammalian orthologue. Interestingly, prominin-1 transcripts--except for the axolotl--were not strictly restricted to the outer nuclear layer (i.e., photoreceptor cells, but they also marked distinct subdivisions of the inner nuclear layer (INL. In zebrafish, where the prominin-1 gene is duplicated (i.e., prominin-1a and prominin-1b, a differential expression was noted for both paralogues within the INL being localized either to its vitreal or scleral subdivision, respectively. Interestingly, expression of prominin-1a within the former domain coincided with Pax-6-positive cells that are known to act as progenitors upon injury-induced retino-neurogenesis. A similar, but minute population of prominin-1-positive cells located at the vitreal side of the INL was also detected in developing and adult mice. In chicken, however, prominin-1-positive cells appeared to be aligned along the scleral side of the INL reminiscent of zebrafish prominin-1b. Taken together our data indicate that in addition to conserved expression of prominin-1 in photoreceptors, significant prominin-1-expressing non-photoreceptor retinal cell populations are present in the vertebrate eye that might represent potential sources of stem/progenitor cells for regenerative therapies.

  15. Identifying the Needs of Opinion Leaders to Encourage Widespread Adoption of Water Conservation and Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Melissa R.; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2017-01-01

    Opinion leaders are persuasive in convincing others within their social networks to adopt certain opinions and behaviors. By identifying and using opinion leaders, agricultural educators may be able to leverage individuals who have influence on others' opinions, thereby speeding up the adoption of new practices. In this article, we review a…

  16. Identifying core habitat and connectivity for focal species in the interior cedar-hemlock forest of North America to complete a conservation area design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance Craighead; Baden Cross

    2007-01-01

    To identify the remaining areas of the Interior Cedar- Hemlock Forest of North America and prioritize them for conservation planning, the Craighead Environmental Research Institute has developed a 2-scale method for mapping critical habitat utilizing 1) a broad-scale model to identify important regional locations as the basis for a Conservation Area Design (CAD), and 2...

  17. Morphological and molecular methods to identify butternut (Juglans cinerea) and butternut hybrids: relevance to butternut conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross-Davis, Amy; Huang, Zhonglian; McKenna, James; Ostry, Michael; Woeste, Keith

    2008-07-01

    Butternut (Juglans cinerea L.) is a native, cold-tolerant, hard-mast species formerly valued for its nuts and wood, which is now endangered. The most immediate threat to butternut restoration is the spread of butternut canker disease, caused by the exotic fungus Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum Nair, Kostichka & Kuntz. Other threats include the hybridization of butternut with the exotic Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia Carr.) and poor regeneration. The hybrids, known as buartnuts, are vegetatively vigorous, highly fecund, more resistant than butternut to butternut canker disease and difficult to identify. We review the vegetative and reproductive morphological traits that distinguish butternut from hybrids and identify those that can be used by field biologists to separate the taxa. No single trait was sufficient to separate butternut from hybrids, but pith color, lenticel size, shape and abundance, and the presence or absence of a notch in the upper margin of leaf scars, can be used in combination with other traits to identify butternuts and exclude most hybrids. In at least one butternut population, reduced symptoms of butternut canker disease were significantly associated with a dark barked phenotype. We also describe two randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers that differentiate butternuts from hybrids based on DNA polymorphism. Together, these results should assist in the identification and testing of non-hybrid butternut for breeding and reintroduction of the species to its former habitats.

  18. A scoping study to identify opportunities to advance the ethical implementation and scale-up of HIV treatment as prevention: priorities for empirical research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Rod; Small, Will; Pakula, Basia; Thomson, Kimberly; Shoveller, Jean

    2014-07-03

    Despite the evidence showing the promise of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) in reducing HIV incidence, a variety of ethical questions surrounding the implementation and "scaling up" of TasP have been articulated by a variety of stakeholders including scientists, community activists and government officials. Given the high profile and potential promise of TasP in combatting the global HIV epidemic, an explicit and transparent research priority-setting process is critical to inform ongoing ethical discussions pertaining to TasP. We drew on the Arksey and O'Malley framework for conducting scoping review studies as well as systematic approaches to identifying empirical and theoretical gaps within ethical discussions pertaining to population-level intervention implementation and scale up. We searched the health science database PubMed to identify relevant peer-reviewed articles on ethical and implementation issues pertaining to TasP. We included English language articles that were published after 2009 (i.e., after the emergence of causal evidence within this field) by using search terms related to TasP. Given the tendency for much of the criticism and support of TasP to occur outside the peer-reviewed literature, we also included grey literature in order to provide a more exhaustive representation of how the ethical discussions pertaining to TasP have and are currently taking place. To identify the grey literature, we systematically searched a set of search engines, databases, and related webpages for keywords pertaining to TasP. Three dominant themes emerged in our analysis with respect to the ethical questions pertaining to TasP implementation and scale-up: (a) balancing individual- and population-level interests; (b) power relations within clinical practice and competing resource demands within health care systems; (c) effectiveness considerations and socio-structural contexts of HIV treatment experiences within broader implementation contexts. Ongoing research

  19. Overexpression screens identify conserved dosage chromosome instability genes in yeast and human cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Supipi; Fam, Hok Khim; Wang, Yi Kan; Styles, Erin B.; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Ang, J. Sidney; Singh, Tejomayee; Larionov, Vladimir; Shah, Sohrab P.; Andrews, Brenda; Boerkoel, Cornelius F.; Hieter, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Somatic copy number amplification and gene overexpression are common features of many cancers. To determine the role of gene overexpression on chromosome instability (CIN), we performed genome-wide screens in the budding yeast for yeast genes that cause CIN when overexpressed, a phenotype we refer to as dosage CIN (dCIN), and identified 245 dCIN genes. This catalog of genes reveals human orthologs known to be recurrently overexpressed and/or amplified in tumors. We show that two genes, TDP1, a tyrosyl-DNA-phosphdiesterase, and TAF12, an RNA polymerase II TATA-box binding factor, cause CIN when overexpressed in human cells. Rhabdomyosarcoma lines with elevated human Tdp1 levels also exhibit CIN that can be partially rescued by siRNA-mediated knockdown of TDP1. Overexpression of dCIN genes represents a genetic vulnerability that could be leveraged for selective killing of cancer cells through targeting of an unlinked synthetic dosage lethal (SDL) partner. Using SDL screens in yeast, we identified a set of genes that when deleted specifically kill cells with high levels of Tdp1. One gene was the histone deacetylase RPD3, for which there are known inhibitors. Both HT1080 cells overexpressing hTDP1 and rhabdomyosarcoma cells with elevated levels of hTdp1 were more sensitive to histone deacetylase inhibitors valproic acid (VPA) and trichostatin A (TSA), recapitulating the SDL interaction in human cells and suggesting VPA and TSA as potential therapeutic agents for tumors with elevated levels of hTdp1. The catalog of dCIN genes presented here provides a candidate list to identify genes that cause CIN when overexpressed in cancer, which can then be leveraged through SDL to selectively target tumors. PMID:27551064

  20. The implications of drought and water conservation on the reuse of municipal wastewater: Recognizing impacts and identifying mitigation possibilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Quynh K; Jassby, David; Schwabe, Kurt A

    2017-11-01

    As water agencies continue to investigate opportunities to increase resilience and local water supply reliability in the face of drought and rising water scarcity, water conservation strategies and the reuse of treated municipal wastewater are garnering significant attention and adoption. Yet a simple water balance thought experiment illustrates that drought, and the conservation strategies that are often enacted in response to it, both likely limit the role reuse may play in improving local water supply reliability. For instance, as a particular drought progresses and agencies enact water conservation measures to cope with drought, influent flows likely decrease while influent pollution concentrations increase, particularly salinity, which adversely affects wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) costs and effluent quality and flow. Consequently, downstream uses of this effluent, whether to maintain streamflow and quality, groundwater recharge, or irrigation may be impacted. This is unfortunate since reuse is often heralded as a drought-proof mechanism to increase resilience. The objectives of this paper are two-fold. First, we illustrate-using a case study from Southern California during its most recent drought- how drought and water conservation strategies combine to reduce influent flow and quality and, subsequently, effluent flow and quality. Second, we use a recently developed regional water reuse decision support model (RWRM) to highlight cost-effective strategies that can be implemented to mitigate the impacts of drought on effluent water quality. While the solutions we identify cannot increase the flow of influent or effluent coming into or out of a treatment plant, they can improve the value of the remaining effluent in a cost-effective manner that takes into account the characteristics of its demand, whether it be for landscaping, golf courses, agricultural irrigation, or surface water augmentation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Tombusvirus-yeast interactions identify conserved cell-intrinsic viral restriction factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zsuzsanna eSasvari

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available To combat viral infections, plants possess innate and adaptive immune pathways, such as RNA silencing, R gene and recessive gene-mediated resistance mechanisms. However, it is likely that additional cell-intrinsic restriction factors (CIRF are also involved in limiting plant virus replication. This review discusses novel CIRFs with antiviral functions, many of them RNA-binding proteins or affecting the RNA binding activities of viral replication proteins. The CIRFs against tombusviruses have been identified in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is developed as an advanced model organism. Grouping of the identified CIRFs based on their known cellular functions and subcellular localization in yeast reveals that TBSV replication is limited by a wide variety of host gene functions. Yeast proteins with the highest connectivity in the network map include the well-characterized Xrn1p 5’-3’ exoribonuclease, Act1p actin protein and Cse4p centromere protein. The protein network map also reveals an important interplay between the pro-viral Hsp70 cellular chaperone and the antiviral co-chaperones, and possibly key roles for the ribosomal or ribosome-associated factors. We discuss the antiviral functions of selected CIRFs, such as the RNA binding nucleolin, ribonucleases, WW-domain proteins, single- and multi-domain cyclophilins, TPR-domain co-chaperones and cellular ion pumps. These restriction factors frequently target the RNA-binding region in the viral replication proteins, thus interfering with the recruitment of the viral RNA for replication and the assembly of the membrane-bound viral replicase. Although many of the characterized CIRFs act directly against TBSV, we propose that the TPR-domain co-chaperones function as guardians of the cellular Hsp70 chaperone system, which is subverted efficiently by TBSV for viral replicase assembly in the absence of the TPR-domain co-chaperones.

  2. Patterns of genetic differentiation at MHC class I genes and microsatellites identify conservation units in the giant panda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ying; Wan, Qiu-Hong; Yu, Bin; Ge, Yun-Fa; Fang, Sheng-Guo

    2013-10-22

    Evaluating patterns of genetic variation is important to identify conservation units (i.e., evolutionarily significant units [ESUs], management units [MUs], and adaptive units [AUs]) in endangered species. While neutral markers could be used to infer population history, their application in the estimation of adaptive variation is limited. The capacity to adapt to various environments is vital for the long-term survival of endangered species. Hence, analysis of adaptive loci, such as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, is critical for conservation genetics studies. Here, we investigated 4 classical MHC class I genes (Aime-C, Aime-F, Aime-I, and Aime-L) and 8 microsatellites to infer patterns of genetic variation in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and to further define conservation units. Overall, we identified 24 haplotypes (9 for Aime-C, 1 for Aime-F, 7 for Aime-I, and 7 for Aime-L) from 218 individuals obtained from 6 populations of giant panda. We found that the Xiaoxiangling population had the highest genetic variation at microsatellites among the 6 giant panda populations and higher genetic variation at Aime-MHC class I genes than other larger populations (Qinling, Qionglai, and Minshan populations). Differentiation index (FST)-based phylogenetic and Bayesian clustering analyses for Aime-MHC-I and microsatellite loci both supported that most populations were highly differentiated. The Qinling population was the most genetically differentiated. The giant panda showed a relatively higher level of genetic diversity at MHC class I genes compared with endangered felids. Using all of the loci, we found that the 6 giant panda populations fell into 2 ESUs: Qinling and non-Qinling populations. We defined 3 MUs based on microsatellites: Qinling, Minshan-Qionglai, and Daxiangling-Xiaoxiangling-Liangshan. We also recommended 3 possible AUs based on MHC loci: Qinling, Minshan-Qionglai, and Daxiangling-Xiaoxiangling-Liangshan. Furthermore, we recommend

  3. Catchment-scale conservation units identified for the threatened Yarra pygmy perch (Nannoperca obscura) in highly modified river systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Chris J; Unmack, Peter J; Hammer, Michael P; Adams, Mark; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2013-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation caused by human activities alters metapopulation dynamics and decreases biological connectivity through reduced migration and gene flow, leading to lowered levels of population genetic diversity and to local extinctions. The threatened Yarra pygmy perch, Nannoperca obscura, is a poor disperser found in small, isolated populations in wetlands and streams of southeastern Australia. Modifications to natural flow regimes in anthropogenically-impacted river systems have recently reduced the amount of habitat for this species and likely further limited its opportunity to disperse. We employed highly resolving microsatellite DNA markers to assess genetic variation, population structure and the spatial scale that dispersal takes place across the distribution of this freshwater fish and used this information to identify conservation units for management. The levels of genetic variation found for N. obscura are amongst the lowest reported for a fish species (mean heterozygosity of 0.318 and mean allelic richness of 1.92). We identified very strong population genetic structure, nil to little evidence of recent migration among demes and a minimum of 11 units for conservation management, hierarchically nested within four major genetic lineages. A combination of spatial analytical methods revealed hierarchical genetic structure corresponding with catchment boundaries and also demonstrated significant isolation by riverine distance. Our findings have implications for the national recovery plan of this species by demonstrating that N. obscura populations should be managed at a catchment level and highlighting the need to restore habitat and avoid further alteration of the natural hydrology.

  4. Prioritising in situ conservation of crop resources: a case study of African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moray, C; Game, E T; Maxted, N

    2014-06-17

    Conserving crop wild relatives (CWR) is critical for maintaining food security. However, CWR-focused conservation plans are lacking, and are often based on the entire genus, even though only a few taxa are useful for crop improvement. We used taxonomic and geographic prioritisation to identify the best locations for in situ conservation of the most important (priority) CWR, using African cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) as a case study. Cowpea is an important crop for subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its CWR are under-collected, under-conserved and under-utilised in breeding. We identified the most efficient sites to focus in situ cowpea CWR conservation and assessed whether priority CWR would be adequately represented in a genus-based conservation plan. We also investigated whether priority cowpea CWR are likely to be found in existing conservation areas and in areas important for mammal conservation. The genus-based method captured most priority CWR, and the distributions of many priority CWR overlapped with established conservation reserves and targets. These results suggest that priority cowpea CWR can be conserved by building on conservation initiatives established for other species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277

  6. Genetic conservation planning for forest tree species in Western North America under future climate change: Employing a novel approach to identify conservation gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    L.K. Gray; E.J. Russell; Q.E. Barber; A. Hamann

    2017-01-01

    Among the 17 provinces, territories, and states that comprise western North America, approximately 18 percent of the 8.4 million km2 of forested land base is designated as protected areas to ensure the in situ conservation of forest biodiversity. Jurisdictions vary substantially however, in their responsibilities, protected area coverage, and conservation policies....

  7. Research and management priorities for Hawai‘i forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, J.P.; Kendall, Steve J.

    2018-01-01

    Hawai‘i’s forest birds face a number of conservation challenges that, if unaddressed, will likely lead to the extinction of multiple species in the coming decades. Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these threats, adding urgency to implementation of tractable conservation strategies. We present a set of actionable research and management approaches, identified by conservation practitioners in Hawai’i, that will be critical for the conservation of Hawaiian forest birds in the coming years. We also summarize recent progress on these conservation priorities. The threats facing Hawai‘i’s forest birds are not unique to Hawai‘i, and successful conservation strategies developed in Hawai‘i can serve as a model for other imperiled communities around the world, especially on islands.

  8. Comparative genomics of 12 strains of Erwinia amylovora identifies a pan-genome with a large conserved core.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A Mann

    Full Text Available The plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora can be divided into two host-specific groupings; strains infecting a broad range of hosts within the Rosaceae subfamily Spiraeoideae (e.g., Malus, Pyrus, Crataegus, Sorbus and strains infecting Rubus (raspberries and blackberries. Comparative genomic analysis of 12 strains representing distinct populations (e.g., geographic, temporal, host origin of E. amylovora was used to describe the pan-genome of this major pathogen. The pan-genome contains 5751 coding sequences and is highly conserved relative to other phytopathogenic bacteria comprising on average 89% conserved, core genes. The chromosomes of Spiraeoideae-infecting strains were highly homogeneous, while greater genetic diversity was observed between Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains (and among individual Rubus-infecting strains, the majority of which was attributed to variable genomic islands. Based on genomic distance scores and phylogenetic analysis, the Rubus-infecting strain ATCC BAA-2158 was genetically more closely related to the Spiraeoideae-infecting strains of E. amylovora than it was to the other Rubus-infecting strains. Analysis of the accessory genomes of Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains has identified putative host-specific determinants including variation in the effector protein HopX1(Ea and a putative secondary metabolite pathway only present in Rubus-infecting strains.

  9. Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-08-01

    1. Modern farming practices threaten wildlife in different ways, and failure to identify the complexity of multiple threats acting in synergy may result in ineffective management. To protect ground-nesting birds in farmland, monitoring and mitigating impacts of mechanical harvesting is crucial. 2. Here, we use 6 years of data from a nationwide volunteer-based monitoring scheme of the Montagu's harrier, a ground-nesting raptor, in French farmlands. We assess the effectiveness of alternative nest protection measures and map their potential benefit to the species. 3. We show that unprotected nests in cultivated land are strongly negatively affected by harvesting and thus require active management. Further, we show that protection from harvesting alone (e.g. by leaving a small unharvested buffer around the nest) is impaired by post-harvest predation at nests that become highly conspicuous after harvest. Measures that simultaneously protect from harvesting and predation (by adding a fence around the nest) significantly enhance nest productivity. 4. The map of expected gain from nest protection in relation to available volunteers' workforce pinpoints large areas of high expected gain from nest protection that are not matched by equally high workforce availability. This mismatch suggests that the impact of nest protection can be further improved by increasing volunteer efforts in key areas where they are low relative to the expected gain they could have. 5. Synthesis and applications . This study shows that synergistic interplay of multiple factors (e.g. mechanical harvesting and predation) may completely undermine the success of well-intentioned conservation efforts. However, identifying areas where the greatest expected gains can be achieved relative to effort expended can minimize the risk of wasted volunteer actions. Overall, this study underscores the importance of citizen science for collecting large-scale data useful for producing science and ultimately informs

  10. Identifying Potential Conservation Corridors Along the Mongolia-Russia Border Using Resource Selection Functions: A Case Study on Argali Sheep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buyanaa Chimeddorj

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The disruption of animal movements is known to affect wildlife populations, particularly large bodied, free-ranging mammals that require large geographic ranges to survive. Corridors commonly connect fragmented wildlife populations and their habitats, yet identifying corridors rarely uses data on habitat selection and movements of target species. New technologies and analytical tools make it possible to better integrate landscape patterns with spatial behavioral data. We show how resource selection functions can describe habitat suitability using continuous and multivariate metrics to determine potential wildlife movement corridors. During 2005–2010, we studied movements of argali sheep ( Ovis ammon near the Mongolia-Russia border using radio-telemetry and modeled their spatial distribution in relation to landscape features to create a spatially explicit habitat suitability surface to identify potential transboundary conservation corridors. Argali sheep habitat selection in western Mongolia positively correlated with elevation, ruggedness index, and distance to border. In other words, argali were tended use areas with higher elevation, rugged topography, and distances farther from the international border. We suggest that these spatial modeling approaches offer ways to design and identify wildlife corridors more objectively and holistically, and can be applied to many other target species.

  11. Efficient Conservation in a Utility-Maximization Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank W. Davis

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Systematic planning for biodiversity conservation is being conducted at scales ranging from global to national to regional. The prevailing planning paradigm is to identify the minimum land allocations needed to reach specified conservation targets or maximize the amount of conservation accomplished under an area or budget constraint. We propose a more general formulation for setting conservation priorities that involves goal setting, assessing the current conservation system, developing a scenario of future biodiversity given the current conservation system, and allocating available conservation funds to alter that scenario so as to maximize future biodiversity. Under this new formulation for setting conservation priorities, the value of a site depends on resource quality, threats to resource quality, and costs. This planning approach is designed to support collaborative processes and negotiation among competing interest groups. We demonstrate these ideas with a case study of the Sierra Nevada bioregion of California.

  12. Safety training priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, N. A.; Ruck, H. W.

    1984-04-01

    The Air Force is interested in identifying potentially hazardous tasks and prevention of accidents. This effort proposes four methods for determining safety training priorities for job tasks in three enlisted specialties. These methods can be used to design training aimed at avoiding loss of people, time, materials, and money associated with on-the-job accidents. Job tasks performed by airmen were measured using task and job factor ratings. Combining accident reports and job inventories, subject-matter experts identified tasks associated with accidents over a 3-year period. Applying correlational, multiple regression, and cost-benefit analysis, four methods were developed for ordering hazardous tasks to determine safety training priorities.

  13. Priority Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Gössler , Gregor; Sifakis , Joseph

    2004-01-01

    Projet POP_ART; We present a framework for the incremental construction of deadlock-free systems meeting given safety properties. The framework borrows concepts and basic results from the controller synthesis paradigm by considering a step in the construction process as a controller synthesis problem. We show that priorities are expressive enough to represent restrictions induced by deadlock-free controllers preserving safety properties. We define a correspondence between such restrictions an...

  14. Defining priorities

    CERN Multimedia

    2013-01-01

    Last week the European Strategy Group met in Erice (Italy) to distil reams of input and months of discussion into a concise document outlining an updated Strategy for European Particle Physics. The result is a document that will be presented to the Council for feedback next month, before final approval by the Council at a special meeting in Brussels on 29 May. The Strategy process was important when it began in 2005, and is even more so today with important discoveries behind us and a changing global landscape for particle physics ahead.   The draft update, it’s fair to say, contains few surprises, but there are nevertheless some weighty issues for the Council to deliberate. The top priority is, of course, the full exploitation of the LHC, but the Strategy goes further, stating unambiguously that Europe’s top priority should be the high-luminosity upgrade of the machine. Other high-priority items are accelerator R&D to ensure the long-term global future of the field. O...

  15. Mouse transgenesis identifies conserved functional enhancers and cis-regulatory motif in the vertebrate LIM homeobox gene Lhx2 locus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison P Lee

    Full Text Available The vertebrate Lhx2 is a member of the LIM homeobox family of transcription factors. It is essential for the normal development of the forebrain, eye, olfactory system and liver as well for the differentiation of lymphoid cells. However, despite the highly restricted spatio-temporal expression pattern of Lhx2, nothing is known about its transcriptional regulation. In mammals and chicken, Crb2, Dennd1a and Lhx2 constitute a conserved linkage block, while the intervening Dennd1a is lost in the fugu Lhx2 locus. To identify functional enhancers of Lhx2, we predicted conserved noncoding elements (CNEs in the human, mouse and fugu Crb2-Lhx2 loci and assayed their function in transgenic mouse at E11.5. Four of the eight CNE constructs tested functioned as tissue-specific enhancers in specific regions of the central nervous system and the dorsal root ganglia (DRG, recapitulating partial and overlapping expression patterns of Lhx2 and Crb2 genes. There was considerable overlap in the expression domains of the CNEs, which suggests that the CNEs are either redundant enhancers or regulating different genes in the locus. Using a large set of CNEs (810 CNEs associated with transcription factor-encoding genes that express predominantly in the central nervous system, we predicted four over-represented 8-mer motifs that are likely to be associated with expression in the central nervous system. Mutation of one of them in a CNE that drove reporter expression in the neural tube and DRG abolished expression in both domains indicating that this motif is essential for expression in these domains. The failure of the four functional enhancers to recapitulate the complete expression pattern of Lhx2 at E11.5 indicates that there must be other Lhx2 enhancers that are either located outside the region investigated or divergent in mammals and fishes. Other approaches such as sequence comparison between multiple mammals are required to identify and characterize such enhancers.

  16. Analysis of ecological context for identifying vegetation and animal conservation planning foci: An example from the arid South-western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamazaki, T.; Thompson, B.C.; Locke, B.A.; Boykin, K.G.

    2003-01-01

    In developing conservation strategies, it is important to maximize effects of conservation within a specified land tract and to maximize conservation effects on surrounding area (ecological context). The authors proposed two criteria to select biotic entities for conservation foci: (1) the relative occurrence of fauna or flora in a tract is greater than that of an ecological context region; and (2) occurrence of the fauna or flora is relatively limited in the ecological context region. Using extensive spatial data on vegetation and wildlife habitat distribution, the authors identified strategic vegetation and fauna conservation foci for the 400 000 ha Fort Bliss military reservation in New Mexico and Texas relative to a 164 km radius ecological context region intersecting seven ecological zones and the predicted habitat distribution of 616 animal species. The authors set two specific criteria: (1) predicted area of a species' occurrence is 5% (Fort Bliss is 4.2% of the region). These criteria selected one vegetation class and 40 animal species. Further, these vegetation and animal foci were primarily located in two areas of Fort Bliss. Sensitivity analyses with other analytical radii corroborated the context radius used. Conservation of the two areas and associated taxa will maximize the contribution of Fort Bliss's conservation efforts in its ecological proximity. This relatively simple but information-rich process represents economical and defensible preliminary contextual analysis for detailed conservation planning.

  17. Identifying Greater Sage-Grouse source and sink habitats for conservation planning in an energy development landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirol, Christopher P; Beck, Jeffrey L; Huzurbazar, Snehalata V; Holloran, Matthew J; Miller, Scott N

    2015-06-01

    Conserving a declining species that is facing many threats, including overlap of its habitats with energy extraction activities, depends upon identifying and prioritizing the value of the habitats that remain. In addition, habitat quality is often compromised when source habitats are lost or fragmented due to anthropogenic development. Our objective was to build an ecological model to classify and map habitat quality in terms of source or sink dynamics for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), a developing coalbed natural gas field in south-central Wyoming, USA. We used occurrence and survival modeling to evaluate relationships between environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple spatial scales and for all female summer life stages, including nesting, brood-rearing, and non-brooding females. For each life stage, we created resource selection functions (RSFs). We weighted the RSFs and combined them to form a female summer occurrence map. We modeled survival also as a function of spatial variables for nest, brood, and adult female summer survival. Our survival-models were mapped as survival probability functions individually and then combined with fixed vital rates in a fitness metric model that, when mapped, predicted habitat productivity (productivity map). Our results demonstrate a suite of environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple scales that were predictive of occurrence and survival. We created a source-sink map by overlaying our female summer occurrence map and productivity map to predict habitats contributing to population surpluses (source habitats) or deficits (sink habitat) and low-occurrence habitats on the landscape. The source-sink map predicted that of the Sage-Grouse habitat within the ARPA, 30% was primary source, 29% was secondary source, 4% was primary sink, 6% was secondary sink, and 31% was low occurrence. Our results provide evidence that energy development and avoidance of

  18. Political priorities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng

    2016-01-01

    …THE POLITICAL LEADERS of the local government of Chongqing, China, vigorously promote a low-carbon economy and sustainable development to mitigate environmental pollution. Accordingly, research grants focused on this issue were supported by the government, and our group obtained a grant for a pr......…THE POLITICAL LEADERS of the local government of Chongqing, China, vigorously promote a low-carbon economy and sustainable development to mitigate environmental pollution. Accordingly, research grants focused on this issue were supported by the government, and our group obtained a grant...... for a project about industrial park planning and design.…In my view, political priorities based on correct decision-making and market requirements are beneficial for researchers....

  19. A zebrafish screen for craniofacial mutants identifies wdr68 as a highly conserved gene required for endothelin-1 expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amsterdam Adam

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Craniofacial birth defects result from defects in cranial neural crest (NC patterning and morphogenesis. The vertebrate craniofacial skeleton is derived from cranial NC cells and the patterning of these cells occurs within the pharyngeal arches. Substantial efforts have led to the identification of several genes required for craniofacial skeletal development such as the endothelin-1 (edn1 signaling pathway that is required for lower jaw formation. However, many essential genes required for craniofacial development remain to be identified. Results Through screening a collection of insertional zebrafish mutants containing approximately 25% of the genes essential for embryonic development, we present the identification of 15 essential genes that are required for craniofacial development. We identified 3 genes required for hyomandibular development. We also identified zebrafish models for Campomelic Dysplasia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. To further demonstrate the utility of this method, we include a characterization of the wdr68 gene. We show that wdr68 acts upstream of the edn1 pathway and is also required for formation of the upper jaw equivalent, the palatoquadrate. We also present evidence that the level of wdr68 activity required for edn1 pathway function differs between the 1st and 2nd arches. Wdr68 interacts with two minibrain-related kinases, Dyrk1a and Dyrk1b, required for embryonic growth and myotube differentiation, respectively. We show that a GFP-Wdr68 fusion protein localizes to the nucleus with Dyrk1a in contrast to an engineered loss of function mutation Wdr68-T284F that no longer accumulated in the cell nucleus and failed to rescue wdr68 mutant animals. Wdr68 homologs appear to exist in all eukaryotic genomes. Notably, we found that the Drosophila wdr68 homolog CG14614 could substitute for the vertebrate wdr68 gene even though insects lack the NC cell lineage. Conclusion This work represents a systematic

  20. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Pimm, Stuart L.; Joppa, Lucas N.

    2013-01-01

    Identifying priority areas for biodiversity is essential for directing conservation resources. Fundamentally, we must know where individual species live, which ones are vulnerable, where human actions threaten them, and their levels of protection. As conservation knowledge and threats change, we must reevaluate priorities. We mapped priority areas for vertebrates using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon, we identified centers of richness for all species, small-ranged species, and threatened species listed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Importantly, all analyses were at a spatial grain of 10 × 10 km, 100 times finer than previous assessments. This fine scale is a significant methodological improvement, because it brings mapping to scales comparable with regional decisions on where to place protected areas. We also mapped recent species discoveries, because they suggest where as-yet-unknown species might be living. To assess the protection of the priority areas, we calculated the percentage of priority areas within protected areas using the latest data from the World Database of Protected Areas, providing a snapshot of how well the planet’s protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity. Although the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, the level of protection still is insufficient given the importance of these areas for preventing vertebrate extinctions. We also found substantial differences between our identified vertebrate priorities and the leading map of global conservation priorities, the biodiversity hotspots. Our findings suggest a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect today’s improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation. PMID:23803854

  1. Introduction to four reviews addressing critical topics identified by the 2015 Nurse Practitioner Research Agenda Roundtable: Priorities for policy, workforce, education, and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Susan W; Klein, Tracy; Cooke, Cindy; Cook, Michelle L; Knestrick, Joyce; Dickins, Kirsten

    2018-05-04

    In 2015, an invitational think tank was convened by the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners to update the 2010 Nurse Practitioner (NP) Research Agenda Roundtable. This effort was undertaken to provide guidance for future health care research. The purpose of this article is to introduce the process used for conducting four reviews that address critical topics related to specific research priorities emanating from the 2015 NP Research Agenda Roundtable. The four reviews are published in this issue of Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP) to address the state of current research relevant to NP policy, workforce, education, and practice. This introductory article provides an overview of the systematic process used to evaluate the four topical area. The type of review selected, the search strategy, critical appraisal, data extraction, and data synthesis will be further described in the four review articles. Four reviews that examine literature regarding specific aims important to NPs will address strengths as well as gaps in the literature. The knowledge offered by the four reviews has the potential to inform future research, which will benefit NPs and other health care stakeholders.

  2. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean......-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans....... The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small...

  3. Lost Priorities

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hernandez, Rhett

    1998-01-01

    A review of the administration's National Security Strategy highlights the administration's inability to identify what's really important and focus its limited resources on accomplishing the essential...

  4. Benefits of integrating complementarity into priority threat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadés, Iadine; Nicol, Sam; van Leeuwen, Stephen; Walters, Belinda; Firn, Jennifer; Reeson, Andrew; Martin, Tara G; Carwardine, Josie

    2015-04-01

    Conservation decision tools based on cost-effectiveness analysis are used to assess threat management strategies for improving species persistence. These approaches rank alternative strategies by their benefit to cost ratio but may fail to identify the optimal sets of strategies to implement under limited budgets because they do not account for redundancies. We devised a multiobjective optimization approach in which the complementarity principle is applied to identify the sets of threat management strategies that protect the most species for any budget. We used our approach to prioritize threat management strategies for 53 species of conservation concern in the Pilbara, Australia. We followed a structured elicitation approach to collect information on the benefits and costs of implementing 17 different conservation strategies during a 3-day workshop with 49 stakeholders and experts in the biodiversity, conservation, and management of the Pilbara. We compared the performance of our complementarity priority threat management approach with a current cost-effectiveness ranking approach. A complementary set of 3 strategies: domestic herbivore management, fire management and research, and sanctuaries provided all species with >50% chance of persistence for $4.7 million/year over 20 years. Achieving the same result cost almost twice as much ($9.71 million/year) when strategies were selected by their cost-effectiveness ranks alone. Our results show that complementarity of management benefits has the potential to double the impact of priority threat management approaches. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Spatially conserved regulatory elements identified within human and mouse Cd247 gene using high-throughput sequencing data from the ENCODE project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pundhir, Sachin; Hannibal, Tine Dahlbæk; Bang-Berthelsen, Claus Heiner

    2014-01-01

    . In this study, we have utilized the wealth of high-throughput sequencing data produced during the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project to identify spatially conserved regulatory elements within the Cd247 gene from human and mouse. We show the presence of two transcription factor binding sites...

  6. Identifying the Species Threat Hotspots from Global Supply Chains

    OpenAIRE

    Moran, Daniel; Kanemoto, Keiichiro

    2016-01-01

    Identifying species threat hotspots has been a successful approach for setting conservation priorities. One major challenge in conservation is that in many hotspots export industries continue to drive overexploitation. Conservation measures must consider not just the point of impact, but also the consumer demand that ultimately drives resource use. To understand which species threat hotspots are driven by which consumers, we have developed a new approach to link a set of biodiversity footprin...

  7. A Highly Conserved GEQYQQLR Epitope Has Been Identified in the Nucleoprotein of Ebola Virus by Using an In Silico Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Tuhin Ali

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ebola virus (EBOV is a deadly virus that has caused several fatal outbreaks. Recently it caused another outbreak and resulted in thousands afflicted cases. Effective and approved vaccine or therapeutic treatment against this virus is still absent. In this study, we aimed to predict B-cell epitopes from several EBOV encoded proteins which may aid in developing new antibody-based therapeutics or viral antigen detection method against this virus. Multiple sequence alignment (MSA was performed for the identification of conserved region among glycoprotein (GP, nucleoprotein (NP, and viral structural proteins (VP40, VP35, and VP24 of EBOV. Next, different consensus immunogenic and conserved sites were predicted from the conserved region(s using various computational tools which are available in Immune Epitope Database (IEDB. Among GP, NP, VP40, VP35, and VP30 protein, only NP gave a 100% conserved GEQYQQLR B-cell epitope that fulfills the ideal features of an effective B-cell epitope and could lead a way in the milieu of Ebola treatment. However, successful in vivo and in vitro studies are prerequisite to determine the actual potency of our predicted epitope and establishing it as a preventing medication against all the fatal strains of EBOV.

  8. Healthcare priority setting in Kenya

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bukachi, Salome A.; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Siso, Jared Maaka

    2014-01-01

    In resource-poor settings, the accountability for reasonableness (A4R) has been identified as an important advance in priority setting that helps to operationalize fair priority setting in specific contexts. The four conditions of A4R are backed by theory, not evidence, that conformance with them...... improves the priority setting decisions. This paper describes the healthcare priority setting processes in Malindi district, Kenya, prior to the implementation of A4R in 2008 and evaluates the process for its conformance with the conditions for A4R. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with key...... players in the Malindi district health system and a review of key policy documents and national guidelines show that the priority setting process in the district relies heavily on guidelines from the national level, making it more of a vertical, top-down orientation. Multilateral and donor agencies...

  9. Area selection for conservation of Mexican mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vázquez, L. B.

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Three sets of priority cells for mammal conservation in Mexico were identified using distributional data. A complementarity approach was implemented through linear integer programming. The minimum set of sites required for the representation of each mammal species varied between 38 (5.4% grid cells for at least one occurrence, 110 (15.6% grid cells for at least three occurrences, and 173 (24.5% grid cells for at least five occurrences. The complementary analyses mainly highlighted three regions of particular concern for mammal conservation in Mexico: (i the trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and natural provinces of the Pacific Coast, (ii Sierra Madre del Sur and the Highlands of Chiapas, and (iii the northern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The results reported here did not indicate absolute priority locations for conservation activities, but rather identified locations warranting further investigation at finer resolutions more appropriate to such activity

  10. Priority actions (Environmental protection in Macedonia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    The priority actions were based on environmental needs in the short to medium term, keeping in mind that there are severe budgetary constraints and the environmental institutions are still being developed. The private sector will be encouraged to participate, wherever possible in implementing the priority actions.Based on the evaluation of all the environmental priorities, the following are considered priority actions which should be addressed within the next five years: air quality improvement; water quality improvement; solid waste management; biodiversity conservation; renewal and preservation of forests; technical assistance. (author)

  11. Selección de áreas prioritarias para la conservación de flora gipsícola en el sureste de la Península Ibérica Selection of priority areas for the conservation of gypsophilous flora in southeast Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MANUEL I. CERRILLO

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Estudios recientes han demostrado que los afloramientos de yeso de la provincia de Almería (sureste de España son los de mayor valor desde el punto de vista de la conservación de la flora gipsícola ibérica. La necesidad de conservar este patrimonio unida a la imposibilidad real de proteger todos los afloramientos existentes en la región, nos llevó a elucidar qué áreas de la provincia deberían ser consideradas como prioritarias para lograr la conservación de la flora gipsícola de estos enclaves. Para ello, se estableció como objetivo prioritario lograr la representación de todas las especies al menos una vez, a la vez que se plantearon otros escenarios posibles en los que se podría basar la elección de áreas -objetivos complementarios-. Se elaboró la cartografía de los gipsófitos, referida a celdas de 10 km de lado y se evaluó la importancia de cada enclave según diferentes criterios utilizados comúnmente en los estudios sobre selección de áreas (diversidad de especies, rareza de la flora, complementariedad contrastando los resultados obtenidos mediante cada uno de ellos. Los resultados mostraron que la protección de los afloramientos existentes en tan sólo tres cuadrículas (Sorbas, ya protegida principalmente por sus valores geomorfológicos, Venta de los Yesos y Topares sería suficiente para lograr la representación de todos los gipsófitos de la región y alcanzar además varios de los objetivos complementarios de conservación. Los resultados se discuten teniendo en cuenta las peculiaridades sociales y administrativas del territorioRecent studies have highlighted the gypsum outcrops of Almería (southeast Spain as the most outstanding for the conservation of Iberian gypsophilous flora. The need of preserving this natural heritage and the impossibility to protect all the outcrops present within the territory, led us to identify which areas should be considered as of priority for conservation. To this end, we

  12. Conservation priorities in the Apache Highlands ecoregion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale Turner; Rob Marshall; Carolyn A. F. Enquist; Anne Gondor; David F. Gori; Eduardo Lopez; Gonzalo Luna; Rafaela Paredes Aguilar; Chris Watts; Sabra Schwartz

    2005-01-01

    The Apache Highlands ecoregion incorporates the entire Madrean Archipelago/Sky Island region. We analyzed the current distribution of 223 target species and 26 terrestrial ecological systems there, and compared them with constraints on ecosystem integrity (e.g., road density) to determine the most efficient set of areas needed to maintain current biodiversity. The...

  13. Defining conservation priorities using fragmentation forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Wear; John Pye; Kurt H. Riitters

    2004-01-01

    Methods are developed for forecasting the effects of population and economic growth on the distribution of interior forest habitat. An application to the southeastern United States shows that models provide significant explanatory power with regard to the observed distribution of interior forest. Estimates for economic and biophysical variables are significant and...

  14. Spatial planning for a green economy: National-level hydrologic ecosystem services priority areas for Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Joshua Howard; Tallis, Heather; Cole, Aaron; Schill, Steven; Martin, Erik; Heiner, Michael; Paiz, Marie-Claire; Aldous, Allison; Apse, Colin; Nickel, Barry

    2017-01-01

    Rapidly developing countries contain both the bulk of intact natural areas and biodiversity, and the greatest untapped natural resource stocks, placing them at the forefront of "green" economic development opportunities. However, most lack scientific tools to create development plans that account for biodiversity and ecosystem services, diminishing the real potential to be sustainable. Existing methods focus on biodiversity and carbon priority areas across large geographies (e.g., countries, states/provinces), leaving out essential services associated with water supplies, among others. These hydrologic ecosystem services (HES) are especially absent from methods applied at large geographies and in data-limited contexts. Here, we present a novel, spatially explicit, and relatively simple methodology to identify countrywide HES priority areas. We applied our methodology to the Gabonese Republic, a country undergoing a major economic transformation under a governmental commitment to balance conservation and development goals. We present the first national-scale maps of HES priority areas across Gabon for erosion control, nutrient retention, and groundwater recharge. Priority sub-watersheds covered 44% of the country's extent. Only 3% of the country was identified as a priority area for all HES simultaneously, highlighting the need to conserve different areas for each different hydrologic service. While spatial tradeoffs occur amongst HES, we identified synergies with two other conservation values, given that 66% of HES priority areas intersect regions of above average area-weighted (by sub-watersheds) total forest carbon stocks and 38% intersect with terrestrial national parks. Considering implications for development, we identified HES priority areas overlapping current or proposed major roads, forestry concessions, and active mining concessions, highlighting the need for proactive planning for avoidance areas and compensatory offsets to mitigate potential conflicts

  15. Spatial planning for a green economy: National-level hydrologic ecosystem services priority areas for Gabon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Howard Goldstein

    Full Text Available Rapidly developing countries contain both the bulk of intact natural areas and biodiversity, and the greatest untapped natural resource stocks, placing them at the forefront of "green" economic development opportunities. However, most lack scientific tools to create development plans that account for biodiversity and ecosystem services, diminishing the real potential to be sustainable. Existing methods focus on biodiversity and carbon priority areas across large geographies (e.g., countries, states/provinces, leaving out essential services associated with water supplies, among others. These hydrologic ecosystem services (HES are especially absent from methods applied at large geographies and in data-limited contexts. Here, we present a novel, spatially explicit, and relatively simple methodology to identify countrywide HES priority areas. We applied our methodology to the Gabonese Republic, a country undergoing a major economic transformation under a governmental commitment to balance conservation and development goals. We present the first national-scale maps of HES priority areas across Gabon for erosion control, nutrient retention, and groundwater recharge. Priority sub-watersheds covered 44% of the country's extent. Only 3% of the country was identified as a priority area for all HES simultaneously, highlighting the need to conserve different areas for each different hydrologic service. While spatial tradeoffs occur amongst HES, we identified synergies with two other conservation values, given that 66% of HES priority areas intersect regions of above average area-weighted (by sub-watersheds total forest carbon stocks and 38% intersect with terrestrial national parks. Considering implications for development, we identified HES priority areas overlapping current or proposed major roads, forestry concessions, and active mining concessions, highlighting the need for proactive planning for avoidance areas and compensatory offsets to mitigate

  16. Conservation planning for a widespread, threatened species: WWF and the African elephant Loxodonta africana

    OpenAIRE

    Stephenson, Peter J.; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa

    2017-01-01

    In a case study of conservation planning by a conservation organization working at a continental scale we examine how WWF identified and prioritized its African elephant Loxodonta africana conservation activities. We (1) review lessons learnt from previous work, (2) identify priority landscapes using biological criteria (e.g. population size and viability) and institutional criteria (e.g. feasibility, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of WWF interventions), and (3) conduct a threat analys...

  17. Using Personal Water Footprints to Identify Consumer Food Choices that Influence the Conservation of Local Water Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrin, D. L.

    2015-12-01

    As the global demand for water and food escalates, the emphasis is on supply side factors rather than demand side factors such as consumers, whose personal water footprints are dominated (>90%) by food. Personal footprints include the water embedded in foods that are produced locally as well as those imported, raising the question of whether local shifts in people's food choices and habits could assist in addressing local water shortages. The current situation in California is interesting in that drought has affected an agriculturally productive region where a substantial portion of its food products are consumed by the state's large population. Unlike most agricultural regions where green water is the primary source of water for crops, California's arid climate demands an enormous volume of blue water as irrigation from its dwindling surface and ground water resources. Although California exports many of its food products, enough is consumed in-state so that residents making relatively minor shifts their food choices could save as much local blue water as their implementing more drastic reductions in household water use (comprising food group on both a caloric and gravimetric basis. Another change is wasting less food, which is a shared responsibility among consumers, producers and retailers; however, consumers' actions and preferences ultimately drive much of the waste. Personal water footprints suggest a role for individuals in conserving local water resources that is neither readily obvious nor a major focus of most conservation programs.

  18. Trends and variation in prescribing of low-priority treatments identified by NHS England: a cross-sectional study and interactive data tool in English primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Alex J; Curtis, Helen J; Bacon, Seb; Croker, Richard; Goldacre, Ben

    2018-06-01

    Objectives NHS England recently announced a consultation seeking to discourage the use of treatments it considers to be low-value. We set out to produce an interactive data resource to show savings in each NHS general practice and to assess the current use of these treatments, their change in use over time, and the extent and reasons for variation in such prescribing. Design Cross-sectional analysis. Setting English primary care. Participants English general practices. Main outcome measures We determined the cost per 1000 patients for prescribing of each of 18 treatments identified by NHS England for each month from July 2012 to June 2017, and also aggregated over the most recent year to assess total cost and variation among practices. We used mixed effects linear regression to determine factors associated with cost of prescribing. Results Spend on low-value treatments was £153.5 m in the last year, across 5.8 m prescriptions (mean, £26 per prescription). Among individual treatments, liothyronine had the highest prescribing cost at £29.6 m, followed by trimipramine (£20.2 m). Over time, the overall total number of low-value prescriptions decreased, but the cost increased, although this varied greatly between treatments. Three treatment areas increased in cost and two increased in volume, all others reduced in cost and volume. Annual practice level spending varied widely (median, £2262 per thousand patients; interquartile range £1439 to £3298). Proportion of patients over 65 was strongly associated with low-value prescribing, as was Clinical Commissioning Group. Our interactive data tool was deployed to OpenPrescribing.net where monthly updated figures and graphs can be viewed. Conclusions Prescribing of low-value treatments is extensive but varies widely by treatment, geographic area and individual practice. Despite a fall in prescription numbers, the overall cost of prescribing for low-value items has risen. Prescribing behaviour is clustered by

  19. In Silico Analysis of Gene Expression Network Components Underlying Pigmentation Phenotypes in the Python Identified Evolutionarily Conserved Clusters of Transcription Factor Binding Sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristopher J. L. Irizarry

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Color variation provides the opportunity to investigate the genetic basis of evolution and selection. Reptiles are less studied than mammals. Comparative genomics approaches allow for knowledge gained in one species to be leveraged for use in another species. We describe a comparative vertebrate analysis of conserved regulatory modules in pythons aimed at assessing bioinformatics evidence that transcription factors important in mammalian pigmentation phenotypes may also be important in python pigmentation phenotypes. We identified 23 python orthologs of mammalian genes associated with variation in coat color phenotypes for which we assessed the extent of pairwise protein sequence identity between pythons and mouse, dog, horse, cow, chicken, anole lizard, and garter snake. We next identified a set of melanocyte/pigment associated transcription factors (CREB, FOXD3, LEF-1, MITF, POU3F2, and USF-1 that exhibit relatively conserved sequence similarity within their DNA binding regions across species based on orthologous alignments across multiple species. Finally, we identified 27 evolutionarily conserved clusters of transcription factor binding sites within ~200-nucleotide intervals of the 1500-nucleotide upstream regions of AIM1, DCT, MC1R, MITF, MLANA, OA1, PMEL, RAB27A, and TYR from Python bivittatus. Our results provide insight into pigment phenotypes in pythons.

  20. G-NEST: a gene neighborhood scoring tool to identify co-conserved, co-expressed genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemay Danielle G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In previous studies, gene neighborhoods—spatial clusters of co-expressed genes in the genome—have been defined using arbitrary rules such as requiring adjacency, a minimum number of genes, a fixed window size, or a minimum expression level. In the current study, we developed a Gene Neighborhood Scoring Tool (G-NEST which combines genomic location, gene expression, and evolutionary sequence conservation data to score putative gene neighborhoods across all possible window sizes simultaneously. Results Using G-NEST on atlases of mouse and human tissue expression data, we found that large neighborhoods of ten or more genes are extremely rare in mammalian genomes. When they do occur, neighborhoods are typically composed of families of related genes. Both the highest scoring and the largest neighborhoods in mammalian genomes are formed by tandem gene duplication. Mammalian gene neighborhoods contain highly and variably expressed genes. Co-localized noisy gene pairs exhibit lower evolutionary conservation of their adjacent genome locations, suggesting that their shared transcriptional background may be disadvantageous. Genes that are essential to mammalian survival and reproduction are less likely to occur in neighborhoods, although neighborhoods are enriched with genes that function in mitosis. We also found that gene orientation and protein-protein interactions are partially responsible for maintenance of gene neighborhoods. Conclusions Our experiments using G-NEST confirm that tandem gene duplication is the primary driver of non-random gene order in mammalian genomes. Non-essentiality, co-functionality, gene orientation, and protein-protein interactions are additional forces that maintain gene neighborhoods, especially those formed by tandem duplicates. We expect G-NEST to be useful for other applications such as the identification of core regulatory modules, common transcriptional backgrounds, and chromatin domains. The

  1. Combinatorial binding in human and mouse embryonic stem cells identifies conserved enhancers active in early embryonic development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Göke

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factors are proteins that regulate gene expression by binding to cis-regulatory sequences such as promoters and enhancers. In embryonic stem (ES cells, binding of the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG is essential to maintain the capacity of the cells to differentiate into any cell type of the developing embryo. It is known that transcription factors interact to regulate gene expression. In this study we show that combinatorial binding is strongly associated with co-localization of the transcriptional co-activator Mediator, H3K27ac and increased expression of nearby genes in embryonic stem cells. We observe that the same loci bound by Oct4, Nanog and Sox2 in ES cells frequently drive expression in early embryonic development. Comparison of mouse and human ES cells shows that less than 5% of individual binding events for OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG are shared between species. In contrast, about 15% of combinatorial binding events and even between 53% and 63% of combinatorial binding events at enhancers active in early development are conserved. Our analysis suggests that the combination of OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG binding is critical for transcription in ES cells and likely plays an important role for embryogenesis by binding at conserved early developmental enhancers. Our data suggests that the fast evolutionary rewiring of regulatory networks mainly affects individual binding events, whereas "gene regulatory hotspots" which are bound by multiple factors and active in multiple tissues throughout early development are under stronger evolutionary constraints.

  2. Determining climate change management priorities: A case study from Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeDee, Olivia E.; Ribic, Christine

    2015-01-01

    A burgeoning dialogue exists regarding how to allocate resources to maximize the likelihood of long-term biodiversity conservation within the context of climate change. To make effective decisions in natural resource management, an iterative, collaborative, and learning-based decision process may be more successful than a strictly consultative approach. One important, early step in a decision process is to identify priority species or systems. Although this promotes the conservation of select species or systems, it may inadvertently alter the future of non-target species and systems. We describe a process to screen terrestrial wildlife for potential sensitivity to climate change and then use the results to engage natural resource professionals in a process of identifying priorities for monitoring, research, and adaptation strategy implementation. We demonstrate this approach using a case study from Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, experts identified 23 out of 353 species with sufficient empirical research and management understanding to inform targeted action. Habitat management and management of hydrological conditions were the common strategies for targeted action. Although there may be an interest in adaptation strategy implementation for many species and systems, experts considered existing information inadequate to inform targeted action. According to experts, 40% of the vertebrate species in Wisconsin will require near-term intervention for climate adaptation. These results will inform state-wide conservation planning as well as regional efforts.

  3. Conservation and diversification of the miR166 family in soybean and potential roles of newly identified miR166s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuyan; Xie, Xin; Li, Ji; Cui, Yuhai; Hou, Yanming; Zhai, Lulu; Wang, Xiao; Fu, Yanli; Liu, Ranran; Bian, Shaomin

    2017-02-01

    microRNA166 (miR166) is a highly conserved family of miRNAs implicated in a wide range of cellular and physiological processes in plants. miR166 family generally comprises multiple miR166 members in plants, which might exhibit functional redundancy and specificity. The soybean miR166 family consists of 21 members according to the miRBase database. However, the evolutionary conservation and functional diversification of miR166 family members in soybean remain poorly understood. We identified five novel miR166s in soybean by data mining approach, thus enlarging the size of miR166 family from 21 to 26 members. Phylogenetic analyses of the 26 miR166s and their precursors indicated that soybean miR166 family exhibited both evolutionary conservation and diversification, and ten pairs of miR166 precursors with high sequence identity were individually grouped into a discrete clade in the phylogenetic tree. The analysis of genomic organization and evolution of MIR166 gene family revealed that eight segmental duplications and four tandem duplications might occur during evolution of the miR166 family in soybean. The cis-elements in promoters of MIR166 family genes and their putative targets pointed to their possible contributions to the functional conservation and diversification. The targets of soybean miR166s were predicted, and the cleavage of ATHB14-LIKE transcript was experimentally validated by RACE PCR. Further, the expression patterns of the five newly identified MIR166s and 12 target genes were examined during seed development and in response to abiotic stresses, which provided important clues for dissecting their functions and isoform specificity. This study enlarged the size of soybean miR166 family from 21 to 26 members, and the 26 soybean miR166s exhibited evolutionary conservation and diversification. These findings have laid a foundation for elucidating functional conservation and diversification of miR166 family members, especially during seed development or

  4. The influence of spatial grain size on the suitability of the higher-taxon approach in continental priority-setting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Rahbek, Carsten

    2005-01-01

    The higher-taxon approach may provide a pragmatic surrogate for the rapid identification of priority areas for conservation. To date, no continent-wide study has examined the use of higher-taxon data to identify complementarity-based networks of priority areas, nor has the influence of spatial gr...... grain size been assessed. We used data obtained from 939 sub-Saharan mammals to analyse the performance of higher-taxon data for continental priority-setting and to assess the influence of spatial grain sizes in terms of the size of selection units (1°× 1°, 2°× 2° and 4°× 4° latitudinal...... as effectively as species-based priority areas, genus-based areas perform considerably less effectively than species-based areas for the 1° and 2° grain size. Thus, our results favour the higher-taxon approach for continental priority-setting only when large grain sizes (= 4°) are used.......The higher-taxon approach may provide a pragmatic surrogate for the rapid identification of priority areas for conservation. To date, no continent-wide study has examined the use of higher-taxon data to identify complementarity-based networks of priority areas, nor has the influence of spatial...

  5. Life-history strategies as a tool to identify conservation constraints: A case-study on ants in chalk grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordwijk, C.G.E.; Boer, P.; Mabelis, A.A.; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Siepel, H.

    2012-01-01

    Species’ life-history traits underlie species–environment relationships. Therefore, analysis of species traits, combined into life-history strategies, can be used to identify key factors shaping the local species composition. This is demonstrated in a case-study on ants in chalk grasslands. We

  6. Distribution, diversity and conservation of the genus Aloe in Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The diversity patterns indicate a high concentration of taxa in three areas that are identified as Aloe hot spots and thus of high priority for conservation of the genus: The Kulal–Nyiro–Ndotos–Marsabit area in the north, the Taita-Shimba Hills zone to the southeast and the Naivasha–Baringo area in the Rift Valley. Most of the ...

  7. Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird

    OpenAIRE

    Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Modern farming practices threaten wildlife in different ways, and failure to identify the complexity of multiple threats acting in synergy may result in ineffective management. To protect ground-nesting birds in farmland, monitoring and mitigating impacts of mechanical harvesting is crucial. Here, we use 6 years of data from a nationwide volunteer-based monitoring scheme of the Montagu's harrier, a ground-nesting raptor, in French farmlands. We assess the effectiveness of alternative nest pro...

  8. ALI Conservation Scorecards Input Data Layers

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — In 2014 and 2015, the Arid Lands Initiative developed “Conservation Scorecards” for their Priority Core Areas (PCAs) and Priority Linkage Areas (PLAs). To create...

  9. A state-based national network for effective wildlife conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meretsky, Vicky J.; Maguire, Lynn A.; Davis, Frank W.; Stoms, David M.; Scott, J. Michael; Figg, Dennis; Goble, Dale D.; Griffith, Brad; Henke, Scott E.; Vaughn, Jacqueline; Yaffee, Steven L.

    2012-01-01

    State wildlife conservation programs provide a strong foundation for biodiversity conservation in the United States, building on state wildlife action plans. However, states may miss the species that are at the most risk at rangewide scales, and threats such as novel diseases and climate change increasingly act at regional and national levels. Regional collaborations among states and their partners have had impressive successes, and several federal programs now incorporate state priorities. However, regional collaborations are uneven across the country, and no national counterpart exists to support efforts at that scale. A national conservation-support program could fill this gap and could work across the conservation community to identify large-scale conservation needs and support efforts to meet them. By providing important information-sharing and capacity-building services, such a program would advance collaborative conservation among the states and their partners, thus increasing both the effectiveness and the efficiency of conservation in the United States.

  10. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K B Jenkins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in

  11. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  12. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K B; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H; Randrianirina, Jasmin E; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of

  13. The effectiveness of surrogate taxa to conserve freshwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, David R.; Underwood, Zachary E.; Rahel, Frank J.; Walters, Annika W.

    2018-01-01

    Establishing protected areas has long been an effective conservation strategy, and is often based on more readily surveyed species. The potential of any freshwater taxa to be a surrogate of other aquatic groups has not been fully explored. We compiled occurrence data on 72 species of freshwater fish, amphibians, mussels, and aquatic reptiles for the Great Plains, Wyoming. We used hierarchical Bayesian multi-species mixture models and MaxEnt models to describe species distributions, and program Zonation to identify conservation priority areas for each aquatic group. The landscape-scale factors that best characterized aquatic species distributions differed among groups. There was low agreement and congruence among taxa-specific conservation priorities (<20%), meaning that no surrogate priority areas would include or protect the best habitats of other aquatic taxa. We found that common, wide-ranging aquatic species were included in taxa-specific priority areas, but rare freshwater species were not included. Thus, the development of conservation priorities based on a single freshwater aquatic group would not protect all species in the other aquatic groups.

  14. Designing systematic conservation assessments that promote effective implementation: best practice from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Andrew T; Driver, Amanda; Cowling, Richard M; Maze, Kristal; Desmet, Philip G; Lombard, Amanda T; Rouget, Mathieu; Botha, Mark A; Boshoff, Andre F; Castley, J Guy; Goodman, Peter S; Mackinnon, Kathy; Pierce, Shirley M; Sims-Castley, Rebecca; Stewart, Warrick I; von Hase, Amrei

    2006-06-01

    Systematic conservation assessment and conservation planning are two distinct fields of conservation science often confused as one and the same. Systematic conservation assessment is the technical, often computer-based, identification of priority areas for conservation. Conservation planning is composed of a systematic conservation assessment coupled with processes for development of an implementation strategy and stakeholder collaboration. The peer-reviewed conservation biology literature abounds with studies analyzing the performance of assessments (e.g., area-selection techniques). This information alone, however can never deliver effective conservation action; it informs conservation planning. Examples of how to translate systematic assessment outputs into knowledge and then use them for "doing" conservation are rare. South Africa has received generous international and domestic funding for regional conservation planning since the mid-1990s. We reviewed eight South African conservation planning processes and identified key ingredients of best practice for undertaking systematic conservation assessments in a way that facilitates implementing conservation action. These key ingredients include the design of conservation planning processes, skills for conservation assessment teams, collaboration with stakeholders, and interpretation and mainstreaming of products (e.g., maps) for stakeholders. Social learning institutions are critical to the successful operationalization of assessments within broader conservation planning processes and should include not only conservation planners but also diverse interest groups, including rural landowners, politicians, and government employees.

  15. Synthesis of the conservation value of the early-successional stage in forests of eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Scott. Schlossberg

    2014-01-01

    As a result of changes in natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes, the extent of early-successional forest across much of eastern North American is near historic lows, and continues to decline. This has caused many scientists to identify the conservation of early-successional species as a high priority. In this synthesis, we discuss the conservation implications...

  16. Interactions between the Nse3 and Nse4 components of the SMC5-6 complex identify evolutionarily conserved interactions between MAGE and EID Families.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica J R Hudson

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The SMC5-6 protein complex is involved in the cellular response to DNA damage. It is composed of 6-8 polypeptides, of which Nse1, Nse3 and Nse4 form a tight sub-complex. MAGEG1, the mammalian ortholog of Nse3, is the founding member of the MAGE (melanoma-associated antigen protein family and Nse4 is related to the EID (E1A-like inhibitor of differentiation family of transcriptional repressors.Using site-directed mutagenesis, protein-protein interaction analyses and molecular modelling, we have identified a conserved hydrophobic surface on the C-terminal domain of Nse3 that interacts with Nse4 and identified residues in its N-terminal domain that are essential for interaction with Nse1. We show that these interactions are conserved in the human orthologs. Furthermore, interaction of MAGEG1, the mammalian ortholog of Nse3, with NSE4b, one of the mammalian orthologs of Nse4, results in transcriptional co-activation of the nuclear receptor, steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1. In an examination of the evolutionary conservation of the Nse3-Nse4 interactions, we find that several MAGE proteins can interact with at least one of the NSE4/EID proteins.We have found that, despite the evolutionary diversification of the MAGE family, the characteristic hydrophobic surface shared by all MAGE proteins from yeast to humans mediates its binding to NSE4/EID proteins. Our work provides new insights into the interactions, evolution and functions of the enigmatic MAGE proteins.

  17. Building resilience into practical conservation: identifying local management responses to global climate change in the southern Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, J. A.; Marshall, P. A.; Johnson, J. E.; Harman, S.

    2010-06-01

    Climate change is now considered the greatest long-term threat to coral reefs, with some future change inevitable despite mitigation efforts. Managers must therefore focus on supporting the natural resilience of reefs, requiring that resilient reefs and reef regions be identified. We develop a framework for assessing resilience and trial it by applying the framework to target management responses to climate change on the southern Great Barrier Reef. The framework generates a resilience score for a site based on the evaluation of 19 differentially weighted indicators known or thought to confer resilience to coral reefs. Scores are summed, and sites within a region are ranked in terms of (1) their resilience relative to the other sites being assessed, and (2) the extent to which managers can influence their resilience. The framework was applied to 31 sites in Keppel Bay of the southern Great Barrier Reef, which has a long history of disturbance and recovery. Resilience and ‘management influence potential’ were both found to vary widely in Keppel Bay, informing site selection for the staged implementation of resilience-based management strategies. The assessment framework represents a step towards making the concept of resilience operational to reef managers and conservationists. Also, it is customisable, easy to teach and implement and effective in building support among local communities and stakeholders for management responses to climate change.

  18. A genome-wide screen identifies conserved protein hubs required for cadherin-mediated cell–cell adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toret, Christopher P.; D’Ambrosio, Michael V.; Vale, Ronald D.; Simon, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Cadherins and associated catenins provide an important structural interface between neighboring cells, the actin cytoskeleton, and intracellular signaling pathways in a variety of cell types throughout the Metazoa. However, the full inventory of the proteins and pathways required for cadherin-mediated adhesion has not been established. To this end, we completed a genome-wide (∼14,000 genes) ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) screen that targeted Ca2+-dependent adhesion in DE-cadherin–expressing Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells in suspension culture. This novel screen eliminated Ca2+-independent cell–cell adhesion, integrin-based adhesion, cell spreading, and cell migration. We identified 17 interconnected regulatory hubs, based on protein functions and protein–protein interactions that regulate the levels of the core cadherin–catenin complex and coordinate cadherin-mediated cell–cell adhesion. Representative proteins from these hubs were analyzed further in Drosophila oogenesis, using targeted germline RNAi, and adhesion was analyzed in Madin–Darby canine kidney mammalian epithelial cell–cell adhesion. These experiments reveal roles for a diversity of cellular pathways that are required for cadherin function in Metazoa, including cytoskeleton organization, cell–substrate interactions, and nuclear and cytoplasmic signaling. PMID:24446484

  19. Conserving what, where and how? Cost-efficient measures to conserve biodiversity in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders Højgård; Strange, Niels; Anthon, Signe

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation efforts in Europe have traditionally focused on farmland and open nature areas such as grasslands, heathlands and meadows, while little attention has been devoted to conservation actions in forest. Using detailed information on the geographical distribution of about 900...... terrestrial species in Denmark we apply systematic conservation planning techniques to identify how to protect biodiversity at the lowest cost to society. The results suggest that conservation actions in forest should be given a higher priority. Thus, three to four times the number of forest species...... are protected per million € compared with species living in open land natural areas. Furthermore, a gap analysis finds the current designation of Natura 2000 and other protected areas is skewed toward open land natural areas, and insufficient to meet the conservation targets on forest species....

  20. Environmental traditional knowledge in a natural protected area as the basis for management and conservation policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pío-León, Juan Fernando; Delgado-Vargas, Francisco; Murillo-Amador, Bernardo; León-de-la-Luz, José Luís; Vega-Aviña, Rito; Nieto-Garibay, Alejandra; Córdoba-Matson, Miguel; Ortega-Rubio, Alfredo

    2017-10-01

    Ethnobotany is an adequate tool to identify the most import wild edible plants used by local people and to develop strategies for its sustainable use and policy making. This research records the wild edible plants used by the inhabitants of the Sierra la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, in Mexico, and identified priority species for sustainable development. The employed quantitative approach included the application of a food-oriented index named Food Significance Index (FSI), which integrated cultural, agricultural and food parameters; moreover, it used multivariate analysis to identify priority edible species for use and/or conservation. Fifty taxa were identified as the most important wild edible plants in the reserve, integrated into five priority groups. Foods in priority group 1 had the highest culinary diversity by grouping three fruits (Ficus petiolaris, Stenocereus thurberi, and Cyrtocarpa edulis), one almond-like seed (Cnidoscolus maculatus), one vegetable (Matelea cordifolia), and one condiment (Capsicum annuum). Priority groups 2-5 were selective for one or two types of food, such as fruits, teas, or seeds. Since group 1 was the most diverse, the FSI and the employed strategy permitted to identify the priority wild edible plant species with the highest potential for food security. The selected six species should be included in the future management program of the reserve as the priority wild edible plants to develop strategies for conservation, sustainable use, and improvement of the local population income. General policies to manage the selected six species are outlined. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maltchik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (~280 000km², and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from differrent ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  2. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltchik, Leonardo; Dalzochio, Marina Schmidt; Stenert, Cristina; Rolon, Ana Silvia

    2012-03-01

    The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (approximately 280 000km2), and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera) in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from different ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  3. Setting priorities for safeguards upgrades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Ayat, R.A.; Judd, B.R.; Patenaude, C.J.; Sicherman, A.

    1987-01-01

    This paper describes an analytic approach and a computer program for setting priorities among safeguards upgrades. The approach provides safeguards decision makers with a systematic method for allocating their limited upgrade resources. The priorities are set based on the upgrades cost and their contribution to safeguards effectiveness. Safeguards effectiveness is measured by the probability of defeat for a spectrum of potential insider and outsider adversaries. The computer program, MI$ER, can be used alone or as a companion to ET and SAVI, programs designed to evaluate safeguards effectiveness against insider and outsider threats, respectively. Setting the priority required judgments about the relative importance (threat likelihoods and consequences) of insider and outsider threats. Although these judgments are inherently subjective, MI$ER can analyze the sensitivity of the upgrade priorities to these weights and determine whether or not they are critical to the priority ranking. MI$ER produces tabular and graphical results for comparing benefits and identifying the most cost-effective upgrades for a given expenditure. This framework provides decision makers with an explicit and consistent analysis to support their upgrades decisions and to allocate the safeguards resources in a cost-effective manner

  4. Evaluation of 19,460 Wheat Accessions Conserved in the Indian National Genebank to Identify New Sources of Resistance to Rust and Spot Blotch Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Sherry R.; Srinivasan, Kalyani; Radhamani, J.; Parimalan, R.; Sivaswamy, M.; Tyagi, Sandhya; Yadav, Mamata; Kumari, Jyotisna; Deepali; Sharma, Sandeep; Bhagat, Indoo; Meeta, Madhu; Bains, N. S.; Chowdhury, A. K.; Saha, B. C.; Bhattacharya, P. M.; Kumari, Jyoti; Singh, M. C.; Gangwar, O. P.; Prasad, P.; Bharadwaj, S. C.; Gogoi, Robin; Sharma, J. B.; GM, Sandeep Kumar; Saharan, M. S.; Bag, Manas; Roy, Anirban; Prasad, T. V.; Sharma, R. K.; Dutta, M.; Sharma, Indu; Bansal, K. C.

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive germplasm evaluation study of wheat accessions conserved in the Indian National Genebank was conducted to identify sources of rust and spot blotch resistance. Genebank accessions comprising three species of wheat–Triticum aestivum, T. durum and T. dicoccum were screened sequentially at multiple disease hotspots, during the 2011–14 crop seasons, carrying only resistant accessions to the next step of evaluation. Wheat accessions which were found to be resistant in the field were then assayed for seedling resistance and profiled using molecular markers. In the primary evaluation, 19,460 accessions were screened at Wellington (Tamil Nadu), a hotspot for wheat rusts. We identified 4925 accessions to be resistant and these were further evaluated at Gurdaspur (Punjab), a hotspot for stripe rust and at Cooch Behar (West Bengal), a hotspot for spot blotch. The second round evaluation identified 498 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts and 868 accessions potentially resistant to spot blotch. Evaluation of rust resistant accessions for seedling resistance against seven virulent pathotypes of three rusts under artificial epiphytotic conditions identified 137 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts. Molecular analysis to identify different combinations of genetic loci imparting resistance to leaf rust, stem rust, stripe rust and spot blotch using linked molecular markers, identified 45 wheat accessions containing known resistance genes against all three rusts as well as a QTL for spot blotch resistance. The resistant germplasm accessions, particularly against stripe rust, identified in this study can be excellent potential candidates to be employed for breeding resistance into the background of high yielding wheat cultivars through conventional or molecular breeding approaches, and are expected to contribute toward food security at national and global levels. PMID:27942031

  5. Evaluation of 19,460 Wheat Accessions Conserved in the Indian National Genebank to Identify New Sources of Resistance to Rust and Spot Blotch Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sundeep; Archak, Sunil; Tyagi, R K; Kumar, Jagdish; Vk, Vikas; Jacob, Sherry R; Srinivasan, Kalyani; Radhamani, J; Parimalan, R; Sivaswamy, M; Tyagi, Sandhya; Yadav, Mamata; Kumari, Jyotisna; Deepali; Sharma, Sandeep; Bhagat, Indoo; Meeta, Madhu; Bains, N S; Chowdhury, A K; Saha, B C; Bhattacharya, P M; Kumari, Jyoti; Singh, M C; Gangwar, O P; Prasad, P; Bharadwaj, S C; Gogoi, Robin; Sharma, J B; Gm, Sandeep Kumar; Saharan, M S; Bag, Manas; Roy, Anirban; Prasad, T V; Sharma, R K; Dutta, M; Sharma, Indu; Bansal, K C

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive germplasm evaluation study of wheat accessions conserved in the Indian National Genebank was conducted to identify sources of rust and spot blotch resistance. Genebank accessions comprising three species of wheat-Triticum aestivum, T. durum and T. dicoccum were screened sequentially at multiple disease hotspots, during the 2011-14 crop seasons, carrying only resistant accessions to the next step of evaluation. Wheat accessions which were found to be resistant in the field were then assayed for seedling resistance and profiled using molecular markers. In the primary evaluation, 19,460 accessions were screened at Wellington (Tamil Nadu), a hotspot for wheat rusts. We identified 4925 accessions to be resistant and these were further evaluated at Gurdaspur (Punjab), a hotspot for stripe rust and at Cooch Behar (West Bengal), a hotspot for spot blotch. The second round evaluation identified 498 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts and 868 accessions potentially resistant to spot blotch. Evaluation of rust resistant accessions for seedling resistance against seven virulent pathotypes of three rusts under artificial epiphytotic conditions identified 137 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts. Molecular analysis to identify different combinations of genetic loci imparting resistance to leaf rust, stem rust, stripe rust and spot blotch using linked molecular markers, identified 45 wheat accessions containing known resistance genes against all three rusts as well as a QTL for spot blotch resistance. The resistant germplasm accessions, particularly against stripe rust, identified in this study can be excellent potential candidates to be employed for breeding resistance into the background of high yielding wheat cultivars through conventional or molecular breeding approaches, and are expected to contribute toward food security at national and global levels.

  6. Evaluation of 19,460 Wheat Accessions Conserved in the Indian National Genebank to Identify New Sources of Resistance to Rust and Spot Blotch Diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sundeep Kumar

    Full Text Available A comprehensive germplasm evaluation study of wheat accessions conserved in the Indian National Genebank was conducted to identify sources of rust and spot blotch resistance. Genebank accessions comprising three species of wheat-Triticum aestivum, T. durum and T. dicoccum were screened sequentially at multiple disease hotspots, during the 2011-14 crop seasons, carrying only resistant accessions to the next step of evaluation. Wheat accessions which were found to be resistant in the field were then assayed for seedling resistance and profiled using molecular markers. In the primary evaluation, 19,460 accessions were screened at Wellington (Tamil Nadu, a hotspot for wheat rusts. We identified 4925 accessions to be resistant and these were further evaluated at Gurdaspur (Punjab, a hotspot for stripe rust and at Cooch Behar (West Bengal, a hotspot for spot blotch. The second round evaluation identified 498 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts and 868 accessions potentially resistant to spot blotch. Evaluation of rust resistant accessions for seedling resistance against seven virulent pathotypes of three rusts under artificial epiphytotic conditions identified 137 accessions potentially resistant to multiple rusts. Molecular analysis to identify different combinations of genetic loci imparting resistance to leaf rust, stem rust, stripe rust and spot blotch using linked molecular markers, identified 45 wheat accessions containing known resistance genes against all three rusts as well as a QTL for spot blotch resistance. The resistant germplasm accessions, particularly against stripe rust, identified in this study can be excellent potential candidates to be employed for breeding resistance into the background of high yielding wheat cultivars through conventional or molecular breeding approaches, and are expected to contribute toward food security at national and global levels.

  7. Hormone-induced protection against mammary tumorigenesis is conserved in multiple rat strains and identifies a core gene expression signature induced by pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakely, Collin M; Stoddard, Alexander J; Belka, George K; Dugan, Katherine D; Notarfrancesco, Kathleen L; Moody, Susan E; D'Cruz, Celina M; Chodosh, Lewis A

    2006-06-15

    Women who have their first child early in life have a substantially lower lifetime risk of breast cancer. The mechanism for this is unknown. Similar to humans, rats exhibit parity-induced protection against mammary tumorigenesis. To explore the basis for this phenomenon, we identified persistent pregnancy-induced changes in mammary gene expression that are tightly associated with protection against tumorigenesis in multiple inbred rat strains. Four inbred rat strains that exhibit marked differences in their intrinsic susceptibilities to carcinogen-induced mammary tumorigenesis were each shown to display significant protection against methylnitrosourea-induced mammary tumorigenesis following treatment with pregnancy levels of estradiol and progesterone. Microarray expression profiling of parous and nulliparous mammary tissue from these four strains yielded a common 70-gene signature. Examination of the genes constituting this signature implicated alterations in transforming growth factor-beta signaling, the extracellular matrix, amphiregulin expression, and the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor I axis in pregnancy-induced alterations in breast cancer risk. Notably, related molecular changes have been associated with decreased mammographic density, which itself is strongly associated with decreased breast cancer risk. Our findings show that hormone-induced protection against mammary tumorigenesis is widely conserved among divergent rat strains and define a gene expression signature that is tightly correlated with reduced mammary tumor susceptibility as a consequence of a normal developmental event. Given the conservation of this signature, these pathways may contribute to pregnancy-induced protection against breast cancer.

  8. Evaluating private land conservation in the Cape Lowlands, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Hase, Amrei; Rouget, Mathieu; Cowling, Richard M

    2010-10-01

    Evaluation is important for judiciously allocating limited conservation resources and for improving conservation success through learning and strategy adjustment. We evaluated the application of systematic conservation planning goals and conservation gains from incentive-based stewardship interventions on private land in the Cape Lowlands and Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. We collected spatial and nonspatial data (2003-2007) to determine the number of hectares of vegetation protected through voluntary contractual and legally nonbinding (informal) agreements with landowners; resources spent on these interventions; contribution of the agreements to 5- and 20-year conservation goals for representation and persistence in the Cape Lowlands of species and ecosystems; and time and staff required to meet these goals. Conservation gains on private lands across the Cape Floristic Region were relatively high. In 5 years, 22,078 ha (27,800 ha of land) and 46,526 ha (90,000 ha of land) of native vegetation were protected through contracts and informal agreements, respectively. Informal agreements often were opportunity driven and cheaper and faster to execute than contracts. All contractual agreements in the Cape Lowlands were within areas of high conservation priority (identified through systematic conservation planning), which demonstrated the conservation plan's practical application and a high level of overlap between resource investment (approximately R1.14 million/year in the lowlands) and priority conservation areas. Nevertheless, conservation agreements met only 11% of 5-year and 9% of 20-year conservation goals for Cape Lowlands and have made only a moderate contribution to regional persistence of flora to date. Meeting the plan's conservation goals will take three to five times longer and many more staff members to maintain agreements than initially envisaged. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Mitigation assessment results and priorities in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu Zongxin; Wei Zhihong [Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)

    1996-12-31

    In this paper energy related CO2 emission projections of China by 2030 are given. CO2 mitigation potential and technology options in main fields of energy conservation and energy substitution are analyzed. CO2 reduction costs of main mitigation technologies are estimated and the AHP approach is used for helping assessment of priority technologies.

  10. Multiple Identified Neurons and Peripheral Nerves Innervating the Prothoracic Defense Glands in Stick Insects Reveal Evolutionary Conserved and Novel Elements of a Chemical Defense System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Strauß

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The defense glands in the dorsal prothorax are an important autapomorphic trait of stick insects (Phasmatodea. Here, we study the functional anatomy and neuronal innervation of the defense glands in Anisomorpha paromalus (Westwood, 1859 (Pseudophasmatinae, a species which sprays its defense secretions when disturbed or attacked. We use a neuroanatomical approach to identify the nerves innervating the gland muscles and the motoneurons with axons in the different nerves. The defense gland is innervated by nerves originating from two segments, the subesophageal ganglion (SOG, and the prothoracic ganglion. Axonal tracing confirms the gland innervation via the anterior subesophageal nerve, and two intersegmental nerves, the posterior subesophageal nerve, and the anterior prothoracic nerve. Axonal tracing of individual nerves reveals eight identified neuron types in the subesophageal or prothoracic ganglion. The strongest innervating nerve of the gland is the anterior subesophageal nerve, which also supplies dorsal longitudinal thorax muscles (neck muscles by separate nerve branches. Tracing of individual nerve branches reveals different sets of motoneurons innervating the defense gland (one ipsilateral and one contralateral subesophageal neuron or the neck muscle (ventral median neurons. The ipsilateral and contralateral subesophageal neurons have no homologs in related taxa like locusts and crickets, and thus evolved within stick insects with the differentiation of the defense glands. The overall innervation pattern suggests that the longitudinal gland muscles derived from dorsal longitudinal neck muscles. In sum, the innervating nerves for dorsal longitudinal muscles are conserved in stick insects, while the neuronal control system was specialized with conserved motoneurons for the persisting neck muscles, and evolutionarily novel subesophageal and prothoracic motoneurons innervating the defense gland.

  11. Multi-species comparative analysis of the equine ACE gene identifies a highly conserved potential transcription factor binding site in intron 16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Natasha A; Tammen, Imke; Raadsma, Herman W

    2013-01-01

    Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is essential for control of blood pressure. The human ACE gene contains an intronic Alu indel (I/D) polymorphism that has been associated with variation in serum enzyme levels, although the functional mechanism has not been identified. The polymorphism has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, renal disease and elite athleticism. We have characterized the ACE gene in horses of breeds selected for differing physical abilities. The equine gene has a similar structure to that of all known mammalian ACE genes. Nine common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) discovered in pooled DNA were found to be inherited in nine haplotypes. Three of these SNPs were located in intron 16, homologous to that containing the Alu polymorphism in the human. A highly conserved 18 bp sequence, also within that intron, was identified as being a potential binding site for the transcription factors Oct-1, HFH-1 and HNF-3β, and lies within a larger area of higher than normal homology. This putative regulatory element may contribute to regulation of the documented inter-individual variation in human circulating enzyme levels, for which a functional mechanism is yet to be defined. Two equine SNPs occurred within the conserved area in intron 16, although neither of them disrupted the putative binding site. We propose a possible regulatory mechanism of the ACE gene in mammalian species which was previously unknown. This advance will allow further analysis leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the associations seen between the human Alu polymorphism and enzyme levels, cardiovascular disease states and elite athleticism.

  12. Multi-species comparative analysis of the equine ACE gene identifies a highly conserved potential transcription factor binding site in intron 16.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha A Hamilton

    Full Text Available Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE is essential for control of blood pressure. The human ACE gene contains an intronic Alu indel (I/D polymorphism that has been associated with variation in serum enzyme levels, although the functional mechanism has not been identified. The polymorphism has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, renal disease and elite athleticism. We have characterized the ACE gene in horses of breeds selected for differing physical abilities. The equine gene has a similar structure to that of all known mammalian ACE genes. Nine common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs discovered in pooled DNA were found to be inherited in nine haplotypes. Three of these SNPs were located in intron 16, homologous to that containing the Alu polymorphism in the human. A highly conserved 18 bp sequence, also within that intron, was identified as being a potential binding site for the transcription factors Oct-1, HFH-1 and HNF-3β, and lies within a larger area of higher than normal homology. This putative regulatory element may contribute to regulation of the documented inter-individual variation in human circulating enzyme levels, for which a functional mechanism is yet to be defined. Two equine SNPs occurred within the conserved area in intron 16, although neither of them disrupted the putative binding site. We propose a possible regulatory mechanism of the ACE gene in mammalian species which was previously unknown. This advance will allow further analysis leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the associations seen between the human Alu polymorphism and enzyme levels, cardiovascular disease states and elite athleticism.

  13. Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopken, Matthew W; Orning, Elizabeth K; Young, Julie K; Piaggio, Antoinette J

    2016-01-07

    The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a ground-nesting bird from the Northern Rocky Mountains and a species at risk of extinction in in multiple U.S. states and Canada. Herein we report results from a proof of concept that mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs from mammalian predator saliva could be non-invasively collected from depredated greater sage-grouse eggshells and carcasses and used for predator species identification. Molecular forensic approaches have been applied to identify predators from depredated remains as one strategy to better understand predator-prey dynamics and guide management strategies. This can aid conservation efforts by correctly identifying predators most likely to impact threatened and endangered species. DNA isolated from non-invasive samples around nesting sites (e.g. fecal or hair samples) is one method that can increase the success and accuracy of predator species identification when compared to relying on nest remains alone. Predator saliva DNA was collected from depredated eggshells and carcasses using swabs. We sequenced two partial fragments of two mitochondrial genes and obtained microsatellite genotypes using canid specific primers for species and individual identification, respectively. Using this multilocus approach we were able to identify predators, at least down to family, from 11 out of 14 nests (79%) and three out of seven carcasses (47%). Predators detected most frequently were canids (86%), while other taxa included rodents, a striped skunk, and cattle. We attempted to match the genotypes of individual coyotes obtained from eggshells and carcasses with those obtained from fecal samples and coyotes collected in the areas, but no genotype matches were found. Predation is a main cause of nest failure in ground-nesting birds and can impact reproduction and recruitment. To inform predator management for ground-nesting bird conservation, accurate identification of predator species is necessary. Considering

  14. An effective approach for annotation of protein families with low sequence similarity and conserved motifs: identifying GDSL hydrolases across the plant kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vujaklija, Ivan; Bielen, Ana; Paradžik, Tina; Biđin, Siniša; Goldstein, Pavle; Vujaklija, Dušica

    2016-02-18

    The massive accumulation of protein sequences arising from the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing, coupled with automatic annotation, results in high levels of incorrect annotations. In this study, we describe an approach to decrease annotation errors of protein families characterized by low overall sequence similarity. The GDSL lipolytic family comprises proteins with multifunctional properties and high potential for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. The number of proteins assigned to this family has increased rapidly over the last few years. In particular, the natural abundance of GDSL enzymes reported recently in plants indicates that they could be a good source of novel GDSL enzymes. We noticed that a significant proportion of annotated sequences lack specific GDSL motif(s) or catalytic residue(s). Here, we applied motif-based sequence analyses to identify enzymes possessing conserved GDSL motifs in selected proteomes across the plant kingdom. Motif-based HMM scanning (Viterbi decoding-VD and posterior decoding-PD) and the here described PD/VD protocol were successfully applied on 12 selected plant proteomes to identify sequences with GDSL motifs. A significant number of identified GDSL sequences were novel. Moreover, our scanning approach successfully detected protein sequences lacking at least one of the essential motifs (171/820) annotated by Pfam profile search (PfamA) as GDSL. Based on these analyses we provide a curated list of GDSL enzymes from the selected plants. CLANS clustering and phylogenetic analysis helped us to gain a better insight into the evolutionary relationship of all identified GDSL sequences. Three novel GDSL subfamilies as well as unreported variations in GDSL motifs were discovered in this study. In addition, analyses of selected proteomes showed a remarkable expansion of GDSL enzymes in the lycophyte, Selaginella moellendorffii. Finally, we provide a general motif-HMM scanner which is easily accessible through

  15. Prioritising Mangrove Ecosystem Services Results in Spatially Variable Management Priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Scott C; Jupiter, Stacy D; Adams, Vanessa M; Ingram, J Carter; Narayan, Siddharth; Klein, Carissa J; Possingham, Hugh P

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage) across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20%) for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs), prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme.

  16. Prioritising Mangrove Ecosystem Services Results in Spatially Variable Management Priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott C Atkinson

    Full Text Available Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20% for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs, prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme.

  17. Identifying and Reconciling Risk Across Sectors: The implications of differing views of risk in climate policy, environmental conservation, and the finance sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johns, T.; Henderson, I.; Thoumi, G.

    2014-12-01

    The presence and valuation of risk are commonalities that link the diverse fields of climate change science and policy, environmental conservation, and the financial/investment sector. However, the definition and perception of risks vary widely across these critically linked fields. The "Stranded Asset" concept developed by organizations like the Carbon Tracker Initiative begins to elucidate the links between climate change risk and financial risk. Stranded assets are those that may lose some or all value from climate disruption, changes in demand-side dynamics and/or a more stringent regulatory environment. In order to shift financial flows toward climate change mitigation, emissions-heavy activities that present finance and investment opportunities must also be assessed for their GHG-asset risk attributes in terms of their contribution and vulnerability to climate disruption, as well as other environmental externalities. Until the concept of GHG-asset risk in investment is reconciled with the risks of climate change and environmental conservation, it will not be possible to shift business and financial practices, and unlock private sector resources to address the climate change and conservation challenge. UNEP-FI is researching the application of the concept of Value-atRisk (VaR) to explore links between the financial sector and deforestation/REDD+. The research will test the hypothesis that climate risk is a financial risk, and propose tools to identify and quantify risks associated with unsustainable land-use investments. The tools developed in this research will help investors, managers and governments assess their exposures to the material REDD-related risks in their portfolios. This will inform the development of 'zero net deforestation' investment indices to allow investors to lower the 'deforestation' exposure of 'benchmark' financial indices used by many of the largest money managers. A VaR analysis will be performed, combining the notion of externality

  18. Priorities for Extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, J. A.

    Agricultural extension is one component in an array including research, training, education, marketing, international trade, etc. which develop together to bring about growth, and sustained growth determines the priorities for extension. These priorities depend inevitably on the stage of development of a country or region, and on the current…

  19. Priority in Process Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleaveland, Rance; Luettgen, Gerald; Natarajan, V.

    1999-01-01

    This paper surveys the semantic ramifications of extending traditional process algebras with notions of priority that allow for some transitions to be given precedence over others. These enriched formalisms allow one to model system features such as interrupts, prioritized choice, or real-time behavior. Approaches to priority in process algebras can be classified according to whether the induced notion of preemption on transitions is global or local and whether priorities are static or dynamic. Early work in the area concentrated on global pre-emption and static priorities and led to formalisms for modeling interrupts and aspects of real-time, such as maximal progress, in centralized computing environments. More recent research has investigated localized notions of pre-emption in which the distribution of systems is taken into account, as well as dynamic priority approaches, i.e., those where priority values may change as systems evolve. The latter allows one to model behavioral phenomena such as scheduling algorithms and also enables the efficient encoding of real-time semantics. Technically, this paper studies the different models of priorities by presenting extensions of Milner's Calculus of Communicating Systems (CCS) with static and dynamic priority as well as with notions of global and local pre- emption. In each case the operational semantics of CCS is modified appropriately, behavioral theories based on strong and weak bisimulation are given, and related approaches for different process-algebraic settings are discussed.

  20. Research Priorities in Spasmodic Dysphonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludlow, Christy L.; Adler, Charles H.; Berke, Gerald S.; Bielamowicz, Steven A.; Blitzer, Andrew; Bressman, Susan B.; Hallett, Mark; Jinnah, H. A.; Juergens, Uwe; Martin, Sandra B.; Perlmutter, Joel S.; Sapienza, Christine; Singleton, Andrew; Tanner, Caroline M.; Woodson, Gayle E.

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To identify research priorities for increasing understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis and improved treatment of spasmodic dysphonia. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING A multidisciplinary working group was formed including both scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines, otolaryngology, neurology, speech pathology, genetics and neuroscience, to review currently available information on spasmodic dysphonia and to identify research priorities. RESULTS Operational definitions for spasmodic dysphonia at different levels of certainty were recommended for diagnosis and recommendations made for a multi-center multidisciplinary validation study. CONCLUSIONS The highest priority is to characterize the disorder and identify risk factors that may contribute to its onset. Future research should compare and contrast spasmodic dysphonia with other forms of focal dystonia. Development of animal models is recommended to explore hypotheses related to pathogenesis. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of SD should provide the basis for developing new treatment options and exploratory clinical trials. SIGNIFICANCE This document should foster future research to improve the care of patients with this chronic debilitating voice and speech disorder by otolaryngology, neurology, and speech pathology. PMID:18922334

  1. Efficacy of the core DNA barcodes in identifying processed and poorly conserved plant materials commonly used in South African traditional medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ledile Mankga

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Medicinal plants cover a broad range of taxa, which may be phylogenetically less related but morphologically very similar. Such morphological similarity between species may lead to misidentification and inappropriate use. Also the substitution of a medicinal plant by a cheaper alternative (e.g. other non-medicinal plant species, either due to misidentification, or deliberately to cheat consumers, is an issue of growing concern. In this study, we used DNA barcoding to identify commonly used medicinal plants in South Africa. Using the core plant barcodes, matK and rbcLa, obtained from processed and poorly conserved materials sold at the muthi traditional medicine market, we tested efficacy of the barcodes in species discrimination. Based on genetic divergence, PCR amplification efficiency and BLAST algorithm, we revealed varied discriminatory potentials for the DNA barcodes. In general, the barcodes exhibited high discriminatory power, indicating their effectiveness in verifying the identity of the most common plant species traded in South African medicinal markets. BLAST algorithm successfully matched 61% of the queries against a reference database, suggesting that most of the information supplied by sellers at traditional medicinal markets in South Africa is correct. Our findings reinforce the utility of DNA barcoding technique in limiting false identification that can harm public health.

  2. Targeting N-Glycan Cryptic Sugar Moieties for Broad-Spectrum Virus Neutralization: Progress in Identifying Conserved Molecular Targets in Viruses of Distinct Phylogenetic Origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denong Wang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Identifying molecular targets for eliciting broadly virus-neutralizing antibodies is one of the key steps toward development of vaccines against emerging viral pathogens. Owing to genomic and somatic diversities among viral species, identifying protein targets for broad-spectrum virus neutralization is highly challenging even for the same virus, such as HIV-1. However, viruses rely on host glycosylation machineries to synthesize and express glycans and, thereby, may display common carbohydrate moieties. Thus, exploring glycan-binding profiles of broad-spectrum virus-neutralizing agents may provide key information to uncover the carbohydrate-based virus-neutralizing epitopes. In this study, we characterized two broadly HIV-neutralizing agents, human monoclonal antibody 2G12 and Galanthus nivalis lectin (GNA, for their viral targeting activities. Although these agents were known to be specific for oligomannosyl antigens, they differ strikingly in virus-binding activities. The former is HIV-1 specific; the latter is broadly reactive and is able to neutralize viruses of distinct phylogenetic origins, such as HIV-1, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV, and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV. In carbohydrate microarray analyses, we explored the molecular basis underlying the striking differences in the spectrum of anti-virus activities of the two probes. Unlike 2G12, which is strictly specific for the high-density Man9GlcNAc2Asn (Man9-clusters, GNA recognizes a number of N-glycan cryptic sugar moieties. These include not only the known oligomannosyl antigens but also previously unrecognized tri-antennary or multi-valent GlcNAc-terminating N-glycan epitopes (Tri/m-Gn. These findings highlight the potential of N-glycan cryptic sugar moieties as conserved targets for broad-spectrum virus neutralization and suggest the GNA-model of glycan-binding warrants focused investigation.

  3. Strategic conservation planning for the Eastern North Carolina/Southeastern Virginia Strategic Habitat Conservation Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander-Vaughn, Louise B.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Drew, C. Ashton

    2014-01-01

    The Eastern North Carolina/Southeastern Virginia Strategic Habitat Conservation Team (ENCSEVA) is a partnership among local federal agencies and programs with a mission to apply Strategic Habitat Conservation to accomplish priority landscape-level conservation within its geographic region. ENCSEVA seeks to further landscape-scale conservation through collaboration with local partners. To accomplish this mission, ENCSEVA is developing a comprehensive Strategic Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) to provide guidance for its members, partners, and collaborators by establishing mutual conservation goals, objectives, strategies, and metrics to gauge the success of conservation efforts. Identifying common goals allows the ENCSEVA team to develop strategies that leverage joint resources and are more likely to achieve desired impacts across the landscape. The Plan will also provide an approach for ENCSEVA to meet applied research needs (identify knowledge gaps), foster adaptive management principles, identify conservation priorities, prioritize threats (including potential impacts of climate change), and identify the required capacity to implement strategies to create more resilient landscapes. ENCSEVA seeks to support the overarching goals of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) and to provide scientific and technical support for conservation at landscape scales as well as inform the management of natural resources in response to shifts in climate, habitat fragmentation and loss, and other landscape-level challenges (South Atlantic LCC 2012). The ENCSEVA ecoregion encompasses the northern third of the SALCC geography and offers a unique opportunity to apply landscape conservation at multiple scales through the guidance of local conservation and natural resource management efforts and by reporting metrics that reflect the effectiveness of those efforts (Figure 1). The Environmental Decision Analysis Team, housed within the North Carolina Cooperative

  4. Comparative Genomics Identifies a Novel Conserved Protein, HpaT, in Proteobacterial Type III Secretion Systems that Do Not Possess the Putative Translocon Protein HrpF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Pesce

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Xanthomonas translucens is the causal agent of bacterial leaf streak, the most common bacterial disease of wheat and barley. To cause disease, most xanthomonads depend on a highly conserved type III secretion system, which translocates type III effectors into host plant cells. Mutagenesis of the conserved type III secretion gene hrcT confirmed that the X. translucens type III secretion system is required to cause disease on the host plant barley and to trigger a non-host hypersensitive response (HR in pepper leaves. Type III effectors are delivered to the host cell by a surface appendage, the Hrp pilus, and a translocon protein complex that inserts into the plant cell plasma membrane. Homologs of the Xanthomonas HrpF protein, including PopF from Ralstonia solanacearum and NolX from rhizobia, are thought to act as a translocon protein. Comparative genomics revealed that X. translucens strains harbor a noncanonical hrp gene cluster, which rather shares features with type III secretion systems from Ralstonia solanacearum, Paraburkholderia andropogonis, Collimonas fungivorans, and Uliginosibacterium gangwonense than other Xanthomonas spp. Surprisingly, none of these bacteria, except R. solanacearum, encode a homolog of the HrpF translocon. Here, we aimed at identifying a candidate translocon from X. translucens. Notably, genomes from strains that lacked hrpF/popF/nolX instead encode another gene, called hpaT, adjacent to and co-regulated with the type III secretion system gene cluster. An insertional mutant in the X. translucens hpaT gene, which is the first gene of a two-gene operon, hpaT-hpaH, was non-pathogenic on barley and did not cause the HR or programmed cell death in non-host pepper similar to the hrcT mutant. The hpaT mutant phenotypes were partially complemented by either hpaT or the downstream gene, hpaH, which has been described as a facilitator of translocation in Xanthomonas oryzae. Interestingly, the hpaT mutant was also complemented

  5. Research priorities for public mental health in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsman, Anna K; Wahlbeck, Kristian; Aarø, Leif Edvard

    2015-01-01

    experts were involved in the priority setting process. RESULTS: Twenty priorities for public mental health research were identified through the consensus process. The research priorities were divided into summary principles-encompassing overall recommendations for future public mental health research...... field. METHODS: Experts were invited to compile and discuss research priorities in a series of topic-based scientific workshops. In addition, a Delphi process was carried out to reach consensus on the list of research priorities and their rank order. Three web-based surveys were conducted. Nearly 60...... in Europe-and thematic research priorities, including area-specific top priorities on research topics and methods. The priorities represent three overarching goals mirroring societal challenges, that is, to identify causes, risk and protective factors for mental health across the lifespan; to advance...

  6. Enhancing the conservation of crop wild relatives in England.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Fielder

    Full Text Available Humans require resilient, rapidly renewable and sustainable supplies of food and many other plant-derived supplies. However, the combined effects of climate change and population growth compromise the provision of these supplies particularly in respect to global food security. Crop wild relatives (CWR contain higher genetic diversity than crops and harbour traits that can improve crop resilience and yield through plant breeding. However, in common with most countries, CWR are poorly conserved in England. There is currently no provision for long-term CWR conservation in situ, and comprehensive ex situ collection and storage of CWR is also lacking. However, there is a commitment to achieve their conservation in England's Biodiversity Strategy and the UK has international commitments to do so as part of the Global Plant Conservation Strategy. Here, we identify a series of measures that could enhance the conservation of English CWR, thereby supporting the achievement of these national and international objectives. We provide an inventory of 148 priority English CWR, highlight hotspots of CWR diversity in sites including The Lizard Peninsula, the Dorset coast and Cambridgeshire and suggest appropriate sites for the establishment of a complementary network of genetic reserves. We also identify individual in situ and ex situ priorities for each English CWR. Based on these analyses, we make recommendations whose implementation could provide effective, long-term conservation of English CWR whilst facilitating their use in crop improvement.

  7. Enhancing the conservation of crop wild relatives in England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielder, Hannah; Brotherton, Peter; Hosking, Julian; Hopkins, John J; Ford-Lloyd, Brian; Maxted, Nigel

    2015-01-01

    Humans require resilient, rapidly renewable and sustainable supplies of food and many other plant-derived supplies. However, the combined effects of climate change and population growth compromise the provision of these supplies particularly in respect to global food security. Crop wild relatives (CWR) contain higher genetic diversity than crops and harbour traits that can improve crop resilience and yield through plant breeding. However, in common with most countries, CWR are poorly conserved in England. There is currently no provision for long-term CWR conservation in situ, and comprehensive ex situ collection and storage of CWR is also lacking. However, there is a commitment to achieve their conservation in England's Biodiversity Strategy and the UK has international commitments to do so as part of the Global Plant Conservation Strategy. Here, we identify a series of measures that could enhance the conservation of English CWR, thereby supporting the achievement of these national and international objectives. We provide an inventory of 148 priority English CWR, highlight hotspots of CWR diversity in sites including The Lizard Peninsula, the Dorset coast and Cambridgeshire and suggest appropriate sites for the establishment of a complementary network of genetic reserves. We also identify individual in situ and ex situ priorities for each English CWR. Based on these analyses, we make recommendations whose implementation could provide effective, long-term conservation of English CWR whilst facilitating their use in crop improvement.

  8. Setting Research Priorities for Kidney Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jennifer M; Bhatt, Jaimin; Avery, Jonathan; Laupacis, Andreas; Cowan, Katherine; Basappa, Naveen S; Basiuk, Joan; Canil, Christina; Al-Asaaed, Sohaib; Heng, Daniel Y C; Wood, Lori; Stacey, Dawn; Kollmannsberger, Christian; Jewett, Michael A S

    2017-12-01

    Defining disease-specific research priorities in cancer can facilitate better allocation of limited resources. Involving patients and caregivers as well as expert clinicians in this process is of value. We undertook this approach for kidney cancer as an example. The Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada sponsored a collaborative consensus-based priority-setting partnership that identified ten research priorities in the management of kidney cancer. These are discussed in the context of current initiatives and gaps in knowledge. Copyright © 2017 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Identifying appropriate spatial scales for marine conservation and management using a larval dispersal model: The case of Concholepas concholepas (loco) in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garavelli, Lysel; Kaplan, David Michael; Colas, François; Stotz, Wolfgang; Yannicelli, Beatriz; Lett, Christophe

    2014-05-01

    Along the coast of Chile, fisheries targeting the marine gastropod Concholepas concholepas, commonly named “loco”, were highly valuable until the end of the 80s when catches declined significantly. Since the late 90s, a management plan based on territorial-user-rights areas has been implemented, with limited effect on stock recovery. More effective loco conservation and management is impeded by lack of information regarding connectivity via larval dispersal between these individually-managed areas. To develop a regional view of loco connectivity, we integrate loco life history information into a biophysical, individual-based larval dispersal model. This model is used to evaluate scales of loco connectivity and seasonality in connectivity patterns, as well as to partition the coast into largely disconnected subpopulations using a recently developed connectivity-matrix clustering algorithm. We find mean dispersal distances ranging from 170 to 220 km depending on release depth of larvae and planktonic larval duration. Settlement success levels depend quantitatively on the physical and biological processes included in the model, but connectivity patterns remain qualitatively similar. Model estimates of settlement success peak for larval release dates in late austral autumn, consistent with field results and with favorable conditions for larval coastal retention due to weak upwelling during austral autumn. Despite the relatively homogeneous Chilean coastline, distinct subpopulations with minimal connectivity between them are readily identifiable. Barriers to connectivity that are robust to changes in model configuration exist at 23°S and 29°S latitudes. These zones are all associated with important headlands and embayments of the Chilean coast.

  10. Priorities of statutory claimants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pawluck, B.K.; Prowse, J.T.

    1996-01-01

    The statutory rights that unpaid creditors have when an oil or gas operator is placed in bankruptcy, were evaluated. Those statutory rights may give priority to their claims against the operator. Fifteen topics dealing with statutory priorities were examined, focusing on the change in priorities which would occur if the insolvent operator were placed in bankruptcy. The topics were: (1) Summary of statutory federal and provincial priorities, (2) Revenue Canada - source deductions/deemed trust, (3) Revenue Canada - source deductions/enhanced requirement to pay, (4) Revenue Canada - goods and service tax (GST)/deemed trust, (5) Revenue Canada - GST/enhanced requirement to pay, (6) Federal income taxes, (7) Validity of provincially legislated priority provisions in bankruptcy, (8) Provincially authorized municipal taxes - real property, (9) Provincial workers' compensation board, (10) Provincially legislated wages, overtime pay and holiday pay, (11) Provincially legislated severance/termination pay, (12) Provincially legislated successor employer obligations, (13) Provincially legislated private employment pension plans, (14) Provincial health care insurance premiums, and (15) Provincial freehold mineral rights tax

  11. Priority setting: what constitutes success? A conceptual framework for successful priority setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibbald, Shannon L; Singer, Peter A; Upshur, Ross; Martin, Douglas K

    2009-03-05

    The sustainability of healthcare systems worldwide is threatened by a growing demand for services and expensive innovative technologies. Decision makers struggle in this environment to set priorities appropriately, particularly because they lack consensus about which values should guide their decisions. One way to approach this problem is to determine what all relevant stakeholders understand successful priority setting to mean. The goal of this research was to develop a conceptual framework for successful priority setting. Three separate empirical studies were completed using qualitative data collection methods (one-on-one interviews with healthcare decision makers from across Canada; focus groups with representation of patients, caregivers and policy makers; and Delphi study including scholars and decision makers from five countries). This paper synthesizes the findings from three studies into a framework of ten separate but interconnected elements germane to successful priority setting: stakeholder understanding, shifted priorities/reallocation of resources, decision making quality, stakeholder acceptance and satisfaction, positive externalities, stakeholder engagement, use of explicit process, information management, consideration of values and context, and revision or appeals mechanism. The ten elements specify both quantitative and qualitative dimensions of priority setting and relate to both process and outcome components. To our knowledge, this is the first framework that describes successful priority setting. The ten elements identified in this research provide guidance for decision makers and a common language to discuss priority setting success and work toward improving priority setting efforts.

  12. Setting priorities for ambient air quality objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-10-01

    Alberta has ambient air quality objectives in place for several pollutants, toxic substances and other air quality parameters. A process is in place to determine if additional air quality objectives are required or if existing objectives should be changed. In order to identify the highest priority substances that may require an ambient air quality objective to protect ecosystems and public health, a rigorous, transparent and cost effective priority setting methodology is required. This study reviewed, analyzed and assessed successful priority setting techniques used by other jurisdictions. It proposed an approach for setting ambient air quality objective priorities that integrates the concerns of stakeholders with Alberta Environment requirements. A literature and expert review were used to examine existing priority-setting techniques used by other jurisdictions. An analysis process was developed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various techniques and their ability to take into account the complete pathway between chemical emissions and damage to human health or the environment. The key strengths and weaknesses of each technique were identified. Based on the analysis, the most promising technique was the tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts (TRACI). Several considerations for using TRACI to help set priorities for ambient air quality objectives were also presented. 26 refs, 8 tabs., 4 appendices

  13. Second cancers after conservative surgery and radiation for stages I-II breast cancer: identifying a subset of women at increased risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fowble, Barbara; Hanlon, Alexandra; Freedman, Gary; Nicolaou, Nicos; Anderson, Penny

    2001-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the risk and patterns of second malignancy in a group of women treated with conservative surgery and radiation in a relatively contemporary manner for early-stage invasive breast cancer, and to identify a subgroup of these women at increased risk for a second cancer. Methods and Materials: From 1978 to 1994, 1,253 women with unilateral Stage I-II breast cancer underwent wide excision, axillary dissection, and radiation. The median follow-up was 8.9 years, with 446 patients followed for ≥10 years. The median age was 55 years. Sixty-eight percent had T1 tumors and 74% were axillary-node negative. Radiation was directed to the breast only in 78%. Adjuvant therapy consisted of chemotherapy in 19%, tamoxifen in 19%, and both in 8%. Factors analyzed for their association with the cumulative incidence of all second malignancies, contralateral breast cancer, and non-breast cancer malignancy were: age, menopausal status, race, family history, obesity, smoking, tumor size, location, histology, pathologic nodal status, region(s) treated with radiation, and the use and type of adjuvant therapy. Results: One hundred seventy-six women developed a second malignancy (87 contralateral breast cancers at a median interval of 5.8 years, and 98 non-breast cancer malignancies at a median interval of 7.2 years). Nine women had both a contralateral breast cancer and non-breast cancer second malignancy. The 5- and 10-year cumulative incidences of a second malignancy were 5% and 16% for all cancers, 3% and 7% for contralateral breast cancer, 3% and 8%, for all second non-breast cancer malignancies, and 1% and 5%, respectively, for second non-breast cancer malignancies, excluding skin cancers. Patient age was a significant factor for contralateral breast cancer and non-breast cancer second malignancy. Young age was associated with an increased risk of contralateral breast cancer, while older age was associated with an increased the risk of a second non-breast cancer

  14. Consumer design priorities for upper limb prosthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddiss, Elaine; Beaton, Dorcas; Chau, Tom

    2007-11-01

    To measure consumer satisfaction with upper limb prosthetics and provide an enumerated list of design priorities for future developments. A self-administered, anonymous survey collected information on participant demographics, history of and goals for prosthesis use, satisfaction, and design priorities. The questionnaire was available online and in paper format and was distributed through healthcare providers, community support groups, and one prosthesis manufacturer; 242 participants of all ages and levels of upper limb absence completed the survey. Rates of rejection for myoelectric hands, passive hands, and body-powered hooks were 39%, 53%, and 50%, respectively. Prosthesis wearers were generally satisfied with their devices while prosthesis rejecters were dissatisfied. Reduced prosthesis weight emerged as the highest priority design concern of consumers. Lower cost ranked within the top five design priorities for adult wearers of all device types. Life-like appearance is a priority for passive/cosmetic prostheses, while improved harness comfort, wrist movement, grip control and strength are required for body-powered devices. Glove durability, lack of sensory feedback, and poor dexterity were also identified as design priorities for electric devices. Design priorities reflect consumer goals for prosthesis use and vary depending on the type of prosthesis used and age. Future design efforts should focus on the development of more light-weight, comfortable prostheses.

  15. The priorities for ANSTO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnett, H.M.

    1999-01-01

    As Australia's major centre of expertise in nuclear science, technology and its applications, ANSTO's priorities take account of the stated strategic and tactical needs of its various stakeholders, which in turn are considered as the Government (as owner), industry - including the health sector, the academic and research community and the public at large. Its priorities also take account of the opportunities perceived by its own staff in the light of the organisation's strengths, the activities of the international scientific, technology and industry community and a rapidly changing socioeconomic environment where environmental management and social accountability are becoming as important as fiscal responsibility and accountability

  16. Refugia: identifying and understanding safe havens for biodiversity under climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keppel, G.; Niel, Van K.P.; Wardell-Johnson, G.W.; Yates, C.J.; Byrne, M.; Mucina, L.; Schut, A.G.T.; Hopper, S.D.; Franklin, S.E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Identifying and protecting refugia is a priority for conservation under projected anthropogenic climate change, because of their demonstrated ability to facilitate the survival of biota under adverse conditions. Refugia are habitats that components of biodiversity retreat to, persist in and can

  17. Deletion of a conserved regulatory element required for Hmx1 expression in craniofacial mesenchyme in the dumbo rat: a newly identified cause of congenital ear malformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lely A. Quina

    2012-11-01

    Hmx1 is a homeodomain transcription factor expressed in the developing eye, peripheral ganglia, and branchial arches of avian and mammalian embryos. Recent studies have identified a loss-of-function allele at the HMX1 locus as the causative mutation in the oculo-auricular syndrome (OAS in humans, characterized by ear and eye malformations. The mouse dumbo (dmbo mutation, with similar effects on ear and eye development, also results from a loss-of-function mutation in the Hmx1 gene. A recessive dmbo mutation causing ear malformation in rats has been mapped to the chromosomal region containing the Hmx1 gene, but the nature of the causative allele is unknown. Here we show that dumbo rats and mice exhibit similar neonatal ear and eye phenotypes. In midgestation embryos, dumbo rats show a specific loss of Hmx1 expression in neural-crest-derived craniofacial mesenchyme (CM, whereas Hmx1 is expressed normally in retinal progenitors, sensory ganglia and in CM, which is derived from mesoderm. High-throughput resequencing of 1 Mb of rat chromosome 14 from dmbo/dmbo rats, encompassing the Hmx1 locus, reveals numerous divergences from the rat genomic reference sequence, but no coding changes in Hmx1. Fine genetic mapping narrows the dmbo critical region to an interval of ∼410 kb immediately downstream of the Hmx1 transcription unit. Further sequence analysis of this region reveals a 5777-bp deletion located ∼80 kb downstream in dmbo/dmbo rats that is not apparent in 137 other rat strains. The dmbo deletion region contains a highly conserved domain of ∼500 bp, which is a candidate distal enhancer and which exhibits a similar relationship to Hmx genes in all vertebrate species for which data are available. We conclude that the rat dumbo phenotype is likely to result from loss of function of an ultraconserved enhancer specifically regulating Hmx1 expression in neural-crest-derived CM. Dysregulation of Hmx1 expression is thus a candidate mechanism for congenital ear

  18. Setting research priorities for Type 1 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadsby, R; Snow, R; Daly, A C; Crowe, S; Matyka, K; Hall, B; Petrie, J

    2012-10-01

    Research priorities are often set by academic researchers or the pharmaceutical industry. The interests of patients, carers and clinicians may therefore be overlooked and research questions that matter may be neglected. The aims of this study were to collect uncertainties about the treatment of Type 1 diabetes from patients, carers and health professionals, and to collate and prioritize these uncertainties to develop a top 10 list of research priorities, using a structured priority-setting partnership of patients, carers, health professionals and diabetes organizations, as described by the James Lind Alliance. A partnership of interested organizations was set up, and from this a steering committee of 10 individuals was formed. An online and paper survey was used to identify uncertainties. These were collated, and the steering group carried out an interim priority-setting exercise with partner organizations. This group of uncertainties was then voted on to give a smaller list that went forward to the final priority-setting workshop. At this meeting, a final list of the top 10 research priorities was agreed. An initial 1141 uncertainties were described. These were reduced to 88 indicative questions, 47 of which went out for voting. Twenty-four were then taken forward to a final priority-setting workshop. This workshop resulted in a list of top 10 research priorities in Type 1 diabetes. We have shown that it is possible using the James Lind Alliance process to develop an agreed top 10 list of research priorities for Type 1 diabetes from health professionals, patients and carers. © 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.

  19. Fast meldable priority queues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting

    1995-01-01

    We present priority queues that support the operations Find-Min, Insert, MakeQueue and Meld in worst case time O(1) and Delete and DeleteMin in worst case time O(log n). They can be implemented on the pointer machine and require linear space. The time bounds are optimal for all implementations wh...

  20. Polling, production & priorities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winands, E.M.M.

    2007-01-01

    Polling, Production & Priorities The present monograph focuses on the so-called stochastic economic lot scheduling problem (SELSP), which deals with the make-to-stock production of multiple standardized products on a single machine with limited capacity under random demands, possibly random setup

  1. Constraints of philanthropy on determining the distribution of biodiversity conservation funding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Eric R; Howell, Stephen; Kareiva, Peter; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-02-01

    Caught between ongoing habitat destruction and funding shortfalls, conservation organizations are using systematic planning approaches to identify places that offer the highest biodiversity return per dollar invested. However, available tools do not account for the landscape of funding for conservation or quantify the constraints this landscape imposes on conservation outcomes. Using state-level data on philanthropic giving to and investments in land conservation by a large nonprofit organization, we applied linear regression to evaluate whether the spatial distribution of conservation philanthropy better explained expenditures on conservation than maps of biodiversity priorities, which were derived from a planning process internal to the organization and return on investment (ROI) analyses based on data on species richness, land costs, and existing protected areas. Philanthropic fund raising accounted for considerably more spatial variation in conservation spending (r(2) = 0.64) than either of the 2 systematic conservation planning approaches (r(2) = 0.08-0.21). We used results of one of the ROI analyses to evaluate whether increases in flexibility to reallocate funding across space provides conservation gains. Small but plausible "tax" increments of 1-10% on states redistributed to the optimal funding allocation from the ROI analysis could result in gains in endemic species protected of 8.5-80.2%. When such increases in spatial flexibility are not possible, conservation organizations should seek to cultivate increased support for conservation in priority locations. We used lagged correlations of giving to and spending by the organization to evaluate whether investments in habitat protection stimulate future giving to conservation. The most common outcome at the state level was that conservation spending quarters correlated significantly and positively with lagged fund raising quarters. In effect, periods of high fund raising for biodiversity followed (rather than

  2. Identifying Corridors among Large Protected Areas in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Travis Belote

    Full Text Available Conservation scientists emphasize the importance of maintaining a connected network of protected areas to prevent ecosystems and populations from becoming isolated, reduce the risk of extinction, and ultimately sustain biodiversity. Keeping protected areas connected in a network is increasingly recognized as a conservation priority in the current era of rapid climate change. Models that identify suitable linkages between core areas have been used to prioritize potentially important corridors for maintaining functional connectivity. Here, we identify the most "natural" (i.e., least human-modified corridors between large protected areas in the contiguous Unites States. We aggregated results from multiple connectivity models to develop a composite map of corridors reflecting agreement of models run under different assumptions about how human modification of land may influence connectivity. To identify which land units are most important for sustaining structural connectivity, we used the composite map of corridors to evaluate connectivity priorities in two ways: (1 among land units outside of our pool of large core protected areas and (2 among units administratively protected as Inventoried Roadless (IRAs or Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs. Corridor values varied substantially among classes of "unprotected" non-core land units, and land units of high connectivity value and priority represent diverse ownerships and existing levels of protections. We provide a ranking of IRAs and WSAs that should be prioritized for additional protection to maintain minimal human modification. Our results provide a coarse-scale assessment of connectivity priorities for maintaining a connected network of protected areas.

  3. Exploring spatial patterns of vulnerability for diverse biodiversity descriptors in regional conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimal, Ruppert; Pluvinet, Pascal; Sacca, Céline; Mazagol, Pierre-Olivier; Etlicher, Bernard; Thompson, John D

    2012-03-01

    In this study, we developed a multi-criteria assessment of spatial variability of the vulnerability of three different biodiversity descriptors: sites of high conservation interest by virtue of the presence of rare or remarkable species, extensive areas of high ecological integrity, and landscape diversity in grid cells across an entire region. We assessed vulnerability in relation to (a) direct threats in and around sites to a distance of 2 km associated with intensive agriculture, building and road infrastructure and (b) indirect effects of human population density on a wider scale (50 km). The different combinations of biodiversity and threat indicators allowed us to set differential priorities for biodiversity conservation and assess their spatial variation. For example, with this method we identified sites and grid cells which combined high biodiversity with either high threat values or low threat values for the three different biodiversity indicators. In these two classes the priorities for conservation planning will be different, reduce threat values in the former and restrain any increase in the latter. We also identified low priority sites (low biodiversity with either high or low threats). This procedure thus allows for the integration of a spatial ranking of vulnerability into priority setting for regional conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Integrating biological and social values when prioritizing places for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Amy L; Kujala, Heini; Ives, Christopher D; Gordon, Ascelin; Lentini, Pia E; Wintle, Brendan A; Nicholson, Emily; Raymond, Christopher M

    2014-08-01

    The consideration of information on social values in conjunction with biological data is critical for achieving both socially acceptable and scientifically defensible conservation planning outcomes. However, the influence of social values on spatial conservation priorities has received limited attention and is poorly understood. We present an approach that incorporates quantitative data on social values for conservation and social preferences for development into spatial conservation planning. We undertook a public participation GIS survey to spatially represent social values and development preferences and used species distribution models for 7 threatened fauna species to represent biological values. These spatially explicit data were simultaneously included in the conservation planning software Zonation to examine how conservation priorities changed with the inclusion of social data. Integrating spatially explicit information about social values and development preferences with biological data produced prioritizations that differed spatially from the solution based on only biological data. However, the integrated solutions protected a similar proportion of the species' distributions, indicating that Zonation effectively combined the biological and social data to produce socially feasible conservation solutions of approximately equivalent biological value. We were able to identify areas of the landscape where synergies and conflicts between different value sets are likely to occur. Identification of these synergies and conflicts will allow decision makers to target communication strategies to specific areas and ensure effective community engagement and positive conservation outcomes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. 1991 Acceptance priority ranking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-12-01

    The Standard Contract for Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and/or High- Level Radioactive Waste (10 CFR Part 961) that the Department of Energy (DOE) has executed with the owners and generators of civilian spent nuclear fuel requires annual publication of the Acceptance Priority Ranking (APR). The 1991 APR details the order in which DOE will allocate Federal waste acceptance capacity. As required by the Standard Contract, the ranking is based on the age of permanently discharged spent nuclear fuel (SNF), with the owners of the oldest SNF, on an industry-wide basis, given the highest priority. the 1991 APR will be the basis for the annual allocation of waste acceptance capacity to the Purchasers in the 1991 Annual Capacity Report (ACR), to be issued later this year. This document is based on SNF discharges as of December 31, 1990, and reflects Purchaser comments and corrections, as appropriate, to the draft APR issued on May 15, 1991

  6. Small RNA analysis in Petunia hybrida identifies unusual tissue-specific expression patterns of conserved miRNAs and of a 24mer RNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedder, Philip; Zubko, Elena; Westhead, David R.; Meyer, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Two pools of small RNAs were cloned from inflorescences of Petunia hybrida using a 5′-ligation dependent and a 5′-ligation independent approach. The two libraries were integrated into a public website that allows the screening of individual sequences against 359,769 unique clones. The library contains 15 clones with 100% identity and 53 clones with one mismatch to miRNAs described for other plant species. For two conserved miRNAs, miR159 and miR390, we find clear differences in tissue-specific distribution, compared with other species. This shows that evolutionary conservation of miRNA sequences does not necessarily include a conservation of the miRNA expression profile. Almost 60% of all clones in the database are 24-nucleotide clones. In accordance with the role of 24mers in marking repetitive regions, we find them distributed across retroviral and transposable element sequences but other 24mers map to promoter regions and to different transcript regions. For one target region we observe tissue-specific variation of matching 24mers, which demonstrates that, as for 21mers, 24mer concentrations are not necessarily identical in different tissues. Asymmetric distribution of a putative novel miRNA in the two libraries suggests that the cloning method can be selective for the representation of certain small RNAs in a collection. PMID:19369427

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A Neugarten

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Green knowledge exchange Turkey-The Netherlands : priority issues identified for cooperation in the field of biodiversity protection and conservation : interviews with experts from Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations based in Turkey and based in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, C.; Koopmanschap, E.M.J.

    2009-01-01

    As a consequence of its geographical location Turkey is very rich in biodiversity; its flora is richest, both in terms of overall plant diversity and level of endemism compared to Europe, North Africa, or countries in the Middle East. This report gives an overview of important biodiversity issues in

  10. Ecoregion-Based Conservation Planning in the Mediterranean: Dealing with Large-Scale Heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Sini, Maria; Gerovasileiou, Vasilis; Mazor, Tessa; Beher, Jutta; Possingham, Hugh P.; Abdulla, Ameer; Çinar, Melih Ertan; Dendrinos, Panagiotis; Gucu, Ali Cemal; Karamanlidis, Alexandros A.; Rodic, Petra; Panayotidis, Panayotis; Taskin, Ergun; Jaklin, Andrej; Voultsiadou, Eleni; Webster, Chloë; Zenetos, Argyro; Katsanevakis, Stelios

    2013-01-01

    Spatial priorities for the conservation of three key Mediterranean habitats, i.e. seagrass Posidonia oceanica meadows, coralligenous formations, and marine caves, were determined through a systematic planning approach. Available information on the distribution of these habitats across the entire Mediterranean Sea was compiled to produce basin-scale distribution maps. Conservation targets for each habitat type were set according to European Union guidelines. Surrogates were used to estimate the spatial variation of opportunity cost for commercial, non-commercial fishing, and aquaculture. Marxan conservation planning software was used to evaluate the comparative utility of two planning scenarios: (a) a whole-basin scenario, referring to selection of priority areas across the whole Mediterranean Sea, and (b) an ecoregional scenario, in which priority areas were selected within eight predefined ecoregions. Although both scenarios required approximately the same total area to be protected in order to achieve conservation targets, the opportunity cost differed between them. The whole-basin scenario yielded a lower opportunity cost, but the Alboran Sea ecoregion was not represented and priority areas were predominantly located in the Ionian, Aegean, and Adriatic Seas. In comparison, the ecoregional scenario resulted in a higher representation of ecoregions and a more even distribution of priority areas, albeit with a higher opportunity cost. We suggest that planning at the ecoregional level ensures better representativeness of the selected conservation features and adequate protection of species, functional, and genetic diversity across the basin. While there are several initiatives that identify priority areas in the Mediterranean Sea, our approach is novel as it combines three issues: (a) it is based on the distribution of habitats and not species, which was rarely the case in previous efforts, (b) it considers spatial variability of cost throughout this

  11. DNA from the past informs ex situ conservation for the future: an "extinct" species of Galápagos tortoise identified in captivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A Russello

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although not unusual to find captive relicts of species lost in the wild, rarely are presumed extinct species rediscovered outside of their native range. A recent study detected living descendents of an extinct Galápagos tortoise species (Chelonoidis elephantopus once endemic to Floreana Island on the neighboring island of Isabela. This finding adds to the growing cryptic diversity detected among these species in the wild. There also exists a large number of Galápagos tortoises in captivity of ambiguous origin. The recently accumulated population-level haplotypic and genotypic data now available for C. elephantopus add a critical reference population to the existing database of 11 extant species for investigating the origin of captive individuals of unknown ancestry.We reanalyzed mitochondrial DNA control region haplotypes and microsatellite genotypes of 156 captive individuals using an expanded reference database that included all extant Galápagos tortoise species as well as the extinct species from Floreana. Nine individuals (six females and three males exhibited strong signatures of Floreana ancestry and a high probability of assignment to C. elephantopus as detected by Bayesian assignment and clustering analyses of empirical and simulated data. One male with high assignment probability to C. elephantopus based on microsatellite genotypic data also possessed a "Floreana-like" mitochondrial DNA haplotype.Historical DNA analysis of museum specimens has provided critical spatial and temporal components to ecological, evolutionary, taxonomic and conservation-related research, but rarely has it informed ex situ species recovery efforts. Here, the availability of population-level genotypic data from the extinct C. elephantopus enabled the identification of nine Galápagos tortoise individuals of substantial conservation value that were previously misassigned to extant species of varying conservation status. As all captive individuals of C

  12. A Survey on Priority Queues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting

    2013-01-01

    Back in 1964 Williams introduced the binary heap as a basic priority queue data structure supporting the operations Insert and ExtractMin in logarithmic time. Since then numerous papers have been published on priority queues. This paper tries to list some of the directions research on priority qu...

  13. Documenting biogeographical patterns of African timber species using herbarium records: a conservation perspective based on native trees from Angola.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria M Romeiras

    Full Text Available In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain

  14. Documenting biogeographical patterns of African timber species using herbarium records: a conservation perspective based on native trees from Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeiras, Maria M; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

    2014-01-01

    In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to

  15. Landscape change and conservation priorities: Mexican herpetofaunal perspectives at local and regional scales Cambios en el paisaje y prioridades de conservación: una perspectiva herpetofaunística mexicana a escalas local y regional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jesús Sigala-Rodríguez

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have demonstrated historical human impact on biodiversity at local and regional scales, largely due to lack of baseline information and long term monitoring for most taxa. In 1958 and 1959 researchers from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ visited the Mexican state of Aguascalientes and increased its documented amphibian and reptile fauna from 21 to 30 species. Using MVZ collections, field notes, and landscape photographs taken during that expedition, we resurveyed those same localities in 2004 to document herpetofaunal changes coincident with greatly increased human activities. Despite its small area, Aguascalientes encompasses several biogeographic regions and the threat of local extinction at species' distributional limits has broader implications for regional biotas. New discoveries raise to 71 the number of species known for that state, but our comparisons suggest a gloomy future for amphibians and reptiles in Aguascalientes. Paradoxically, human impact is managed primarily at state and municipal levels, often devoid of locally relevant context. Our findings illustrate the conservation value of intensive small-scale studies, focused on the natural history of particular species and localities, as complements to large-scale biodiversity assessments on country wide and continental scales.Pocos estudios han demostrado el impacto humano histórico en la biodiversidad a escalas local y regional debido a la carencia de monitoreo para la mayoría de los grupos taxonómicos. En 1958 y 1959 investigadores del Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ visitaron Aguascalientes, México y elevaron de 21 hasta 30 el número de especies de anfibios y reptiles para el estado. Usando la colección, notas de campo y fotografías de paisaje tomadas durante esas expediciones, visitamos esas localidades en 2004 para documentar cambios en la herpetofauna asociados con el incremento en actividades humanas. En Aguascalientes se encuentran varias regiones

  16. The role of macroinvertebrates for conservation of freshwater systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Carolina; Ovando, Ximena M C; Loyola, Rafael; Izquierdo, Andrea; Romero, Fátima; Molineri, Carlos; Rodríguez, José; Rueda Martín, Paola; Fernández, Hugo; Manzo, Verónica; Miranda, María José

    2017-07-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened ecosystems worldwide. Argentinian-protected areas have been established mainly to protect vertebrates and plants in terrestrial ecosystems. In order to create a comprehensive biodiverse conservation plan, it is crucial to integrate both aquatic and terrestrial systems and to include macroinvertebrates. Here, we address this topic by proposing priority areas of conservation including invertebrates, aquatic ecosystems, and their connectivity and land uses. Northwest of Argentina. We modeled the ecological niches of different taxa of macroinvertebrates such as Coleoptera, Ephemeroptera, Hemiptera, Megaloptera, Lepidoptera, Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Acari, and Mollusca. Based on these models, we analyzed the contribution of currently established protected areas in the conservation of the aquatic biodiversity and we propose a spatial prioritization taking into account possible conflict regarding different land uses. Our analysis units were the real watersheds, to which were added longitudinal connectivity up and down the rivers. A total of 132 species were modeled in the priority area analyses. The analysis 1 showed that only an insignificant percentage of the macroinvertebrates distribution is within the protected areas in the North West of Argentina. The analyses 2 and 3 recovered similar values of protection for the macroinvertebrate species. The upper part of Bermejo, Salí-Dulce, San Francisco, and the Upper part of Juramento basins were identified as priority areas of conservation. The aquatic ecosystems need special protection and 10% or even as much as 17% of land conservation is insufficient for species of macroinvertebrates. In turn the protected areas need to combine the aquatic and terrestrial systems and need to include macroinvertebrates as a key group to sustain the biodiversity. In many cases, the land uses are in conflict with the conservation of biodiversity; however, it is possible to apply the

  17. Prioritizing conservation areas for coastal plant diversity under increasing urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxa, Aggeliki; Albert, Cécile Hélène; Leriche, Agathe; Saatkamp, Arne

    2017-10-01

    Coastal urban expansion will continue to drive further biodiversity losses, if conservation targets for coastal ecosystems are not defined and met. Prioritizing areas for future protected area networks is thus an urgent task in such urbanization-threatened ecosystems. Our aim is to quantify past and future losses of coastal vegetation priority areas due to urbanization and assess the effectiveness of the existing protected area network for conservation. We conduct a prioritization analysis, based on 82 coastal plants, including common and IUCN red list species, in a highly-urbanized but biotically diverse region, in South-Eastern France. We evaluate the role of protected areas, by taking into account both strict and multi-use areas. We assess the impact of past and future urbanization on high priority areas, by combining prioritization analyses and urbanization models. We show that half of the highly diverse areas have already been lost due to urbanization. Remaining top priority areas are also among the most exposed to future urban expansion. The effectiveness of the existing protected area (PA) network is only partial. While strict PAs coincide well with top priority areas, they only represent less than one third of priority areas. The effectiveness of multi-use PAs, such as the Natura 2000 network, also remains limited. Our approach highlights the impact of urbanization on plant conservation targets. By modelling urbanization, we manage to identify those areas where protection could be more efficient to limit further losses. We suggest to use our approach in the future to expand the PA network in order to achieve the 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Conservation businesses and conservation planning in a biological diversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Minin, Enrico; Macmillan, Douglas Craig; Goodman, Peter Styan; Escott, Boyd; Slotow, Rob; Moilanen, Atte

    2013-08-01

    The allocation of land to biological diversity conservation competes with other land uses and the needs of society for development, food, and extraction of natural resources. Trade-offs between biological diversity conservation and alternative land uses are unavoidable, given the realities of limited conservation resources and the competing demands of society. We developed a conservation-planning assessment for the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, which forms the central component of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biological diversity hotspot. Our objective was to enhance biological diversity protection while promoting sustainable development and providing spatial guidance in the resolution of potential policy conflicts over priority areas for conservation at risk of transformation. The conservation-planning assessment combined spatial-distribution models for 646 conservation features, spatial economic-return models for 28 alternative land uses, and spatial maps for 4 threats. Nature-based tourism businesses were competitive with other land uses and could provide revenues of >US$60 million/year to local stakeholders and simultaneously help meeting conservation goals for almost half the conservation features in the planning region. Accounting for opportunity costs substantially decreased conflicts between biological diversity, agricultural use, commercial forestry, and mining. Accounting for economic benefits arising from conservation and reducing potential policy conflicts with alternative plans for development can provide opportunities for successful strategies that combine conservation and sustainable development and facilitate conservation action. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Identifying species threat hotspots from global supply chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Daniel; Kanemoto, Keiichiro

    2017-01-04

    Identifying hotspots of species threat has been a successful approach for setting conservation priorities. One important challenge in conservation is that, in many hotspots, export industries continue to drive overexploitation. Conservation measures must consider not just the point of impact, but also the consumer demand that ultimately drives resource use. To understand which species threat hotspots are driven by which consumers, we have developed a new approach to link a set of biodiversity footprint accounts to the hotspots of threatened species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The result is a map connecting consumption to spatially explicit hotspots driven by production on a global scale. Locating biodiversity threat hotspots driven by consumption of goods and services can help to connect conservationists, consumers, companies and governments in order to better target conservation actions.

  20. Scientists’ perspectives on global ocean research priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murray Alan Rudd

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Diverse natural and social science research is needed to support policies to recover and sustain healthy oceans. While a wide variety of expert-led prioritization initiatives have identified research themes and priorities at national and regional scale, over the past several years there has also been a surge in the number of scanning exercises that have identified important environmental research questions and issues ‘from the bottom-up’. From those questions, winnowed from thousands of contributions by scientists and policy-makers around the world who participated in terrestrial, aquatic and domain-specific horizon scanning and big question exercises, I identified 657 research questions potentially important for informing decisions regarding ocean governance and sustainability. These were distilled to a short list of 67 distinctive research questions that, in an internet survey, were ranked by 2179 scientists from 94 countries. Five of the top 10 research priorities were shared by respondents globally. Despite significant differences between physical and ecological scientists’ priorities regarding specific research questions, they shared seven common priorities among their top 10. Social scientists’ priorities were, however, much different, highlighting their research focus on managerial solutions to ocean challenges and questions regarding the role of human behavior and values in attaining ocean sustainability. The results from this survey provide a comprehensive and timely assessment of current ocean research priorities among research-active scientists but highlight potential challenges in stimulating crossdisciplinary research. As ocean and coastal research necessarily becomes more transdisciplinary to address complex ocean challenges, it will be critical for scientists and research funders to understand how scientists from different disciplines and regions might collaborate and strengthen the overall evidence base for ocean

  1. 15 CFR 700.11 - Priority ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NATIONAL SECURITY INDUSTRIAL BASE REGULATIONS DEFENSE PRIORITIES AND ALLOCATIONS SYSTEM Industrial Priorities § 700.11 Priority ratings. (a) Levels of...

  2. The Activity of Escherichia coli Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Is Dependent on a Conserved Loop Identified by Sequence Homology, Mutagenesis, and Limited Proteolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Björnberg, Olof; Grüner, Anne Charlotte; Roepstorff, Peter

    1999-01-01

    of dihydroorotate dehydrogenases, but sedimentation in sucrose gradients suggests a dimeric structure also of the E. coli enzyme. Product inhibition showed that the E. coli enzyme, in contrast to the L. lactis enzyme, has separate binding sites for dihydroorotate and the electron acceptor. Trypsin readily cleaved...... the E. coli enzyme into two fragments of 182 and 154 residues, respectively. Cleavage reduced the activity more than 100-fold but left other molecular properties, including the heat stability, intact. The trypsin cleavage site, at R182, is positioned in a conserved region that, in the L. lactis enzyme......, forms a loop where a cysteine residue is very critical for activity. In the corresponding position, the enzyme from E. coli has a serine residue. Mutagenesis of this residue (S175) to alanine or cysteine reduced the activities 10000- and 500-fold, respectively. The S175C mutant was also defective...

  3. Phylogenetic analysis and protein structure modelling identifies distinct Ca(2+)/Cation antiporters and conservation of gene family structure within Arabidopsis and rice species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Jon K; Hirschi, Kendal D

    2016-12-01

    The Ca(2+)/Cation Antiporter (CaCA) superfamily is an ancient and widespread family of ion-coupled cation transporters found in nearly all kingdoms of life. In animals, K(+)-dependent and K(+)-indendent Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchangers (NCKX and NCX) are important CaCA members. Recently it was proposed that all rice and Arabidopsis CaCA proteins should be classified as NCX proteins. Here we performed phylogenetic analysis of CaCA genes and protein structure homology modelling to further characterise members of this transporter superfamily. Phylogenetic analysis of rice and Arabidopsis CaCAs in comparison with selected CaCA members from non-plant species demonstrated that these genes form clearly distinct families, with the H(+)/Cation exchanger (CAX) and cation/Ca(2+) exchanger (CCX) families dominant in higher plants but the NCKX and NCX families absent. NCX-related Mg(2+)/H(+) exchanger (MHX) and CAX-related Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger-like (NCL) proteins are instead present. Analysis of genomes of ten closely-related rice species and four Arabidopsis-related species found that CaCA gene family structures are highly conserved within related plants, apart from minor variation. Protein structures were modelled for OsCAX1a and OsMHX1. Despite exhibiting broad structural conservation, there are clear structural differences observed between the different CaCA types. Members of the CaCA superfamily form clearly distinct families with different phylogenetic, structural and functional characteristics, and therefore should not be simply classified as NCX proteins, which should remain as a separate gene family.

  4. Cross-Neutralising Nanobodies Bind to a Conserved Pocket in the Hemagglutinin Stem Region Identified Using Yeast Display and Deep Mutational Scanning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziano Gaiotto

    Full Text Available Cross-neutralising monoclonal antibodies against influenza hemagglutinin (HA are of considerable interest as both therapeutics and diagnostic tools. We have recently described five different single domain antibodies (nanobodies which share this cross-neutralising activity and suggest their small size, high stability, and cleft binding properties may present distinct advantages over equivalent conventional antibodies. We have used yeast display in combination with deep mutational scanning to give residue level resolution of positions in the antibody-HA interface which are crucial for binding. In addition, we have mapped positions within HA predicted to have minimal effect on antibody binding when mutated. Our cross-neutralising nanobodies were shown to bind to a highly conserved pocket in the HA2 domain of A(H1N1pdm09 influenza virus overlapping with the fusion peptide suggesting their mechanism of action is through the inhibition of viral membrane fusion. We also note that the epitope overlaps with that of CR6261 and F10 which are human monoclonal antibodies in clinical development as immunotherapeutics. Although all five nanobodies mapped to the same highly conserved binding pocket we observed differences in the size of the epitope footprint which has implications in comparing the relative genetic barrier each nanobody presents to a rapidly evolving influenza virus. To further refine our epitope map, we have re-created naturally occurring mutations within this HA stem epitope and tested their effect on binding using yeast display. We have shown that a D46N mutation in the HA2 stem domain uniquely interferes with binding of R2b-E8. Further testing of this substitution in the context of full length purified HA from 1918 H1N1 pandemic (Spanish flu, 2009 H1N1 pandemic (swine flu and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 demonstrated binding which correlated with D46 whereas binding to seasonal H1N1 strains carrying N46 was absent. In addition, our

  5. Social Priorities as Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubert, E.

    2015-12-01

    Decision makers' responses to local risks and expected changes to a community from circumstances like natural hazards, human developments, and demographic changes can greatly affect social and environmental outcomes in a community. Translating physical data based in disciplines like engineering and geosciences into positive outcomes for communities can be challenging and often results in conflict that appears to pit "science" against "the public." Scientists can be reluctant to offer recommendations for action based on their work, often (and often correctly) noting that their role is not to make value judgments for a community - particularly for a community that is not their own. Conversely, decision makers can be frustrated by the lack of guidance they receive to help translate data into effective and acceptable action. The solution posed by this submission, given the goal of co-production of knowledge by scientists and decision makers to foster better community outcomes, is to involve the community directly by integrating social scientific methods that address decision making and community engagement to the scientist-decision maker interaction. Specifically, the missing dataset in many scientist-decision maker interactions is the nature of community priorities. Using scientifically valid methods to rigorously collect and characterize community priorities to help recommend tradeoffs between different outcomes indicated by the work of physical and natural scientists can bridge the gap between science and action by involving the community in the process. This submission presents early work on US preferences for different types of social and environmental outcomes designed to integrate directly with engineering and physical science frameworks like Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Impact Statements. Cardinal preference data are based on surveys of US adults using tools like the Analytical Hierarchy Process, budget allocation, and ranking.

  6. Knowledge co-production and boundary work to promote implementation of conservation plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nel, Jeanne L; Roux, Dirk J; Driver, Amanda; Hill, Liesl; Maherry, Ashton C; Snaddon, Kate; Petersen, Chantel R; Smith-Adao, Lindie B; Van Deventer, Heidi; Reyers, Belinda

    2016-02-01

    Knowledge co-production and boundary work offer planners a new frame for critically designing a social process that fosters collaborative implementation of resulting plans. Knowledge co-production involves stakeholders from diverse knowledge systems working iteratively toward common vision and action. Boundary work is a means of creating permeable knowledge boundaries that satisfy the needs of multiple social groups while guarding the functional integrity of contributing knowledge systems. Resulting products are boundary objects of mutual interest that maintain coherence across all knowledge boundaries. We examined how knowledge co-production and boundary work can bridge the gap between planning and implementation and promote cross-sectoral cooperation. We applied these concepts to well-established stages in regional conservation planning within a national scale conservation planning project aimed at identifying areas for conserving rivers and wetlands of South Africa and developing an institutional environment for promoting their conservation. Knowledge co-production occurred iteratively over 4 years in interactive stake-holder workshops that included co-development of national freshwater conservation goals and spatial data on freshwater biodiversity and local conservation feasibility; translation of goals into quantitative inputs that were used in Marxan to select draft priority conservation areas; review of draft priority areas; and packaging of resulting map products into an atlas and implementation manual to promote application of the priority area maps in 37 different decision-making contexts. Knowledge co-production stimulated dialogue and negotiation and built capacity for multi-scale implementation beyond the project. The resulting maps and information integrated diverse knowledge types of over 450 stakeholders and represented >1000 years of collective experience. The maps provided a consistent national source of information on priority conservation areas

  7. Geospatial characterization of deforestation, fragmentation and forest fires in Telangana state, India: conservation perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C; Vazeed Pasha, S; Jha, C S; Dadhwal, V K

    2015-07-01

    Conservation of biodiversity has been put to the highest priority throughout the world. The process of identifying threatened ecosystems will search for different drivers related to biodiversity loss. The present study aimed to generate spatial information on deforestation and ecological degradation indicators of fragmentation and forest fires using systematic conceptual approach in Telangana state, India. Identification of ecosystems facing increasing vulnerability can help to safeguard the extinctions of species and useful for conservation planning. The technological advancement of satellite remote sensing and Geographical Information System has increased greatly in assessment and monitoring of ecosystem-level changes. The areas of threat were identified by creating grid cells (5 × 5 km) in Geographical Information System (GIS). Deforestation was assessed using multi-source data of 1930, 1960, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013. The forest cover of 40,746 km(2), 29,299 km(2), 18,652 km(2), 18,368 km(2), 18,006 km(2), 17,556 km(2) and 17,520 km(2) was estimated during 1930, 1960, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013, respectively. Historical evaluation of deforestation revealed that major changes had occurred in forests of Telangana and identified 1095 extinct, 397 critically endangered, 523 endangered and 311 vulnerable ecosystem grid cells. The fragmentation analysis has identified 307 ecosystem grid cells under critically endangered status. Forest burnt area information was extracted using AWiFS data of 2005 to 2014. Spatial analysis indicates total fire-affected forest in Telangana as 58.9% in a decadal period. Conservation status has been recorded depending upon values of threat for each grid, which forms the basis for conservation priority hotspots. Of existing forest, 2.1% grids had severe ecosystem collapse and had been included under the category of conservation priority hotspot-I, followed by 27.2% in conservation priority hotspot-II and 51.5% in conservation

  8. International Occupational Therapy Research Priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, Lynette; Coppola, Susan; Alvarez, Liliana; Cibule, Lolita; Maltsev, Sergey; Loh, Siew Yim; Mlambo, Tecla; Ikiugu, Moses N; Pihlar, Zdenka; Sriphetcharawut, Sarinya; Baptiste, Sue; Ledgerd, Richard

    2017-04-01

    Occupational therapy is a global profession represented by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). International research priorities are needed for strategic guidance on global occupational therapy practice. The objective of this study was to develop international research priorities to reflect global occupational therapy practice. A Delphi study using three rounds of electronic surveys, distributed to WFOT member organizations and WFOT accredited universities, was conducted. Data were analyzed after each round, and priorities were presented for rating and ranking in order of importance. Forty-six (53%) out of 87 WFOT member countries participated in the Delphi process. Eight research priorities were confirmed by the final electronic survey round. Differences were observed in rankings given by member organizations and university respondents. Despite attrition at Round 3, the final research priorities will help to focus research efforts in occupational therapy globally. Follow-up research is needed to determine how the research priorities are being adopted internationally.

  9. W.R. Grace: Plant Uses Six Sigma Methodology and Traditional Heat Balance Analysis to Identify Energy Conservation Opportunities at Curtis Bay Works

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2003-12-01

    The plant-wide energy assessment at W. R. Grace's Curtis Bay Works helped identify four projects with combined potential savings of $840,000 per year. A separate, unique project that would partner W. R. Grace with the City of Baltimore to recover and use landfill gas (methane) to cogenerate steam and electricity was also identified during the assessment. If implemented, the project would recover gas from the landfill to replace 40% of the electricity and 65% of the fuel currently required to produce steam at Curtis Bay Works. Annual savings are estimated at $900,000 to $1.2 million.

  10. W. R. Grace: Plant Uses Six Sigma Methodology and Traditional Heat Balance Analysis to Identify Energy Conservation Opportunities at Curtis Bay Works (Revised)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-12-01

    The plant-wide energy assessment at W. R. Grace's Curtis Bay Works helped identify four projects with combined potential savings of $840,000 per year. A separate, unique project that would partner W. R. Grace with the City of Baltimore to recover and use landfill gas (methane) to cogenerate steam and electricity was also identified during the assessment. If implemented, the project would recover gas from the landfill to replace 40% of the electricity and 65% of the fuel currently required to produce steam at Curtis Bay Works. Annual savings are estimated at $900,000 to $1.2 million.

  11. Carbon payments and low-cost conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Neville D; Bryan, Brett A; Summers, David M

    2011-08-01

    A price on carbon is expected to generate demand for carbon offset schemes. This demand could drive investment in tree-based monocultures that provide higher carbon yields than diverse plantings of native tree and shrub species, which sequester less carbon but provide greater variation in vegetation structure and composition. Economic instruments such as species conservation banking, the creation and trading of credits that represent biological-diversity values on private land, could close the financial gap between monocultures and more diverse plantings by providing payments to individuals who plant diverse species in locations that contribute to conservation and restoration goals. We studied a highly modified agricultural system in southern Australia that is typical of many temperate agriculture zones globally (i.e., has a high proportion of endangered species, high levels of habitat fragmentation, and presence of non-native species). We quantified the economic returns from agriculture and from carbon plantings (monoculture and mixed tree and shrubs) under six carbon-price scenarios. We also identified high-priority locations for restoration of cleared landscapes with mixed tree and shrub carbon plantings. Depending on the price of carbon, direct annual payments to landowners of AU$7/ha/year to $125/ha/year (US$6-120/ha/year) may be sufficient to augment economic returns from a carbon market and encourage tree plantings that contribute more to the restoration of natural systems and endangered species habitats than monocultures. Thus, areas of high priority for conservation and restoration may be restored relatively cheaply in the presence of a carbon market. Overall, however, less carbon is sequestered by mixed native tree and shrub plantings. © 2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Identifying temporal bottlenecks for the conservation of large-bodied fishes: Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens show highly restricted movement and habitat use over-winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donnette Thayer

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between species’ size and home range size has been well studied. In practice, home range may provide a good surrogate of broad spatial coverage needed for species conservation, however, many species can show restricted movement during critical life stages, such as breeding and over-wintering. This suggests the existence of either a behavioral or habitat mediated ‘temporal bottleneck,’ where restricted or sedentary movement can make populations more susceptible to harm during specific life stages. Here, we study over-winter movement and habitat use of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, the largest freshwater fish in North America. We monitored over-winter movement of 86 fish using a hydro-acoustic receiver array in the South Saskatchewan River, Canada. Overall, 20 fish remained within our study system throughout the winter. Lake Sturgeon showed strong aggregation and sedentary movement over-winter, demonstrating a temporal bottleneck. Movement was highly restricted during ice-on periods (ranging from 0.9 km/day in November and April to 0.2 km/day in mid-November to mid-March, with Lake Sturgeon seeking deeper, slower pools. We also show that Lake Sturgeon have strong aggregation behavior, where distance to conspecifics decreased (from 575 to 313 m in preparation for and during ice-on periods. Although the Lake Sturgeon we studied had access to 1100 kilometers of unfragmented riverine habitat, we show that during the over-winter period Lake Sturgeon utilized a single, deep pool (<0.1% of available habitat. The temporal discrepancy between mobile and sedentary behaviors in Lake Sturgeon suggest adaptive management is needed with more localized focus during periods of temporal bottlenecks, even for large-bodied species.

  13. Pangolins (Manis crassicaudata in Sri Lanka: A Review of Current Knowledge, Threats and Research Priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K.P. Perera

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata is arguably the least studied species of all Asiatic pangolin species and, is the solitary pangolin species recorded in Sri Lanka. Growing concerns over their population decline due to poaching and trading has triggered a move to uplift Indian Pangolin to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES. However, lack of reliable scientific information on the behavior, ecology and threats for the survival of Indian Pangolin remains a major limitation in conservation of the species. This narrative review discusses the current knowledge on Indian Pangolin with special reference to Sri Lanka, and identifies key research priorities for better conservation planning of the species.

  14. Alternative transport fuels: supply, consumption and conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trindade, S.C.

    1990-01-01

    Road-based passenger and freight transport almost exclusively uses petroleum/hydrocarbon fuels in the fluid form. These fuels will probably continue to be major transport fuels well into the 21st century. As such there is need to prolong their use which can be done through: (1) conservation of fuel by increasing efficiency of internal combustion engines, and (2) conversion of natural gas, coal and peat, and biomass into alternate fuels such as ethanol, methanol, CNG, LNG, LPG, low heat-content (producer) gas and vegetable oils. Research, development and demonstration (RD and D) priorities in supply, consumption and conservation of these alternate fuels are identified and ranked in the context of situation prevailing in Brazil. Author has assigned the highest priority for research in the impact of pricing, economic, fiscal and trade policies, capital allocation criteria and institutional and legislative framework. It has also been emphasised that an integrated or systems approach is mandatory to achieve net energy gains in transport sector. (M.G.B.). 33 refs., 11 tabs., 4 figs

  15. Increasing organizational energy conservation behaviors: Comparing the theory of planned behavior and reasons theory for identifying specific motivational factors to target for change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlinson, Scott Michael

    Social scientists frequently assess factors thought to underlie behavior for the purpose of designing behavioral change interventions. Researchers commonly identify these factors by examining relationships between specific variables and the focal behaviors being investigated. Variables with the strongest relationships to the focal behavior are then assumed to be the most influential determinants of that behavior, and therefore often become the targets for change in a behavioral change intervention. In the current proposal, multiple methods are used to compare the effectiveness of two theoretical frameworks for identifying influential motivational factors. Assessing the relative influence of all factors and sets of factors for driving behavior should clarify which framework and methodology is the most promising for identifying effective change targets. Results indicated each methodology adequately predicted the three focal behaviors examined. However, the reasons theory approach was superior for predicting factor influence ratings compared to the TpB approach. While common method variance contamination had minimal impact on the results or conclusions derived from the present study's findings, there were substantial differences in conclusions depending on the questionnaire design used to collect the data. Examples of applied uses of the present study are discussed.

  16. Conservation priorities in lowland regions of the Fynbos biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Jarman, ML

    1986-01-01

    Full Text Available and the existence of rare or threatened species. A third level of factors includes the size of the remnant, its shape, the degree of invasion by alien woody plants and the degree of other forms of 'abuse' such as overgrazing, road building or quarrying. Finally a...

  17. Politicians’ priorities and the determinants of priorities in the Swedish social services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Wörlén

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The setting of priorities is an integrated part of social-work politics in Sweden as well as internationally. This article explores Swedish social services and how politicians on the political boards wish to make priorities and what these priorities involve. The use of regression analyses also reveals which circumstances are of importance for allocative precedence and the impact different distributive principles have. It is hard to detect clear-cut patterns of circumstances that guide the judgements in any one direction. The results show that political affiliation overall is not a determining factor for attitudes towards how priorities are made. Another result is a manifest area bias, suggesting that respondents tend to see to the interests of their own professional domain, a result most visible among the politicians involved with Care for the Elderly and Disabled (CED. Yet, with regard to allocative principles, political colour seems to matter. Conservative politicians, as expected, agree with the principles of economy and of capacity to benefit, while the socialist block, less expectedly, seems to embrace the principle of deservingness.

  18. Our top priority

    CERN Multimedia

    2012-01-01

    After three years of LHC running, we are still at the beginning of a long research programme with our flagship facility, and hopefully 4 July 2012 will go down in history as the date of one of many landmark discoveries spanning several years. CERN’s top priority for the next decade and more is the full exploitation of the LHC. With speculation about potential future facilities mounting in the light of the discovery of a new Higgs-like particle, it’s important to state that most clearly. Of course, this will rely on continued global collaboration, and it’s important that CERN engage constructively with other regions.   It is important to plan ahead, particularly since the lead times for new projects in particle physics are long, and our field is increasingly global in nature. That’s why the European particle physics community is currently engaged in updating its long-term strategy. Planning ahead allowed us to be ready technologically to build the LHC whe...

  19. Priority setting and health policy and systems research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bennett Sara C

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Health policy and systems research (HPSR has been identified as critical to scaling-up interventions to achieve the millennium development goals, but research priority setting exercises often do not address HPSR well. This paper aims to (i assess current priority setting methods and the extent to which they adequately include HPSR and (ii draw lessons regarding how HPSR priority setting can be enhanced to promote relevant HPSR, and to strengthen developing country leadership of research agendas. Priority setting processes can be distinguished by the level at which they occur, their degree of comprehensiveness in terms of the topic addressed, the balance between technical versus interpretive approaches and the stakeholders involved. When HPSR is considered through technical, disease-driven priority setting processes it is systematically under-valued. More successful approaches for considering HPSR are typically nationally-driven, interpretive and engage a range of stakeholders. There is still a need however for better defined approaches to enable research funders to determine the relative weight to assign to disease specific research versus HPSR and other forms of cross-cutting health research. While country-level research priority setting is key, there is likely to be a continued need for the identification of global research priorities for HPSR. The paper argues that such global priorities can and should be driven by country level priorities.

  20. Sources of unbounded priority inversions in real-time systems and a comparative study of possible solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davari, Sadegh; Sha, Lui

    1992-01-01

    In the design of real-time systems, tasks are often assigned priorities. Preemptive priority driven schedulers are used to schedule tasks to meet the timing requirements. Priority inversion is the term used to describe the situation when a higher priority task's execution is delayed by lower priority tasks. Priority inversion can occur when there is contention for resources among tasks of different priorities. The duration of priority inversion could be long enough to cause tasks to miss their dead lines. Priority inversion cannot be completely eliminated. However, it is important to identify sources of priority inversion and minimize the duration of priority inversion. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the problem of and solutions to unbounded priority inversion is presented.

  1. Highest priority in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adil, E

    1968-01-01

    Responding to the challenge posed by its population problem, Pakistan's national leadership gave the highest priority to family planning in its socioeconomic development plan. In Pakistan, as elsewhere in the world, the first family planning effort originated in the private sector. The Family Planning Association of Pakistan made a tentative beginning in popularizing family planning in the country. Some clinics were opened and some publicity and education were undertaken to emphasize the need for family limitation. It was recognized soon that the government needed to assume the primarily responsibility if family planning efforts were to be successful. For the 1st plan period, 1955-60, about $10 million was allocated by the central government in the social welfare sector for voluntary family planning. The level of support continued on the same basis during the 2nd plan, 1960-65, but has been raised 4-fold in the 1965-70 scheme of family planning. Pakistan's Family Planning Association continues to play vital collaborative roles in designing and pretesting of prototype publicity material, involvement of voluntary social workers, and functional research in the clinical and public relations fields. The real breakthrough in the program came with the 3rd 5-year plan, 1965-70. High priority assigned to family planning is reflected by the total initial budget of Rs.284 million (about $60,000,000) for the 5-year period. Current policy is postulated on 6 basic assumptions: family planning efforts need to be public relations-oriented; operations should be conducted through autonomous bodies with decentralized authority at all tiers down to the grassroots level, for expeditious decision making; monetary incentives play an important role; interpersonal motivation in terms of life experience of the clientele through various contacts, coupled with mass media for publicity, can produce a sociological breakthrough; supplies and services in all related disciplines should be

  2. Conservation biogeography of red oaks (Quercus, section Lobatae) in Mexico and Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Miranda, Andrés; Luna-Vega, Isolda; Oyama, Ken

    2011-02-01

    Oaks are dominant trees and key species in many temperate and subtropical forests in the world. In this study, we analyzed patterns of distribution of red oaks (Quercus, section Lobatae) occurring in Mexico and Central America to determine areas of species richness and endemism to propose areas of conservation. Patterns of richness and endemism of 75 red oak species were analyzed using three different units. Two complementarity algorithms based on species richness and three algorithms based on species rarity were used to identify important areas for conservation. A simulated annealing analysis was performed to evaluate and formulate effective new reserves for red oaks that are useful for conserving the ecosystems associated with them after the systematic conservation planning approach. Two main centers of species richness were detected. The northern Sierra Madre Oriental and Serranías Meridionales of Jalisco had the highest values of endemism. Fourteen areas were considered as priorities for conservation of red oak species based on the 26 priority political entities, 11 floristic units and the priority grid-cells obtained in the complementarity analysis. In the present network of Natural Protected Areas in Mexico and Central America, only 41.3% (31 species) of the red oak species are protected. The simulated annealing analysis indicated that to protect all 75 species of red oaks, 12 current natural protected areas need to be expanded by 120000 ha of additional land, and 26 new natural protected areas with 512500 ha need to be created. Red oaks are a useful model to identify areas for conservation based on species richness and endemism as a result of their wide geographic distribution and a high number of species. We evaluated and reformulated new reserves for red oaks that are also useful for the conservation of ecosystems associated with them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, América P; Duffy, James P; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-10-07

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Community views and public health priority setting: how do health department priorities, community views, and health indicator data compare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earle-Richardson, Giulia; Scribani, Melissa; Wyckoff, Lynae; Strogatz, David; May, John; Jenkins, Paul

    2015-01-01

    New York, like many other states, provides county-level health statistics for use in local priority settings but does not provide any data on public views about priority health issues. This study assessed whether health department priorities are notably different from community concerns about health, and how both groups' priorities compare with local health statistics. Data from a 2009 rural survey on community health concerns were compared to priorities named by the seven area county health departments, and to local health indicator data. Health care/insurance cost (60%), obesity (53%), and prescription cost (41%) were leading community concerns, regardless of age, education, sex, or Internet in the home. Six of seven county health departments selected access to quality health care (which includes health care/insurance cost) as a leading public health priority, but only three identified obesity. The following leading local health issues were suggested by health indicators: Physical activity and nutrition, Smoking, and Unintentional injury. Health departments diverged from community priorities, from health indicator data, and from one another in choosing priorities. Adding a question about community health priorities to existing state telephone surveys on health behavior and lifestyle would provide an important tool to local health departments. © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.

  5. Áreas prioritárias na Amazônia para conservação dos recursos genéticos de espécies florestais nativas: fase preliminar Priority areas for genetic resources conservation of native Forest Species: preliminary phase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Maria Conte Leite

    1993-07-01

    Full Text Available O CENARGEN/EMBRAPA está realizando a prospecção das áreas prioritárias para a conservação in situ dos recursos genéticos de espécies com importância sócio-econômica para cada bioma existente no Brasil, buscando a conservação da variabilidade genética das mesmas. Para a prospecção da floresta tropical úmida amazônica, inicialmente foram feitos levantamentos de herbários nacionais bem como de literatura, para tentar definir os padrões de distribuição geográfica de algumas espécies prioritárias da região. A ocorrência das mesmas foi correlacionada com solos, clima, vegetação e com a existência de unidades de conservação na Amazônia, no intuito de se propor as áreas mais adequadas para a implantação de reservas genéticas (conservação in situ e de bancos de germoplasma (conservação ex situ à campo. As espécies relatadas no presente trabalho são Aniba rosaeodora Ducke (pau-rosa, Bertholletia excelsa H.B.K. (castanha-do-Pará, Carapa quianensis Aubl. (andiroba, Cedrela fissilis Veil, e C. odorata L. (cedros, Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. e C. multijuga Hayne (copaibas, Cordia goeldiana Huber (freijó, Jacaranda copaia (Aubl. D. Dom (pará-pará, Simaruba amara Aubl. e Virola sebifera Aubl. e V. surinamensis Warb. (ucuúbas e Voucapoua americana Aubl. e V. pallidor Ducke (acapús. Trabalhos posteriores com as mesmas incluirão a corroboração à campo dos dados obtidos nos herbários e na literatura, bem como estudos a nível de população dentro das áreas selecionadas.CENARGEN/EMBRAPA is investigating priority areas for in situ conservation of genetic resources of socially and economically important species. Herbaria and the literature were consulted to determine the distribution patterns of some tropical rain forest species. Known species distribution were correlated with soils, climate, vegetation types and the existence of conservation units, in order to propose the establishment of genetic reserves for

  6. Water Well Locations - Conservation Wells

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — The conservation well layer identifies the permitted surface location of oil and gas conservation wells that have not been plugged. These include active, regulatory...

  7. Assessment of genetic diversity in the critically endangered Australian corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree and Pseudophryne pengilleyi, identifies four evolutionarily significant units for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Matthew J; Hunter, David; Pietsch, Rod; Osborne, William; Keogh, J Scott

    2008-08-01

    The iconic and brightly coloured Australian northern corroboree frog, Pseudophryne pengilleyi, and the southern corroboree frog, Pseudophryne corroboree are critically endangered and may be extinct in the wild within 3 years. We have assembled samples that cover the current range of both species and applied hypervariable microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences to assess the levels and patterns of genetic variation. The four loci used in the study were highly variable, the total number of alleles observed ranged from 13 to 30 and the average number of alleles per locus was 19. Expected heterozygosity of the four microsatellite loci across all populations was high and varied between 0.830 and 0.935. Bayesian clustering analyses in STRUCTURE strongly supported four genetically distinct populations, which correspond exactly to the four main allopatric geographical regions in which the frogs are currently found. Individual analyses performed on the separate regions showed that breeding sites within these four regions could not be separated into distinct populations. Twelve mtND2 haplotypes were identified from 66 individuals from throughout the four geographical regions. A statistical parsimony network of mtDNA haplotypes shows two distinct groups, which correspond to the two species of corroboree frog, but with most of the haplotype diversity distributed in P. pengilleyi. These results demonstrate an unexpectedly high level of genetic diversity in both species. Our data have important implications for how the genetic diversity is managed in the future. The four evolutionarily significant units must be protected and maintained in captive breeding programmes for as long as it is possible to do.

  8. Large-Scale Transit Signal Priority Implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Kevin S.; Lozner, Bailey

    2018-01-01

    In 2016, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) deployed Transit Signal Priority (TSP) at 195 intersections in highly urbanized areas of Washington, DC. In collaboration with a broader regional implementation, and in partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), DDOT set out to apply a systems engineering–driven process to identify, design, test, and accept a large-scale TSP system. This presentation will highlight project successes and lessons learned.

  9. Priority knowledge needs. Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-01-01

    This report gives an overview of the knowledge needs identified during the work on the scientific basis for the management plan. The overview includes knowledge needs identified in: the impact assessments for various sectors; the reports on the vulnerability of particularly valuable areas; proposed indicators for a monitoring system; cumulative environmental effects; conflicting interests and the need for coordination; and the report on analysis of population and, economic activity and ecosystem services. In addition, the working group has identified several additional knowledge needs. The present report summarises the 2010 status report and describes new developments since its publication.(Author)

  10. Priority knowledge needs. Summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-01

    This report gives an overview of the knowledge needs identified during the work on the scientific basis for the management plan. The overview includes knowledge needs identified in: the impact assessments for various sectors; the reports on the vulnerability of particularly valuable areas; proposed indicators for a monitoring system; cumulative environmental effects; conflicting interests and the need for coordination; and the report on analysis of population and, economic activity and ecosystem services. In addition, the working group has identified several additional knowledge needs. The present report summarises the 2010 status report and describes new developments since its publication.(Author)

  11. 45 CFR 2531.20 - Funding priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... priorities. The Corporation may choose to set priorities (and to periodically revise such priorities) that... given fiscal year. In setting these priorities, the Corporation will seek to concentrate funds on those... 45 Public Welfare 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Funding priorities. 2531.20 Section 2531.20 Public...

  12. Assessment of energy research, development, and demonstration priorities for New York State. Interim report. Volume I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allentuck, J; Appleman, J; Carroll, T O; Palmedo, P F; Nathans, R

    1977-11-01

    In compliance with its mandate to accelerate the development and use of energy technologies in furtherance of the state's economic growth and the best interests of its population, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) initiated, in March 1977, an assessment of energy research and development priorities. This report presents a view of the energy supply-demand future of the state, and the ways in which this future can be affected by external contingencies and concerted policies. That view takes into consideration energy supplies that may be available to the state as well as energy demands as they are affected by demographic and economic changes within the state. Also included are the effects of national energy policies and technological developments as they modify both supplies and demands in New York State. Finally, this report proceeds to identify those general technological areas in which the Authority's program can be of greatest potential benefit to the state's social and economic well being. This effort aims at a cost/benefit analysis determination of RD and D priorities. The preliminary analysis thus far indicates these areas as being of highest priority: energy conservation in buildings (promotion and execution of RD and D) and industry; district heating; fuel cell demonstration;solar heating and cooling (analysis, demonstration, and information dissemination); energy-environment interaction (analysis); energy information services; and, in general, the attraction of Federal RD and D programs to the state.

  13. Comprehensive framework for preventive maintenance priority of medical equipment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, Neven; Balestra, Gabriella

    2015-08-01

    Throughout the medical equipment life cycle, preventive maintenance is considered one of the most important stages that should be managed properly. However, the need for better management and control by giving a reasonable prioritization for preventive maintenance becomes essential. The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive framework for preventive maintenance priority of medical equipment using Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Fuzzy Logic (FL). The quality function deployment is proposed in order to identify the most important criteria that could impact preventive maintenance priority decision; meanwhile the role of the fuzzy logic is to generate a priority index of the list of equipment considering those criteria. The model validation was carried out on 140 pieces of medical equipment belonging to two hospitals. In application, we propose to classify the priority index into five classes. The results indicate that the strong correlation existence between risk-based criteria and preventive maintenance priority decision.

  14. Hearing Conservation Team

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Hearing Conservation Team focuses on ways to identify the early stages of noise-induced damage to the human ear.Our current research involves the evaluation of...

  15. Birds of Conservation Concern

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The 1988 amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act mandates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to “identify species, subspecies, and populations of...

  16. Occupational health research priorities in Malaysia: a Delphi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadhra, S; Beach, J R; Aw, T C; Sheikh-Ahmed, K

    2001-07-01

    As part of a consultancy project on occupational health, the Delphi method was used to identify research priorities in occupational health in Malaysia. Participation was sought from government ministries, industry, and professional organisations, and university departments with an interest in occupational and public health. Two rounds of questionnaires resulted in a final list of priorities, with noticeable differences between participants depending on whether they worked in industry or were from government organisations. The participation rate of 71% (55 of 78) was obtained for the first questionnaire and 76% (72 of 95) for the second questionnaire. The participants identified occupational health problems for specific groups and industries as the top research priority area (ranked as top priority by 25% of participants). Ministry of Health participants placed emphasis on healthcare workers (52% ranking it as top priority), whereas those from industry identified construction and plantation workers as groups, which should be accorded the highest priority. Evaluation of research and services was given a low priority. The priorities for occupational health determined with the Delphi approach showed differences between Malaysia, a developing country, and findings from similar European studies. This may be expected, as differences exist in stages of economic development, types of industries, occupational activities, and cultural attitudes to occupational health and safety. Chemical poisonings and workplace accidents were accorded a high priority. By contrast with findings from western countries, workplace psychosocial problems and musculoskeletal injuries were deemed less important. There also seemed to be greater emphasis on adopting interventions for identified problems based on experience in other countries rather than the need to evaluate local occupational health provisions.

  17. Key Nuclear Verification Priorities: Safeguards and Beyond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, J.

    2010-01-01

    In addressing nuclear verification priorities, we should look beyond the current safeguards system. Non-proliferation, which the safeguards system underpins, is not an end in itself, but an essential condition for achieving and maintaining nuclear disarmament. Effective safeguards are essential for advancing disarmament, and safeguards issues, approaches and techniques are directly relevant to the development of future verification missions. The extent to which safeguards challenges are successfully addressed - or otherwise - will impact not only on confidence in the safeguards system, but on the effectiveness of, and confidence in, disarmament verification. To identify the key nuclear verification priorities, we need to consider the objectives of verification, and the challenges to achieving these. The strategic objective of IAEA safeguards might be expressed as: To support the global nuclear non-proliferation regime by: - Providing credible assurance that states are honouring their safeguards commitments - thereby removing a potential motivation to proliferate; and - Early detection of misuse of nuclear material and technology - thereby deterring proliferation by the risk of early detection, enabling timely intervention by the international community. Or to summarise - confidence-building, detection capability, and deterrence. These will also be essential objectives for future verification missions. The challenges to achieving these involve a mix of political, technical and institutional dimensions. Confidence is largely a political matter, reflecting the qualitative judgment of governments. Clearly assessments of detection capability and deterrence have a major impact on confidence. Detection capability is largely thought of as 'technical', but also involves issues of legal authority, as well as institutional issues. Deterrence has both political and institutional aspects - including judgments on risk of detection and risk of enforcement action being taken. The

  18. Key Nuclear Verification Priorities - Safeguards and Beyond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, J.

    2010-01-01

    In addressing nuclear verification priorities, we should look beyond the current safeguards system. Non-proliferation, which the safeguards system underpins, is not an end in itself, but an essential condition for achieving and maintaining nuclear disarmament. Effective safeguards are essential for advancing disarmament, and safeguards issues, approaches and techniques are directly relevant to the development of future verification missions. The extent to which safeguards challenges are successfully addressed - or otherwise - will impact not only on confidence in the safeguards system, but on the effectiveness of, and confidence in, disarmament verification. To identify the key nuclear verification priorities, we need to consider the objectives of verification, and the challenges to achieving these. The strategic objective of IAEA safeguards might be expressed as: To support the global nuclear non-proliferation regime by: - Providing credible assurance that states are honouring their safeguards commitments - thereby removing a potential motivation to proliferate; and - Early detection of misuse of nuclear material and technology - thereby deterring proliferation by the risk of early detection, enabling timely intervention by the international community. Or to summarise - confidence-building, detection capability, and deterrence. These will also be essential objectives for future verification missions. The challenges to achieving these involve a mix of political, technical and institutional dimensions. Confidence is largely a political matter, reflecting the qualitative judgment of governments. Clearly assessments of detection capability and deterrence have a major impact on confidence. Detection capability is largely thought of as 'technical', but also involves issues of legal authority, as well as institutional issues. Deterrence has both political and institutional aspects - including judgments on risk of detection and risk of enforcement action being taken. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aukema, Juliann E; 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliann E Aukema

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Defining Priorities for Future Research: Results of the UK Kidney Transplant Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Simon R; Metcalfe, Leanne; O'Donoghue, Katriona; Ball, Simon T; Beale, Angela; Beale, William; Hilton, Rachel; Hodkinson, Keith; Lipkin, Graham W; Loud, Fiona; Marson, Lorna P; Morris, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that the research priorities of those funding and performing research in transplantation may differ from those of end service users such as patients, carers and healthcare professionals involved in day-to-day care. The Kidney Transplant Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was established with the aim of involving all stakeholders in prioritising future research in the field. The PSP methodology is as outlined by the James Lind Alliance. An initial survey collected unanswered research questions from patients, carers and clinicians. Duplicate and out-of-scope topics were excluded and the existing literature searched to identify topics answered by current evidence. An interim prioritisation survey asked patients and professionals to score the importance of the remaining questions to create a ranked long-list. These were considered at a final consensus workshop using a modified nominal group technique to agree a final top ten. The initial survey identified 497 questions from 183 respondents, covering all aspects of transplantation from assessment through to long-term follow-up. These were grouped into 90 unanswered "indicative" questions. The interim prioritisation survey received 256 responses (34.8% patients/carers, 10.9% donors and 54.3% professionals), resulting in a ranked list of 25 questions that were considered during the final workshop. Participants agreed a top ten priorities for future research that included optimisation of immunosuppression (improved monitoring, choice of regimen, personalisation), prevention of sensitisation and transplanting the sensitised patient, management of antibody-mediated rejection, long-term risks to live donors, methods of organ preservation, induction of tolerance and bioengineering of organs. There was evidence that patient and carer involvement had a significant impact on shaping the final priorities. The final list of priorities relates to all stages of the transplant process, including access to

  2. VT Priority Stream/River

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Vermont List of Priority Surface Waters outside CWA Section 303(d) is divided in to 4 parts; Parts B, D, E and F. The four-part list has managed by the Vermont...

  3. NRPC ServCat priorities

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — This document lists the Natural Resource Program Center’s priority ServCat documents. It is recommended that these documents- which include annual narrative reports,...

  4. Priority for sustainability. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-12-01

    The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs (EZ) has been asked to realize priority in connection to the grid for sustainable production capacity. Currently there are waiting lists for connection of new production capacity to the grid in some areas, due to a shortage in transport capacity. The Dutch connection policy (first come, first serve) may possibly lead to delays in connecting sustainable production capacity, which is not desirable in view of the incentivisation of sustainability. EZ and TenneT have asked Booz Allen to examine the options for giving priority to sustainability (wind and CHP). Priority in connection applies only to new sustainable production capacity, but priority in transport also applies to existing sustainable production capacity. [mk] [nl

  5. VT Priority Lake/Pond

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Vermont List of Priority Surface Waters outside CWA Section 303(d) is divided in to 4 parts; Parts B, D, E and F. The four-part list has managed by the Vermont...

  6. Promoting household energy conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steg, Linda

    2008-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that households must change their behaviour to reduce the problems caused by increasing levels of fossil energy use. Strategies for behaviour change will be more effective if they target the most important causes of the behaviour in question. Therefore, this paper first discusses the factors influencing household energy use. Three barriers to fossil fuel energy conservation are discussed: insufficient knowledge of effective ways to reduce household energy use, the low priority and high costs of energy savings, and the lack of feasible alternatives. Next, the paper elaborates on the effectiveness and acceptability of strategies aimed to promote household energy savings. Informational strategies aimed at changing individuals' knowledge, perceptions, cognitions, motivations and norms, as well as structural strategies aimed at changing the context in which decisions are made, are discussed. This paper focuses on the psychological literature on household energy conservation, which mostly examined the effects of informational strategies. Finally, this paper lists important topics for future research

  7. 34 CFR 361.29 - Statewide assessment; annual estimates; annual State goals and priorities; strategies; and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... service and outcome goals and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each... section and achieve the goals and priorities identified in paragraph (c) of this section, including— (1... achievement of the goals and priorities; (C) To the extent to which the goals and priorities were not achieved...

  8. Ten things to get right for marine conservation planning in the Coral Triangle [version 3; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Weeks

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Systematic conservation planning increasingly underpins the conservation and management of marine and coastal ecosystems worldwide. Amongst other benefits, conservation planning provides transparency in decision-making, efficiency in the use of limited resources, the ability to minimise conflict between diverse objectives, and to guide strategic expansion of local actions to maximise their cumulative impact. The Coral Triangle has long been recognised as a global marine conservation priority, and has been the subject of huge investment in conservation during the last five years through the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. Yet conservation planning has had relatively little influence in this region. To explore why this is the case, we identify and discuss 10 challenges that must be resolved if conservation planning is to effectively inform management actions in the Coral Triangle. These are: making conservation planning accessible; integrating with other planning processes; building local capacity for conservation planning; institutionalising conservation planning within governments; integrating plans across governance levels; planning across governance boundaries; planning for multiple tools and objectives; understanding limitations of data; developing better measures of progress and effectiveness; and making a long term commitment. Most important is a conceptual shift from conservation planning undertaken as a project, to planning undertaken as a process, with dedicated financial and human resources committed to long-term engagement.

  9. Filling gaps in a large reserve network to address freshwater conservation needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermoso, Virgilio; Filipe, Ana Filipa; Segurado, Pedro; Beja, Pedro

    2015-09-15

    Freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity are among the most threatened at global scale, but efforts for their conservation have been mostly peripheral to terrestrial conservation. For example, Natura 2000, the world's largest network of protected areas, fails to cover adequately the distribution of rare and endangered aquatic species, and lacks of appropriate spatial design to make conservation for freshwater biodiversity effective. Here, we develop a framework to identify a complementary set of priority areas and enhance the conservation opportunities of Natura 2000 for freshwater biodiversity, using the Iberian Peninsula as a case study. We use a systematic planning approach to identify a minimum set of additional areas that would help i) adequately represent all freshwater fish, amphibians and aquatic reptiles at three different target levels, ii) account for key ecological processes derived from riverscape connectivity, and iii) minimize the impact of threats, both within protected areas and propagated from upstream unprotected areas. Addressing all these goals would need an increase in area between 7 and 46%, depending on the conservation target used and strength of connectivity required. These new priority areas correspond to subcatchments inhabited by endangered and range restricted species, as well as additional subcatchments required to improve connectivity among existing protected areas and to increase protection against upstream threats. Our study should help guide future revisions of the design of Natura 2000, while providing a framework to address deficiencies in reserve networks for adequately protecting freshwater biodiversity elsewhere. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. High priority tank sampling and analysis report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, T.M.

    1998-01-01

    In July 1993, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Board issued Recommendation 93-5 (Conway 1993) which noted that there was insufficient tank waste technical information and the pace to obtain it was too slow to ensure that Hanford Site wastes could be safely stored, that associated operations could be conducted safely, and that future disposal data requirements could be met. In response, the US Department of Energy, in May 1996, issued Revision 1 of the Recommendation 93-5 Implementation Plan (DOE-RL 1996). The Implementation Plan presented a modified approach to achieve the original plan's objectives, concentrating on actions necessary to ensure that wastes can be safely stored, that operations can be safely conducted, and that timely characterization information for the tank waste Disposal Program could be obtained. The Implementation Plan proposed 28 High Priority tanks for near term core sampling and analysis, which along with sampling and analysis of other non-High Priority tanks, could provide the scientific and technical data to confirm assumptions, calibrate models, and.measure safety related phenomenology of the waste. When the analysis results of the High Priority and other-tank sampling were reviewed, it was expected that a series of 12 questions, 9 related to safety issues and 3 related to planning for the disposal process, should be answered allowing key decisions to be made. This report discusses the execution of the Implementation Plan and the results achieved in addressing the questions. Through sampling and analysis, all nine safety related questions have been answered and extensive data for the three disposal planning related questions have been collected, allowing for key decision making. Many more tanks than the original 28 High Priority tanks identified in the Implementation Plan were sampled and analyzed. Twenty-one High Priority tanks and 85 other tanks were core sampled and used to address the questions. Thirty-eight additional tanks were auger

  11. Identifying conservation hotspots using tillage erosion modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillage operations redistribute soil within agricultural landscapes due to deviations in the quantity of soil moved during tillage. Tillage erosion is the net loss or accumulation of soil at any spot within an agricultural landscape due to soil being directly moved by tillage; it is a dominant erosi...

  12. Deciding Where to Burn: Stakeholder Priorities for Prescribed Burning of a Fire-Dependent Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer K. Costanza

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Multiagency partnerships increasingly work cooperatively to plan and implement fire management. The stakeholders that comprise such partnerships differ in their perceptions of the benefits and risks of fire use or nonuse. These differences inform how different stakeholders prioritize sites for burning, constrain prescribed burning, and how they rationalize these priorities and constraints. Using a survey of individuals involved in the planning and implementation of prescribed fire in the Onslow Bight region of North Carolina, we examined how the constraints and priorities for burning in the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris ecosystem differed among three stakeholder groups: prescribed burn practitioners from agencies, practitioners from private companies, and nonpractitioners. Stakeholder groups did not differ in their perceptions of constraints to burning, and development near potentially burned sites was the most important constraint identified. The top criteria used by stakeholders to decide where to burn were the time since a site was last burned, and a site's ecosystem health, with preference given to recently burned sites in good health. Differences among stakeholder groups almost always pertained to perceptions of the nonecological impacts of burning. Prescribed burning priorities of the two groups of practitioners, and particularly practitioners from private companies, tended to be most influenced by nonecological impacts, especially through deprioritization of sites that have not been burned recently or are in the wildland-urban interface (WUI. Our results highlight the difficulty of burning these sites, despite widespread laws in the southeast U.S. that limit liability of prescribed burn practitioners. To avoid ecosystem degradation on sites that are challenging to burn, particularly those in the WUI, conservation partnerships can facilitate demonstration projects involving public and private burn practitioners on those sites. In summary

  13. Conservation Value

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.

    2010-01-01

    This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then l...

  14. Priority setting in clinical nursing practice: literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Charles; Walker, Anne

    2004-08-01

    Time is a valuable resource. When nurses experience demands on their services which exceed their available time, then 'rationing' must occur. In clinical practice such rationing requires practitioners to set priorities for care. The aim of this paper is establish what is currently known about priority setting in nursing, including how nurses set priorities and what factors influence this. CINAHL, Medline, ASSIA, and PsychLit databases for the years 1982-2002 were searched, using the terms (clinical decision-making or problem-solving or planning) and (setting priorities or prioriti*). The publications found were used in a selective, descriptive review. Priority setting is an important skill in nursing, and a skill deficit can have serious consequences for patients. Recent studies have suggested that it is a difficult skill for newly qualified nurses to acquire and may not be given sufficient attention in nurse education. Priority setting can be defined as the ordering of nursing problems using notions of urgency and/or importance, in order to establish a preferential order for nursing actions. A number of factors that may impact on priority setting have been identified in the literature. These include: the expertise of the nurse; the patient's condition; the availability of resources; ward organization; philosophies and models of care; the nurse-patient relationship; and the cognitive strategy used by the nurse to set priorities. However, very little empirical work has been conducted in this area. Further study of priority setting in a range of clinical practice settings is necessary. This could inform both practice and education, promote better use of limited resources and maximize patient outcomes.

  15. Attracting and retaining GPs: a stakeholder survey of priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorant, Vincent; Geerts, Charlotte; Duchesnes, Christiane; Goedhuys, Jo; Ryssaert, Lynn; Remmen, Roy; D'hoore, William

    2011-07-01

    Despite being a key player in the healthcare system, training and practising general practice has become less attractive in many countries and is in need of reform. To identify political priorities for improving GPs' attraction to the profession and their retention within it. Stakeholder face-to-face survey in Belgium, 2008. A total of 102 key stakeholders were recruited from policymakers, professional groups, academia, GP leaders, and the media. All interviewees were asked to score 23 policies on four criteria: effectiveness in attracting and retaining GPs, cost to society, acceptance by other health professionals, and accessibility of care. An overall performance score was computed (from -3 to +3) for each type of policy - training, financing, work-life balance, practice organisation, and governance - and for innovative versus conservative policies. Practice organisation policies and training policies received the highest scores (mean score ≥ 1.11). Financing policies, governance, and work-life balance policies scored poorly (mean score ≤ 0.65) because they had negative effects, particularly in relation to cost, acceptance, and accessibility of care. Stakeholders were keen on moving GPs towards team work, improving their role as care coordinator, and helping them to offload administrative tasks (score ≥ 1.4). They also favoured moves to increase the early and integrated exposure of all medical students to general practice. Overall, conservative policies were better scored than innovative ones (beta = -0.16, 95% confidence interval = -0.28 to -0.03). The reforming of general practice is made difficult by the small-step approach, as well as the importance of decision criteria related to cost, acceptance, and access.

  16. 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